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[P]
And the battle's just begun.

By aphrael in Op-Ed
Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 03:49:47 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The vote is in; it is to be war. May God, if he exists, have mercy on our souls.

Both houses of the legislature of my country voted within the last 24 hours to authorize the 'use of force to protect the national security' or, in other words, war.


Offensive war.

For the first time, depending on how you slice it, since 1898, or 1846, or 1812, all of which had at least a pretense of not being offensive.

Nobody's really made a compelling case for why --- even if everything is true, there's no reason not to let the inspections happen, and see what they turn up; in the best case, all the fears of my country's leadership will turn to naught, and in the worst case, they'll get the evidence they want and the country would unite behind them.

But this? It feels like the country is going to war because nobody could think of a good reason not to.

I spent most of the day today listening to the debate on C-SPAN2, pretending to get work done. It was immensely frustrating.

I listened to the debate eleven years ago on authorizing the first Gulf War. At the time, the debate was civil, almost pleasant; the members of Congress had deliberated, and thought, and were torn, and this showed in their every speech; the legislature had entered into a great debate with itself, and reluctantly made a decision that, while controversial, was reached after extensive deliberation. We'd all known for months what the outcome would be, of course, but there was a sense of gravity about the process, and the people making the decisions had truly wrestled with them, and with their souls.

I didn't get that feeling at all during the debates of the last two days. Some people had wrestled --- McCain, on the hawkish side, and Byrd, on the doveish, are good examples of this; people who looked at their situation, and thought about it, and reached deep down into the center of their souls to figure out what they thought was 'right'. But others ... Hillary stood there, reading a prepared speech, flat, emotionless, mouthing words that sounded right but were delivered without conviction; am i to believe she thought long and hard about the issues, and what is the right thing to do? She didn't look it ... she looked like she was reading a speech calculated for its political appeal, not speaking from her heart.

It was a potemkin debate. Those who were speaking from the heart were talking at each other, not listening, not discussing ... and the rest were reciting prepared speeches designed to make their supporters at home enthusiastic enough to vote for them next month.

It was tremendously depressing. I'm sure, when the history of the time is written, that historians will say that an America still dazed by the reaction to the events of september 11, 2001, allowed themselves to be led into a war they hadn't really thought about ... but that doesn't feel right, that's not what happened, even though the easy way to think about it is to say that it is.

A friend of mine, in a heated debate about how angry liberals should be at being betrayed by the Democratic party leadership (the leaders of the opposition party supported this war; they were terrified that failing to do so would cost them the election, and were too chickenshit to make a stand and ask the voters to decide), remarked that, whenever anyone asks 'why do we have to do this now', the reaction rfom the administration is always 'because of the events of september 11' ... and thinking leftists are always puzzled by this because it's totally unclear how they are related. He suggested that maybe what's going on is that, in the minds of conservative idealists, the events of sept. 11 convinced them of the absolute rightness of what they've thought all along --- that the world is a dangerous place and the only way it is safe is for the US to go out and destroy anyone who might threaten us, and enforce our political and economic system everywhere. I think he's hit on something; that describes quite well the attitude of many in the administration. The US, in their view, isn't just the "indispensible nation", it's not just the world's policeman --- it is the new world order, and it is our moral responsibility to bring western democracy and capitalist economies to every spot on the globe.

This is terrifying to me: the US is basically embarking on an adventure which is the first instance of a new foreign policy doctrine that alleges we have the right to intervene anywhere in the world for any reason, as long as we can trump up charges that there are bad people there --- a doctrine which is ten times, no, a hundred times, more open to abuse than the anti-communist doctrine was. And we're doing it without a significant national debate about whether this is what we should be doing, and why.

Part of me feels like this must be a hallucination, a nightmare, a great national fever-dream that will pass. I hope that the people look around and notice what is being done in their name ... but i'm not convinced they will.

I am 100% certain that there are congresspeople who voted against their conscience today because they thought that voting their conscience would cost them votes. The Democratic party leadership chose not to make a stand on this issue because they were afraid they would lose --- because it is easy to paint anyone who is opposed as being unpatriotic, a harborer of enemies, a scoundrel; and it is harder to fight off the man waving the jingiostic flag than it is to wave it. But they also did so because they believe that the average American doesn't care; that as long as his pocketbook isn't effected, the death and carnage in the lives of wierd people from a country halfway across the globe where they speak a funny language and worship a different god and have bizarre political customs just doesn't matter.

In a sense that's the real tragedy. We've gone from not wanting entangling alliances because they would embroil us in intrigue that would threaten our liberties and undermine our moral character to not wanting entangling alliances because they would prevent us from doing things that other people think are bad; and our moral character, and our liberties, are threatened of our own free will.

I weep for the difference between what my country is and what it could have been, and weep even more in fear for what it is going to become.


my country, tis of thee
sweet land of liberty
of thee, i sing.

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Display: Sort:
And the battle's just begun. | 197 comments (162 topical, 35 editorial, 0 hidden)
An Argument For. (4.14 / 7) (#1)
by aitrus on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 03:42:48 AM EST

http://www.denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/09/Whoisourenemy.shtml

I have posted this before.  And I'll say it again: I don't fully agree with the article, but I also don't fully disagree.  Valid points are raised and it deserves to be read objectively.

stupid argument (3.60 / 10) (#3)
by speek on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 03:53:44 AM EST

To say that Iraq, Saddam, Bin Laden, Al Queada are not the enemy, but rather, the enemy is a diseased culture, and THEN to go on to suggest that military conquest is the best way to defeat that enemy - that's just stupid. To defeat a culture, open the doors, tear down the walls - nothing can stand before the US and Disney. Waging war will solidify the anti-US culture, and thus create more enemies. If that's what he believes, then military action is a blunder of the worst sort.

--
Perhaps the State of Hawaii could countersue the woman that gave birth to and raised a
[
Parent ]

Terrible arguments (3.50 / 2) (#67)
by meman2000 on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:07:22 PM EST

I find the author of this to be extremely ignorant and biased. They make several assumptions:

(1) The US is a single unified nation that holds a single viewpoint (probably Christian, though the article doesn't come right out and say it) that is superior to that of any Arabic nation.
(2) The US economy is successful because it is better than the economies of any Arabic nation.
(3) The US is above religious wars.
(4) The US is far superior to any Arab nation in technological developments and scientific achievements.

I take personal offense to the first assumption, because I have many Islamic friends who are constantly misrepresented by bigoted articles like this, resulting in all kinds of harassment. That said, this article has a strong air of religious superiority, and tries to show in a brief look at the Qur'an that Islam is a faulty religion and societies based on it will also be faulty. Also, who the hell is this "we"? I constantly disagree with the representatives of the US (where I live), especially including the legislation of the past few days. The US is full of all kinds of different nationalities, cultures, and viewpoints, and to combine all of this into a single "voice" that says Islam is wrong almost makes me want to disregard any of the author's other points.

As far as the US economy goes, it's in a huge slump right now. Where I live it's hard as hell to find a decent job, and those that exist might not the next week. I've heard so many arguments against Capitalism, and I'm striken with irony that this author, who writes with astonishing Christian attributes, can claim the Capitalist economy to be successful when modern trading techniques go against so many Christian teachings. In fact, the only really big advocate of Capitalism I've ever read of is Ayn Rand, which I think in itself is enough said.

As far as religious wars go, there's an enormous amount of tension in the US. Christian zealouts all over do many abusive things, from killing someone like Matthew Sheppard to bombing abortion clinics. But somehow "we're" still better than Arabs because "we" don't follow that Islamic gobbledygook, right?

As far as technology goes: ask anyone on the streets who the most influencial personal to technology is, and you'll likely get "Bill Gates" as an answer. The US has had some really interesting people come about, such as Claude Shannon and Stephen Hawking, who really provide a lot of valuable insight. But so has France, Germany, and yes, some of those Arabic countries too. It's also interesting how much of the popular technology in the US is so much more popular in places like Japan (read, Nintendo, DoCoMo).

This article is extremely one-sided, and I hardly find it a case for deeming any action against any Arabic nation necessary. Before agreeing with all the author's points, take a look at the US and you'll see a lot of similarities.

[ Parent ]

no, Hawking is British [n/t] (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by martingale on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 10:28:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Odd... he doesn't have a British accent... (4.00 / 1) (#108)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 01:57:49 PM EST

(oh god... I'm really going to hell for *that* one, eh?)

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

it's not your fault (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by martingale on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:20:29 AM EST

Ever since he became a rap singer, lots of people are confused. And Britney Spears' foray into physics isn't helping.

[ Parent ]
An Argument Against. (none / 0) (#149)
by matthead on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 04:23:27 PM EST

Objectively? I think this quote sums up the attitude of the whole thing nicely:

"In every practical objective way we are better than they are, and they know it."

It really is a very one-sided article. It can fuel disussion, but as flamebait, I think, more than anything else.


- Matt

I'm at (-0.6,-5.5). Where are you?


[ Parent ]
O/T: (-0.25, -0.25) (N/T) (none / 0) (#150)
by Caton on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 04:57:32 PM EST



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
+1 FP Speaking Out (3.63 / 11) (#13)
by GRiNGO on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 05:51:48 AM EST

Glad to see not all Americans want to take over the world and blow things up just because they can. Now, go do something about it, start a peace movement or something...

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


HUR HUR (1.33 / 9) (#15)
by aitrus on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 06:45:07 AM EST

Yeah, we want to take over the world JUST BECAUSE WE CAN!  YEAH, YE-HAW!  It's no use explaining the reasons, yet again, when people against the war are too thick skulled to even consider arguments for it, and are incapable of making a valid argument against it.

In the end, what you think doesn't matter because you have no solution that is superior to a military strike.

[ Parent ]

There are no reasons... (3.66 / 6) (#21)
by GRiNGO on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:16:42 AM EST

...to carry out a first strike offensive against a nation already crippled by your embargos.

All you are going to do is turn dying children into dead ones.

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
sorry but that's just bull (4.50 / 4) (#23)
by martingale on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 10:04:29 AM EST

You can keep repeating that you don't need to justify the war because you or someone else has already given reasons for it, but that won't change the facts. I've heard all the reasons, and they're hearsay, and wouldn't stand up in any court, except perhaps in Cuba.

If you support the war for any of those "reasons", I've got a really good deal on a car for you.

[ Parent ]

no you got him wrong (2.00 / 1) (#25)
by GRiNGO on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:09:20 AM EST

He's not saying he doesnt need to justify the war because someone else already has... what he is really saying is that they have a God given right to go to war because they are American and if they dont the whole world will be overrun with communists!

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
Not that it matters (2.95 / 21) (#16)
by DeadBaby on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:06:33 AM EST

Bush Jr. would have just ignored congress if they hadn't given him the support he wanted. At every turn money will beat logic. Rich white fuckers like Bush Jr. will be the ones deciding what we do without any consideration of what the people want. Hey why bother? we can just turn on the propoganda machine and change their minds when we're reading to kill a few thousand people.

Think about it. If DC was nuked tomorrow afternoon you know what I'd do? Celebrate. It'd be the best thing to happen to this country in a long, long time. Yes, a lot of innocent people would die and that's too bad but when these nuts are going into other countries commiting mass murder anyway it's a small price to pay. A nice 50 megaton-er would clean the filth in our poltical system qutie a bit faster than any campaign finance laws ever will.

The system is fine but I don't thinkt he founding fathers ever realized how far reaching and complete the corruption could go. Virtually every government offical is bought and paid for by a special interest. They're bitches to their money and their party. The people are less important than ever in our poltical system and more and more things are getting out of hand.

First we have the republicans trying to perform a coup on a sitting president. Then we have a president who was appointed by his Daddy's friends. Now that same president is starting a war as a campaign tactic. It's disgusting.

"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan

Don't do drugs, mmmkay? (1.83 / 6) (#19)
by aitrus on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:41:32 AM EST

They're very harmful, mmmkay?

[ Parent ]
Unless it's coke (3.00 / 1) (#111)
by DeadBaby on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 02:34:38 PM EST

Then you become president. Uh well, if Daddy's friends pay for your election. My daddy probably couldn't have bought me an election, no matter how much coke I did.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]
hehe (3.00 / 3) (#20)
by tonyenkiducx on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:12:27 AM EST

Manchester was bombed by the IRA a few years back, and it was the best thing to happen to the north of england in a long time. Granted it only destroyed lots of old dodgy buildings, and ended up completely re-vitalising the whole city, but you get the idea, cleaning out the scum.

