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[P]
The War Behind Closed Doors

By pb in News
Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 04:03:08 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service) is running an informative Frontline program "The War Behind Closed Doors", which is about America's new foreign policy, what it is, where it came from, who is behind it, and how it shaped the events leading up to the current war with Iraq. The program itself is viewable online, in Windows Media and RealPlayer, along with a wealth of related information. Also, CNN is running a similar story.


The program talks about the key players in the Project for a New American Century (or PNAC); Wolfowitz is credited with being the mastermind behind the operation due to his "Defense Planning Guidance" draft in 1992. Further evidence cited is PNAC's the open letter to President Clinton in 1998 encouraging him to wage war on Iraq due to their possession of chemical and biological weapons.

The important statement from Wolfowitz's and Bush's current doctrine that separates it from the earlier policy towards containment is that pre-emptive action to protect America's interests against hostile states, terror groups, and states that harbor terror groups is considered justified. This is a dramatic shift from the politics of George Bush Sr., and indeed was too radical for his administration. But after September 11th, George W. Bush took it to heart.

In fact, Colin Powell may be the only reason that the US spent so long seeking UN approval for a war against Iraq. His opinions and politics align more closely with the idea that the US should seek multilateral approval first, and he worked hard to do so. But whether or not the UN inspectors would have made enough progress to peacefully disarm Iraq, Bush decided that the US had waited long enough.

This war will be the first test of the US' new doctrine for foreign policy--The Bush Doctrine, which is perhaps best outlined in the White House's National Security Strategy. After more than a decade in the making, we have entered a new era in our diplomatic relations, and only time will tell whether it was a success or not.

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Poll
What is the real reason for this war?
o To liberate the Iraqi people and keep the world safe from terror. 5%
o To protect American interests. 34%
o The Bush Doctrine demands it. 11%
o The PNAC is behind it all! 13%
o Oil! 17%
o Personal reasons: "this is the guy that tried to kill my dad" 4%
o The US will go to any lengths to piss off the French, and the world! 5%
o Mu. 8%

Votes: 236
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Public Broadcasting Service
o Frontline
o The War Behind Closed Doors
o viewable online
o a wealth of related information
o a similar story
o the Project for a New American Century
o Defense Planning Guidance
o the open letter to President Clinton
o pre-emptiv e action
o Colin Powell
o The Bush Doctrine
o National Security Strategy
o Also by pb


Display: Sort:
The War Behind Closed Doors | 93 comments (76 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
Prayers (1.66 / 39) (#3)
by A Proud American on Tue Mar 25, 2003 at 10:07:45 PM EST

... for those in high places who must make important decision regarding doctrines and based upon sound principles of values such as trust, security, and love for all the goodness that life, liberty, and freedom have to offer.  May our Lord watch upon us in these troubled times and grant us wisdom that we may make the appropriate decisions without harming anyone in the execution of such rulings.  In love and in His word.  Amen.

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


the cynical say.. (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by nickco on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 04:44:12 PM EST

that two hands working can do more than thousand clasped in prayer.

[ Parent ]
Matthew 6:5-6 (3.66 / 3) (#35)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 05:00:54 PM EST

I see that you've posted almost nothing but prayers to Kuro5hin. Judging by you .sig and the tone of your prayers you seem to be a Christian. I wonder what you think of the Passage in Matthew Chapter 6, verses 5 and 6 which says, "5: And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." You could surely make these prayers on your own at home, or with your family, or members of your church. Instead you have chosen to broadcast your prayers to the world, on Kuro5hin. Why?


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

spammer & a troll (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by mike3k on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 05:32:52 PM EST

He sounds to me like a troll and a spammer.

If he's sincere in his beliefes, he'd go elsewhere instead of spamming an unrelated article.

[ Parent ]

behind closed doors and spam. (none / 0) (#78)
by phlux on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 07:06:38 PM EST

(disclaimer - I dont make any opinion on his prayer statements or anything else... just my take on your comment)

When looking at the bible and its instructions - its good to note that it usually has a double and metaphorical meaning.

The point about prayer - in this context is two fold. Both closely related.

With regards to manifesting thought - it is important for your mind to maintain focus. Only thoughts that are produced and envisioned throughout are full and meaningful.

This means that when you pray - "go into your room" (go inside your head- your being your soul) Close the door - (close out the normal senses - eyes hearing, touch...) pray to your Father who is unseen. (to the Principal of manifestation, if you will) what is done in secret (when the focus of the prayer/thought is soley directed towards its manifestation - and the full force of the thought is not compromised by allowing it to be haphazardly spread - you will see results)

This is how things are taught in "secret societies" - and real meditation - with regards to prayer.

Prayer is the focus of thought - and the directing of thought through intelligence that is.

Here is an exercise for you if you are interested in trying it - and seeing sincere results:

If you are a looking for a job - for example. And you want to meditate/pray (whatever you prefer) to help you find a job. The thing that is important is that you have to imagine how it FEELS to HAVE the job that you want. Focus on the things that you want from the position - then figure out how you would feel if you ACTUALLY had the job. imagine yourself actually in that position - doing the job.

I dont mean just sitting there and daydreaming about it - I mean real meditation, mental focus - on how this job would feel. just as if you think currently "I am a system administrator for X company" - that thought is a fact in your head when you are in that position. so here we are focusing to the point that you can feel the position just as if it is a fact in your mind. Once you can feel and project your mind into that frame of experience - it will manifest. You will know when you are truely thinking the thought when you can feel it in every cell of your body... it takes some effort to get to this point.

this is a very strong exercise - personnal excercise. Do it while lying down - before you sleep. (p.s. strong meditation is very difficult if you have someone in your bed with you. its very hard to really hit deep meditation if you have a wife or gf that sleeps next to you - unless you have practiced a lot)

I have used this exercise to get every job I have ever had.

Every thought is a prayer. You just have to redefine what your understanding of prayer actually is.

Master All Your Abilities Now.

In'Lakech

[ Parent ]

Interresting (2.50 / 10) (#16)
by n8f8 on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 10:03:20 AM EST

Pretty interresting information. Reallt needs some balance though. There is plenty of stuff out there on the faiure of the previous strategies "containment" and "economic sanctions". No one seems to really mention the fact the France, Russia and China continued to suppuy sanctioned countries and cut deals with them. I can understand leaky border stuff between Iran and Jordan but not the stuff from non-bordering countries.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
true, but... (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by pb on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:18:14 AM EST

My understanding is that this isn't about the success or failure of the previous containment policy, but it is about the creation of a completely new policy.

I suppose you could ask comparative questions like "is this new policy better than the old policies of 'containment' and 'economic sanctions'", but until we see how it performs in the real world, any answer to that would be a matter of opinion.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Yes but.. (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by n8f8 on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:34:01 AM EST

There have been in-depth stuied of previos policies. The results ofthose studies may be the reason for the creation of a new policy.

