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Enough of this insanity

By ariux in Op-Ed
Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:07:14 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

These plans for invading Iraq have gone far enough. In our country, which is a republic, the leaders need a mandate from the people. Getting such a mandate is not as simple as running a few TV commercials, when the matter in question involves massive loss of life, destruction, chaos, and expenditure. If Bush ever had a blank check, this is the point at which it will bounce.


There's been a kinda halfhearted attempt to attach George's Iraq Project to the universally supported "war on terrorism," but its further burdening with an appendix fingering half the planet - including Cuba of all places - drains this of all credibility.

A war on terrorism targets - one would think - actual terrorism and terrorists, not randomly selected objects and patches of land throughout the world distinguished by their occasional criticism of our accounting practices and their ability to burn up that bomb budget.

If Bush thinks this adventure is worth billions of taxpayers' dollars and an unknown number of human lives, he first needs to answer certain basic questions like:

  1. Why is Iraq a threat to us? No, really, I mean it: what does he think Iraq is going to do to us if we don't invade it?
  2. What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat? Why won't any of the other things, or all of them put together, work?
  3. What are the specific goals of this proposed war?
  4. Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals?
  5. Aren't there a lot of potential side effects? How do we intend to avoid them? If we can't avoid them, is it really worth it to incur them?
  6. What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole? What is the target future we are acting strategically in an effort to reach? Is it a safe and happy America free of terrorist attacks, thriving amid a prosperous and content world, or is it something completely different? If it is something different, then why should the American people support it?
  7. Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them?
  8. How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals? Unless I'm missing something, prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.
  9. Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq? Isn't this exactly the opposite incentive to what we should be trying to create?
  10. In general, what on earth are you thinking? Discuss.

I'm beginning to fear that Bush doesn't have any intention of trying to answer such questions. Worse, he doesn't even appear to understand that there's a reason for him to answer them.

This is dangerous regardless of whether or not the answers make sense. If they don't, then we must not go to war. If they do, then to get the commitment he needs to win that war, Bush will need to have the people behind him. 11 Sept did bring America together on certain things, but that will only go so far, and those hijackers weren't Iraqis.

For all I know, the neo-con cult surrounding our president may view the entire world as one big receptacle for American bombs and bullets, but Bush should remember that more than half of the American people did not vote for him in 2000 and certainly would not share this view. If he wants broad public support for what might strike the uninitiated as an insane and brutal misadventure, he needs to have made a case already. Failing that, he needs to make one soon.

And no, donning superhero underwear and going "evil evil" doesn't count in a situation where the danger isn't obvious or immediate and the proposed measures are harsh and drastic. On this, our esteemed president needs to really, really explain himself for once in his term, or admit he can't and then suffer the moral and political consequences.

Why do I write this today, on July 4, the day of patriots? Even truer than the patriot who physically serves his or her country, is the citizen who serves also with all the insight and judgment he or she can muster. If I lived in a lesser or a crueler land, maybe I'd not bother to speak up, but the nature and the value of the political freedom we all cherish here is that it must be used or wasted.

At such a terrible time in history, it is the duty of every citizen not to silence his or her questions and concerns, but to speak out until they are answered or addressed. To fail in this duty is not a service to one's country, but a betrayal. Those who read this and are Americans, I call upon to do the same.

Fifty years ago our nation chose blindness over vision, and over the following decades paid in blood, and in others' innocent blood, for that choice. The difference between a winner and a loser is that a winner knows how to learn from the mistakes of the past. President Bush, by this measure I challenge you to show us that you and the country you lead are winners.

As a citizen, I ask: either make a real case for Iraq or keep us out of it - and remember, sir, that though you may for a little while now be prodded by the acerbic pens of hard-line think tanks, in the end you will, as befits your humanity and your high office, be placed for judgment before God and history.

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Enough of this insanity | 386 comments (375 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Don't you understand? (2.90 / 11) (#1)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:06:29 AM EST

Saddam Gassed His Own People

Therefore we must go to war.

It's as simple as that

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever

So what? (3.60 / 10) (#2)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:09:42 AM EST

Saddam Gassed His Own People

What, are we going to try to top him?

[ Parent ]

Follow the links! (4.55 / 9) (#12)
by dark on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:44:17 AM EST

Streetlawyer was being sarcastic.

Speaking as someone who doesn't follow the news much... this Iraq thing does sound like an instance of the Thatcherite Syllogism:

  • Something must be Done
  • This is Something
  • Therefore, This must be Done



[ Parent ]
Speaking as someone who doesn't follow the news (2.00 / 4) (#31)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:55:07 AM EST

would mean it would be responsible to remain silent until you do.

[ Parent ]
Why, yes. (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by AnalogBoy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:41:56 PM EST

The USA, As Globocop[tm], has a mandate from The One True God, the Almighty Christian, to police the heathen massses of the world and slowly convert them to the USian ideals, state sanctioned religions, and farce of democractic life.

Didn't you hear the decree come down from the Imperial Mansion of his High Holyness, Bush the Second?  [Formerly known as the White House].
--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]

The Turks ... (3.77 / 9) (#50)
by vrai on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:43:38 AM EST

... frequently massacre the Kurds. They got to the point a few years ago were they ran out of ones to kill in Turkey and entered to northern Iraqi to keep up the slaughter. Now the Turkish government are building a dam in the area seemingly for the sole purpose of submerging what little the Kurds have left. Yet, for some reason, the US doesn't attack Turkey. The EU is still courting them for membership.

Why the difference in attitudes? Because neither the EU or the US give two shits about human suffering. They care only about money (and so oil). The thousands of innocent Iraqis who have died because of sanctions didn't do so to protect the West, or make the world in general a safer place. They died to keep the supply of oil stable.

Now, depending on you point of view this is either abhorrent or perfectly reasonable. However we should never kid ourselves that there is any driving force behind these actions other than money.

[ Parent ]

Human rights, Turkey and the EU (3.80 / 5) (#88)
by livingdots on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:16:33 PM EST

I guess you've never heard of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights?

Anyway, the EU is not "courting" Turkey for membership. It's more like Turkey is begging the EU to let them in. But that won't happen until Turkey meets the Copenhagen Criteria -- a number of economical and political conditions for EU membership established back in 1993. It says that actual negotiations for membership will not commence until the candidate country has achieved

"stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities."

In 2001 the European Commission said that Turkey still had not met the conditions for joining 12 other countries in membership talks, despite some improvements. I think it's pretty safe to assume that there wouldn't have been any improvements if the EU had only condemned Turkey.

[ Parent ]
Even though they share a border ... (3.00 / 1) (#96)
by Scrymarch on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:34:23 PM EST

It's a long way from Iraq to Turkey.  Turkey has a politically strong, nationalist military that oppresses the Kurds, and any vaguely Islamist political movement, no matter how modern.  It also has regular elections and about 10 times purchasing power for individuals.  There is a difference of scale.

The main reasons holding up Turkey's entrance into the EU are precisely concerns about its rigid secular nationalism.  It's not oil politics either - Turkey are an old cold war ally and key member of NATO.  


[ Parent ]

War in Iraq means WMD (4.07 / 13) (#6)
by beak on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:24:25 AM EST

I cannot help thinking that if the US invades Iraq with the explicit purpose of toppling Saddam, then Saddam WILL use any WMD's that he has... either against the invading army, or much more fun, against Israel (who wouldn't hold back in their retaliation, especially with 'the Bulldozer' in charge)

Lets face it, he will be fighting for his very survival (unlike in Desert Storm), so why should he hold back!

He doesn't have any (3.20 / 5) (#19)
by drquick on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:14:51 AM EST

Only Saddam doesn't have any weapons of mass destructuion. Haven't you noticed that the trade embargo bans almost everything. Many common medicines (dearly needed) are forbidden because they could be used as raw materials for weapons. I don't think so but, that's how paranoid the USA has been.

[ Parent ]
I think one of the big issues... (4.40 / 5) (#26)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:07:54 AM EST

...is water purification, for which a plant needs large amounts of toxic chemicals like chlorine. That's why so much of the sanctions debate focuses on safe water and infant gastrointestinal diseases.

I've also heard of equipment for mass-producing vaccines counting as dual-use because it can also be used to manufacture biological weapons.

The usual argument I see about WMD development in general is, "how can we know?" (Pretty fiendish argument, isn't it?)

[ Parent ]

not necessarily... (4.80 / 5) (#109)
by wrffr on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:49:09 PM EST

Actually, medicine and other medical supplies are not banned by the sanctions.

In 1998, the Iraqi government ordered six lithotripters, which are machines for getting rid of kidney stones. The machines each contain an ultra high precision switch as part of the design. In addition to the lithotripters, they also wanted to buy 120 extra switches. That's more than they'd ever need if they were simply using them as replacement parts.

It becomes a little more clear when you realize that the particular switch used in those machines can be used as triggers for atomic bomb.

Take a look at http://www.iraqwatch.org/wmd/lithotripter.html

[ Parent ]

medicines are de facto banned (none / 0) (#318)
by drquick on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:09:46 AM EST

Saddam couldn't import chlorine, desinfectants, detergents, equipment for repairing the water supply. Many medicines and vaccines can't be imported since they are vetoed by the USA. Every deal is evaluated on a case by case basis.

Here are some quotes:

And what are these sanctions? These sanctions have been called the most comprehensive blockade in history. They include agricultural equipment, pesticides and fertilizers, medical equipment, medicines, spare parts for virtually any machinery, paper, pencils, all academic and scientific journals, shoes, chlorine for water purification, and even toys. What are more, the few items that Iraq is able to import, it cannot bring enough because its economy is in ruins.

The unfortunate logical import of the U.S. position was that "any pharmaceutical firm producing antibiotics could be a `potential' source of dangerous weaponry and the `inspections' could continue.

Hospital and medical equipment, repair parts, antibiotics, chlorine, painkillers, other pharmaceuticals, bandages, blankets, clothing, children's toys, even baby soothers, are banned.

Not only has the US refused to allow medicines and vital spare parts for water purification plants be imported

... through the cruel economic embargo which has limited access to food and medicine and crippled efforts to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.

To put it all in context look at this quote:
In assessing the morality of imposing sanctions, one might begin with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child, the Social and Economic Rights of Women, and Against Genocide. The Geneva Convention, Article 48 reads: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population such as food, livestock, agricultural areas and drinking water installations." Clearly, by aiming at civilians and the infrastructure necessary for their subsistence, the sanctions violate international covenants and basic tenets of international law and human decency.
Go here for further reading.

[ Parent ]
Why didn't he in 91? (3.33 / 3) (#32)
by Demiurge on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:59:10 AM EST

When the Iraqi Army was one of the strongest in the world and in the region?

Simply put, if Saddam didn't have WMD in 1991, then it's unlikely he's been able to develop them in the years since.  Of course, that does not mean he hasn't tried, it's just that he probably hasn't succeeded.

[ Parent ]
91 was not a fight for survival (4.55 / 9) (#41)
by beak on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:07:19 AM EST

'91 was a 'get out of Kuwait' war, the USA never went as far as saying:
    "We are a-commin' ta get yah! Yeeeeehhaaaa!".

In addition, the good old MAD philosophy still worked: if Saddam used WMD's, then he would be crushed in retaliation.