Tony.
*TIroCllA* *NTrSoEllE* *YTrOolUl*
I get paid in crumpled up fivers, its all the schoolkids can afford these days. There spending all t
[ Parent ]
Poll: Who in Congress appeases whom? (2.33 / 6) (#18)
by mami on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:22:02 AM EST

The nay sayers, do they appease Saddam?
The yay sayers, do they appease Bush?

Today's question of the day: Who are the more dangerous appeasers?

Isn't appeasing illegal? (4.50 / 2) (#77)
by dr k on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 10:28:41 PM EST

I would never be caught appeasing in public.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

hey (4.50 / 2) (#88)
by martingale on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:48:31 AM EST

Sometimes, you just gotta go. Be prepared and carry a brown paper bag.

[ Parent ]
Thank you (4.00 / 7) (#26)
by mcherm on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:41:38 AM EST

I have little to add, but I just wanted to thank you for writing this. It so eloquently describes exactly what I have been feeling on this issue.


-- Michael Chermside
I also would like to thank you (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by pyramid termite on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:33:01 PM EST

It summed up what I feel about it too. Currently, I'm too disgusted with the whole thing even to argue about it.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Manifest Destiny (4.00 / 8) (#27)
by DLWormwood on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:44:01 AM EST

The US, in their view, isn't just the "indispensible nation", it's not just the world's policeman --- it *is* the new world order, and it is our moral responsibility to bring western democracy and capitalist economies to every spot on the globe.

It's official; we've returned to the political philosophy and doctrine that the US abided by prior to the World Wars. The US gov't used to believe precisely that before Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union used a similar strategy and terrified us into understanding that aggression and power are double-edged swords.
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled

Why we fight. . . (2.71 / 7) (#30)
by IHCOYC on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 12:32:20 PM EST

I tend to see Saddam Hussein, the man, as a sideshow in all of this. To the extent that he can be made out to be a blustering tyrant, he is actually useful. An American presence in Iraq is needful largely because Iraq is centrally located, well-oiled, and an excellent base to project American military power throughout central Islamistan. Some pretext for its conquest will be contrived. We can support the project without being fooled by the words generated by the diplomatic PR machine.

Saddam Hussein is not the real enemy. If he were, we would not be playing the game of moving the goalposts with him on UN resolutions and other ultimate irrelevances. Our actual enemies are Islamic agitation and Arab irredentism. The destruction of these foes will not occur merely with a change in governments in Iraq or elsewhere.

When we occupied Japan at the end of World War II, we insisted that the Japanese emperor renounce his claim of divinity, and insisted on fundamental changes, not only in Japanese political leadership, but also in Japanese belief systems. Our Middle East fight will end only when the Arabs and Muslims learn the same lesson that the Japanese learned: that their violent ideologies of divine favour and manifest destiny only mean that they will die uselessly. I'm afraid it seems necessary that many of them will have to die in order for this lesson to take root. I cannot cry for them; they have no one but themselves to blame. My chief fear is not that we will go to war, but that we will lack the patience, perseverance, and generosity to our former enemies that will be needed to teach this needful lesson.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy

Lame (3.25 / 8) (#32)
by ubu on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 01:27:40 PM EST

Let's keep our composure. You can cry inside, and get weepy and romantic and upset over beer or whatever it is you drink. But in public discourse this faux self-pity doesn't play.

The war is an outrage. Making up new ways to say that isn't going to penetrate the "Yo, Joe!" mentality of its proponents. They want to go kill Saddam Destructo and his buddy Osama bin Viper, and they're happy to send someone else to do it.

But if we go off the deep end with these "tragedy" essays we just look like liberal sissies, and they look like Real American Heroes.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
It's not an offensive war (3.71 / 7) (#33)
by Jman1 on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 01:43:00 PM EST

First of all, Saddam started the Persian Gulf war. We won, and the conditions of his surrender included certain things like allowing inspectors. If he does not follow the conditions of his surrender, then he is retracting his surrender. It's not that complicated. Even if that were not the case, a preemptive move isn't really an offensive one. I'm not arguing whether or not it's moral, but it's not strictly offensive.

uninformed (3.00 / 4) (#42)
by speek on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 06:40:31 PM EST

You are uninformed if you think Saddam initiated aggression all by himself. Kuwait was stealing oil from Iraq, and thumbing their noses at them. Iraq furthermore received assurances from the US that we wouldn't get involved if Iraq solved the Kuwaiti problem. Not to mention all the encouragement and help we gave them to fight Iran.

And in any case, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was rejected, and it's done. The current war-in-the-waiting is not a continuance of that previous conflict. And, for the record, preemptive strikes are most definitely offensive. Just because your motivation is fear doesn't change that.

--
Perhaps the State of Hawaii could countersue the woman that gave birth to and raised a
[
Parent ]

Got any evidence? (2.75 / 4) (#46)
by Caton on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:29:21 PM EST

Kuwait was stealing oil from Iraq
That's what Saddam claimed but did not prove. So it's probably a lie.

Typical.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Woah (4.00 / 2) (#53)
by aphrael on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:51:56 PM EST

do you have an independant source for the allegation that Kuwait was stealing oil? Eg., not just taking something that was questionable due to a border dispute or something (like happens in the border between Venezuela and Guyana), but actually taking things that they had no theoretical right to?

I haven't seen such evidence. I've seen it alleged by Iraqi supporters, but that's hardly credible.

[ Parent ]

evidence? (4.66 / 3) (#68)
by speek on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:13:35 PM EST

What evidence can words provide? Do you want a link? Sounds like there are those you believe and those you don't, so what good would that do? I got my information from books and news articles, back when I researched the issue in '91. According to those sources (which I don't remember), Kuwait was slant drilling beneath the border, accessing oil reserves that belonged to Iraq.

However, because you've called me out, I did a quick google. Here are some results:

I'll leave it at that. It's all useless anyway - we believe what we choose to believe. One point though:

I've seen it alleged by Iraqi supporters, but that's hardly credible.

Be careful of your wording, else you define anyone who believes this particular version of events as an "Iraqi supporter". And, by doing so, you use the same rhetorical tools of anyone who seeks to dishonestly manipulate people's beliefs.

--
Perhaps the State of Hawaii could countersue the woman that gave birth to and raised a
[
Parent ]

You call that evidence? (4.00 / 2) (#95)
by Caton on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 09:44:47 AM EST

From your first link:

Five days later, April Glaspie gave Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait.
That is a lie. It has been debunked so many times I wonder how can people still write or believe this. Any site with this kind of lie should not be trusted.

From your second link:

The most famous example of that is the meeting between Saddam and the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, five days before Iraq invaded Kuwait. As CIA satellite photos showed an Iraqi invasion force massing on the Kuwaiti border, Glaspie told Hussein that "the US takes no position" on Iraq's dispute with Kuwait.
Again?

From your third link:

1990, July: Hussein publically accuses Kuwait of conspiring to destroy Iraq's economy and of slant drilling for oil beneath Iraqi soil.
So? Are you going to give this comment another 1 when I point out, again, that an accusation is not a proof?

From your fourth link:

Members of WWFOR work on many different issues; as an organization, we have 6 inter-chapter focus issues:
[...]
Ending Economic Sanctions Against Iraq. Speak out now against a new U.S. war against Iraq; call the President, 202-456-1111 or Congress People via the Congressional Switchboard, 202-224-3121, ongoing campaign PEACE PLEDGE : TO STOP SPREAD OF ANTI-TERRORIST WAR TO IRAQ Call the office 206-789-5565 for more info, and see the Peace Pledge information. updated August 3, 2002
Probably a very reliable source...



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
no, I called none of it evidence (3.00 / 1) (#100)
by speek on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:18:48 PM EST

I have no evidence. How could I? You have provided even less than I did, however. And I gave your first post a 1 because it was useless and disdainful. A denial isn't proof of anything either.

--
Perhaps the State of Hawaii could countersue the woman that gave birth to and raised a
[
Parent ]

Oh, I see... (2.00 / 3) (#107)
by Caton on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 01:53:06 PM EST

When you post two lies in three lines you are answering to uninformed people. When someone points out your lies, it's useless and disdainful.

Typical modding methodology.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
No evidence exists (none / 0) (#156)
by Trencher on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:14:53 PM EST

Looks to me like he believes something you don't, and vice versa. Aside from your actual beliefs, you differ in that he realizes that nothing he presents as evidence will sway your belief and then presents evidence supporting his belief anyway, while you simply call him a liar without supporting your beliefs or your claims that he lies about his.

This discussion, like most here, will never benefit anyone, because both of you have already chosen sides and will not accept evidence to the contrary, regardless of its veracity. This illustrates why I've begun to think that about 65% of online discussion simply wastes bandwidth that we could all use for the only unquestionable fact that the internet can possibly provide us with today: mindless entertainment.


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Wrong, there is evidence (none / 0) (#158)
by Caton on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:29:58 PM EST

There is ample evidence that the U.S. stated publicly they had no opinion in the dispute as long as it was settled peacefully. This is not receiving "assurances from the US that we wouldn't get involved".

On the other hand, while Iraq accused Kuwait of slant drilling, they failed to provide any evidence. Given Saddam record, I will assume this is a lie until proven wrong. Parroting Saddam words and presenting them as historical fact has been typical behavior of Saddam appeasers for the last 10 years.

And modding down comments only because you disagree with them is even more typical.

I will happily waste bandwidth to point out someone is giving wrong information. I will waste even more bandwidth when it becomes obvious it's not a mistake, but yet another attempt to rewrite history.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Debunked? (none / 0) (#144)
by greenrd on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:23:32 PM EST

Please could you post a link to good debunking of the "April Glaspie green light" story?


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Kind of debunked (none / 0) (#145)
by Perpetual Newbie on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:41:12 PM EST

No link, but Glaspie said that the U.S. takes no position in border desputes between Arab states. He didn't specifically give Iraq the go-ahead to annex Kuwait, and it wasn't suspected that Iraq would try this.

[ Parent ]
Wrong. (none / 0) (#147)
by Caton on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:54:18 PM EST

See here.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
You are spinning this (none / 0) (#169)
by Wah on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:00:38 PM EST

..your posts would make the light that U.S. showed Iraq was yellow at worst, and definitely more green than red.  Especially when one considers the history of the U.S. and Iraq at that point.  Even then, what's your point?
--
Life is a strange state of matter.
[ Parent ]
Of course I am (none / 0) (#187)
by Caton on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 04:31:07 AM EST

And my point is that parroting proven liars arguments is not evidence. It could be stupidity. Or it could be yet another attempt to rewrite history.

By the way... read again. There was a very red light against any military action.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
April Glaspie transcript debunked (none / 0) (#146)
by Caton on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:51:44 PM EST

See here.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Can you speak to speek's evidence? [n/t] (none / 0) (#78)
by WindyCity on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:08:52 PM EST


I-raq, I-roll, I-ran away from you. . .
[ Parent ]
i'll certainly attempt to. (none / 0) (#91)
by aphrael on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 01:22:12 AM EST

But that means reading it, and then reading other things on the site to get a gauge of the reliability. That will take time, and since i've spent all day today running a conference, with only occasional head-poking in here, i haven't had the time to do that yet, and i'm exhausted. So no, not at this time, but i'll try and schedule it for sometime this weekend. :)

[ Parent ]
Irrelevant. (1.00 / 1) (#110)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 02:11:44 PM EST

Wether or not the evidence cited in your links turns out to be credible is irrelevant.  Wether or not Kuwait was, in fact, slant-drilling from iraqui oil fields is also irrelevant.

Petty thievery does not justify invasion and war.

The US and Mexico regularly have disputes regarding water rights; usually wrt/ to the Colarado river, but sometimes with other rivers or aquifers.  The US and Canada have disputes over fisheries with a regularity that would seem ridiculous, were those disputes to make the news as often as they happen.

All three have been accused of "theft" by others at some point in said disputes.

But when was the last time any of the three invaded the other over that "theft"?

