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[P]
Has Saddam stopped beating his wife?

By Rogerborg in Op-Ed
Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 04:27:41 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

That's the question we need to ask ourselves after the full United Nations Security Council today passed an unanimous resolution to (literally) force Iraq to disclose its weapons of mass destruction programs, and comply fully with weapons inspectors on a strict timetable.


And here's a catch for Saddam: what if he has no WMD programs that we don't already know about?  How can we find the black cat in the dark room, if the cat isn't there?

You'll recall that a previous head of the UN weapons inspection program, Scott Ritter, changed his view on Iraq's WMD program.  When his inspectors were in Iraq, they inspected all the sites that Iraq disclosed and confirmed that they had been decomissioned.  But Scott was initially convinced that there must be more sites, because the CIA kept telling him it was so.  He chased CIA leads all over the country for years, never finding a single site that Iraq had not disclosed.  With time and bitter experience, he concluded that Iraq was not hiding any more programs, and that he was being used as a CIA stooge, a US spy wearing a UN badge.

It's now been over four years since inspectors left Iraq, complaining that the Iraqi regime was blocking their access to sites.  "But you're spies!  There's nothing to find!" retorted the regime, and it all broke down into hair pulling and name calling.

So its entirely possible that Iraq has developed WMD programs in the meantime.  Nobody denies that it had them prior to Gulf War 1, least of all the Kurdish civilians that were gassed with them.  But we simply don't know if it still has them.  That's what the inspectors are going back in to find out.

Where is gets tricky for Saddam is that he's damned if he has and damned if he hasn't.  We've already decided that Iraq has new WMD programs, because Bush II and his human echo, Tony Blair, have declared that it's so.  Being God's annointed heads of states (actual and assumptive), and (more or less) democratic states at that, it's unthinkable that they're wrong.

So if Iraq discloses many WMD programs and the new inspection team under Hans Blix reports back on them, that proves (i.e. lets our leaders remind the public gallery) that Hussein is evil and Must Be Stopped, and in go the marines.

If Iraq discloses a few WMD programs, and Hans finds more, that proves that Hussein is evil and a sloppy liar (the ultimate evil in US politics!), and in go the marines.

If Iraq discloses a few - or no - WMD programs, and Hans doesn't find any more then that just proves that Hussein has hidden them well (they do exist, because Bush II said they did, remember?), and in go the marines.  

But the actual inspection is really irrelevant, it just gives time to prepare the military strike.  Tony Blair has already committed it by stating that failure to be honest (i.e. report what we've already decided that Iraq has got) will be treated as seriously as blocking access.  So if the list of sites that Saddam provides doesn't exactly match the one that the CIA draws up, then the marines go in.  Remember how good the CIA were at directing the inspectors last time?  If the CIA add (invent?) one site that Saddam's list doesn't mention, the marines go in.

All this and a timetable too.  The inspectors must be allowed back in within 45 days, and then they have a further 60 days to report back.  That gives us a kick off date of around the start of March 2003, depending on how long it takes Bush II to pretend to read Hans Blix's report and declare that it damns Saddam and necessitates an immediate and highly telegenic regime change.

Do I disagree with this final solution for starting Gulf War 2?  The mendacity is distasteful, but it has an undeniable elegance and inevitability to it (we've all invested in munitions manufacturers, right?).  And whatever your views on Bush II, Saddam is undeniably a stone cold evil son of a bitch, and millions of Kurds and Iraqis will be delighted to see him exit the world stage on a slab.

The only question that's hanging now is this: has Saddam stopped beating his wife?

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Poll
Has he?
o Yup, he's all better now. 7%
o He hasn't, but he's good at hiding it. 24%
o Nope, and we'll find the evidence. 20%
o Does anybody really care? 48%

Votes: 120
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o unanimous resolution
o Also by Rogerborg


Display: Sort:
Has Saddam stopped beating his wife? | 359 comments (352 topical, 7 editorial, 1 hidden)
I never beat my wives. (4.52 / 25) (#2)
by Saddam Hussein on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 02:56:14 PM EST

That is a job for the Special Republican Guard.

Your successive administrations have killed one billion and a half Iraqis in eleven years as a result of the blockade it has imposed on Iraq

How did they kill the half? (3.87 / 8) (#3)
by czth on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:18:17 PM EST

Your successive administrations have killed one billion and a half Iraqis in eleven years as a result of the blockade it has imposed on Iraq

How did they kill the half Iraqi?

czth

[ Parent ]

Maybe, he was just *mostly* dead. [n/t] (4.36 / 11) (#8)
by Ricochet Rita on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:30:03 PM EST


R

FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!
[ Parent ]

+5... (3.57 / 7) (#13)
by jayhawk88 on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:50:37 PM EST

For any and all Princess Bride references, that's my policy.

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
Inconcevable! [nt] (3.85 / 7) (#15)
by greyrat on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 04:18:03 PM EST


~ ~ ~
Did I actually read the article? No. No I didn't.
"Watch out for me nobbystyles, Gromit!"

[ Parent ]
I don't think... (4.75 / 4) (#156)
by Gully Foyle on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:36:24 AM EST

... that word is spelled the way you think it is spelled.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Re: your link... (1.60 / 5) (#109)
by SPYvSPY on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:06:30 PM EST

...when's the last time you missed a meal, fuck-o?
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[ Parent ]

spyvsspy (2.66 / 3) (#148)
by thePositron on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:48:52 AM EST

You think you bad....
"I never ever been bitten before" -- cee lo

Fuck face stop using my friends lyrics in your sig or I will pop you in the nose....

Are you scared of Saddam? wimp ass bitch! If you are not scared of him please be afraid of me; ass!! :-)

--- "You will get an aneurism from my head on collision" --cee lo

"make every attempt to expect the unexpected"-- --cee lo



[ Parent ]
Were you drunk... (2.00 / 6) (#159)
by SPYvSPY on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 10:40:59 AM EST

...when you spewed this tripe? And what is your message anyway? Are you trying to tell me that Saddam *doesn't* hoard the wealth of Iraq despite his oft-repeated claim that a million Iraqi children die from U.S.-imposed sanctions?

In any event, your white-guy-rapper threats ring hollow. Do I need to remind you that making personal threats on K5 is (a) uncool, and (b) dangerous.

Furthermore, your retarded quotes from the defunct, pussy-whipped Heavy D-looking runner-up don't shake my knees.

Make yourself scarce.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Zero ratings... (3.00 / 3) (#174)
by SPYvSPY on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 03:40:48 PM EST

...cowards!!! Show your faces!
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Yep i was drunk (3.00 / 1) (#205)
by thePositron on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:28:38 AM EST

What a doof I am:-)

Sorry....

I really like yor quote BTW.

peace


[ Parent ]

You are... (4.50 / 2) (#209)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:35:47 AM EST

...excused on grounds of inebriation.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Thanks (3.00 / 1) (#258)
by thePositron on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 04:44:42 PM EST

Drinking and using the internet are 2 things I should avoid doing at the same time from now on.

I felt really bad about my attack on you the day after and I appreciate your forgiveness.

[ Parent ]

Actually... (3.00 / 1) (#265)
by SPYvSPY on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:47:21 PM EST

...I heartily support drunken typing. Notice how I knew you were drunk right away? If you had said that you weren't drunk, then we would have had a problem! ;)
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

cheers... (3.00 / 1) (#272)
by thePositron on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:15:57 PM EST

This drinks on me :-)


[ Parent ]
Sock humor (2.83 / 6) (#5)
by Ricochet Rita on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:28:40 PM EST

This whole "darned if he does darned if he don't" situation would almost make for a good 'comedy of errors' script, if there weren't so many lives in the balance.

But I'll be quite surprised if Bush II waits until March (or whenever the report comes out) to act. (Overall logistics & troop deployment, even for something the scale of the last Gulf War, takes months.) Actually, I'm surprised that he's even paying heed to the UN's inspection team. Who knows, maybe he isn't.

R

R

FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!

Bush wants a dead of winter invasion... (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by Shren on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:32:52 PM EST

It'll be the dead of winter or nothing, unless they've found a way to wear a full-protection full-containment biological/chemical warfare suit in 100 degree weather. So if nothing's happened by Febuary I'll bet nothing happens untill next winter.

[ Parent ]

Excellent point! (2.80 / 5) (#14)
by Ricochet Rita on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:51:09 PM EST

Even in the dead of winter, MOPP level 4 is brutal. And I never could quite get the hang of firing an M-16 while wearing the NBC mask, gloves, etc.

Now, a .50 cal hmg ... gimme! <EG!>

R

R

FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!
[ Parent ]

Right... (4.00 / 27) (#7)
by trhurler on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:29:22 PM EST

The satellite photography of him building illegal long range rockets, carting off equipment used in WMD programs, and so on is of course all a bunch of lies, and in fact there are no weapons. Sure. The previous inspectors were a bunch of liars, and the purchase and attempted purchase by Iraq of weapons and tooling components vital to peculiar processes of WMD design and production is a vicious liberal myth. Of course! That's the obvious answer! An anti-Iraq conspiracy aided and abetted by tens of thousands of otherwise-honest people most of whom have no motive whatsoever, some of whom are rivals and/or enemies and have reason to sabotage any such attempt at a conspiracy by each other. Indeed. That must be it.

Get real.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

I am very real about it, but still (4.25 / 4) (#21)
by mami on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 05:08:06 PM EST

what angers me most, is that there is a clear possibility that Saddam just disapperars in nowhere, hiding, and that you will end up never knowing if he is dead or alive.

You might destroy a lot of stuff, but not know, if you have destroyed what you came to destroy, his weapons and him.

The persons, who most likely would be able to kill Saddam, are his own family members.

Apparently, he distrusts his own sons so much that even they have to write in and make an appointment with him weeks in advance, because Daddy Saddam fears the fury and curelty of his own off-spring too much.

Sweet sons will try to prove to him, who is more cruel than the other, and just engage in any corruption and extortion scheme they can think off.

What angers me, is that I don't think that Saddam will go without taking people with him to the last moment.

Like all those Hitlerites and Stalinistas, he will other let do the fighting and then either kill himself or hide for ever.

That's why I have my doubts about this war. I do see more people angered about the destruction that hurts the people, who don't need to be destructed, than I see people liberatied just half-way, because they will never know, if you had found all their weapons, they never know, who plans the next revenge act, and they will never know, if Saddam has really been killed.

And for that shit we need to send our sons out to get gassed? It's kind of hard to swallow for me.

[ Parent ]

So What? (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by mideast on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 05:23:00 PM EST

A war against Saddam's regime isn't a personal war against Saddam. If he escapes to live in a palace in Argentina, it would be unfortunate, but it wouldn't mean that the war was a failure. This war would be a war to remove him from power, not a war to put him on trial.

[ Parent ]
Well, I would love to put him on trial (4.00 / 2) (#37)
by mami on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 10:56:32 PM EST

and see him lose his power, that's for sure.

And why do you think a war against Saddam's regime isn't a war against Saddam? He is the absolute dictator over this own regime, so if you go against the regime you go after him by default.

What an insult to think it's ok to destroy "his regime" and let him get off the hook living nicely in some Arab palace somewhere. I wonder if his own "liberated" people would allow that to happen, once they have the courage to "think liberated".

Weird. So, if Saddam would live in exile, you don't think he would try to manage his followers to do some little troubling terrorist preparation in the hiding or the underground? Just to get even with his enemies?

Of course you want to disarm him. I just wonder, if the US can do that without willing cooperating Iraqis. It would be easy for Saddam to let some "cooperating" Iraqi dissenters work for him, or not? What this has to do with the war being a success or not, I don't understand.

I wonder how the military can be sure to have had a "successful war". How is "success" being defined here? Disarm Iraq and overthrow his regime, I guess. The first might not be so easy to achieve with certainty, the second might be easy, but really doesn't make much sense, if the first can not be achieved.


[ Parent ]

Trial (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by rdskutter on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:19:20 AM EST

Witness the pointless trial of Slobadom Milosovich. The trial is a sham because the defendant (quite rightly) refuses to recognise the court's juristriction.

There is no official and respected International Criminal Court and that is a good thing.

What are you ultimately going to do? Sentence bad dictators to death?


If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

What a joke! (3.50 / 2) (#312)
by mami on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 05:41:23 PM EST

So, because a defendant doesn't accept the court's jurisdiction, his judgement has any weight? Why? There is international law, so there are courts who have jurisdiction over that law and they are the legitimate representatives to judge and try violations of international law. Why would you have international laws, if there were no legitimate court to judge over violations of it?  

You are against the existence of an International Criminal Court, but you wouldn't hesitate to demand to be treated yourself under the protection of international law, if it were you, who would suffer under international war crime violations, I am sure. Just because you haven't experienced yet to be victim of an international law violation on your own soil, doesn't mean that you wouldn't want to be protected by it, if you needed it.

There is only one reason, why the US doesn't want to deal with the UN and the International Criminal Court and that is that they are not ashamed to use double standards any time as soon as their own interests might be at stake. The US will have to accept to be treated by the UN and the ICC the same way as they themselves want the UN and the ICC to treat other nations.

As long as other nations can rightfully complain about the US using double standards, the US will be vulnerable, hated and betrayed by their "friends".

If you don't care about that, because you are the mighty military super power, go ahead, don't care and crash anybody you don't like. It won't solve any problems, nor will it end the hatred people have against the US. Instead, the hatred will increase.  

If you like it that way, so be it. I think it's an amazingly stupid attitude all over.

[ Parent ]

Why do you mention the US so much (4.00 / 1) (#317)
by rdskutter on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 06:13:17 PM EST

Does US bashing give you a hard-on?

BTW. I'm not American. I'm insulted that you assume that I am.


History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. - Winston Churchill
[ Parent ]

Yeah, well. (3.00 / 1) (#320)
by valeko on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 08:08:37 PM EST

Unfortunately, he's 100% correct.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

He may be correct (3.00 / 1) (#327)
by rdskutter on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 05:26:58 AM EST

But his ramblings have nothing to do with my original post about my personal feelings about the usefulness of the criminal court that is currently trying Slobbadom Milosovech.


History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. - Winston Churchill
[ Parent ]

My golly, first I am a she, second (3.00 / 1) (#329)
by mami on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:27:28 AM EST

I took your comment, because it has been a general attitude of certain politicians to use the reasonable criticism one can have against the UN and the ICC to plainly discredit the whole idea of the UN and ICC in a very thoughtless manner. I consider that to be a mistake, and I used your comment to make my point. There is nothing personal about it.

 

[ Parent ]

Apologies (3.00 / 1) (#330)
by rdskutter on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:34:58 AM EST

I will seek to find a more gender neutral pronoun in the future.

I still think your rant was unjustified and I still haven't forgiven you for assuming that I am American.


History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. - Winston Churchill
[ Parent ]

I don't like that (none / 0) (#336)
by mami on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:57:22 AM EST

If you don't want to be mistaken for being an American, that's your business not mine.

I think that's insulting to Americans out there and I resent your insult. Basically you bash Americans that way, exactly what you accused me off doing previously.  

Well, I hope that's my last stupid response to this whole stupid thread.  

 

[ Parent ]

ok, insult over insult here (3.00 / 1) (#328)
by mami on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:19:46 AM EST

I don't know why you would feel insulted if I assume you were an American. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you were an American. What has my and your nationality to do with it?

All I said is that I think it's not a wise attitude of certain political circles in the US to openly discredit the UN and the ICC. Especially because originally the UN and later thereafter the ICC are the creations of the US.

Yesterday evening on TV the Dean of the Harvard School of Government made a very, IMO, correct remark. There are two positions of power for the US, the postition of "hard power", id military power, and the positition of "soft power", ie the power to have convincing opinions that ATTRACT other nations to follow the American policies.

Nothing is more powerful than arguments that people believe in and WANT to follow.

It's pretty clear that double standards are NEVER attractive, so if I were an American policy maker, I would make sure to not give me a vulnerable spot, where I could be attacked because of my own failure to engage in double standard thinking.

Why would you give people the chance to attack you on that? It's not smart. That's all I said.

I don't bash Americans at all, if I give you a reasonable argument why I think it is a stupid and unnecessary mistake for the US to pick the UN and the ICC as their enemy.

Contrary they should do everything to make those institutions much more meaningful and powerful.

If any criticism of US policies is "bashed" as "America bashing" then I would say it's comparable to "intelligence bashing of people who disagree with your opinion".

[ Parent ]

I agree (4.00 / 2) (#331)
by rdskutter on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:55:36 AM EST

The US is becoming an agressive country.

The US have always been a superpower. Under the democrats, American policies were a mixture of agression and appeasment.

Agression towards smaller countries that they could control and stomp on. Appeasement and respect to their European peers including UK. The democrats agreed to international treaties, they didn't openly flaunt the Geneva convention.

Under the Republicans America has become much more of a "bully" nation. They pulled out of Koyoto, they openly flaunted the Geneva conventions and they have resumed their middle east aggression.

The republicans see the UN as a barrier between them and world control. They refuse allow their soldiers to be tried under an international criminal court and they continue to develop weapons of mass destruction that are prohibited by international conventions.

There is a curse. It goes "May you live in interesting times."


History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. - Winston Churchill
[ Parent ]

So then... (4.00 / 1) (#236)
by trhurler on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:05:17 PM EST

Since we can't have everything exactly the way we want it, we should do nothing and let things get even worse than they are? This seems odd to me. If you never act until you find the perfect method with the perfect result, you will never act at all.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I think you missed the point. (3.00 / 1) (#243)
by Shren on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 02:22:22 PM EST

How many governments have gone so far astray that they merit external military corrective action? Or, more simply, how many despots are as bad as Saddam, or worse?

Rog was careful not to say that we should or shouldn't invade Iraq. Consider the real question. Why Iraq, and why now? The threat of Iraq is hazy at best and we've ignored much worse crises. Korea admits to having a nuclear weapons program.

Why now?

Because it's time. The economy is low, the mobs are bloodthirsty, and the military has toys they'd like to try out.

Why Iraq?

Well, if we're going to invade someone, who else should we invade? Iraq is easy to make up rhetoric about. They have dangerous weapons. They're the same color as the people who rammed an airplane into our building.

Take the world now. Keep the US economy the same (bad), but pretend that 9/11 did not happen. We (the us) would be invading someone right around now anyway. It's what we do. We're predicatable, like wind up toys. And if Iraq was as pure as driven snow, it'd be someone else.

[ Parent ]

Well, (4.00 / 1) (#267)
by trhurler on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 06:46:30 PM EST

I have little doubt that a significant part of the push for war has to do with Bush wanting to get reelected. Also, I think there is a reason you're missing: a sense that we should have done it right the first time. The real problem is that while I don't want or agree with the fighting of other peoples' wars, I cannot ignore the reality: we created this guy, and now he's preparing an attempt to hold the world hostage via his control of oil and his planned possession of nuclear weapons and accurate long range missiles(which he's working quite hard to obtain, as some attempted deals with N. Korea show.) I think all of these issues are more important than the ones you list, although those are also real enough.

I do think we have some obligation to make sure our former puppet doesn't become a menace to the whole world. That said, I personally hope he realizes he's beat and lets the inspections go on properly and so on. That'd be good enough for me; he won't live forever, after all. I just want to be sure he's not a threat while he's still alive.

As for North Korea, they'll get theirs. In fact, I fully expect that if they don't voluntarily and transparently disarm, we'll be where we are with Iraq in our dealings with N. Korea in a few years. Right now, the political capital and the capacity for moral outrage just aren't there; if they continue working towards being a significant nuclear power, I think the backlash will become stronger over time. There's no way they're going to be allowed to have multistage ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons without a serious fight on both diplomatic and possibly military fronts.

I expect, however, that China will do a lot of the heavy lifting on that one, seeing as it is more a threat to them than us, and also because they want to show the world what a heavyweight they are and how superpower-like they've become. (Which, of course, is the whole point behind their useless and wasteful space program; people are living in miserable poverty while these people work towards a moon landing!)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
now is the time to bomb... something! (2.00 / 1) (#271)
by Shren on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 07:48:00 PM EST

I have little doubt that a significant part of the push for war has to do with Bush wanting to get reelected. Also, I think there is a reason you're missing: a sense that we should have done it right the first time. The real problem is that while I don't want or agree with the fighting of other peoples' wars, I cannot ignore the reality: we created this guy, and now he's preparing an attempt to hold the world hostage via his control of oil and his planned possession of nuclear weapons and accurate long range missiles(which he's working quite hard to obtain, as some attempted deals with N. Korea show.) I think all of these issues are more important than the ones you list, although those are also real enough.
I did miss those reasons, that we created him and that we didn't finish him the first time. The fact that we have good reasons is quite aside from the fact that GWB would be attacking someone right about now anyway, good reasons or not.
I do think we have some obligation to make sure our former puppet doesn't become a menace to the whole world. That said, I personally hope he realizes he's beat and lets the inspections go on properly and so on. That'd be good enough for me; he won't live forever, after all. I just want to be sure he's not a threat while he's still alive.
His kind live forever. They stage takeovers of their nursing home at 70 and manage coups of thier funeral home by cell phone from thier casket when they're 90.
As for North Korea, they'll get theirs. In fact, I fully expect that if they don't voluntarily and transparently disarm, we'll be where we are with Iraq in our dealings with N. Korea in a few years. Right now, the political capital and the capacity for moral outrage just aren't there; if they continue working towards being a significant nuclear power, I think the backlash will become stronger over time. There's no way they're going to be allowed to have multistage ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons without a serious fight on both diplomatic and possibly military fronts.

I expect, however, that China will do a lot of the heavy lifting on that one, seeing as it is more a threat to them than us, and also because they want to show the world what a heavyweight they are and how superpower-like they've become. (Which, of course, is the whole point behind their useless and wasteful space program; people are living in miserable poverty while these people work towards a moon landing!)

North Korea/China relations are probably too complex to be prone to casual analysis. My knowledge in that area is highly limited. It seems to me that they should be friends even if NK gets the nuke but it would suprise me not at all if I was wrong. Does anyone out there have fairly good knowledge in this area? All I know is that I don't really know. Isn't North Korea still something of a satellite state to China?

[ Parent ]
China/N. Korea (5.00 / 2) (#276)
by trhurler on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:45:42 PM EST

What you mentioned is precisely the problem: up til recently, China regarded N. Korea as sort of an incompetent little brother, worthy of protection in the name of communism but basically an idiot. That's not true anymore; N. Korea is trying to be a regional power, and China really doesn't want that, seeing as they want to be the only real regional power. They're already pissed about Japan, but there's not much they can do there; they could, on the other hand, quite easily crush N. Korea's aspirations, and I expect them to try. This wins them points as a regional power, eliminates a would-be rival, moves them forward as a world power, and continues to close the gap in world influence between China and the US - all major Chinese goals. Nobody likes the little brother who lives with him and yet tries to act like he's his own man. (Also remember that China gains nothing by North Korea's continual sales of advanced missile technology to every two bit tinpot with cash to burn.)

The world would probably go along with it, too. Russia wants to be left alone to pursue its own little adventures, as does the US, and South Korea doesn't want to see their enemy armed with nukes. Add to that the general disdain for N. Korea worldwide due to their horrendous human rights record and neglect of their people(many starve,) in preference for their military, and nobody's going to stand up to defend them if China wants a piece. China WAS their only defender, really.

In fact, I wouldn't be too surprised to see China work a deal where North Korea ceases to exist as an independent state, going back to South rule, and in exchange everybody looks the other way as they turn Taiwan into an integrated part of China again. I don't like that outcome, but it seems at least partly likely. The only losers are the Taiwanese, and with China liberalizing business rules all the time and so on, the common sentiment might be that eliminating the vile mess that is N. Korea is worth it.

The one thing I wish I could at least get some feel for that I really can't figure out at all about that region is what the hell happens in 20-30 years. China will probably be a really big dog by then, with a huge population, massive industrial output, and quite possibly competitive information infrastructure as well. I expect them to try to get into the biology/genetics boom as well. But then what? Do they liberalize and become reasonable, or do they become everyone's worst nightmare? There's no real reason to believe either one, as far as I can tell. The one thing that seems sure is that the present uneasy balance between the two can't last. It never does.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
that would suck. (3.00 / 1) (#303)
by Shren on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 02:10:01 PM EST

In fact, I wouldn't be too surprised to see China work a deal where North Korea ceases to exist as an independent state, going back to South rule, and in exchange everybody looks the other way as they turn Taiwan into an integrated part of China again. I don't like that outcome, but it seems at least partly likely. The only losers are the Taiwanese, and with China liberalizing business rules all the time and so on, the common sentiment might be that eliminating the vile mess that is N. Korea is worth it.
I can't see anyone opting for that deal but China - it's a lose for North Korea, a lose for South Korea (would you want to annex a ruined land full of starving people?), very so-so for the rest of the world (getting rid of NK hardly balances Taiwan's absorption), and a big win for China.
The one thing I wish I could at least get some feel for that I really can't figure out at all about that region is what the hell happens in 20-30 years. China will probably be a really big dog by then, with a huge population, massive industrial output, and quite possibly competitive information infrastructure as well. I expect them to try to get into the biology/genetics boom as well. But then what? Do they liberalize and become reasonable, or do they become everyone's worst nightmare? There's no real reason to believe either one, as far as I can tell. The one thing that seems sure is that the present uneasy balance between the two can't last. It never does.
I think we're destined for a three way balance between Russia, China, and the USA, with various smaller forces trying to push each of the three off balance. Given the increasing levels of destruction available to small groups, I imagine one of the big three will be pushed over by a fourth party, which will cause a very ugly world scene for a while.

[ Parent ]
Two things (5.00 / 1) (#305)
by trhurler on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 02:27:47 PM EST

First of all, reunification of Korea is a goal of the South, and while it would be a loss for the North government, they wouldn't probably have a lot of say in the matter. It is a win for China, but it is also a way to save face for the US. Remember, the US stand on Taiwan cannot be maintained in the face of real Chinese determination. If they decide they're going to retake Taiwan, we immediately have two choices. We must no longer be ambiguous at that point; our only options are fight, or leave. This is a bad situation for us. Getting something in exchange for backing down would be convenient. Sure, it screws Taiwan, and that's bad - but the point is, overall, it is a good deal for the people who have the power to make it happen. Do you really think they care about anyone else?

I don't see Russia becoming a major power again for at least 50 years. They're just too wrecked. China will be, and the US will be, and I think Europe will be too. (Europe will be a lot bigger deal than Russia, for damn sure.) I suspect Russia will eventually either try to create some Asian superstate again or else join Europe. However, in the nearer term, the only unpredictable power that's going to be really huge is China. I know what Europe will do, more or less. I know what the US will do, more or less. I cannot place China in this scheme, though. They could do almost anything.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Here is what I hope (2.20 / 10) (#10)
by thekubrix on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:35:00 PM EST

That we invade Iraq with GUNS BLAZING. I say we make vietnam look like a slashdot effect. And with the itchy trigger party controlling every aspect of government there is nothing to stop them. I pray we get WW3 and nukes are used on a daily basis. Maybe that'll wake people up, and stop voting for satan.

That's a stupid thing to hope for. (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by ROBOKATZ on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:02:13 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I'm anti-war (3.43 / 37) (#11)
by marcos on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:35:11 PM EST

America is a threat to Iraqi national security. It is developing weapons of mass-destruction, which it very much seems to want to deploy in Iraq. It is ruled by a mega-wealthy family that consitutes the 'royalty', as well as a host of unelected permanent advisors.

Because of the various world alliances existent right now, America is a threat to world security.

I think that Iraq would very well be justified in invading America and placing a benign military government in place of G. Bush. It will be make the world a safer place for our children.

Finally some truth being spoken in the K5 house. (3.27 / 11) (#17)
by valeko on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 04:33:27 PM EST

Thank you for re-iterating what would happen if Iraq took the pompous, gassy caricature of "international law" that the US espouses and threw it back at the US.

It reminds me that a few people here still have a head on their shoulders.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Yes, but you forget (4.28 / 7) (#19)
by Skywise on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 04:49:56 PM EST

That if the US were Iraq in this little word game, you'd be dead for uttering those words.

[ Parent ]
Lordy... (3.00 / 9) (#20)
by valeko on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 04:57:31 PM EST

Sorry, I forgot. God Bless America for giving me the freedom to disagree with chimp-man.

I only have it as long as what I say doesn't make any difference -- as long as I'm shouting into a waterfall. The moment it becomes threatening to the ruling class, I promise you that it will be disposed of. The American political consciousness (or perhaps its absence) is a dictatorship's dream; there's no need to execute any dissidents (I'd believe this if not for COINTELPRO), and certainly no need to censor any literature. Nobody gives a shit.

Your rebuttal isn't one. I don't heed your message.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Hmm. COINTELPRO. (4.00 / 7) (#52)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:14:23 AM EST

Here's a link for those not in the know, so to speak.

Do you think that with the speed that information flies these days, that such activities will be tolerated in today's world? Information is power, as the old cliche goes, and it's fairly hard to repress a population that is properly informed.

There will always be abuses of political power. It's just a given in any form of government. But I believe that the Founders had the best intentions of the country at heart when they formed the United States, and I believe that they did a pretty bang-up job when it came to limiting the abuse of such power. And that some statesmen actually have the best interests of the people at heart.

Call it childish optimism if you will. But I believe that there is value to the United States flag, and there is something intrinsic in the fabric of American society that is worth saving. I believe in the people of the US, and that if our rights to free speech, especially in regards to criticizing the US government, were actively impeded on, that the people would rise up to oppose, and eventually dispose of, such policy.

I refuse to believe that we will be silenced as soon as our words (and, to a certain extent, our actions) become threatening to the powers that be. Not because I place blind trust in our government, but because we live in a society where information flows freely, and where anyone can access and absorb such information wherever and whenever they choose.

In the end, despite the pull of money and the efforts of the power elite, we are still a democracy, and a democracy will always favor the people more than anything else. In a society so infused with a sense of liberty, it cannot be taken away; if anything, it can only be expanded. Take the case of COINTELPRO; they might have tried to suppress the more dangerous elements of the civil rights movement, but it still succeeded.

I am by no means judging your cynicism; if anything, you seem much better informed than your typical blanket America hater. In fact, I applaud your bleak outlook; the optimists will create change, but the pessimists will prompt it. However, there is a difference between criticizing the current regime and criticizing the fabric of what the United States was built upon. I can say with confidence, through witnessing and learning about the civil and social reforms enacted within the past 70 years (a remarkable time frame to enact the changes that our modern, fairly liberal society currently enjoys, when taken into historical perspective) that the citizens of the US cannot and will not be repressed.

I am a frequent critic of US policy. Sometimes it does favor big business, the power elite, and the Old Boys rather than the common people it was meant to serve. However, I can also say that there is no other country that I'd rather live in, and no other country that I'd rather call myself a citizen of.

Jesus. I was rambling again. I originally just meant to toss out a link to info about COINTELPRO. My apologies if I bored anyone to tears here.

Cheers
DLS
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Gas? Like Russian nerve gas? (3.50 / 4) (#44)
by Demiurge on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:08:21 AM EST

I just LOVE how valeko ceaselessly condemns the US for slights real and imagined, but brushes away any criticism about Russia's conduct! The US attacking Afghanistan after 9/11? Hideous! The Russians carpet-bombing Chechnya to hold onto their empire? Admirable!

[ Parent ]
Carpet bombing is not enough (2.33 / 3) (#94)
by Roman on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 02:42:31 PM EST

They should actually use the tactical nuclear and also neutron bombs. I believe they have vacuum bombs at their disposal, those should also be used. Napalm could be used in the mountains in order to get to the deep caves, but I still would go with 50MegaTonn hydrogen bombs. Just my 0.02/dollar

[ Parent ]
Hate to break it to you (4.50 / 2) (#95)
by KilljoyAZ on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 03:00:32 PM EST

but Stalin died half a century ago, so that kind of response is unlikely. Strangely enough, I always thought valeko was only a fan of Soviet Russia...

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
I politely point you ... (3.00 / 1) (#270)
by valeko on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 07:01:22 PM EST

To this comment.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

No problem (4.00 / 2) (#301)
by Roman on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 11:37:11 AM EST

I don't think they need Stalin today to do that. This view is of most russian people, even if the government has no guts to do it. Go to any russian chat room, any news website and check out the forums. This is the view of most russians in those places. This also is being played with on russian television. They really want to do it. I support them.

[ Parent ]
Stupid comparison ... and also false. (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by valeko on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:39:02 PM EST

Please point me to the part where I "brush away" the atrocities that Russian federal forces have committed in Chechnya. There's no doubt in my mind that this is exactly what they are.

I find the "hold onto their empire" bit a little more tenuous, though. Chechya, the entire Caucasus, as well as the trans-Caucasus have been parts of the Russian Empire for longer than you or I could count. Russia is not venturing into a foreign land here for the express purpose of extending its hegemony, as the US is doing with its penetration into Soviet Central Asia, etc. A more reasonable comparison would be the U.S. carpet-bombing Utah if it were to try to secede. (No, that's not a coincidence that I picked an inland state.)

There are innumerable considerations underlying the Chechen situation -- it is very, very complex. In contrast, the US-Iraq situation is clear as day; there are no overriding strategic reasons for why the US would want to touch Iraq, if we were to consider imperialist ambitions as being absent. It doesn't add up.

The outcome of the Chechen situation -- if there will be an outcome -- is inextricably connected with the extension of American influence into Central Asia and the trans-Caucasus. These two things have a very direct and visible relationship, except to Americans who believe the absurd reductionism of their media and think it's merely a question of "freedom fighters" trying to gain "independence" versus an imperious, dictatorial Russia that won't allow them autonomy. This false dichotomy is complete bullshit; the larger picture isn't about that at all.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Watch him squirm! (1.66 / 3) (#178)
by Demiurge on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 04:35:02 PM EST

The Chechens, who have suffered under Russian oppression unwillingly for centuries, want to exercise their right to self-government. Which means it's ok for Russian military forces to rape, loot, and kill Chechens, after reducing their cities to piles of smoking rubble.

But when a terrorist organization launches an unprovoked attack that kills thousands of Americans, and the US defends itself in a limited campaign, it's the greatest horror ever perpetrated.

[ Parent ]
Chechna is not Iraq. (none / 0) (#355)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 10:55:44 AM EST

Perhaps there should be another article written about Chechna - I think those people deserve more than being a footnote in Iraq discussion.

[ Parent ]
That... (2.66 / 3) (#98)
by SPYvSPY on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 03:49:03 PM EST

...pompous, gassy characature was hard-earned, fucker. Maybe when Iraq puts a little back into the global pot, it can bend the rules, too.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Umm, no (3.28 / 7) (#18)
by br284 on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 04:47:54 PM EST

As much as I dislike the Bushes, having the position of the president and a governor hardly constitutes a "royal family". Furthermore, who are these unelected permanent advisors which you speak of? The Supreme Court? The SCOTUS is hardly in any sort of advisory position except if they can say if a law is constitutional or not.

I agree with you that Iraq sould try and invade the USA. It would drain their already pitiful economy and military and when the time came for us to go back, it would be a cakewalk. I'm all for overwhelming military victories.

America is only a threat to world security if you happen to be on our shit list. There are many more countries that are more secure because of the US in one way or another than there are who are less secure because of the US.

I just love the anti-American crowd. (Seriously!) Smoochies!

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Umm, yes. (3.30 / 10) (#22)
by valeko on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 05:09:30 PM EST

having the position of the president and a governor hardly constitutes a "royal family".

I don't think that's what the author of the original comment was saying. In fact, I'd venture that it was definitely not what he was saying. Don't make a caricature of it. It's your problem if you are blind to the existence of a ruling class.

America is only a threat to world security if you happen to be on our shit list.

And how does one get on this list? By doing -- well, even going through the motions of -- exercising independence from Washington's politicoeconomic order and putting the welfare of one's people ahead of neoliberal designs. For reference, see Cold War, which had little to do with "fighting Communism" per se.

And yes, there are lots of leaderships (read carefully: leaderships, not necessarily their subjects) who are very secure because of the U.S. And this is, of course, by default, incontrovertibly a Good Thing, right? Nothing like stability and security (see Ngo Dinh Diem for excellent example).

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Ha! (2.66 / 3) (#25)
by Demiurge on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 06:36:28 PM EST

exercising independence from Washington's politicoeconomic order and putting the welfare of one's people ahead of neoliberal designs.
No, one looses the good graces of the United States of America by killing three thousand of its civilians in an unprovoked attack.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but... (4.80 / 5) (#30)
by DanTheCat on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 07:55:43 PM EST

What does Iraq have to do with that? Unless you're thinking of some other action that caused the deaths of 3000 USians that was directly controlled by sadaam that I don't know about...