If there was an invasion now, Saddam's only change for survival would be to beat the US war machine, (Likely? I think not) so as he has nothing to lose, MAD is therefore no longer relevant.

In addition, if he WMD's Israel, apart from becoming an Arab Hero (yes Palestinians will die to, but nobody really cares about them), the likely Israeli counter attack will knock out most of the invading US army... All he has to do is sit in one of his bunkers until someone chips through the glass above him...

As for the "If he had WMD in '91" argument, hadn't he already used biological/chemical weapons on his own people, and didn't the UN weapons inspectors destroy tonnes of those agents? He may not have nukes, but would it be that difficult to hide a biological warhead?

Maybe I am over-dramatising, but I am not the only one, and in this world of military optimists, we still have to have a few pessimists!

[ Parent ]

because he is not a courageous man (3.60 / 5) (#49)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:41:59 AM EST

Saddam, if he isn't killed by his own security officers, which I hope he will be, asap after the outbreak of a potential war (or even better before that -  may be some good Iraqians guys will save us a major war that way), will falter and disappear in nowhere, if he is not. He is not a courageous man by no means.

Saddam's reaction is not the main threat. The main threats are all the reactions from other countries, who will take sides against the US' preemptive way of dealing with him. Saddam is not the problem in fact, it's the world community's decision of how to deal with a military super power that acts out on a new interpretation of what constitutes the justification and morality for a preemptive military strike.

How far do you go and allow an unchallenged military super power in imposing on the world what is a morally justified preemptive strike?

That has not been discussed in Congress and even if it will be, the decision of the Congress might not reflect the American people's true opinion about it. Nobody, who votes in a Congressman, does that with the imagination that that the Congressman has to make such difficult, unexpected and severe decisions.

Any Congressman will basically have to vote his conscience and you have no idea what that will be. Their decision might not be representative of the population's opinion. Of course so they will try to manipulate the public's opinion in one united one and then decide on that media-made unity.

But I guess that's something we can't do any better. Congress should get heavily involved in thinking out loud about when and when not to allow preemptive strikes, IMO.  

When President Bush says so passionately that he will carry the war to where the enemy is, that means he knows where the enemy is, which I don't think is that certain.

Compare the terrorist network with a swarm of flies. A couple of them carry a virus of contagious, deadly disease. A preemptive strike against the virus carrying flies would be to kill all flies. Unfortunately there is no way of killing those flies without killing all non-virus carrying flies and without killing the fly-killing killers.

So, the question for mami this morning is, if there are better ways of 'fighting Malaria'.

[ Parent ]

and? (3.33 / 3) (#120)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:46:16 PM EST


So what's your point? War is dangerous? We should appease men with WMD?


[ Parent ]
None can stand USA force (3.00 / 1) (#127)
by svampa on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:17:32 PM EST

No matter if he/they are figthing for survival or not, if USA use its full power, it will be invaded.

The only weapons against USA are budget/time and USA public opinion.

They are working very hard on public opinion.

I'm not very sure if budget is problem. Weapons manofacturers have to feed their children, you know



[ Parent ]
Saddam is the perfect Patsy (none / 0) (#293)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 09:07:18 PM EST

If anyone in the middle east wants to attack folks in the US, the perfect time to do it is going to be if/when the US invades Iraq--particularly if they have the capability to make it look like Iraq is behind the attack. The thing to keep in mind here: there are a lot of factions operating in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein is among the more secular and less religious leaders in that region-and may thus be considered expendable by some other extreme elements.

Personally, I think the US is more likely to be the object of terrorist attacks than Israel because:

The US has has less of an an intelligence capability in the Middle East than does Israel.

The super power status of the US means the world expects a degree of restraint from the US.

The right strategic attack within the US might affect Israel's military and industrial capability just as much as a direct attack on Israel(say an attacks on those specific communities that tend to support Israel heavily). 100,000 US casualities might mean 1,000,000 casualities in areas the US regarded as responsible for the attack, but this may be acceptable to some Middle eastern leaders-particularly if they can focus the bulk of response on someone else.

[ Parent ]

What madness? I am sane, the voice told me! (4.15 / 26) (#15)
by tftp on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:04:40 AM EST

Getting such a mandate is not as simple as running a few TV commercials, when the matter in question involves massive loss of life, destruction, chaos, and expenditure.

Oh yes, it is that simple - especially when "massive loss of life, destruction, chaos" is to occur half a planet away, to some other nation (that we are told is evil), and TV viewers can see all those colorful blasts and fires! (If you are not convinced, read some Yahoo boards).

I'm beginning to fear that Bush doesn't have any intention of trying to answer such questions. Worse, he doesn't even appear to understand that there's a reason for him to answer them.

Can't help you with the latter (nobody can), but with regard to former, here are answers from devil's advocate position which will satisfy 80% of voters (the rest does not matter, politically).

1. Why is Iraq a threat to us?

Iraq secretly builds WMD, and will use it against us. At least that's what we think because we would do the same in his position. If we can't prove this WMD accusation, this only means that he is smarter than we thought, and he must be destroyed. [This is a reference to Holy Inquisition practices].

2. What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat?

Bomb him and kill him, of course. We always bomb and kill, works quite well. You can't seriously propose talking to him, can you? We don't even know how to talk, and the only man in our government who can do that is silenced.

3. What are the specific goals of this proposed war?

To install a friendly puppet dictator, of course. That's what we always do. And we'll get all his oil too, on good terms! And new military bases! Yummy!

4. Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals?

Bomb Iraq, of course - for as long as we need. And you, the taxpayer, will pay for bombs. When nothing is left standing then our friendly fifth column will advance and take over. Our undefeatable and fearless ground troops will be also present (somewhere 1000 miles from the battlefield) to advise. We think it's a good plan. Works as charm all the time!

5. Aren't there a lot of potential side effects?

Well, Saddam can, of course, launch some Scuds at Israel, and kill maybe millions, but why would we care? No side effects whatsoever.

6. What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole?

Take control first, and, as Mao said, "power comes out of the barrel of a gun". We'll think about endgame when its time comes.

Is it a safe and happy America free of terrorist attacks, thriving amid a prosperous and content world, or is it something completely different?

Well, our goals converge there. If we conquer whole planet (and hopefully kill everyone who is against us, and enslave the rest) then America will be safe.

7. Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them?

What is that "strategery"? Never heard about it before. We ain't needing any stinking "strategeries". Just go and bomb them!

8. How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals? Unless I'm missing something, prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.

Sure they do. Good indian is dead indian.

9. Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq?

Our Man Of Peace is there, and he works hard on this very problem. We give him all the weapons he needs to promote peace. He is very successful so far, palestinians are under house arrest now (the curfew), and any terrorist women who go shopping are promptly killed. Isn't it wonderful, a true triumph of the only democracy in Middle East?

Devil's advocate, all right (2.75 / 4) (#16)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:13:41 AM EST

Oh yes, it is that simple

If you believe that, you'll never ask for better.

[ Parent ]

Beliefs don't count here (4.12 / 8) (#17)
by tftp on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:38:21 AM EST

If you believe that, you'll never ask for better.

Your response is so short that I can't understand it. There is no "belief" involved when we talk about manipulation of public opinion. History of 20th century (and now 21st) is full of such facts, and there are many examples of intentional fabrication of a favorable public opinion. Every political campaign uses them, from carefully crafted speeches with words that the audience wants to hear, to TV ads and appearances that "press the right buttons" in minds of viewers. Every successful politician is a talented liar who sells his own image to the public, usually by promising to do what the voters want. His secret is to do it convincingly, better than the competitor.

Humans have weak minds and are easy to manipulate. That is just a medical fact. If political ads and speeches are allowed to do what they are doing, then minds of listeners will be taken over and manipulated. The only way to overcome this shortcoming of humans is to institute a rule, a law, that would prohibit certain speech as harmful to the society. I can't see this implemented any time soon. Are there better options?

[ Parent ]

Huh? (4.60 / 5) (#18)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:07:55 AM EST

Every political campaign uses them

Or more accurately, tries to. I'm not sure where you get your theory that this kind of thing is always successful. In fact, history is just about as full of examples of foolhardy leaders walking off in some direction, turning around, and discovering that nobody has followed them.

At any rate, if you feel this stuff is important, I suggest you focus on personally figuring out which policies you think are right and promoting them, and leave all the spooky NLP stuff to wanking ad agencies trying to impress their investors.

Humans have weak minds and are easy to manipulate. That is just a medical fact. If political ads and speeches are allowed to do what they are doing, then minds of listeners will be taken over and manipulated.

Those awful "mind controlling" ads don't seem to have affected you much.

[ Parent ]

Mind Control (4.60 / 5) (#20)
by tftp on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:17:17 AM EST

Or more accurately, tries to. I'm not sure where you get your theory that this kind of thing is always successful.

Of course. But failures don't count, only successes do. You see, if there are 10 wannabe dictators in line to rule over you, even if 9 of them fail, the 10th will be the king (and you hardly could tell them apart anyway). Humans never suffered from lack of potential kings...

Those awful "mind controlling" ads don't seem to have affected you much.

I am not so sure about that. It is like radiation - you think you are safe because you wear all the protection gear, but in reality you can be accumulating rads through some crack in your armor without knowing that.

[ Parent ]

Brilliant! (3.00 / 3) (#121)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:47:41 PM EST


"Humans have weak minds and are easy to manipulate. That is just a medical fact."

I love your little demonstration here.

[ Parent ]

More on that (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by tftp on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:15:42 PM EST

:-) Any comment on that would switch the discussion deep into philosophy. I don't think it is appropriate in this discussion.

This book (SciFi) is a good reading if you are interested in "medical" interpretation. There is a free English translation under the title "Prisoners of Power". I highly recommend to read this book (as well as other books of those authors).

[ Parent ]

one more link (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:21:11 AM EST

NY Times Article,

Iraq (3.54 / 22) (#22)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:33:11 AM EST

"In our country, which is a republic, the leaders need a mandate from the people."

Bush won the election (lets not go any further into that). That's all the mandate he needs until 2004. We don't give our leaders a mandate on every issue, we just give them a general mandate and revoke it later if we don't like what they did with it.

I'm not really for invading Iraq (although we do need to quit ignoring them and hope they'll go away) but I can answer your questions anyway.

"Why is Iraq a threat to us?"

Iraq is a threat to our oil supply. On the propaganda side of things, it'll be claimed he's threat to our allies in the area and he supports terrorist.

"What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat?"

Ignore him. Talk to him. Boycott him. Assasinate him. Fight him.
We aren't ignoring him. Talking just won't work after 1991. Assasintion is illegal. Boycotting is getting foreign countries pissed at us. That leaves starting a war with them.

"What are the specific goals of this proposed war?"

Finishing what we started in 1991.

"Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals?"

We could follow the afgan plan and let other people fight with our support, but there aren't all that many other people in Iraq to do the fighting for us. So we'll probably fall back on a massive military operation like Desert Storm.

"Aren't there a lot of potential side effects?"

US foreign policy is already considered a joke, so no, I can't think of any side effects. Maybe a couple missles hit Israel but since when have we cared?

"What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole?"

Keeping oil cheap and keeping arabs from attacking us.

"Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them?"

Right now our strategy is to piss off arab countries by supporting Israel and occasionally bombing them.

"How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals?"

I didn't say it was a good strategy.

"Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq?"

Maybe. Israel has a lot more control over the worsening of the Palestine thing than America does.

"In general, what on earth are you thinking?"

Bush is probably thinking 'I gotta fix daddies mess'.

"On this, our esteemed president needs to really, really explain himself for once in his term"

Given that most people I know didn't know who Bin Laden was prior to 9/11 and they still don't know what Bin Laden wants I suspect the average american wouldn't understand if Bush really explained himself. 'Evil evil' is about the level of political arguements most Americans I've met can deal with.

Hmm (4.75 / 4) (#23)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:52:17 AM EST

Iraq is a threat to our oil supply.

Is it really, with "containment" going on?

Assasintion is illegal.

Sure, but compare it with the human tragedy of a massive war. Also note that Saddam himself uses it all the time, so it'd be fair in a way.

Boycotting is getting foreign countries pissed at us.

Wouldn't a war make them even madder?

Finishing what we started in 1991.

Why does it need finishing?

US foreign policy is already considered a joke, so no, I can't think of any side effects.

Not even like, massive war, chaos, and destruction engulfing the entire area? What's there right now doesn't quite rise to that standard.

'Evil evil' is about the level of political arguements most Americans I've met can deal with.

Maybe you've been hanging out with the wrong people.

[ Parent ]

mmmH (4.00 / 5) (#28)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:21:03 AM EST

"Is it really, with "containment" going on?"

Iraq in and of itself isn't a threat to oil. An Iraq capable of invading it's neighbors, as it has done in the past, is a threat.

"Sure, but compare it with the human tragedy of a massive war"

I never said I agreed that it should be illegal. I think politicians might act more responsable if they thought they might lose thier lives for invading other countries. Probably not though.

"Wouldn't a war make them even madder?"

The assumption behind this question is that the US cares enough to try and predict reactions to our actions. I haven't seen proof of that.

"Why does it need finishing?"

Because we left a huge mess behind in Iraq. The US needs to resolve their issues with Iraq and move on. This doesn't neccesarily mean war, saying hell with it and quit screwing with Iraq would resolve their issues as well.

"Not even like, massive war, chaos, and destruction engulfing the entire area?"

I don't recall the US ever giving a damn about that unless it was on US soil.

"Maybe you've been hanging out with the wrong people."

Avoiding. I've been avoiding them. But you're probably right, I'm being overly cynical today and the people I try to avoid probably aren't near as bad as I think they are.

[ Parent ]

mhmhmh (3.00 / 1) (#29)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:46:06 AM EST

The assumption behind this question is that the US cares enough to try and predict reactions to our actions. I haven't seen proof of that...

I don't recall the US ever giving a damn about that unless it was on US soil.

Well, but I am more trying to derive desired policies than I am trying to critique any existing approaches. That's why I phrase everything in terms of questions.

[ Parent ]

The subjects sound like Crash Test Dummies (3.66 / 3) (#35)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:16:01 AM EST

Oh, you want ideas that might be workable at not at the expense of countries besides the US?

For Iraq: Drop the international boycott. Every country has a right do decide who they'll do business with, so America might continue the boycott, but we should drop the UN pressure. Make it very clear to Iraq that any aggression to it's neighbors or any terrorism proven linked to them will be considered an act of war. Then ignore them. If they do an act of terrorism or aggression declare war and don't stop until internal Iraq policies are changed.

For Americas foreign policy in general: Consistancy. If the UN sucks so badly we won't pay our dues then pull out of it. If Bosnia was so horrible we were correct to step in, then we should have stepped into Timor and half of Africa as well. If Israels internal policies towards a group it conquered decades ago is an issue, then so is Russias. If we're boycotting Cuba for being a dictatorship then we should do the same for China. There are of course more issues than I listed for each of these examples, but you get my point.

This alone would do wonders for our reputation. It won't get done because our foreign policy changes every 4 or 8 years with a new administration.

[ Parent ]

Who's really responsible here? (3.50 / 2) (#37)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:21:28 AM EST

Iraq in and of itself isn't a threat to oil. An Iraq capable of invading it's neighbors, as it has done in the past, is a threat.

And Iraq's neighbors, knowing the threat and having all that oil money, ought to be able to build big enough armies to take care of the problem, right? But wait, they don't have to be - that's right, we're there to protect them. Not that they're very grateful for it. Not that we don't have our own demands to impose on them.

This doesn't neccesarily mean war, saying hell with it and quit screwing with Iraq would resolve their issues as well.

Yeah, it really would. And if Saudi Arabia got invaded and Europe and Asia had to pay up the nose for oil, well, maybe they should have gotten off their asses and done something about it instead of letting us do it and be the "bad guy" and the "enforcer" all the time. Really. We should say to hell with it and quit screwing with them. They're not worth it.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
We are (3.00 / 1) (#192)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:46:08 PM EST

I tend to be somewhat isolationist, so I basically agree with you. I do have to wonder if pulling out and saying 'deal with the mess yourselves' is an appropriate action for a country that spent the last 60 years making this mess.

[ Parent ]
You do have a point ... (none / 0) (#206)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:21:12 AM EST

... but after 60 years of making that mess, I'm not really sure that any further "cleaning up" is going to be appreciated or cooperated with. Certainly, what some people in the administration are considering, (invasion of Iraq), isn't going to make us look better in that part of the world, at least to many eyes.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Assasination not a good idea (5.00 / 3) (#84)
by mcc on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:58:59 PM EST

>> Assasination is illegal.
> Sure, but compare it with the human tragedy of a massive war. Also note that Saddam himself uses it all the time, so it'd be fair in a way.

I don't know if you are seriously advocating assasinating Saddam Hussein, but this needs to be said: using assasination, especially in the current case, is a really bad idea. Hussein's administration has an iron grip on virtually every facet of the country. Power structures like that do not fall away because the person at the top dies.

Look up Uday Hussein sometime. The man is practically a caricature of the 'mad emperor' stereotype, and this is who will be leading the country of Iraq if saddam hussein alone were to drop dead tomorrow.

And that's just the immediate heir. Hussein's inner circle is just full of characters who are perfectly capable of filling any power vacuum that the U.S. creates, and the dissident elements in Iraq have given no indication they are currently capable of taking on alone the Iraqi security forces. In order to bring any kind of change to the iraqi government in a way that is good for the iraqi people and doesn't come back to bite you in the ass later, you will have to engage in some technique more complex than just killing people.

If the last 50 years of foreign policy and covert CIA assasinations has taught us anything, it's that if you are going to be attempting the task of nation-rebuilding at all, you have to be willing to expend the resources and strategy to do the job properly, or you will probably make things worse. The entire reason this current war is happening is because America threw its influence heavily in Iraq, Iran, and Afgavistan for short-term gain without worrying about the long-term consequences, and then failed to clean up their messes.

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

Mandate (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:54:40 AM EST

Bush won the election (lets not go any further into that). That's all the mandate he needs until 2004. We don't give our leaders a mandate on every issue, we just give them a general mandate and revoke it later if we don't like what they did with it.

That isn't the whole story. Lyndon Johnson didn't technically need a mandate, public support, whatever to commit troops to Vietnam, but in practice?

[ Parent ]

Lyndon Johnson (3.00 / 1) (#27)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:14:04 AM EST

In practice the Vietnam war lasted a lot longer than Johnson did. It even lasted longer than he would have had he sought a second term.

[ Parent ]
What's your point? (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by vambo rool on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:09:42 PM EST

It might not have lasted as long as it did if he hadn't escallated the war several times over from when he inherited it. He was the one who grew the war from several thousand troups to hundreds of thousands of troops.

[ Parent ]
Mandate (none / 0) (#182)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:28:45 PM EST

My point was that just by being president he had enough of a mandate to escalate the war to a condition that lasted long past his politcal career.

[ Parent ]
daddy's mess (3.66 / 3) (#57)
by marksetzer on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:21:04 PM EST

Bush is probably thinking 'I gotta fix daddies mess'. that, and he's certainly enraged that they tried to assassinate his father in '91. vindictiveness has nothing to do with serious, blinding rage. and he's never had any political dialogue with Iraq. the invasion is such a joke. i don't mean that it won't happen, just that the administration has practically told us, "make sure you get your tickets." part of me wants to believe that Iraq is an imminent and serious threat to national security, and that we honestly have good intentions and at least SOME level of sound reasoning in pursuing this war. but I think Bush is even more drunk with power than the Clintons in the closing days of their administration, and he is driving this nation into a head-on collision with yet another heavy investment of American military forces.

If a smoking ban will actually cause Houston to fold up and disappear, then I'm all for it. -rusty
[ Parent ]
daddy's mess? (3.25 / 4) (#67)
by nytflyr on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:54:38 PM EST

He went exactly as far as the EU and the rest of the coalition LET him go. If Bush had his way Saddam would have been dead in 91.

[ Parent ]
Assassination is illegal, but... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by Kintanon on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:52:10 PM EST

Bombing the country until it's a glass hole in the ground is A-OK! Why the HELL is that? Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier on everyone involved if a couple of specop teams dropped into Iraq, wasted Saddam and his top generals and then bailed? Much lower loss of life, cleaner, cheaper, all around better.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Re: Assassination is illegal, but... (5.00 / 3) (#152)
by aralin on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:22:26 PM EST

Oh, and I suppose when Saddam would send his own specop teams to US to assassinate Bush and his few generals, it would be called terrorism and the world asked for deleting Iraq from the map.

Every coin has two sides.



[ Parent ]

Coins (4.00 / 2) (#189)
by rdskutter on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:14:28 PM EST

Coins are a bad analogy for global thermo-nuclear war


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

Wouldn't bother me. (none / 0) (#282)
by Kintanon on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:53:45 PM EST

I would MUCH rather have the leaders of countries worried about very personal consequences of their foreign policy than watch my friends and neighbors get sent to die in some foreign country because the leader of our country has a squabble with the leader of some other country over something that means absolutely jack shit nothing to me.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Yeah. Like Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. (3.30 / 10) (#25)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:59:58 AM EST

I can brew up some really effective chemical weapons in my kitchen. Do I need to get rid of the several perfectly innocent cleaning products needed to avoid being invaded by the US?

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.


You're over analysing (4.57 / 21) (#33)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:04:47 AM EST

It's a simple question of economics. The US has a lot of obsolescent munitions that cost money to store and even more to dispose of safely. You can't drop them in the sea, because you might hit a Greenpeace boat and get some bad PR. But nobody (outside of a few left wing sites like this) gives a rats ass about dropping it on what's left of Iraq.

The cost is a few drones to soak up any AA capacity they've got left, then it's just routine bombing and artillery missions to clear out space for all the new munitions that Bush has committed to buying. If we get around to sending in ground troops, there's no basis for believing that it'll be any different to last time: M1's turning T-72's into scrap from 3km away, and troops surrendering to AH-64's and even to artillery spotter drones. Got any new weapons systems that you want to try in the field, in a low risk environment where the enemy can't strike back if you're left dry firing? Bring 'em along!

And afterwards? Well, that'll take care of itself. Either install a puppet regime that pays tribute in oil, or hell, just let Hussein or another like him retain or regain power. It's always handy to have a scapegoat occuping a live fire target range.