I did some research of economic sanctions bask in the mid-90's. I came across a publication of a study of everyt economic sanction ever employed and its relative success. If you are interresed I could look it up for you.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

neat. (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by pb on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:47:56 AM EST

That sounds like an interesting link; post it, if you don't mind...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Sanctions (4.00 / 1) (#25)
by n8f8 on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 12:39:41 PM EST

This isn't the one I had back then, but it draws the same conclusions:

The U.S. unilateral economic sanctions experience of the 1990s has shown a near total lack of success in achieving stated human rights and democratization objectives while it has consistently produced adverse consequences. The people, for the most part, have suffered the economic pain caused by the sanctions; the positive influence of U.S. private sector engagement has been diminished or lost; and target-country governments have made exaggerated claims, to good propaganda effect, that U.S. sanctions were the cause of what, in effect, were really internal economic policy failures.

Another interresting analysis is Here. There are tons of studies on the net an in publication and the vast majority reach the same conclusions. Containment doesn't work. Economic sanctions always backfire. When I get home I'll post the same of the big study I read.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

hrm. (none / 0) (#29)
by pb on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 01:26:48 PM EST

I can see how unilateral sanctions might not be that effective, because obviously it just leaves the market open for other countries. But I don't think that means that sanctions themselves are necessarily a failure.

Still, please post your other link; more links is good.  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

THe other study (none / 0) (#30)
by n8f8 on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 02:20:59 PM EST

Concludes it never works. For pretty much the same reasons.

Here is a link to the book publisher: Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 2nd Edition published by the Institute For International Economics. A new 3rd edition will be published soon.

Here are a few case studies.

In a case like Iraq you are harming the people while the regime thrives. Not to mention the near uninforcability of a total economic sanctions. Countries like France and Russia just use it as an excuse to set up monopoly trade agreements. The dubble whammy of that is it always looks like only the US is enforcing sanctions.

You could always prove it to youself. Find an example where economic sanctions achieved their intended goals without significant backfire. Iran Iraq, Libya, Pakistan,Libya South Africa? Libya may be an example if the PanAM 103 deal pans out and relations are restored.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]

Another Reference (none / 0) (#33)
by n8f8 on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 02:34:07 PM EST

A 1997 study by the Institute for International Economics found that since 1970, unilateral U.S. sanctions had achieved foreign policy goals only 13 percent of the time. The study also concluded that sanctions are costing the United States $15 billion to $19 billion annually in potential exports.

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)
[ Parent ]
I like those shows... (4.00 / 6) (#19)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:34:34 AM EST

But I'm not sure how acurate they can be when they're reporting on up to the minute events.

I wish they would have waited a couple of years, when say, Colin Powell isn't afraid of saying that he thought the president was mad or whatever.

The one on Saddam's history was really good though.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

some of it, yes. (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by pb on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:51:35 AM EST

I'm glad they ran this one now; some of this is old, but it's all very relevant to current events and policy. However, probably nothing will stop them or someone else from doing another show like this in the future, when they can draw on both this material and more current information.

Also, I often wonder how accurate some shows can be when they're reporting on things that happened decades ago, after all the history has been written and edited. This show at least has the advantage of having recent quotes and accounts, when there are sources to question and events that are fresh in people's minds.

So there's always a trade-off, but I think it's better to report early and often, and do some fact-checking as well.  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

good point (nt) (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 12:12:39 PM EST



It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Prayers (1.40 / 25) (#24)
by A Proud American on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 12:24:36 PM EST

... that FRONTLINE may continue to bring FRONTLINE-quality editorial pieces to the forefront of television audiences' minds.  May FRONTLINE grow in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ, our true Savior in this confusing and upsetting world of ours which FRONTLINE tries to explain.  In the name of Christ our Lord, Amen.

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


See also (4.80 / 5) (#28)
by chigaze on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 01:05:17 PM EST

Thirty Year Itch and Reality Check: A New American Century.

Reposted topically, apologies.


-- Stop Global Whining
Direct links (4.71 / 14) (#31)
by evilpenguin on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 02:23:19 PM EST

I hate having to watch video streams in those little popup windows.  Here are the direct links to all six (real, hi-quality) streams:

http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/wgbh/pages/frontline/2113/real/ch1_hi.rm
http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/wgbh/pages/frontline/2113/real/ch2_hi.rm
http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/wgbh/pages/frontline/2113/real/ch3_hi.rm
http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/wgbh/pages/frontline/2113/real/ch4_hi.rm
http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/wgbh/pages/frontline/2113/real/ch5_hi.rm
http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/wgbh/pages/frontline/2113/real/ch6_hi.rm
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty

Yeah, thanks. (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by pb on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 02:25:37 PM EST

I did the same thing, and in fact thought about providing those links until I realized that along with the low-quality versions and the MediaPlayer versions, that would be 24 links that people can get  by themselves anyhow...

But thanks for providing them in a comment!  Maybe I should have done that...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Only 19 Topical comments. (3.33 / 6) (#37)
by Mr Hogan on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 06:52:33 PM EST

Pathetic.

Everyone prefers to join the chorus of tribal barking instead - the usual stirring "us vs. them" chauvinism that has waged every unjust war in history and is currently pretending the Iraqis are a suicidal lot begging their devastation. The war cunts are too timid to debate the uncomfortable truth the naked imperial script written by their masters. This is why I find it very hard to support the troops - I am trying because they are human but so are the Iraqis who will perish in numbers that exceeds the wet dreams of a thousand Saddams and Sharons combined. And then they become upset when I call them Nazis as if a Nazi were not an utterly banal vessel of meat - not good not evil just another ant in the ant colony.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

Carnegie Endowment Timeline (4.72 / 11) (#38)
by meehawl on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 07:09:56 PM EST

The Carnegie Endowment have really come through with a detailed round-up tracing how the colonialist big willy fantasies of a few renegade die-hard neocons in the mid-90s have now become a very terrible reality for civilians and soldiers fighting in Iraq. It's been brewing for a long time.

In 1992, Paul Wolfowitz, then-under secretary of defense for policy, supervised the drafting of the Defense Policy Guidance document. Wolfowitz had objected to what he considered the premature ending of the 1991 Iraq War. In the new document, he outlined plans for military intervention in Iraq as an action necessary to assure "access to vital raw material, primarily Persian Gulf oil" and to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and threats from terrorism. The guidance called for preemptive attacks and ad hoc coalitions but said that the U.S. should be ready to act alone when "collective action cannot be orchestrated." The primary goal of U.S. policy should be to prevent the rise of any nation that could challenge the United States. When the document leaked to the New York Times, it proved so extreme that it had to be rewritten.