Dan :)

<--->
I was in need of help
Heading to black out
'Til someone told me 'run on in honey
Before someone blows your god damn brains out'<
[ Parent ]

Was that... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by tzanger on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 11:44:27 PM EST

Was that an honest slip, or did he just reveal something that many of us had hoped wouldn't happen? (namely the brainwashing to believe that osama == saddam == responsible for WTC)



[ Parent ]
As opposed to... (3.66 / 3) (#33)
by gordonjcp on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 08:26:33 PM EST

... the US paying the IRA to attack the UK?

*You* are responsible for Canary Wharf, the Brighton Grand Hotel bombing, the Arndale Centre, Omagh and many more.  Keep those taxes and NorAid donations coming!

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
In the US... (3.66 / 3) (#71)
by Bartab on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:46:32 AM EST

Funding terrorists is illegal, even Irish terrorists. If you have proof of such funding, forward it to the FBI and they will be happy to take the case.

However, if you're just being boringly anti-American with no logicial reasoning or proof, don't bother.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

HA! (none / 0) (#86)
by valeko on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:28:25 PM EST

Funding terrorists is illegal, even Irish terrorists. If you have proof of such funding, forward it to the FBI and they will be happy to take the case.

Unless it's the CIA/intelligence apparatus doing it, of course. The US has directly funded terrorists all over the globe, and in turn is indirectly but surely responsible for the deaths of millions and the suffering of hundreds of millions. No exaggeration there. I'd like to see the FBI indict the US's terroristic Cold War policy ... yeah ... let me just give them a little ringy dingy ...

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Technically, he's right. (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:52:12 PM EST

Historically, the US has never funded terrorists. The US has only supported "freedom fighters."

RealPolitik, however, dictates that we name them terrorists after they no longer serve US interests (I'm sure everyone here can come up with more than a few examples).

So, Bartab, who were you on Adequacy? Honestly now.
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

So.... (5.00 / 2) (#143)
by gordonjcp on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 07:21:16 AM EST

Why did the US fund Al-Quaeda in the 1980s then?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Here's a hint: they didn't (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by KilljoyAZ on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 10:28:54 AM EST

There was no Al Qaeda in the 80s - it was founded after the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan. You've conveniently gone from "The US funded the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s" to "The US funded Osama bin Laden in the 1980s" to "The US funded al Qaeda in the 1980s."

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Minor difference... (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by gordonjcp on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 01:35:14 PM EST

That's a bit like saying that the US doesn't fund the IRA because they only fund Sinn Feinn.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#193)
by KilljoyAZ on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 07:19:57 PM EST

It's more like saying the US had nothing to do with funding al Qaeda, because once they came into existence the funding taps were long dry.

bin Laden's a millionare who is backed by other oil-rich Arab millionares and did not need American money or assistance to get al Qaeda started.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]

Yeah. (3.00 / 2) (#194)
by gordonjcp on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 07:27:13 PM EST

Keep telling yourself that.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
I will (none / 0) (#195)
by KilljoyAZ on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:02:27 PM EST

until someone can tell me how the US can fund an organization in the 1980s that didn't exist in the 1980s, without the use of a time travel device of some kind.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Funding. (none / 0) (#196)
by valeko on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:18:37 PM EST

"Funding" is a very specific term referring to the direct funneling of funds. This is unnecessary nitpicking; funding or no funding does not change the fact that the U.S. created Osama bin Laden as a monster, and had a great deal to do with the newlyfound military power (expressed in massive infrastructure, weapons, supplies, tactical strongholds, etc.) attained by Islamists throughout Central and South Asia as well as the Middle East.

Osama bin Laden already was a millionaire, but so are many others -- who stopped them from following down bin Laden's footsteps? The fact that the Taliban triumphed in the Afghan strife that followed the Soviet withdrawal is largely the outcome of the U.S. arming and funding the moujahadeen. Everything from the rise of Al Qaeda to the supplying of Chechen gangsters (not freedom fighters -- though there are some of those around, too) is heavily contingent upon the Western-backed initiative to help the moujahadeen. I'm not talking about Stinger shipments. Sure, the moujahadeen fighting force was in part a confluence of many volunteers from all over the Arab world, but do you think it would've succeeded the way it did without the indispensable involvement of the U.S., the Pakistani intelligence service (its pet), and ad nauseum? No.

I find this literal focus on who is funding whom and where and when to be kind of pointless. It doesn't matter if the US didn't directly fund Al Qaeda as an organisation -- it certainly funded the Taliban, and the moujahadeen base that radically transformed the arrangement of things in Afghanistan.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Mujahideen != Taliban (none / 0) (#198)
by KilljoyAZ on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:46:28 PM EST

The Taliban did not exist in the 1980s either. The mujahideen were not restricted to the Taliban, they were in represented heavily in both the Taliban and anti-Taliban forces. The former Northern Alliance military leader Masood was considered mujahideen. So did the US fund the mujahideen as a whole? I don't think that's in dispute. Did the US fund the Taliban organization during the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawl? No. Does the US bear some responsibility for the chaos that was and is Afghanistan? Yes, but not nearly as much as the Soviet Union for invading in the first place. If anything's responsible for the radical transformation of Afghanistan, it's them. That's a fact frequently forgotten by the America-bashers along with the nitpicky details of who funded who when.

By the way, if you and I agree the US never funded al Qaeda as an organization, why did you give gordonjcp's posts defending that assertion 5's?

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]

Perspective (none / 0) (#199)
by Lord Snott on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:08:38 PM EST

"The Soviet Union invading,"

From their perspective they were taking back a stray sheep. Try tell Bejing that Taiwan is independant. Try telling Taiwan it's a part of China.

This all reminds me of a line out of the political satire, CNNNN.
"A link between the Osama Bin Laden and the Washington Sniper has been established, as they were both trained by the American Military,"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]

Yes, but... (5.00 / 3) (#34)
by valeko on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 08:43:48 PM EST

What about the 60+ nations in whose governments the US directly intervened during the Cold War? Did they attack the US and kill 3000 civilians? What about Iraq itself? What (other than the TV) makes you think that Iraq had anything to do with 11 Sep?

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

For the record It's 2000 civilians... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by Skywise on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:55:06 AM EST

And nobody (including the executive Chimp) has tied Iraq to Sep. 11.  They *have* attempted to tie the terrorists that caused Sep. 11 to taking refuge in Iraq AFTER the Afghanistan bombings... but that's not the same thing.

(And oddly enough, you would've thought Sep. 11 would've been by one of the 60+ nations...)

[ Parent ]

Umm, no (again) (none / 0) (#100)
by br284 on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 04:02:14 PM EST

I don't think that's what the author of the original comment was saying. In fact, I'd venture that it was definitely not what he was saying. Don't make a caricature of it. It's your problem if you are blind to the existence of a ruling class.

Well, to be honest, the original phrasing the poster used was: It is ruled by a mega-wealthy family that consitutes the 'royalty', as well as a host of unelected permanent advisors. That looks like he's hinting towards a royal family WAY more than he's talking about a elite ruling class.

Now regarding the idea of a ruling class in the United States, I'll say that it is true that one would probably have to be a loyal Democrat or Republican in order to obtain office. However, it's not as closed to outsiders as you like to think. Ultimately those who determine the ruling class are the regular voting people. Now, you may be pissed that Joe Sixpack and the Soccer Moms are the ones who are picking Republicans and Democrats consistently, but the hard truth is that the people are the ones who are preventing the Greens (or whoever you think is unfairly being pushed out of the ruling class) from obtaining power because the people do not like their ideas.

And how does one get on this list? By doing -- well, even going through the motions of -- exercising independence from Washington's politicoeconomic order and putting the welfare of one's people ahead of neoliberal designs. For reference, see Cold War, which had little to do with "fighting Communism" per se.

Do yourself a favor one of these days and do some reading of original documents from administrations and people in power who were fighting Communism. I'll agree completely that some times, the fear of Communism was way overblown and silly to a point, but the focus of most of these people was not dicking over the small countries and calling it fighting Communism with a wink and a nudge -- they were very much afraid that Communism was a threat to the American way of life and fought accordingly. I'm not going to go out on a limb and say that the actions were always justified in all the cases, but the Cold War was definately an ideological conflict between the Western way of life and the percieved Communist way of life.

And yes, there are lots of leaderships (read carefully: leaderships, not necessarily their subjects) who are very secure because of the U.S. And this is, of course, by default, incontrovertibly a Good Thing, right? Nothing like stability and security (see Ngo Dinh Diem for excellent example).

Are you peeved that the US originally supported Ngo Dinh Diem over Hi Chi Minh and later exerted their imperialist might to have him change his gov't policies and later encouraged to have him removed from power beacuse of his increasing alienation of the peasants? Or should the US have left him alone and allowed him to continue his oppression? I don't know if you're criticising the US for (covertly) intervening in this case or what. More details about what you are thinking than just Ngo Dinh Diem would be helpful. As it stands now, I don't know which of two opposite points you are trying to make.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Not exactly (none / 0) (#268)
by rantweasel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 06:49:15 PM EST

America is only a threat to world security if you happen to be on our shit list. There are many more countries that are more secure because of the US in one way or another than there are who are less secure because of the US.

The short list:
Argentina (Pinochet coup)
Bolivia (cocaine coup)
Panama (Noriega, then an invasion to remove him)
Iran (the Shah)
Colombia (the current war & narco terror)
Iraq (1980-1998, war w/Iran, Kurds, supporting Saddam Hussein before & after 1991 war)
Nicaragua (Contra/Sandanista war, General Somoza)
Cuba (embargo, assasination attempts, invasion, etc)
Israel (we can argue this one, but I'd say that US support of Israel is causing more trouble for Israel than it is solving.  If it weren't for US military support, Israel & it's neighbors would have likely reached a political solution to most of their problems years ago.  But that's conjecture.  Certainly the Middle East in general)

The point that the thread's parent poster was trying to make is that the US is guilty of all of the crimes that Bush is charging Iraq with.  The actions that the US takes (and has taken) cause problems not just for a few leftists or dictators, but endanger huge regions and threaten lots of innocents.  Look at the Bolivian Cocaine Coup - the CIA helped install a narco government that was using Klaus Barbie as an enforcer.  Nazis, man, nazis!  That's freaky shit.  J Random Bolivian was not in a good way as a result of this, and neighboring nations were not too pleased with the situation either.  And setting up a regional instability like that can mean a civil war or coup situation turning into a regional conflict.  The Contras are a perfect example - Contras crossed borders looking for shelter and stealing supplies, wreaking havoc in Honduras.  Certainly Iran/Iraq are an example of this, with the entire world now facing the spectre of nuclear warfare from a dictator that the US supported in the 1980s.  Having said that, the US has more freedom than most other nations, and is in better shape to do good things than most other nations.  If the US govt can remember to not do things the wrong way, it can be that "shining beacon on the hill" and whatever else it wants to be.  Nobody else can really do that right now, not in the same way.

mathias

[ Parent ]

You're right (3.66 / 3) (#83)
by ROBOKATZ on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:04:53 PM EST

The U.S. invades its neighbors and has a policy of gassing its own people.

[ Parent ]
exactly (none / 0) (#215)
by martingale on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:31:21 AM EST

yes.

[ Parent ]
Just ask Mexico (none / 0) (#269)
by rantweasel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 06:56:43 PM EST

Well, as a matter of fact, the US has invaded neighbors and gassed it's own citizens.  Not to mention biological experiments, suppressing dissidents, and a few other things.  Let he who is without sin...

mathias

[ Parent ]

During past four years... (3.62 / 8) (#12)
by Ricochet Rita on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 03:43:25 PM EST

It's now been over four years since inspectors left Iraq, complaining that the Iraqi regime was blocking their access to sites. "But you're spies! There's nothing to find!" retorted the regime, and it all broke down into hair pulling and name calling.

Yes, it's been four years. And granted, it's possible that, at the time, Saddam had all but dismantled (read: scattered about the countryside) whatever weapons he'd previously possessed--and there's certainly evidence of possession & usage. So, that for a moment in history, it's possible that he really had no WMD program to speak of. To speak of. But do you really think that he's done nothing to rebuild it in the ensuing four years?

I frankly find that one too hard to swallow.

R

R

FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!

I fully believe (5.00 / 1) (#65)
by Rogerborg on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:25:36 AM EST

That Iraq has WMD programs.  I don't recall saying that it doesn't, and if you read that, it's your inference, not my implication.

The opinion in the Op-Ed is just that it's now utterly irrelvant whether it does or not, or whether Hans Blix finds all, some or none of them.  _Whatever_ Iraq does now, the US can go to war with it based on a UN resolution, which is what Bush II promised.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Listen to yourself (none / 0) (#176)
by Demiurge on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 04:30:27 PM EST

That Iraq has WMD programs. I don't recall saying that it doesn't, and if you read that, it's your inference, not my implication. The opinion in the Op-Ed is just that it's now utterly irrelvant whether it does or not, or whether Hans Blix finds all, some or none of them. _Whatever_ Iraq does now, the US can go to war with it based on a UN resolution, which is what Bush II promised.
The US government is smarter than you. Like you, it realizes that Saddam has WMD programs. It realizes that he's never going to give them up. It realizes, like you, that sending in inspectors would be a waste of time because it would accomplish anything. So what's the problem with circumventing the chance for European nations to weasle out of their obligations?

[ Parent ]
Okay, I re-read it (none / 0) (#226)
by Ricochet Rita on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:20:36 AM EST

...and ignored this paragraph (which, I think, lead to my "inference" that you were making a case for no WMD's in Iraq):

And here's a catch for Saddam: what if he has no WMD programs that we don't already know about? How can we find the black cat in the dark room, if the cat isn't there?

But even in that light, your analysis is sound (not that I meant to imply otherwise, earlier). I agree that given the current political climate in the US, it won't matter what the inspectors do--or do not--find. It's a classic magician's force: regardless of the outcome, the spin doctors can tell the same tale, opening the door to war, and Bush II can pursue his own agenda.

The trouble is, the intelligence community & US government (who nominally have national security at heart) have already thought up these Iraqi scenarios and a great many others. And after weighing the odds, they've likely concluded that: there are (or in the near future, will be) WMD's in Iraq and that Saddam is crazy enough to carry out his threats to destroy the US. So with "homeland defense" on the public's mind, their pro-war conclusions are surfacing in Bush's agenda, and not the other way round.

The President, personally, hasn't the time or resources (physical, mental, ...take yer pick) necessary to devote to a detailed analysis of the whole Iraqi situation. But that's not his job. Those folks whose job it is, armed with more facts than we possess, have decided that war is warranted (for whatever irrevelant reasons) and they've convincingly sold the idea to the President. Selling it back to the American people will now be his job--well, discounting speech writers, press secretaries, and the culpable media, that is...

R

R

FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!
[ Parent ]

I agree with everything you said (none / 0) (#239)
by Rogerborg on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:15:11 PM EST

Except that it's the President's job to declare war after consulting with the Senate and gaining their approval.  Two clauses, two stages.

Seems to me that he made this decision all on his lonesome, then went to them for rubberstamping.  Bad Bush II, bad.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

War and Elections (4.30 / 13) (#16)
by frankcrist on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 04:33:01 PM EST

So, how many votes that Bush will attempt to embroil the US (and our "allies") into this mess closer to election time?  His father screwed up by not dragging the conflict on past poll time for his second term--will W. make the same mistake?  The first Bush was as bad of a president as this one is, esp with regards to domestic policy (which, IMHO, is the sole duty of the president; all of this foreign policy bs should go to the house committee of the same name), and this was apparent when, suddenly, Bush I had nothing to do but run the country.  Bush II is just going from crisis (911) to crisis (Iraq) in the hope that no one wakes up and realizes that his foolish policies (cold war sized military budgets!!) are just ruining life for everybody he's supposedly representing.

I think his move to "consult" the UN is just a ploy to affect the timing of his war-sized assassination of Saddam Hussein to closer to election time.  I'm sure the members of his cabinet (many of the same faces from the Bush I cabinet) are giving this advice.

--x--x--x--x--x--
Get your war on!

2004 Election? (2.33 / 3) (#69)
by Bartab on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:41:21 AM EST

Not a chance. Iraq -will- have nuclear weapons in 2 years, six months isn't even unreasonable. Basically, if we miss this winter, I expect to see "Dear President, the nuclear blast recently in Los Angeles is but one of many nuclear weapons we have smuggled into your country."

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

References? (4.00 / 1) (#88)
by swr on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:55:51 PM EST

As far as I know the weapons inspectors haven't gone in yet. Where are you getting this data?



[ Parent ]
hey! (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by fluxrad on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 02:33:51 PM EST

who let Condoleza Rice get a K5 account?

Homer Simpson: "mmmmmmmmmmm.....republican propaganda"

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
cold war sized military budgets!! (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by Sir Spankotron on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:58:22 PM EST

Just so ya know, the military budget has not decreased in a LONG time.
Clinton raised it every year, Bush did, Reagan did,....

You get the idea.

[ Parent ]

What have you been smoking? (1.00 / 1) (#222)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 09:53:45 AM EST

The US military budget, until a couple years ago, was shrinking.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
Incorrect (none / 0) (#244)
by Moebius on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 02:23:24 PM EST

While the military spending budget has recently been increasing since at least 1998 (from 258.6M then to 329.9M in 2002 dollars), it had previously been decreasing from a Gulf War high of 276.2M in 1989 to 265.5M in 1996 (all in 1996 dollars), with an annual drop each year except 1992 (a 12M increase).  Previous to that period, yes, spending was mostly steadily increasing from 1977 onward.

So, recap, spending (mostly) increased annually from 1977 to 1989, (mostly) decreased annually from 1990 to somewhere around 97-98, and has (mostly) increased annually since then.

I might add, since you brought up names, that Reagan served from 1981-1989, Bush I from 1989-1993, Clinton from 1993-2001, and Bush II from 2001-.

[ Parent ]

You obviously didn't read the UN Resolution (4.72 / 11) (#23)
by scatbubba on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 05:16:27 PM EST

The issue isn't finding sites that Iraq points out, the issue is for the inspectors to have immediate access to any site they choose. Iraq can have all the hidden weapons they want, but as long as they allow inspectors immediate access to any area they request, they will not be invaded. The most intresting part of the resolution, is that the inspectors can interview anyone they want, in or out of the country, and reserve the right to take the interviewee's family with them when they go. I bet Iraq will quickly find itself without nuclear scientists if this is done. As it is, no Iraqi scientists are going to defect when their women and children will be tortured.

The inspectors always have had access (4.57 / 7) (#26)
by svampa on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 07:19:13 PM EST

A month or two ago (maybe three) , Iraq granted unconditional access to the inspectors. If UN didn't begin it is because USA blocked it. USA demanded a more agresive resolution before inspections.

I'm afraid that USA doesn't want to know if there are WMD or not, USA wants to overthrow Sadam.

As it is, no Iraqi scientists are going to defect when their women and children will be tortured.

Have you thought in the possibility that those scientists could be Iraquies, that like their country, they like their work, they their way of life, specially because they have a privileged status?

I bet Iraq will quickly find itself without nuclear scientists if this is done.

I bet you that we will never hear about those scientists, no matter if they have never existed, if they defect, or if they stay. But we will hear about nice war



[ Parent ]
Umm, no ... (4.16 / 6) (#58)
by Simon Kinahan on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:08:31 AM EST

A month or two ago (maybe three) , Iraq granted unconditional access to the inspectors.

Iraq granted unconditional access to the whole country, apart from the "presidential" complexes. That is not the same thing at all.

Have you thought in the possibility that those scientists could be Iraquies, that like their country, they like their work, they their way of life, specially because they have a privileged status?

People living under oppressive regimes necessarily have rather complex attitudes towards them. Ask anyone French who lived through the second world war. Apart from bona fide psychopaths, it is unlikely anyone prefers the current Iraqi regime to an alternative, but nonetheless they will cooperate because they don't see any alternative as credible. The trick to running a totalitarian regime (or maybe any regime: discuss) is keeping people convinced that the alternatives won't work. Even those who cooperate would probably take the opportunity to get out, were it provided.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

even presidential complex (5.00 / 2) (#112)
by svampa on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:23:41 PM EST

One of the reasons why Iraq banned UN inspectors was because they wanted access to presidental complex. Now they granted access there too

is unlikely anyone prefers the current Iraqi regime to an alternative, but nonetheless they will cooperate because they don't see any alternative as credible.

What they see is that the alternative that USA offers is not to become an "Arabian USA" , but another Saudi Arabia, Siria, Kuwait, Egipt,Pakistan etc. That is, a another dictatorship, but this one USA ally, and perhaps with a useless parlament.

Second, you have a misconception, life in those regimes is not so terrible if you don't mind free expression, nor political freedom, and most people don't. And from the material point of view, they can easily blame UN sanctions

Put in their shoes, would you defect to help a foreign army invade your own country? or would you prefer to help to make you contry more powerful and to be a proud part of it?

I don't mean this is what those supposed scientist think. But consider that perphaps they act for another reasons that have nothing to do with threats to their families.

That's what hi-tech well-informed and privileged people could think, the rest probably prefer someone like Osama Bin Laden.

Anyhow, those scientist are not important, the war is coming.



[ Parent ]
Really ? (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by Simon Kinahan on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:00:00 PM EST

One of the reasons why Iraq banned UN inspectors was because they wanted access to presidental complex. Now they granted access there too

The last offer I'm aware of is from the 1st October, this year. The presidential complexes were still excluded. If you have more recent information, give me a link.

What they see is that the alternative that USA offers is not to become an "Arabian USA" , but another Saudi Arabia, Siria, Kuwait, Egipt,Pakistan etc. That is, a another dictatorship, but this one USA ally, and perhaps with a useless parlament.

I shouldn't think most Iraqis have the slightest idea what the US intends, since as far as I can tell, the US administration has no idea either. A bunch of the usual suspects in the press (on both sides) have decided what the administration intends, but as far as I can see, they have no evidence.

Second, you have a misconception, life in those regimes is not so terrible if you don't mind free expression, nor political freedom, and most people don't. And from the material point of view, they can easily blame UN sanctions

I think you underestimate people. They may not do anything, that requires real courage, but people have empathy. They know what is right and what is wrong, and they can tell a decent government from a bad one. Given the chance of US citizenship, would you stay in Iraq and help Saddam ? I doubt it. I certainly wouldn't.

Put in their shoes, would you defect to help a foreign army invade your own country?

No. It is quite understandable that people unite under the threat of foreign invasion. This is why threatening a war is not a good way to get peace. Tell that to George Bush, not me.

or would you prefer to help to make you contry more powerful and to be a proud part of it?

That would depend on the precise circumstances. Would I voluntarily develop weapons for a dictatorship ? Not if I had a chance to get out, no, my country or not. The idea what weapons can make a beaten country let by a dictator into a real power is deluded. Intelligent people realise that.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

Incomplete media (none / 0) (#234)
by fridgemagnet on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:55:38 AM EST

It was widely implied that the Iraqis were "blocking access" to presidential palaces. From what I understand, this was not the case and it's not explicitly stated in your linked report.

Entirely unrestricted, anywhere-anytime access was not being granted, but the condition that was placed on it was that the inspectors would have to be accompanied by a UN diplomat to "minimise risk of spying" (given that there were Israeli, US etc spies in the original inspections, which has been admitted).

To me, this doesn't sound like an incredibly onerous restriction, though I've not read the exact details... it's certainly not enough to invade based on. It's clear, though, how the media was directed to portray it, which just reinforces my belief that the USG will find any way it can to justify an invasion.

---
"bugler of incongruity"


[ Parent ]
Sigh ... (none / 0) (#241)
by Simon Kinahan on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:19:33 PM EST

It was widely implied that the Iraqis were "blocking access" to presidential palaces. From what I understand, this was not the case and it's not explicitly stated in your linked report.

I'm not sure what you think wasn't said, but here's chapter and verse ...

Back in 1997, the Iraqis declared the palaces off limits. That crisis was eventually resolved, but when they were inspected, the sites showed signs of recent evacuation

In the agreement between the UN and Iraq, the presidential complexes were explicitly excluded, as the report I linked said: Dr Blix said the inspectors would have unconditional access to all sites - but not to eight presidential palaces which are covered under a separate agreement between Iraq and UN. . The separate agreement lays down quite a number of hoops the inspection agency has to jump through, including telling the Iraqis the date and time of the inspection, and appointing an appropriate groups of diplomats, who cannot be members of the inspections teams. It would be quite easy, given those restrictions, for the Iraqis to move any prohibitted material in time, especially given how much time they've had to plan for this.

... it's certainly not enough to invade based on.

Well, that's the million dollar question, isn't it ? If you buy that this arms-inspection business is sufficient grounds for a war in the first place, then you have to accept that, given the nature of the Iraqi regime, they will use every inch of wriggle-room they can get, short of giving grounds for an invasion.

Anyway, if we assume Iraq accepts the new UN resolution, and it doesn't look as if they have much choice, that puts an end to these exclusions.

It's clear, though, how the media was directed to portray it,

It would appear rather less clear than you believe.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

Ummmm, no again (none / 0) (#294)
by bradasch on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 07:36:57 AM EST

...Apart from bona fide psychopaths, it is unlikely anyone prefers the current Iraqi regime to an alternative...

And that's the main problem: everyone assumes the vast majority of iraqis are just waiting for a chance to flee from their own country, leaving everything behind, for a better regime.
Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with Saddam, but to assume the iraqi people agrees with the U.S. and want someone else to take control of their country is a mistake.

[ Parent ]
Look ... (none / 0) (#296)
by Simon Kinahan on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 08:44:16 AM EST

Is it completely impossible to say anything without people reading all kinds of other stuff into it ? I'm not advocating invasion, or even arms inspections, or indeed *anything*. I started off this thread trying to correct blatant errors.

If you look about 3 levels above the post you replied to, you'll see me say quite clearly that people whose country is about to be invaded are likely to oppose the idea, even if they hate the current regime. Indisputably, most people would rather stay in their own country, and they'd rather not have someone else invade to change their regime for them. This doesn't contradict anything I've said.

If Iraq functions anything like most other dictatorships - and it seems to - there will be a substantial number of educated people working for the regime who are under one kind or durress or another. Those people are likely to know that a war is coming, and that there is no prospect of the regime reforming itself or being overthrown domestically. Were I in their position, I'd leave. Agree ?  

Similarly, were Iraqis genuinely given the option of a properly democratic government tomorrow, without the need for an invasion, or a violent revolution, I imagine most of them would say yes. Agree ?

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

Inspector Tangent (5.00 / 4) (#134)
by MrEd on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:38:13 AM EST

What really gets me upset is the repetition of the mantra "Iraq threw the weapons inspectors out, they must have something to hide"...

This is blatantly untrue. Iraq never threw weapons inspectors out. If you look at newspapers from 1998 they report (accurately) that the weapons inspectors were ordered by the USA to withdraw as the 1998 Monica Lewinski Memorial Bombing Campaign got underway.

Cynical politics, man!

Watch out for the k5 superiority complex!


[ Parent ]
You obviously didn't hear Tony Blair's rhetoric (4.60 / 5) (#63)
by Rogerborg on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:16:28 AM EST

The exact wording of the resolution is irrelevant; it demands full disclosure, and threatens force.  The one doesn't lead to the other according to the resolution, but that's irrelevant.  The connection between the two has already been made by Tony Blair stating that failure to give full disclosure will be treated exactly the same as blocking the inspectors.  He's setting up the conditions for declaring war based on a lack of full disclosure (impossible, I suggest), not on the result of the inspections.

Iraq can argue out the legal niceties, but it won't matter worth a damn.  Bush II has his promised UN resolution authorising force, and he can argue (i.e shout over any dissent) that anything that Iraq does now satisfies the conditions for using force.

The marines are going in.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Wait I'm confused (3.00 / 3) (#89)
by Silent Chris on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:58:44 PM EST

You're saying that UN inspectors will torture families? (I'm not being satirical, if it's coming out like that). I know the UN is full of bureaucracy, but I doubt they're much into civil disorder.

[ Parent ]
Not quite (3.50 / 2) (#101)
by qbwiz on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 04:43:46 PM EST

I think he's saying that they will not defect if the Iraqis will torture their families for it.

[ Parent ]
The Iraqis agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#261)
by wytcld on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 04:58:29 PM EST

That would be why theIraqi parliament has come out against allowing the UN in on the terms of the resolution.
"The resolution wants to rob the country of its scientists and its intelligence," one member said. "It is unfair. We need to stand up for what is courageous and what is right."


[ Parent ]
Scott Ritter (4.44 / 9) (#27)
by cameldrv on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 07:26:20 PM EST

You are misrepresenting Scott Ritter. I've read his book and heard him speak, and he has said that he thinks that they got "95%" of Iraqi special weapons through '98. He specifically mentions a partially destroyed VX plant which the Iraqis claimed did not exist, as well as the famous video of trucks going out the back gate while the inspectors were getting held up at the front. If you have read Ritter's book, it is clear that the Iraqis had prohibited weapons which were not declared, and attempted to keep them secret. Whether any significant programs escaped the inspectors, I don't know, and neither does Ritter. Whether this is worth going to war over is another matter, but the ultimate question of whether Iraq violated the terms of the cease fire is not in doubt.

Ritter's been paid off. (3.80 / 5) (#42)
by Demiurge on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:01:36 AM EST

I wish I had saved the URL, but there was an article a short while back in the WSJ about Ritter's change of mind. It seems that he's being employed(for a rather large sum) by an Iraqi group with strong ties to Saddam Hussein.

Considering he was far more pessimistic regarding Iraq's WMDS when the inspections were halted, I think it's a reasonable explanation.

[ Parent ]
Where's the money now? (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by broken77 on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 09:28:20 PM EST

Guess what. All the money's gone and they haven't even recouped their expenses on it. Scott Ritter, to this date, has earned $0 on that film. But of course the WSJ would never mention something like that...

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 ]

-1, Scott Ritter (2.70 / 10) (#29)
by RyoCokey on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 07:41:47 PM EST

I'm sure Jane Fonda has some insightful things to say about Vietnam, as well.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
Jane Fonda ... (none / 0) (#235)
by FourDegreez on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:04:46 PM EST

Maybe one day many of us will look back on Ritter as we now look back on Fonda.

[ Parent ]
His wife (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by Syntax on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 08:03:31 PM EST

I will go look for sources, I believe his 'wife' has defected and is now talking to the CIA.

pinko (1.45 / 22) (#32)
by turmeric on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 08:11:31 PM EST

scott ritter is a communist puppet. we need to go in there NOW and go in there WITH FORCE. we have been waiting TEN YEARS for the stupid UN, while hundreds of thousands of iraqis have died. he GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE. people like you are why hitler gained so much power.

OH... MY... GOD!#!@$ (2.00 / 2) (#61)
by nanobug on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:04:47 AM EST

We gassed our own troops before too. What's your point? He gassed his own people and we did NOTHING to stop them, because at the time we didn't care too much for the kurds. When it became convenient for us (when we needed oil), then that fact was used in the media to justify going in there and taking them out.

[ Parent ]
Not quite gas, but... (none / 0) (#79)
by orestes on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:47:36 PM EST

...we've done our share.

[ You Sad Bastard ]
[ Parent ]
Yeah! (none / 0) (#108)
by bjlhct on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:05:56 PM EST

Let's gas them for him!

it seems you forgot that "pinko" is a compliment here.
*

kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

No, the question is not (3.75 / 8) (#35)
by JChen on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 09:10:34 PM EST

"does anyone care". It's "does it really matter anymore?"

It feels like Wag the Dog: whenever the domestic situation feels crappy, lob a few diplomatic insults and then send in the troops. God Bless America, let the economy and other national issues to the next administration to mop up. Rinse and repeat.

Let us do as we say.

What president are you talking about? (2.66 / 3) (#45)
by Mahonrimoriancumer on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:40:00 AM EST

Last I checked, Bill Clinton was the president that did the behavior you described when he was having issues with the Lewinsky scandal/being impeached. Please show me how President Bush is trying to get people to not notice the poor economy.

[ Parent ]
No Bush lacks the intellectual capacity... (3.00 / 4) (#59)
by hughk on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:58:31 AM EST

Bush didn't do anything trivial like stick his dick where he shouldn't. He preferred to screw around with his corporate playbunnies like Enron, Arthur Andersen, Worldcom, etc. Hence what rules the US had over corporate governance and audit are being walked over.

So he now pours cash into the arms industries through dubious and discredited projects like starwars and for the munitions needed to fight another desert war. Sorry, there isn't the cash at the moment, but he no doubt hopes to make money for his friends in the oil world the moment Iraq is openned up.

I support the supression of evil regimes 100%, but doesn't it seem strange that Bush prefers to target a major oil producer? Afghanistan doesn't have any oil, but there are plans for a major pileline there.

I agree that Bush wouldn't launch a "Wag the Dog" thype scenario. He clearly lacks the imagination. However, some of his associates seem to have some intelligence (even if it is the kind that likes to amuse itself stroking white pussy cats in Bond movies).

[ Parent ]

Corporate governance (none / 0) (#166)
by br284 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 02:30:02 PM EST

Bush is not stellar with respect to corporat relations, but do you seriously belive that WorldCom, Enron, and Qwest started all their shenanigans after Bush entered office? They were doing the same things under the Clinton administration and not getting caught. At least under Bush, there is a bit more scrutiny into these things.

(This post is not to suggest that Bush gets the slightest bit of credit for the actions of folks like Elliot Spitzer and the like, however, it is intended to point out the sheep absuridity of blaming the current corporate scandals on Bush's policies.)

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Shut up (2.25 / 4) (#60)
by nanobug on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:01:49 AM EST

Under the Clinton administration, the federal budget went from a 290 billion dollar deficit to a 230 billion dollar surplus. The median income of Americans rose $5046 from $41,691 in 1993 to $46,737 in 1998. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I suggest you do some research on the Clinton Administration's economic policies, since you were obviously living under a rock while he was in office. I mean, don't tell me you didn't notice how good things were, especially compared to now?

[ Parent ]
Hmmm,.. (4.00 / 2) (#72)
by jwwebcast on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:46:48 AM EST

Since the economy crashed (in 2000) while he was in office, and his economic policies were in effect, what does that say about him huh?  Or do facts merely get in the way?

As a worked in the Dot-com industry, I find it insulting to imply that anyone in Washington was responsible for the boom (or the bust) other than the hard work and ingenuity of people like myselfs.  This was a silicon valley boom, not a Washington politics one.

Get over it.

[ Parent ]

wrong (2.50 / 4) (#97)
by nanobug on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 03:14:59 PM EST

Okay, let me make it nice and simple for you. Back when Bush Sr. was president, Unemployment was up. When the Clinton administration took over, Unemployment went down. Now, another Bush is in office, and unemployment is going up again. When Bush Sr. was president, the national debt was huge. When the Clinton administration took over, we had NO debt, and a surplus. Now, another Bush is in office, and the debt is growing again. When Bush Sr. was president, the stock market was going downhill. When Clinton took office, the stock market went up, up, and up some more. Since George W. Bush has taken office, it has gone down the tubes. The current recession began in March 2001, and no matter what the republicans tell you, the blame for that can only go to the Bush administration. If anyone wants to play the blame game, they must also admit that during the Clinton administration, things were good. Damn good.

[ Parent ]
No - you're wrong (3.00 / 2) (#104)
by jwwebcast on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:12:11 PM EST

Things were good under clinton.  That I admit, but I still think washington has nothing to do with it.

As for when things went bad, it was 2000.  I can back up my statement, can you?

Hopefully this link works.  Check out when it drops.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.asp?Symbol=%24COMPX&ShowChtBt=Refresh+Chart&DateRangeForm=1&PT=5&CP=1&C5=1&C6=2000&C7=12&C8=2000&C9=2&ComparisonsForm=1&CE=0&CompSyms=&DisplayForm=1&D9=1&D0=1&D4=1&D7=&D6=&D3=0

You may have to copy and paste the link to make it work.  Not sure.

[ Parent ]

sure, i can back it up (3.40 / 5) (#106)
by nanobug on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:35:58 PM EST

from http://www.nber.org/cycles/november2001/

The NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee has determined that a peak in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in March 2001. A peak marks the end of an expansion and the beginning of a recession. The determination of a peak date in March is thus a determination that the expansion that began in March 1991 ended in March 2001 and a recession began. The expansion lasted exactly 10 years, the longest in the NBER's chronology

NBER stands for the National Bureau of Economic Research.  From their homepage:

The NBER is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. Our research is conducted by more than 600 university professors around the country, the leading scholars in their fields.

this is from http://216.239.53.100/search?q=cache:Q9oKtGP6R8oC:www.aw.com/info/abel_bernanke_ update/Chapter8Update.pdf+recession+march+2001&hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=U TF-8

As of the beginning of 2001, there had been no "official" recession in the United States since the one that began in July 1990 and ended in March 1991. The ten-year span without a recession was the longest in U.S. history.

It is widely agreed that, while things did turn a bit downhill in 2000, the recession did not officially begin until March 2001.