Am I being overly cynical? Maybe. But I've yet to hear a credible explanation for ousting the CIA trained and funded Hussein in favour of restoring the Saudi monarchy that goes beyond simple economics. Why should this be any different?


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

Well... (4.50 / 2) (#161)
by gusnz on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:12:23 PM EST

But nobody (outside of a few left wing sites like this) gives a rats ass about dropping it on what's left of Iraq.
I s'pose a few Iraqis who live there might care too, now that I think about it.


[ JavaScript / DHTML menu, popup tooltip, scrollbar scripts... ]

[ Parent ]
Good point (5.00 / 1) (#241)
by Rogerborg on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 09:20:12 AM EST

      But nobody (outside of a few left wing sites like this) gives a rats ass about dropping it on what's left of Iraq.
    I s'pose a few Iraqis who live there might care too, now that I think about it.

No problem. US sanctions kill 250 people in Iraq every day, according to UNICEF. Dropping bombs is just a shortcut, and a nice way to get rid of the last shreds of the infrastructure that would allow Iraq to actually move the food-for-oil out to the people that need it.

I know, Hussein is the real monster. But the enemy of the bad guy isn't necessarily the good guy.


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

What the... (none / 0) (#340)
by Rogerborg on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:18:47 PM EST

Hmm, worryingly, I typed "Saudi" when I meant "Kuwaiti".

More worryingly still, at the time of writing, 22 people had rated this comment at an average of 4.4 and not one person had noted the gaffe.

Ouch.


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

How did ODS make economic sense? (none / 0) (#348)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:32:35 PM EST

Am I being overly cynical? Maybe. But I've yet to hear a credible explanation for ousting the CIA trained and funded Hussein in favour of restoring the Saudi monarchy that goes beyond simple economics. Why should this be any different?

I don't see how US involvment in the Middle East is justified economically. Military expenditures on the Mid East were reflected in the price of oil, noone would use the stuff. Mid East oil is expen$sive--its just that the cost isn't reflected at the pump.

Nuclear, solar, hydro, coal--all are cheaper in reality than mid east oil if you factor in all the costs.

The real reason for US involvement in the Mid East is that a lot of rich folks in the US have a sentimental attachment to Israel-as do quite a few religious fanatics.

[ Parent ]

Military purpose (none / 0) (#380)
by ariux on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 05:35:35 AM EST

I don't see how US involvment in the Middle East is justified economically.

The issue may not really be civilian use of oil. A lesson learned in the WW's is that a nation without a fuel supply for its equipment is helpless.

[ Parent ]

All I know is (3.78 / 14) (#34)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:15:03 AM EST

1. My son got a deployment order back a couple of months ago that indicated that plans outlined in the article of the NYtimes were actively pursued.

2. That those deployment orders have all been changed and are going to be changed over and over again and nobody knows what the final order will be.

3. That the President is determined, because otherwise he wouldn't have had announced an executive order yesterday that granted all non citizens of the US Armed Forces a petition for US citizenship. Yep.

4. All I ask for is that there is a draft, if such plans are executed. I don't see any reason why a plan of such enormity in impact on world peace shouldn't be supported by "ALL of US citizen's sons and daughters". Aren't we all created equal and therefore should carry all the burden of our collective heroic and sinful actions equally as well?


If the US does use a draft... (3.77 / 9) (#42)
by ShadowNode on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:18:13 AM EST

Canada will be accepting refugees from the south again. We'll be nicer to you than you are to your refugees from the south.

[ Parent ]
Move To San Ysidro (2.33 / 3) (#80)
by Baldrson on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:39:23 PM EST

I lived within walking distance of Tijuana for a few years. I suggest guys like you and Rusty move there for at least that long.

PS: I lived in California for 20 years and saw first hand the results of these ideas you hold so dear.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Face facts (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by medham on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:10:53 PM EST

The Mexican race will employ their K-proven breeding strategies to eliminate you Wandering Celt genes, Balrdson. The only alternative I see is summoning of autochthonus deities; your "science" can do nothing now.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Who is "medham"? (none / 0) (#188)
by Baldrson on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:14:06 PM EST

"Lode Runner" states: Sorry to spoil the game, folks, but frankly I'm hurt and I just want it to stop. Baldrson's made a mockery of the tremendous effort I've put into name-brand personas like "medham" and "streetlawyer". "Lode Runner" also claims to be an academic biologist who fights "racism" in his classroom -- just as "Streetlawyer" does.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

You misunderstand (none / 0) (#87)
by ShadowNode on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:14:31 PM EST

I'm Canadian. Should you need to flee the US, you will be accepted here. Your policy on the matter is your business, but I reserve the right to take pot shots, given that you've needed to take us up on our offer in the past.

[ Parent ]
Curious. (3.40 / 5) (#44)
by mindstrm on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:27:47 AM EST

There are members of the US Armed Forces who are not US Citizens? And it requires a presidential order for them to apply? Goofy.


[ Parent ]
No (4.75 / 4) (#52)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:03:17 PM EST

There are non US citizens in great numbers in the Armed Forces and they hold their behind for you guys in the firing lines. I guess the President thinks that this is a reason to grant those guys some relief from a dysfunctional INS.

Those enlisted non citizens, but legal resident aliens, can always apply for US citizenship and they have always been granted citizenship after they have gone through security clearance. The only difference to earlier times might be that  as of yesterday's executive order the time with which the completely dysfunctional INS used to handle those applications will be shortened.  

There are legal situations I think the US Armed Forces don't want to get in, like having potential US military service members becoming POW somewhere, that are not US citizens. Makes a lot of sense to me. As if the legal situations are not yet messy enough right now. Let's say the native country of an enlisted soldier, who is not yet a US citizen, would become the enemy target nation of the US preemptive war strike. (There are Korean US soldiers stationed in Korea for example)

That soldier, if being captured, has to face two possible situations. He would be considered "as an enemy combatant" by his native country and therefore preferred target for torture by his own native country and he might be seen by the US military as a higher potential risk, because he might change loyalities during war times and can more easily engage in treason.

Though you can't change and look into a person's heart by giving him the right citizenship, you can at least try to show your willingness to believe in the integrity and honesty of the service members, who came in as non citizens. That did the President yesterday with his executive order, at least I see it that way. There might be other reasons too, but that's irrelevant anyway to speculate about. Once you enlist you make a pledge, with or without citizenship, you have to keep up the pledge.

[ Parent ]

Many (5.00 / 4) (#53)
by vambo rool on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:06:31 PM EST

There are many in the US Armed forces that aren't citizens. A goodly chunk of them are from the Philippines. In fact, if you are a resident alien (the ones with "green cards"), you can be conscripted when there is an active draft.

No, it doesn't require a presidential order to allow them to become citizens. They can go through the normal channels which require a certain length of stay, passing a test, and some other things. The Order allows them to bypass the residency (and, I assume, other) requirements and petition for citizenship right away.



[ Parent ]
Kiss my draft (4.72 / 11) (#73)
by Skwirl on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:14:16 PM EST

All I ask for is that there is a draft, if such plans are executed. I don't see any reason why a plan of such enormity in impact on world peace shouldn't be supported by "ALL of US citizen's sons and daughters". Aren't we all created equal and therefore should carry all the burden of our collective heroic and sinful actions equally as well?
You're forgetting that the draft doesn't include women or elderly conservative farts, so the largest burden of war is always shouldered by one unlucky generation of 18 to 20-something men. As a current member of that group, I can say without hesitation, Fuck The Draft.

--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
Sure, that's normal, (3.00 / 1) (#204)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:04:48 AM EST

just not fair in times of big wars. And this one has all the ingredients to be a big one. If you f**k the draft, because you don't like the war your country is engaging in, then f**k you for not doing anything to change the policies in a way, that you wouldn't need the f**cking  draft.

If the US would be in real danger and really be attacked on its soil in massive ways, would you still run away and let others do the dirty job of defending your life?

And BTW, if women are so eager to absolutely serve in the same manner men are serving in the Armed Forces, then they should be drafted as well.

May be that would make them think about the wisdom of their own emancipation a little bit more thoroughly and would help to purge the "women's rights and equality" debate from its current "gender-war-like silliness".

[ Parent ]

draft? (4.60 / 5) (#89)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:22:41 PM EST

No, the people who are already getting paid for this can handle it. The U.S. government in many cases paid for their college education, even medical school, in return for them agreeing to serve in the military. The rest of us paid for our schooling ourselves, and have made no such commitment.

[ Parent ]
you must be kidding ... (2.00 / 1) (#203)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:47:48 PM EST

since when is paying tuition costs an adaequate price to pay for someone's life? You can't pay for a life, dude.

My son could get a free education any day in Europe, if he wanted to. Just give me a break. Not everybody is so desperate to have to sell his life to Uncle Sam for dough. Some people do it for other reasons than simple self-interest.

And BTW, if the Armed Forces were put together by people motivated by monetary advantages alone, they would have very little chances to fight successfully, when the going gets tough. It shows immediately on the morale.

The best fighter is still the one who is convinced that what he is fighting for is ethically the right thing to do, not the one, who was drawn to it because of some lousy dollars or because he fell for the wrong propaganda. Even worse, if the service members think they engage in the wrong war.

Not that I don't respect what the US military does for its service members. Contrary, I think it's one of the best, fairest and most unifying educational setting I can think of.  But get down from your high horse. The US educational system is so underfunded by the American tax payer, that it is your own fault, if you  can't do better for yourself than living and accepting a system that is way too expensive for what it delivers.

It is certainly not reasonable to think that everybody is so desperately dependent on you  that "a service member has to be thankful for the opportunity to die for Uncle Sam, because Uncle Sam pays a chunk of his tuition". Uncle Sam has to be thankful for people who decide to serve. And it's a shame that young man with sugar daddies lack the character to serve. Your grandfather's generation seemed to have much more class in this regard. Fundamental decisions about war and service don't change.

But if you are going to get involved in a war, which will involve almost the whole continent (and that's what the war against terror is all about, because an attack on Saddam is just one piece of the puzzle), then the debate should involve the whole country and people like you should be confronted with the same tough decisions as anybody else.

One way to find out what the American people think about this war, would be to make them decide, if each of them had to decide if they want to send their sons and daughters or wives and husbands to war. Actually the only way to truly find out.

[ Parent ]

hmm (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by Delirium on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:38:47 AM EST

On the one hand you say that only someone who believes in what they're fighting for can make a good soldier, but on the other hand you suggest drafting people who obviously do not want to enter the military (if they did, they could've already done so). So you're saying the armed forces should purposely stock themselves with subpar soldiers before entering a war?

[ Parent ]
Good argument (5.00 / 2) (#248)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:42:40 AM EST

I just think the "threat" of a draft makes politicians as well as the population think more honest and seriously about the war they want or do not want to engage in.

Of course I have another background as the usual American, who is proud of his country and feels rightfully so that they were the good guys in WWII, fighting on the right side and helped us to contain Communism and save our lives in Western Germany and Berlin.

Imagine you had the experience that most of my generation could observe in their parents and grandparents. People, who went into wars, deliberately as a career choice or drafted, because they were forced, believing something, waking up after defeat and finding themselves to be part of a war that engaged in the most horrific atrocities on earth ever happened.

As with American WWII Veterans most of our elderlies started to think and talk about their experience much more often shortly before they thought their lives were going to end. The big moral "intellectual" revision about WWII was going on during the last ten to twenty years in Germany. There is a flood of documentaries. Not that there weren't any in the fifties and sixties, but they were different.  