In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, now administration officials, joined in a report to the newly elected Likud government in Israel calling for "a clean break" with the policies of negotiating with the Palestinians and trading land for peace. They said "Israel can shape its strategic environment...by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq...Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly." They called for "reestablishing the principle of preemption."
There's lots more here: Excerpts from 1992 Draft "Defense Planning Guidance," A policy statement on America's mission in the post-Cold War era drafted under Paul Wolfowitz, then-under secretary of defense for policy. 1992

"A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" In a memo to then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and others present a bold new strategy for Israel that focuses on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. July 1996

Letter to President Clinton on Iraq Conservative thinkers, many of whom became senior officials in the Bush Administration, articulate to then-President Clinton the urgent need to depose Saddam, 26 January 1998

""Rebuilding America's Defenses A report by the Project for the New American Century coauthored by among others, six key defense and foreign policy officials now serving in the Bush administration. This report seems to have become a blueprint for Bush's foreign and defense policies. September 2000

"The National Security Strategy of the United States of America," This report outlines the administration's approach to defending the country. This strategy marks a significant departure from previous approaches, a change that it attributes largely to the attacks of Sept. 11. 20 September 2002

"The US-Middle East Partnership Initiative: Building Hope for the Years Ahead" Colin Powell lays out the Bush Administration's US-Middle East Partnership Initiative and a vision for a peaceful, democratic Middle East. 12 December 2002

"The Future of Iraq" In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, members of the Bush Administration present their plans for rebuilding a post-war Iraq. Click here for Grosman's Testimony, 11 February 2003

Richard Perle on NBC's Meet the Press Richard Perle argues that a democratic Iraq could unleash the spread of democracy in the Middle East, 23 February 2003

"The Future of Iraq" President Bush Outlines his vision for Iraq and the Middle East in a Speech at the American Enterprise Institute. 26 February 2003



Mike Rogers www.meehawl.com
War (4.08 / 12) (#39)
by Eric Green on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 07:14:33 PM EST

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger. -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

If pro-war people want to prove to me that they're not the moral equivalents of Nazis, they have to quit using Herman Goering's arguments.

This girl would be alive right now if not for this war. Yes, Saddam killed lots of people... but as far as I know, he never killed little girls. That understandably pisses off the Iraqi people, who have no more liking for Saddam than we do, but who aren't going to love and admire the people who are killing little girls either.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...

MLP (5.00 / 2) (#48)
by Devils Advocate on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:18:29 PM EST

You're right, Saddam and the Ba'athis didn't kill little girls. They only beat them with steel cables.

Torture, Rape, Beatings
''It was hard at first; then it got easy,'' he said. ''We had a lot of ways to make people speak. There was the cable, electric shock. . . . We would attach the electrodes. We did it like this: One [motioning to his tongue], two [motioning to his ear], and three [motioning to his groin].''

Hut laughed uneasily as he explained the methodology. Then a silence fell over the room. He pulled hard on another cigarette. What about rape, he was asked.

''No, we had another group responsible for that.'' What about children?

''We never killed them. If the child was 5 or 6, we would beat them with a steel cable, and that would get the mothers talking.''
Rape
"I had a relative, an Assyrian woman who moved to Texas. She said that if you're in Baghdad and (Saddam's son) Uday walks in and points at a young woman, someone will come up and tell her she's going home with Uday or her family is dead," Aziz says.
"Child Prisons"
You've spoke about having seen the children's prisons in Iraq. Can you describe what you saw there?

The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children -- toddlers up to pre-adolescents -- whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a horrific scene. Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace.
I'm going to sneak in these last two because they did happen in Iraq even though it wasn't Saddam/Ba'athis behind them.

Abduction, "Marriage"
(Depending on who you ask, the Kurdish PKK is either a "political" or "terrorist" group.)
Witnesses in North Iraq said that a group of armed PKK guerillas abducted a fifteen-year-old Assyrian girl named Ahlam Patrus Nissan from her village on September 16, 1996. Local farmers and others who witnessed the kidnapping said they saw the girl being carried off with an expression of fear on her face. The PKK admitted that they have the girl but they claim she joined them willfully. They have refused to allow anyone to speak to the teenaged girl. Apparently, it is common practice among some Kurdish tribes that after such abduction, the young girl is forced to marry her kidnapper. It is also common that in such cases, the victim is forced to renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.
Terrorism? Murder? Hate crime?
(This happened in 1998, so I guess the young daughter was three years old.)
Mrs. Nasreen Hana Shaba born in 1963 and her young daughter Larsa born in 1995 were killed when a bomb exploded in their home. The bomb was planted by unknown assailants in the home of Mr. Najat Toma, located in the district of Terawa in Arbil. Mrs. Nasreen Hana Shaba and her daughter Larsa were killed when they opened the door to their home, which triggered the bomb.


Devil's Advocate: knows that post war Iraq will still suck - but if the US doesn't screw up - it will suck less

[ Parent ]
Yes he did. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by m0nkyman on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:23:06 PM EST

Yes, Saddam killed lots of people... but as far as I know, he never killed little girls.

Saddam has. He used poison gas on Kurdish populations that definitely included little girls. I'm sure his rape squads also raped and killed little girls. They just made damn sure it wasn't on the news...

Make no mistake. Saddam is a fascist, and is exactly as bad as his worst enemies make him out to be. I am ashamed that the left didn't organize International Brigades years ago like they did when Spain succumbed to fascism./<snide> 'Course spaniards aren't brown./</snide>


If I can't dance, then I won't join your revolution-- Emma Goldman
[ Parent ]
maybe (4.00 / 2) (#80)
by gdanjo on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 07:34:56 PM EST

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.
... and the people will take it from there:
He used poison gas on Kurdish populations that definitely included little girls. I'm sure his rape squads also raped and killed little girls. [...] Make no mistake. Saddam is a fascist, and is exactly as bad as his worst enemies make him out to be.
I have a question for you: under what conditions will you accept that you are contributing to the "easiness" of your leader(s) to rally support for any action they wish to undertake?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

It's really a war against Europe (5.00 / 8) (#40)
by coffee splash on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 07:15:16 PM EST

There is an argument that the US's motivation is that Iraq (second largest oil reserves on the planet) decided to take Euros instead of US$ for their oil a while ago. If that had a domino effect throughout OPEC, it would destroy the US economy, and the US domination of world trade.
... according to these links:
http://www.evworld.com/databases/storybuilder.cfm?storyid=490
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html

Of course, maybe it's just that the world is upside down:
The best golfer is black, the best rapper is white, and Germany doesn't want to go to war.

The world turned upside down (none / 0) (#43)
by johnny on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 08:42:26 PM EST

Bro, you should copyright that tag line (if it's yours). I laughed my drink out my nose.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
[ Parent ]
I believe the quote is from.. (none / 0) (#57)
by RandomAction on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 06:03:13 AM EST

..Howard Stern.

[ Parent ]
I just thought it was funny (none / 0) (#67)
by coffee splash on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 12:42:00 PM EST

I don't know where it's from, but I pretty much had the same reaction when I heard it. And it sort-of fit with my post....