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Who else wants this war? (4.14 / 7) (#35)
by br284 on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 02:21:40 PM EST

We know that Bush is itching to start pulling the triggers and topple Saddam. However, know who else are ardent supporters of this war? Iraqis themselves.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/11/national/11PHOE.html

If anyone realizes what will happen here and truly has friends and family that will be killed in the conflict, it is these people. That they are supporting this action as strongly as they are says a lot about the current state of Iraq and its dictator, these are them.

Now before anyone flames me, read the damn article and think about it before getting all kneejerky.

-Chris

Dear America, (3.75 / 12) (#63)
by dr k on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:29:34 PM EST

Please bomb the shit out of my country like you did ten years ago. The sides of the bomb craters create fun places for our children to play, and save us the trouble of having to dig holes to bury those who have died from various preventable diseases. Saddam made fun of my mother and he makes me mad. If you bring your wonderful consumer economy to our country, I can have the false hope that I, or my great-great-grandchildren, may one day rise from poverty to become bourgeois, like that great American Bill O'Reilly.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Typical (2.60 / 5) (#64)
by Tetsubeav on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:48:26 PM EST

Typical liberal response to facts... ignore them and post some smart-assed remark instead. Shouldn't you be picketing something right now?

[ Parent ]
why the hell do you define "liberal" (3.75 / 4) (#74)
by dr k on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 10:15:54 PM EST

as pushing for diplomacy above aggression? Is war-making truly part of the conservative platform, a return to good old fashioned values and the preservation of the status quo through excessive force and chemistry?

If anything I would describe my political leanings as being anti-asshole and pro-civilization. Civilization as represented by the Consitutions of the world, various treaties and conventions, and international orgs like the UN. If that is liberal, who the hell is on the other team?


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Hmm ... just what is a liberal? (4.00 / 2) (#101)
by Hektor on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:20:09 PM EST

According to you, anyone who doesn't agree with your oppinion is a liberal (even if they are in fact facists, nazis or communists), but that's just not true.

Here's a hint - the danish Liberal Party, who happens to be in government at the moment is in fact in favour of a war against Iraq. I guess they also just ignore "facts" and responds with "some smart-assed remark instead", right?

Well, that might not be the best example in my oppinion, because that is an accurate descritpion ;-). But then again - I'm just some liberal cock-sucker, right? Even though I'm actually a member of the Social Democratic Party, or as you would probably describe me - a fucking red communist bastard.

But hey - why respond with a well thought out respons, that proves your point and showes your intelligence, when you can resort to name calling?

[ Parent ]

Australian Liberals (none / 0) (#103)
by cam on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:32:43 PM EST

the danish Liberal Party, who happens to be in government at the moment is in fact in favour of a war against Iraq.

The Australian Liberal Party as well, though the Australian Liberal party is essentially a conservative party, and does not have classical Liberal philosophy at it's core. Judging by the Liberal Parties performance in the last few years their philosophy is 1930's Foreign/Defence policy, 1950's social policy and liberal economic policy.

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

Generally (none / 0) (#129)
by Jacques Chester on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 01:25:41 AM EST

It calls itself the Liberal Party of Australia, to avoid confusion with the ALP.

It's hardly fair to characterise the LP as a homogenous blob. Like the ALP, it's a "Broad Church", running the gamut from wets to dries to queen-and-country mercantilist tories to anarcho-capitalists.

But it just so happens that Howard was born and raised in the 50s and bears a lot of that worldview. And so do a lot of people who voted for Liberal Party candidates.

I don't agree with a lot of Liberal Party policy. But I agree with more of it than ALP policy. It's the choice of lesser evil.

And no, I'm not a Liberal Party member.

--
Well now. We seem to be temporarily out of sigs here at the sig factory. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
[ Parent ]

So (2.66 / 6) (#80)
by tjb on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:16:45 PM EST

Did you even read the article, or are you ignorant as well as a dickhead?

What would it take for you to agree that attacking Iraq is a good idea?  Please answer yes or no on each question:

1) The Iraqi people ask for a US attack to unseat their government?

2) The US/UK abandon enforcement of the no-fly zones and sanctions and Iraq embarks upon a campaign of extermination against its political and cultural enemies?

3)  A nasty weapon sent by the Iraqis in some form another goes off in Tel Aviv?

4)  A nasty weapon provided by Iraq goes off in New York?

Are any of those good enough?  

Quite frankly, I could give a shit about the administrations motives, the end would justify the means -  millions of Iraqis would be leading better lives than they were under the thumb of a totalitarian asshole and the cocksuckers willing to blow him at any chance like yourself.

Tim

[ Parent ]

I'll take #4 (4.33 / 3) (#86)
by Hired Goons on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:39:03 AM EST

the rest is their problem.
You calling that feature a bug? THWAK
[ Parent ]
West has no right (3.00 / 1) (#102)
by cam on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:28:50 PM EST

the rest is their problem.

I agree totally, and until that happens the US ( and their UK and Australian minions ) have no right invading a sovereign nation or acting as the aggressors.

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

if you keep this up... (3.00 / 3) (#87)
by martingale on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:46:05 AM EST

...you'll get yourself a nasty ulcer. It's okay to disagree with other people.

Here are my replies to your four questions. By the way, it's great to see an NYT article where US immigrant Iraqis aren't afraid to pay for Hussein's overthrow with their own relatives in Iraq's lives and those of "ordinary" Iraqis. It's good to see people recognizing a great bargain.

1) Yes, if those same Iraqis could also naturally fly in the air and breathe under water.

2) Yes, if the US retreats completely from the Middle East forever and Iraq also exterminates completely white fluffy rabbits. I'm sentimental.

3) No, since this would constitue a preemptive attack on Israel. That's allowed.

4) No, this is also a preemptive attack for protection of Iraq.

[ Parent ]

5) population had turned into mindless zombies (3.00 / 2) (#93)
by dr k on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 04:14:32 AM EST

Zombies are by far the greatest threat to our national security. They must be stopped, wherever they raise their filthy, rotting arms in their neverending hunger for human brains.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Go to a Linux conference... (none / 0) (#157)
by Trencher on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 12:19:14 PM EST

And look for people who oppose Microsoft's domination of the desktop market. Think you'll have any trouble finding them??


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Umm, no (none / 0) (#162)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:17:19 PM EST

Your analogy would work if the people protesting Microsoft knoew that if Linux were to become dominant, there stood a good chance that members of their family would be shot, bombed, or starved in the ensuing OS war. I don't know if there are even these intense of Linux zealots.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Not quite the point.. (none / 0) (#164)
by Trencher on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:36:37 PM EST

I wanted to point out that if you go looking for people who don't like 'X' in a place labelled "People who don't like 'X' stay here", then you will likely find those people.

I imagine most Iraqi immigrants left the country because they disagreed with the government or some aspect of the country's management. Asking those people if they would like to see regime change in Iraq will always result in an affirmative answer. Finding a few (4 of 4000 = .1%) who feel strongly enough about it to sacrifice their relatives just takes a bit of legwork, or what passes for journalism these days.


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Journalism (none / 0) (#165)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:50:49 PM EST

I understood your point before even posting the link. I guess the question is whether you think the New York Times has the integrity to not run misleading stories and be sure that the sentiment expressed by the Iraqis is not the opinion of just a few nuts. Personally, I trust the NYT's journalistic integrity much more than most other news sources.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Point taken. (none / 0) (#168)
by Trencher on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 03:46:48 PM EST

I also trust the NYT more than most other news sources, but that does not mean that they have completely escaped the corruption and control leaking into our media industry from the cesspool we call elected officials.

However, as the article points out, the people who hold those beliefs left their country and came here seeking asylum, renouncing their Iraqi citizenship to do so (or, presumably, with the intention of renouncing their citizenship). If a reporter had found the same results in Iraq, then I would concede that some significant number of Iraqis wanted Hussein removed from power. However, the article shows that some (arguably insignificant) number of Iraqi-American immigrants wishes to see Hussein overthrown instead.
Using this article to argue that the Iraqi people want a new government installed simply does not work. Let's wait for the upcoming Iraqi election and use the results to make some slightly more informed inferences regarding what that nation wishes.


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 0) (#170)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:07:24 PM EST

I understand your point about the corruption in the media, but I then wonder why you think that as an indicator of the will of the Iraqi people, an election will be conducted that is uncorrupted and offers the people a chance to make a statement against Saddam. If anything, the election will show an overwhelming support for all Saddam is and does, and the real voice of the real people will not be heard.

It is true that the Iraqis who left Iraq left for a good reason. However, I think that unlike you or I, they do have a legitimate insight to the current state of things in Iraq.

Of course, the difficulty in moving all of this from speculation to real information is getting the opinion of the Iraqi people. Given their current situation, I don't believe that this is possible.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Also (none / 0) (#171)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:09:58 PM EST

I thought it was clear from the article that the people interviewed in the article were clearly labeled as Iraqi-Americans, and not regular Iraqis. Had they been portrayed as people on the streets of Baghdad, your point would be 100% correct. But I don't think that the NYT did any such thing. It was more along the lines of "here are some Iraqi Americans, and here's what they think".

-Chris

[ Parent ]

One last time... (none / 0) (#174)
by Trencher on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:08:40 PM EST

Telling me that Iraqi-Americans don't like the current state of affairs in Iraq imparts as much information as saying that a prisoner who broke out of jail didn't enjoy his rehabilitation experience. The one implies the other. They left because they didn't like it, otherwise they would not have taken the chance to leave that they obviously got.

As for the election issue, I simply think that in order to find out how people feel about something, you should ASK THEM. The issue of how accurately their response gets reported raises many other questions, hence my reference to "slightly more informed inferences" regarding their feelings, as we would attribute to them answers to a question that they had actually provided answers to. True, they might not have given those answers we attribute to them, but at least we will have stopped pretending we know what they think after asking someone else what they think.


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Iraqis (none / 0) (#181)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:16:43 PM EST

I agree with you 99.9% above. The one nit that I have is that while they obviously don't like the regime and left, there is still a potential cost to them with respect to fellow family and countrymen being killed. It doesn't quite match up to the jail analogy. It's that despite the fact that people they know and love may be killed in the impending conflict, they still feel that the current state of the country is such that this risk is acceptable.

Of course, they're sitting in the country less likely to be invaded and crushed, so the cynic in me also says that is a factor too. But I don't think that you can discount the family and friendly ties, 100% either.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

That's a hugely biased sample (none / 0) (#166)
by Wah on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 03:34:50 PM EST

Mr. Algarawi said he eagerly joined insurgent forces in 1991 when the United States encouraged Iraqi citizens to rise up against their leader. Many did, he said, in all parts of the country. But the United States provided no military support for their actions and expressed no interest in an open-ended occupation or nation building.

As a result, Mr. Algarawi said, "our uprising was crushed" by forces loyal to Mr. Hussein, and their anger toward the first Bush administration grew.

So you have people who tried to overthrow the dictator that are now encouraging the government to overthrow the dictator?   Should we also militarily depose Castro because of the Southern Florida lobby?

You did notice about how none of the Iraqis interviewed for the story live in Iraq, right?  And how most of them are political dissidents that have seeked asylum in a foreign country and now want our soldiers to die for their cause?

You also noted how you have extrapolated 4 biased anecdotes into the political wishes of 24,000,000 people, right?

Note, I'm not defending Iraq, but don't really like the idea of replacing governments around the world just because we can.  I seriously doubt we even want a "democratic" government to replace Saddam, since that opens the door for political trends like this one.