Tragically, the young, the generation of my son and may be even my generation, are emotionally too distanced from it, to actually "get" it. They have the typical reaction of "Don't bother me again with history, I was not born at that time, I am not responsible, leave me alone, etc." It's that kind of counter reaction that starts a new thread of arguments among the "intellectual" liberals, which again have some unforeseen consequences.

The wrong people think it's ok to neglect ethics for the sake of political profiling. People say rightfully, they want to have the freedom to criticize Middle Eastern policies of Israel. What comes out of it is that Neo-Nazis pick up that argument to make their ugly face "fashionable" again. So, all is not as simple as it looks.

When I was young, we got the clues about WWII differently. We saw people not able to talk about their experiences without great pain. I don't remember my father ever be able to tell his story without crying. I remember his numerous returning nightmares. My mother couldn't watch real WWII movies, because she  couldn't stand hearing the (true and real) noise of the sirenes before the bombing attacks.

It brought all back the experience to be on the ground and not the hero soldier in the planes. So, I have another way of looking at wars, because I saw how people struggle with their memories. And I am absolutely sure that many Americans my age have the same experience watching and listening to their parent's experiences, just with the only difference that their parents felt the did something right, and our parents felt they did something wrong. That "little" difference is actually THE only issue that is really important.

So, what I think IS important, is that you try to imagine how you would have to live your whole life, if you turn out to be on the wrong side of a war and you are considered the bad guy.

Because that experience is sooo bad, I think it's fair to make a people equally responsible for it and let them share the burden (in case you end up as the bad guys) and the pride (in case you end up the good guys) together.

And I think it's worth to think throroughly about on which side you might end up. That's what a potential threat of a draft will make your "mental faculties" do.

[ Parent ]

The context is important (4.00 / 2) (#209)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:46:06 AM EST

Uncle Sam has to be thankful for people who decide to serve. And it's a shame that young man with sugar daddies lack the character to serve. Your grandfather's generation seemed to have much more class in this regard. Fundamental decisions about war and service don't change.

But the context they must be made in do change. It's one thing to be faced with a Hitler who was doing everything in his power to subjugate Europe, and a Japan that had committed a brazen attack upon us. (Yes, I know the terrorists did that, too, but they are a target that needs cunning and knowledge to hit, not mass armies.) It's another thing to be faced with a guerrilla war halfway across the world that was not being won and did not have our country's vital interests at stake. (Vietnam.) It's even another thing to make war in an area of the world, the Middle East, where the battle lines are much more complex, our history of invervention is quite questionable (who propped up Saddam in the first place? We did.), and a significant number of the people would gladly turn this into a war between Islamic and Western Civilization. Especially when some of our actions in the past 20 years have been questionable. It has nothing to do with whether young men have sugar daddies - it has everything to do with whether they trust their government to be acting morally and picking a fight that can be won over something that is truly important to us.

One way to find out what the American people think about this war, would be to make them decide, if each of them had to decide if they want to send their sons and daughters or wives and husbands to war. Actually the only way to truly find out.

I totally agree with that. But, if 60% say it's worth it, and 40% disagree, how do you think the 40% would react if they were told they had to anyway?

As for myself, my decision is no. Iraq is not worth it. And, in my opinion, we have done as much as we can in Afghanistan - we have dealt a serious setback to the terrorists and we have convinced others that harboring terrorists is a dangerous idea. It's time to wind it down, reserving the right to strike at terrorist targets when we detect them.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I fully understand your argumentation (1.00 / 1) (#242)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 09:51:44 AM EST

With regards to the 40 percent vs. 60 percent, it comes down to the fact that you have to accept a majority vote, unless you are one of the fierce defenders of benign and enlightened dictatorships in a less than perfect Republic... :-)

I am more an "we are all equal" junkie ...

[ Parent ]

Wait a minute (5.00 / 1) (#246)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:22:00 AM EST

With regards to the 40 percent vs. 60 percent, it comes down to the fact that you have to accept a majority vote,

There was a time where a majority (of the people who could vote) supported slavery in this country. But the minority kept protesting and sometimes defying the law until it was finally changed.

It's my view that if a country can't get enough volunteers to fight a war effectively than perhaps it shouldn't be fighting that war. The US had problems with that in the 60s. It had no problem getting people to volunteer in the 40s. And, no, it's not just the difference in society but the difference in the wars.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
another good argument (4.00 / 1) (#249)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:58:00 AM EST

but actually you always will get enough volunteers for a war, the right wars and the wrong wars. If you get volunteers for the wrong one, it means the propaganda machine was so successful influencing the people to believe that the wrong war is in fact the right war.

If you get the volunteers for the right war, then actually it may mean that the war is right and necessary.

Your slavery example is challenging, but I don't buy it so easily. The funny thing I learned is that during the time America declared its independence quite a number of blacks went to Nova Scotia, back to England and later to Sierra Leone (I think), because they thought that the Colonial Power of England was actually more fair with its earlier opposition to slavery than the US.

I can't say anything to that, because I don't know much about it. I guess, the founding fathers were aware of the slavery issue and the hypocricy of their bill of rights with regards to blacks. Why it took another eighty years to face that issue, I can only speculate about. I don't think that it was an active vote of the American people for slavery though, I think you always were divided and struggling about it.

[ Parent ]

Not just eighty years (none / 0) (#378)
by ariux on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 05:09:59 AM EST

Really twice that, in all but name - and even now there's a ways to go, in the old South. (It isn't like California there.)

[ Parent ]

It's not supported....by most young people (5.00 / 1) (#195)
by morkeleb on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:57:33 PM EST

4. All I ask for is that there is a draft, if such plans are executed. I don't see any reason why a plan of such enormity in impact on world peace shouldn't be supported by "ALL of US citizen's sons and daughters". Aren't we all created equal and therefore should carry all the burden of our collective heroic and sinful actions equally as well?

I haven't been hearing a lot of support for going to war with Iraq from people who are in their teens and twenties (both near me and in polls the press has been taking). Among older people (the Baby Boomers and such) - there is a lot of support about going in and annoyance at today's generation for not being civic minded enough to serve their country. But among the people who would have to do most of the fighting (young young people with no political power or voice yet), support is lukewarm or non-existent. In other words - things haven't changed too much since Dylan sang Masters of War.

That makes me sick. I am really sorry that your son is in the military and may be involved in whatever happens, but I do not want the draft to come back.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
well, I have never thought much about the draft (5.00 / 1) (#205)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:18:43 AM EST

before, I just think a country is more honest, if it carries the burden for its big decisions together.

I don't want to draft you, don't worry, I would be the last to be war gang-ho.

Actually one of the biggest weaknesses, I think, are people in the Armed Forces, who "need" a war to feel good about themselves. The tragic about the military services is that you wish members would never have to prove their professional skills.

Therefore it's good, if in peace times the service members get the best education possible, so that they have other experience of success than just the ones they may have, if they survive a just war and were fighting bravely.

[ Parent ]

and the problem stands... (5.00 / 1) (#287)
by Focx on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:03:09 PM EST

... and falls with our population. as here in germany, there are more old people in US then young people, so the old vote. no wonder the conservative forces get stronger here in europe vote by vote...
--- "Even anywhere, humans are always connected." - lain
[ Parent ]
Treason! (none / 0) (#329)
by vectro on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 12:56:45 PM EST

Your discussion of troop movements constitutes giving intelligence to the Enemy. We will be by shortly. Stay where you are.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Fall in line K5ers (3.50 / 24) (#36)
by Wondertoad on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:11:02 AM EST

Almost certainly: Hussein gassed 50,000 to 100,000 Kurds in an immense program of racial cleansing. Almost certainly: he has the capability to produce several very devastating chemical WMDs.  Maybe: he doesn't have nukes yet, but is close to having them.  Definite: he's a brutal dictator who rules by killing his own people in large numbers, who wants his even more brutal sons to take over for him, and who supports and exports terrorism.

But don't let that stop you from believing that the real problem is his oil (which we obviously don't need since we don't use it today), or that it's personal, or that it's stupid politicians' bloodlust, or that an actual invasion is politically viable without consulting congress, or that actual invasion plans are detailed in the New York Times, or that Hussein is a thoughtful military tactician who shows remarkable restraint in light of the eyes of the world.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the full situation. I'm just amazed that I'm the first to even try to contruct a reasonable counter argument -- maybe a devil's advocate, at this point -- because at this point in this article's lifetime, all we have is a chorus of "yeah!"s and very little substance.  I mean, frankly, I'm not the right person to write this; I doubt I'm the most well-informed on it.

What we have so far is a bunch of rumors followed by a pile-on.  From where I stand it is not a pretty picture.  It feels dishonest.  It's resolutely anti-journalism: we don't have all the facts, but we'll ignore the bits that we don't agree with, and we'll write something pseudo-intellectual that everyone can vigorously and comfortably agree with.  Yay K5!  If we try a little harder, we can have complete conformity of opinion; then we'll all get 5s and have worked out most of the truths of the world, right?


The US has nukes, definitely (4.10 / 10) (#38)
by fraise on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:24:33 AM EST

What we have so far is a bunch of rumors followed by a pile-on."

Your own post falls under your criticism. "Maybe" he doesn't have nukes yet, "almost certainly" is said twice, and you say "definite" for your idea that Hussein "supports and exports terrorism".

Mmmkay, the US definitely has nukes, and the US has supported and exported terrorism in its recent past, but we're democratic, right? So we don't call it terrorism, we call it "helping democracy" (Colombia, etc.). George W. Bush is the son of George Bush, who waged a war against Iraq, and his son wants to do the same thing, just like you assume Hussein does with his sons. Seeing that apparently we fit the same bill as Iraq, even better since we definitely have nukes and have even used them, I propose that we bomb ourselves into ... oh wait.

[ Parent ]
"Moral equivalency" more than just hard (3.14 / 7) (#40)
by Wondertoad on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:51:11 AM EST

You could go even further.  Somebody posted an antiwar.com link suggests that the US's attack at Waco is morally equivalent to Hussein's biological attack on the Kurds.

I doubt even Chomsky would try that kind of logic.

[ Parent ]

You're absolutely right ... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:37:34 PM EST

... differences of scale aside, Saddam never went on to say high-sounding things about freedom, liberty, justice and democracy.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Not just a rumor (2.75 / 4) (#39)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:33:56 AM EST

Hasn't our president named Iraq as part of the "axis of evil"? Doesn't that imply that at least he has considered action against the country and may be still considering it?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
How convenient! (4.00 / 3) (#43)
by Khedak on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:25:46 AM EST

I just think that nobody here would be at all surprised if we did attack Iraq. There's been talk about it since before we invaded Afghanistan. After all, before we did, Bush said that we had no interest in taking down the Taliban. And his generals told us that Afghanistan was target-poor, and there wasn't much to bomb.

Considering that we're still bombing the place 9 months later, I guess we found some targets. Military industry and applications have been booming, and to all indications it looks like the military is getting larger, not smaller.

As to the accusations against Saddam, I don't really doubt that he's committed some pretty heinous acts. The question is whether because he "gassed his own people!" justifies us bombing, killing and destroying more of those people. Except we'll be bombing your average Iraqis and not Kurdish refugees, but I guess its our job to exact vengeance, right?