[ Parent ]
The war in context... (4.00 / 3) (#41)
by pr0t0plasm on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 07:29:24 PM EST

... is yet another victory for the Bush Administration in its ongoing efforts to assert the rule of men, rather than the rule of law. The incontovertible renege on its statements that UNR 1441 did not contain an implication of 'automaticity'; the replacement of career employees at DOJ with political appointees selected directly by the Attorney General; the expansion of executive power to search, hold, and interrogate suspects on nebulous or no charges, even as judicial oversight of these processes is reduced or removed; and now the waging of the first explicitly pre-emptive war in US history, based on the unsupported assertions of Bush appointees, are symptoms of the same disease.


- - - - - Patent applied for and deliver us from evil.

Not exactly (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by nevertheless on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 08:02:41 PM EST

the first explicitly pre-emptive war in US history

There are at least two others that qualify.

--
This whole "being at work" thing just isn't doing it for me. -- Phil the Canuck


[ Parent ]

Interesting, but disappointing (5.00 / 3) (#44)
by NFW on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 10:31:59 PM EST

I saw this just a day or two ago, and while it was really interesting, I was also really disappointed that they didn't spend more time talking with Wolfowitz and his clan about why they felt it was in the US's best interest to antagonize the existing power structures in the Middle East.

In the absence of that perspective, it seemed a bit one-sided.


--
Got birds?


yeah. (5.00 / 2) (#46)
by pb on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 10:42:00 PM EST

I would hope that if you practice a doctrine of preemption, that you'd have to have a really good reason to preemptively strike anyone. It seems clear that the members of the PNAC think they have such a reason that justifies the war on Iraq and any other incursions the US might make, for the good of America and perhaps for the good of the world.

So I, too, would like to know what those reasons are, because a lot of people are scratching their heads trying to figure this one out, including that professor from Yale who talked on there for about 5 seconds about how all the rhetoric seemed to point the finger not at Iraq but at countries that have more actual terrorist involvement, like Saudi Arabia for example.

But I don't think that made their coverage one-sided, necessarily; they were talking about the rise of the pre-emption doctrine and the people behind the idea, and not about the eventual consequences, and not about its merits. The only question it really answers is "what the hell is going on with our foreign relations", and not "is this really a good idea?", although it is quite clear on the fact that this was a controversial idea, and a very strong break from even the old conservative approaches to foreign policy.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

You seem genuinely puzzled (none / 0) (#69)
by Jimmy Stewart on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 03:28:02 PM EST

But it's pretty damn simple when you get right down to it. "I would hope that if you practice a doctrine of preemption, that you'd have to have a really good reason to preemptively strike anyone." Of course, they have a "good" reason. "It seems clear that the members of the PNAC think they have such a reason that justifies the war on Iraq and any other incursions the US might make, for the good of America and perhaps for the good of the world." Hmmm, I wonder what their reason could be? Elliott Abrams Richard L. Armitage William J. Bennett Jeffrey Bergner John Bolton Paula Dobriansky Francis Fukuyama Robert Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad William Kristol Richard Perle Peter W. Rodman Donald Rumsfeld William Schneider, Jr. Vin Weber Paul Wolfowitz R. James Woolsey Robert B. Zoellick Hint: these are the type of people who think American interests are synonymous with Israel interests. "The only question it really answers is "what the hell is going on with our foreign relations", and not "is this really a good idea?", although it is quite clear on the fact that this was a controversial idea, and a very strong break from even the old conservative approaches to foreign policy." This may help clear things up for you: Whose War? A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interest.

[ Parent ]
That's one possible explanation, yes. (none / 0) (#71)
by pb on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 03:42:24 PM EST

But (a) I truly hope that isn't the case and (b) if that is the case, then I wish they could just come right out and say it. Normally I wouldn't quote myself, but since this wasn't on K5, here's an excerpt about this from another conversation I had on the subject.
I don't see how Jews can use anti-semitism as a justification for stripping Palestinians of their rights, which is what they have done all along; the whole situation seems quite bizarre, and if it were fiction instead of fact, these same Jews would likely accuse the writer of anti-semitism. But since it is fact, it seems disingenuous for one side to accuse the other of racism and genocide whilst simultaneously practicing it.

But since the US does support Israel, naturally they trust Israel's version of the facts more, even when it might conflict with eye-witness reports, or result in the death of US citizens, or violate UN sanctions. These are all matters of record, as are the Palestinian suicide bombers; turning a blind eye towards either side--as the US does--is intellectually and morally bankrupt.

So I hope this isn't their reasoning. Because if it is, it isn't a justification at all, or at least not a reasonable, moral, or acceptable one.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

re: (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by Jimmy Stewart on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 04:07:37 PM EST

"But (a) I truly hope that isn't the case and"

I just don't see how there could be any other explanation. Again, it's possible that some of these people really think that by advancing Israeli interests, they are advancing American interests. But, at the end of the day, they're still thinking of what's best for Israel.

"(b) if that is the case, then I wish they could just come right out and say it."

From the Perle interview:


There is a defined grand scheme, that what you accomplish in Iraq also has monumental effects within the region. What is the feeling? What could be accomplished?

I think there is tremendous potential if we prosecute this war in the right way with the right result -- which is the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime and its replacement with a group of Iraqis who will move the country in the direction of a humane and open politics -- there is tremendous potential to transform the region.

First it will inspire the opponents of the regime in Iran. I have no doubt about that. And the opponents are many because life is miserable under the mullahs. If a tyrant like Saddam Hussein can be brought down, others are going to begin to think -- they're already thinking -- they may begin to act to bring down the tyrants who are afflicting them in pretty much the same way. So I would think the results would be beneficial in Iran.

I also think some autocratic regimes in the region will accelerate whatever efforts they might make anyway to reform themselves internally, and to open their political process. Because the absence of democracy in the Arab world, the absence of a say in the life of the country of ordinary people is destabilizing and dangerous.

So I think this will accelerate the process of reform. It may be reluctant reform, regimes opening things up a little bit because they fear the consequences of not opening. But the rigid dictatorial governments of most of the Arab world may begin to give way.

And finally, if Iraq moves from the column of opponents of the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians into the column of proponents, that could have an important major effect on whatever prospect there is for negotiating a settlement to that very difficult conflict.

There's no doubt they have Israel on their minds. The only question is whether or not they themselves believe the elaborate justifications they come up with for advancing the Likudist cause with American blood.

"Because if it is, it isn't a justification at all, or at least not a reasonable, moral, or acceptable one."

And it's not. Even going by their own "pre-emption" policy, this war isn't justified. North Korea would be the logical first target. North Korea has or is in the process of acquiring real nuclear capability, while the US needs forged evidence to show Iraqis are seeking nukes.

[ Parent ]

Repost with proper formatting (none / 0) (#70)
by Jimmy Stewart on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 03:32:28 PM EST

But it's pretty damn simple when you get right down to it.