[ Parent ]

Bush had nothing to do with it. (4.00 / 1) (#223)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:05:31 AM EST

He hadn't been in office long enough. He was inaugurated in late January 2001. The crash would have been just as bad if Gore had gone into office. Global economic trends do not turn on a dime. The MicroStrategy collapse and the Microisoft verdict, which were the proximate triggers of the dot com collapse, had their roots in the mid 90's. The telco collapse had its roots in the merger mania and the 'lay fiber everywhere' mania of the telco's .Those were a result of telco deregulation, which started with the AT&T anti-trust decision of the mid-80's.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]
Saddam's Best Move (3.87 / 8) (#36)
by harrystottle on Fri Nov 08, 2002 at 10:33:44 PM EST

at the risk of repeating myself (my previous post seems to have disappeared) I agree. The Stage is being set for War. The US wants Saddam to resist and fail. I just wrote this in my diary before reading your piece...

Saddam's Best Move?

roll over

let himself be screwed

But insist on full western media coverage of everything the inspectors do and everywhere they go.

That will a)
convince the rest of the world that he is not hiding anything - or at least that he's hidden it so well that he's confident we won't find it.

and b)
ensure that the inspectors do absolutely nothing that they are not legally obliged or entitled to do.

In particular, it will ensure that we don't see evidence "planted" as an excuse for war.

 



Mostly harmless
not going to happen (2.00 / 3) (#48)
by F a l c o n on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 04:30:57 AM EST

This is not going to happen. Here's why in a nutshell: There are two groups who want a war on Iraq so desperately, they'd sell their grandmother for it (and let their neighbours son die on the field of battle). One is the US Oil industry, including its subsidiary, the white house. The other is the US media. War just is the No. 1 source of news, it boosts sales which in turn boost ad revenue. If you're CNN, then a war is just the best thing ever. So the only TV coverage would be from Al Jazeira. Can you pick that up where you live? Would CNN broadcast "Special Report: UN inspectors turn over every stone, find nothing"?
--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]
Why would the US oil industry want war in Iraq. (4.80 / 5) (#70)
by jwwebcast on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:44:24 AM EST

The US oil industry makes more money when we DON'T get foreign oil. If we continue to not get oil from Iraq, it makes a more compelling arguement for drilling in Alaska, and other areas in the US.

If anything, the US oil industry would want the status quo to remain (embargos!) so that there is no oil coming in, and the control the US oil supply.

On the other hand, countries (like France and Russia) who are owed billions by Iraq, and would collect in oil, have an interested in there not being a war. So I would more likely say that those countries are willing to let despots and tyrants remain in power, so that they can get oil. "No war, for oil", should be their chant, rather than "no war for oil."

[ Parent ]
why (none / 0) (#356)
by F a l c o n on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:42:30 PM EST

(I realize it's a late reply)

Yes, the current embargo is a great thing for the Oil multis. As a matter of fact, I'm fairly sure it was why they engineered gulf war one.

However, having the iraqi oil fields in their hands would be better still. And Bush the second is talking openly about replacing the iraqi government with a US friendly puppet regime. Guess what that would include.
--
Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]

Habitual Liars (3.75 / 16) (#43)
by higinx on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:03:40 AM EST

Let's not forget you're talking about a government that has literally lied dozens of times, in writing, during past UN inspection regimes.

"No we don't have VX nerve gas. See, we signed a sworn statement to that effect. Oh, you found some? How much? Ok, we have 10 liters of VX nerve gas. See, we signed a new statement. That's all we have. Oh, you found some more? How much? Ok, we have 50 liters. But that's all, we promise."

Talk about a mockery. On both sides.

The real problem is that there is no way in hell we will *ever* be able to find their last biological lab, because those things are on trailers and move around every day. No one will admit that, not least of all the US, because it would mean we weren't as powerful as we want to be.

There is no alternative other than putting other people in charge of that country, and getting rid of all the bad apples in the current regime.

Anyone can have and hide a biological program from the world. The real question is who are you most afraid of using that kind of weapon?
--
Send me a nickel: http://www.ginx.com/nx/donate/patrick

Forgetting LBJ... (3.50 / 2) (#55)
by giminy on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:57:51 AM EST

...And the Gulf of Tonkin incident.  That's what really bugs, that the Gov lies all the time and gets away with it.  I'm not such a big fan of disinformation, it reminds me of 1984.

[ Parent ]
lern two spel (1.60 / 5) (#57)
by Baldwin atomic on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:02:40 AM EST

I think you'll find it's spelt "litres".
BTW, how do you measure out a litre of VX gas?
I'm fairly certain it's compressed for storage.


=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
Opinions not necessarily those of the author.
[ Parent ]
I really hope you're joking... (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by jwwebcast on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:40:29 AM EST

But if not, how ego-centric are you?

It's liters in some countries (like the US), and the litres version is considered a variant (primarily used in England, and of course litre is the french version, iir.

But of course, the whole habit of correcting spelling on a response is pretty mindless. I see the net as a bit less formal than the normal world.

So I am going to assume you are being humorous, and give you the benefit :)

[ Parent ]
umm... (none / 0) (#359)
by Baldwin atomic on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:30:02 AM EST

I was half-joking.
The French invented litres (AFAIK - they definately invented SI units, and the metric system, of which the litre is an integral part), so why use a spelling other than theirs?

I'm sick of the US inventing their own spellings for otherwise perfectly good words....


=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
Opinions not necessarily those of the author.
[ Parent ]
Thank you, may I have another? (3.00 / 3) (#80)
by higinx on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:57:14 PM EST

I'll try to include British spelling now for every word that has a different spelling than the American variant.

Also, the numbers I used (10 and fifty liters/litres) were illustrative and not based on fact. I didn't feel like looking them up, but feel free to visit http://www.un.org/Depts/unscom/ to get the real scoop.
--
Send me a nickel: http://www.ginx.com/nx/donate/patrick
[ Parent ]

Liquid... (none / 0) (#304)
by biz on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 02:24:34 PM EST

VX is a colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid. (That is, if you believe the US DoD, who seem to have plenty of experience in the field.)

[ Parent ]
best laugh I've had in a while (2.00 / 2) (#135)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:43:17 AM EST

ROTFL

No, seriously.

You seem to be suggesting that there are governments somewhere in the world that are _not_ habitual liars?

Sheesh, that's a good one.

An identity card is better that no identity at all
[ Parent ]

Does noone think this is good news? (4.64 / 17) (#47)
by ukryule on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 02:46:06 AM EST

Ok. Here's a wacky idea - perhaps this is an example of international politics actually working.

A couple of months ago, the US was talking about an enforced 'regime change' in Iraq, and was going to either ignore the UN or was expecting it to rubberstamp any US plans. Most European nations were strongly opposed to this, were worried about the effects of a war in Iraq, worried about unilateral behaviour of the US, and wondering why their ally in the 'war on terror' was happily ignoring their views.

What we now have is a resolution which everyone supports (including Syria, the only Arabic vote). The resolution gives the inspectors enough power to do an effective job, but doesn't seem to give the US Carte Blanche to invade on a whim.

The US are happy that they've got a real chance to inspect Iraq
Other Western nations are happy that the US seems to be listening to them, and that it isn't quite as trigger happy as it was
Iraq have a resolution which isn't obviously just an excuse to invade, while knowing that the threat behind it is real.

Of course, it's only a step forward. There's still the real possibility of Iraq not cooperating, or the US going it alone and attacking anyway. But shouldn't we be celebrating the fact that the governments of the world seem to have been able to agree on a way forward in dealing with a world problem?

The odd thing is that we have the French and Russians to thank for their diplomacy efforts. Wierd :-)

Thank you. It's nice to see thought. [N/T] (2.66 / 3) (#49)
by opendna on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 04:38:51 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Not wierd, but nor weird either :-) (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by mami on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:40:57 AM EST

And yes, it is good news, at least for a couple of days to weeks. And no, it's not weird that you can thank the Russians and French and Secretary Powell to make it happen. All three of them might just have understood how to deal with "people, who are scared to lose their face", if you know what I mean ...

[ Parent ]
nor am I a better speller than you are (grr... nt) (none / 0) (#54)
by mami on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:41:53 AM EST



[ Parent ]
yes, kind of (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by martingale on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:17:02 AM EST

So long as there is consensus within the international community, I believe this is good news, in the sense that we aren't actively stepping closer to a world war. World War requires roughly evenly matched forces on both sides, and when most every one is on one side this is impossible.

The bad news were the American elections, which are already going to GW's head.So I think we're going to see a lot more idiotic statements in the future, and many opportunities for things to get worse, thanks to our favourite transatlantic voters.

One step forward, one step back.

[ Parent ]

Russians? Hell yes. (none / 0) (#242)
by Shren on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:59:39 PM EST

Saddam owes Russia lots of money, which they'll never get if the USA kills him.

[ Parent ]
How was that about demonstrating a negative? (4.00 / 3) (#50)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 05:35:34 AM EST


Help me please. Head hurts.

European? Say no to software patents.
It's sciento-blurb (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by Rogerborg on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:20:57 AM EST

Usually used as "Evidence of absense is not absence of evidence."

It means just what it says.  Just because you can't find evidence of something doesn't mean it isn't there.  And we know the weapons are there, because Bush II and Tony said they were, so it really doesn't matter if we find them or not.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Errr... not the other way around ? (none / 0) (#179)
by dorsai on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 05:05:08 PM EST

I'm sorry if I'm wrong - English is not my primary language BUT... should that not be "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" ?

Dorsai the sigless


[ Parent ]
Oops (none / 0) (#238)
by Rogerborg on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:12:15 PM EST

Uh, you're absolutely right.  What a chump.  Sorry, in another life (amatuer historian) I type this phrase so frequently that I no longer even think about it when I'm doing it.  I guess I really should!

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Yup, Saddam's damned. (3.66 / 3) (#51)
by Will Sargent on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:00:49 AM EST

If Saddam does have anything to hide, he's screwed.

If he doesn't have anything to hide, he's probably screwed anyway.  But they won't need to do this; there have already been so many violations it's hard to imagine they don't have something incriminating.  All Bush really needs is a license to go fishing in areas where he's been told he can't look *cough*presidential palaces*cough*.

The pretext to most wars don't really have the actual reasons for doing it, but so what?  I think doing nothing (whether in respect to the Arab Street or Iraq) is far more dangerous in the long term than kicking some rocks and seeing what crawls out.

----
I'm pickle. I'm stealing your pregnant.

Sick of the extreme K5Hin's leftists (4.05 / 18) (#56)
by Peaker on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:07:46 AM EST

I'm glad to see less of the phenomenon, but it is still common:

One of Kuro5Hin's extreme (fine line between such extremes and insanity) leftists compares Iraq to the US:

But we also have weapons of mass destruction!
And we want to invade Iraq!
They have every justification to invade us too!
This is all a war about oil!
For the love of god, don't invade Iraq!

Weapons of mass destruction are bad for all on a given country's shitlist. On a global scale, the lower the exposure of shitlist-ed countries to mass destruction weapons, the less citizens in danger. Unfortunatly, leaderships usually get where they are by striving to power -- And they don't stop there. Thus, there is an almost universal race towards more and better arms, by all leaderships. There are several attitudes a nation can have in this respect. It can disarm itself from weapons of mass destruction and lower its shitlist-ed exposure to its own weapons -- let me call this the naive approach. The other approach it can take, is to arm itself further and use it to force all of its shitlisted countries to disarm themselves -- let me call this the school bully approach.
Objectively, I obviously support the one that disarms the more countries. Since the naive approach is not likely to work (see power striving above), I support the school bully approach. I especially support that approach when it comes from a country whose leadership has limited power, freedom of speech, relatively uncensored media, etc. Subjectively, I support it because I live in a country which is not on the US shitlist.

I think everyone agrees that while the school-bully approach is superficially "not right", it is the best way to bring stability and less usage of weaponary. Those K5'ers that try to emphasize the mutual-ity of the situation forget that the school bully approach can only be applied by those with enough force. Namely the US and its allies.

I also understand those who question the motives of those who want to go to war. The claims about a war of oil are understandable -- it very likely is motivated by oil too. The oil industry is threatened by Iraqi weaponary and power as much as us citizens are - and in this case, our interests are the same. I don't expect leaders to be holy - that is simply naive and unrealistic. Thus, when unholy motives bring them to do what is in my best intersts, I applaud. I don't care about the motivations for this war - I care about its effect on me and other people. As explained above, its best for me (and other US-and-allies citizens), and good for everyone.

Both objectively and subjectively for the vast majority of readers here, it is better for the USA and its allies to take a school bully approach, to arm itself as much as possible, and use that power to disarm their shitlist-ed countries. Especially when those countries have absoloute leaderships that kill people on a whim. Torture families as a mean to force people to do things. Explicitly support terrorism against women and children (Iraq has explicitly stated this about Hamas, Hezbollah, and even 9/11'th).

Now there are the readers who compare Iraq to North Korea, and ask: "Why don't we do anything there? Hypocracy! Oil!"

To those there is a simple answer. The US would destroy the North Korean regime and replace it with a US-friendly one the instant it could. It simply can't. Why? Because North Korea has an army awaiting South Korea's door, and because North Korea has been successful in its weapons of mass destruction plan. China is also too strong for the US to play bully on.

When Iraq has nuclear weapons, and it invades Kuwait -- don't expect an allied counter-invasion to prevent it.
Don't let Iraq become a major player in the school scene. The US should bully Iraq while it still can, to prevent yet another country from becoming a serious threat - Its best for us, and better for the world.

You're quite right (3.83 / 6) (#67)
by Rogerborg on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:32:56 AM EST

In the short term.  While the US still has massive oil wealth and cheap immigrant labour, it can dictate terms to most of the world.  However, what happens when the oil and cheap labour run out and the USA is just another nation of 300 million people, hated with a burning passion by a couple of billion of the rest?

That's a pretty nasty legacy we're leaving for our grandkids.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Then we'll still have the guns [n/t] (4.00 / 2) (#119)
by RyoCokey on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 09:00:07 PM EST



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
And what are we going to do with them? (none / 0) (#224)
by Rogerborg on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:13:58 AM EST

How do you use the threat of force to stop a suicide attacker?  The more people we bomb and starve, the more orphans and future fanatics and martyrs we create.

Israel is finding that out right now.  It can send in the tanks again and again, but that won't quell the Palestinians, because many of the young men (and women) who have grown up in the refugee camps have nothing left to lose.  How do you threaten people when you've already killed their families and when they view death as a blessed release?

Similarly, every time the USA bombs or sanctions a dusty corner of the globe, Fortress USA comes a step closer.  It is reversible, but the sooner we start, the better.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

You don't use threats, you use the force (none / 0) (#229)
by RyoCokey on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:56:29 AM EST

Dead people can't bomb anything, no matter how deteremined they are. Furthermore, you overestimate their determination. People may be willing to die for a cause, but few people are willing to die for one that is obviously futile. Israel's problem is that it had continued to negotiate, giving the Palestinians the impression that if they simply keep up the "pressure" they'll get results.

The best way to prevent terrorism is to show people the abject failure and death that awaits those who attempt such tactics.

If Terrorism didn't end up extracting political results, terrorism would be the sole domain of loonies such as those at Columbine.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
Eh? (none / 0) (#230)
by Rogerborg on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:07:14 AM EST

Kill 'em all?  The Final Solution?

I wonder if you're over estimating the rationality of suicide attackers.  Aren't they nutso by definition?  I suspect that "noble sacrifice for the greater socio-poltical good" is rather a Western invention, very handy for John Wayne movies or when talking about American patriots, but without that much connection to what's happening in Israel and Palestine right now.  The suicide attackers we're talking about are doing it for a divine reward, not a political one (which makes them nutso in my book).  And their life sucks, so death really has no fear for them.

I agree with you this far: the solution is either to kill 'em all or to stop making their lives suck.  I honestly don't think that we can do the first former.  What's wrong with trying the latter?

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

I suppose it comes down to motivation (none / 0) (#264)
by RyoCokey on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:25:17 PM EST

I seriously doubt that most of the terrorists are nuts. Simply because if they are suffering from genuine mental disorders, it would severely effect their cohesiveness and effectiveness. Frankly, I feel that much of it is brainwashing along with resentment at their personal failures in life. In the case of Palestinian suicide bombers, it could be both societal pressure and monetary reward (Saddam pays quite a bounty to the families.)

As for "stop making their lives suck" this seems like a good, Christian (Secular Humanist, whatever) thing to do. At first glance. First of all, if they are insane, this won't help one bit unless you envision a world-wide psychological assistance network.

Secondly, we're talking about groups and societies that are already engaging in terrorism. If we are to aid them and help them, we're reinforcing the idea that terror works, rather than helping to repress terror. The world is covered with the poor and suffering. Resources are limited, and we can only help so many areas. If we support those which generate terrorists and attack us, what kind of message is that? What kind of behavior is that, other than paying a blackmail demand?

We should act in a just manner towards the people of the world, and where possible accomidate them. However, those who have taken up the tools of the terrorist must be dealt with harshly and finally. US policy could improve the world quite a bit just being wise in the matters of who it gives aid to.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
I'm amazed (none / 0) (#281)
by hugues on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:03:26 PM EST

What you are describing is exactly what the US are doing at the moment:

- Define who the terrorists are (e.g: Palestinians are terrorists, Israeli not. Strangely Saudis are not terrorists yet).
- Help the non-terrorists with monies/aid.
- Refuse to deal with the terrorists.

There are a few things wrong in what you write:

> we're talking about groups and societies that
> are already engaging in terrorism.

The problem is that Palestinians (for example) cannot be labelled as terrorists wholesale. Only a few of them become so. Way more than in the general US population, say, but still a tiny minority. The fact is Palestinians pretty much have had a raw deal in the last 50 years. I can pretty much guarantee that you would not be very happy in their shoes.

So what do you do? Continue to punish a whole population because a few among them become terrorists at least partly because the situation they are in, or do you try to improve the situation? I personally think it's a bit smug of you to say `they are bad so they should be punished'.

At the moment the US and the rest of the western world is not earnest in wanting peace in the middle east. What it needs is a kind of Marshall plan with development for *everyone*. Everybody needs to move on.

It's not easy, for sure, and it requires a 100-year vision. The millenia-old problems of the region will not disappear overnight. The problem for the western world is that elections are held every few years and that it's too far and too hard. My opinion is however that the current regimen of punishment vs. preferential treatment is not working and is making things worse.

And yes, terror works to an extent. If you don't admit that you are in for a heap of trouble.

[ Parent ]

They most certainly are. (none / 0) (#287)
by RyoCokey on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:40:09 PM EST

The Palestinians are probably an example of a society where suicide bombers have majority support. One could argue there is a "silent majority" that doesn't advocate terrorist activity, but for the most part they are supported and demonstrate in support of terrorist activities. It's really hard to get more clear cut than that. I suggest we give Israel Carte Blanche to do what they will.

As for being smug about "punishing them" it's our money. If we don't feel like giving it to them for blowing people up, we're quite within rights. As for military action, I feel that should be focused and on a case by case basis.

Lastly, terrorism works to the extent that you let it. There are examples throughout history about how terrorism succeeded against the undetermined and easily swayed, and how it failed against those who chose to confront it. I'd list the Barbary Pirates and American Indian Raids as just two examples of the later.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
Huh. (4.00 / 1) (#126)
by Calledor on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:33:48 PM EST

Lets see. Most of the type of production that cheap immigrant labour is good at, we go to China for. When the oil runs out the world in general is fucked, except for us because we still have ships that are nuclear powered.

I suppose you mean though what will happen when the U.S. loses it's world domination status like Greece, Rome, France, Spain, the Moorish (Islamic, Arabic?), and English empires? Generally what has always happened. No one will give a crap about us, because they will be concerned with people that can effect them. Vengence in terms of war happens between geographical neighbors. If the U.S. isn't a world power no one is going to wage a war on us (oh I suppose Canada and Mexico might try something but I don't see it). If our grandchildren are invaded, lets hope that they have the competance to defend themselves. Really, there's not a whole lot the U.S. is going to do now in order to change the "world's" opinion of us.

-Calledor
"I've never been able to argue with anyone who believes the Nazis didn't invade Russia, or anyone who associates the Holocaust with the meat industry. It's like talking to someone from another planet. A planet of fuckwits."- Jos
[ Parent ]

Hmm (3.00 / 1) (#145)
by Rogerborg on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 07:59:15 AM EST

Greece and Rome were both trashed when their imperial power collapsed (yes they recovered, but it wasn't much fun for the citizens of the time).  France, Spain and Britain (nee England) left persistent genetic and cultural heritages in their major colonies (Latin America, French Canadians and, uh, the USA) and have to various extents switched from rapists of to investors in their minor colonies.  Remember, the verdict isn't in on them yet, they're still spending their colonial wealth (i.e. giving some of it back!).

Regarding Islam, Greek and Turkish Cypriots might have something to say about the joys of imperialism.

I'm not saying that the USA is putting its future at risk, just that it needs to get the timing right on switching from Tough Cop to Nice Cop.  Britain seemed to get it about right, which is why Tony Blair should really consider the merits of talking big from behind the safety of Bush II's skirts.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

I am for nuclear proliferation (4.25 / 4) (#74)
by Amorsen on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:19:44 PM EST

There is no way I trust any nation to be the undisputed leader of the world. The only way to ensure that your government will not be overthrown is to be able to cause significant damage to the world leader. 3000 deaths are not significant, so more potent weapons are needed. Currently that means that you need to be able to deliver at least fission bombs but preferably fusion devices onto the home soil of the world leader. ICBM-carrying submarines are a very good solution, but most nations have to make do with less.

Incidentally, India would surely have gone to war and won against Pakistan if they both had only conventional bombs. The only reason that war is still a possibility between them is that India is strong enough that it is probably able to win even in a nuclear war. If both nations had fusion bombs, that would not be a risk.

In the end, I fear Saddam Hussein way less than I fear George W. Bush. For all the Hitler-comparisons, Hussein lacks a significant industrial base to draw on. It would be impossible for Iraq to be a major player in a world war.

The US, on the other hand, wishes to "deter the rise of a new greatpower competitor; [...] and to preserve American preeminence".

[ Parent ]

You're really for deterrence (4.33 / 3) (#85)
by imadork on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:23:19 PM EST

... and the Cold War concept of Mutually Assured Destruction".

This only works when both sides have so many weapons that there is no actual advantage to striking first; both sides would be obliterated in any large-scale war. You even admit it when you state that this might not work on the Indian subcontinent because India would probably survive the conflict.

The key to deterrence is the knowledge that both sides have the weapons to destroy the other but are not likely to use them, because they don't want to obliterate themselves in the process. That's why the concept of suicide bombings coupled with WMD and nukes turn deterrence on its head. If  one party in a conflict "is more keen on dying than you are keen on living", as one of the Chechen terrorists put it, then giving everyone nukes and hoping that deterrence will save the day will not work -- there will always be some nutcase that would gladly use one (perhaps on the U.S. or Israel), even knowing that it means that the U.S. will strike back and turn their country into sand.

(This assumes that said nutcase's country is in the desert, of course. These days, it seems to be where all the nutcases are coming from, at least that's what GWB told me.)

Heck, the nutcases may even be hoping for that, as US retaliation would further polarize the world into Pro-US and Anti-US factions, and bring about the coming of a third World War.

Approximately 50% of us are below average..
[ Parent ]

I'm not sure I completely agree with you, but... (4.25 / 4) (#91)
by merkri on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 02:26:38 PM EST

I'm not sure I completely agree with you about getting sick of the leftist position (I'm somewhat of a leftist myself), but you do make some good points.

To be honest, I'm not sure what to think of the Iraq situation.

In someways, international opinion on middle east policy reminds me of appeasement policy conflicts prior to WWII. Once again, we have a poor, oppressed area of the world that nonetheless is associated with questionable military [terrorist] and human rights policies. On the one side, we have much of the world adopting the position that there's not enough evidence to conclude that Iraq is causing any problems, and that if we push things, it's just going to make Iraq and the rest of the middle east angry and make things worse. On the other side, there's those that adopt the position that if we let countries like Iraq "get away with it", it's just going to get worse.

On the one hand, I think countries like Iraq shouldn't be allowed to get away with things. I do think that terrorist activity, in whatever form, is a major problem eminating from the middle east, and that things like the 9/11 attacks suggest that things have gotten a bit too out of hand (if they weren't before), and will get worse if things aren't addressed (I'm of the opinion that a failure to take terrorism seriously--e.g., the Bush administration's emphasis on missle defense technology ala 1985 prior to 9/11--contributed in part to the 9/11 attack success).

On the other hand, Iraq doesn't seem to represent a major world military power in the same way as Germany prior to WWII, although I definitely could be uninformed in this regard. I also think that there are other major politico-economic issues that haven't been sufficiently addressed--e.g., problems with the Saudi government, Palestinian human rights, etc. To further complicate things, I'm not sure that many of these problems, such as Saudi policy, can be adequately addressed because of this country's dependence on petroleum.

So it's a toss up for me. I know that sounds like a copout, but it's the way I feel. I guess I think the primary problem is that the US needs to wean itself off of petroleum as an energy source, but I know that even in my wildest dreams that's not going to happen in the immediate future.

[ Parent ]

Halabja (4.33 / 3) (#62)
by alfadir on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:36:46 AM EST

In many news reports that deals with Iraq the same mantra is repeated over and over : "Iraq gassed its own population" I have never realy reflected on the timeline when this happend. Now when here on kuro5hin statements like the article all the Kurdish civilians that were gassed with them I decided to dig a little bit deaper in what happend in international politics when this gassing occured

16 March 1988 Halabja, with 60,000 inhabitants was gassed by Iraqi bombplanes.

The following statements I found on Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq University of Cambridge, England. (It was a google search that brought me there, I had never seen it before) They are obviously biased but they bring to attension several facts, like UN resolutions, US goverment bills in a short comprehensable format. Is there anything they have left out ?

"By October 1989, when all international banks had cut off loans to Iraq, President Bush signed National Security Directive (NSD) 26 mandating closer links with Iraq and $1 billion in agricultural loan guarantees. These guarantees freed for Iraq hard cash to continue to buy and develop WMDs, and are suspended only on 2 August 1990, the same day that Iraq invaded Kuwait."

With this background the use of the gassing in the rethoric of the white house seems very strange and leaves a bad taste...



Interestingly enough... (4.00 / 4) (#66)
by Skywise on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:32:47 AM EST

Tracked back the footnote for your line.

Most of the "proof" that all these articles get their information from comes from letters that Henry Gonzales, then House Banking Chairman, submitted to congress in 1992 a presidential election year.

Henry Gonzales had been trying to blow the whistle on this "pattern of corruption" since 1998 (according to letters of his own testimony.. if it was so important... why wait until an election year to blow the whistle?)

Henry Gonzales is a Democrat.

In 1994 the Justice Department (now led by Janet Reno and leaning Democratic) cleared President Bush's administration of any wrongdoing.

On the flip side, the Bush Sr. Administrations response to this investigation and Gonzales accusations were to stonewall and not offer any information at all.

Which is not to say that the Bush Sr. Administration is innocent in their actions, for they were undoubtedly playing with fire.  (I have no problem believing they were manipulating the Middle-East)  But it doesn't make sense that Bush Sr. would start a war with Iraq to cover up that Bush got "caught" funneling cash to support Iraq's war machine. (And Bush wasn't even "caught" yet because the accusations didn't go public for another 4 years, and Bush successfully stonewalled the information anyway by just saying "Wouldn't be prudent to talk about it at this time.") THEN to have the Clinton Administration (which knew of this record) continue the bombings and the boycotts.  THEN to have Bush Jr. call up a war to take Saddam out so... so he can clear his Daddy of this accusation that he's already been cleared of?

Are we going to war with Iraq for a reason other than is stated?  Most definitely yes.  But this aint it.  Oil reserves?  Maybe.  Though I'm not totally convinced, especially after I learned that we get most of our oil from Venezuela.  A war is an awful lot of social/political/economic risk to bet your Presidency on just for oil... Especially when you have a steady supply for years to come.  Most likely I think it's Act I of beginning a process of "westernizing" the Middle-East.  (Actually Bush Sr. did Act I, but Clinton didn't follow up, so they have to start all over again...)

[ Parent ]

Very interesting.. (3.50 / 2) (#75)
by alfadir on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:22:31 PM EST

Thanks, I did not know the background, and I agree that there are probably more things to this than is show publicly. I just hope it is the right reasons.. for the good an humanity and all that. Not short sightedness for American interests.

As for westernizing the Middle East there must be friendlier countries to get a democracy going in than Iraq. One US key ally Saudi-Arabia is not very democratic as far as I know. Why not start there. Ok, I know Saddam is a bad guy and he has to be delt with..

Sorry for the short post but I am on my way out.. might add more later.. if there is any more interesting discussion.. :)



[ Parent ]
Avoid the common mistakes. (3.00 / 3) (#76)
by Futurepower on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:32:26 PM EST

The violence of the U.S. government is due to who gets the profit from oil, not the oil itself. See What should be the Response to Violence?, particularly the section Avoid the common mistakes.

[ Parent ]
It's possible... (3.00 / 1) (#105)
by Skywise on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:15:44 PM EST

But if Bush is doing this only to line the pockets of himself and his buddies, I don't think the return on investment is there.

What you're saying is that Bush is putting his Presidency, his political party, and the nation itself on the line for personal gain?  That's an awful lot of risk to gain a few billion dollars.  Money more easily achievable by keeping Saddam the way he is and increasing profits in Afghanistan which we basically now control and far less politically risky.


[ Parent ]

Oil, a hot subject... (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by alfadir on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:34:52 PM EST

I don't think GW Bush is doing this warmongering to get oil for him and his buddies in Texas. It is possible one of many US interests goal to get more influence in Iraq over the oil, but I find it hard to belive it is the only thing. And then I am talking about the US interests, not the oilcompanies interests. (ok, they may coincide, but that does not mean that GWB is doing this for his oilcompanies..)

Bush publically statest the reasons being that Saddam is a bad guy, he will be a danger in the future and we need to fix this now. Now is not the time to declare "Peace in our time".

I also think that Saddam needs to go and a democratic rule has to be set up. And there are other dictatorships that needs to be changed to democracies. How, when, by whoom ? Idealy it would be an internal process like how Europeean kingdoms became democracies?.. .. but then when you think about the French revolution, it may not be ideal after all..

This is a hard question for all world leaders. How should it be done ? If you were President what would you do? I'm a Swede living in Germany so I have some insight into how other nationalities think, but I don't think anyone has a real solution. Simply ignoring Iraq is definitly not a solution.



[ Parent ]
George W. Bush is not mentally capable... (3.00 / 2) (#158)
by Futurepower on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 10:36:02 AM EST

George W. Bush is not mentally capable of being president. He has never, as far as I am aware, said anything which indicates he is able to think carefully about anything. Before he began running for president, he knew almost nothing about other countries.

George W. Bush only sells the government to people who want control. What he says as president is written for him. He is only a figurehead.

The people who are willing to pay the most to control some aspect of the U.S. government are those for whom money and violence are psychologically connected.

Former U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower was right: Beware of the Military-Industrial Complex.

[ Parent ]
People like you (none / 0) (#221)
by wiredog on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 09:52:42 AM EST

helped put Bush in office, and will probably help keep him there. Seriously. The Washington Post had an article that went into that.

Oh, and in you comment substitute "Bill Clinton" for "George W. Bush" and then compare with the wit and wisdom of Rush Limbaugh.

More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
--Rusty

[ Parent ]

Motivation is a complicated thing. (1.00 / 1) (#78)
by losthalo on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:42:26 PM EST

Not only would setting up a puppet dictator in Iraq give the US oil, but the war itself, successful or not, serves the purposes of the Bush Administration. How, you might ask? It gives the public something to concentrate on, in forces people to "get behind" the "war effort", it distracts the sheep masses from domestic issues (economy, corruption, what-have-you).

Just having a war going changes the American political scene, oil is just icing on the cake if we get it.

Losthalo

"How many times have I told you not to play with the dirty money?" -Bugs Bunny

[ Parent ]
Uh? (3.00 / 1) (#96)
by bodrius on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 03:11:24 PM EST

A puppet dictator in Iraq to give US oil? As opposed to what, a dictator in Iraq that DOES NOT give the US oil? Have you seen one of those lately?

And no, the US refusing to buy oil from the dictator as economic sanction is not the same thing...
Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4, everything else follows...
[ Parent ]

some thoughts (2.00 / 1) (#132)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:36:35 AM EST

The gassing of anyone is dreadful. Be it `your own' citizens or someone elses. But come on, clearly the Kurds that were gassed can't be classed as Saddam's citizens. Is anyone who takes part in a civil war guilty of war against their _own_ people? And it is OK to use WMDs on _other_ peoples?

And I'm just wondering what various countries' use of the death penalty is classed as.

What I find particularly interesting (in addition to Saddam being installed as a puppet leader in Iraq way beack when) was the US's complete lack of support for the Kurdish uprising following Desert Storm. Here was a fantastic chance to topple Saddam, yet the US did nothing to support it.

An identity card is better that no identity at all
[ Parent ]

Of course not.. (4.66 / 3) (#142)
by alfadir on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 05:51:39 AM EST

It is not ok to use WMDs period. But you don't hear Bush say "Iraq used gas against the Iranian military during the Iran-Iraq conflict". Which also took place. (from the link in my original comment :"According to the Washington Post, the CIA began in 1984 secretly to give Iraq intelligence that Iraq uses to "calibrate" its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops.)

He sais "Iraq used gas aginst his own people" and that is much more powerful statement. So that is why I wanted to look at what was behind this statement.

The reason behind the gassing was that on 15 March 1988 Halabja fell to the Peshmerga resistance fighters of Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, supported by Iranian revolutionary guards. And the question is if the city would have been taken back by conventional, heavy force, B-52s, tanks etc. would it still be used in this anti-Iraq campain. Then it would been a smaller footnote in the world of war that affect the civil population.

I don't think that the Peshmerga resistance fighters were angels in any way.

As for the Kurdish uprising, the US will have a harder time gaining support for another this time around.

It is just so anoying that the news have this soundbite over and over again, but noone discusses what realy happened, and how the world reacted to it then.

Taken that I have Europeean CNN as the only American news source, which I listen to with a grain of salt. They have this new section, "Your world today", or somthing that they introduce with "It is 3 o'clock in Washington, and 10 o'clock in _Bagdad_". (time diff might be wrong, I don't know it) I hope the rest of the US news media are not that bad. The German and Swedish news are reiterating the american news (If GWB speaks it is of course news), but with more perspectives, although I have not heard about Halabja from them either.



[ Parent ]
WMDs (3.00 / 2) (#147)
by goonie on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:09:28 AM EST

It is not ok to use WMDs period.

I'd agree with that. So (and this is not particularly addressed to you) why the hell is the US considering developing nuclear bunker-buster bombs?

[ Parent ]

Errr, ahem... (none / 0) (#313)
by AngelKnight on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 05:56:27 PM EST

Re-read the nomenclature of what you just said: "bunker buster".

I don't know of a city where the civilian population regularly carries on its activities underground, in bunkers.  I've seen a few TV movies and shows where that seemed to be the case ("Logan's Run" springs to mind), but...

[ Parent ]

Perfect logic (1.00 / 1) (#175)
by Demiurge on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 04:28:31 PM EST

$1 billion in agricultural loan guarantees
So, the US paying money to Iraq so its people have food to eat, obviously means the fascist Amerikkkans wanted Saddam to wipe out the Kurds.

[ Parent ]
Amerika, not facist, nor a saint.. (5.00 / 1) (#187)
by alfadir on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:24:46 PM EST

I think the Americans did not give a rats ass to if the monney went to food, Iraq was an important ally against Iran. But that was beside my point. I only wanted to point out that what now is so terrible "Saddam gassed his own people", a frequent soundbite, has a history where the US was not the saint it pretends to be. There were other biased facts in the reference than the billion dollar thing.

If you have better facts give a reference. I am trying to understand the background. If you can show that every penny went to food for the Iraqi people, fine until then lets call it uncertain. That is fine by me. I am not after the US, other nations were not better either. But it is after all GW Bush that is using this rethoric about Halabja.

On 7 September 1988 France issued a communiqu in which President Mitterrand expressed concern at information received about the use of chemical weapons and other means of repression against the Kurdish population in Iraq. He added that he had no wish to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, but the bonds of friendship between Iraq and France were even more reason to make his feelings known.

These were different times. The Cold War was still on and Iraq was a brick in that game.

My point was mostly to try to find some history to this. The US did sell 10 crop dusting Bell helicopters (agricultural utilities, what irony?) earlier in 1983 that later was used in gassing operations. (still according to the biased site in my original post) I think that this makes the statements spoken by the american president less honest, because he knows that the US supplied chemical warfair expertise to Iraq.