By the way, does anyone have any reliable numbers on civilizan casualties in Afghanistan? I've been asking since the war started, but I can never get a straight answer. It would be nice to know what kind of clusterfuck we're turning these other countries into. I'll bet it's a different variety of clusterfuck from how they were before.

[ Parent ]
You must be kidding (4.16 / 12) (#46)
by Betcour on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:39:19 AM EST

Almost certainly: he has the capability to produce several very devastating chemical WMDs

Like every country in the world. Creating chemical weapons is within the capability of any amateur chemist and a Chemistry 101 book. Gas that kills are the easiest thing to make on earth. The components are available at your local supermarket. On the other hand we all know Russia has nukes, chemical and biological weapons of tremendous efficiency, yet I don't see Bush waging war on Russia anytime soon. It's always easier to bully the smaller guys, eh ?

Definite: he's a brutal dictator who rules by killing his own people in large numbers, who wants his even more brutal sons to take over for him, and who supports and exports terrorism.

Yeah, and we all know that US always wage war on dictators, right ? Augusto Pinochet killed people with the help of the CIA. Vladimir Poutine (yes, Bush latest best friend) is slaughtering Chechenia. Ariel Sharon is getting US help to destroy Palestinian houses while killing a few kids everyday and organising a new racist state like South-Africa. Let's not even get into the coup they tried to in Venezuela.
In North Korea lives the most horrible and strong dictatorship that ever roamed the 20th century (and the 21st so far). But they have no petrol, so they are not worried about a US attack anytime soon.

The US is supporting dictators whenever it fits them. What the US don't like is dictators that oppose them, like Bush or Kadafi. That's the reason they want to get at war with Iraq. And put another dictator in there, but one that will be a nice puppet.

But don't let that stop you from believing that the real problem is his oil (which we obviously don't need since we don't use it today)

You are uninformed : Iraq has been selling oil for quite a while and can use the money to buy a limited number of things in return (food and a few approved medicine). You might have Iraqui petrol in your car right now.

[ Parent ]
Red herrings (4.33 / 3) (#69)
by Irobot on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:59:37 PM EST

Your argument is poor because of the following:
Gas that kills are the easiest thing to make on earth.
Yes, but there is the practical matter of the will to use them. This point redirects the argument away from potentiality of Iraq's use of chemical weapons by not mentioning the first point in the article "Almost certainly: Hussein gassed 50,000 to 100,000 Kurds in an immense program of racial cleansing."
On the other hand we all know Russia has nukes, chemical and biological weapons of tremendous efficiency, yet I don't see Bush waging war on Russia anytime soon. It's always easier to bully the smaller guys, eh?
Again, the fact that Russia has not used them and is "bigger" than Iraq redirects the argument away from the point. In fact, it sort of strengthens the point; we can be almost certain that Russia will not use their weapons. Can the same be said of Iraq?
Yeah, and we all know that US always wage war on dictators, right?
The point is not what the US does (or has done). The point is that, in Wondertoad's opinion, Iraq fills the role of a clear and present danger. Make the accusation of hypocrisy - fine. But it doesn't serve to weaken the position that Iraq is dangerous.
You are uninformed : Iraq has been selling oil for quite a while and can use the money to buy a limited number of things in return (food and a few approved medicine). You might have Iraqui petrol in your car right now.
Here's the only valid point in the bunch. But it only addresses a small part of the argument; in fact, it actually only removes one of Wondertoad's supporting points (some might call them rants) and doesn't address the main thrust of the argument. I'll redirect you to gsabaco's entry a couple of comments above the parent post, where that debate belongs.

Just trying to enforce some argumentative validity...

Irobot

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The f
[ Parent ]

A reply... (4.50 / 4) (#70)
by AnAmericanSoldier on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:01:07 PM EST

1. Russia isn't a threat.. and at the momment we have a pretty good relation with that country. Yea.. your argument of attacking them in favor of the "little" guy is rather stupid.

2. Again.. on the Korean thing.. completely misinformed. We are still at a state of war(technicaly) with North Korea. Secondly South and North Korea are actually starting to work together on somethings. Families are actually getting to see each other that haven't sence the Korean war. And also, that would bring China in the mix, and chances are WWIII. So.. you expect us to actually do something that could cause WWIII. Again.. a rather stupid response.

3. While I totally agree about Chechenia, And I do believe our goverment in America has done some stupid shit in the past. But, Lets not forget that Iseral has been getting bombed. its kids killed, and literaly the whole middle east tried to topple them, lets not forget in the 40s how most of there people was litterly murdered by the millions, And this included almost every EU state. They didn't get to the place they are now, without some pushing from the world. And when they push back and actually say fuck the world, we got to defend our own, its "BOO HOO" cry for the inocents dieing.

4. Funny.. how most of the world is dictators in some form or sence of the word. From Iran to almost the whole Continent of Africa, to South America.. Again.. you want us to isolate ourselves from the world. And when we do.. we get blamed for all the stupid shit that comes from it as well.

5. Almost all the posts on K5 are completely anti-american, and yet.. there is seldom a post when america actually helps the world in which we do more often than not, The american people are the most helpful people in the world when it comes to aid and helping. We get bashed on for protecting ourselves and our interists that helps the american people. I do believe that it isn't perfect, but.. lets be honest, it is a system that almost every Nation on this planet wish they had, hence the key phrase "The American Dream". After every war, to include WWII, we have tried to build that country to a good foundation, to include Germany and Japan. It isn't being nice to America it is about being good for the world. And trying to do good. But.. yet America gets bashed for trying.. where the rest of the world sets back.. and waits then reacts. We take a proactive stance.. the world takes a reactive stance. I think I like the american way better.

[ Parent ]

What the hell did you expect? (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by kcbrown on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 02:23:59 AM EST

But, Lets not forget that Iseral has been getting bombed. its kids killed, and literaly the whole middle east tried to topple them, lets not forget in the 40s how most of there people was litterly murdered by the millions, And this included almost every EU state. They didn't get to the place they are now, without some pushing from the world. And when they push back and actually say fuck the world, we got to defend our own, its "BOO HOO" cry for the inocents dieing.
Yeah. What exactly did you expect to happen when the land that Israel now occupies was taken by force by the western powers and "given" to them? Think the people that were displaced said "oh, well, they just dealt with the Holocaust so it's okay for the western powers to grab our land and give it to them"?

If we were so fucking concerned about the welfare of the Jews, then why didn't we offer them a large piece of our own land, huh? Offer them that, or nothing. But no, it's much easier to take someone else's land and give that to the Jews, right? Makes us look all righteous without us having to give up anything real.

I don't give a shit whether or not the Jews think they have Religious Title to the land in Israel. That land has changed hands so many times that probably everyone in the world has some kind of claim to it. If we actually cared all that much for their welfare, we would have given some of our own land to the Jews and let them create a State of Israel within our own boundaries. But nooooo...

So what the hell do you expect the native people of Palestine to think and to do, huh?

[ Parent ]

Christians (none / 0) (#330)
by vectro on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:01:18 PM EST

would like to have Jerusalem and Bethleham, too...

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
This may be nitpicking but... (3.00 / 1) (#74)
by pyra on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:14:18 PM EST

I'm pretty sure that Sharon was democratically elected in Israel. Not that that necessarily justifies or vilifies any of his actions.

Oh yeah, and what's wrong with Poutine? Is gravy now to be considered a weapon of mass destruction because of it has been cruelly and consistently used to melt millions of innocent cheese Curds?</ObCanadianEh>

--


--
"It was half way to Rivendell when the drugs began to take hold" - Hunter S. Tolkien "Fear and Loathing in Barad Dur"
[ Parent ]
Ha! (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by tzanger on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:28:17 PM EST

Vladimir Poutine

I wish I could rate parts of a post. +5 funny from me!



[ Parent ]
Well said (4.00 / 2) (#51)
by jseverin on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:02:27 PM EST

Honest debate is necessary. And I have confidence that the community here will not blindly conform to either side of this debate. If there's a surfeit of anti-invasion comments here, I think that's probably because a person's natural aversion to violence leads them to oppose all war. That's understandable.

Someone who does some thinking about the situation, though, will probably conclude that a timely change of government in Iraq is a worthwhile goal that justifies violence should other options fail.

I was doing some wall repair recently and plastered in the wall I found a New York Times from January 1941. It was pretty much filled with debate about whether or not the US should enter the war. Interestingly enough, most of the material was exasperated outrage from anti-war proponents. They were incensed that anyone would suggest (as some were suggesting at the time) that the USA should proactively get involved with the defeat of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. They sensibly advocated peace. They were moral people opposed to our nation's involvement in any violence. And they were totally, unequivocally wrong.

Of course the situations aren't identical. But there's plenty of similarity there. The idea that we shouldn't wait for evil to come knocking on our door before doing something to stop it is the important point.

And that's a lesson we apparently didn't learn very well from Adolf. The USA's shortsighted foreign policy has contributed a great deal to these horrible situations - in Iraq, central Asia, Africa, Europe. We need to change our ways. And we need to clean up the mess that, partially, is our fault.

Finally, I don't understand what you mean about not needing oil. We do use a lot of it.

[ Parent ]

Sure, but it's not that easy ... (4.20 / 5) (#59)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:27:01 PM EST

They were moral people opposed to our nation's involvement in any violence. And they were totally, unequivocally wrong.

You forget that only after the war, in hindsight, the involvement of the US in the war, turned out to have been absolutely the morally right decision. And it was the discovery of how horrific the atrocities of the SS have been after the defeat, that lead the recognition how wrong in hindsight the appeasement attempt from Chamberlain was and how tragic it was to not have been involved in the defeat of Hitler's Germany earlier.

But how do you know, if you have a situation in Iraq, which compares with regards to the level of atrocities to Hitler's Germany?

If it would be so easy to recognize such situations, you wonder, why the US didn't see the atrocities in Rwanda fast enough for example, or why they didn't seem to be too concerned with the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge early on.

The problem is that once you make a justification for attacking Iraq on the basis of Saddam being engaged in "genocide" of his own population, then logically the US would have to make that decision in other countries too.

And it seems to me that the US can't do that without being ready to attack half of the globe any time.

[ Parent ]

Absolutely, except... (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by Irobot on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:22:57 PM EST

The problem is that once you make a justification for attacking Iraq on the basis of Saddam being engaged in "genocide" of his own population, then logically the US would have to make that decision in other countries too.
But it isn't the only reason. There are other factors involved; not the least of which is the fact that the US has recently come under direct fire and that there is a widespread belief that Saddam Hussein supports and would attempt to further those attacks.

It seems to me that Korea and Viet Nam have tempered (at least somewhat) the desire to impose morality by force. (Morality in the sense that leaders that commit atrocities must be deposed; I'm not comparing the situations themselves, just the idea that "stopping communism" and "stopping atrocities" are both the imposition of a certain morality.) Notice that I said "tempered," not "cured." I think there has to be a set of compelling reasons for the US to take action, of which "stopping atrocities" is a pretty good one.

I'm not belittling your point. As the subject line says, you're absolutely correct. I'm just pointing out that the debate lies in a larger set of factors...