A party with strong ties to President Pervez Musharraf was the best performer in the Pakistani parliamentary vote, but hard-line Islamic parties emerged as the main political forces in two provinces bordering Afghanistan.
So, here's the question right back at ya, Who else wants this war?
--
Life is a strange state of matter.
[ Parent ]
Hmm... (none / 0) (#172)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:12:53 PM EST

Show me in the article where the Times portrayed these people other than Iraqi-Americans.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

They didn't (none / 0) (#173)
by Wah on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 04:22:54 PM EST

You did, in your post.  Which is to say, show me where your post did anything other than portray these people as Iraqis.  It was a rather glaring omission on your part that I thought needed to be pointed out, especially with your challenge to "read the damn article and think about it before getting all kneejerky [sic]."
--
Life is a strange state of matter.
[ Parent ]
Blah (none / 0) (#180)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:09:23 PM EST

I admitted earlier that I could have been clearer in my short description of the article. However, that is no reason to simply dismiss the points made in the article.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Yes, it is. (none / 0) (#182)
by Wah on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:39:27 PM EST

I covered the points made in the article.  There is ample reason to dismiss each of them, and there is a great deal of reason to dismiss the idea that Iraqis, as a whole, support an attack on their country (especially since they know, personally, what happened last time).  To use a couple of biased  anecdotes as some type of reasoning to justify a pre-emptive attack on the leader of a nation, be he a dictator or not, is utterly asinine.  So the answer to your question, "Who else wants this war?" is ... a few ex-pats in Arizona.  Profound, thanks for sharing.  

I'll go ahead and skip any ethical reasoning or comments on the fact that they don't mind sacrificing their own families to achieve this goal.  Wait, hold on, after carefully re-reading the article, these kind souls wouldn't mind if 12,000,000 people died to fill their sense of revenge.

"War has to have casualties. A change in regime has to have casualties. If there are less than 50 percent casualties, then we can celebrate."
They are filled with hate.  Hardly the type of people to hold up as an example.  Sorry if I'm overly harsh in my reply.  The whole idea of waging a new war while we haven't finished up in other places (like that Afganistan place) make me sick to my stomach.  We have a leader happily starting a new fight while his true enemy is hiding in the shadows, waiting for a chance to strike while our attention is focused elsewhere.
--
Life is a strange state of matter.
[ Parent ]
I am reminded of this quote: (4.81 / 22) (#36)
by RelliK on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 02:59:40 PM EST

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or 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 peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." -- Hermann Goering, Hitler's #2 Man
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
Where did you get this quote from? Source? (nt) (3.00 / 3) (#43)
by mami on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:12:16 PM EST



[ Parent ]
here's something worth looking at closely (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by martingale on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:44:52 PM EST

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/

[ Parent ]
Do you have a link (1.33 / 3) (#104)
by mami on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:51:15 PM EST

for US propaganda against liberals, socialists and other evildoers as well? Or how about the propaganda of Communists against Capitalists or the Al-Queda Muslims against the Infidels?

Ever tried to replace certain words (usually the ones the propaganda machine targets as the current Zeitgeist's evildoer and core enemy) with the words their core enemy uses in retaliation (usually the ones that the enemies of Zeitgeist's demagogues use to describe the Zeitgeist's demagogues)?

You are aware that the US with its pure capitalist libertarian streaks are the master demagogues when it comes to "sell" something?  

They are the professionals of subversive, aggressive and highly nuanced propaganda material, using any psychological trick to cuddle an emotional response from the people they try to sell something or motivate to certain actions.

The media can be the greatest "whore" in providing the distribution system and broadcasting time to those who can talk the best. Politicies are made, changed and subverted these days by radio talk show hosts, partisan pundits, lobbyists, paid consultants and zealot preachers.

The libertarian 2nd amendment constitutionalists assist the demagogues by supporting the liberty that allows anybody "to put a gun to the heads of those who don't buy into the demagogue's ideas". These, of course, are all actions that are perfectly democratic, freedom loving, lawful and "morally" justified.

This culture is so omnipresent that almost the whole society (churches, media, even science) is soaked with it.

They are that well trained that they either enslave their victims to their ideas or that they will be hated so much for what they are doing, that the victims have no choice than to retaliate in the same manner, thus feeding those they want to fight against. Nothing better than that could happen to the demagogues.

Once you buy into the rethoric of demagogues you are sold and defeated.

[ Parent ]

snopes. (none / 0) (#61)
by cicero on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:23:47 PM EST

snopes.com


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
link fucked, it should actually be... (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by cicero on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:25:43 PM EST

here
god-damn gnome/x with their 2 clipboards.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
If I ask for the source, I mean the source (1.33 / 3) (#106)
by mami on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 01:09:11 PM EST

i.e. the original document or transcript produced by the interogating people of the US Armed Forces or other personel during the Nuremberg Trials etc.

A source document is a document. Show me the image of the original document from the National Archives or something similar. Show me who translated the document. Don't show me a pityful webpage, typing a quote without reference to the source that can be verified.

Not that I doubt that quote (I wouldn't have expected anything else), but I doubt the motives of people who use it too fast to make a point.

[ Parent ]

then look at the bottom of the page.... (4.00 / 2) (#113)
by cicero on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 03:01:58 PM EST

I'm sorry if you can't be bothered to actually scroll to the bottom of the page and see the text

Sources: Gilbert, G.M. Nuremberg Diary. New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1947 (pp. 278-279).
from there, it's a matter of getting off your lazy ass and walking to the local library to check that book out.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
Oops, sorry for my lazy eyes ... (none / 0) (#137)
by mami on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:54:43 AM EST

But ...

Just for the record though, I don't have a lazy ass, believe it or not, and the site is still pityful, because it can't even go without a swastika, which obviously distracted my attention right away and kept my eyes away from the bottom of the page. Let's say this is a case of bad webpage design, purposefully bad design or not I won't go into.

You are dealing with a German reader, so first question I ask myself, why some smart a** has  to put a swastika on their website. It doesn't help in any way to understand the Georing quote better  and as you may realize through this little mishap of mine, it adds a lot of confusion and frustration to the gullible reader.

So, may be can you do without a swastika next time or does it make you feel good?

[ Parent ]

does it make me feel good? (none / 0) (#139)
by cicero on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:54:59 AM EST

um, no, not particularly. why? And I'm confused as to the relevance of that question. Are you under the impression that I maintain snopes.com or something? or are you just asking why I used that source? If it's the latter case, then the answer is that I had just seen the quote b/c I was looking at their quotes page.

and, I'm sorry for telling you to get off your lazy ass. it was unnecessary. honestly, I didn't even remember there being a swastika and so had no idea that there would be any reason that someone want to scroll to the bottom to find the source.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
sorry too ... (none / 0) (#151)
by mami on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 05:15:40 PM EST

just get too miffed up about a lot of things these days and sometimes lash out in the wrong direction ...

[ Parent ]
zmag.org [n/t] (1.00 / 2) (#96)
by RelliK on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 11:10:45 AM EST


---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]
Of course (3.66 / 3) (#71)
by kholmes on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:44:35 PM EST

He's simply saying the obvious. People don't like war, duh. People become patriotic after being attacked, duh. People don't like weakness in a time of war, duh.

Because it was said by a Nazi doesn't change the meaning. They were successful for a while, of course they'd learn the common sense of leadership.

The whole quote is perverse in that by really only saying something quite simple and obvious but by its rhetoric sounding sinister and insane that by the end of it, you're thinking "Bush is a Nazi" without knowing why.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

But ... (4.50 / 2) (#115)
by pyramid termite on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 03:45:02 PM EST

He's simply saying the obvious. People don't like war, duh. People become patriotic after being attacked, duh. People don't like weakness in a time of war, duh.

If it's so obvious, why don't people see through it?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Because (3.50 / 2) (#122)
by kholmes on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 07:30:08 PM EST

As they said on the Matrix, to know the path is different than to walk the path.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]
Yes (4.00 / 1) (#141)
by greenrd on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 01:54:02 PM EST

Also, people are stupid.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

..whether it is a democracy... (none / 0) (#193)
by johwsun on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 06:28:56 PM EST

...whether it is a democracy...

it is NOT a democracy!!!Democracy means equality in decisions!

You have no Democracy in US, because you have not equality in decisions.

You didnt decide about this war, did you?

[ Parent ]

I humbly disagree (4.00 / 4) (#38)
by kholmes on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 06:28:12 PM EST

"Nobody's really made a compelling case for why --- even if everything is true, there's no reason not to let the inspections happen, and see what they turn up; in the best case, all the fears of my country's leadership will turn to naught, and in the worst case, they'll get the evidence they want and the country would unite behind them."

But can these inspectors really prove that these weapons don't exist? Its an open question, but I always thought that proving the negative is a very difficult thing to do. And furthermore, if the inspectors find nothing does this make Housaine no longer a concern? If you want to give the man the benefit of the doubt, thats your liberty--but he will get no such privilidge from me.

"Some people *had* wrestled --- McCain, on the hawkish side, and Byrd, on the doveish, are good examples of this; people who looked at their situation, and thought about it, and reached deep down into the center of their souls to figure out what they thought was 'right'."

Byrd is a great example. You know how older people get when they get real emotional? They start shaking a little. Byrd was shaking so much I almost wanted him to see a doctor. He really honestly believes that we're doing the wrong thing.

"It was a potemkin debate. Those who *were* speaking from the heart were talking at each other, not listening, not discussing ... and the rest were reciting prepared speeches designed to make their supporters at home enthusiastic enough to vote for them next month."

I almost got that sense too. But I just assumed that some of them weren't great orators.

"This is terrifying to me: the US is basically embarking on an adventure which is the first instance of a new foreign policy doctrine that alleges we have the right to intervene anywhere in the world for any reason, as long as we can trump up charges that there are bad people there --- a doctrine which is ten times, no, a hundred times, more open to abuse than the anti-communist doctrine was."

I think you're going too far. Even Gore, who I think was the first to mention a new "foreign policy doctrine" didn't even go that far. He pleaded that attacking Iraq pre-emptively would invite other nations to do the same, and that we couldn't oppose other nations doing this without seeming hypocritical.

But if it was *anyone* other than Iraq, I doubt we'd even be talking about this. The support simply wouldn't be there. Bush did go to the UN, as asked, and to the Congress, as asked; so we're at least seeing him looking for support. So with all the faith you lack with our administration, don't think its a little odd that he is looking for support? Isn't that saying that the system is working? Do you think our lawmakers might, just might, be sincere in their support of our President?

"I am 100% certain that there are congresspeople who voted against their conscience today because they thought that voting their conscience would cost them votes."

No shit. What does democracy mean to you? Its a balance between representing your constituents and representing your conscience. That balance is what makes our government strong.

"But they also did so because they believe that the average American doesn't care; that as long as his pocketbook isn't effected, the death and carnage in the lives of wierd people from a country halfway across the globe where they speak a funny language and worship a different god and have bizarre political customs just doesn't matter."

At this point, I think you're a crazy radical nut. Nothing can convince a person he is right more than once he has convinced himself that everyone else is stupid.

"my country, tis of thee
sweet land of liberty
of thee, i sing."

Saddam is a nut, even nuttier than you. When our patriots oppose him, they will do so in the highest character with liberty and justice on their side.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.

Will war help? (4.50 / 2) (#40)
by Happy Monkey on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 06:37:46 PM EST

But can these inspectors really prove that these weapons don't exist? Its an open question, but I always thought that proving the negative is a very difficult thing to do.

Indeed. And where will those weapons be after the war? Still hidden. The locations will still be known by hostile parties. Those parties will no longer have a government in charge of them. How much better off will we be?
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
riposte (4.50 / 4) (#50)
by aphrael on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:45:03 PM EST

furthermore, if the inspectors find nothing does this make Housaine no longer a concern?

No. But do we have an ethiclal justification, other than the fact that we have the power to do so, for removing the leader of another country when we have no evidence that he has done anything wrong?

I think you're going too far.

The Bush administration has articulated a doctrine that says that the US has the right to pre-emptively attack anyone who we think has the intention and capacity to threaten us. As far as I can tell, the attack on Iraq is based upon that doctrine (although some Congresspeople insisted that it isn't, but they were a minority); Paul Wolfowitz, a member of the administration, is on record as saying he thinks we should do the same to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and others.

if it was *anyone* other than Iraq, I doubt we'd even be talking about this

I'm not convinced that that is true, largely (I suppose) for the same reason that I'm not convinced the case for attack has been made. I see the US pointing at a leader it doesn't like, denouncing him as a 'madman', and attacking him --- the same exact rhetoric could be used, if we wanted to, to unseat Musharraf -- an unelected dictator of a regime with nuclear weapons.

What's the difference? In theoretical terms, why is one use of force justified when the other isn't? Nobody in the adminstration has articulated that difference.

What does democracy mean to you?