The Kurdish geurilla, that was the biggest reason to the gassing of Halabja, was an ally of Iran and thereby an enemy to the US. Most probably a very vicious brutal geurilla. It was war. Wars are never nice. I just think it is important to have this background when you hear this very powerful statement.

I also think Saddam needs to go away. With a good plan for the good of humanity and all that, be it by war if it has to. But not just to fit the american policy of the day.



[ Parent ]
More complete U.S. invasion plans (3.14 / 7) (#73)
by Futurepower on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:12:38 PM EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

By joking about the U.S. invading the island of Kiribati, the New Zealand publication Spinner has delayed a plan by the U.S. government to invade every other country. The U.S. military forces plan to start with the small countries first, then work their way up to the larger ones.

The U.S. government has invaded 14 countries in the last 33 years, and has found invasion so profitable that it decided to invade all the others.

U.S. Army General Mayhem said yesterday that the military would delay the invasions while they investigate the possibility that Spinner's story was prompted by a security leak.

General Mayhem said that the U.S. would not actually invade every other country. There are no plans to invade France. "We wouldn't want to seem arrogant", he said.


For those who would like something more serious: What should be the Response to Violence?

US and Iraq.. both murderers (2.66 / 21) (#77)
by elzubeir on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:36:57 PM EST

For those who are 'sick of leftists', and those
who don't fully understand the position of the rest of the world (in particular those most affected by American aggressions). Don't assume that all K5'ers are Americans, or allies who share your views of the world. Even though in my own opinion I think that if an invasion is the only way to end the mindless, cruel, brutal and inhumane sanctions then by all means go for it. This is how we see the American role in Iraq since the Gulf War. Picture a man with a butcher's knife.. yeah, Uncle Sam. He chops off the pinky, and then one finger at a time.. that man he's chopping is Iraq, not Saddam. Saddam is the head, and the head is intact. Instead, Uncle Sam is chopping at the poor, vunlerable and those who cannot defend themselves. You see, Uncle Sam's butcher's knife comes down on them, while the head's wrath and anger at Uncle Sam is directed on the same people Uncle Sam is hurting. Can you not understand this? No one cares for Saddam.. and we are all very sick of this. An invasion would be the equivalent of a shot in the head. Let us rest in peace. If that's the only way you will let us be, then do it and make it quick.

When you see that Americans have used Depleted Uranium in the Gulf War without any responsibility, causing so many thousands of young and innocent children to develop cancer at such an early age.. and then point the finger at Iraq for using whatnot against the Kurds and Iranians.. give me a break. Don't tell me that Saddam's evil is less than anyone else's. You are killers and fucking children murderers.. no better than Bin Laden and the other bastards who find killing innocent people a way to make a point. And when I say "you" I am being inclusive of the US government and its people (because and since you like to boast and gloat over your democracy, as citizens you are responsible for all your government actions and therefor you are also responsible for the murders committed by your government).

Insults and swearing are not needed. (5.00 / 3) (#102)
by flex_fc on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 04:50:35 PM EST

However strongly you feel you will get your message accross better by presenting your views calmly and justifying them with some links perhaps or some other means. People will take you more seriously then. I'm sure your K5 experience will be much more rewarding that way.

[ Parent ]
Sanctions (2.00 / 1) (#103)
by Lord of the Wasteland on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 05:12:36 PM EST

The continuing sanctions against Iraq are cruel, inhuman, and cowardly. They cause great suffering among the Iraqi people and do very little to change Saddam's behavior, nor to prevent him from building weapons of mass destructions. However, don't blame the United States alone for them. It is a collective failure of will on the part of the Western industrialized nations that has lead to this. The UN has been all to willing to let Iraq dangle on the hook for years.

As to the depleted uranium, I have yet to see convincing evidence of its harmful effects. Furthermore, unlike in the former Yugoslavia, most of the anti-tank depleted uranium shells were not fired near populated areas or groundwater. Even if there were an safety issue with vaporized dust, I would be very surprised if you can find credible figures of an increase in cancer rates among Iraqi children. God knows it would be hard enough to find in the midst of their soaring child mortality.

[ Parent ]

Sanctions work... unless despotism is involved (5.00 / 2) (#107)
by quan2mst8 on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 06:42:31 PM EST

The problem with blaming any of the results of a sanctioning program on the UN or the US is that you misunderstand the role of gov't and international politics. The local gov't (Saddam and his family) is responsible for the welfare of his people. He is responsible to them for all internal policies. This includes infrastructure and resource management. The international political forums (UN) allow local governments to negotiate circumstances that are beneficial to the international body of people. This means keeping people from violating recognized borders without due cause (such as violating cease fire treaties). In this case Iraq(Saddam) has subjected his citizens to the repercussions of the sanctions while he has built a museum to himself (the National Saddam Art Museum) added onto several of his palaces and has plans to build the world's largest mosque. He accomplishes this through absolute control of the media, manipulation of the religion (he added himself to Mohammed's family tree) and stoogification of the international press. So play into Saddam's hand if you will... but don't pretend to be empathetic based on your misunderstanding of what a sanction is supposed to accomplish. If anything, the fact that so many Iraqi children suffer while Saddam has a solid gold carriage to ride in on his birthday should remind you of his utterly evil disregard for life. Please refer to the below for more detail on the mosque: http://www.iraqifd.org/afp1.html

[ Parent ]
Yes, but despotism is involved (none / 0) (#200)
by Lord of the Wasteland on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 10:24:32 PM EST

I agree that Saddam is primarily responsible for the suffering of his people. That doesn't obviate the responsibility of the international community to find a better way. You say I misunderstand the purpose of sanctions. What do you feel that is? To "remind you of his utterly evil disregard for life"?

[ Parent ]
Democracy != Complicity (3.66 / 3) (#111)
by AirBoss on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:19:21 PM EST

And when I say "you" I am being inclusive of the US government and its people (because and since you like to boast and gloat over your democracy, as citizens you are responsible for all your government actions and therefor you are also responsible for the murders committed by your government).

This misconception is so rampant among outsiders; it's disappointing to see it voiced by someone who otherwise has the appearance of at least moderate intelligence.

  • Problem #1: By assuming that the people are responsible for the country's actions, you assume that all of our elected officials received 100% of the vote. None of them did; in fact those in power have only a slim majority.
  • Problem #2: You assume that our elected officials act on our behest. We elect *people*; we don't vote on policy in most cases. A representative may be elected because a majority of his constituents agrees with his economic policies, but that doesn't mean that they also support his international political stance.
  • Problem #3: You assume that all of our officials are elected. Not true; many of them are appointed by those we elect, especially those who advise the president.

It's important to reiterate here -- we elect people, not ideas. I wish I could say that your exasperatingly un-nuanced view of American politics was in the minority.

[ Parent ]

Views on US (4.00 / 3) (#113)
by BAScott on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:52:51 PM EST

It's important to reiterate here -- we elect people, not ideas. I wish I could say that your exasperatingly un-nuanced view of American politics was in the minority.

Actually, I read a story on Salon about someone who wrote a book on foreigners' views of the US.  He found that many people do dislike the government, but that they do not dislike American people.  Being a foreigner, I agree with this and I find many people to agree with this.  We disdain the government, but US culture and people permeate at least a small aspect of our lives and we like it.

[ Parent ]

Myopic media coverage is probably to blame (none / 0) (#190)
by AirBoss on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:41:53 PM EST

many people do dislike the government, but [...] they do not dislike American people.

I hope the author is right (URL?). The viewpoint espoused by the poster is, however, IME the most prevalent justification that is given for treating civilians as targets, if interviews on various US news networks, the BBC, and others are to be believed. The second most common is (I think) the "eye for eye" argument -- because the aggressor (putatively) kills their civilians, they are justified in targeting the aggressor's civilians -- as if people are interchangeable gambits in some sort of cosmic game/contest.

It troubles me to see such obviously flawed logic accepted on such a wide scale by people who should know better. But then, we have SUV owners, so I guess the playing field is even :).

[ Parent ]

Links here (none / 0) (#282)
by rantweasel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:12:37 PM EST

the Salon interview with the author

and

on Amazon


[ Parent ]

I'd take this even farther (3.00 / 1) (#138)
by NaCh0 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 01:14:57 AM EST

If every American is responsible for the action of the US, then the same should hold true for other countries.

Since Saddam is bad, the people of Iraq must be bad. When the US goes in to kick some ass, no INNOCENT people will be killed. If the Iraqi people cared, they'd put in a more representative leader.

Nobody ever said freedom is easy.
--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

no (2.00 / 1) (#160)
by elzubeir on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 11:33:25 AM EST

because Iraq doesn't claim to be democratic. It is a simple dictatorship where everything is decided by a dictator. It's a good system to re-structuring after devastation.. but not for this long.

[ Parent ]
Well? (none / 0) (#169)
by AirBoss on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 02:56:28 PM EST

Ah, you're still here -- it's good to see that you didn't just post your screed and run.

That said, do you have a response to the points I make above? Do you have any justification that is based in reality for holding citizens responsible as a whole for the actions of a democratically-elected government?

[ Parent ]

It doesn't? (none / 0) (#173)
by roystgnr on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 03:39:32 PM EST

But Iraq just held an election and everything.  Saddam got 100% of the vote.

[ Parent ]
Point by point (none / 0) (#228)
by elzubeir on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:53:49 AM EST

I don't run away after making a point -- I only make one I can defend and stand by ;) Now, let's go over your points:
  • Point #1: No, but because you have a system of electing representatives to represent you and your views, you give your consent to their actions. If the majority (by whatever percentage) is giving that kind of consent are not outraged like they should be, then that is certainly the responsibility of the person(s) casting their votes and writing to their congressmen.
  • Point #2: That's a redundancy of the first point. You elect people who represent your ideas. If they don't, you don't elect them -- looks like you have a problem understanding your own system.
  • Point #3: I never made that assumption -- I very well know how your government operates (I find it fascinating, and extremely flawed I can't believe they want the rest of the world to copy them). Besides, since congress and the executive (pres. and v.pres) are both elected, that is the cornerstone of any legislation and its execution.
With that being said, when you get people like others on this thread somewhere saying they really don't care.. well, those are the ones who are responsible. Because so many people simply don't care, the choices people make when electing someone to represent them rarely if never involve their foreign policies. In fact, you will notice that if anything, the different parties seem to agree more often than not when it comes to foreign policy (and very specifically on the Middle East). They will argue a little, but it is not a way you can tell one part from the other (of course there are subtle differences).

[ Parent ]
Re Point by point (none / 0) (#280)
by AirBoss on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:01:20 PM EST

I don't run away after making a point -- I only make one I can defend and stand by

That is good to see :). Sadly, you are still focused on ideas. We vote for an entire person, not an individual idea; the two cannot be separated. Furthermore, a vote carries no indication of intent -- you have no way of knowing whether I voted a certain way because of Iraq, or because of environmental/economic issues.

#1
If you're willing to interview each constituent and ask him/her:
  • If they voted for $UNDESIRABLE_CANDIDATE,
  • If so, if the reason they voted for $UNDESIRABLE_CANDIDATE was because of their stance on Iraq or whatever your hot-button issue is,
Then, by your maxim, you may hold that person responsible. You did not justify holding all American people responsible for what happens, and that is what you said in your original post.
#2
No, it is not a redundancy. We are not given an infinite list of candidates, from which we choose the one who exactly fits our views -- economy, personality/character, international politics, favorite vegetable, etc. Generally, we're lucky to get more than 2, and voters will base their decision on much more than international issues. I voted for Wellstone in my home state -- he was one of the few who voted against the congressional authorization for war on Iraq, which I liked, but he also supported a number of other bills that I abhor. Does that mean I support those bills? I just said I didn't. Would I vote for him again, were he still alive? Of course. What is the alternative?

In a similar vein, a lot of pro-war senators were elected recently after campaigns that focused on economic, not Middle-East, issues. Does this mean that those who elected him/her are also pro-war? Possibly, but it's not an assumption you can make without evidence to back it up.

Elected officials cannot represent the desires of the populace in every single thought, word, and deed. Can you imagine a system where a senator must poll his entire electorate (potentially millions of people) to ensure that the majority supports him every time he opens his mouth?

#3
I don't think you do "know very well" how our gov't. operates. The president and vice president are not the cornerstone of legislation, or its execution, but that is tangential. In any case, with regard to appointed officials, you are asking for a perfect world. If I vote for the president because (say) he likes broccoli, I have no expectation that others he appoints will be asked "By the way, do you like broccoli?" before being hired. I can only hope that he, being an upright, broccoli-loving person, will act in my best interests, but I cannot guarantee it.

You should be able to see in my arguments that I don't consider the status quo to be optimal, and am not a little bit frustrated by how politics work here. Almost everybody here feels that way in some capacity; painting us with the same broad brush as you do our government does a disservice. It is always more complicated than it seems.

As regards some of the more vituperative outbursts on this thread, I try to ignore them. As I said, a lot of people are frustrated.

[ Parent ]

Compelling argument (none / 0) (#288)
by elzubeir on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:52:33 PM EST

You sir make quite a case ;) You have convinced me that my argument was flawed. This was actually a pretty decent thread (despite how I started it).

But do keep in mind that most of the elected officials base decisions on things they don't particularily care for (foreign policy) on two possible sources: a) their constituents b) lobbyists. Unfortunately when the constitutents don't care either, only the lobbyists are left. Imagine that.. a system where most of the foreign policy is manipulated by lobbyists. There is no protection from it because of some members' strong convictions (unlike with internal affairs where elected officials may have their own personal feelings and passion about it). This, in my opinion, is the biggest flaw in the American republic.

[ Parent ]

I honestly don't care. (1.66 / 3) (#124)
by Calledor on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:01:04 PM EST

I could care less if you U.S. soldiers went in and killed everyone in Iraq. It's not that I want those people dead. I'd really be quite happy if everyone just said "fuck it, I give up." and went home. Not going to happen though.

The United States will also not go into Iraq and brutally kill everyone there. It would shut them all up, but it's not going to happen. We'll go in kill any opposition and then set up a new government. We'll give billions of dollars to the country and lots of people who would have died otherwise will live.

We're children murderers? Define children. What age? I mean one could argue that we kill babies since we don't outlaw abortion.

Hmm, but yes, fuck us, we kill children. Who doesn't though? I mean I'm fairly sure one could argue that the majority of nations kill children in one way or another. Oh but were the big bad US.

"And when I say "you" I am being inclusive of the US government and its people (because and since you like to boast and gloat over your democracy, as citizens you are responsible for all your government actions and therefor you are also responsible for the murders committed by your government)." So let me get this straight, every US citizen is responsible for the actions of the government because you've only met fuckwits who claim it's a total democracy and that they have a say in the government to a great degree? I'm sorry you're in the habbit of conversing with bloated egos and delusional retards, but I don't have jack shit to say when it comes to what my government does with it's spare time. You'll find that is how it is with most nations as well. So fuck you. I'm sorry the US isn't feeding the world. We tried to feed starving people but then we were accused of being too controling. Surprise surprise we stopped handing out the food.

In closing, fuck you. Fuck you for not stopping world hunger and saving children. And by you I mean every person on earth who isn't a dieing child or starving person. Its your fault because you are all healthy individuals with obviously enough food to feed yourself and probably in posession of bone marrow and organs that could save dieing children.

What the fuck are you doing reading this? Sell that fucking monitor. It could save at least a dozen children from starvation. You damn greedy kiddy killer. I hope you can live with yourself. Actually i don't, hence the anger infused in this rant. So sell all your worldy possessions, give the money to some sick kids and then shoot yourself in the head so we can harvest your organs to help others. Actually bash your head with a rock. Can't have you wasting good money on a gun and a bullet.

-Calledor
"I've never been able to argue with anyone who believes the Nazis didn't invade Russia, or anyone who associates the Holocaust with the meat industry. It's like talking to someone from another planet. A planet of fuckwits."- Jos
[ Parent ]

Idiot (3.66 / 3) (#202)
by Lord Snott on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 10:54:06 PM EST

Fuck you.

Fuck you for not caring what *YOUR* soldiers do in Iraq. Fuck you for not taking responsibility for *YOUR* government. Fuck you for dismissing the rights of sovereign nations who refuse to be bullied.

Idiot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]

You mean like Yugoslavia? Germany? Japan? (none / 0) (#203)
by Skywise on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 11:22:27 PM EST

Oh...forgot... those were "good" wars...


[ Parent ]
Lets consider this from a mental health viewpoint. (1.00 / 2) (#208)
by Calledor on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:18:37 AM EST

You know what, I really don't have the power to manipulate my government. Yes I can vote but that vote matters once every other year.

Now back to the fucking. Fuck you for telling me that I should care when there's not one fucking thing I can do about it. Fuck you for making me and every individual like me who can't do shit responsible.

Let me explain to you how worthless a being you are. You're on the internet telling me that I have a responsibility to care about my government even though you know that I can write everyone in the government and it won't matter. that makes you a fuckwad, a pussy, and a dipshit. Maybe someday I'll go into politicis and I'll actually be able to do something, but until that day I'm not going to care. I'm sure you don't care about everyone in the world who dies. If you did you'd have killed yourself by now because of depression. Well statstically one would hope you killed yourself rather than go on the mass murder spree depression alternative.

And by the way, if they were my fucking soldiers I wouldn't have them invading Iraq. Mainly I'd have them beat the snot out of guys like you who need to feel that they can verbally attack someone who matters thereby justifying your own sad pathetic existence on this lump of rock.

-Calledor
"I've never been able to argue with anyone who believes the Nazis didn't invade Russia, or anyone who associates the Holocaust with the meat industry. It's like talking to someone from another planet. A planet of fuckwits."- Jos
[ Parent ]

FYI Depleted Uranium (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by Skywise on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 01:35:00 AM EST

Is just that... "Depleted" IE non-radioactive. (actually minimally radioactive).  DU is used in place of lead because it is denser and can penetrate armor.

Info from the WHO here:
http://www.who.int/inf-fs/en/fact257.html

There is minimal exposure/risk on the battlefield itself immediately following the battle.  What is unknown is whether or not long term damage from DU dust that's worked its way into the soil affects the system or not.  Oddly enough, there's probably less damage from long term DU exposure, than from unspent cluster bombs, forgotten minefields, or undetonated arms, or just typical crime activity on the street.  And THAT'S why you see their continued use in the battlefield by "civilized" nations.

[ Parent ]

Radioactivity not the point (4.00 / 1) (#144)
by equus707 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 07:50:51 AM EST

My science may be a bit rusty but I don't think the radioactivity is the issue here. If they were using lead instead of DU, and there was lots of dust everywhere, surely that would be a significant health hazard. DU also being a heavy metal would therefore cause health problems if ingested, even if non-radioactive.

[ Parent ]
But as opposed to any other instrument of war? (none / 0) (#191)
by Skywise on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:54:12 PM EST

Any battlefield is going to be a soup of toxicity.  Both vaporized aluminum and lead are very toxic as well.

If you're on the battlefield, you're toast.  Regardless of long term toxicity.

Most organizations believe that there's only short term danger potential of the DU dust, which will settle within hours at the end of the battle.  A time when there aren't going to be many people walking through the area.

The question is long term potential to poisoning the ground, and/or what little airporne dust remains and gets carried on the wind to populated areas.  The studies are still out on that, but the general consensus is that, while bad, it's no more harmful than the other instruments of modern warfare.

[ Parent ]

sixty percent (1.00 / 1) (#162)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 01:04:32 PM EST

Did you read your own link? It says there that the radioactivity of DU is fully sixty percent as high as that of natural uranium. Sixty percent is a lot, hardly "minimal."

According to fas the radioactive flux from DU is approximately seventy percent that of natural uranium; here's a page with a more detailed breakdown of the reaction chains, and the conclusion you read there is that DU has 78% of the overall flux, and 57% of the alpha activity, of natural uranium.

What's more I've read reports that what they call DU is not merely natural uranium extracted from ore, with the U234 and U235 extracted; it is recycled reactor waste. One finds isotopes in it that are not part of the natural decay series of uranium. If anything these "unnatural" reactor-generated isotopes, with short half-lives and correspondingly high levels of flux, would somewhat increase the radioactivity of DU that has been extracted from reactor waste.

You flat-out claim "there is minimal exposure /risk on the battlefield;" that is at the very least debatable. There is a good deal of controversy over the health effects of inhaled DU dust. DU is pyrophoric; when a DU shell hits armor it burns and emits a cloud of heavy but extremely fine dust particles, which soldiers and civilian bystanders inhale. Uranium is reasonably quickly excreted from the digestive system but inhaled uranium dust stays in the body, in microscopically close contact with cells (thus the alpha flux can in fact be teratogenic) for decades.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.
[ Parent ]

Depleted uranium is UN weapon (none / 0) (#252)
by Tzitzimeme on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:47:10 PM EST

Don't go off half cocked without the facts. Depleted uranium is used by UN troops worldwide, not just "american" troops but british etc. If you belong to the UN chances are some of your troops have been armed with depleted uranuim.

"Reason, thou see'st, hath all too short a wing."

Paradiso, Canto II, Line 57


[ Parent ]
and who the hell do you think IS the UN? n/t (none / 0) (#289)
by elzubeir on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 12:02:09 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Uh, just a guess (none / 0) (#298)
by Tzitzimeme on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 09:55:00 AM EST

The United Nations? Let's face it. The UN has been a pain in the ass for the US for a long time. If they were just our puppets then we would have disbanded them by now.

"Reason, thou see'st, hath all too short a wing."

Paradiso, Canto II, Line 57


[ Parent ]
factually wrong (4.10 / 10) (#81)
by minus273 on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 12:57:27 PM EST

" You'll recall that a previous head of the UN weapons inspection program, Scott Ritter"
he was never the head of inspections program. he was a prominent member but NEVER head. that is a major mistake just making a correction

Not Quite... (none / 0) (#290)
by radicalsubversiv on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 01:17:28 AM EST

Ritter wasn't the head of the UN inspection program itself (that was Richard Butler, now Hans Blix), but we has the lead inspector for the field team on the ground in Iraq.

[ Parent ]
-1 (3.10 / 10) (#84)
by omegadan on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 01:12:45 PM EST

Who let this on the front page? Scott Ritter received 400k from Iraq under the guise that it was to make a film about Iraq. His credibility on any scale is 0.

Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

Your own link disproves your statement (4.62 / 8) (#92)
by substrate on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 02:27:18 PM EST

It was a U.S. citizen of Iraqi descent that provided the funding. I might fund a public access cable show on the joys of trepanation, but that doesn't mean that Canada, by extension, provided the funding.

[ Parent ]
depends on whether Canada paid for it or not (3.75 / 4) (#99)
by khallow on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 03:59:06 PM EST

It still looks to me like a payoff by Iraq. Particularly given the cooperation that Ritter received in Iraq from the authorities.

I might fund a public access cable show on the joys of trepanation, but that doesn't mean that Canada, by extension, provided the funding.

Now suppose it were in Canada's immediate national interest to get that cable show made, and you, a Canadian businessman just happen to put up serious cash for it. Why shouldn't I be suspicious?

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

He was quite correct (4.25 / 4) (#118)
by RyoCokey on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:55:13 PM EST

Saddam generally uses private companies and individuals to bypass UN sanctions. There's nothing particularly secret about this. In fact, the Ukranian president was recently caught on tape approving the sale of radar components illegal under the UN sanctions to Iraq



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
This is actionable under libel laws (2.00 / 1) (#172)
by aminorex on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 03:36:31 PM EST

You have willfully libelled Mr Ritter, a decorated war vetran and a true American patriot, unlike yourself. It is my hope that you have enough money to make it worthwhile to sue your ass off, because he will certainly win.

[ Parent ]
Burden of Proof is on Mr. Ritter (5.00 / 3) (#181)
by RyoCokey on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 05:26:15 PM EST

In a libel case to prove that the asserted statement was false. Given that he certainly hasn't sued the National Review, the magizine that published the ties at first, I somehow doubt this posters in any general. It's unlikely he'd like where that investigation would lead.

Remember, it has to be false to be libel.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
not always (none / 0) (#351)
by khallow on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 08:18:57 PM EST

Remember, it has to be false to be libel.

Something can be true but still be libel. If I write something with the intent to harm a person's reputation, then that can be considered libel even though it is true. For example, if in a K5 debate, I mention that person X were incontinent (or had received treatment for a mental illness, deadbeat dad, arrested for public nudity, etc) such that this information wasn't public knowledge nor germane to the discussion, then libel might be determined.

I'm not clear on all the cases where this applies, but I seem to recall a couple of email cases where the libeler spammed the coworkers or customers of the victim. Other countries have much stronger libel laws (for some reason England gets a lot of press in the US for its generous slander and libel laws).

In the case of Ritter, the question of whether or not he is receiving significant funding from an Iraqi businessman seems relevant (and hence would be libel only if the accusations were false).

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Ugh... (1.83 / 6) (#90)
by SPYvSPY on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 02:19:33 PM EST

...by ignoring Saddam's long history of 'wife beating', you have only proven yourself to be the biggest fool in this debate amongst fools. This story is, IMO, in the vein of denial of the holocaust, the moon landing, etc. What a load of garbage!!!
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.

Timely Reveiw of Inspection History in Iraq (5.00 / 5) (#110)
by Shovas on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 07:09:13 PM EST

The Christian Science Monitor has, time and again, published well researched, well thought out articles with amazingly little bias for a US-based news source. CSMonitor's recent article, The Inspection Maze, is an enlightening look into what inspectors have done and said regarding their work in Iraq and inspecting for biological, chemical and other potentially militarily offensive initiatives. Give it a read. It does seem to provide an opposite view of the inspections contrasted with this op-ed.
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Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
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Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
Liberal Iraqi Apologists Must Go. Saddam must Go (1.62 / 37) (#116)
by Keeteel on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 08:13:24 PM EST

I am so tired of the liberal Saddam apologists stating the US is not justified in taking Iraq out for whatever damn reason we please. He's clearly developing weapons of mass destruction to be used against the free world. He's a madman responsible for killing his own civilians with WMDs, and he's in violation of the UN agreements after Desert Storm by laughing at the dignity of America which in itself is MORE than enough reason to get our boys in there. The liberal Iraqi apologists are nothing short of nave in their hippie flower power view of earth where they believe peace and happiness is the solution to systemic, domestic, and individual levels of problems. Quite frankly you people are not seeing what most of us normal, freedom loving people see which is a cut and dry case of good against evil. Why do you think the support for President Bush is unanimous? Because, unlike you conspiracy theorists we TRUST our President to make the right decisions for America. President Bush REPRESENTS the heart, soul, and mind of the American people - clearly concepts you apologists have lost long ago.

I continually see the honor of President George Bush insulted by nave individuals who have a jaded, even ignorant view of world politics (and good and evil for that matter since most are young, confused atheists.) Despite the case against Iraq being cut and dry President Bush has honorably proceeded against the demands of the American people who want immediate war by gaining the support of the UN, Congress, and building a world wide alliance of good countries who seek to denounce evil. Despite his noble diplomacy to solve this problem as a civilized world, he is still insulted and attacked by people who have no rights to insult him. The same people who denounce President Bush are the ones he's seeking to defend from the lunatic Saddam Hussein. If your average American was in charge you punks would be treated in the way you deserve - you are LUCKY we have a benevolent leader like President Bush for if I had my way you'd be sent to either fight for America in Iraq, or be sent to Iraq to be treated as a enemy by our boys when the war starts. Your views are so jaded and incorrect that most normal people are just SICK AND TIRED of the irrational drivel coming out of your mouths. Show your damn patriotism or get out of your country if they support our war and go fight for Saddam since you're so happy to do it from the safety your military provides you.

The case against Saddam is SOUND, he is EVIL, and is seeking to DESTROY AMERICA and the FREEDOM LOVING PEOPLE OF THE WORLD because of his loss in the gulf war. This is a leader who has declared a bar-none all out JIHAD holy war against the infidels that oppose him. You cannot even try to justify that this man is clearly not evil for his declaration of Jihad upon one of the most holy cities on earth and his defending of the murdering Palestinian terrorists and their deplorable acts against the democratic people of Israel.

Further it is clear by every investigation done by objective organizations that Saddam is indisputably seeking to build nuclear weapons. The Central Intelligence Agency did an objective analysis of the current situation and came to several conclusions.

First: If Baghdad acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material from abroad, it could make a nuclear weapon within a year.

Second: Iraq's aggressive attempts to obtain proscribed high-strength aluminum tubes are of significant concern. All intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons and that these tubes could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program. Most intelligence specialists assess this to be the intended use

Third: Iraq has withheld important details relevant to its nuclear program, including procurement logs, technical documents, experimental data, accounting of materials, and foreign assistance.

Fourth: * In recent years, Baghdad has diverted goods contracted under the Oil-for-Food Program for military purposes and has increased solicitations and dual-use procurements--outside the Oil-for-Food process--some of which almost certainly are going to prohibited WMD and other weapons programs. Baghdad probably uses some of the money it gains through its illicit oil sales to support its WMD efforts.


This CLEARLY establishes not only that he is developing NUCLEAR WEAPONS and other weapons of mass destruction, but that he is also intentionally trying to hide them from the world. You tell me why would a EVIL DICTATOR be making Nuclear Weapons and hiding them from the world if he didn't have plans to use them against the freedom loving people of earth. How you apologists can sit around defending this man is ming boggeling. Why don't you start cheering for Hitler, or the Anti-Christ while you're at it.

Let's look at the UN resolutions Saddam is in violation of.

Res. 1060 (12 June 1996) and Resolutions 1115, 1134, 1137, 1154, 1194, and 1205. Demands that Iraq cooperate with UNSCOM and allow inspection teams immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to facilities for inspection and access to Iraqi officials for interviews. UNSCR 1137 condemns Baghdad's refusal to allow entry to Iraq to UNSCOM officials on the grounds of their nationality and its threats to the safety of UN reconnaissance aircraft.

REALITY:
Baghdad consistently sought to impede and limit UNSCOM's mission in Iraq by blocking access to numerous facilities throughout the inspection process, often sanitizing sites before the arrival of inspectors and routinely attempting to deny inspectors access to requested sites and individuals. At times, Baghdad would promise compliance to avoid consequences, only to renege later.

Res. 1051 (27 March 1996) Established the Iraqi export/import monitoring system, requiring UN members to provide IAEA and UNSCOM with information on materials exported to Iraq that may be applicable to WMD production, and requiring Iraq to report imports of all dual-use items.

REALITY:
Iraq is negotiating contracts for procuring--outside of UN controls--dual-use items with WMD applications. The UN lacks the staff needed to conduct thorough inspections of goods at Iraq's borders and to monitor imports inside Iraq.



I can go ON AND ON about this, in fact I will. The evidence has been stated through out the world and most God loving, rational people who understand Good against Evil know with all our hearts that we must be UNIFIED AND REMOVE SADDAM FROM POWER. The simple fact is eliminating Saddam, his followers, and any of his civilian population that has hostility towards America for our justified sanctions that HE CHOOSE to not help his people with is more important than letting them injure or hurt one freedom loving person on earth. These people have the belief that America is to blame for their suffering when it is Saddam himself that's using their money, they are a CLEAR and PRESENT danger just as much as Saddam is. The only way the Middle East will stabilize is if we get our boys in there and eliminate the people who no regard for human life. These radicalists are willing to take the lives of other people in cold-blooded murder to achieve the salvation of their false gods. Quite frankly and I know others agree with me, these Islamic fundamentalists are the ONE thing worse than liberal atheists who seek to impose damnation upon every person on earth. As Jesus taught we are just as accountable for the actions we don't make as for the actions we do take. Before you people already damned by rejecting God start arguing your drivel, most people do believe in God in America. Majority states you people are incorrect, and since majority rules our desire to take action is justification in itself. We WANT to stop evil, we WANT to protect the good people of earth. Despite the claims of the heavily biased liberal media it is still clear that we are right and they are wrong

The people who are against war are three types of people: Liberals who have a jaded and simple view of the world. Social reject activists who have roots in the days of the hippies that believe in protesting every thing our leaders simply to make them look "Cool" by showing they're different from society. Third are the naive college kids who I won't hold accountable because their views will change after they move out of their parent's houses and start making their own living. I've stood firm on this for years - the views of college kids have NO VALUE, they are from inexperienced kids suffering from egocentrism that believe the world revolves around them in a false confidence. Since their views are likely to change I will exclude them from my solution. Most of these groups tend to be atheist as well, rejecting the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. These people also have no faith in the United States Government and President George W. Bush. They are a small minority of people that are hurting us from doing what's right as a people. Their objections serve no value of debate and their intentions are to destroy America with their policies of Pro-Abortion, Pro-Homosexuality, Pro-Gay Marriage, Pro-Marijuana and other deplorable actions that go contrary to the beliefs of all civilized societies. They are the ones who should be drafted to fight this war, for the only way they will find God and love for their country is through hard work to see how most of us feel about America. If you don't feel patriotic for your country and your leaders, you don't deserve the protection of the military. Your disrespect goes against all the deaths of the people who fought to protect your lives. Your disrespect goes against the DEATH of Jesus Christ who gave his life for your sins. Shape up or ship out.

Thankfully though in America anyway we're seeing the public as a whole swing to conservative Republican values that recognize America is not only the greatest coutnry on earth - but the most powerful. The days of liberals influencing this country are coming to an end, good riddance I say. And by the way, those who are against the war lay in the water with countries such as Syria, just try to stop the might of our country.

I will conclude my arguement with the excellent editoral on the subject of why Iraq must go by the respected John Hagee.

This war has no margin for error. Unlike past wars, when we took no casualties within our borders, if Saddam Hussein is allowed to dictate the terms and conditions of this war, the front lines of the war will explode in American cities with a death toll too staggering to comprehend.

Saddam must go!


Hmm... (3.00 / 1) (#120)
by MutantEnemy on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 09:06:45 PM EST

"If I had my way you'd be sent to either fight for America in Iraq, or be sent to Iraq to be treated as a enemy by our boys when the war starts. Your views are so jaded and incorrect that most normal people are just SICK AND TIRED of the irrational drivel coming out of your mouths."

Did the same person write these 2 sentences? You might want to stop spouting irrational drivel before you complain about irrational drivel.

[ Parent ]

UN Resolutions and selectivity (3.00 / 3) (#122)
by broken77 on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 09:46:17 PM EST

Funny how the issue of UN resolutions is constantly mentioned as justification for invasion, when Iraq is pretty low on the list of countries that have violated UN resolutions, with Israel being the number 1 violator. It seems we only care about a country violating the resolutions when they're a country we want to do battle with.

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 ]

UN/European rascist towards Israel (1.12 / 8) (#123)
by Keeteel on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 09:56:59 PM EST

Simply because other countries in the world abuse their power and granted rights to act in rascist ways against the democratic, freedom loving people of Israel does not justify using them as an excuse. It is clear through the actions of the UN and most of Europe that there has traditionally been a STRONG sense of anti-semitic attitudes in regards to the Jewish people. Israel has demonstrated it's willing and wants to behave as a productive society on the intentional level of politics but has faced other countries accepting and celebrating the terrorist actions of the animals from palestine. I as an American stand proud to be an ally of Israel, I stand proud to give my taxes to helping a country facing the same problems we are with terrorism. After Iraq I fully support waging war against the palestinian people for their deplorable and disgusting actions.

Iraq on the other hand carries the burden of responsibility for its violations unlike Israel. They are choosing to act and behave in the ways they do and must be held accountable. The pride and dignity of America is insulted when Iraq betrays our backed resolutions while Saddam sits laughing at his manipulation of world politicians while he builds his nuclear weapons to target America and the very people supporting him. Outside of the Israel the violations of other countries DO NOT NEGATE THE VIOLATIONS OF SADDAM. He MUST GO.

[ Parent ]
Singling out Israel (3.50 / 2) (#127)
by broken77 on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:35:46 PM EST

I didn't mean to single out Israel as the only violator of UN resolutions (as you did). If you would look on that list, you will see many others, including Turkey, another one of our close allies. Would you also like to address why we should overlook the violations of these other countries? Or do you not have enough rhetoric collected to argue on those points?

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 ]

We should go after them all n/t (1.00 / 3) (#128)
by Keeteel on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 11:36:44 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I'm glad you're... (3.00 / 1) (#125)
by Calledor on Sat Nov 09, 2002 at 10:14:16 PM EST

For removal of a plainly pathological leader such as Saddam. However I wish you wouldn't make three half assed generalizations about a large group of people. I mean please. Use your full ass when doing that. There are people who simply do not wish to go to war for various reasons that I nor you can understand but are no doubt of some worth. Some of these pacifists can be Christians, and no doubt there are a great number of business men who are athiests who want a war because they actually do believe America will horde all the Iraqi oil and make them super rich.

To wind this all up let me just say that I hope you are a troll because your commented sounds unhealthy. In a mental way. Glad you put so much effort into it, but really seek counseling. Try to reduce your blood pressure. Less raw meat for breakfast should help.