Irobot

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn
[ Parent ]

correct, but what can you base just on a belief? (none / 0) (#101)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:06:44 PM EST

not the least of which is the fact that the US has recently come under direct fire and that there is a widespread belief that Saddam Hussein supports and would attempt to further those attacks.

There is a widespread belief that Saddam would support that, but I wonder, if there are not other, dumber people, who would actually be more prone to further support those attacks.

Don't you think, if Saddam actually wanted to support the attacks of Americans on their soil, he would have done that since a long time and would have given safe haven for Bin Laden in Iraq for example?

So far Saddam had an interest to fight against his own people for leadership role of his country among other islamic countries. He hasn't made much Bin Laden-style propaganda to kill the Western infidels.

So, I would understand, if other Arab nations, his neighbors, would be concerned about Saddam fighting against them, but wouldn't have thought a first strike from Iraq against the US soil was probable.

The fact that the US is showing strong support for Israel and their willingness to not allow extremist's terror actions against Israel go unchallenged, should hint to Saddam that he can be sure to get beaten up, if he ever would actively support the global network of terrorists against the US.

All I am saying it that it is practically impossible to protect yourself against terrorist's attacks by means of preemptive strikes, I think.

Most probably it will be a slowly escalating thingy like between the PA and Israel. One attack here, another there, each one not big enough to start the big war, but not harmless enough to let them go unanswered.

I mean, if there were another attack of the meanness of 9/11, the answer of the US wouldn't be preemptive strike anymore, but an act of true self-defense. Afghanistan was not a preemptive strike and therefore it got the support from the international community. You might evaluate the success of that action as you wish, it hasn't stopped or changed the threat.

Similarly I wouldn't think that a preemptive strike against Irak would change the terrorist threat for the US as well. I think, it is the Arab nations, who have to attack Saddam, because they have been his target. If all the Arab nations, Iraq and the PA are cuddling each other up in the fight against the Western Infidels, then it's time to get serious. Of course, you may say, then it's too late.

It's typical that Saddam is wasting Kofi Annan's time to smooze talk him into believing he is listening to him. It's as much worth as Arafat's willingness to make peace. Both seem not to be dumb enough to attack the US directly, but let other idiots try to do that for them. And there is no shortage in idiots, so ...

And of course, stopping "atrocities" is my first choice to justify military interventions, I agree with you here.

[ Parent ]

Yes, I agree (none / 0) (#162)
by jseverin on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:13:05 PM EST

There are many places where the US should have done or should do more to stop the evil being perpetrated. Iraq is one such place. If the US manages to remove Hussein that's one bad situation that they've made better that it was before. It's a start.

You say that should the US invade Iraq, "logically the US would have to make that decision in other countries too". I think this would be a great result. Imagine if the United States were seriously committed to improving the human condition all over the globe and were willing to back up words with action. I would be very proud of my country then.

But the US' previous actions have shown that they almost always conduct foreign policy in the name of short-sighted self-interest, so I think this is sadly unlikely.

I also think that your comparison of the "level of atrocities" between Hussein and Hitler is not so useful. Both men and their regimes were/are solidly malign. Was Stalin more evil than Hitler? What about Pinochet? Is gang rape worse than torture? All of it should stop. Let's get started on it.

[ Parent ]

rape of nanking... (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by minus273 on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:14:51 PM EST

us troops had to watch thousands of chinese get slaughtered from the embassy because the political atmosphere wasnt interested in getting involved in another war ( World war I fatigue) ..

[ Parent ]
Some questions remain (none / 0) (#131)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:28:24 PM EST

Someone who does some thinking about the situation, though, will probably conclude that a timely change of government in Iraq is a worthwhile goal that justifies violence should other options fail.

But though other options fail, will warfare work? What will the situation after it be? Will this be better than the situation before it?

[ Parent ]

Rumors? (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:23:58 PM EST

What we have so far is a bunch of rumors followed by a pile-on. From where I stand it is not a pretty picture. It feels dishonest. It's resolutely anti-journalism

Most of my article is just a bunch of questions. If you have the answers, put 'em right here.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the full situation.

Well then, instead of just complaining about that maybe you should start trying to find things out. Staying uninformed about something so massive is a dereliction of your duties as a citizen.

[ Parent ]

There are a lot of brutal dictators (5.00 / 3) (#136)
by svampa on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:05:59 PM EST

There are a lot of brutal dictators all over the world. Why is Iraq in the top of the list of people to be saved?

By the way, Turkey and Irak could have a contest which one kills more Kurdos, I'm not sure who would win, and Turkey is a lovely ally.

I'm sure the budget for this war will be 10 times the budget aproved for 20 years to help Africa, that could save several millions of people of famine, a lot more than the 100.000 Kurdos.

If the goal is to save lifes, I can think in a dozen ways to spend the monstrous budget for war, that could save 100 times more lifes, and less destructive... and, believe it o not, I have patented method that prevents any colateral damage... children and women dead, famine refugees, people with their houses destroyed.. etc.

I think I will stick on thinking there is another aim that it's not exactly love and emphaty for Iraq people.



[ Parent ]
There is just one solution for the stupidity (2.20 / 5) (#45)
by psychologist on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:34:11 AM EST

and hysterical madness of George W. Bush:

Colin Powell for President, 2004!

heh, "what really happened". (none / 0) (#126)
by wrffr on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:08:04 PM EST

Check out what DIDN'T really happen for a nice debunking of lots of the silly conspiracy theory claptrap that Justin Raimondo has been spewing.

[ Parent ]
Uday Hussain is Insane (3.83 / 6) (#47)
by bayers on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:40:10 AM EST

Saddam Hussain's heir, Uday is insane and will have missiles capable of striking Paris.

Ask Frenchs (2.00 / 1) (#138)
by svampa on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:14:42 PM EST

Do you mean France asked USA this war because it is afraid of Iraq?



[ Parent ]
the lie of middle east oil dependency (4.61 / 21) (#48)
by gsabaco on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:40:39 AM EST

To quote an earlier comment:
"Why is Iraq a threat to us?"
Iraq is a threat to our oil supply.

Iraq is NO threat to our oil supply. Though this is often claimed in middle east related conflicts, the middle east accounts for about 21% of our oil imports. (That's around 2.5 million barrels per day) Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela send us nearly twice as much oil as the middle east does. If we needed, we could certainly buy oil from Russia, the second largest exporter of oil in the world.

Of course, just mentioning imports doesn't paint the full picture. The US produces 9.8 million barrels of oil per day, of which we export (why?) 0.9 million barrels. Until recently, the majority of oil used in the US was from domestic sources, not imports. Domestic oil production has been declining since 1970, when it was well over 11 million barrels per day. Our production in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay alone is more than 1 million barrels per day lower than it was at its peak. If we attempted to ramp up production to return to 1970 productions, and stopped selling our oil to other people, we'd have plenty.

Also worth noting, at our current rate of import from the middle east, if we decided to use our national reserves rather than import any oil from them, our reserves would last "only" 33 years. And that is assuming we don't increase oil production at all.

Of course, the real reason people believe that we depend on the middle east is because the major oil companies like to use the constant middle east problems as a reason to raise rates. I'm not saying it is a conspiracy or anything, it's just normal business practice to find excuses to increase rates whenever possible. (This seems like it wouldn't make sense to the casual non-big-business observer, who probably thinks that prices are based on supply and demand rather than "highest price the market will bear" which are two rather different things.) It is the reason that despite being "forced" to raise rates because of increasing crude oil costs, the oil companies seem to produce record profits every year. (Well, it helps that the government also gives them plenty tax breaks and subsidies, but that is a seperate issue.)

The real question is, will the average consumer ever realize that the supposed dependency on middle east oil is a lie? I think not. As long as it is good for the oil companies to continue the lie, they will continue to lie. As long as it makes a good excuse for our conservative christian government to erradicate muslims, they will continue to lie too. Why ruin a good thing?

A few relevant (non)links:

  • http://www.cis.state.mi.us/mpsc/reports/energy/02summer/oilimports.htm
  • http://starfire.ne.uiuc.edu/ne201/course/topics/resource_usage/oil_consumption.h tml
  • http://www.lookoutmtn.com/Documents/Sources_of_United_States_Oil_Supply.pdf
  • http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/milestones/petroleum.html (why do only kids get nice pictures?)


real links (4.66 / 3) (#76)
by TheLogician on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:19:42 PM EST

Please people, I can't stand it when a URL is text instead of hyperlinked text. I bet 90% of the people who would have considered checking out your relevant links didn't because they weren't one click away.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, I'm lazy (none / 0) (#165)
by gsabaco on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:32:33 PM EST

After I got through writing the whole thing at 11:40 AM, having not yet gone to sleep, I was tired and just tossed the URLs in there and didn't bother actually making them links. I know, I know, it is better to link stuff, but oh well. Anyone who really cared could get there, most people probably didn't care all that much. And the links weren't mostly all that interesting anyway (the second and third one wasn't bad, but the rest had so little information, and I hate PDF versions anyway)... It was surpisingly (for me anyway) hard to find much information about this topic.

[ Parent ]
It's the price that matters. (5.00 / 4) (#142)
by astrosmurf on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:32:18 PM EST

Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela send us nearly twice as much oil as the middle east does. If we needed, we could certainly buy oil from Russia, the second largest exporter of oil in the world.
Canada, Mexico and Venezuela does not send oil out of the goodness of their hearts, the US buys it. If the middle east oil supply is cut of, the oil price will rise dramatically, as europe and Japan need to replace middle east imports. Hence the oil price will rise dramatically, hence the US will be forced to pay more to Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, hence the US economy will be seriously hurt.

[ Parent ]
The Middle East can't change the price (5.00 / 1) (#224)
by Demiurge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:31:55 AM EST

To have the effect on the US that the oil crisis of the 1970s did, OPEC would have to raise oil prices to $80 a barrel, something far out of their reach.  America is far less dependent on Middle East oil than it was thirty years ago.


If OPEC even tried, Russia, Venezuela, or a number of secondary producers would step in to fill the gap.

[ Parent ]
Venezuela (5.00 / 1) (#299)
by cr8dle2grave on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 11:53:13 PM EST

Venezuela is a member of OPEC and is, I believe, the single largest foreign supplier of oil to the U.S. market.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
No, but close (none / 0) (#379)
by ariux on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 05:11:19 AM EST

Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Nigeria (I think).

[ Parent ]

The nature of Iraq oil supply threats... (5.00 / 3) (#252)
by Greg Weiss on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:23:27 PM EST

You are right that the persian gulf only accounts for 21% of our oil imports (and 13% of our total oil usage and thus about 5% of our total energy usage). I'd agree that based on those criteria, strictly speaking we aren't "dependent" on Iraqi or even middle-eastern oil. There are a few caveats worth keeping in mind when honestly assessing our degree of dependency (and independency)...

1) Don't forget that the middle east accounts for ~75% of Japan's oil imports, and ~40% of Europe's oil imports. (source: DOE Persian Gulf Fact Sheet)Those are our allies, right? Plus who want's prices of the goods we import from them to go up? It's annoying that they bitch at us for protecting their interests, but we put up with it so that they don't feel obliged to develop stronger militaries.

2) While it's not an issue of 'dependence' per se, oil supply (and withholding therefrom) affects oil prices and does affect our economy significantly. Check out how correlated oil prices are with the consumer price index and inflation. It's striking, really. The correlation with U.S. GDP is also visible, albeit less direct.