I would have expected a politician who honestly believed that this was the wrong thing to vote his or her conscience, and stand for re-election on that vote.

Why didn't they?

Nothing can convince a person he is right more than once he has convinced himself that everyone else is stupid.

There's a minor subtlety there. I didn't say the average person didn't care --- although they might, and the number of "i'm sick of this topic" posts attached to all war-related stories suggests that some don't care, and my conversations with liberal friends always reveals a frustration on their part that Congress is still talking about the war instead of the "real" issues like the economy, corporate scandals, etc. I said that the Democrats in Congress believe the average person doesn't care.

That's a subtle point, I admit. But if you read the campaign rhetoric, and the analysis pieces done by various high-level journals, they'll all tell you that the Democrats are convinced that if they can change the subject to corporate governance, and the stock market crash, etc, they will win the election --- becaues the issues which directly impact people's pocketbooks are more important to the average voter, in their view, then this war is.

I don't know if they're right. I know that is what they say, and what most of my friends who are liberals say. And I know that influenced their vote.

At this point, I think you're a crazy radical nut

I can understand that, I suppose, although I think if you look back at my posting history, you'll find evidence to counter that idea. :)

Saddam is a nut

What's the evidence for this? Eg., what reason do we have to believe he's any nuttier than Dr. Mahathir of Malaysia, or Kabila of the Congo?

[ Parent ]

Sometimes you feel like a nut (4.33 / 3) (#65)
by kholmes on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:00:23 PM EST

"No. But do we have an ethiclal justification, other than the fact that we have the power to do so, for removing the leader of another country when we have no evidence that he has done anything wrong?"

I suppose betraying the agreements he made after the Gulf war would be sufficient. He doesn't deserve to be in power any longer. I would, however, much rather the people of Iraq revolt against thier government and us aid them, but I can't condemn them for choosing life over liberty.

"Paul Wolfowitz, a member of the administration, is on record as saying he thinks we should do the same to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and others."

Thats a scary thought. However I doubt this incident with Iraq will open Pandora's Box. We'll have the same debate each time, but not always the same conclusion.

"I would have expected a politician who honestly believed that this was the wrong thing to vote his or her conscience, and stand for re-election on that vote."

I think I was trying to point out that we shouldn't always trust the beliefs of our representatives. They should care what we think and weigh our opinions against theirs. Remember, the democracy vs republic debate is always going to depend on what side of the issue you are on.

"I said that the Democrats in Congress believe the average person doesn't care."

Personally, I can't fathom the average American not caring about war. I suspect that you are projecting your own sense of powerlessness to Congress. Its a pretty nutty thing to do.

Also, if the democrats believe Americans don't care, doesn't this mean they *have* to vote thier conscience? This seems to contradict your claim above.

"I can understand that, I suppose, although I think if you look back at my posting history, you'll find evidence to counter that idea. :)"

Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don't.

"What's the evidence for this? Eg., what reason do we have to believe he's any nuttier than Dr. Mahathir of Malaysia, or Kabila of the Congo?"

I don't know about either of these regions but surely they can't change my opinion on Saddam.

I think we have to focus on the target, in a matter of speaking. I do not think there is any action by the government that isn't a form of evil so what we must ask is which is the lesser of the evils. Would it be worse for us to remove Saddam from power and hopefully implant a stable republican form of government or to ignore him?

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]

Support our troops! (4.20 / 5) (#41)
by imrdkl on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 06:38:18 PM EST

And avoid tall buildings if possible.

Why Hell is Hot (1.00 / 1) (#44)
by bjlhct on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:15:14 PM EST

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/hell.htm
* Beware, gentle knight - the greatest monster of them all is reason. -Cervantes
I like this one better (5.00 / 3) (#45)
by evilpenguin on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:27:29 PM EST

You may have seen this before, but here it goes:

Dr. Schambaugh, of the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical Engineering, Final Exam question for May of 1997. Dr. Schambaugh is known for asking questions such as, "why do airplanes fly?" on his final exams. His one and only final exam question in May 1997 for his Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer II class was: "Is hell exothermic or endothermic? Support your answer with proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, We postulate that if souls exist, then they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving? I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave.

Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, then you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant. Two options exist:

1. If hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose.

2. If hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the quote given to me by Theresa Manyan during Freshman year, "that it will be a cold night in hell before I sleep with you" and take into account the fact that I still have NOT succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then Option 2 cannot be true...Thus, hell is exothermic."

The student, Tim Graham, got the only A.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]

The point was.... (none / 0) (#99)
by bjlhct on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:15:30 PM EST

....that packing a bunch of people in this threat leads to more heat (flames), everyone being unhappy, and this thread generally becoming hell. However, it's not that much worse than heaven.

I call it..."understated hyperbole."
* Beware, gentle knight - the greatest monster of them all is reason. -Cervantes
[ Parent ]

My new bumper sticker... (4.88 / 17) (#47)
by bobaloo on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:29:52 PM EST

"Regime Change Begins At Home"

Thank you. (2.33 / 3) (#51)
by BloodmoonACK on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:47:54 PM EST

I'd just like to proudly say that all Democratic Representatives and the Democractic Senator from Oregon voted NO on this resolution (alas, this did not hold true for our Republican members). Also, the Democrat running in the race against the Republican incumbent for Senate has openly said he DOES NOT support the bill. And all this even though "polls" say they shouldn't be doing it. Thank you, Oregon politicians.

"It's like declaring a 'war on crime' and then claiming every (accused) thief is an 'enemy combatant'." - Hizonner

First time since when? (4.72 / 11) (#54)
by localroger on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:52:32 PM EST

Offensive war ... For the first time, depending on how you slice it, since 1898, or 1846, or 1812

I seem to recall a bit of a dust-up in southeast Asia back during the 60's and early 70's which everyone has mostly given up trying to justify on defensive grounds.

Then again, I also seem to recall the giant using his big toe to squish the island of Grenada, for reasons that beggar understanding.

And a lot of folks doubt USA-Iraq I was really justified, given the level of tolerance we have shown for other nations which do all the things Iraq did except have a lot of oil.

I can haz blog!

Defenses (4.25 / 4) (#58)
by aphrael on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:00:21 PM EST

a bit of a dust-up in southeast Asia back during the 60's

There's a lot of difference between those; in that country, we were there at the express invitation of the government of a country that was under attack. Now, whether or not that country should have existed as a seperate country, and whether or not we had any business getting involved in its war, are certainly valid questions (as, for that matter, is why we were there in the first place) --- but, as a matter of international record, we were defending an ally.

[ Parent ]

Ally? (4.28 / 7) (#73)
by localroger on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 10:10:03 PM EST

in that country, we were there at the express invitation of the government of a country that was under attack.

We were there at the request of a puppet government we had set up -- and which, when the going got tough, we pragmatically abandoned. You'd think our "allies" would learn. Saddam will be another such object lesson.

BTW, you do recall now that the whole Gulf of Tonkin thing which was actually used to justify the Vietnam War was actually, like, totally like made up, right?

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

C-SPAN Radio, thanks God they are there (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by mami on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 11:04:46 AM EST

Well, you can actually have proof of that in listening to the telephone records of President Johnson, which are broadcasted on C-SPAN Radio these recent days.  It was kind of eye-opneing to listen how he talked about "the attack" of  the navy vessels in the Golf of Tonkin and how this "attack" was "used" to justify defensive military re-actions.

I am sure they will broadcast them again.

[ Parent ]

It's online (none / 0) (#179)
by broken77 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:03:27 PM EST

I tried searching through the archives, but to no luck. If you go here, would it be easy for you to find that certain phone conversation you were listening to? Who was he talking to at the time? What other things did they talk about? I'd really like to hear what you heard.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Gulf of Tonkin (none / 0) (#195)
by Merk00 on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 07:40:41 PM EST

Actually, from what I've seen, there was an attack on US vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin. It just didn't happen to be the attack that was reported to Congress. The attack on US vessels occurred roughly the day before the "attack" that lead to escalation of the Vietnam War. It's fairly clear that the North Vietnamese did fire on US warships. It should, however, be added that the US warships were using electronic eavesdropping against the North Vietnamese to aid the South Vietnamese in the war.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Grenada made perfect sense (4.00 / 2) (#116)
by RyoCokey on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 04:20:59 PM EST

We were repelling a rebellion sponsored by Cuba. Hell, we even fought Cuban soldiers during the battle. How is helping a friendly country repel an obviously foreign-sponsored coup something that "beggers understanding?"



The issue here is not the facts; Right - so how does this apply to Mr. Scott Ritter?
[
Parent ]
Grenada (4.25 / 4) (#118)
by localroger on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 05:17:28 PM EST

Our flimsy excuse for invading Grenada was that the Cubans were building an air base there. After the little dust-up was over it was meekly under-reported in the following months that the "air base" was a civilian airport meant to jump-start a Grenadan tourist industry, and the reason Cubans were building it was that *we* refused to loan them the money for the project.

The whole operation probably had a lot more to do with restoring US pride after the Beirut suicide bombing of the Marine barracks which killed 240+ people. Much more than Iraq, there was no way Grenada posed a threat to anybody.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Weapons inspections (4.75 / 8) (#56)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 07:56:54 PM EST

I'd like to point out that there is a real reason why Bush's administration doesn't trust the weapons inspections.

When (if) weapons inspectors go back into Iraq there are numerous places that are off-limits to them. These include "presidential palaces" of which many have been designated as such only after 9/11. You draw your own conclusions. Also, Saddam Hussein has had several months to move and hide his NBC weapons facilities he might have. Weapons inspections are practically useless without unfettered access. It's quite clear by now that Iraq is not willing and will not give into that. Further, Iraq reportedly has mobile production facilities. And lets not forget what happened when weapons inspectors went into Iraq in the early nineties:

"Those weapons inspectors told me face to face back then, that every time they got close to getting to the weapons, every time they were really hot on something, they were blocked, they were frustrated, they got no chance to go in. And they told us back then that they would be stalled at the front door, for an hour, hour and a half, two hours, three hours, and they would watch trucks carrying equipment going out the back door."  -- Rep. John Shadegg, R-Arizona

(The above is based on this CNN transcript of an interview of former U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter and Rep. John Shadegg, R-Arizona.)

Then we have to remember that the team that would go in to carry out the inspections will be a UN-mandated group of people from many countries, all of who have different political agendas. Although I'm not implying any of those countries would be likely to cover up any NBC programs Iraq might have, there are still issues when countries with drastically different POV go in as a team to inspect weapons.

So, weapons inspections are not in any reasonable way a guarantee that Iraq doesn't have a working NBC program. Many people who oppose any military action against Iraq tend to conveniently forget this. History and facts makes me feel that if weapons inspectors go in it will be a big cluster fuck.

Swift, decisive and probably quite lengthy military campaign seems to be the only solution, IMO.

--
"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
-- Winston Churchill


and i dont trust bush (3.30 / 10) (#66)
by turmeric on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:01:14 PM EST

bush sr: 'iraqi people rise up against saddam we will help you liberate yourselves. we have no beef with you'

fe months later: 'sure saddam u can keep your helos flying to maintain order. no problem'

(the helos then are used to wipe out the rebellions against saddam)

reagan: 'sure saddam, have some weaposn, have some chemical and bio weapons too, we want you to kick the ayatollah's ass'

[ Parent ]

Tilting at windmills (4.33 / 3) (#117)
by ScuzzMonkey on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 04:32:29 PM EST

Actually, although it seems like it's a good argument, I'm not buying the "need for fuller access" mantra. Why? Because although it's true that the Iraqi's seem to be trying to hide a few places by keeping them 'off-limits' to inspectors, in fact, those places pale in comparison to the total number of places that are capable of housing weapons factories which will simply never be looked at. Are we going to search every basement in Baghdad? In Iraq? That's all the more room a bio-weapons factory need take up. And if they are really smart, their factories are not even in the country... a la "The Cobweb".

A regime change to ensure that if such weapons are developed may be a real argument, but the sorts of weapons we are talking about (aside from the nukes, which aren't the most scary IMHO) are as easily concealed from a full-on military invasion force as they would be from a less gunned up group of inspectors.