-Calledor
"I've never been able to argue with anyone who believes the Nazis didn't invade Russia, or anyone who associates the Holocaust with the meat industry. It's like talking to someone from another planet. A planet of fuckwits."- Jos
[ Parent ]

Uh-huh, should I put 5 bucks in your hat now? (2.00 / 2) (#131)
by Redemption042 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:31:50 AM EST

"I am so tired of the liberal Saddam apologists stating the US is not justified in taking Iraq out for whatever damn reason we please."

There are lots of flaws with the reasoning you used, however, I'm lazy and it is late.

lets just look at the quoted sentence above.  Can you see anything wrong with it?   How 'bout if you switched "Iraq" with "US" does it look wrong that way?  What group gets to take out the other "for whatever damn reason 'we' choose?"

I really hope you were a troll, sir (Although, I hesitate to call such a degenerate idiot as yourself  sir.) Cause, well, if you aren't then that is just pathetic.  

Finally, your sig is the sig of a man who wishes to rationalize or justify any postition without having to defend it.    Don't accuse others of irrationality when you yourself aren't capable of critical thinkng.

[ Parent ]

Of course it looks wrong... (4.00 / 1) (#297)
by loucura on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 09:18:22 AM EST

If you switched 'US' and Iraq, you'd then have a 'the' right in front of Iraq, and 'US' would be left without one, and that would just look horrible...

[ Parent ]
You are a Jingo (4.25 / 4) (#136)
by jazman_777 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:53:36 AM EST

The people who are against war are three types of people: Liberals who have a jaded and simple view of the world. Social reject activists who have roots in the days of the hippies that believe in protesting every thing our leaders simply to make them look "Cool" by showing they're different from society. Third are the naive college kids who I won't hold accountable because their views will change after they move out of their parent's houses and start making their own living.

Where do I fit in? I am a conservative in the tradition of George Washington, John Randolph, Richard Weaver, and Senator Robert Taft. I read Chronicles, The American Conservative, Antiwar.com, and LewRockwell.com (among many others). And I am against The Imperium. It is unAmerican and unConstitutional. So kill me for being a diehard American patriot.

[ Parent ]

Ooops (3.25 / 4) (#146)
by synaesthesia on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:05:02 AM EST

[...] weapons of mass destruction to be used against the free world

Bzzzzt! The "Free World". Had to stop reading your comment right there, I'm afraid.



Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Objective Analysis (4.25 / 4) (#150)
by DarkZero on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:00:07 AM EST

Further it is clear by every investigation done by objective organizations that Saddam is indisputably seeking to build nuclear weapons. The Central Intelligence Agency did an objective analysis of the current situation and came to several conclusions. The CIA is an "objective organization" that did an "objective analysis of the current situation [in Iraq]" that just happens to agree with the position of its own government? Suuuuuure. And in other news, America Online has done an objective analysis of AOL Time-Warner's stock, and it apparently fucking rocks and will make everyone who owns it a millionaire by tomorrow. Also, the marketing department of Sprite has recently released an objective analysis of its product, concluding that it "quenches your thirst" and "should be bought by everyone, everywhere, right now". Silly jingoes...

[ Parent ]
Bah. (repost) (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by DarkZero on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:01:50 AM EST

(I only have to login every few months or so, and for some reason K5 doesn't assume that I want "Auto Format" like everybody else does...)

Further it is clear by every investigation done by objective organizations that Saddam is indisputably seeking to build nuclear weapons. The Central Intelligence Agency did an objective analysis of the current situation and came to several conclusions.

The CIA is an "objective organization" that did an "objective analysis of the current situation [in Iraq]" that just happens to agree with the position of its own government? Suuuuuure. And in other news, America Online has done an objective analysis of AOL Time-Warner's stock, and it apparently fucking rocks and will make everyone who owns it a millionaire by tomorrow. Also, the marketing department of Sprite has recently released an objective analysis of its product, concluding that it "quenches your thirst" and "should be bought by everyone, everywhere, right now".

Silly jingoes...

[ Parent ]

Sources that I trust (1.00 / 4) (#248)
by Keeteel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:32:50 PM EST

Here's the thing, you expect me to trust sources such as an international journalist who's against war, or organizations that reject any type of war regardless of the evidence at hand. The sources that I care about are the domestic ones that are held to higher standards of accountability than any country on earth. I TRUST the CIA, my fellow Americans trust the CIA, The President trusts the CIA - They are an organization built on having and processing accurate information (intelligence) for our country to decide how to act based upon. This is what baffles me about the people on this community is that you denounce cut and cry evidence from US organizations built on knowing the truth even though you have no means to dispute the evidence other than quoting a journalist from the UK who grew up with a liberal background.

You cannot compare the CIA to a corporation, the CIA is a highly funded, reputable organization known for protecting American interests. They'd have no reason to lie since if they did and it was revealed it'd only hurt their organization. Besides America is a Christian country and we're raised with the values of honesty, being mostly a Christian country we have leaders who share those teacings. That's why we have such honorable leaders like John Ashcroft, President George Bush, and many other openly compassionate conservative christians in office. We have a bond to one another through our religion and faith in Jesus which creates a trust that is more powerful than any other type of trust, we look out for one another. You also lack trust in corporations which is too cynical for my liking since they are the very reason America is the economic powerhouse that it is. In closing I and the people I know *do* trust American sources since through out the years they've earned our trust by being held to higher standards of accountablity than any country on earth. Truth be told I couldn't give a damn about any source outside this country with the exception of the UK government who released the excellent dossier on Iraq. The sources I care about are the ones I can trust - the ones objectively stating the evidence behind the war.

The irony is that if the CIA was releasing information saying that Al Qaeda was not behind 9/11 you'd be quoting them for your source. But since they do not back your liberal views in this case they are dismissed.

[ Parent ]
what about college kids who feed themselves? (4.50 / 6) (#151)
by ryochiji on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:00:08 AM EST

>Third are the naive college kids who I won't hold accountable because their views will change after they move out of their parent's houses and start making their own living.

Wow...who's jaded and naive here. You think all college kids live at home or get money from their parents? Sheesh, I wish. Have you ever even stepped on a college campus? Hell, I almost got disinhereted for wanting to go to college in the wrong country.

>Since their views are likely to change

Yeah, well maybe your views will change if you go to college too. With a little luck, you might learn to think objectively and critically.

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.
[ Parent ]

College Kids (1.00 / 6) (#250)
by Keeteel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:39:48 PM EST

Don't take it personally but college kids are young and inexperienced. Even the most book smart intelligent ones don't have experience based intelligence. College kids have the views of a teenager of the world being an optimistic place to spread peace, happyness, love and joy where they believe they can do anything they put their minds to. When you get a family, kids, a real 9-5 job working for a competitive, highly paid salary in a meaningful field your views will start to change based on experience. Simply for the matter of having kids you will understand why we must protect them by removing hostile threats like Saddam Hussien so they can grow up in a safe future working towards salvation instead of being prematurely killed by a mushroom cloud in our city. What did it for me was my re-affirmation of faith and giving my life to Jesus after realizing how much I was sinning - so my views certainly did change as well.

So don't take it personally, your views won't be the same when you're 35 years old. Just like mine won't be the same ten years before I die. College kids *are* naive because of a lack of experience - sure they have book based intelligence of remembering facts but they know very little of the real world.

[ Parent ]
This is complete, utter nonsense. (5.00 / 2) (#262)
by valeko on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:01:22 PM EST

Ah, the age-old "liberal college kid" myth. This seems to be a reactionary favourite because it's so easy to argue, although it doesn't work.

Even the most book smart intelligent ones don't have experience based intelligence.

If you're using "book smart" in the derogatory sense that I think you are, then what you are saying is often a contradiction -- many truly intelligent people didn't get that way through rote memorisation of facts in books, etc. Many "college kids" are in fact the factoid-regurgitating drones you speak of. Many are not. Most of the politically conscious ones aren't.

College kids have the views of a teenager of the world being an optimistic place to spread peace, happyness, love and joy where they believe they can do anything they put their minds to. When you get a family, kids, a real 9-5 job working for a competitive, highly paid salary in a meaningful field your views will start to change based on experience.

Many "college kids" do in fact have such illusions; many don't. Most of the ones I've dealt with are, by the time they reach university, as well equipped as most other people to understand that they can't do anything they put their minds to. Unless from an extremely economically privileged background, my intuitive conclusion is that most people have no illusions about actualising what they put their mind to. As for peace, happiness, love, and joy, these are elements of a fundamentally optimistic and benign philosophy. I disagree with some of the intellectually dubious (and obnoxiously disorderly) ways in which this message has been communicated in the past, but it's not in itself an evil one. I'm not a theological scholar, but I imagine Jesus didn't ask for a world of drearily subservient puritan-droids devoid of happiness, joy, love, and peace.

The real problem with your claim is the "experience" bit. I realise that many college kids come from well-off backgrounds and are in fact divorced from the sensation of being in the "real working world" -- many of them also are not. Regardless, just how is "experience" in the "real world" supposed to convert someone to your faith in God, Bush, etc? If you were to argue that once someone begins receiving their own salary, supporting a family, etc, that they will become more conscious of money drifting from their pocket into the government's through taxation, fine. Yes, when it's your livelyhood money disappearing, you feel it more than when it's someone else's. Fact. But how is this supposed to make me support American foreign policy? How is this supposed to upset actually-existing reality and suddenly make me believe establishment lies and mythologies?

When I earn my own salary, will I suddenly believe that Saddam is about to nuke the US? Will I believe that the events of 11 September 2001 happened because certain people "hate our freedom" or "envy our wealth"? Will I believe that communism is the great satanic menace of slavery in disguise? Will I believe that the International Communist Conspiracy, headquartered in Moscow (although the HQ did seem to drift to Peking for a while), conspired to infiltrate the free world and take us over? For that matter, will I wake up one day earning my own salary and living "in the real world" and believe that 2 + 5 = 5? How? Please explain to me how "experience" raising my children teaches me to love capitalist imperialism and to suddenly abandon rational thought as a method of arriving at conclusions? Can you please help me understand this magic transformation?

Thanks. That is all.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Maroon. And, David Duke. (3.66 / 6) (#152)
by Herb User on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:01:17 AM EST

I think yer bible was dipped in LSD, buddy.

"Despite the claims of the heavily biased liberal media"

Ha ha! Right, there's a liberal media.

"Pro-Marijuana and other deplorable actions that go contrary to the beliefs of all civilized societies."

Question: If Canada relaxes its marijuana regulations, will it suddenly become uncivilized?

Hey, did you know that David Duke is actually making more sense, and seemingly values innocent human life, more than our Godly Bush Administration? Hell, you probably think of the guy as a "good Christian", so maybe you'll listen to what he says. Also think about this: Iraq has not attacked us. He's referring to Al Qaeda retribution, I believe.

Excerpt:

Calling the attackers "cowards" is, of course, untrue. The terrorists committed an indescribably horrible and ruthless act against the American people, but certainly they are not cowards. Kamikazes may be misguided, but sacrificing one's own life for a cause is not cowardice. And calling the perpetrators cowards or madmen doesn't answer the question of why these horrendous acts occurred, unless one thinks every coward and madman wants to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Many in the American media and government are screaming for mass destruction against America's newly perceived enemies. Recent opinionpolls (CBS and CNN) show that 60 to 75 percent of the American people endorse warfare against suspected terrorists. They support these actions (and I quote the poll question precisely) "even if it causes the deaths of thousands of innocent people." It hurts my heart to think that a vast majority of the American people take exactly the same view toward innocent human life as did the terrorists of September 11.

There you have it, folks. A former Klan member is more peaceful and concerned for innocent lives than our friendly poster here. I think that speaks volumes. And yes, I realize that anti-semitism and isolationism are at play here, but also consider that Arabs are not Caucasian.


Slackware GNU/Linux: The Best!
[ Parent ]
Marijuana should be destroyed off earth... (1.66 / 6) (#254)
by Keeteel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:57:48 PM EST

I'm completely for permanently banning marijuana, even destroying it from the world if possible some day (like we do with dangerous bacteria.) It has been proven to be a drug that corrupts the rational thought process of individuals, driving them to out of control addictions and a mind numbing lack of intelligence. I've known pot smokers through out my years and they have all been locked in the age of when they first started smoking (i.e. a 27 year old who was still 14 since his brain never developed from marijuana usage.) I certainly have problems with individuals doing it but more so the ultimate reason marijuana, alcohol, all drugs, gambleing, anything temping must be made illegal with stricter punishments is that there are no good after effects of ANY of these on society or the families of the person addicted. The gamblers I know for example destroy their lives, but worse they destroy the lives of their families putting their kids in to poverty and destroying the love of their spouse. Since they as an individual cannot stop their addiction the state must ban the activity to protect the social contract between the family and addicted person.

Second is the violation to society - when a person does an addictive activity they are unproductive to that society, leeching its resources. A marijuana smoker, an alcoholic, a gambler contribute nothing to society through their drug abuse. Sure they might (but unlikely) contribute something while they're sober, but doing the drugs such as pot are only harmful to a productive society.

Marijuana Addiction

I also don't feel that these activities contribute anything to the individual but escapism - they allow the individual to evade his or her rational thought procress of existing in the real world that I do. Simply put that is pathetic that one cannot confront life while sober. But that is not as important as the family violation issue which is where my anger against marijuana and other harmful activities comes from. Just read this story...

Addiction story

Heart breaking till she found Jesus who removed her from the vile addiction. As a Christian I also have pondered that drug addiction is the tool of the tempation of evil to create apathy which allows for loss of faith. I propose the question would Jesus have smoked marijuana? I think not.

[ Parent ]
Whoa, what a geezer... (5.00 / 2) (#278)
by HarmoniousFist on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 09:08:28 PM EST

It has been proven to be a drug that corrupts the rational thought process of individuals, [...] a mind numbing lack of intelligence.

Dude, what about organised religion? Specifically Christianity? My sister is into that shit, man ... if she ever had rational thought process, it's FUCKED UP MACARONI now. Shiiiiiiiiiiit.

*displays his antique bong*

--
IN GOD WE TRUST, UNITED WE STAND! GOD BLESS AMERICA!
[ Parent ]

Wow... (4.00 / 1) (#306)
by rtechie on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 02:34:23 PM EST

I'm completely for permanently banning marijuana, even destroying it from the world if possible some day (like we do with dangerous bacteria.)

Um, we DON'T do this with bacteria. Heavy use of antibiotics merely creates resistant bacteria which are even MORE dangerous. However, you'll be pleased to know that the DEA is seriously pursuing creating synthetic viruses to destroy coca (which is percieved as a bigger threat than MJ). This is an insanely bad idea that could cause the destruction of mankind.

I certainly have problems with individuals doing it but more so the ultimate reason marijuana, alcohol, all drugs, gambleing, anything temping must be made illegal with stricter punishments is that there are no good after effects of ANY of these on society or the families of the person addicted.

Opinion noted. Hoever, it IS just an opinion. 1 in 5 American use marijuana and 7 in 10 use alcohol. Yet somehow we aren't falling into the abyss. Many nations (Denmark, Netherlands, etc.) have actual or de facto MJ legalization and they seem to be doing just fine.

Second is the violation to society - when a person does an addictive activity they are unproductive to that society, leeching its resources. A marijuana smoker, an alcoholic, a gambler contribute nothing to society through their drug abuse. Sure they might (but unlikely) contribute something while they're sober, but doing the drugs such as pot are only harmful to a productive society.

Using your "reasoning" the vast majority of Americans "contribute nothing" to society because the majority of Americans consume alcohol and gamble, and a sizable minority use marijuana.

I also don't feel that these activities contribute anything to the individual but escapism - they allow the individual to evade his or her rational thought procress of existing in the real world that I do.

I challenge your assertion that you "exist in the real world". Your beliefs in invisible superbeings and magic powers are far more fantastic that any drug-related escapism. The real world is material.

I propose the question would Jesus have smoked marijuana? I think not.

He almost certainly
did. Jesus also drank alcohol. One of his first miracles was transforming water to wine which clearly implies that drinking wine is better than drinking water.

[ Parent ]

So you disagree with the CIA? (4.40 / 5) (#154)
by ryochiji on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:04:12 AM EST

>why would a EVIL DICTATOR be making Nuclear Weapons and hiding them from the world if he didn't have plans to use them

Funny that...the CIA's Director had the opposite opinion on that one. He told lawmakers that Saddam Hussein might not use his weapons of mass destruction - unless provoked by fear of an imminent US-led attack.

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.
[ Parent ]

think about it... (4.40 / 5) (#155)
by ryochiji on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 09:19:57 AM EST

If you were a dictator, would you use nuclear weapons against other countries? If your answer's "yes", then you would make a horrible dictator and probably wouldn't manage to stay in power very long.

Despite what people like to believe, Saddam Hussein is not dumb. Evil, maybe, but not dumb. If nothing else, he knows very well that using WMD against other nations unprovoked, would trigger instant retaliation, possibly in kind (i.e. we might nuke them). Not to mention, the international community will fully support all-out military action, and you can guarantee that he'll not only lose power, but also his life. Knowing that, why the hell would he use WMDs? There's a world's difference between developing WMDs and using them.

Speaking of which, why are we going after Iraq and not North Korea. The North Koreans have admitted to having an active nuclear weapons program. They also have long range delivery vehicles (rockets). And they also have a pretty evil dictator. How do you explain that?

---
IlohaMail: Webmail that works.
[ Parent ]

It's not as simple as most people would believe. (5.00 / 1) (#212)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 02:54:15 AM EST

The US is not invading Iraq for the oil. Yes, it's a reason, but not the prime motivator. I believe that there exists a faction that actually do care about Iraq's UN violations and poor human rights record, a few others that see this as chance to take Saddam out, and a small number of hawks that just want bloodshed. You could also say that Bush is using Hussein the same way that previous administrations used him, i.e. he makes a convenient smokescreen to hide behind while they get their domestic issues in order. One could point out that having US troops stationed in Iraq would actually be a good move strategically. Or you can believe that the war was motivated by the recent elections. You could also call the upcoming war a convenient economy booster.

In other words, a variety of reasons exist as to why the US should pursue war in Iraq, but above all is the simple fact that Iraq makes a convenient target.

However, attacking N. Korea would not be in US interests, or in the interests of the international community.

1. N. Korea is right on China's doorstep. China would never approve of such an action. In any case, there far too many business and international interests vested in China's opening market to risk angering them.

2. There are no viable US interests right now in stationing troops in N. Korea.

3. Perhaps the most important reason of all. The economy of the Pacific Rim is recovering. Very painfully, mind you, but recovering nonetheless. Along with China, Taiwan, and a few others, S. Korea is one of the few places left in that area that are helping to stabilize the economic situation there. A war in China would be actively disuptive to China, Taiwan, and S. Korea, and would slide the recovery back at the very least ten years, if not more.

I can assure you that no wars are waged meaninglessly (with the possible exception of Vietnam). While it might seem careless to the casual observer, a war in Iraq has been carefully thought out and more likely than not been brewing for years. The world stage is too dangerous a place to play games, and risky maneuvers are almost never attempted. Does it make it morally right? Maybe. Maybe not. But realistically, conflict in Iraq was inevitable.
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, and every time you insult W, ... (5.00 / 3) (#164)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 01:53:29 PM EST

... the baby Jesus cries... and clubs a baby seal.



[ Parent ]

get some perspective. (4.70 / 10) (#165)
by amarodeeps on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 02:16:33 PM EST

Look, you are being recklessly insulting, and it is exactly this kind of talk that makes me want to puke when I hear so called 'patriots' blathering on.

First of all, dissent is patriotic.

It shows that one cares about this country. I'm willing to challenge a more mainstream viewpoint and put myself at risk of being the target of violently vitriolic nonsense from people like you. I could just move to Canada, and you'd like that wouldn't you? It would support your notion that the only people allowed to be called patriots are those who follow your narrow-minded rationalizations about the United States and its role in the world. Well, wake up, you're not the only American with a valid viewpoint, and just because you happen to think the same way as the current management doesn't make you any more right.

Two, just because I don't care for the current administration does not mean I don't care about this country, or believe Saddam is not a nasty guy.

Again, you are using using the obnoxious technique of "if I believe A but you believe B, you obviously must believe C." Let me restate that to help you understand: just because I don't agree with you about how to treat this situation, doesn't mean I think Saddam Hussein is a nice guy and I want him to marry my sister. And, just because I don't agree with the way the current administration (which I certainly didn't put into office) is running things, doesn't mean that I believe that Saddam should be worshipped as a wonderful example of humanity.

Here's your problem: you don't want to see any sort of complexity to this issue. Has it occurred to you that there is an interconnectedness between our relationship to Israel, our relationship to Saudi Arabia, to Afghanistan and Iraq, that is complex and multi-faceted? Has it occurred to you that the role of the Bush family and their friends goes back farther than just this time around? Have you heard anything about the fact that Cheney's old Halliburton Inc. was doing deals with Saddam under the table the whole time we had sanctions going against his country? And if you look and see who in Iraq those sanctions were REALLY affecting, it starts to look almost as if the Bush and friends were actually the ones supporting Saddam the whole time while stabbing his people in the back, not your Liberal Commie Godless bastards you won't shut up about. If the Bushies hated Saddam so much, and if he has been so much of a threat this whole time, why didn't pa Bush take him out when he had a chance? I don't know, maybe because it's handy to have somebody around as a punching bag when the economy gets tough and everybody starts to wonder why Ken Lay lent you his private plane for your failed--whoops, I mean "successful after the supreme court declared it so" campaign for president?

Why don't you get a clue and wake up: your lover Bush is more anti-Christ and anti-Good than anybody. He, his friends and his family have been actively lying to the American people for years. Why does he deserve any dignity or respect?

Third, and here's the kicker, if you can't handle my atheist, pro-choice, pro-marijuana, pro-gay civil rights, pro-free thought loving ass, get the hell out of my country, you anti-patriot!

Love it or leave you closed-minded redneck bastard! This is a free country, and I'll think and say what I want! I want people to be free and equal in my land, and that means women have choice; gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transexuals have the freedom to be themselves without worrying about getting beat on or harrassed by anti-American radical types; everyone can choose to practice whatever faith/non-faith they want, be it Islam, Christianity, Atheism, Buddhism, etc.; and everyone is allowed to think and say what they feel without the threat of their civil liberties being taken away by uptight reactionaries such as yourself! If you don't like it, move to Iraq!



[ Parent ]
Dissent shows we're not unified.. Lack of trust. (1.60 / 5) (#256)
by Keeteel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 04:19:53 PM EST

First of all, dissent is patriotic.

It shows that one cares about this country. I'm willing to challenge a more mainstream viewpoint and put myself at risk of being the target of violently vitriolic nonsense from people like you. I could just move to Canada, and you'd like that wouldn't you? It would support your notion that the only people allowed to be called patriots are those who follow your narrow-minded rationalizations about the United States and its role in the world. Well, wake up, you're not the only American with a valid viewpoint, and just because you happen to think the same way as the current management doesn't make you any more right.


As an American it is your responsibility to stand behind the elected officials whether you voted for them or not. They are the ones who were chosen by the American people (just validated in the last election by Republicans taking the power.) Dissent in turbulent times like these accomplishes only strengthening the terrorists and those who seek to assult the free world. When you dissent as John Ashcroft stated :

"To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve, they give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil."

Now I know that doesn't mean much to someone unpatriotic like yourself, but I feel that his quote represents the spirit of America's resolve during these testing times. I do respect John Ashcroft, and as the polls state many other people do. When the head of the Justice Department states that dissent is harmful to what we're trying to accomplish as a country you should take the que and support this administration.

Two, just because I don't care for the current administration does not mean I don't care about this country, or believe Saddam is not a nasty guy.

You're using the age old fallacy now that most liberals do when debating my views. You expect me to care about sources that I don't trust, you expect me to rely on the words of some international liberal journalist, or dissenting American journalist like yourself over the words of the people I voted for. I trust the government, every person I personally know trusts the government. The current administration represents the heart, soul, and spirit of the American people greater than any administration that has exited for as long as I've been alive. President Bush is a source of moral clairty, strength and honor who in his Christian values has no reason to lie or distort the truth to the American public. Yet people like yourself continually reject anything he says on the merits that you don't like him. You tell me that I need to wake up, I'll tell you the same thing. What do you think you're going to accomplish being so cynical and supporting the actions of a dictator like Saddam? Have some faith in your elected officials since they are trying to protect you. The American government and media is held to higher standards of accountability than any other organization on earth because of the merits of our free society. Those are the sources I trust to shape my views, not some lunatic site like whatreallyhappened.com. The President says Saddam is a threat to us - I will believe him. The burden of proof is on you to dispuite the claims of a trusted leader who has hundreds of millions of dollars going in to proving these points.

His very willingness to gather the support the UN and other international organizations speaks even higher of his moral clarity. I'd perfer to get this war over with and take Saddam out already - yet the President in his nobility is taking a diplomatic route despite overwhelming evidence against Saddam.

Third, and here's the kicker, if you can't handle my atheist, pro-choice, pro-marijuana, pro-gay civil rights, pro-free thought loving ass, get the hell out of my country, you anti-patriot!

No thanks, you're the one with your views who's harming the American society through your cynical attitudes and attacks on the government. This is a Christian Country founded on the principals of Christianity. The majority of people in this country are Christians (which is why we feel a bond and know we can trust President Bush since he is one of us.) I won't tell you that you should leave or change, but I do think you should stop being so cynical, pick up a bible to at least analyze it and attend church to understand the love and beauty of life and why we must protect it from seccular individuals like Saddam who supports Islamic fundamentalists.

[ Parent ]
Goodness, what a pickle. (none / 0) (#260)
by IPFreely on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 04:56:52 PM EST

It sounds like we have to choose between:

A country full of indecisive, bickering, divisive and independant opinions who can't come together enough to decide whats for supper let alone how to deal with international terrorist (those bleeding heart liberals)

Or

A country full of sheep and cows who follow whoever is in front of them without an inkling of self determination or independence to the slaughter house or whever else their "leaders" decide they would be most usefull. (Those hypocritical conservatives)

And I was so hoping that there was something in between, like maybe the real world.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the laugh /nt (5.00 / 1) (#279)
by greenrd on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 09:15:00 PM EST


"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 ]
I...I can't believe I'm responding. (none / 0) (#285)
by amarodeeps on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:38:15 PM EST

(*I don't know, it's just kind of like an addiction, you know?*)

You began:

As an American it is your responsibility to stand behind the elected officials whether you voted for them or not. They are the ones who were chosen by the American people (just validated in the last election by Republicans taking the power.) Dissent in turbulent times like these accomplishes only strengthening the terrorists and those who seek to assult the free world.

No.

You are unequivocally, undoubtedly absolutedly wrong, Ms. Coulter^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HKeeteel.

Here's a simple question: if the leaders of America were doing something that went against your beliefs as far as what was good for this country and humanity as a whole, would you still find it as comfortable to follow your imperative above?

(*jeebus, why can't I stop biting for these trolls' lures?*)

Ahem. You continue by saying:

When you dissent as John Ashcroft stated :

"To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve, they give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil."

Now I know that doesn't mean much to someone unpatriotic like yourself, but I feel that his quote represents the spirit of America's resolve during these testing times. I do respect John Ashcroft, and as the polls state many other people do. When the head of the Justice Department states that dissent is harmful to what we're trying to accomplish as a country you should take the que and support this administration.

(*gawd, why am I still trying to challenge this nonsense? I should just have a beer and go read the 15-year-olds squawking on Slashdot...yeah...*)

That Ashcroft quote is the clear-stated credo of a small-minded fascist, who took the opportunity of a devastating tragedy to impose his tyrannical will upon the population of this country. Of course, you may find that comforting, because you may also be a fascist, but America is not a fascist country (not yet, I hope...) and I would like it to stay that way.

Ashcroft's actions, most notably his support of the PATRIOT act, were also denounced by many members of the right-wing. Yes, there is even dissension among the right-wing! Some of them are independent thinkers, unlike yourself. Of course, you don't...oh, fuck it.

I'm gonna go have some cookies, they've been chilling in the freezer, I like 'em that way. I'm going to have some cookies, see what's new on memepool and just try to relax. *sigh*



[ Parent ]
Oh dear (4.00 / 1) (#292)
by DullTrev on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 03:53:33 AM EST

I trust the government, every person I personally know trusts the government.
You have got to get some new friends.


--
DullTrev - used to be interesting. Honest.
[ Parent ]
K5, meet the Free Republic, Free Republic, K5... (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by br284 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 02:44:52 PM EST

-NT-

-Chris

[ Parent ]

A very serious point raised indeed! (4.00 / 6) (#171)
by shaunak on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 03:12:46 PM EST

At the beginning of your comment, I thought it was a rant.
In the second paragraph, I had a nagging suspicion it was a troll, which was confirmed by the following statement.

"The Central Intelligence Agency did an objective analysis of the current situation and came to several conclusions."

If I had a nickel for every time the CIA did an objective analysis, I'd still be broke.

And if it is not a troll indeed, you're just the kind of person typecast as the ignorant, self-centric American who doesn't really know more than what his government tells him, but pretends to. Oh, and did I mention you have a warped view of world politics?

Laughing at the dignity of America?
Whatever dignity America had before its unilateralistic shenanighans has been lost almost in full measure.

What do you smoke before coming up with articles like this?


[ Parent ]

This retard *really* trolled *you* guys! (5.00 / 5) (#183)
by valeko on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:03:17 PM EST

On the other hand, trolling like this isn't always bad because it presents the opportunity to state a rational viewpoint in response. That in itself is a service to the progress of humanity -- whereas Keeteel's existence seems like an obstacle to it.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

I know... (4.75 / 4) (#185)
by amarodeeps on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:23:25 PM EST

Actually, I was thinking about this too, it really was an impressive troll. I mean, it had just the right degree of ignorance, self-righteousness, good solid references, GOP worshipfulness, and insulting Christian anti-any-other-mode-of-thought bigotry. Wonderful, really.



[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#211)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 02:21:27 AM EST

I thought it was fairly insulting. I've met and had wonderful arguments with some great trollers, and this just strikes me as flame bait. The good ones don't have half of the community condemning them as trolls, after all, and they're almost always much more subtle than this. They usually pack solid arguments as well, and can hold a thread after the initial assault.

Personally, Keeteel has stopped being amusing for me. He's basically just playing one note over and over and over again, and his posts all sound the same. However, I guess it might be the right note to play for his purposes, since almost all of the conservatives I can think of would be infuriated with him, as well as most liberals.

Keeteel, if by some reason you're reading this, go home. Please. Or at the very least try and put some FUCKING EFFORT into your persona. This is just getting tiring.
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

I guess I can see your point, but (none / 0) (#232)
by amarodeeps on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:46:29 AM EST

I've gone back a few times in my head whether or not I should have replied to him/her/whatever. But I couldn't help feeling like fundamentally, if I just let the comment slide, I'd be letting the same sort of attitude go unchecked that is pervasive in American culture, but fundamentally anti-American. Whether or not Keeteel is for real, a good troll or random flamer, etc. I was pretty effectively trolled, and so in a sense I think that makes Keeteel a pretty good troll. Elicits an attempt at a good response, right?

However, you have a good point about being able to carry the thread after the initial volley, and having a better argument at the start. It's just that, at that point, how does one distinguish a troll from...just somebody with a certain perspective?

And, eventually I think Keeteel will either go away, change his tactic, or get bored...so for now, what harm is the character doing? He's provoked some good or at least interesting responses, I think.

(p.s. DLS, what do you have to do with pitchforkmedia.com? I love that site.)



[ Parent ]
Eh. (none / 0) (#286)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:41:15 PM EST

Click on my name.

I write the occasional article or review there, and that's just about it. When I transferred to U of Chicago, I managed to land a slave job at Thrilljockey, and everything else just kinda fell into place.

I like writing for Pitchfork, and I think it's a great webzine, but my personal favorite is probably Buddyhead. I'm not certain if you're familiar with the music scene in Chicago, but it can get really... pretentious, so to speak. Even though I think those guys at the 'Head have questionable tastes in music, they make me giggle like I have fairies down my shorts, and their honesty is refreshing (now if only they would learn how to fucking update their page...).

On the topic of Keeteel, I guess he just gets my goat because I am (sadly enough, I suppose) an AQ refugee. I would like to think that those guys at Adequacy took trolling to another level, and Keeteel just strikes me as a rank amateur. I would enjoy his posts a lot more if he learned how to follow up.
---

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Jesus loves you, Keeteel .. (5.00 / 2) (#188)
by gbd on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:26:12 PM EST

.. and so do I!

*smooch*, honeybuns!

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

This is what scares me about America (5.00 / 2) (#219)
by scart on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:48:26 AM EST

People who are as intollerant as this are in control of the most powerfull country in the world.

[ Parent ]
Methodology (none / 0) (#233)
by Kintanon on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:51:50 AM EST

As much as many of us might agree that Saddam and his supporters need to be removed from power and probably executed a war is NOT the best way to do that. Sending soldiers to die fighting other soldiers when the REAL problem is the people in charge is juts heinous. If we want Saddam gone we should drop a Seal team or some Airborne Rangers or some other special forces teams, or a combination of all of them, into baghdad and take him out. Infiltrate his organization and assassinate him, encourage uprising and chaos amongst the population. But war is a poor choice.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

If you decide to syndicate this story... (4.16 / 6) (#130)
by ti dave on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:16:17 AM EST

You really ought to capitalize "Marines".
It's a proper noun.
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

True (none / 0) (#358)
by Rogerborg on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:55:46 AM EST

But marines other than the US Marines will be going in.  I was really using "marines" in the sense of "the best of the rest".

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

I hold.... (2.75 / 12) (#133)
by bjlhct on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:36:52 AM EST

that the fault lies with the people who voted for bush and who become more patriotic during fabricated wars.
*

kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism

NEWSFLASH! Bush Voters Cause Iraq WMD (3.66 / 3) (#137)
by NaCh0 on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:57:17 AM EST

Yeah, good position. The people who voted for Bush are the ones who have caused Saddam to build weapons instead of feed his people. That makes perfect sense.

Clue time. As someone who likes Bush, as long as Iraq isn't building WMD, I don't give a shit what is going on over there. Just like I don't give a shit about Israel, Palestine, or all of Europe and Africa.
--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Don't Understand, My Friend. (3.66 / 3) (#140)
by bjlhct on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 01:35:54 AM EST

It seems that I don't hold many beliefs you hold that are central to your reality. You're going to have to spell this out for me here.
*

kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

2nd attempt (none / 0) (#308)
by NaCh0 on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 04:22:24 PM EST

You claim the US-Iraq conflict is the fault of the people who voted for Bush. I claim Iraq would be a problem for the UN even if Bush wasn't in office. Of course, a different administration in charge of the US may take a more wussified approach. However, I think Saddam is a bully and views anything other than force as a sign of weakness. Those in charge of the US seem to agree.
--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]
Okay... (none / 0) (#323)
by bjlhct on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 09:38:24 PM EST

Why is Iraq a problem right now? Seems more like a popularity ploy - but I don't understand why that would work on people, either.

I don't care what's "wussy." Just what is "wuss" and why does it matter anyway? Seems immature.

It seems here that you're not contesting what was my point that responsibility lies largely with voters....well, sure, Bush wasn't really elected and war cas never a campaign thing, but look at the recent election. Instead, you seem to be acknowledging that but saying it's a bad idea.

I think Saddam just doesn't want to get killed. It's hard for him to just leave, and being dictator has perks. But it's pretty dangerous nowadays. He's caught between stopping coups and stopping military invasion. WMD helps out with both - it would seem like an obvious goal. But why aren't we negotiating with him? And invading because he "won't cooperate" with inpectors - well, wouldn't the obvious thing to do be to send in some troops with them? He also has the threat of giving WMD to al-qaida as Iraq falls apart in an invasion...if he has them.
*

kur0(or)5hin - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

Bush has oil running through his veins.... (2.69 / 13) (#141)
by awfultin on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 02:34:40 AM EST

Really, I mean, how convenient is all of this? Iraq has the second largest oil reserve IN THE WORLD. Nooooooo, that's not our reason for going in though. He's "evil". Before I get into how there is no such thing as "good" or "evil", let me just restate that we have no physical evidence of his weapons of mass destruction (how dramatic-sounding) in the first place. While the inspectors are over there, maybe they can head over to Afghanistan and see how the oil pipeline is coming along now that the "terrorists" are gone.

I was born into nothingness and I am constantly drowning in it.

"good" and "evil" (1.50 / 2) (#149)
by kholmes on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:59:36 AM EST

"Before I get into how there is no such thing as 'good' or 'evil'..."

Then you'd have nothing against the US pre-emptively taking your ass out, now would you?