"I would hope that if you practice a doctrine of preemption, that you'd have to have a really good reason to preemptively strike anyone."

Of course, they have a "good" reason.

"It seems clear that the members of the PNAC think they have such a reason that justifies the war on Iraq and any other incursions the US might make, for the good of America and perhaps for the good of the world."

Hmmm, I wonder what their reason could be?

Elliott Abrams
Richard L. Armitage
William J. Bennett
Jeffrey Bergner
John Bolton
Paula Dobriansky
Francis Fukuyama
Robert Kagan
Zalmay Khalilzad
William Kristol
Richard Perle
Peter W. Rodman
Donald Rumsfeld
 William Schneider, Jr.
Vin Weber
Paul Wolfowitz
R. James Woolsey
Robert B. Zoellick

Hint: these are the type of people who think American interests are synonymous with Israel interests.

"The only question it really answers is "what the hell is going on with our foreign relations", and not "is this really a good idea?", although it is quite clear on the fact that this was a controversial idea, and a very strong break from even the old conservative approaches to foreign policy."

This may help clear things up for you: Whose War? A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interest.

[ Parent ]

oops. (none / 0) (#72)
by pb on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 03:43:56 PM EST

I already replied to the other one.

Well, I'm sure you'll figure it out; I figured out your post, after all.  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Also... (none / 0) (#73)
by pb on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 04:00:03 PM EST

I found another article that seems to agree with you. I suppose I'll be able to base my opinion on this issue based on how many of these pro-Israel operations get implemented by the Bush administration...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
re: (none / 0) (#76)
by Jimmy Stewart on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 04:24:03 PM EST

"I'll be able to base my opinion on this issue based on how many of these pro-Israel operations get implemented by the Bush administration..."

A possible hint of what is to come:


In the eyes of the prime minister, the war in Iraq is an opportunity to change the balance of power in the area. Sharon proposes a division of labor: Israel will take care of Arafat. America will smash the sources of Arab power: terrorism, missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Sharon reminds U.S. visitors that a victory in Iraq won't solve all the problems in the region and that Syria, Libya and Iran have to be dealt with. This week, Undersecretary of State John Bolton visited Jerusalem. He's an administration hawk. There was no sign of any difference of views in the conversations he had with his Jerusalem hosts.

A muslim take on the meeting.

[ Parent ]

They're not doing it FOR Israel. (none / 0) (#79)
by Mr Hogan on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 07:07:50 PM EST

Why on Earth would they do that these ex-Trotskyites - design and execute treasonable conspiracies from Outer Space - Jesus these people are American patriots! What they want is to transform by force the region's Islamic states into liberal democracies - versions of Israel modulo God adjectives. They are well intentioned fools can learn a lot from nature programming PBS - using the US Army to tilt at windmills a fool's errand will never wor... never mind.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

whose reasons? (none / 0) (#83)
by martingale on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 11:27:45 PM EST

I would hope that if you practice a doctrine of preemption, that you'd have to have a really good reason to preemptively strike anyone.
This statement suggests that having a good reason for the strike is only needed by the Americans as originators. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The reason for the strike must also be "good" for the onlookers, since these haven't yet made up their minds how they are going to react (the prewar UN debates were just a warm up; I haven't heard other nations committing themselves militarily to one side or the other, or neutrality for that matter, yet). If the onlookers decide that the reason is not "good" for them too, things are going to go downhill for the UKUSA fast.

I think that the best case scenario at the moment is probably a long drawn out campaign which saps the US belligerence for the next several years. A remake of Vietnam (or Afghanistan for the Russians). If this war is over too fast, the danger is very high that the US will turn to yet another nation for attack. If the latter happens soon, I think the likelihood that major parts of the world will decide to oppose the US militarily is very high. As it is, the likelihood is already not negligible.

[ Parent ]

hmm? (none / 0) (#86)
by pb on Fri Mar 28, 2003 at 01:26:37 AM EST

First you say that my statement suggests something, and then you say that it doesn't. Since I haven't said either one, I urge you to think about it and make up your mind.

If the world did take that choice, and idly watches the US participate in what they consider to be a "belligerent" action, obviously that's their choice, but that doesn't make it any less immoral on their part.

Who says the US has to wait to turn to another nation to attack? If George W. Bush thinks his interests are threatened, everything he has said thus far suggests that he'd be perfectly willing to attack another country or more, if need be. In fact, the US did attack Afghanistan, and nearly simultaneously, along with their attack on Iraq. The US claims this timing was unintentional, but the point remains that the US military machine is perfectly capable of such actions, accidental or no, and has indeed already practiced them.

So if the world community has its head in the sand, hoping this will just go away, then it is praticing cowardice, not reason.

Incidentally, I agree with your conclusions, and hope we're both wrong. I don't want to see WW III firsthand; hopefully someone can make the US listen to reason before it's too late. But not talking to the US is not the way to do it.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

clarification (none / 0) (#87)
by martingale on Fri Mar 28, 2003 at 02:24:45 AM EST

First you say that my statement suggests something, and then you say that it doesn't. Since I haven't said either one, I urge you to think about it and make up your mind.
I must not have been too clear, sorry. What I meant was a reply to your statement that the US ought to have a good reason to back up the doctrine of preemption. Not only does the US need a good reason for domestic political reasons, which is how I interpret your statement (correct me if I'm wrong), but the rest of the world needs to accept this reason too. Otherwise, the US is seen simply as an unstable, irrational superpower, and that certainly justifies a preemptive attack on *it*.

Note that the previous paragraph is completely independent of morality, in particular whether the preemptive strike (or for that matter, potential actions of other nations) is morally justifiable or not. All I am saying is that other nations will certainly act militarily against the US if they perceive that the current instability is about to become so great as to be a clear danger to them. A rational, self-absorbed superpower can be accomodated, but a belligerent superpower without clear goals cannot.

Who says the US has to wait to turn to another nation to attack? [...]
I think it would be foolish to start another war while the Iraq war is unfinished. Your statement does trouble me however, as you are clearly prepared to believe it could happen, which I am not (yet...).

So if the world community has its head in the sand, hoping this will just go away, then it is praticing cowardice, not reason.
This may indeed be the judgement of history. I have no doubt that the US (primarily, but the UK and Australia also to a limited extent) has a backlash coming in the future, the speculation is as to what the extent of it will be. The extent of it depends on how much more mischief the current administration is able to achieve. My belief is that if Iraq turns into a long term bloody mess, the administration won't find the time for other things, and its potential enemies will not feel the need to make a strong point. I admit that it's a pragmatic, rather than a moral, position.

hopefully someone can make the US listen to reason before it's too late. But not talking to the US is not the way to do it.
I'm afraid that this thinking may already be too late. If the US's closest historical allies have failed so far, who in the world can talk to them? A change of attitude is only within the power of the US population, and we've seen the incredible amount of support commanded by the administration.