No relation to Happy Monkey (User #5786)
[ Parent ]

Those palaces were never 'off limits' (4.00 / 3) (#124)
by Arker on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 09:07:02 PM EST

Under the 1998 memorandum of understanding, they were not ruled off limits, the inspectors simply agreed to give 24 hour notice before inspecting them. That still may not be satisfactory to you, however it's not 'off limits' by a long shot. At any rate, the Iraqis have recently agreed to waive that notice, as well as a number of other restrictions.



[ Parent ]
This is simple non-cowboy diplomacy (none / 0) (#163)
by ethereal on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 02:18:38 PM EST

I don't understand why the administration doesn't get this:

  1. Send in weapons inspectors, essentially calling Saddam's bluff. Insist on access to all locations with no warning, which the Iraqis did agree to at one point.
  2. Iraq doesn't play along with weapons inspectors, thus breaching various agreements.
  3. You now have ironclad cause for a war, and no need of all the long drawn-out debate.

By continually belittling the Iraqi offer (serious or not) to readmit inspectors, and by making all plans for war before even trying for peace, the Bush administration has made it clear that normal interpersonal or international relations are a bit beyond them. You have to imagine George as that kid on the playground who would hit first and then ask for your lunch money.

Seriously - what is the advantage of arguing out a war resolution nationally or internationally without even knowing if there has to be a war? It's silly to say that Saddam doesn't know we're serious without a resolution; he can take one look at Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz foaming at the mouth on CNN and understand immediately the stakes of the game. A resolution would have been much easier to get once we make an attempt at inspections and Saddam does something to thwart them.

The only point of having authorization for war now is so that we will essentially be forced to use it (because we can't let the world think we're indecisive, can we?). The resolution for war becomes the reason for war, becomes the spur for "regime change". If the offensive first strike causes Saddam to unleash the WMD that he's held at bay so far, then so much the better - that just serves as retroactive justification for the resolution in the first place. "See? He was always planning to use those weapons that we backed him into a corner and forced him to use." Even the CIA admits that there's no imminent danger from Saddam's WMD unless we leave Saddam no other alternatives.

None of this has anything to do with making the world safe against terrorism, of course. Which just makes the whole situation that much more outlandish.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Scott Ritter and weapons inspections (none / 0) (#178)
by broken77 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:34:02 PM EST

The same Scott Ritter who claimed that even through all the struggles, they managed to destroy 95% or more of all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons capabilities? So, seeing as how we managed to get rid of almost all of Iraq's weapons-producing capabilities, what makes you think we couldn't get rid of them again? It's even been said by the weapons inspectors that they have better detection equipment now, making it easier and more reliable to find the weapons. A military campaign is not the only solution.

You also need to realize something... Weapons inspections and human rights violations are merely smokescreens. The administration is after something else. You are being lied to and misled.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm.... (none / 0) (#185)
by findelmundo on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:14:08 PM EST

If you can't get to it, how are you going to inspect it? The 'improved' detection equipment won't be of much help.

[ Parent ]
Now, what did I just say... (none / 0) (#192)
by broken77 on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 05:41:37 PM EST

They can get to it. They will meet with resistance, but they will eventually be able to get to it, same as last time.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

What's the matter with you? (3.73 / 19) (#60)
by jij on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 08:12:19 PM EST

You silly anti-war folks!  War is *good* for America.  It stimulates  sections of the economy ( defense contractors and arms makers simply adore wars ), gives the military types something to do ( they do get bored with pretend wars, you know), spreads the influence of America to new places in the world, giving large corporations access to new resources and cheap labor, and eventually new markets, distracts the foolish unwashed masses of ordinary Americans from looking too closely at what their government is really doing to them (and builds character in them, since they have to struggle harder to pay higher and higher taxes in one form or another to support the war [ you don't think big business and the rich are going to pay for it, do you?] ), helps a bit with the world's overpopulation problem,  makes our leaders look better than they are, and helps to rid the world of crazed dictators, assorted fanatics and a large quantity of starving, terrified peons.   And Mr. Bush has promised to continue having wars indefinetly.  What's not to like?

Irish stew, anyone?

(sorry about the brackets [ ] up there)

"people who thinks quotes are witty are fucking morons" - turmeric

Not true. (none / 0) (#130)
by Jacques Chester on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 01:31:50 AM EST

Or at least this guy seems to think so.

--
Well now. We seem to be temporarily out of sigs here at the sig factory. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
[ Parent ]
yumm... (none / 0) (#184)
by findelmundo on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 10:10:46 PM EST

Nuthin hits the spot like sarcasm thats been sitting open in the fridge too long. Ooooh look! Mold!

[ Parent ]
The War of 1812 was an offensive war (4.16 / 6) (#69)
by shellac on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 09:30:41 PM EST

For the first time, depending on how you slice it, since 1898, or 1846, or 1812, all of which had at least a pretense of not being offensive.

The War of 1812 was as much an offensive war as this one is. Sure there some defensive reasons, namely the British supplying of arms to the Indians, but the there were plenty of offensive reasons as well, including revenge and expanding into Canada. The Congress had a minority of War Hawks who were able to convince the rest that declaring war on Britain was the prudent thing to do.

There are lots of parallels to this Iraq situation. With Iraq, there are defensive reasons being hyped just as in 1812, namely the supposed WMD program, but pride is certainly playing a role (the Iraqi regime's celebration of Sept 11th cited during Ashcroft's speech to Congress--sure it makes him an ass but is that a crime?). The modern equivalent of 19th century expansionism is the extension of hegemony, and I see this in this new york times article about occupying Iraq. Tell me that oil is not a factor in that decision!

The war of 1812 turned out to be quite ill-advised. I wonder if history will repeat itself? It is sad that such little seems changed over such a long period of time. Are human societies simply doomed to violence? Ughhh.

Is history a dead art? (none / 0) (#136)
by Captain Appalled on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 10:54:24 AM EST

What you linked to says specifically that the British were blockading US ports in order to press US seamen into service, and siezing US ships in foreign ports. These things, by themselves, are pretty clearly acts of aggression, by any standard you want to use.

Furthermore, supplying weapons to Native Americans in US territory is akin to the US supplying weapons to the contras in the 1980's--it was a clear attempt to destabilize a nation's government. And you can assume that I was not in favor of what happened in the 80's.

It is utterly ridiculous to compare the capabilities of the US military in 1812 to that of the US military today. All things being equal, the British were quite capable of making the US a colony once more during that period. There would be more of a parallel to 1812 if Iraq was declaring war on the US, rather than the current situation.

All this being said, I think the US should not go in unilaterally, but I think the UN really needs to get its act together--Hussein should have been taken to task on the cease-fire agreements years ago, when it was becoming obvious the sanctions weren't achieving their goals.



[ Parent ]
Why this is happening (2.20 / 15) (#81)
by nomoreh1b on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:29:02 PM EST

About 50% of the donations to the Democratic party and 20% of the donations to the GOP come from Jewish donors--this effectively makes Israel a sacred cow in US politics. The GOP tends to like smallish wars that are good for defense contractors(most defense contractor shareholders/management are GOP). Traditionally, the Democrats have held back the Military Industrial Complex-but when it comes to Israel's interests, they simply aren't particularly effective as a watchdog.

Sen. Byrd is emotional here because he represents a state that has high rates of military participation-which means a lot of kids of people he knows are likely to die if there are significant casualties. The typical profile of special forces: white kid of a rural background from the South/Rocky mountains. The simple fact is that the folks that want this war aren't the ones that will pay the price of blood or money here.

The monetary price of this war, if everything goes right is estimated according to the Von Mises Institute at around $450 Billion($300B to fight the war and $150 to rebuild Iraq). To put this in perspective, the US has delivered something like $200 Billion to Israel since its inception.

One thing that make this unusual. Bush may be a reformed drunkard incapble of intelligent speech, but he does have a little bit of understanding of the Arab culture. He's done quite a bit of business with Arabs and most likely has at least a few Arab friends. I really think he deeply wants to avoid this turning into another Crusade. The Arab Anti-defamation League supported Bush(and without that support Bush would have lost the election).

My sense is that what we'll see happen under Bush will be the dress rehersal for the "big event". We may see some things happen that require a patsy(i.e. if someone wants to nuke New York, LA Miami and doesn't like Saddam-a great time to do it would be right when stuff gets serious in Iraq). The US public has a limited taste for blood/casualities and will want vengence and resolution to be delivered quickly. Arab/Muslim interests could forstall another major war several years--or create a situation that would mean that if Bush looses in 2004(which seems likely) that his successor would engage in sabre rattling only at great cost in terms of the divisiveness it would create in the US. So, my bottom line predication here: a couple hundred thousand very carefully chosen US casualities(say in wealthy neighborhoods with a history of strong support for Israel) followed by an strong reaction of the US military that creates an illusion of resolution-followed by economic malaise/collapse in the US, replacement of Bush by Leiberman--and then buildup to a war that is even more serious and involves millions of casualities on the part of the US and Middle Eastern nations-and gets China and India into the picture(say around 2008/2010). Muslims are like pit bulls when it comes to fighting a war of attrition. The Crusades were nasty and long-and that is how the Arabs see the formation of Israel: just the Crusades Part II--they won that one and know it.

Prove it. (n/t) (none / 0) (#114)
by JChen on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 03:42:59 PM EST



Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
Supporting Evidence (none / 0) (#152)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 09:37:49 PM EST

The 50%/20% figure came from an article in the San Jose Mercury News. 50/20 figure seems about right when you figure that according to Morley Sachar in Modern Jewish History, about 40% of millionaires in the US are Jewish(his figures were from the 60's)-and wealthy folks are pretty much the pool of people that buy politicians.

From the Washington PostDemocratic fundraisers estimate that at least half of the money donated by individuals -- but excluding labor unions and political action committees -- to the national committees comes from Jewish donors. The lowest estimate I've seened mentioned was 30%-but that was clearly mentioned as a low figure.

[ Parent ]

democrats (none / 0) (#143)
by cyberbuffalo on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:20:39 PM EST

Traditionally, the Democrats have held back the Military Industrial Complex

Are you excluding FDR, Truman, JFK, and Johnson when you say that?

[ Parent ]

Where you went wrong ... (4.50 / 4) (#82)
by Bad Mojo on Fri Oct 11, 2002 at 11:39:36 PM EST

"I spent most of the day today listening to the debate on C-SPAN2, pretending to get work done."

If you actually listen to congress, you'll never get a proper idea of what they are going on about. I highly recommend to read what was passed and what it does and does not allow and under what circumstances. You'de probably be doing more than a lot of the people you listened to have done.


-Bad Mojo
"The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!"
B. Watterson's Calvin - "Calvin & Hobbes"

What CSPAN oughta do.. (4.00 / 1) (#120)
by Apuleius on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 05:56:39 PM EST

for starters is to aim their cameras so the viewers know when a congresscritter is talking to an empty hall...


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Welcome to the planet Krikket. [n/t] (3.50 / 4) (#84)
by dissonant on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:12:02 AM EST



important facts from galactic history, number one (4.00 / 3) (#89)
by martingale on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:55:15 AM EST

The night sky over the planet Krikkit is the least interesting sight in the entire Universe.

[ Parent ]
[slap!] GET A GRIP! (3.95 / 22) (#85)
by opendna on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:14:45 AM EST

Your post, however, is a rehash of the limp-neck whimpers of wanna-be liberals that have infested the American political body. Real American Liberals raided tax stamp offices, dumped corporate property into the ocean and WERE the American Revolution. The above is soggy-eyed melodrama, an insult to the tradition of American Liberalism.

You touched on the dangers of the New Empire theory (which had potential), and promply left it for less interesting soul-purging. I'm not too thrilled about invading Iraq. And yes, I'm rather pissed about the insipid debates that have fluttered about "War in Iraq 2002" for months. That doesn't mean I don't prefer McPatriotism to public displays of emotional bulimia.

Offer up some philosophical steak, and I'll yield you some time.


We voted for war? (4.62 / 8) (#92)
by SocratesGhost on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 01:23:37 AM EST

Maybe i mis-heard but I thought that they granted authority with the president to use force if and only if Saddam didn't comply with the U.N. resolutions.

Technically, we've always been at war with Iraq. What we had was just a cease fire as the U.N. resolutions were carried out. Once Saddam broke with the resolutions, he broke the terms of the cease fire. That's one of the reasons why Clinton felt justified in doing bombing runs over certain facilities; the war had never really ended.