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

That's called "Self-Preservation" (nt) (3.33 / 3) (#161)
by The Muffin on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 12:03:54 PM EST



- This is the end.
[ Parent ]
the good, the bad, and the ugly (2.00 / 3) (#189)
by dizzentive on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:29:35 PM EST

Then you'd have nothing against the US pre-emptively taking your ass out, now would you? -- kholmes

Why no, then we're flying a jumbojet filled with little kittens, right into your apartment window. If you can, we can. *sticks his tongue out and pulls kholmes' hair*

[ Parent ]
Justification? (none / 0) (#207)
by awfultin on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:18:36 AM EST

Just because there is NO good or evil, does not mean any super power has the right to take away lives. My other belief states that you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone. But.....a pre-emptive? A pre-emptive by America? What kind of idea does this give to our allies and enemies?

I was born into nothingness and I am constantly drowning in it.
[ Parent ]

One of us is confused (none / 0) (#310)
by kholmes on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 04:41:02 PM EST

"Just because there is NO good or evil, does not mean any super power has the right to take away lives."

With no good or evil you have not the means to judge anyone.

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

I oughta give this a zero (3.25 / 4) (#180)
by RyoCokey on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 05:10:10 PM EST

...for propigating outright lies. There never was a UNOCAL oil pipeline planned through Afghanistan, and it's been thoroughly debunked in previous posts on this site, as well as UNOCAL press releases.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
Ha. (2.66 / 3) (#182)
by valeko on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 05:59:21 PM EST

There never was a UNOCAL oil pipeline planned through Afghanistan, and it's been thoroughly debunked in previous posts on this site, as well as UNOCAL press releases.

It's been debunked based on news that came from Unocal and corporate media.

In other news, the Enron scandal never happened. It's been thoroughly debunked in previous posts, as well as Enron press releases.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

When's your trip to Afghanistan? (4.00 / 1) (#201)
by RyoCokey on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 10:46:41 PM EST

Since you trust neither the media nor corporations, when do you plan to travel to Afghanistan to scour the land for the pipeline and UNOCAL workers?

I suppose it comes down whether you trust a UNOCAL report to it's shareholders as well as Afghanistan's comments, or trust the original rumor, which claimed a $10 billion geological survey and had the pipeline carrying oil in spite of not being located near oilfields. All of this without even trying to offer proof. Hmmmm.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
There's this thing called logic.... (none / 0) (#206)
by awfultin on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:08:33 AM EST

So I guess we should just believe exactly what the filtered media tell us then? Do you know how long America has wanted that land? The pipeline would lead directly out into the Caspian sea. Once again, how convenient.

I was born into nothingness and I am constantly drowning in it.
[ Parent ]

You seem unfamiliar with it (none / 0) (#263)
by RyoCokey on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 05:13:48 PM EST

No, you should believe a document that sites no sources, and claims the geologic survey was $10 billion to carry out. If you're going to make up blatant lies such as the UNOCAL "conspiracy" you should at least try to be plausible.



"There is no reason why we should not have peaceful relations with the rest of the world if we cease playing the role of Meddlesome Mattie." - Sen. Art
[ Parent ]
Sigh - who cares about oil? (none / 0) (#231)
by mveloso on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 11:36:09 AM EST

For some reason, the worldwide left is fixated on oil and the US relationship to it.

The fact is, the US already controls most of the world's oil production, and is in de facto collusion with OPEC anyway - so direct control over the Iraqi reserves won't impact oil prices. Neither the OPEC countries (who are nominally US allies) nor the US government wants to see an oil price crash. That would lead to even more instability in certain regions of the world that depend on oil revenues.

And anyway, the US contains large oil reserves - it's just more expensive to extract than Middle Eastern oil. Likewise, Russia controls large, proven oil reserves, and is now in the process of bringing them to market.

Saying the US is after Iraq because of oil is, well, wrong. There's a lot of oil all over the place, and it would be a whole less trouble to get it somewhere else.

It's just a nice, simple way for the global left to stupidify arguments so their followers can understand them. Indeed, it seems that the global left excels in sloganeering, the one skill that is almost completely useless when it comes to real-life.

BTW, the pipeline you're talking about runs through Caucasus, not Afghanistan (or is planned to run through Caucasus).

[ Parent ]

from what i heard, it is different... (2.33 / 3) (#168)
by sye on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 02:52:58 PM EST

Saddam once authored a romantic novel about the struggling and fatal errs of free love. The question to me is more like "Has Saddam stopped his many wives from beating each other?!" And why is it that Bush and Laura has to impose their family value upon Saddam's palace?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
commentary - For a better sye@K5
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ripple me ~~> ~allthingsgo: gateway to Garden of Perfect Brightess in CNY/BTC/LTC/DRK
rubbing u ~~> ~procrasti: getaway to HE'LL
Hey! at least he was in a stable relationship. - procrasti
enter K5 via Blastar.in

On the issue of gassing the Kurds, (3.16 / 6) (#170)
by shaunak on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 03:02:27 PM EST

The incident occurred during the Iran-Iraq war. Both Iran and Iraq had chemical weapons and the type that was found to have been used in the attack on the kurds was speculated to be Iranian. It was very unlikely that the type of gas used was Iraqi. Yet, this is elegantly discarded almost immediately by those concerned.

Fact is, nobody's been able to prove that Saddam actually gassed his own people. All we have to go by is the opinion of the CIA. And we all know about trusting that completely.

You must be kidding. (none / 0) (#217)
by mesozoic on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 06:15:01 AM EST

http://www.kdp.pp.se/chemical.html

Kurdistan is considered part of Iraq as far as international law goes, so Saddam really did gas his own people.  Halabja was not part of a separate nation at war with Iraq; it was a defecting city within Iraq's borders.

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." -- Salvor Hardin, Isaac Asimov's Foundation
[ Parent ]

Why Halabja was gassed.. (none / 0) (#245)
by alfadir on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 02:25:35 PM EST

This comment by me gives a background to why Halabja was gassed.



[ Parent ]
No, I'm not kidding. (none / 0) (#246)
by shaunak on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 02:30:48 PM EST

What I'm saying is that the analysis of the gas used on the kurds was found to be the type stocked and used by Iran and not Iraq. That's not to say that Iraq couldn't have produced and then made it. However, there is a distinct possibility that it was indeed Iran who gassed the kurdish region. The western world led by the US immediately pounced upon this.
There was an article by an American Scientist, a specialist in Chemical weapons about this (that's where I get all this from - this is not a figment of my imagination). I'm sorry, I forgot the source.

[ Parent ]
I'm out of here... (2.00 / 23) (#177)
by Tetsubeav on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 04:31:20 PM EST

I honestly can't believe this bullshit made it to the front fucking page.

It's finally got tiresome trying to visit a site where I'm constantly bombarded by some coffee-house politicos saying that America and everything they do sucks.  The world really is in the need of a wake-up call if they believe that.

Fuck this bullshit relativism.  If you really believe that America is worse than Saddam fucking Hussien, then you should go to a doctor and have your head removed from your ass.

I, for one, am done with this experiment in anti-America mastrubation and ego-stroking.

What are you going to bomb next, redneck? (2.83 / 6) (#184)
by dizzentive on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 06:10:35 PM EST

"It's finally got tiresome trying to visit a site where I'm constantly bombarded by some coffee-house politicos saying that America and everything they do sucks.  The world really is in the need of a wake-up call if they believe that." -- Tetsubeav

Nothing like a midnight flame.

To me it sounds like you are the one that would be in need of a serious wake-up call.  Maybe America's not worse than Iraq, but does that make America good?  Hardly.  You probably should go get yourself some points in sentence logic before you try that one again.

I'd rather stroke my ego while reading your commment and thus declaring "that the last idiot's not born just yet" than projecting said ego onto an army of men with big guns that I am sending halfway across the world while I am sitting at home in my white building -- which by the way looks like a big tit -- watching it all on CNN while trying to spell "justification" in the Sunday Times crossword puzzle.  Just a matter of taste though.  Censor this.  And the horse you rode in on.

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GL/CC/IT/P d-@ s+:+ a- C++++(--)$ UL P++ L+ E- W N o-- K- w(---)$ O- M++ V-- PS+(+++) PE(--) Y+ PGP+ t+ 5++ X R+++ tv++(--) b++(++++) DI++(+++) D+ G++ e-@ h--- r+++ y? ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
[ Parent ]

Byeee (4.50 / 2) (#192)
by harrystottle on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 07:16:35 PM EST

thanks for coming

Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
For what it's worth... (none / 0) (#340)
by TheCaptain on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:09:17 PM EST

I hope you don't go. People who differ with those viewpoints are exactly what we need here, as this place is a little bit of a magnet for freaks and extremists at times. They seem to have an awful lot of time on their hands at times...

[ Parent ]
Saddam will stop... (2.71 / 14) (#197)
by Lord Snott on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 08:32:24 PM EST

...beating his wife when Bush stops beating his meat.

Bush is a hipocrite. Iraq should only allow inspectors in if Bush allows Iraq to inspect the US bio warefare program.

The US used chemical weapons in Korea decades ago, and then US biological weapons were used on US citizens last year.

After critisism of human rights violations in China, the US then violates human rights in camp x-ray.

I guess Might does make Right.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

The difference (none / 0) (#249)
by Tzitzimeme on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:36:00 PM EST

The thing that you are missing here is that Iraq agreed to the inspections as part of a cease fire agreement between themselves and the forces that fought against them in the gulf war. Beggars cannot be choosers. Also, yes, in the the big picture might does make right. You can't really enforce anything without the threat of violence at some level.

"Reason, thou see'st, hath all too short a wing."

Paradiso, Canto II, Line 57


[ Parent ]
additionally (none / 0) (#253)
by Tzitzimeme on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:57:34 PM EST

Maybe an analogy will help. Imagine that Iraq is a criminal who has commited crimes(the invasion of kuwait etc.). He serves his time (the invasion and costs incured) and at the end of his sentence agrees(cease fire agreement) that he will be released but will be on probation, will have to check in with his probation officer, will not own a gun, and will lose some privileges (inspections, embargoes etc.). His argueing that policemen and regular citzens still get to carry guns would garner little sympathy. Basically Iraq is a criminal who got caught and is being punished for the crimes by the community at large. You can argue that others are getting away with the same crimes but until the community decides to do something about it it really does no good to say that no one should be punished for anything. Argueing that the US and other countries should not have WMD just because Sadam is not able to is the equivalent of saying that cops shouldn't get to carry guns because crimals aren't allowed to.

"Reason, thou see'st, hath all too short a wing."

Paradiso, Canto II, Line 57


[ Parent ]
Thankyou (none / 0) (#325)
by Lord Snott on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:07:41 AM EST


Argueing that the US and other countries should not have WMD just because Sadam is not able to is the equivalent of saying that cops shouldn't get to carry guns because crimals aren't allowed to.

Well, in the UK cops don't carry guns. Compare their firearm death-rate to the US's. I'm not saying a criminal shouldn't be punished, just that maybe a fellow criminal shouldn't be doing the punishing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

[ Parent ]
Maybe. Have I Stopped Beating Your Mother? (1.50 / 4) (#204)
by ROBOKATZ on Sun Nov 10, 2002 at 11:50:04 PM EST

Whoops, thought I was in a dairy. I mean diary.

What ? (none / 0) (#210)
by salsaman on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 01:48:26 AM EST

We've all invested in munitions manufacturers, right?

Certainly not. There are plenty of ways to invest that don't involve killing others.

"What, stop the slave trade to the colonies ? We've all invested in the slave traders, right ?"

Slave trade (none / 0) (#315)
by dizzentive on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 06:00:31 PM EST

At least someone remembers the prime example: American History.

[ Parent ]
If/When Saddam falls, it's his own damn fault. (3.00 / 6) (#216)
by mesozoic on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 06:09:42 AM EST

The UN ruled in 1991 that it was illegal for Saddam Hussein to hold any weapons of mass destruction, that he must submit to inspections, and that he must submit to disarmament.  Whether Scott Ritter thinks there still are any WMDs in Iraq is irrelevant; Saddam expelled inspectors years ago, and it is infantile to think he hasn't restarted his weapons programs since.

Now he is dangerously close to developing a rudimentary nuclear device.  If this happens, Saddam Hussein will be the most powerful Arab leader in the Middle East.  Given how volatile the region is from tensions over Israel and terrorism, the last thing we need is another regional war.  If Saddam is backed into a corner -- by Iran, for example -- he's going to stick a nuke up someone's ass.

Enter the latest UN resolution.  This is a clear signal that even other Arab countries like Syria want Saddam disarmed; they're just as nervous as we are about how close he is to nuclear arms.  They just don't want an all-out war, because that could be just as damaging.  So there are two outcomes, and they both depend on the leader of Iraq:

  1. Saddam delays, obstructs, or otherwise fucks around with the inspectors.  The UN won't tolerate this, and launches a military operation to disarm him.  Given how much technology has improved since the Gulf War, and how eager many Iraqis are to defect, this operation will probably last a couple months.  In the process, Saddam's army defects in massive numbers and his regime crumbles from the inside.
  2. Saddam plays along, allows the UN to defang his regime, and is stripped of everything that made him fearsome.  This is highly unlikely.  (If this does happen, though, there will be a much greater chance that he will be assassinated.)
Either way, all this talk of US imperialism and our 'trigger-happy' president is crap.  Saddam brought this situation upon himself by consistently hindering the efforts of UN weapons inspectors.  He's left us with no choice but to give him an ultimatum: play along, or we're going to bitchslap you.

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." -- Salvor Hardin, Isaac Asimov's Foundation
Gag. (none / 0) (#218)
by valeko on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 07:38:43 AM EST

Now he is dangerously close to developing a rudimentary nuclear device.

No. He's not.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

American/UK Government *would not* lie about this. (1.00 / 4) (#247)
by Keeteel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:20:09 PM EST

President George Bush represents the heart, soul, and essence of the American people, he has earned our trust and respect through his moral clarity and blunt honesty. This is one of the things that appauls me about the liberals on this site is that anything the President of the United States says is rejected as heresay. The President is held to higher standards of accountability than any other government in the world, along with the backing of Prime Minsister Tony Blair both stating Saddam is within one year of developing weapons we cannot avoid action on the passive attitudes of claiming the people whose job it is to be responsible and truthful are distorting the truth.

Despite the case being cut and dry President Bush has persisted on gaining international support through the UN and various domestic organizations, that in itself speaks highly for the President's moral clairty. The sources of information I do care about are the ones from my country (CNN/White House press releases) since I know I can trust them. You simply cannot expect me or the American People to reject the importance of this war on the source of some international journalist or liberal on this site who's not held to the standards of American Media

The burden of proof is on those against the war when the President of the most powerful country on earth himself has claimed he has the intelligence claiming Saddam is within one year of developing weapons. You tell me why the President would lie about that when there's nothing stopping him from going to war in the first place.


CNN Article

The White House released satellite photographs that Bush said demonstrate that "Iraq is rebuilding sites that have been part of [Saddam's] nuclear program in the past." (Surveillance photos)

Without mentioning anyone by name, the president appeared to address those critics who say the administration has failed to explain why Saddam poses such a threat at this time and why any action must be contemplated.

"If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today -- and we do -- does it makes any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grow stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons? Bush asked.

Later in the speech he said, "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."


Truly I feel safe under President Bush in these times of turmoil and unrest - he has earned my respect, trust, honor, and certainly the blessing of God for his protecting the freeworld through his moral clarity and understanding of Christian Values.

[ Parent ]
A bad joke (none / 0) (#251)
by IPFreely on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 03:45:00 PM EST

A Whitehouse intern comes bouncing into the oval office and announces:

Mr Bush, the Congress and Supreme Court have just just made major announcements.

Mr Bush asks: What happened?

Intern says: Well congress just passed a resolution to disolve the constitution, and are getting ready to appoint the President to be Dictator for Life.

Mr Bush: That's Great! It's what I've always wanted. I'll show them who's boss now.

Intern says: And the Supreme Court just reversed their December 2000 election decision. Al Gore is now the President.

The question is: Which part of that joke is the "That's Not Funny!" part.

[ Parent ]

CNN = Time Warner = Money Grubbing/Filtered News (5.00 / 3) (#284)
by awfultin on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:27:01 PM EST

President George Bush represents the heart, soul, and essence of the American people, he has earned our trust and respect through his moral clarity and blunt honesty.

No....not really. He doesn't represent my heart. President Bu$h represents big buisiness, oil, and bad grammar. Moral clarity is only moral clarity in the eye of the beholder.

The sources of information I do care about are the ones from my country (CNN/White House press releases) since I know I can trust them.

Now this scares me. The sources of "news" you are talking about are multi-billion dollar conglomerates bent on total control. Only 6 companies own 90% of televised media. We are fed filtered bullshit by the conglomerates that fund our presidential candidates.

I was born into nothingness and I am constantly drowning in it.
[ Parent ]

Excellent! (5.00 / 1) (#300)
by minusp on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 10:41:00 AM EST

You even said all that with a straight face. I am in awe.
Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
The puppet echoes (5.00 / 2) (#225)
by IPFreely on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:15:21 AM EST

Now he is dangerously close to developing a rudimentary nuclear device.

Name any proof of this other than GWB and Co have been claiming it incessently for months.

None. Nadda. Zip.
Congress has asked repetedly for ANY proof, and have received NOTHING.

If Bush is so concerned with "making the world safe from terrorist" to the point of invading countries, why Iraq? Iraq had done nothing overt or threatening right up till the moment that Bush and Co started their tirade. There are other countries on his so-called "axis of evil" list that are far more dangerous than Iraq. North Korea has recently confessed to holding technology to create weapons and delivery systems. The problem there is that North Korea has better political support than Iraq (China, Russia).

So Bush, like the school yard bully that he is, goes for the weakest peon he can find, creates an excuse to attack so he can blame them for his beating them up. He ignores other more realistic threats because he might not be able to intimidate them. And as the article described, he wants to take Iraq out whether they actually have weapons or not. He set up an easy victory and is now putting on a big show of how strong he is, when it is so apparent what and why he is doing it.

[ Parent ]

There's plenty of evidence. (none / 0) (#275)
by mesozoic on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:39:40 PM EST

Rock solid proof is hard to get out of a country as secretive as Iraq.  Any expert will tell you that these days, the only conclusive proof someone has a nuclear weapon is when they start brandishing it.

However, there is plenty of suspicion.  The CIA has noted repeated attempts by the Iraqi government to recruit nuclear specialists and purchase equipment that could be used for enriching non-weapons-grade nuclear material into something suitable for a weapon.

Even still, do we really need to wait for proof that Saddam is building nuclear weapons?  It's obvious that he's a threat to the region, that he's been hiding things from weapons inspectors for a decade, and that (until now) attempts at resuming inspections were going nowhere.  The Middle East is also a high priority because of terrorism.

North Korea is different in that they already have nuclear weapons.  Thus, as much as we might want to disarm them, we can't start a war with North Korea.  In the first hour of such a war, Tokyo and Seoul would most likely be destroyed.  So while I agree that North Korea is a threat, and that it would be unwise to turn our backs to them, the situation is very different.

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." -- Salvor Hardin, Isaac Asimov's Foundation
[ Parent ]

wow! I'm thinking! (none / 0) (#291)
by fenix down on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 01:41:17 AM EST

This is a little off-topic, but I just wanted to say that you tangentially got me a lot closer to supporting an invasion of Iraq.  Your comparison of North Korea and Iraq got me thinking about what practical benefit we get out of this invasion.  Moral outrage is nice, but there has to be something better than that to justify this kind of action.  So I thought, what does Iraq have that North Korea doesn't?
 Screwed up neighbors.
 If the US is going to try and deal with Israel/Paliestine, Al Qaeda, and maybe even (Muslim) fundamentalism in general, getting rid of Iraq's a sexy idea.  It cuts out a tricky variable with minimal effect on the area, since everybody there expects (of at least should, at this point) Iraq to get bitchslapped every other weekend.  After that, if you actually follow through and have some kind of occupation, like an AFB or a refueling port, you can start pushing on some of you're friends in the region (Saudi Arabia, ahem) with hints of how this whole Iraq thing made them a little less important to you.  It gives you a lot more freedom to work in the region, and enough diplomatic leverage that you might be able to hold off significant backlash by the locals, at least for awhile.
It might not be nice, but it's an idea...

[ Parent ]
expelled? (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by harryhoode on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:35:59 AM EST

Saddam expelled inspectors years ago

Iraq did not expell the inspectors. They left ahead of US and British bombing for non-compliance with inspections.

[ Parent ]
This was a wonderful article... (4.25 / 4) (#220)
by Sleepy on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 09:08:35 AM EST

...right up until the end:

Saddam is undeniably a stone cold evil son of a bitch, and millions of Kurds and Iraqis will be delighted to see him exit the world stage on a slab.

Who do you think is going is going to suffer more during this war, Saddam or all the other people living in Iraq? I really don't think anyone inside Iraq will be anything near "delighted".

PS. On the whole, I still think this was a wonderful article.



Change hurts (5.00 / 1) (#237)
by JatTDB on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:06:20 PM EST

I know I'm really stretching the similarities here, but a recent work situation I experienced resonates with all of this.  I work in a remote office of a medium-sized company.  This branch has less than 10 employees, and is generally autonomous from the rest of the company.  The branch manager had pretty much free reign on every front.  Unfortunately, the branch manager we used to have had slowly turned into, well, an irresponsible asshole.  I won't (and can't, probably, what with disclosure things and such) go into the details, but it got to the point where he'd do something horribly wrong then say "I'm sorry, I won't let it happen again."  And then it would happen again.  Kinda like a certain Iraqi leader...

Anyway, when upper management decided that enough was enough and got rid of this bastard, the other employees and myself had mixed feelings on the whole thing.  We knew that he was doing things that were destructive to the branch, and that it was best that he was gone.  We were happy about that.  But, we also knew that now we had to redo an awful lot of stuff that he'd been working on, and cover a lot of his duties, and generally have a lot of not-so-fun crap to deal with (like telling clients why our branch manager had to "resign", effective immediately, without giving out too many nasty details).  Eventually, all that will be resolved, and we'll just be happy to have a functional branch again.

So, once again, change hurts.  When it's change on the scale of a national government, it *really* hurts.  You have to look a few years down the road to get an idea of how the people of Iraq would feel if the US initiates a regime change.

[ Parent ]

You're assuming, of course... (4.00 / 1) (#259)
by Sleepy on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 04:56:46 PM EST

...that things are going to change for the people because of this war. I'm not. The Gulf War didn't change a thing for the people of Iraq(well, at least not for the better), and I fail to see how this war will do any better. The economy and infrastructure sure isn't going to get any better. Support for Saddam Hussein isn't going to weaken(drop bombs on a country, and you'll see the people's support for their leader start increasing pretty damn quick). And they most defintely won't be "safer".

Sure, sometimes change hurts. So does many other things. And this is one of those other things.



[ Parent ]
Leader support (none / 0) (#295)
by JatTDB on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 08:23:30 AM EST

If you go by the recent "elections", Saddam's got 100% support already.  Of course, that's the kind of support that falls into the same category as the cooperation of a 3rd shift clerk at a gas station with the dude jabbing a shotgun in his face.  Maybe the Iraqi people really do love their leader.  Personally, I think there's a pretty significant portion of the population that doesn't.  I think there's also another large portion of the population that wouldn't support him so much if they had more information to go on than government propaganda.  I could be wrong, but it sure seems like every crowd of Iraqis I see on TV declaring their support for Saddam seems to have this look of "better say it or I'm gonna get shot" in their eyes.

I would hope that any regime change plan currently under consideration would include material and monetary aid for infrastructure reconstruction.  If Iraq was mining all those oil reserves they have and could sell it on the open market and use the money for things the people actually *need* (like roads, schools, etc) rather than weapons and god knows how many presidential palaces, then you know what?  Iraq just might have a workable economy.

[ Parent ]

Is USA upper management of Iraq ? (none / 0) (#335)
by svampa on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:51:51 AM EST

According with your analogy, USA is the upper managment of Iraq, and is going to make Saddam to resign. Funny perception, most iraquies will cheer this point of view.

Is the change for better? What will be instead of Saddam?

A democracy?. Nope. Every Islam country is shifting to fundamentalism (Turkey, Egipt ...). Free elections will get a fundamentalist, the "upper management" can't allow that.

So we have another dictatorship (or forever interin president), probably his main work will be to sign new treats with USA oil companies and Europe oil companies of countries that have supported the war.

Who will pay the bill of rebuilding the country full rubbles? According with the recent past in Bosnia and Afghanistan: none

So they are going to exchange a dictator by another dictator, going through a war.

Are you sure any of the "workers" think now, or will think in after the war, that change worths the pain?

I really don't think so. Anyhow, who cares the "workers"?



[ Parent ]
Fair comment (none / 0) (#357)
by Rogerborg on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 05:48:29 AM EST

The process will be painful, but that doesn't mean that they won't be sorry to see him finally gone.  Perhaps not all of them, but millions.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

If Saddam is such a menace... (3.00 / 1) (#240)
by lvogel on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 12:18:11 PM EST

Then why did we arm him with chemical and biological weapons in the first place?
-- ----------------------
"When you're on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog!"

-a dog
Why? (none / 0) (#273)
by tpv on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:30:36 PM EST

Because he has oil.
We like people who have oil.

--
'I would therefore like to posit that computing's central challenge, viz. "How not to make a mess of it", has not been met.'
Edsger Dijkstra (1930-2002) EWD1304
[ Parent ]
Also... (none / 0) (#274)
by valeko on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:34:09 PM EST

Not only did Saddam have oil, but he was "better" than Ayatollah Khomeini, where the Iraq-Iran war was concerned. To quote the ultraconservative commentator Dinesh d'Souza, author of What's So Great About America?: "Once the principle of the lesser evil is taken into account, then many American actions in terms of supporting tin-pot dictators like Marcos and Pinochet become defensible."

This is, in reality, a piercingly clear look at the ruling class's justification for its own actions once they start believing their own propaganda.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#299)
by minusp on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 10:10:53 AM EST

he was "better" than Ayatollah Khomeini,

at least until we needed Iran to keep the hostages a little longer... in exchange for rockets and jet parts.

Then Iraq was better than Iran again for a while.


Remember, regime change begins at home.
[ Parent ]
A culture of liars (2.60 / 10) (#257)
by wytcld on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 04:40:50 PM EST

On NPR a few mornings ago the announcer was saying, "Sanctions, intended to punish Saddam...." Bullshit, they were intended to force him to disarm. Then there was an interview with an Iraqi who claimed that their sewage problems were because of sanctions. NPR putting forth unfiltered Iraqi propaganda. Like Iraq doesn't have the ability to form clay into sewage pipe, or the manpower to lay it. They were doing that there nearly 3000 years ago. Sanctions has nothing to do with it.

What we have to keep in mind is that Islam is a culture of lies and liars. Consider the frequent press reports about educated people in Egypt willing to believe that the World Trade Center attack was an Israeli conspiracy. Most Muslims simply have no standard of objective truth. America may have secrecy and misdirection from the Whitehouse, and tolerate that too much - but Western culture - despite Saddam's mouthpieces at NPR - still has the sort of standards for objective honesty that allow for reasonably advanced civilizations. It's simply the reason both our governments and our business (despite the scandals there) work better.

A recent personal example of this was this Saturday when I went into an Arab-run convenience store here in Brooklyn. The Muslim behind the counter took advantage of my bad cold to distract me enough that - in a very unusual lapse for me - I walked out without getting the change from him for the 50 I'd tendered for a 3 dollar purchase. When I went back the next day, hoping we could agree this was an honest mistake on both our parts, his coworker insisted, "It wasn't this store! You must have been in some other store!" Even when I got him to concede it was the right store, he just kept inventing one lie after another, and the guy who'd short-changed me wouldn't come out of the back room. This would be just an isolated incident of criminality condoned within a single business - but it fits with everything we know about the culture of Muslims, as shown in Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and - before Attaturk had the good sense to repress it there - Turkey.

There is no way such peoples should be trusted with advanced weaponry. The only sane option is to conquer, colonize and transform them into truth-respecting peoples, or else get them to agree to do without armaments which can threaten the civilized nations. Islam is no more or less respectable as a "faith" than Nazism; just another thousand year reich based on false promises of paradise to those willing to turn away from what's real, true and beautiful in this world (thus the hinding of women in Muslim lands). If they can reform Islam into something respecting truth, more power to them. If not, may their end be merciful.

Please tell me you're just trolling... (5.00 / 1) (#266)
by Da VinMan on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 06:04:03 PM EST

I can't even believe you just wrote that! How the heck do you figure that lying is a cultural value or even culturally acceptable within Islam? Can you substantiate that in a non-local fashion? (Didn't think so.)

Speaking of Nazism, isn't the above a bit like saying that all the Jews were power mongering and manipulative schemers who conspired to rule the human race?

I agree that religion can be misused in many ways, but stating that all members of religion X are dishonest people by virtue of being a member of the religion is going way too far.



[ Parent ]
Ignorance will be the death of humanity... (none / 0) (#283)
by awfultin on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 10:13:54 PM EST

What a horrible blanket statement to make. So, they are all liars? How dare you label all muslims as liars. BTW, there is no such thing as objective truth. There is such a thing as a SUBJECTIVE truth. Everything is subjective. All of this exists inside your skull my friend.

I was born into nothingness and I am constantly drowning in it.
[ Parent ]

no objective truth? (none / 0) (#354)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 09:33:34 AM EST

there is no such thing as objective truth

For some people 2+2=3. For some others 2+2=5. Some people say that 2+2=4, but most of them are subject to some "objective" propaganda...

Why do I bother replying to this? You exist only inside my skull, don't you? Luckily, this reply is only inside my skull, too...

[ Parent ]

A grain of "truth." (none / 0) (#343)
by bakuretsu on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 09:59:58 AM EST

It isn't a stereotype, or a blanket statement if it's true. The difficult to swallow truths are the ones most often labeled as "rude generalizations."

Is it true that all Muslims are liars? Of course not. Is it true that their subjective truths are different than ours, as Americans, or as Christians, or as atheists? Yes, most definitely.

What may be the "truth" to them may not be the "truth" for us, and that is the bottom line.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
[ Parent ]

Interesting... (none / 0) (#277)
by brsmith4 on Mon Nov 11, 2002 at 08:59:17 PM EST

What about the fact that Ritter accepted 40,000 (probably more) dollars from an Iraqi businessman with ties to Saddam himself shortly before changing his views? Look it up on google, its there. Apparently, he claims it was to cover the costs of filming a documentary and that he gained nothing from the transaction. Sounds flaky to me. Everyone has a price.


I give up on you people. You couldn't save yourselves from a bad dream. --God
wow, the blind kneejerk beliefs here (4.10 / 10) (#293)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 04:45:48 AM EST

the amount of america bashing here is amazing.

most of which i bet is done of course, by residents of western open societies.

absolutely amazing.

are you people for real? i mean, do you realize the kind of societies that exist in iran, iraq, saudi arabia, etc? i'm not talking about american propaganda on the issue. i mean take as unadulterated a straight up view of these societies that you can, and then compare them to the us.

you say we are not at war with these societies? ok, fine. but what if they view you as the enemy, while you sit there saying "you are my friend"? do you really, really think that religious fundamentalism can exist in peace with open societies in this small world?

do you really, really believe that?

why are you all so busy defending these closed societies from big bad america?

america has done, and will do, things that suck balls, but i mean come on, where is the relativism here?

are you a moral absolutist? or a moral relativist? societies that deny the rights of their women and proscribe rigid interpretations of religious texts versus what... a stable democracy?

get real. take america in the worst possible light you can possibly imagine. take middle eastern societies in the best possible light you can imagine. and you defend these backward countries?

do you consider yourself liberal? should the us be "hands off" the middle east? what would your view be on say, western intrusion in cultural practices like african clitorectomies? the hypocrisy here is incredible. societies mess with each other. it's a small world. get used to it. if a society embraces an uncritical blind religious fundamentalism, it breeds people who think flying airplanes into towers full of innocent civilians is perfectly warranted... in OTHER countries outside their own! where is the "hands off" view of religious fundamentalists? they are a DEFENSIVE reactionary force? or an active, destructive force? america is the one to be feared? oh really?

you would rather rationalize and discuss with them? or sit here and criticize america's every move, past, present, future. where are your solutions? some of you are very good at criticizing, but offer no solutions to risky, scary situations in the world. think the us actions make it worse? as if it can get ANY worse in the world? as if you help?

do you believe war is never necessary? never?

i think you people are just rich spoiled brats biting the hands that feed you. spit on your servants while you embrace your enemies. the mindset of the child, the rebellious teenager.

you are all spoiled, naive, and unexperienced about the world. you are children. i am not cynical, i am not blind. i am realistic about some seriously f***ed up evil people in this world manipulating some ancient religious texts for their ethnocentric advancement. you are all rather hopelessly idealistic. go hold hands and sing campfire songs. as if any of you offer any real solutions to real problems. islamic fundamentalists... or christian fundamentalists for that matter, view people like you as sheep. soft cattle to slaughter. you are not beacons of hope to people bent on the destruction of the evil decadent west, you are disillusioned, waylaid children.

what would religious fundamentalists do with you? they would indoctrinate you. NOW we can talk about propanganda, my friends. not the soft kind most of you rant against, we are now talking about hardcore, "you are with us or we kill you" propaganda. wear this chardor or we stone you to death. the women amongst us, they would put under chardors and refuse them education. do you deny this? do you rightly deny this intent of religious fundamentalism? ANY religious fundamentalism, not just the islamic variety? however, this particular variety has a stranglehold on a lot of old, proud societies in the middle east, unlike christian fundamentalism, which is rather relegated to backwaters of the west. the west has active, critical, powerful forces against mindless fundamentalism at work. the middle east has no such forces. it is mired in backwards religious idiocy. why are you all so blind to this fact, and so happy to attack america, a stable democracy!

when you see islamic militants flying airplanes into towers, do you see brave people fighting oppressive evil americans? or do you see religious fundamentalists with an agenda and an intent all of their own making? do you really, really deny the intent of organizations like al qaeda? is this a defensive organization? or an offensive one? do you really, really doubt their intent, their desire and call to action? do you really doubt their desire to destroy your freedoms? is their NOTHING we should do about them? do nothing because it offends your childish view of the world that anything you do that is bad- even to defend yourself, is not right? it's a small world people, societies clash. which side are you on? think you have the luxury to not pick a side? think again.

all you guys do is march and hold placards. ok: clap, clap, clap, you care about the world. now try assimiliating some of it's realities and adjust your course of action. the vote in the un was unanimous to attack iraq if it doesn't deliver it's weapons of mass destruction to investigators. did that vote surprise you? ok, now see if you can take some baby steps in to reality now and realize people act when they are threatened with destabilizing religious fundamentalism in the world. and some of those actions might be ugly. but these people recognize what must be done, despite your childish adherence to pacifist notions of peace and love around the world just by clapping your hands and yelling "we don't want your racist war!" so childish to think that is all it takes. ugly things must be done in the name of safety. simple, unfortunate fact. do not shoot the messenger. do not deny there are ugly truths in the world. the world does not all smell like roses. some it smells like shit. get used to that, and you will realize force is necessary on iraq. until the liberal fringe stops living in denial, you will continue to lose power and influence in the west. embrace and accept the action on iraq is good for us all, iraqis included, and you will be back in the fold with a positive outlook on progress in the world. until then, you are lost in denial.

religious fundamentalists would destroy our free press. they would censor our internet. they would destroy our precepts of freedom, and impose on us a rigid interpretation of islam. do you doubt this? do you say they would not, that they are just defending their societies from invasion by the decadent evil west? i would have nothing to say on that point... until september 11th, the bali bombings, the african embassy bombings, etc. islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. there is nothing wrong with that. islam is an ancient, passionate, beautiful religion. but when the fundamentalists in islam channel those with a grudge and no hope of personal economic advancement due to the closed nature of their societies (NOT the evil corporations of the west!) into martyrs who do evil things in parts of the world far from islam, they are not defending islam anymore, they are imposing their will on others. just like your big old bad america puppet you like to parade around so much. look at it this way: islamic fundamentalism has learned well from evil america: it has gone global, and they have no problem using nukes, chemicals, biological agents, etc... unlike america.

do you deny this?

you are infidels. you are clueless sheep to them.

does the psychology of victimization get anyone anywhere? america is the evil powerful imposer of it's blind will on the world, to the eternal suffering of all, right. you can burn the american flag in tehran until you are blue in the face. doesn't advance your society. doesn't improve your people's lot in the world. japan was nuked by the us. the big old bad evil us nuked japan. do any of you remember what japan was doing to it's neighbors before the us nuked them? to save the lives of countless american personnel if a land invasion of japan was warranted? so the us nuked japan. let's argue until we are blue in the face about how evil america is for doing that. i don't see the japanese worrying much about it. they built their society right back up. they did not wallow in victimization. and now they are amongst the richest societies in the world. victim, victim, victim. evil america oppresses, downpresses, does so much evil. blah, blah f***ing blah. shut up and improve yourself. the psychology of vicitmization does not advance you.

it is so easy, and uncritical, and blind, and unthinking to paint the us as the enemy of everything. think a little. stop being a counterculture sheep. you should not define your critical reasoning by a simple opposition to anything forward thinking in action by any nation. is the us attacking iraq out of it's evil desire for more oil? sure. is this evil? yup. and they will probably turn iraq into an islamic democracy like turkey. why can't the focus be on the positive? you are such a liberal, caring individual about the suffering of poor people in the world, right? you fight globalization. good for you. so if the us puts democracy in iraq by force (as if iraq is going to go democratic any other f***ing way?) is the lot of the common iraqi going to improve or suffer? sounds like the perfect liberal agenda to me. down with totalitarianism, up with democracy. yup: generalismo bush has nothing but evil corporate globalizing polluting oil intentions in iraq. free press and freedom of religion and freedom to assemble etc etc etc springs up in iraq after the us invades. such a step backwards for the liberal agenda... really?

an american is no better than an iraqi. an american is no better than an iranian. america teaches this. america knows this. a muslim can practice islam in the us no problem. those who say the dumb rednecks make that kind of hard for the american muslims denies the fact that racist, idiot morons is a worldwide phenomenon- america certainly has no monopoly on racist morons who downpress their society's minorities. i'm sure some of you will figure out how to blame america for all of the racist morons in the world, all over the world, before america even existed. yup. real forward-thinking types here.

democracy in the middle east will teach arabs and persians and shiites and sunis and kurds and everyone they are equal to americans. however, an iranian true believer is taught they are better than a heathen american. better than a heathen european. a true believer of a religious fundamentalist belief system is taught they are better human beings than nonbelievers. there is no humility in religious fundamentalism. you are better than nonbelivers because it is written in some dusty old book, page 34, chapter 7. proof you are a better person for being a true believer. whatever. fundamentalist islam must fight jihad on the infidels. martyrs go to heaven and meet 70 virgins. uhhuh. they are rewarded for fighting the infidels. all of this is true. this ethnocentric lunacy. but this is the mindset of millions in the middle east. this is the danger in the world folks. this is the source of instability in the world my liberal forward-thinking friend. this is your enemy. not big bad america.

know your friends. know your enemies. then open your mouth.

if you don't think religious fundamentalist societies are your enemy, and believe america is not your friend, you are just dumbfoundingly out of touch with reality. a simple oppositional, kneejerk criticism is a poor replacement for a conscience.

that is my rant for the day. i know some of you care deeply about the world. but that is not all that it takes. it also takes a grasp and acceptance of ugly realities. i do not like war. america does not like war. but do not hate america because it recognizes reality, and reluctantly acts to ensure your safety and freedom. the alternative is not to your benefit. do-nothing chanting and singing and marching may make you feel good about yourself, but their is no real conscience in it, only temporary anxiety relief. grow a real conscience. a conscience that believes that risk-taking and action-taking is salvation, not nailbiting and knee-jerk reacting to every attempt at improving the world.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Agreed (none / 0) (#302)
by brsmith4 on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 12:15:09 PM EST

Excellent write-up, btw. People say that there is no reason to go to war with Iraq. Let us look at some undeniable facts:

- Allies defeat Germany in WW1, impose versailles treaty since WE WON THE WAR.