[ Parent ]
true. (none / 0) (#88)
by pb on Fri Mar 28, 2003 at 05:48:01 AM EST

If the rest of the world doesn't accept the reasons the US is giving for a preemptive attack, then I wouldn't consider it a good idea to ignore them, even militarily. Domestic reasons alone should not be enough to decide issues of foreign relations. I agree with you about that pre-emptive attack rationale by the way--the same reasoning the US is using applies equally well for any other country who is currently afraid that they might be next; Bush has given North Korea (for example) all the reasons and justifications they would need for a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Hey, they were protecting their domestic interests against a threat that could very well destroy their government; the cost of inaction would be too high for them, right?

I don't see why you assume the US will suddenly take a more pragmatic approach to its military actions.

The administration didn't command that much support, at least until the start of the war, even in the US. This is an amazingly unpopular war; the only thing keeping the polls up is the fact that we are at war, so there's a natural tendency towards patriotism, supporting our troops, and hoping against hope that the president actually knows what he's doing. But I think the problem is that there still hasn't been enough backlash against this war to convince Bush that it's a bad idea for the US. He truly needs to be forced to back down here, and neither protests nor diplomatic negotiations seem to have any affect on him.

Unfortunately I don't know if there is a good way out of this. More protesting is probably more likely to get protesters arrested and initiate martial law than it is to stop the war. If the world community started talking about penalties, sanctions, international courts, or anything else anti-US, I think the US would just feel justified in continuing to ignore the UN. And if any sort of aggressive action against the US was suggested, I'm sure the participants would be charged with "terrorism", or "supporting Iraq" or something equally vile, and simply would get added to the list of countries to "reform".

But I do think it's necessary to send a clear message to the US that what it is doing is in fact completely the wrong way to go about doing things, and enforce the notion that countries simply cannot be allowed to behave like this--because if they did, we'd all be at war.

I never thought I'd see international relations go bad on this scale in my lifetime. Up until now, our policies seemed relatively sane and rational. Sure, I personally don't agree with the whole "world policeman" idea, but I can understand helping to enforce UN resolutions that we also support. However, this has gone completely out of control.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

More on the oil connection (5.00 / 4) (#45)
by xmedar on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 10:35:52 PM EST

BBC Money Programme:Oil War There are other forces as well as the Hawks, Israel and BigOil, namely the military-industrialists who have several reasons for war a) without war why buy shiny new weapons systems b) you can jack up the price for battle tested weapons systems c) the need to keep the populice frightened, cowed and pliable so they will not ask questions about where their taxes go or where their 401K money went or have the temerity to think as US Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler did when he wrote War is a racket

another link for you. (5.00 / 3) (#55)
by pb on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 02:42:17 AM EST

This article is probably the most rational argument for the "Oil War" that I've seen yet. It does a good job of coherently bringing together a few separate arguments that I've seen. The other articles on that site are worth looking at too.  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Fixed link (none / 0) (#93)
by phliar on Tue May 27, 2003 at 06:19:37 PM EST

BBC Money Programme:Oil War [http://www.bbc.co.uk/business/programmes/moneyprogramme/current.shtml]
Try this link instead: Oil War (Aired Wednesday 26 March 7.30pm on BBC2).

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Distributed networks (4.75 / 8) (#47)
by urbanRealist on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 10:55:38 PM EST

It seems to me that people are having terrible difficulty with the notion of a distributed system. Just like the record industry will not be able to stop P2P networks and Microsoft will not be able to stop Linux by the use of brute force, it seems that our government has failed to understand that terrorist networks trancend governments. Afghanistan was a somewhat exceptional case, just like Napster or OS/2.

There is only so much you can do without addressing the underlying issues of why people hate the US (or avoid Microsoft or download music). This new foreign policy feels like it may be the begining of the end of pax americana.

Scale of human interaction, too (5.00 / 5) (#49)
by Will242 on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:20:54 PM EST

I think you're right on with the distributed system analogy. When technology lets everyone have a voice, how do you ever decide where to go out for lunch, let alone make that decision in 5 minutes so you can get out to lunch before lunchtime is over?

Our little human brains simply can't manage the number of interactions that make the complex systems of our societies (and international politics is even worse). So we cope by agreggating ideas, labelling people, ideas, and values. But when you agreggate, you lose information. So we're left with thousands of people making imperfect decisions, trying to influence systems they can't possible ever really comprehend. Our attempts to apply reason are limited by the dumbness of the world models we've created.

Maybe this is why I'm an engineer and not a politician...

[ Parent ]
excellent (5.00 / 4) (#54)
by SilentNeo on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 01:38:55 AM EST

"Our attempts to apply reason are limited by the dumbness of the world models we've created."

That expresses perfectly the feeling I have had for some time.  BOTH sides are wrong in most major debates.  Whether communists vs. capitalists or hawks vs peaceniks, each is following a script that does not come close to reflecting the complexity of the world.  Each is holding a battle plan that blurs out many key positions.  You cannot simplify an issue that involves millions of people into a single piece of paper worth of information without losing most of it.  (notably, a ballot is such a piece of info, and elections aren't close to perfect decision processes)

This is the real reason authoritarian governments don't work.  Not because of intervention from God (because making people do what they don't want with force is "Evil"), but because such a government cannot process information effectively enough.  The communists made poor decisions much of the time because a relative few of them somehow had to be in charge of the many.  Notably, their government system did work better than many other nations though....

Note I'm not advocating any particular form of government in this statement.

[ Parent ]

but (none / 0) (#81)
by gdanjo on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 08:11:52 PM EST

[...] it seems that our government has failed to understand that terrorist networks trancend governments.
The good thing is that people's common sense also transcends the government, no matter how much they try to influence it. We are already seeing the inevitable backlash in action; protests, dialogue (well, sorta), retraction, disassociation, and most important of all, analysis of Bush and Co.'s minds: what they said when they were not "in power."

And there's the catch: people with "grand agenda's" must also "get the word out" when they are powerless. They can, of course, talk in their cone of silence when they are in power, but it's too late: we have the "draft" blueprints.

It's now up to the left: If they are smart enough not to be tricked, they will begin a campaign which ends with Bush and his Gang Of Thugs applying iodine on their collective, cement-scraped arse. (or, this is actually what the American people want, in which case there will be perpetual war all over the place)

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

How do we stop it? (5.00 / 5) (#51)
by Skwirl on Wed Mar 26, 2003 at 11:42:51 PM EST

Okay, let's assume this is for real. The PNAC cult seems to have their minds very well made up. I think the peace movement needs to start planning for the long term. I posed this question in my diary, but I'll pose the question again here: How do we stop it?

There's already some talk in the movement for less ambiguous forms of civil disobedience, but I think it's difficult because our power structures are so distant and closed minded. Putting a local, community cost on the war is important but currently unpoetic. How do we bring the cost of war to these elite, sheltered neo-conservatives?

