When the peace marchers undermined US opinion and demanded that we retreat from Iraq as soon as we had liberated Quwait instead of chasing down Saddam and killing him, it sent a message that the US has no stomach for finishing the mission.
I think it was Powell's decision not to go in after Saddam. Which decision, by the way, was a sickening betrayal of the Shias of Southern Iraq. These people were encouraged by George Bush Senior to rise up and overthrow Saddam. A logical thing for him to do, since the US is a democratic country, and the Shias represent the largest religious-ethnic group in Iraq.
The Shias duly rose, and were put down with great brutality by Saddam's army, after the defeat of Iraq. The US didn't lift a finger, and gave various mealy mouthed excuses, one of the most hilarious being that they didn't want to violate the territorial integrity of Iraq.
Saudi Arabia, America's ally/lickspittle in the region is a fundamentalist Sunni theocracy. Iraq is Sunni-ruled but a majority Shia state. Iran is Shia. The US didn't fail to finish Saddam off because of the peace-mongers, but because they were playing geopolitics and the Shias of Iraq happened to get in the way.
Don't assume your leaders are as naive as you are.
So do you suggest we pull out of Saudi Arabia and leave our oil interests unprotected? While the current regime might not be perfect, I'll gurantee you that it's better than letting it fall to Saddam or to the radical fundamentalists who would be licking their lips as the US pulled out.
The current regime is far from perfect. It is a fundamentalist regime, compared with which Iran and Iraq (pre Gulf-War) were havens of democracy and liberal thought.
It's called the lessor of two evils
Oh really? And who's the lessee?
...and in the real world, that's the choice you're given sometimes.
Correction. You and I are unlikely ever to have to make such a choice. Our leaders are.
Sometimes there is no morally superior choice. You play the cards as they're dealt and sometimes that means you gotta play a shitty hand.
Puerile analogies aside, you show an astonishing ignorance of European and US conduct in the Middle East for the last century or so. Who put the Saud dynasty in power? The Brits. Who armed Saddam to the teeth? The US.
And in case it has escaped you, the US has done more to secure a Palistinian homeland than any other nation on earth.
2 * 0 = 0. Actually, since the US gives Israel 4 billion in military aid a year, which they use against the Palestinians, the US is on the negative side of the balance sheet. Also, Israel is in breach of the UN Oslo accord requiring Israel to withdraw from the illegally occupied territories. Guess who voted against the accords in the first place? The US and Israel.
Believe me, if the leaders in the Arab world showed as much solidarity with the US as Israel does, I think they might be amazed how much support we would show them.
And you were blithering on about cause and effect?
So, it is not the entire Arab world who listens to bin Laden. It is a small but powerful group who gains their power by intimidation, murder and terror.
It's surprising that you have the nerve to pontificate about Arab opinion, or trust the numbers you are given by CNN.
As for intimidation, murder and terror, there's nothing the Arabs couldn't learn from the US.
Would you people quit trying to justify bin Laden?
Don't think anyone is trying to justify bin Laden. A lot of Americans (understandably, given the scale of the attacks on your country) have difficulty separating the alleged perpetrator of the attacks from any action the US may wish to undertake in response. If bin Laden bombed the WTC, he should be brought to justice. The current 'war' in Afghanistan, which seems nothing more than an ego-boosting attack by a superpower on a country far weaker and poorer even than Iraq, is not justified by the WTC.
Just for a moment can you entertain the idea that he's a sick asshole who is set out to lift himself up politicaly?
He seems more of a military man, really...
He has no care about his demands other than they would prove to the rest of the Arab world that he is a powerful man who they should listen to if they want to stay alive. He wraps his message in religion but don't be fooled, he's in it for the power.
One question... what is your basis for any of this?
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