- Germany ignores versailles treaty and rebuilds her military.

- "foward-thinking" anti-anything-that-can-be-dangerous-looneys oppose any action against Germany while they are still vulnerable.

- you know the rest of that story.

Now, let's look at Iraq.

- UN endorsed forces defeat Iraq, a country who was doing about the same thing as Nazi Germany was doing at the beginning of WW2, invading other countries.

- UN imposes strict sanctions and passes resolutions stating that Iraq must DISCLOSE THE LOCATION OF AND DISARM ALL WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRUCTION which will then be followed by a series of INSPECTIONS headed by a team appointed by the UN.

- Iraq fscks with the inspection process the entire 7 years that the inspectors are in the country, thus making it impossible to determine an accurate count of WMDs.

- Here we are, almost 70 years later, faced with the same situation as we were during the 30s when Hitler was building his infamous 'Wehrmacht' (war machine, correct my spelling, please!) only this time, the leader's call for arms is at the expense of his own people who are suffering greatly due to his decisions.

You have choices:

A) Strategically bomb every suspect WMD site until there are no more (Care to bomb some Iraqi universities?) without launching a full scale war

B) Remove said despot leader and free his suffering people from oppression by means of a full scale ground incursion, enacting another Marshall Plan-style of reconstruction for Iraq.

C) Do nothing and revel in the fact that our economy is doing so well and we didn't 'send our boys in' to die in some god forsaken hell hole while conveniently forgetting all of those Iraqi people that are sitting over their at gun point being oppressed a half a world away. Then while enjoying your constitutionally protected freedoms of SPEECH and PRESS, you see some poor Iraqi child lying in a gutter dying from some god-awful disease on the tube and think 'man, its gotta suck to live there. someone should do something about that'.

D) Do nothing and watch as 6 entire US cities suddenly fall victim to some form of smallpox that only existed in some test tube in a former Soviet lab, a strain of which was sold by a broke Soviet scientist to some other Iraqi bio weapons specialist 10 years ago for a couple grand so said Soviet scientist could feed his family.

Now I may be a 'right-winged fanatic' or dubbed 'hawkish' or paranoid, but lets look at these scenarios. Of all of the scenarios, 'B' seems to benefit not only us, but the Iraqi people. 'A' seems to have some moral implications and still leaves said despot leader in power to rape his own people. 'C' benefits your pocket book (thats very important indeed) yet leaves people that you couldn't probably care less about to suffer in said god forsaken hell hole. With situation 'D', response from United States would undoubtedly be to strategically nuke Iraq thus killing all of its people and said despot ruler.

Like it or not, these are our choices. Yes, the situation does suck giant ape testicles, but something has to be done about it. Don't like your choices? Well, tough shit. That is all you have the luxury of having at this point. Sorry.


I give up on you people. You couldn't save yourselves from a bad dream. --God
[ Parent ]
amen (none / 0) (#322)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 08:29:26 PM EST

amen amen amen! maybe you or i will get into the head of just one person reading this site who is currently living in their state of massive do-nothing denial. maybe you or i will get at least one person reading this site to go "hey, wait a minute" and begin to THINK honestly, clearly, openly, rationally, proactively. if so, then our rants are worth it. but expect some replies from those still living in their massive cases of denial, towing the tired old apologist, victimizing line. they have a poor replacement for an honest conscience indeed.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
go back to your history books (none / 0) (#344)
by adventurepants on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:44:12 AM EST

I find your argument interesting, if incorrect. Especially your understanding of Weimar Germany. The irony of the Treaty of Versailles was that it was so harsh, and the reparations demanded of the german people so high, that the country was plunged into poverty and near-anarchy. So when a strong, organised leader hoves into view (A.H) and promises to fix their troubles, of course they support them. A parallel can be seen in the sanctions placed on iraq. Sanctions that do nothing but kill children, the old and the sick. And will lead to further hatred of the west. How would you view a country that stopped your child getting a measles vaccination because your leader pissed them off. You would hate them. Simple as that.

[ Parent ]
Forgot One Important Thing (none / 0) (#346)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:39:13 PM EST

The oil for food program (and similar programs for medical supplies).

I believed all the BS about the sanctions preventing vital medical supplies from reaching "starving Iraqi children"

That is until I watched the special PBS investigative report on conditions inside Iraq.

You see a PBS reporter went inside Iraq to find out the truth about conditions there.

We here a alot about lack of medical supplies....
strange thing though the reporter went into a drug store while he was in Iraq... it was fully stocked... he was able to buy anything he liked.

He then went to a hospital on the official state sponsored "Iraqi starving children" tour. He then talked to the hospital administrator who fed him the official line about people suffering due to lack of medicine. When the reporter asked which specific medicines were not available the administrator at first refused to answer. Finaly the administrator did name 1 specific medicine.
The reporter checked at the local drug store later and found that medicine was available for purchase though. The reporter also asked to see the Hospitals pharmacy so that he could verify the shortages for himself.... he was refused admitance.

The reporter was of course shown same "starving Iraqi children" while he was at the hospital. What the Iraqi's didn't know however that the reporter had some medical training. It was very odd the reporter noted that these "starving Iraqi children" didn't actualy exhibit any signs of malnutritian.

Later the reporter managed to slip his handlers for a few minutes and cornered an Iraqi doctor who hadn't been breifed on the official line.
The doctor told the reporter that there were no supply shortages in the hospital pharmacy of any important medicines. He then informed the reporter that the children in the ward the reporter had visit weren't suffering from starvation.... they were being treated for drinking contaminated water.

Now contaminated water certainly isn't any better then lack of food.... but one has to wonder why the Government of Iraq is fully capable of rebuilding it's air defence network but completely incapable of rebuilding water treatment plants?

Is there privation going on in Iraq? Almost certainly. But the responsibilty for it lies firmly at the doorstep of one man.... Saddam.

Is it possible to seperate the truth from the propoganda about Iraq.... not without difficulty.

One final note.... after the reporter started discovering these things his official press pass was revoked.... and he was given 24 hours to leave the country. Imagine that!

I saw the report on the local PBS station, but you can probably find out about it on pbs.org


[ Parent ]

Amen my brother (none / 0) (#307)
by ppetrakis on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 03:18:01 PM EST

Amen. Peter

--
www.alphalinux.org
Peter Petrakis Warrior/Engineer ppetrakis@alphalinux.org
"Oh my God! They killed Xena! You bastards!!"
"<BLAM!!> Who the hell are you!? Name's Ash <click clock> Housewares..."

[ Parent ]
nice... (none / 0) (#309)
by botono9 on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 04:38:30 PM EST

Nice, except for the fact that America has more religious fundamentalism than a few of the countries you mentioned. I guess Christian fundamentalism is A-OK?

"Guns are real. Blue uniforms are real. Cops are social fiction."
--Robert Anton Wilson
[ Parent ]

Christian fundamentalism (none / 0) (#314)
by dizzentive on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 05:58:11 PM EST

Shh. Don't say the C word. There's no such thing as fundamentalism in the Western World. We are so open-minded that our brains have leaked out.

[ Parent ]
read my post again (none / 0) (#321)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 08:15:50 PM EST

read my post again. i address christian fundamentalism. you replied with your witty sarcastic remark and you didn't even read my whole post. read my post again and then make your ironic joke.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
RE: read my post again (none / 0) (#332)
by dizzentive on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:58:26 AM EST

are you people for real? i mean, do you realize the kind of societies that exist in iran, iraq, saudi arabia, etc? i'm not talking about american propaganda on the issue. i mean take as unadulterated a straight up view of these societies that you can, and then compare them to the us.

Why would I compare them to the US?  You are talking two (or more) entirely different value sets here.

you say we are not at war with these societies? ok, fine. but what if they view you as the enemy, while you sit there saying "you are my friend"? do you really, really think that religious fundamentalism can exist in peace with open societies in this small world?

Are you really, really sure that their entire populations view you as their prime enemy number one?

why are you all so busy defending these closed societies from big bad america?

I ain't defending shit.  If you want to bomb somebody to cinders, go right ahead.  But don't come to me and whine when somebody crashes a passenger jet in your living room, ok?  War is war.  War kills people.  That means you and me, and not just "those over there across the ocean that we don't care about because we don't know them" people.  I suppose it's real easy sitting there behind your keyboard, ranting, but are you really seeing the whole picture here?

Just because You think that You are RIGHT, does not in any way mean that You can't be WRONG.  Same thing goes for the other party.  When both of you have fundamentalistic views, then we have a problem, because there will be no compromises, and inevitably it will lead to bloodshed.  I just don't think you are ready to face that in the same way that your "enemy" is, because they have little or nothing left to lose compared to you.  They are also prepared to sacrifice their own lives to make their voices heard against oppression and unjustly handled affairs that the US have meddled in for far too long.

get real. take america in the worst possible light you can possibly imagine. take middle eastern societies in the best possible light you can imagine. and you defend these backward countries?

I will defend them to a degree, yes.  Even though I wouldn't want to live there.  That's a different story.  I am perfectly fine with my apartment, my computer, my cellphone, and my fast food.  Just because I do not like their lifestyle out of personal preference I do not have to be their enemy by default.  What answer do you think that you will get if you ask that kind of question to a person living in one of the countries that you consider your enemy?  And how can you justify that you are right, and not them?  Your way of thinking is a little inhibited, if I may say so.

If you on the other hand consider yourself their enemy, and you bomb them to atoms, and they retaliate and you accept this as a fact of life instead of whining your pitiful propaganda that they are evil fundamentalists that have targeted their mega cannons at the innocent American democracy and capitalism; then you are at least consistent.  You can't have it both ways.

you would rather rationalize and discuss with them? or sit here and criticize america's every move, past, present, future. where are your solutions? some of you are very good at criticizing, but offer no solutions to risky, scary situations in the world. think the us actions make it worse? as if it can get ANY worse in the world? as if you help?

What do you think bombing them will help?  Do you think that you will get the population of those countries to see it your way then?  Then all of a sudden you will be the oppressor, and you will be the dictator that sets their rules, and once you have done that, you are not at all different from them in any way, and then you have made yourself into an image of what you think is right for them, but what do you care about them?

i think you people are just rich spoiled brats biting the hands that feed you. spit on your servants while you embrace your enemies. the mindset of the child, the rebellious teenager.

It would be fun to classify Your mindset, but I think I will pass.  Although, I will have to make an analogy based on what you just said.  The rich spoiled brats are the American society (or any other western society), the servants are the children that make your Nike shoes and the Chinese toys and clothes, and Saudis and Iraqis that haul up the oil you convert to petrol to fuel your car, and the mindset and rebellious behavior stems from the fact that America is a mere 300 years old.  The societies you want to bang heads with are several thousand years old, and they live in remote parts of the world, and you will have to commit some pretty nasty genocide before you have exterminated all your enemies.

what would religious fundamentalists do with you? they would indoctrinate you. NOW we can talk about propanganda, my friends. not the soft kind most of you rant against, we are now talking about hardcore, "you are with us or we kill you" propaganda. wear this chardor or we stone you to death. the women amongst us, they would put under chardors and refuse them education. do you deny this? do you rightly deny this intent of religious fundamentalism? ANY religious fundamentalism, not just the islamic variety? however, this particular variety has a stranglehold on a lot of old, proud societies in the middle east, unlike christian fundamentalism, which is rather relegated to backwaters of the west. the west has active, critical, powerful forces against mindless fundamentalism at work. the middle east has no such forces. it is mired in backwards religious idiocy. why are you all so blind to this fact, and so happy to attack america, a stable democracy!

Did you get to read any form of mandatory texts in school that had references to any kind of religion?  I bet you did.  That's indoctrination as well.  Even now it is the same in the western world.  Although it might be phrased differently.  "If you don't do this, you will go to hell."  But, now we are talking semantics.  Just because you do not approve of the Islamic culture and their views on their world, does not mean that it should be exterminated.

Although, if we, for argument's sake, assume that they should be exterminated simply because their view on life and the American culture and foreign affairs differ from yours, then that means that they have an equal right to blast you to little cinders.

when you see islamic militants flying airplanes into towers, do you see brave people fighting oppressive evil americans? or do you see religious fundamentalists with an agenda and an intent all of their own making?

I see the same thing I see when I look at you.

religious fundamentalists would destroy our free press. they would censor our internet. they would destroy our precepts of freedom, and impose on us a rigid interpretation of islam. do you doubt this? do you say they would not, that they are just defending their societies from invasion by the decadent evil west? i would have nothing to say on that point... until september 11th, the bali bombings, the african embassy bombings, etc. islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. there is nothing wrong with that. islam is an ancient, passionate, beautiful religion. but when the fundamentalists in islam channel those with a grudge and no hope of personal economic advancement due to the closed nature of their societies (NOT the evil corporations of the west!) into martyrs who do evil things in parts of the world far from islam, they are not defending islam anymore, they are imposing their will on others. just like your big old bad america puppet you like to parade around so much. look at it this way: islamic fundamentalism has learned well from evil america: it has gone global, and they have no problem using nukes, chemicals, biological agents, etc... unlike america.

Since when was America converting to an Islamic dictatorship?  What does it matter what they do in their own cultures and states?  Why should it matter to you as long as they are not doing anything to you?  If you meddle in their affairs, you're the one to blame, aren't you?  If you walk into a house where a domestic argument takes place, and you get your ass kicked by both parties, is that somehow their fault for just being there?  You should have stayed the hell out of their kitchen, that's what.

Of course, America does not use chermical warfare or biological agents, and especially not nukes.  What hole did you just crawl out of?  Have you been frozen since the early Cretaceous period or something?  How's that for naive.  You only remember the things you did five minutes ago, like a dog, and if somebody kicks your ass for what you did last week, you're all innocent and didn't do anything, of course not.

it is so easy, and uncritical, and blind, and unthinking to paint the us as the enemy of everything. think a little. stop being a counterculture sheep. you should not define your critical reasoning by a simple opposition to anything forward thinking in action by any nation.

You mean that differs from your view in which you pin everybody that does not think like you as a potential enemy of everything you and your country might or might not stand for?

know your friends. know your enemies. then open your mouth.

If you apply that to the actions of US foreign affairs in the middle east, southern America, and other parts of the world, there's no wonder that people end up hating a country that behaves like America does, and did.

Remove the government, put in a dictator, just so we can get cheaper oil.  Works great for you when you drive your Ford pickup to Food Lion, but how well did it work for the poor bastards in said country that had their fairly stable (albeit oppressing) religious regime replaced by a militaristic dictator that drives the country even further down the drain?

if you don't think religious fundamentalist societies are your enemy, and believe america is not your friend, you are just dumbfoundingly out of touch with reality. a simple oppositional, kneejerk criticism is a poor replacement for a conscience.

Actually, they are my enemy on a more philosophical level, since they are unable to think outside their own sheltered belief systems.  Albeit, in my book, America is a religiously fundamentalistic society, in all aspects of the word.  If you fail to see that, you are perhaps so far into the heap of dung that you can't smell the shit, pardon my language.  Although a lot of countries are like that, and that does not in any way make America bad in itself.  It was just an observation.


[ Parent ]

fundamentalism (none / 0) (#338)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:39:29 PM EST

if you don't think religious fundamentalist societies are your enemy, and believe america is not your friend, you are just dumbfoundingly out of touch with reality. a simple oppositional, kneejerk criticism is a poor replacement for a conscience.

Actually, they are my enemy on a more philosophical level, since they are unable to think outside their own sheltered belief systems. Albeit, in my book, America is a religiously fundamentalistic society, in all aspects of the word. If you fail to see that, you are perhaps so far into the heap of dung that you can't smell the shit, pardon my language. Although a lot of countries are like that, and that does not in any way make America bad in itself. It was just an observation.

there are moronic christian fundamentalists running all over america. there are moronic islamic fundamentalists running all over the middle east. there are moronic religious fundamentalists all over the world, and they are a daily, constant threat to the peace and safety of us all. we both agree on this.

however, america is NOT a religiously fundamentalist society. i am not being ethnocentric, short-sighted, blind, or anything else when i say this simple fact: the west, america and europe, have a stronger tradition of relgious tolerance and religious questioning than the islamic world. simple, unadulterated fact. you cannot disprove this obvious, face value truth. are there people who question islam in the middle east? of course there are, but they are far less in number and power than in the west. simple, obvous truth. the moronic christian fundamentalists in the west are held in check by forces in western society which doubt them. there is no such force holding the islamic fundamentalists in check in the middle east. and so they spread. and bomb bali. and bomb the world trade center. and bomb african embassies. and bomb, and bomb, and bomb. and wage war on the heathen infidels. this is what fundamentalists do! they are a huge threat to the peace and safety of us all! they must be stopped! and there is no way to stop them other than kill them before they kill us! if you think you can reason with them, you are incredibly naive! if you think if america stops being belligerent they will go away you are incredibly naive!

look, if america were to disappear off the earth tomorrow, what do you think the islamic fundamentalists would do? do you think they would all go home and declare victory and become pastoral farmers? most of your rant talks about cause and effect: america does this, so the fundamentalists do that, etc, etc. implicit in your arguments is the notion that if america simply disappeared, or gave up, or simply stopped doing anything on your humongous list of atrocities, then the islamic fundamentalists would stop to. am i wrong in analyzing your supposition?

so riddle me this: what do you honestly think the islamic fundamentalists would do? if you answer this question honestly, then you see the islamic fundamentalists have an agenda, an offensive agenda all of their own. bali! new york city! african embassies! these are global activities my friend! this is a global action plan! this is offensive, not defensive! then you would see the need to oppose them, then you would see america as your savior, not your enemy.

i am not an ethnocentric pig. i am not a warmonger. islam is an ancient, passionate, beautiful religion. and there are fundamentalist morons who do absolutely evil vile things in it's name. there are millions of muslims around the world who cry for the victims of september 11, bali bombings, etc. and their lives will be freed from the grip the fundamentalists have on their societies should america invade iraq. where, please tell me, where does turning iraq into an islamic democracy like turkey fail you? the marshall plan in germany, remember that? america will oppose fundamentalist morons the world over. this is GOOD FOR YOU. if america had any balls and were not so dependent on oil, then saudi arabia and iran would be rightfully next. these societies will breed the next great batch of bombing idiots in the world, as their people are caught in too tight of a fundamentalist grip. mark my words and watch history unfold. iraq is only a start, and a good one. if the people there can live in peaceful democracy for the next ten years without the religious flim flam clap trap that the saudis and iranians live with, then the iraqi example of the ability to have peace without fundamentalism will serve as a beacon of hope for these people. mark my words. watch history unfold.

the fundamentalist societies in the middle east are the biggest threats to peace and security in the world today. where is your argument with that? so don't shoot the messenger. don't condemn me simply because i am informing you that it necessary to oppose, with force, islamic fundamentalism. do i like this? no, but you have to be stupefyingly naive if you believe you should not oppose them with war, that any other avenue of action will result in a better world.

religious fundamentalists- christian, islamic, or otherwise, must be destroyed for they mean to destroy us! how, how can you not see this! their moronic flim flam claptrap "it's on page 23, chaper 5, so it's ok to kill civilians by the thousands, obviously" is the death of us all. they will keep breeding like rodents for hundreds of years to come, and we must always fight them, and never let them get as far as they have already gotten in todays world, barbaric as it is. only when they dwindle in the distant future to tiny levels, only then can we live in a world of peace you nobly seek. but your noble fixation on peace does not counteract the barbaric world we find ourselves in today. you must recognize force is necessary to fight these people, and only when they are destroyed- by force, only then can we live your noble dream of peace around the world. there is no way around this... unfortunately.

but do not condemn me because you fail to see the need for force to fight these people. you are living in denial if you think force is not necessary to fight religious fundamentalism. because religious fundamentalists- right now, as we type, are planning to use force against you, because you do not believe what they believe. you speak of cause and effect. america does this, so poor people do that, so you get what you deserve, didn't you see it coming, etc., etc. follow this cause and effect then if you will: i wish no war on no one. but if someone wishes war on me, then i must fight them before they destroy me. how, how can you not see, what kind of gigantic, humongous blinders do you wear that tells you that not opposing religious fundamentalism will make them go away?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Logical Disconnect (none / 0) (#345)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:01:18 PM EST

There is a logical disconnect going on here.

Your core arguement seems to be "If you mess with other peoples lives/beliefs you've got to expect that they are going to strike back"

There is no arguement with that statement.

CircleTimesSquare seems to me to be saying "I have no desire to mess with other peoples lives/beliefs but these people are going to mess with my life/beliefs whether we leave them alone or not"

I tend to agree with that statement... particularly where radical Islam is concerned.

Fundementalist religions tend to have a tennent of "Conversion by the Sword" (i.e. you accept thier beliefs or they kill/torture you).

With Christianity that tended to die out with the last crusade. The Islamic world used to be much more tolerent then the west of divergent religious beliefs..... that situation has radicaly reveresed itself today. Modern radical Islam still clings to the tennent of "Conversion by the Sword". They will kill you if you don't convert to thier beliefs. You don't get an exception just because you happen to live in the decadent West. It just might take them a little longer to get to you. Don't doubt that they would if they ever had the resources available to do so.

However, the biggest difference between fundementalist Islam and fundementalist Christianity is that fundementalist Christianity is a fringe group... they have no real power. fundementalist Islam however is mainstream in the Middle East. They actualy have control of several countries.

Don't believe me about fundementalist Christianity not being in control in the U.S.?
Walk out on the street today and piss on a bible. Tell everyone that you meet that there is no god.
Publish a book proclaiming that Jesus was a pillow biter. Will you get thrown in jail?

Now try the same thing in Iran. Ask Salman Rushdi what happens when you write a book that Islamic authorities find objectionable?

The U.S. support for Israel should be enough evidence that fundementalists aren't in control in the U.S.  Remember for fundementalist Christians the jews are much worse then muslims... they murdered christ after all.

Ok, maybe you'll argue that Capitalism is the Wests fundementalist religion rather then Christianity. I have heard that kind of bull before. Fine, instead of going out and doing all those anti-christian things... try substituting pro-communist bs instead.... think you'll get thrown in jail now? Wrong, maybe at the height of McCarthyism... but that boat has long since sailed.

Think people in the rest of the world only hate us and are only lashing out at us because of "all the horrible things we've done to thier countries" ?   I've heard all the b.s. CIA conspiricy stories before. About 10% of them may actualy have been true..... and those were mostly all at the height of the cold war. That was a game about survival... nothing more, nothing less.... and yes some ugly things did have to happen in order to insure we didn't loose that game. What was the alternative though? Isolationism? Remember what happaned the last time we tried that? I'll give you a hint... it was called World War II.

Think we would have been all safe and secure ignoring the Soviets and not doing any of the ugly things we had to in order to win the Cold War? If you do then your even more deluded then I thought. I had relatives that lived under Stalin.
Trust me, you don't want to turn your back to Uncle Joe.

Now, I don't for a second try to pretend that Saddam is motivated by islamic intentions. No he's a very secular flavor of tyrant. He has coopted some of the trappings of radical islam in order to try to boost his support.... just like the Nazi propaganda machine coopted many of the symbols of ancient folklore and of classical civilization in order to boost thier appeal.
It's a tool to him nothing more. That doesn't make him any less dangerous. He is a dictator of the same ilk as Hitler and Stalin. Fortunately for the modern world he has far less resources at his disposal then they did. That situation starts to alter a bit if he gets nukes. In particular it alters radicaly for the Gulf region... and unfortunately that region happens to hold a very large portion of a vitaly important resource for modern industrial nations.... oil. It's a real tragedy but that is not a resource we can live without right now.

Finaly we have your little rant:

"Of course, America does not use chermical warfare or biological agents, and especially not nukes.  What hole did you just crawl out of?  Have you been frozen since the early Cretaceous period or something?  How's that for naive.  You only remember the things you did five minutes ago, like a dog, and if somebody kicks your ass for what you did last week, you're all innocent and didn't do anything, of course not."

I'm not aware of any U.S. use of chemical or biological agents. In it's history the U.S. has used Nuclear weapons exactly twice (the only nation to do so). Do you know the circumstances for the use of those weapons? Have you read why they were used? I'm not talking the revisionist histroian crap....I'm talking the first hand accounts by the people actualy involved in making the decision, minutes of meetings, etc? Your the one who has his head in the hole.

Answer me this too.... were the people at Pearl Harbor any less dead then the people at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Did it really matter to them that the Japanese bombs were conventional and ours was nuclear? The only difference was the people at Pearl Harbor didn't actualy realize they were at war until the bombs started dropping. Want to know who really was responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Who started the war... who attacked first?

Oh but you say... look at the loss of civilian life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yes... ever hear of a place called Nanking? How bout Dresden then?

WMD's aren't somehow more objectionable just because the way they kill (although I'll grant that the residual effects are alot more of an issue). They are objectionable because of the degree of devastation they can inflict. We would have every bit as much of a problem with Saddam if he could achieve the same effect with a fleet of conventional bombers.  


[ Parent ]

Residual effects of nuclear weapons (none / 0) (#348)
by dizzentive on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 11:32:07 AM EST

Well, considering that the nukes that were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were quite dirty, generations of Japanese suffered from the decisions made by people half-way across the world.  How do you justify that?  If they would have used conventional bombs this wouldn't have happened, and I think that your comparison between Pearl Harbor and the detonation of a nuclear weapon in a dense suburban area is a tad bit ridiculous.  First off all, Pearl Harbor is a navy base, is it not?  That makes it military property, and throughout modern warfare such targets have been considered A-OK, as opposed to cities with millions of civilians.

By 10:00 a.m. the attack was over. Twenty one American ships were sunk or damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed and 159 damaged, 68 civilians and 2,335 military personnel dead. The losses were heavy, but by pure luck none of the U.S. aircraft carriers were in the harbor at the time of the attack.
-- http://www.terrorismreporter.com/pearl-harbor.html

That's 68 civilians.  Sixtyeight.  Now, for a little comparison with Hiroshima for instance.

Lewis said he could taste atomic fission; it tasted like lead. Then he turned away to write in his journal. "My God," he asked himself, "what have we done?" The bomb destroyed houses and buildings within a 1.5 mile radius. It was actually the winds created by the bomb which caused the most damage. The true damage however would not be realized for years to come. The long term effects of the bomb were discovered to be: genetic problems, malformed babies, retardations, radiation sickness, and mental trauma. The total death toll of "Little Boy" was about 200,000. After the bomb was dropped Truman once again warned Japan of the devastation which was to come if they did not surrender.
-- http://campus.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/World/Hiroshima.html

What do you think?  Was the puny little attack at Pearl Harbor anything compared to the drop of one bomb on one city filled with civilians?

I think not.

Then we get to the chemical warfare and biological agents.  Of course, I cannot verify or prove that the U.S. have used biological agents, but can you prove that they have NOT done it?

Chemical warfare is another matter.  All I can say is Agent Orange.  And don't come with some sappy story about how it killed U.S. troops as well, because that won't wash.

In August 1962, a British freighter under Soviet lease, having damaged its propeller on a reef, crept into the harbor at San Juan, Puerto Rico for repairs. It was bound for a Soviet port with 80,000 bags of Cuban sugar. The ship was put into dry dock and 14,135 sacks of sugar were unloaded to a warehouse to facilitate the repairs. While in the warehouse, the sugar was contaminated by CIA agents with a substance that was allegedly harmless but unpalatable. When President Kennedy learned of the operation he was furious because it had taken place in US territory and if discovered could provide the Soviet Union with a propaganda field-day and could set a terrible precedent for chemical sabotage in the cold war He directed that the sugar not be returned to the Russians, although what explanation w as given to them is not publicly known.
-- http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/Cuba_KH.html

Cannot really verify this quote, but if you did some research, you might be able to verify the sources.

The list goes on and on...

[ Parent ]

psychology (none / 0) (#349)
by circletimessquare on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 01:14:09 PM EST

i can argue until i'm blue in face about the justification for nuking the japanese in wwii or not, or the cia did this which was right, or wrong, or not, whatever. but i have a feeling that is not the point. i have the feeling i am not rationalizing with you, i am merely digging at a psychological scab. i would merely provoke self-defense mechanisms in you, i would not be persuading you. it would be an ad nauseum discussion. you would not move, i would not move. so the american past use of chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, etc., is not a discussion to have with you. that's not the point. i see a larger issue here at work with you which is at the base of a lot of the problems i see in some do-nothing people's attitude about the current crisis we find ourselves in today. in a nutshell, let us see if we can move you beyond victimization psychology.

ok, let us say (just for the sake of argument my friend) everything you have dredged up about the us is right. the cia madness, the nuking of japan, slaughtering of native americans, atrocities in the civil war, treatment of africans/ african-americans during the slave trade, etc., etc., etc. whatever. let us find and compile a humongous comprehensive list of everything america has done that is evil throughout its history. let us go hand in hand down guilt trip memory lane with you until the weight of the evilness of america is so stacked high it blocks out the sun.

your point is? bad things happen to good people? what exactly is your point? your point is not to instruct us, to make our action better informed. your point is TO STOP US FROM ACTING THROUGH GUILT IMMOBILIATION. through victimization!

what, do you think that people who argue against you are blind to the vileness of past evils by america? i'm not blind to it. america has done, is doing, and will do, vile, evil horrible things. what are you telling us that we don't already know?

do you see? get my point? we should ACT. our doubt should not cloud our mind to the point that YOUR mind is clouded. you are immobilized by guilt! you do not have a conscience. you have a tortured mind, wracked by guilt. you do not have a higher appreciation of justice and consequences than me. you are still working through a problem i have already solved. the problem? what do to about iraq. my solution? turn it into an islamic democracy like turkey, through force if necessary. your solution? you DON'T HAVE ONE. for you, all roads lead to uncertainty, and doubt. so what do you do? NOTHING. for you, the past is merely a giant repeating lesson book where every chapter leads to the same conclusion: if you act, you will only do evil. if you wage war, you will only make people hate you. all people do is fight war and hurt each other and fall further into a vicious cycle. there is no way out. so do nothing. be a cynic, a doubter. offer no solutions. life sucks and then you die. all is suffering and there is no way out. give up. sit on the sidelines. sell your humanity for some peace of mind. a poor excuse for a conscience!

your whole point is that action carries with it prices. that risks carry with them dangers. that if you do something dangerous, the lessons of history show it might come back at you and bite you in the ass. thank you. thank you for the obvious. the deeper point is then that these past lessons instruct us how to act better, BUT NOT TO STOP ACTING. get it?

american action on iraq is right, and just. it is also risky and dangerous. everyone knows this. but it doesn't change the fact it should be done. why are you looking at the risks and seeing no rewards? do you not see that the way to a better future for americans, iraqis, europeans, iranians, etc. is paved with ACTION not INACTION. smart, educated, informed action, but action nonetheless.

war is ugly! war is evil! war HAPPENS!

you demonstrate disdain for an aspect of human nature. unfortunately, no matter how disgusting this aspect of human nature that is war, it does not make that danger go away. discussing war is not supporting war, it is merely recognizing that war can and might happen. are there assholes out there who enjoy war? certainly. but the vast majority of people recognize war as an unfortunate aspect of human nature, and prepare for it, even though they don't like it. why are you criticizing them? if you meet a real asshole who loves waging war for the sadistic love of anarchy, verbally slap the sadistic grin off his face. in the meantime, learn a little more about human nature before you start heaping your disdain upon those who recognize where the good fight is and where our future lies in a better place.

the do-nothing attitude about war that you demonstrate leads to disgraceful events in history like hitler's gambit for the sudetenland before world war ii. if you don't know what i am talking about, do some googling and learn what an avoidance of war really means: just creating the conditions for an even greater, deadlier war at a later time. you can't push war away and hope it will go away. if you push war away, it simply festers and the conditions for it grow worse until it finally does punch through and there is no avoiding it at all. you have to face war when you recognize it, deal with it, and move on. you can't avoid it. nobody likes this, but you can't hold it against them for recognizing reality for what it is. don't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message.

it is easy to sit in an arm chair and criticize every action someone makes then to actually do something yourself. this is not a conscience my friend, this is a poor, lazy, replacement for a conscience. it is easy to criticize in retrospect. it is easy to look on the past and see what mistakes were made, and forget what the goal of those who made those mistakes was. are there assholes in history who did evil things for no good reason? of course! but why do you have to group those in with those who meant well, felt bad about it, and did it any way because they knew something had to be done.

do you appreciate history? i mean really appreciate it? you rant about nuking japan. you are an american commander in world war ii. you know of the atrocities imperial japan is waging in china, the philippines, korea, etc. you have seen body bags of brave soldiers sent home by the thousands to secure one tiny atoll after another in the south pacific. you know what a ground troop invasion of mainland japan by us personnel will mean. thousands of more dead soldiers to stop japanese imperialism. and you are given a gift, the a-bomb, never used before. you know the japanese will give up without one more us troop lost should they be presented with this horrible weapon. you know though that thousands of civilians will die in nagasaki or hiroshima. you know us morale wavers under the weight of the terrible task before them: invasion of the japanese homeland to stop japanese aggression. i read john hershey's book "hiroshima". i know of the terrible vile suffering that was wrought by dropping the a-bomb. but you put yourself in the american commander shoes. in that context. the desire to end the suffering right then, right there in one fell swoop. and what he must have had to deal with in his conscience trying to get to sleep at night for the rest of his life, the decision he made, right as it was, but a person with a real conscience, who weighed the decision and realized the suffering it would cause. but forced to deal with a choice between kinds of suffering, a terrible question to be posed to someone with a conscience, but a brave soul who did not cop out and chose a decision nonetheless!

and what do you do? you sit there and you judge him! you reduce this terrible choice to a cartoon of american rednecks happy to nuke millions of japanese while whooping it up in their cowboy hats! you sit there and you judge history, and know nothing of real suffering, of real life horrible choices that were made in the name of a brighter future, in the name of your happiness and peace! you sit there and you judge!

you spoiled brat. you rich kid of the west, whose happiness and security is won by history's struggle. you second guess them. you arm chair quarterback and think you have the right to sit there and judge. they fought so you could have an open mind and the right to speak your words freely. and you speak them. and they disavow all of the struggle that has bought you here. judge yourself by your own words. where is your courage? where is your recognition of the past? where is your conscience?

and why, WHY are you victimizing the japanese?! i don't see them victimizing themselves. could you sir please show me the japanese person who asked you to victimize them in order to prop up your do-nothing mindset? you patronizing fool. what did they do after wwii? did they sit there and wallow in self-pity and victimization? "oh my life is made of mud and the americans bombed us and all life sucks and its not worth it and i'm a big victim boohoohoo!" no. they built their nation right back up to it's previous power and then some. a PEACEFUL power. a better power! one based on economic advancement instead of imperial aggression. can you imagine that! the americans helped create A BETTER JAPAN. i think many japanese APPRECIATE the foundations of history that removed their imperial madness and brought them the peaceful society they live in today.

but you have no appreciation for that, now do you? all you have is disdain for history. all you see is evil war, evil war, evil war. victim, victim, victim. it fits your mindset. you look no further. you don't scratch the surface. you have a cynical view of the world. you look just enough at history to reaffirm your cynicism, and you look no more.