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse

Speak to them? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by dolo on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 01:06:59 AM EST

Try to talk to people and see if that works. People don't talk enough. Open your mouth and try not to sound like someone who they would hate (like Michael Moore). If you come off as a right wing democrat (so you're somewhat balanced), even the most staunch Republican will possibly consider your view for a nanosecond, before going back to his country club for Martinis with Missy and Dicky.

[ Parent ]
You're a traitor (4.33 / 3) (#64)
by Eric Green on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 11:52:43 AM EST

If you open your mouth and dare criticize policies of our Esteemed Leader or criticize the wisdom of going to war, you are immediately branded as a traitor by these neo-cons and they instantly dismiss anything you say. They take their marching orders from Rush Limbutt and his ilk, and if Rush didn't say it, it ain't true. Rush says the war is great, so the war is great, and nothing you say will change their minds. Believe me, I've tried. Hell, I'm not even a liberal Democrat, I'm more a conservative Libertarian. It doesn't matter. They literally REFUSE TO LISTEN to anything that does not match the Radiated Wisdom of their leaders.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
in that case, how about forgery? (none / 0) (#85)
by martingale on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 11:57:37 PM EST

It's pretty easy (well you still need talent ;-) nowadays to forge speeches and video footage. What if suddenly the internet was full of subtly modified videos and reported speeches or interviews from Limbaugh and co. which subtly contradict their radical views? If you quote a (slightly incorrect) speech by Bush to the Bush supporters, they can't dismiss what you say out of hand.

Now one might think this sort of forgery is particularly hard, but I don't quite think so. A lot of business news, for example, originates from companies self publishing press releases, and these get picked up by news outlets rather quickly. There's no reason why a well organized news forgery campaign can't be fairly successful, too.

[ Parent ]

Become organised, electable (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by pjc50 on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 05:37:47 AM EST

There appear to be millions of people willing to go on marches to oppose the war. If the anti-war coalition can't get elected at the next election, then it would be entirely their own fault for not trying.

With that kind of massive popular support you don't need corporate donors or even TV air time - you just need a chosen few leaders, then get everyone else to give them a dollar. That allows the leaders to campaign to be elected, as senators, representatives and - who knows - maybe a president? Isn't that worth trying for? Why don't I see people trying to organise this sort of thing?

[ Parent ]

Because everyone wants "them" to do it. (none / 0) (#58)
by tekue on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 07:37:11 AM EST

Just do it yourself! What, you don't have the time? Well, it will be entirely your own fault for not trying.
--
A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. -Milton Friedman
[ Parent ]
Not in my name (1.00 / 1) (#60)
by pjc50 on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 08:15:05 AM EST

Well, it's not my cause. I'm entirely ambivalent about the war. I spend my time on anti-DRM advocacy, because that's what I do believe in. And that's supported by about a few hundred people, worldwide. Nonetheless, we've been able to get into the House of Lords Advisor's box, and have MPs in select committees asking exactly the sort of awkward questions we want them to ask. How have we done that? By talking, quietly and reasonably, to the right people.

There are days when I feel entirely in favour of the war, and days when I feel disgusted by it. It would be ludicrous for me to lead the anti-war campaign. Besides, there are too many groups in the anti-war tent that I wouldn't be seen dead with.

Surely the anti-war movement must have a few full-time campaigners in it? Surely that massive expression of opinion can be translated into productive action? Why is there the emphasis on useless, divisive "direct" action when "indirect" action might be much more effective at actually achieving your goals?

[ Parent ]

The problem (none / 0) (#62)
by tekue on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 09:43:56 AM EST

The problem is that most valuable, intelligent people are usually too busy living to involve themselves in political activities. Those who do, are usually not able to convince anybody.

If you really want DRM to go away, start a serious campaign, write an article which describes in layman terms what would be better without DRM — not the technicalities, or ideologies ("freedom"), but the real things. I, for example, argue to shorten the copyright protection with examples of free books that boost reading, e-book readers which would possibly spring like fresh vegetables from such fertile ground, etc.
--
A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. -Milton Friedman
[ Parent ]

Because (5.00 / 2) (#59)
by Znork on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 07:44:30 AM EST

Most of them understand that it is fundamentally hopeless.

The democrats know they cannot pander too much to the left, or they risk losing support in the middle class. A new party, or one of those in overt opposition to the neoconservative plan, building a platform on the anti-war sentiment will end up taking mostly democrat votes, and, due to the nature of the American election process, end up handing unopposed power to the neoconservatives.

This is a serious weakness in the American system (and in many democracies).

The lack of public influence on internal party politics and appointment to various positions within a party and an administration makes it far easier for groups with dubious agendas to form within the parties and close to hijack them for their own purposes. It's just a question of dedication, money, patience and timing. The safeguards protecting democracy are far less effective within the parties.

Combined with the two-party systems you get in certain types of election processes the dangers of democratic disasters is elevated even more. Gaining control suddenly only becomes a question of fracturing the opposition.

As long as the neoconservatives can maintain a semblance of success, and instill a siege mentality in the US voters, aided by their own policy of creating resentment outside through an overt agenda of domination, I can see many ways they will be able to retain power. Both legitimate political opposition from the left-wing, and antics like at best demonstrations and at worst riots only serve their propaganda and discord policy. The democratic opposition will be unable to effectively deal with the policy as long as they can maintain the outside threat level. In fact, the only possible thing I can see that would put a serious cramp in their style would be a strong economic recession and the american public turning their head form the war agenda to domestic problems, but such a setback could theoretically be dealt with by assigning blame where needed, and even strengtheing the domination policy by assigning blame for economic recession to outside factors, to ride out such a storm.

[ Parent ]

Hmm... (4.50 / 2) (#61)
by Skwirl on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 08:20:10 AM EST

That reminds me of my idea regarding the creation of an ultra right-wing troll candidate that would split the conservative vote. The anti-Nader. Of course, how you get this guy to work his way up the elite's ladder without blowing his cover is beyond me. What's Perot up to these days?

Once the vote's split, you'd need to sneak in some democratic reform candidates and get things straightened out once and for all.

Hummmm. Maybe the black bloc revolution kiddies are right. Is the system really beyond reform?

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]

Maybe... (none / 0) (#89)
by Znork on Fri Mar 28, 2003 at 06:17:26 AM EST

Pat Buchanan could be considered as an option. He appears to be on the republican side that resents the co-opting of the republican party for this agenda. There are bound to be a fair number of republicans who do not feel that "Infinite War" is in the best interest of America.

I'm not up to date enough on American republican internal politics to tell tho.

[ Parent ]

Wedge Politics (none / 0) (#66)
by cam on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 12:36:52 PM EST

Gaining control suddenly only becomes a question of fracturing the opposition.

In Australia this is known as wedge politics. John Howard used it to win the last election by making the boat people an election and political issue. He drove a wedge in the Labor supporters as the blue collar workers didnt want their jobs taken by immigrants and the white collar true believers wanted a humane solution. Which split the Labor support base.