-Soc
I drank what?


actually earlier (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by slothman on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 04:02:33 AM EST

Technically we haven't been at war since VJ day at the end of WW2. Our fearless leaders sent military might to various countries during the last 57 years but Congress hasn't actually declared war.

[ Parent ]
Declarations of War (none / 0) (#196)
by archivis on Thu Nov 07, 2002 at 03:04:48 PM EST

This is something I think needs to be carefully explained - especially for non-American readers (my Canadadian friend are always quite confused when I explain this).  Under the American Consitution, being at war is a legally defined state, requiring a formal declaration of such - and there is a very clearly defined process for doing so (go look it up if you wanna know).

This declaration is much more than a statement saying "OK - we agree are that X is bad, so we (the Congress) are going to let you send send X troops, Y amount of equipment to do 1, 2, 3 for N days".  This declaration *drastically* expands the powers of the office of the president for such time as the state of war exists.  No formal declaration of war, no war.

Thus, the various military actions we have engaged in since World War II have not, from an American perspective, been wars in name because of this quirk of our legal system.  So they get called peacekeeping, or military actions, or whatever the term of the day is.

Sure, we know it's a war, you know it's a war, and the people getting blown up and those doing the blowing (er...) certainly know it's a war.  We just can't quite call it that.


[ Parent ]

A matter of time (none / 0) (#177)
by broken77 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:17:50 PM EST

Maybe i mis-heard but I thought that they granted authority with the president to use force if and only if Saddam didn't comply with the U.N. resolutions.
Let's take bets on how long before this process breaks down and we invade... I say less than 6 months.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Not going to war - AT war (3.80 / 10) (#97)
by marineflier on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:02:10 PM EST

We don't need new UN resolutions.

There are UN resolutions, agreed to in the cease fire that say:

- We can look and see if you have weapons - you will cooperate.

Saddam did not.

- Here are some no fly zones. We get to fly planes there to make sure you don't, and to spy on you to make sure you behave.

They shoot at these planes almost every day.

- You can sell food for oil and medecine.

Saddam sells oil - he gets food and medecine (including radioactives) which do not make it to his people. (I know - this is supposed to be US/UN propaganda - based on Saddam's history - I think it's likely to be true).

In any case - the UN said "Do these things to keep the cease fire" and Saddam said "OK" and then did not do them.

The UN is not a government, and these are not laws, but like laws, if they are to have effect they must be backed up by force. Do this, or we will kick the crap out of you. Else, when the agreements are broken, all we can do is boohoo and plead with Saddam to please behave. This is just what the Clinton administration, and those against the action now, would have us do. More inspectors? More UN resolutions? We will just repeat the whole history of the last 11 years over again.

The Bush administration is willing to do the "kick the crap out of you" bit where the Clinton administration was not. If we dicker and bicker and get more resolutions, what we are saying is "we didn't mean that bit about kicking the crap out of you" and Saddam knows he can get away with murder. By saying "here we come, unless..." Saddam starts to wet himself and considers behaving. This is why Iraq said - OK maybe you can send inspectors.

Maybe he will behave, but if he doesn't, we have the legal and moral obligation to go to war with him. Politically, it may be a bad idea. But legally - we are simply backing up what we said we would do in the past.

I weep for the difference between what my country is and what it could have been, and weep even more in fear for what it is going to become

What your and my country is, has been and will remain is a country unafraid to use its big stick when its security is threatened, or its agreements are pissed upon.

How about

We will welcome to our numbers The loyal, true and brave, Shouting the battle cry of Freedom; And although they may be poor, Not a man shall be a slave, Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.

Let the flaming begin.



-- Man can be chained but he cannot be domesticated - RAH
No fly zones (5.00 / 3) (#119)
by cameldrv on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 05:25:05 PM EST

FYI, the no-fly zones are not authorized by the U.N.  Through a very convoluted explanation about defending the Kurds and Shiites, the U.S. determined that they were necessary to implement the resolution.  However, there was no U.N. authorization of the zones, and they are not mentioned in any U.N. resolution.  They were imposed by the U.S. and the British.

[ Parent ]
good to know [n/t] (none / 0) (#123)
by marineflier on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 07:59:52 PM EST


-- Man can be chained but he cannot be domesticated - RAH
[ Parent ]
Not exactly (5.00 / 1) (#148)
by Caton on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 03:01:04 PM EST

The U.N. resolutions allowed the U.S. and the U.K. to take any measures they deemed necessary to the protection of the Kurds. The U.S. and the U.K. deemed the no-flight zones necessary. Hence the no-flight zones are fully authorized by the U.N.

Now you know why signing a blank check is a bad idea.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Spoken like a true Neanderthal (none / 0) (#160)
by Trencher on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:16:18 PM EST

Do this, or we will kick the crap out of you.
Some of us, perhaps the Yeti-born (if you have to ask, then you don't belong), have evolved beyond this point of view. I realized as a child, when fighting with my younger brother, that making that threat and then following through with it just makes a person angrier and prompts revenge. If you really want to promote that point of view then go ahead and nuke the entire Middle East, because whoever we leave alive will come back and hit us again, and much harder.

Sometimes I fear the Pinks will destroy civilization before we can, as a race, can evolve to the point of existing without anger and war.



"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Laws (none / 0) (#183)
by marineflier on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 06:45:15 PM EST

I was just trying to make the point that no law or agreement has any force unless you are willing to back up your words. If you couldn't be sent to jail for breaking a law, why would you follow it? I don't mean things that most people would not do like robbery or murder, but paying your taxes, or smoking marijuana?

Same thing with cease fires and surrenders and so forth. The reason that the terms are adhered to is that there will be war if they are not; and sometimes there is.

Indeed the lowest form of moral argument has just that form: "do this or we will kick the crap out of you." It's nice if you can convince someone to behave by handing them a copy of the Bible or Atlas Shrugged or something. But that doesn't always work.

Perhaps you do not support laws. Are you an anarchist? If not then how should we enforce laws and agreements without the "kick the crap out of you" clause?



-- Man can be chained but he cannot be domesticated - RAH
[ Parent ]
well spoken (none / 0) (#188)
by bolthole on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 04:50:23 AM EST

written with clear intent, clear words, and clear rationale. well done.

[ Parent ]
And the war on Yugoslavia was... (?) (3.25 / 4) (#105)
by Skywise on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 12:57:03 PM EST

Remember Yugoslavia?  The US attacked them because  Milosevic was going to become Hitler.  Because he had... Hitler-like tendencies, and was of average Hiterlian height.  He even had a Hitler style mustache...maybe...

Sure, Milosevic was doing bad things, but that was the only justification given to the US for doing so.  The rest of the intelligentsia had to decide that the real reason was to dissuade the EU from establishing a standing army and to let NATO take its place.

I'm not exactly for tearing into Iraq either, but at LEAST there's a direct link to him working with Al-Quaeda.  Saudi Arabia has more of a direct link, but attacking them really would spur on WW3.  I think Bush et al are planning to establish an Iraqi
"colony" (they won't call it that) as a way of preventing the Arabian nations from uniting under a Muslim banner and march up through Europe.  (aka, like they were doing with Milosevic and Yugoslavia)  I also think that's why Blair is ultimately agreeing with Bush.

my 2 cents anyway.

Reasoning behind Kosovo conflict? (none / 0) (#126)
by Stickerboy on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 11:56:10 PM EST

"Sure, Milosevic was doing bad things, but that was the only justification given to the US for doing so.  The rest of the intelligentsia had to decide that the real reason was to dissuade the EU from establishing a standing army and to let NATO take its place."

First, the war in Kosovo proved not that NATO could take the place of a standing EU army, but how deficient the European forces contributing to NATO were in their modern capabilities.  If anything, the war in Kosovo prodded European governments to take a hard look at creating a military capability independent of the US, i.e. an EU rapid reaction force, so they wouldn't be so dependent on the US for things like intelligence gathering, airlift capability, electronic warfare, or precision strikes.

Secondly, a better reason behind the war in Yugoslavia was to prevent a potential war between NATO allies.  Greece and Turkey at that time were at a low in their relationship, and they supported different sides in the conflict.  The linkage of a potential Greater Albania to the Kosovo uprising could have dragged one or both nations into the fray, and keeping NATO from fragmenting violently (causing an regional upheaval in stability and security) was a major reason for the other NATO nations to step in and put out the flames before they spread.

[ Parent ]

Either way... (none / 0) (#134)
by Skywise on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 03:57:37 AM EST

The point's the same.  Milosevic was a convenient excuse for doing whatever the US' REAL purpose was.  Same with Saddam Hussein now.

[ Parent ]
Iraq and "uniting under a Muslim banner" (none / 0) (#176)
by broken77 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:14:32 PM EST

This would not happen. If it did, it most certainly would not be Iraq leading the way. Syria is their biggest enemy. Let's not forget the Iran-Iraq war, and also their neighbor Kuwait. Not to mention the rest of the arab/muslim countries pretty much don't like them either. Also, there are quarrels between many of the other countries amongst each other. So I think your analysis is a bit distorted...

Also, there is no direct evidence of a link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. This is still an unsubstantiated claim that the Bush administration is trying to get everyone to buy into. If you have evidence otherwise, please provide me a link.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Pan-Arabism (none / 0) (#194)
by Merk00 on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 07:40:38 PM EST

Pan-Arabism hasn't been particularly successful in the past century. The last to try it successfully was Nasser. While he was good at rhetoric, the combined Arab armies failed defeat the Israelis multiple times. An Arab empire isn't likely if only because of all the regional squabbling that occurs.

Iraq is also not likely to become the center of a Muslim empire for the simple reason that Iraq is a secular country. There is nothing religious about Iraq. Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islam are generally mutually exclusive concepts.

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

The avalanche has begun. (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by Kosh on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 06:13:54 PM EST

It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

--

I have always been here.

Its not a war... (4.00 / 3) (#125)
by Nelziq on Sat Oct 12, 2002 at 10:40:01 PM EST

...Its nation building.
Lets put aside all our preconceptions of what a war is (two counties slugging it out, trying to kill and demolish as much of the opponent as they can). We know perfectly well that we are going to steamroll Iraq. This is not in question. No one is asking how long its gonna go on or how many casualties we are going to take because the answers are "short" and "minimal".

The real issue that is at hand is what we do in Iraq AFTER we win the so called war. All the stated objectives are stuff thats gonna happen long after the fighting is over: ending weapons programs, replacing saddam's regime, establishing democracy, etc. etc.

What disturbs me is that people are arguning about it as if the war is the issue, when the implied undercurrent of the war reflects what we are going to do afterwards: the nation building. The real question should be: Do we want to change the Iraqi political regime and rebuild Iraqi society? Do we want to commit the neccesary economic and military resources that will be neccesary?

Don't be so sure (5.00 / 2) (#133)
by isaac_akira on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:51:24 AM EST

Iraq learned a lot from the last war.  They aren't going to be sitting in tanks out in the desert, waiting for our laser-guided anti-tank missiles to take them out.  This is going to be building to building, house to house, urban warfare.

The reason the last war was so easy is that we didn't *finish* it.  We just pulled out and left all the "mop up" work to be done, AND we left the leadership intact and powerfull so the country didn't break apart into warring factions.

Despite what Bush claims, Saddam actually *is* rather popular with many of his citizens (granted, not the Kurdish ones...).  They see him as a strong leader who resisted the American attack, and blame their day to day troubles on the American embargo (whether this is true or not is beside the point -- I'm talking about perceptions).  They definately do NOT see us as their liberators, and don't believe for a second that the Iraqi people are going to give flowers and parades to the GI's as if we were freeing them from Nazi occupied France.  Even the ones who don't like Saddam certainly don't like America any better. Remember, the US was supplying Saddam with weapons (including chemical weapons) at the very time he was massacring the Kurds (mid to late 80's).

This really looks like the makings of another Vietnam...  Do you think Bush will be willing to pull out once the body bags start coming home en mass?  I think he has staked too much of his presidency on this to back down now, and will fight it out no matter how costly and pointless it gets.