A POOR EXCUSE FOR A CONSCIENCE.

biting the hand that feeds you. looking a gift horse in the mouth. see if you can understand. stop thinking of yourself as victim. stop thinking of someone else as victim. i'm glad you sympathize, but that is not the point, that does not change anything, that does not improve anyone. think of yourself as an ACTOR a DOER. someone who can CHANGE things for the better. don't wall yourself in your mind with the doubts and the guilt and the misgivings until the weight of it all makes you do NOTHING.

if some person or country aggressively approaches you with war on their mind, you cannot save yourself by capitulating to their every demand. nor is a "let's hold hands and sing campfire songs" attitude going to change the attitude of some very evil people in this world. you have to defend yourself from them or you actually encourage them to be more aggressive if they get the idea you will not oppose them with force, if necessary. do i like this? no. but not liking it doesn't make this obvious truth go away. that's just reality. face it.

more basic psychological human nature for you to try and understand.

by the way, your obvious do-nothing attitude is perhaps a more dangerous aspect of human nature than any discussion of war could ever be. more evil flows from human failure to respond positively, failure to respond at all, than perhaps any other human failing. there are wonderful, accurate, logical, straightforward arguments against war to be had out there, but your victimization and recrimination demonstrates none of that, and your backbiting selfdoubting words only serve to reduce the power of those who argue rationally against war.

you don't have a conscience. you don't have an experience with the real world. your do-nothing attitude is just mental masturbation, making you feel better about yourself at the expense of other people's ability to act. why actually DO SOMETHING POSITIVE when you can spend all of your energy justifying YOUR INACTION. you can feel smug, and superior, and show yourself that your judgment is superior because you did nothing wrong... but the problem is YOU DID NOTHING AT ALL. i don't want to do wrong by waging war on iraq, i want to do right! your fear of doing something wrong in the name of doing something right means YOU DO NOTHING AT ALL, which is worse than trying to do something right and making a mistake so something bad happens! you reveal a disdain for the struggle that has passed before you in your view of history, you hate the common man for being in the struggle to improve themselves, for trying to do good and mistaking mistakes, for simply being in the struggle in the first place! i have 1,000 pounds more faith in a common soldier with a gun on a battlefield faced with 1,000 choices before him, 990 which lead to atrocities, 10 of which lead to salvation for us all. i have more faith in a soldier on the battlefield to make the right decisions about life and liberty than i do in an obviously do-nothing, criticize and wrap thyself in smug superiority person such as yourself. think about that before criticizing what you see as "warmongers."

look at your own evil, your own inaction, your own mental masturbation, your own poor excuse for a conscience before criticizing the perceived evil in others. life is a struggle! shit happens! real evil are the people behind september 11th. THEY ARE YOUR ENEMY NOT AMERICA. arrogance such as yours has spawned more useless horrible wars than anything else has. you have blind self-love that leads you to treat others arrogantly. news flash: sunlight does not shine out of your butt. you are only human too. your arrogance puts you far closer to the human evil that spawns war than a thousand us soldiers in iraq ever could. your victimization psychology. your recriminating, guilt-digging do-nothing attitude.

look to yourself before criticizing history. life is a struggle. do not criticize those in the struggle just because you have given up on the struggle in cynical disavowal of your humanity.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Re: spoiled brats of the west (5.00 / 1) (#350)
by dizzentive on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 06:25:14 AM EST

war is ugly! war is evil! war HAPPENS!

you demonstrate disdain for an aspect of human nature. unfortunately, no matter how disgusting this aspect of human nature that is war, it does not make that danger go away.

I don't think that I ever told you not to go to war, actually.  All I wanted said was that the arguments used to justify said war was ludicrous.  I mean, your elected president sucks his little thumb and whines something like "He killed my daddy!"  Ok.  Real mature there, George.  He's the head of one of the most powerful states in the world, and he brings his own personal feelings into his office and lets them guide himself and the nation.  I don't consider that very patriotic at all.  Selfish, childish, albeit half expected of said president.

I am not bashing America in general, or saying that the world would be a better place without it, probably quite the contrary, but that's not the point here, the point was that you, and others, protested against the person that wrote this article without first analyzing what he really wanted to say, instead you proceeded to call names and try to explain to said person just how stupid he was and so forth and so on, ad nauseum, as you so eloquently put it.

The thing is, he's right.  The marines will go in regardless of what the weapons inspections yield, that much is obvious, and if not for the amount of WMD's, they'll go in because George needs personal vindication.

Given the fact that Saudi Arabia now is on the U.S. shitlist for spawning too many terrorists, the free west, you and me, need some other way of fueling our cars, and Iraq is the second largest producer of crude oil, there's no need in denying that fact, and I think that's the main reason that the marines are going in in the first place.  If they can't control/stabilize neither country, then they, and everybody else (except Norway perhaps) will have some problem with oil.

On the other hand, I think it's a lost cause.  We have about 70-80 years of crude oil reserves left, if we continue consumption at current rates.  Maybe it's time to put all those dollars and euros into something else than bombing Saddam?  Maybe some money should be funneled through the automobile industry to make sure that there are plenty of solutions for people when we run out of oil.  Electric cars work excellently in the city, and there's plenty of organic fuel that leaves little or no polution.

Why don't we see more of those cars?  The answer is simple.  The large automobile companies want monopoly when the time's nigh.  They don't want somebody to get the upperhand, and so they make sure that companies that try to develop those kind of cars are taxed heavily, as well as have to pay lots of unneccessary fees, and so forth and so on.    Not that I blame them, it's expected.

the americans helped create A BETTER JAPAN. i think many japanese APPRECIATE the foundations of history that removed their imperial madness and brought them the peaceful society they live in today.

This is ridiculous reasoning.  So then we'll help create a better America if we nuke the living shit out of the entire United States?  "That which will not kill me will only make me stronger."  Right?  Why don't we make the entire world a really good place then and let the nukes fly like fireworks on fourth of July?  Would be a spectacular show.  For about ten minutes.

but you have no appreciation for that, now do you? all you have is disdain for history. all you see is evil war, evil war, evil war. victim, victim, victim. it fits your mindset. you look no further. you don't scratch the surface. you have a cynical view of the world. you look just enough at history to reaffirm your cynicism, and you look no more.

I don't think you have read anything I have written, and you come so close to trolling that it's not even funny, but hey, I am bored, so I might as well sit here and reply, I have nothing better to do.

I haven't said that war is evil.  I haven't even mentioned victims, quite the contrary.  You have brought these things up time and time again, and it seems that you are trying to justify these actions when they cannot be justified.  It would be the same thing as some idiot terrorist trying to sit down and justify the action of flying a passenger jet into one of the largest structures in the world.  Pointless.

War is not evil.  You and me, we can be evil.  I don't like how you try to project your own actions onto something abstract, like war.  War is not evil, the guys marching around with rifles and piloting air planes and tanks are not evil.  The generals that sit in their safe little bunker somewhere far from the heat, they could probably be considered evil.  But that's pretty much relative.  They've probably got families and good neighbors, and they probably make pretty good T-bone steak and bbq salad, so perhaps they're not so evil when they send the boys out to war after all.  Perhaps we need to cut down on the population of the world a little.  Although I think we're starting in the wrong end then.  Those that consume the most should be offed first, since they are a burden to the entire population.  Thence, you me, and every other fat little european, American, whatever, will go first.  That won't work out well for us, will it?

I don't really mind if somebody bombs the crap out of some military installations in Iraq.  What I do mind is the reasoning that you, and others, have used to justify said acts.

Why not just say it the way it is.  We are going to Iraq to secure the world's second largest crude oil reserve.  Simple as that.  At least that's honest.  I think I would respect you a lot more if you had just said that before you started your long rants about how much we need America and whatnot.

you don't have a conscience. you don't have an experience with the real world. your do-nothing attitude is just mental masturbation, making you feel better about yourself at the expense of other people's ability to act. why actually DO SOMETHING POSITIVE when you can spend all of your energy justifying YOUR INACTION. you can feel smug, and superior, and show yourself that your judgment is superior because you did nothing wrong... but the problem is YOU DID NOTHING AT ALL.

So you're saying YOU did something?

This entire site is mental masturbation, what's your point?

I hardly think that my smug sense of self-satisfaction impedes the decision-making abilities in others.

What does it matter if I have a conscience?  All the better if I don't, because then I won't be upset when your "justified" bombing/invasion of Iraq takes place.

[...] look to yourself before criticizing history. life is a struggle. do not criticize those in the struggle just because you have given up on the struggle in cynical disavowal of your humanity.

I have already looked to myself, as have many others that criticize history.  That's why we can criticize it, because we are humans.  I haven't given up on any struggle.  To me there never was a struggle.  That's all in your mind.  You believe what you want, and if believing that you are at war with some nation across the world, and if that makes you a more productive citizen, more power to you.  If it worked in George Orwell's 1984, why wouldn't it work in reality, right?

Besides, I do have one little thesis before I finish this post, and that is that you are the person guilty of masturbation.  If nothing else than for the amount of words in your posts.  You seem to like to write, and there's nothing bad in that, but isn't that also a form of mental masturbation, my "friend"?

And since when had Iraq had any demands that we have had to surrender to, or even consider?  I think it's more the other way around, isn't it?

[ Parent ]

Couple Points (5.00 / 1) (#352)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 02:12:40 PM EST

You Said:

"I don't think that I ever told you not to go to war, actually.  All I wanted said was that the arguments used to justify said war was ludicrous.  I mean, your elected president sucks his little thumb and whines something like "He killed my daddy!"  Ok.  Real mature there, George.  He's the head of one of the most powerful states in the world, and he brings his own personal feelings into his office and lets them guide himself and the nation.  I don't consider that very patriotic at all.  Selfish, childish, albeit half expected of said president."

My Reply:

          I don't know what press conferences you are listening to but they're not the ones the rest of us have seen. I've only heard one message from the President about our stance on Iraq and it's been very clear... Saddam is too dangerous to be trusted with weapons of mass destruction, he needs to comply with the ceasefire agreement and dismantle his WMD, if he doesn't do it voluntarly then we will have to use force to compel him to do so.

Now what part of that statement do you not understand? I've never heard George Jr mention once the Iraqi assasination attempt on his dad.
You may believe that is a motivation for our current stance but you've got no evidence to support that belief. Frankly it's nothing but wild conjecture on the part of a bunch of conspiracy theorists. Alot of people claim the moon landings were staged too.... it doesn't make that true.

You Said:

"I am not bashing America in general, or saying that the world would be a better place without it, probably quite the contrary, but that's not the point here, the point was that you, and others, protested against the person that wrote this article without first analyzing what he really wanted to say, instead you proceeded to call names and try to explain to said person just how stupid he was and so forth and so on, ad nauseum, as you so eloquently put it.

The thing is, he's right.  The marines will go in regardless of what the weapons inspections yield, that much is obvious, and if not for the amount of WMD's, they'll go in because George needs personal vindication."

My Reply:

          I did analyze what he was trying to say.
However, there really isn't anything of any substance to respond to there. His entire post was an exercise in pure conjecture. He believes the marines will go in regardless because he believes our motivation is something other then dismantling Iraq's WMD. He posits that we'll manfacture justifications to go in if we don't find any.

          Well he can believe that, but it doesn't make it so. As I mentioned before there are people who believe the moon landings were faked too. He offers no real evidence to support his conjectures other then the fact that we might have the capability to do something like that. Well we also have the capability to launch all our nukes at the U.K. tommorrow.... that doesn't mean it's going to happen.

         So we have no evidence, just conjecture.
In the absence of evidence it all comes down to one thing...... credibilty. Quite frankly why should I believe you and the author over the public statements of my own government and what my own common sense tells me? Huh? What credibility do you have?

         You might argue that the administrations motivations are suspect.... are yours any less suspect? Are the authors? Not to me they aren't.

         Too bad we can't revisit this issue 2 years from now when the marines have NOT gone into Iraq (because Saddam may be bloodthirsty but he's not stupid).... but I'm certain by that time you will have blissfully forgotten your failed predicitions and gone on to your next "America is evil" conspiracy theory.

[ Parent ]

Way out of line (none / 0) (#353)
by NDPTAL85 on Tue Nov 19, 2002 at 04:43:08 PM EST

Your statements about our lack of justification for nuking Japan just cannot be defended. No amount of self-hate or anti-Americanism or anti-Westernism can change that. There was absolutely no reason for America to risk the lives of thousands of American soldiers to end a war (via invading Japan) that we did not begin. The Japanese brought it to us, and thus we brought it right back to them. They deserved what they got. When you lose, you lose. How you somehow twisted that around into a guilt trip for the US is absolutely amazing. Japan is fortunate we only used two nukes on them.

[ Parent ]
read my post again (none / 0) (#318)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 07:19:12 PM EST

read my post again. i address christian fundamentalism. you replied and you didn't even read my whole post.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Here's the relativism (5.00 / 2) (#311)
by IPFreely on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 05:06:09 PM EST

America has done, and will do, things that suck balls, but i mean come on, where is the relativism here?

are you a moral absolutist? or a moral relativist? societies that deny the rights of their women and proscribe rigid interpretations of religious texts versus what... a stable democracy?

America did not become the greatest by comparing itself to the others and saying "Oh, we are better then that so we don't really have to imporve any more." Do we say "Gee, they kill minorities over in Yugoslavia, so i guess it is OK to just oppress them a little here. At least we aren't as bad as them." or "They enslave women over in Afghanistan, so I guess it's OK to just give women slightly unequal rights here. At least we aren't as bad as them."

The way to make America better is to imagine a better world, a perfect world, then say "How can we make America as good as that?"

It has nothing to do with what already exists somewhere else. Saddam is evil? So what. That doesn't mean that America should stoop the the level of a bunch of assassins and go kill on a killing spree. America may have reason to act. America may have desire to act. But America should maintain a concience while it acts, and not simply drop to the level of "the bigger animal" when faced with an enemy without moral character.

We should judge EVERYTHING that America does against a higher level. We are no better than our worst action, regardless of whom that action is against. If we bomb 5 thousand civilians (as we did in afghanistan), then we can proudly say that we have slaughtered more innocent civilians that Osamma did. Are we proud of that just because Osamma lacks any morality? Do we measure ourselves against the worst of the world, or the best?

[ Parent ]

what is wrong with you? (none / 0) (#319)
by circletimessquare on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 08:06:17 PM EST

i specifically say americans are no better than iraqis, iranians, etc. read my post again. i also say that it is religious fundamentalism that has no humility. religious fundamentalism says a true believer is better than americans, better than other heathens, etc: THAT is the problem in the world today, not america! america believes everyone is equal. you can say there are still problems with equality in america, of course there are. but how can you compare america's problems with equality to religious fundamentalist's problems with equality? there is not even the slightest comparison! religious fundamentalist societies have gigantic chasms of inequality, officially sanctioned by the state. residual inequality practiced by backwater morons in america is not endorsed and enforced by the state.

and that is what is so mindblowingly amazing to me about some people. if you really care about suffering the world, if you really care about the economically poor, those who are oppressed by intolerant societies, then you would reserve your criticism for the worst societies out there, those who suffer the most, and those who can gain the most with just the slightest of effort by the western open societies. but instead, there are people in the west who spend their entire time bashing and bashing and bashing america! it just blows my mind! these cowardly sheep, these intellectual children, these naive apologists and believers in salvation through victimization, who rail against american propaganda all day and are completely blind to the giant python of reactionary propaganda they are drowning in themselves. america has the monopoly on propaganda in the world? the only kind of propaganda out there is the kind that evil nasty america spreads around? oh really? a stunningly small display of observation and honesty from you people, please!

if these people really, really cared, they would devote one tenth of the energy they devote to bashing america, and instead bash the really, obviously evil corners of the world that breed real, true horrible suffering. why can they not see this? but instead, it is bash america, because america is strong and powerful in this world, so everything that goes wrong must be their problem. and then they can clear their mind to the suffering, because blaming america for what troubles their mind puts the suffering they become aware of out of their mind. this is not a conscience, this is a poor substitute for a conscience! this is not intellectually honest. this is blindness to real suffering, this is bashing america only because it is the biggest baddest thing around just to convince themselves they are doing right. but they are not doing anything at all! except erasing their conscience and replacing it with intellectual cowardice. absolutely, dumbfoundingly amazing.

these intellectual children. these ungrateful, empty, foolish, rich spoiled brats of the west who spit on the heads of their servants and embrace and defend an ideology which would promptly have them all massacred or indoctrinated into fundamentalist flim flam were the truly evil in this world be given the chance. don't like amerca? do you like the alternative, what america is fighting? do you really? do you deny there is a stuggle going on in the world? do you believe you have the luxury of not taking sides? how incredibly uncaring of you! these inconsequential, do nothing, no conscience let's hold hands and sing campfire song types. they offer no solution to real problems in the world, they merely complain that the world is an ugly place and it should be prettier, but have absolutely no idea how to do this and only attack those who are ensuring their safety and are the ones who are REALLY making the world a better place! do you really care about suffering in the world? do you really? have you seen what life is like in fundamentalist societies? the threats that are explicit and implicit to give them lives of fear? and this suffering is america's fault somehow? does an awareness of this suffering make you anxious? does it make you wring your hands? are you willing to be intellectually honest and face what must really be done to remove these people's suffering? or are you going to bash america again and that makes all the suffering go away in your head because of course, of course, through magic strings and miraculous power... it is all america's fault. oh really?

do these people honestly, really believe america is like some grand master puppeteer? do these people really honestly believe america somehow creates all of the evil in the world? that nothing, absolutely nothing it does produces good? this attitude is not intellectually honest, this attitude belies intellectual dishonesty or laziness. it just blows my mind the america bashing out there. it is an intellectual crutch, a kneejerk reaction... something bad happens... blame america. and then no further thought on the subject! absolutely unbelievable. it really just boggles the mind.

you say we should imagine a better america than it is now. ok, america can be better. but how can we improve america when religious fundamentalists want to destroy america? shouldn't we deal with them first, improve them first? isn't it more caring to lift up the furthest behind, rather than worrying about the most advanced?

what is wrong with you? my jaw is hanging open reading what you say about afghanistan. are you for real? intervening in afghanistan last year was a smashing success. bombing thousands of civilians? what are you smoking? what propaganda are you glued to? there is more freedom in afghanistan now than there has been in decades because of american, turkish, german, canadian, norwegian, etc. action there. how in your right mind can you not see this? how can you sit there and honestly believe what america did in afghanistan was wrong? are you honestly going to tell me kicking the taliban out of afghanistan was not the right thing to do? how old are you? are you a child? i am not trying to insult you, i just can not perceive of a person so hopelessly out of touch with obvious progress.

america is not stooping to the level of animals, america is dealing with violent dangerous people the only way you deal with violent dangerous people. are you that amazingly, stupefyingly naive? should we next time go up to the taliban's door and ask them nicely to leave? do you honestly see a better way to deal with people like al qaeda and the taliban?

it just blows my mind. some of you thankless do-nothing pacifists out there just blow my mind. how you can live in such stupefying denial.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Denial? (none / 0) (#324)
by IPFreely on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 11:52:57 PM EST

You know, I actually like most of what you have to say, I even agree with it. Now lets turn it around a bit and see if you still recognize it.

I personally love the USA. I believe that the US constitution is the greatest governmental policy ever devised. The people who wrote it were more enlightned to the effects of government than most modern politicians will ever be. I believe that the greatest institutions of the USA, the universities, the businesses, the organizations of human interest such as the red cross serve the world in the greatest possible capacity.

I also believe that hidden in between all this greatness are a few bad elements. Every country has them. They are the greedy, the voilent, the vindictive. We have greedy businesmen who abuse the world for profit. We have warmongers that try to start fights wherever they can. We have our own Christian Fundamentalist, who on the whole are as bad as the ones in the middle east. They do not represent America, but they do affect it and their actions are reflected on America.

So when I and others who would criticize actions or events that occure in the US do so, we are only pointing out these few elements. We want the bad elements out so the rest, the pure and the great can work that much better.

When you talk about America bashing and "how can people do this?". Easy. We have the ability to differentiate between the individual elements that make up America and the whole of the country. If the Red Cross saves lives, great. That does not justify some greedy corporation from running sweatshops overseas. Lets clean out the bastards, but keep the saints.

Next, you say that:

i specifically say americans are no better than iraqis, iranians, etc. read my post again. ... america believes everyone is equal.

(Why do you bash America so? only kidding) I also happen to believe in equality. So please tell me, which of the following statements are true and which are false:

{country x} has the right to demand by force a regeime change in {country Y}.
Russia has the right to demand by force a regeime change in Chechnia.
Taiwan has the right to demand by force a regeime change in China.
Egypt has the right to demand by force a regeime change in Isreal.
The USA has the right to demand by force a regeime change in Iraq.
Great Britain has the right to demand by force a regeime change in Ireland.

Answered yet? If you really believe in equality, then the only answer is that they are all false. Sure, Saddam is evil. Sure it would be great to get rid of him. We hate him almost as much as Taiwan hates China, or Egypt hates Isreal. The step is how to get from desire for an action to actually having the right to perform that action. The only one I've seen so far is the bluster if military power. Might makes right. I used to think that all the freedom and equality that we praise in America was about overcomming the "Might makes Right" mentality. So, does our might make us right? Does their Might make them right? Or does noones might really make them right?

Most of the Iraq issues is a fabricated front. Iraq sinned twelve years ago. They got their buts kicked eleven years ago. They haven't peeped outside their border since. So the arguement is? They are rebuilding ... something. They violated some UN directive. Go get them. Never mind that the USA has violated so many UN directives and international treaties in the last few years, especially those related to Weapons of Mass Destruction, that we would compare fairly poorly to Iraq. You recall how Bush simply canceled without cause the thirty year old Nuclear Test Ban treaty with Russia last year? He just didn't like it, so *poof* it went away.

I don't like Hypocracy. I don't like unfare rigged situations. The article at the top of this page describes how the UN declaration for Iraq was rigged in such a way thet there is not really much that Iraq can do to avoid war. Even if they do everything that Bush wants, give up weapons, allow inspections everywhere, pour their hearts out, Bush can still push the button. Was it necessary to make it that tight? I guess if what Bush really wanted was war, not disarmament, then this would give it to him.... I don't care if Saddam gets killed. I don't see why it is necessary to have a war where inevitably many civilian casualties will occure. If he can be disarmed without war, is that good enough? Or is it our obligation to "save the children" and remove him from power and put in some new government? And if we are obliged to do it there, then where else? Where does our obligation end? The whole world? Do we really view the world equally, or are some countries really more/less equal than others?

As for the evils of the rest of the world, Sure, I'd love to see them fixed. I'd love to see the whole world become the great equality, democracy, paradise. The USA probably has the power and the resources to go a long way towards that. The question on a lot of peoples minds is: Does the USA have the RIGHT to do all of that. No matter how much we want to go in and fix some foreign country, we don't have any more RIGHT to do it than they have to come in and fix US. The only way around that is to throw out any concept of national autonomy, equality or civility, and go back to "Might makes Right". I sincerely hope we do not stoop to that. The cost of doing that would be worse than the cost of leaving the likes of Iraq intact.

Here's an Idea. Lets send in the Red Cross to help the poor. Let's send in good business support to jump start local industry. Lets send in universitiy support to educate third world countries. Lets send in ANY THING EXCEPT TROOPS.

how can you sit there and honestly believe what america did in afghanistan was wrong?

No it was not wrong, at least the Al-Queda part was not wrong. It was the collateral dammage that was bad. There are many ways to wage war. The action in Afghanistan was taken with extreme agression. That caused lots of lives to be lost, innocent lives. The same could probably be accomplished with a more restrcted action and less civilian casualties. So why the extreme agression?

Why do so many people look around the world and see nothing but military targets when there are so many opportunities for good work? I guess it's not as exciting as the Video-game war. No score, no action. Not interesting enough. So send in the troops, we need some entertainment, we need some thrill, we need some kick-ass adrinaline rush. Body count? just a number. We look at the world and see:
Saddam in Iraq.
Terrorist in Afghanistan.
Uprisings in Isreal.

But why don't we see:
Starvation in Somalia?
Plagues in thailand?
Hurricaines in Central America?
Floods in India?

Yes, lets help the world. But lets use something besides war to do it.

[ Parent ]

Not all problems (none / 0) (#339)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:50:04 PM EST

Not all problems can be solved by simply sending in the Red Cross and pumping in dollars and humanitarian aid.

You mentioned Starvation in Somalia.

Remember what happaned when the West tried to supply food aid in Somalia?

The warlords in power there siezed the food shipments at gunpoint. They then denied that food to the starving population and turned around and sold it on the black market for weapons and cash.
They shot any of the starving people who objected and shot or threatened to shoot any humanitarian aid workers who got in thier way.

They didn't give a shit about the people who were starving. They used starvation as a weapon.

Just sending humanitarian aid into a situation like that doesn't do any good. If you want to solve that situation you've got to send the troops in because otherwise the warlords won't let the humantarian aid do the work it's supposed to.

The only reason that got abandoned is because Clinton let CNN dictate foreign policy and because we were too afraid to use the kind of force required to successfully control the situation.

Sometimes the only way to deal with violent people is with violence..... they won't be swayed by anything else. It's not pretty but that's the way it is.

As far as civilian casualties in Afghanistan, you might think you could have done a cleaner job....but it's always easier to be an arm chair quarterback then it is to actualy be in control.

War is violent, messy and unpredictable. Unintended casualties will always happen. The idea that you can have some sort of clean, push button, smart war where the only people who ever get hurt are enemy combatants is a myth.

It's a no brainer why the current situation with Iraq is much more important then Starvation in Somalia (or floods in India). The Somali warlords never had the kind of ability to project power outside thier borders that Iraq currently has.
And while floods in India certainly are tragic, they are alot easier to solve then an Iraqi nuke. Nor was the problem being ignored.

And yes, it is alot more important because Iraq is smack dab in the middle of a large portion of the worlds oil supply. That's not corporate greed, it's just plain common sense. Oil is a vital resource to any modern industrial nation.

A major disruption to the worlds oil supply isn't just a few lines on a corporate profit statement. It means millions of americans with no livlihood to feed their families.... and yes, even people freezing in thier homes in Minnesota because they can't afford to pay for heat. Not to mention the crimp it puts on the ability of a nation to defend itself.

It should come as no surprise that is a major concern for a U.S. President.

[ Parent ]

are you listening my liberal fringe friends? (none / 0) (#341)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 01:09:05 AM EST

amen!

let this come as a warning.

the republicans swept the midterm elections in america. this hasn't happened to a sitting us president- his party gaining seats in the house and senate in a midterm, in decades. this is a direct result of september 11th. if you say that that event is just another act of terrorism, you are still in denial.

still in denial.

the sooner you understand why attacking iraq makes sense- makes sense for the liberal agenda! the sooner you stop living in denial. the sooner you make peace with the idea of war on iraq and participate with us, it is the sooner you stop the blood loss of your beliefs, your cause. people are not listening to you. you can march and drumbeat all you want.

you can join us in the good fight. or you can sit on the fringes in denial and watch history unfold without your participation. we need you. we need alternative views. we need liberal outlooks. i voted for gore and cried when he lost on those ridiculous technicalities. but bush is not doing this war because he is an oil crony. despite all of your propaganda to the contrary, he speaks for the american citizen. everyone knows that. there is no way invading iraq would happen would it not be for september 11th. there is no way the majority of americans would support the un resolution and the american initiative against iraq if it were not for september 11th.

so where is the insecurity in the world coming from again? from evil america? or from religious fundamentalism- christian, islamic, jewish, or otherwise. see the cause and effect there when it comes to where we stand in iraq today.

if you continue to oppose regime change in iraq, you are living in severe denial. it makes sense for everyone. it advances even the most furthest left liberal of agendas, considering what kind of freedoms the average iraqi citizen will have after the us and its allies are through with that tin pot dictator saddam hussein.

learn from history- hitler's gambit in the sudetenland, where the liberal attitude on war with germany held sway in the west in the 1930s. the west backed down and gave hitler a chunk of czechoslovakia and reneged on its treaty with that country and did not support it against hitler and his propaganda machine there. their attitude on the sudetenland only postponed the war, only made hitler bolder, and it only meant more deaths and more prolonged suffering. the lessons of the sudetenland on iraq and saddam hussein are crystal clear. do you really care about the suffering of the world, of the suffering of the iraqi citizens and the middle east?

learn from history my friends, or be doomed to repeat it. you are with us, or you stand on the sidelines and watch as the good fight is fought without you. you live with your victimizing, do-nothing excuse for a real conscience. or you get a real conscience.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Gore voter :) (none / 0) (#342)
by Herb User on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 09:06:38 AM EST

Are you sure you voted for Gore? Tell me, if you would, why you preferred Gore's platform over Bush's. :)

I sense a fib.

BTW, I think the Democrats in Congress would have done well to STRONGLY oppose the war bill, as Senator Byrd did. They probably would have done better if they had stood up for their beliefs, not if they had caved even more completely.

Sorry, but I disagree totally with your interpretation of the election results.

'Course, I could be wrong, who knows?

Slackware GNU/Linux: The Best!
[ Parent ]
dude your getting a bush! (none / 0) (#347)
by circletimessquare on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 02:06:06 PM EST

i voted for gore, i really did. i voted for my first republican ever in my life in november 2001... who? bloomberg for mayor, nyc. only republican i have ever voted for in my life. that's the effect of september 11th on this lifelong democrat. (i worked at 5 world trade center until september 11th.) this last election two weeks ago i voted straight democrat again down the line, including mccall for governor of ny state, even though i knew he had no chance against pataki.

so much for fibs. ;-P

the problem with the left side of issues (the cynical would say the democrats are NOT the left side of the issues, just a carbon copy of the republicans, but these are the same cynics who voted for nader instead of gore in 2000 and got us in the whole bush predicament with such a close vote anyways, no? splinter your vote my friends and you hand the election to the other side) since september 11th is that the american left is in TOTAL denial about september 11th. they have to embrace the hawkish resolve of the right to do something in the middle east about the dangers there, or they are totally lost to the american center. they have to get over september 11th. we need their voices. we need their perspective. america will destabilize without the liberal voice in america. but they can't get it in their heads that military action in the middle east is completely warranted following september 11th. if they do not accept this, they slide further and further into obscurity and lose more ground to the republicans. this is exactly what the 2002 midterms prove. the democrats had NO issues put forth. why? they were speechless about september 11th, speechless about war on iraq. this is not how you win votes. this is a damn shame. but military action on iraq, etc., is totally within the sphere of the liberal agenda. just look at the liberalization that will follow in the middle east should the us implement a marshall plan there!

my liberal friends, this lifelong democrat voted for a republican for the first time after september 11th. so what is the danger in the world today. america? or the fundamentalist insanity that breeds morons who fly airplanes into buildings? find the real danger, your real enemy. it is not america.

and yes, i revealed i was a "sort of" victim of september 11th, right? so therefore, my perspective is clouded, prejudiced, right? one problem. do you see the islamic militants stopping their bombing campaigns? bali anyone? the problem is, they will continue bombing, and continue breeding "prejudiced" views like myself. get it? so if you think my words are clouded and my perspective is poisoned by events, then don't listen to me, that is fine. but you still must consider the fact that if you don't do something about islamic fundamentalism, there will only be bred more people with "tainted" perspectives like me by the violence islamic militants breed. so september 11th is just another terrorist attack? nothing interesting to see here, move along? oh really? so who is your enemy again? who has the power to turn a lifelong democrat into a hawk on war on iraq? the nice well-meaning idiot generalisimo bush did this to me? oh really?

yes, bush is a moron, but he speaks for the american citizen. he is not a dictator. he can't do anything without the will of the american people. (unlike a real dictator... hmmm... who might that be? who is your enemy again?) bush would be nowhere near attacking iraq were it not for september 11th. remember that when you say you fear america more than islamic terrorists. look at the larger picture. a well-meaning moron in the white house is but a blip on the radar. islamic fundamentalism is rising. any fundamentalism is bad, christian fundamentalism is bad, jewish fundamentalism is bad, they are all bad. but appreciate the power and resolve of the islamic fundamentalist in todays world, would you please. who is your enemy? who is the enemy of the liberal west? who is the enemy of the western open society which allows you to march and let your views be known without threat of being stoned to death for blasphemy, like that professor in iran last week.

please, PLEASE people. WHO IS THE REAL ENEMY OF THE WESTERN LIBERAL CAUSE. wake up!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You lack a broader view of the world. (none / 0) (#326)
by mesozoic on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:01:01 AM EST

America's accomplishments must be measured not only by their immediate effects, but by their long-term results as well.

Nobody is saying Saddam Hussein should be taken out simply because he's a bad man.  He is a bad man, with a history of aggression towards neighboring countries, with a strong interest in acquiring nuclear weapons, who has been ignoring the UN for eleven years.  This isn't something the US should have to take care of.  It's something the UN should have handled a long time ago, and all the US is doing now is giving them a little nudge in the proper direction.

You talk about Afghanistan.  Yes, a few thousand people died.  That is a terrible tragedy, and in cases where negligence or stupidity was responsible, somebody should be made to pay for those deaths.  However, what alternatives were there?  Allow the Taliban to continue harboring people like Osama bin Laden?  Ask them to negotiate with us?  Perhaps we should have marched straight into Kabul waving white flags, asking to talk things over.

It was a war of self-defense.  When a nation allows people within its borders to launch attacks against America, that nation forfeits its right to sovereignty.  Add to this the fact that the Taliban was not the legitimate government of the Afghani people, and you're left with no legitimate arguments against the war in Afghanistan.

Moreover, look at what we accomplished: we expelled the Taliban from the country -- or, at least, its major cities -- and we are in the process of rebuilding its highways and its government.  Five years from now, the people of Afghanistan will be much better off than they would have been under the Taliban's autocracy.  Given the circumstances, I'd say the small number of civilian deaths was an acceptable (albeit tragic) side effect of a war of self-defense.

People who talk as if the US is some overbearing giant, hell-bent on subjugating the world's poor, can't see the broader scope of our actions.  No war comes without casualties.  But many wars, such as a UN-sanctioned war to disarm a defiant despot like Hussein, are nonetheless justifiable.

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right." -- Salvor Hardin, Isaac Asimov's Foundation
[ Parent ]

I'll second that. (none / 0) (#334)
by NerdWarrior on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:19:42 AM EST

Here's a big "Amen" from a more vocal member of the silent majority.

[ Parent ]
Bad Assumption (none / 0) (#337)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:27:01 PM EST

You assume that our goal is to send troops into Iraq regardless of the reason.

I don't buy that assumption.

Well I don't deny that we'd like Saddam to go bye bye no matter what.... I don't believe that we'll actualy risk troops to do it.... as long as Saddam is content to play tyrant only inside Iraq's borders.

The whole point of dismantling Iraq's WMD program is to insure that Saddam doesn't have the capability to project a threat outside Iraq's borders.

We'll be happy to achieve that as cheaply as possible. If we don't have to send troops in to dismantle Iraq's WMD we wont.

As long as Saddam doesn't try to restict access to the inspectors and doesn't try to hide WMD programs from them I'm positive we won't be sending troops in.

At least that is my firm belief. I might be wrong, but I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary yet.


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