There is a lot of nasty stuff around the Tampa incident that will make it into the history books.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

Party hegemony (4.33 / 3) (#65)
by Eric Green on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 12:01:57 PM EST

The RepubliCrat Party has made strong efforts to make sure that they maintain their oligarchy. They have set things up so that basically the only way you can win is by rounding up hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign cash from wealthy donors, virtually all of whom are RepubliCrats, and if you are not an officially nominated RepubliCrat candidate you have extreme problems getting into any debates or onto ballots. The Party gets 95%+ of all votes cast in the United States, a figure which is astoundingly close to the 99% of votes that Saddam Hussein got in his last election. But because of the polite fiction that there is actually two parties instead of one Party, people refuse to see what's before their very eyes, even though the rubber stamp that this war got from virtually all Party members in Congress should have woken them up. The Party shares common aims and common goals -- the enrichment of the wealthy, the extension of American hegemony overseas, etc. The only difference between the wings of the Party lie in how they intend to achieve those goals (e.g. the "Democratic" wing of the Party intended to achieve those goals via economic hegemony, while the "Republican" wing of the Party intends to achieve those goals via military hegemony).

Make no mistake about it, the Party would not brook any major challenge to its rule. Look at what they did to Ross Perot when he attempted one. By the time they were finished, Perot was a broken man, widely derided as a nut case and "not Presidential". And that was a man who had built a successful business... I can just see, say, Ralph Nader, getting more than 5% of the vote. Yeah right. The Party would destroy him if he ever mounted a serious challenge instead of speaking to 50 college students in college auditoriums and roaming the country on a Greyhound bus because that's all his campaign could afford.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]

power (none / 0) (#82)
by gdanjo on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 08:23:35 PM EST

How do we bring the cost of war to these elite, sheltered neo-conservatives?
The only thing they respect, the only language they speak, is "power." But large, complex, powerful systems require a constant source of more power.

Thus we need to examine where they derive their power and attack it. The easiest answer is to "vote them out." There are, I'm sure, more cunning and effective answers - but they all require large amounts of power.

And who's to say that the powers of the world - China, France, Germany, Russia - are not already manouvering to take some power away from them. The diversion caused by Bush et. al. allow these nations to not only re-supress their own ache's and pain's domestically, it gives them an opportunity to plan "other stuff" too. And they are at an advantage: America is showing it's hand too quickly.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

I think we have to wait a little longer (none / 0) (#84)
by martingale on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 11:44:07 PM EST

The other powers are weary of acting quickly, unless there is overhemlming reason to do so. I think we'll have to wait at least until a clear picture of the nature of this war appears. So far, the UKUSA troops have been mostly preparing for the attack on Baghdad. If the city fighting bogs down into extreme messiness, as many expect, then I think we won't see a lot of action on the part of the other powers, for clearly at that point the US will be sufficiently distracted to act belligerently against the world. If this lasts for years, even better. If however the whole Iraq war is over too quickly, then the other powers will have to act more decisively against the US. This would lead to a much more volatile world.

[ Parent ]
Show me the money! (3.66 / 3) (#53)
by axxackall on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 01:30:54 AM EST

Blame me for the rumor, but I saw in several online sources that Iraq war is a big source of contracts for companies like DynCorp (the property of Dick Cheiny). The other companies, who won contracts related to Iraq within and after the war are won to other top gov guys from the White House. Subjects of contracts vary from logistic to personal security (like they did in Afganistan). Other companies are out of competition and have no any chances to win such contracts. Most of contracts have been already signed before the war has begun.

Now try to remind me, what was the motivation of US administration to solve the problem of Iraq by whatever peaceful means?

P.S. Why do I keep asking myself: "Who was REALLY bihind 9/11? Has Osama been interested in doing something that will certainly kick him out from Afganistan?"

Dick Cheney is bought and paid for by the Israel (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by Jimmy Stewart on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 03:13:35 PM EST

lobby.
The statement was sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa), which pays for retired US military officers to visit Israel for security briefings by Israeli officials and politicians. Richard Perle, one of the architects of the US invasion of Iraq, is a member of the institute's board of advisers, as was Vice-President Dick Cheney before he took office in 2001.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=390842



[ Parent ]
finally (none / 0) (#92)
by puhleezz on Sun Mar 30, 2003 at 02:18:30 PM EST

I just knew that Bush, who you'll remember couldn't even run a baseball team effectively, could not have figured this out all by himself.  The associations between the hawks and Israel are troubling.
Honesty is an important trait. But honestly, it's not that important
[ Parent ]
Binary (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by limekiller on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 09:49:18 AM EST

BTW, the documentary was recently posted on alt.binaries.multimedia (I think).  It is trivial to nab using Xnews or similar.  You can use svensearch to keep an eye out if you don't like scanning the groups every day, too.

It is very much worth time time to watch.

If you use svensearch, however, understand that their search capability does not work like most people expect.  Try something like this

Regards,
Lime

between iraq and a hard place (4.50 / 2) (#74)
by barx on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 04:03:32 PM EST

"The comedy trio Bremner Bird and Fortune bring their viewpoint on the Iraqi crisis in their own unique way."

channel 4, uk: between iraq and a hard place

Reason for Iraq War No Longer in Dispute (4.66 / 3) (#77)
by Bluesee on Thu Mar 27, 2003 at 05:50:59 PM EST

Yah, I wrote about that two weeks ago when I saw it online. Of course, then I looked for it in my TV guide and it isn't being shown on my TV. Is it being shown on any stations in the country? That night, when I turned on my TV to PBS, there was this Lawrence-Welk-like tribute to the good ol' USA filled with clean-cut guys and gals dancin' 'round the flag dressed in red, white, and blue, a-singin' songs of luv for our great nation. Yes, on Public TV.

How depressing... like an Osmond Nuremberg rally.

Powell's comments reveal the Big Lie (5.00 / 4) (#90)
by salsaman on Sat Mar 29, 2003 at 03:44:01 AM EST

From the New York Times

The United States clearly wants to have political control over what happens in a new Iraq, experts say. In part, this is because U.S. officials feel they will be more efficient than the United Nations in finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction and rebuilding the country. It is also, experts say, because they would like to see a government in Iraq friendly to American interests. At a recent briefing, Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "We didn't take on this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have a significant, dominating control over how it unfolds in the future."

So there we have it, it's not about 'Liberation', or 'Helping the Iraqi's to govern themselves', but it is about *significant*, *dominating* *control* by the US. Think about that.

Data Point. (4.00 / 1) (#91)
by Mr Hogan on Sat Mar 29, 2003 at 06:40:34 AM EST

The "New American Century" has become bogged down in southern Iraq - pitiable Iraq - in the first ten days of its glorious one hundred year imperial reign. You can't make this kind of shit up ok be realistic I wouldn't worry too much about these clowns.

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.

The War Behind Closed Doors | 93 comments (76 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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