- Isaac

[ Parent ]

This time around (4.50 / 2) (#161)
by Phelan on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:20:33 PM EST

This is going to be building to building, house to house, urban warfare.

Ya think? They could have done this last time if they'd had the gumption. Instead, we saw thousands of Iraqi soldiers surrenduring to anyone who'd let them, including reporters. Heh. It wasn't like the Iraqis (who had the 4th largest army in the world at the time) didn't try to win. They certainly used the resources at their disposal, and they had their ass handed to them on a platter.

The reason the last war was so easy is because the us has techonological superiority. During the Gulf War, folks said "it'd come down to a land war, and all that air superiority won't mean crap". They said it about the Afghanistan thing too..Afghanis, the Russians, etc. Everyone "poo-poo"ed the nickle-and-diming precision bombing and cruise missle strikes. When it finally came down to the land fighting in both cases, the battle was over in very short order. To this day, Iraq regularly fires on forces patrolling the no-fly zone. While it misses so often as to make it seem like a game, you think they're not trying to shoot those planes out of the sky? Of course they are. They just lack the technological know-how to do so.

I think the biggest worry is not Iraq, but weak-willed Americans. Compared to most other large-scale wars the Gulf War had few non-combatant casualties. They can't be avoided. But most US folks have very little stomach for any civilian casualties, and are outraged when any happen at all. By the same token, in a matter of a few months, most Americans are bored. Most wars have taken years to resolve, but if the US were in Iraq for longer than 6 months, I predict the polls to start showing the president's approval rating dropping because of it.

[ Parent ]

Technological superiority and facts (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by broken77 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 05:09:43 PM EST

I tend to think that the sheer magnitude of bombs we dropped on them had something to do with it. 88,000 tons to be precise. That's a lot. Only 7% of these were "smart bombs", and just 60% of those smart bombs hit their targets. The rest (93%) were not smart bombs, and only 25% hit their targets. So, knowing these numbers, where do you suppose the rest of these bombs landed? And you're suggesting that there were minimal civilian casualties in Iraq? There were entire neighborhoods devastated in many areas. There are claims that we carpet-bombed urban populations (not military targets). We don't know how many casualties there were, because it has been kept a secret. But we do know that we have destroyed most of their infrastructure, and access to simple things such as clean water (which is causing the deaths of many many more civilians).

You're right about the length of wars the public is willing to put up with though. This was realized by government after the Vietnam war. They changed their policy to only go into "sure-win" situations, and ones where the completion time was very, very short.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

A few points. (5.00 / 1) (#189)
by Phelan on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 08:46:39 AM EST

If you're going to quote actual numbers, it'd be nice if you'd cite a source so that I can check the facts myself. As it is, I only have your word to go on. I'll conceed that smart bombs aren't 'super smart' and have a sizable miss rate, and that dumb bombs are even dumber. Our ability to hit precise targets is better than it ever has been, regardless.

That said, a few points: "Failing to hit the target" is not equal to "Well, we meant to hit this airfield, but it flew miles off course and hit a school". Hitting the ground next to a military building is "failing to hit the target". Your argument assumes that if a bomb missed its target that it automatically hit a civilian structure, which is just bunk. Or are you proposing that in the mid-east they put shopping malls and civilian apartment buildings inside military bases? I will conceed that some bombs hit civilian structures. I deny that many (or even most) of the bombs that missed did so, however.

As I said, compared to past large-scale conflicts there were minimal civilian casualties. And while you do an excellent job of stressing certain words to make an emotional point, I fail to see a citation showing your contention that "entire neighborhoods" were devastated. Until such a cite, I have to imagine that your information is from largely sensationalist news media. For example, in this news story (which admittedly is about a no-fly-zone missile attack, not a Gulf War attack), the claim is "45 houses damaged or destroyed" in two villages. This sounds a lot like "entire neighborhoods devastated". But then when you read closer, you see that in one area, 7 houses were destroyed, 27 "damaged" (no mention of the severity of the damage), with 6 deaths. There's no mention of how many of the 11 houses in the other area were destroyed, though I'd imagine the number is small. While regrettable, this is a completely different picture than the initial claim would lead one to. In fact, the specific claim of "45 houses damamged or destroyed" is nearly meaningless. Was that 1 house destroyed, and the rest got a bit of shrapnel? Was it 44 houses destroyed, and 1 with most of its walls damamged? It's impossible to judge the actual severity of damage. In truth, the number of destroyed houses is far less than one might imagine from that claim, and there is no specific mention of the severity of damage on the remaning structures.

[ Parent ]

Saddam's Strategies (none / 0) (#190)
by TheSleeper on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 09:30:22 AM EST

Iraq learned a lot from the last war. They aren't going to be sitting in tanks out in the desert, waiting for our laser-guided anti-tank missiles to take them out. This is going to be building to building, house to house, urban warfare.

To some extent, this assumes that the Iraqi military will mostly stick with Saddam if we attack. It's not clear that this is the case; A fair number of Iraqi soldiers surrendered in the Persian Gulf war, when it became clear to them that they had no hope against the US forces. And this article by Mark Bowden contains a lot to suggest that Saddam is out of touch with his top brass, too. (Search for the phrase 'It was apparent to everyone' and start reading there, if you don't feel like reading the whole thing.)

You're also assuming that Saddam is actually willing to learn from the mistakes of the last war. Considering some of his laughable plans described in the linked article, I'm not sure that this is a safe assumption. He seems quite isolated from military reality.

[ Parent ]

Revisiting the Iraq conflict (none / 0) (#197)
by Phelan on Wed Apr 30, 2003 at 04:44:10 PM EST

I wanted to take this opportunity, May 30th 2003, President Bush is to declare soon (today it's expecteD) the 2nd gulf war to be over.  I'd like to state for posterity's sake that you were wrong in nearly every way, and I was correct in nearly every way.

The war took only something like one month (March 20th 2003 til today).  Coalition forces (that's all countries combined) lost less than 200 individuals, and some of those were due to accidents and friendly fire.  Compare this with your claim that we'd be in "Another vietnam" where there were over 58 thousand US casualties alone.

Unlike the first gulf war, we spent more time on the ground and less time in the air, which was counter to my predictions, but it made no difference.  All of the vaunted support Hussein had with the local population, all of the Iraqis promised will to fight, and legendary desert/urban fighting skills were so much hot air.  There was no house to house urban warfare, though in a few very isolated incidents, Iraqi soldiers did fire from schools and mosques.  Iraqis once again surrendured or fled in large numbers, as they did in the first gulf war, and where they chose to stand and fight, they were militarily and technologically outclassed on all fronts.  

Just thought I'd take this opportunity to say "told ya so" :)

[ Parent ]

God save Amerika (4.28 / 7) (#127)
by zipper on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 01:04:51 AM EST

(1) America flattens 'terrorist' dictator and appoints a replacement
(2) 10-20 years pass
(3) America realizes they screwed the pooch, flattens the new dictator too
(4) ???
(5) Profit!

---
This account has been neutered by rusty and can no longer rate or post comments. Way to go fearless leader!
Step 4 = Oil (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by DarkZero on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:06:01 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Step 4 = goto Step 2 (n/t) (none / 0) (#191)
by jt on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 10:39:09 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Correct US Senate roll call link (none / 0) (#128)
by marinel on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 01:14:47 AM EST

HJ Res 114 Senate Roll Call Vote, just in case someone actually cares who are the fools that voted against it...
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
An open letter to the Congresspeople who voted for (2.50 / 4) (#132)
by Peter Johnson on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:39:22 AM EST

Dear Congressperson,

By voting for war you have betrayed the people you were sworn to represent. The people that you were *sworn to represent*. You have betrayed the ideals of this nation, and you have betrayed your constituents.

Why did you vote against the express wishes of your constituents?

You are a traitor.  You threw out the thousands of letters that were against war, and instead listened to the small minority that were for it.  You have sent poor young people to die (because we all know that only the poor get drafted, rich kids get to stay home and go AWOL in the national guard.), against their wishes, for oil, and nothing more.  You should not stand for election again.

I demand Accountability, by voting against the wishes of your constituents, you are nothing less than a Benedict Arnold to this state and its people.

You will be held accountable forever for your spineless, immoral treason to the People.  You sicken me.

Sincerely, Peter Johnson.

Dear Peter, (4.00 / 2) (#155)
by br284 on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:23:24 AM EST

As the rest of the American population, we made it hard for a Congressman to go against the Iraq war without facing consequences in later elections. Thus if a politician wanted to get re-elected, he would have to support a war in Iraq.

We let them know this through polls and other means. Had we not wanted the war, politicans could have voted whichever way they wanted. However, we want war and any elected representative who goes against the wishes of their constituents will probably not be reelected. Had we felt differently, there would not have been so much pressure to support Bush's war effort.

Sincerely,

America

[ Parent ]

Why we are doing this. (1.00 / 2) (#140)
by cyberbuffalo on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 01:34:14 PM EST

The reason we are doing this is because Israel can't. It is also why we have to make it seem like some link exists between Iraq and Al Queda even though evidence is slim, because we can't explicitly state that we are doing this for Israel without pissing off everyone else in the region.

Saddam funds the Palestinian suicide bombers. He is working on a Nuclear weapon and all sorts of bioweapons. He won't hit the US, he will hit Israel.

What the US is trying to prevent right now is the largest murder of jews since Hitler.

This theory is not credible (4.00 / 1) (#142)
by greenrd on Sun Oct 13, 2002 at 02:11:09 PM EST

I don't believe this theory, for a couple of reasons: firstly, the media always talks about the weapons inspectors being "expelled" by Saddam. This is not actually what happened. They were recalled. Secondly, a few weeks ago the US could have given the go-ahead to send in weapons inspectors when Iraq put forward their "unconditional" offer - but they chose to press for war instead.

It's just like what happened with Kosovo. Milosevic was presented with a pre-written "agreement" that allowed NATO troops free reign to completely occupy Serbia. (This is what the US calls "diplomacy"!) Of course he refused. This was then used as evidence of his "uncooperativeness".

I get the sense that no matter how much bending over backwards Saddam was, the US would still portray him as "uncooperative" and use that as an excuse to go to war.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

President Bush and Colin Powell are in a bar (5.00 / 3) (#159)
by Wah on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 01:13:14 PM EST

President Bush and Colin Powell are sitting in a bar. A guy walks in and asks the bartender, "Isn't that Bush and Powell sitting over there?"

The bartender says, "Yep, that's them." So the guy walks over and says, "Wow, this is a real honour. What are you guys doing here?" Bush says, "We're planning WW III."

And the guy says, "Really? What's going to happen?"

Bush says, "Well, we're going to kill 140 million Iraqis and one blonde with big breasts."

The guy exclaimed, "A blonde with big breasts? Why kill a blonde with big breasts?"

Bush turns to Powell, punches him on the shoulder and says, "See smart ass, I told you no one would worry about the 140 million Iraqis!"

--

(in the interest of full disclosure and post punchline rationalism, there are roughly 24,001,816 people in Iraq, in case any of you wanted to know.)
--
You didn't know we had cameras in your room,

seeking article link (none / 0) (#167)
by Shren on Mon Oct 14, 2002 at 03:43:39 PM EST

There was some really nice article in a K5 comment that described a journalist seeking and finding Iraq terror links - with someone shipping canisters out of the country then being ordered to kill everyone who helped him, and some accounts of biowarfare in Iraq borders. Does anyone remember the link?

Think of it this way (none / 0) (#186)
by auraslip on Tue Oct 15, 2002 at 01:17:58 AM EST

No one you know is going to die(unless you know some hick in the military). In the end Bush is gonna end up looking like an ass, and the rest of the christians in the country are going to relize why Everyone hates america. And it'll make for intresting T.V. Plus it might bring back the music industry. Think about it, instead of being dissatisfied youth listening to angry white boy music, we may be soon hearing songs of dissent and anger! hurrah! Really, I couldn't think of anything serious to say. Saddam is in the wrong. But Bush's aproach isn't the right thing, and my normal midle east comment(nuke them both) doesn't work because a) I'm part of American. and b) the distance apart. So I will sit back and be the critic while part of me knows we are in a way doing the right thing.
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And the battle's just begun. | 197 comments (162 topical, 35 editorial, 0 hidden)
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