3) There's another whole discussion we could have about oil reserves and swing producers which have the ability to affect pricing beyond a simple supply/demand analysis.

As far as your "real reason" goes, while I've observed the price rises and subsequent profit spikes, I haven't seen enough evidence (or lack of evidence) to draw any conclusions about outright corruption. But I will say this. Even in the case of partial corruption, Madison's theory of factions still applies. Oil companies can only push policies that align with their interests if they consist of a significantly large piece of the US economic pie and those policies don't conflict with other large factions. Otherwise, other economic interests in the US will push their concerns aside. Oil companies may have been dominant in the past. I'm not sure that's going to be the case over the next 30 years. Currently, US oil contributes a declining amount to US GDP and is down to 3.2% of it.

--GW

[ Parent ]

How dare you... (5.00 / 2) (#298)
by cr8dle2grave on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 11:44:43 PM EST

Bring facts into what is a perfectly good rantfest ;).

But seriously, you've given a very good synopsis of an area very few people understand.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
10 Answers (3.12 / 16) (#54)
by Anatta on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:07:15 PM EST

  1. Saddam is attempting to get weapons of mass destruction, notably nuclear weapons. You can read what the former director of his Nuclear Weapons program has to say about where he is in his quest.
  2. Very little that can be done (other than removal) against a dictator who has no qualms killing his own people. We've had sanctions on him for 10 years and they've done much more harm than good. We know that Saddam has sold the food in his oil for food program and put that money into weapons. Nothing is working, and he is still seeking WMD. At some point, a new democratically-elected leader sounds pretty good.
  3. Oust Saddam, install a democratic (republic?) political structure. Possibly rinse, repeat across the Middle East.
  4. Depends; we could throw our support behind the Iraqi National Congress and try something similar to what we did in Afghanistan, or we could try another Desert Storm style operation (likely based in Qatar rather than Saudi Arabia.)
  5. There are side effects to every action we take or do not take. The question, therefore, is: what is the best possible result for all people involved, that creates the least upheaval, and positions the world for peace and prosperity. Democratic governments in Palestine and in Iraq would certainly change the Middle East a great deal, and make life there much better as well as secure some more safety in the West.
  6. No one knows the complete goals of this proposed action. Some would like to see all of the dictators knocked down in the Middle East and replaced by democratic regimes, others would prefer to see something like Egypt and Jordan. There are differences of opinion in Bush's cabinet, and no one knows who Bush will ultimately listen to. Czech Intelligence Officials have been saying for the past year that Iraq is connected with 9/11 and Al Qaeda, and now Saddam's stepson tried to learn to fly at the same flight school as the hijackers. Making the case that Iraq is sponsoring terrorism likely would not be all that hard to do. We also should not forget that the US and Britain are technically still at war with Iraq.
  7. Again, it depends on what your desires are in the Middle East. Ask Powell, you'll get a different answer than Rumsfeld; ask Bush and you'll get a different answer than Rice. Right now it's getting obvious that Iraq is the next step in ending Al Qaeda's "global reach".
  8. Making Iraq a bastion of democracy in the Middle East would certainly cause the Saudis and the Mullahs in Iran to start worrying, and would likely cause the citizens of those countries to start making more noise (especially Iran). Japan and Germany went from bombed-out messes to industrial powerhouses in less than 50 years, so it is certainly possible to do much better post-war. Afghanistan's economy will likely be much stronger this year than it was last year (especially given the entrepreneurial opium farming that's sprouting up again).
  9. Palestine/Israel is really just a distraction. I found it very odd that two nuclear powers were talking war, yet Israel/Palestine was still getting headlines ahead of India/Pakistan. Also, going after Iraq may show the leaders of "moderate" Arab countries that we mean business, which may make them more anxious to push for acceptance of Camp David. Now that Bush has called for Democracy in Palestine, all of the unelected Middle Eastern rulers are likely wondering how much longer they will be in office, and therefore want to see peace between Palestine and Israel.
  10. Bush is trying to reshape the world and make it a freer, and maybe even "better" place, much as Reagan did with the Soviets.
You want Bush to announce his Iraq plan, however he has made no plan yet. Given the numerous factions among his cabinet, it is likely that Bush himself does not know what he will ultimately do in Iraq. So far he has done little except talk tough, and not even that tough. You are jumping the gun a bit in demanding an explanation for... nothing...

Given the ease of finding reasoned responses to these questions on the net, I think I've just been trolled.


My Music

Buzzwords I hate... (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by Mishkin on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:57:21 PM EST

"...is attempting to get weapons of mass destruction..." (emphasis mine)

I have heard both biological & "dirty-bomb" fission weapons touted as being "weapons of mass destruction". Do these really fall into such a categorization? Yes, they kill people but they do not "destroy" objects. Carpet bombing or a nuclear blast results in mass destruction but does loss of human life via biological means count as such?

Either way the pols just love this tag line. Funny how Israel isn't publicly lamblasted for acquiring these categorized objects that massively destroy but Iraq is. Perhaps Bagdad can just claim they are arming themselves defensively against the threat to the west of them.

"Hah, hah. Charade you are..."
- Eric Cartman


[ Parent ]
The difference (none / 0) (#221)
by sigwinch on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:01:10 AM EST

Funny how Israel isn't publicly lamblasted for acquiring these categorized objects that massively destroy but Iraq is.
Israel has a stated policy of peace, and even though it has WMD, it has refrained from using them even under dire provocation.

Iraq has a stated policy of extermination of its opponents, and has done so, and has not used WMD only because its toys were taken away during the Gulf War.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

"Democratic" = "likes us" ? (none / 0) (#265)
by John Milton on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:11:23 PM EST

An Iraqi government could be either "democratic" or a "friendly ally." It couldn't be both, because any democratically elected government will hate the U.S. No government could be considered democratic so long as it's citizens chose to hate the U.S. To hate the U.S. is a sure sign that some demagogue has risen to power and is teaching his people to hate the U.S. Democracy can not exist while hate mongerers continue to indoctrinate people in their terror. If a democratic election was held in Iraq today, Saddam would probably still be elected. This is proof that democracy is not as simple as letting everyone vote their opinion. First, they have to know which opinion is the right opinion. Democracy is an art that the civilised must bring to the less fortunate.

Personally, it does not bother me that most of the world lives under dictatorships. I think democracy is over-hyped anyways.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Why Iraq Has To Go... (2.31 / 22) (#55)
by thelizman on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:09:17 PM EST

Top Ten List (drums pleeeze).

  1. Nobody should ever be a world leader when their name rhymes with "sodomy"
  2. Nearly half a million troops from 30 countries including all but one of his neighbors came together to kick his ass, smacked him around, then left him in power. Was he grateful? NO! He's still talking shit like a punk bitch.
  3. Almost a million dead Kurds - men, women, and tweet wittle babies - GASSED by Saddam for not kissing his ass.
  4. Oil - Lets fucking admit it folks, we live off oil. Until you - yes YOU Mr. American and European consumer - force the introduction of practical alt.energy methods, we're at the mercy of a guy whose name (quote aptly) rhymes with sodomy.
  5. This guy executes everyone from your average gay man on street (for being gay) to his own servants (on mere suspician) - sometimes by his own hand. Any good overthrow is rooted in a leaders disrespect for the common man and oppression of society.
  6. Two words: Nuclear Weapon. This dickcheese has been working furiously getting his own personal nuclear arsenal since the late 70's. If it weren't for an Israeli airstrike in 84, and the Gulf War, he'd have had one 15 years ago. And where do you think he's going with that nuke?
  7. Lack of gun safety: Like all tin pot dictators, this fucknut fires his gun into the air at celebrations. THOSE BULLETS COME BACK DOWN ASSHOLE! Any moron this stupid with a firearm deserves to die.
  8. Since well before the fall of Afghanistan, Saddam has been a prime contributor to terrorist activities. While he's not linked with al-qaeda, only a blithering slobbering drooling fool could ignore his obvious financial and technical support of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aksa Matyrs Brigade, and any other ak yeilding bandanda wearing group of terrorists (including a few domestic terrorist groups in the US - but that's classified so forget you heard it).
  9. Lust for power: This guy has it in for every one of his neighbors. There are old scores to settle with Iran, oil to be taken from Saudi Arabia, land to be taken from that little strip we call Jordan, and of course Syria is ripe for the picking. Prior to the Gulf war, Iraq (once the cradle of civilization, Baghdad was home to 11 universities prior to Saddamy coming to power) hasn't seen a years peace until the gulf war, and the price of peace there was way too high.
  10. He has no fashion sense. I mean, the uniforms the guy wears aren't even all that nice (and military uniforms - save for the US Army's - are supposed to be damn snazzy), and the business suits he wears when not playing 'little dictator' reek of Wal-Mart and JC Penny
Believe me, there are better things I'd rather do than hang out in a desert where I have sleep with one eye open to keep the camel spiders off me, and I can't even get dressed without checking my boot for scorpions, but knowing I could prevent the 21st century equivalent of Hitler from becoming thus, I'd gladly put the bullet in his forehead myself.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Response in good humour.. (4.50 / 2) (#65)
by EvilNoodle on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:45:59 PM EST

1. Or have name that's a slang term for female genitalia such as "bush"

2. Sorry for not bowing down to the great USA

3. As opposed to being stary bombed by stupid gung-ho pilots

4. And that's their fault?

5. Since when did you give a shit about that unless it makes good propaganda to justify protecting your interests.

6. Prevent being invaded by the only country to ever drop a nuke (or two) on a foreign country.

7. There goes Texas

8. Like the CIA who helped to get him whre he is today. Man I hate those terrorist orgs.

9. make sense when you spend your life trying not to get shot.


Next time you're standing next to Mr Minge don't bother with the bullit in the head - just shoot the guy standing next to him.

[ Parent ]
sur rebuttal (in good humor) (none / 0) (#71)
by thelizman on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:06:13 PM EST

1. Or have name that's a slang term for female genitalia such as "bush"
How shortsighted can you be? We have Dick, Bush, and Colon. Sexuality is fully represented in this government. Of course, props to Brittain for having a guy named "Blair"...
2. Sorry for not bowing down to the great USA
You can be forgiven, but only if you kiss the Queens ring (again, props to our 'lapdogs' in the UK).
3. As opposed to being stary bombed by stupid gung-ho pilots
Eh? Please elaborate.
4. And that's their fault?
Considering he seeks to control it as much as possible, it's rather obvious there is a great share of the blame to go around to him as well. More or less, though, it's your fault, my fault, rusty's fault, and even the Pope's fault.
5. Since when did you give a shit about that unless it makes good propaganda to justify protecting your interests.
Since when did I not give a shit about it? Not to sound like a guest on Jerry Springer but 'you don' know me, you don' know who I is, so you bes shut yo damn mouf, biatch'.
6. Prevent being invaded by the only country to ever drop a nuke (or two) on a foreign country.
We never, ever used a nuke. We did use atom bombs in a time of war to bring an enemy to its knees, and saving more lives than it cost (and anyone who argues otherwise is completely ignorant of Japanese culture at that time). Rememeber, Nuke != Atomic.
7. There goes Texas
Spoken from the depths of ignorance. It is illegal to fire a gun into the air in Texas. Moreover, no self respecting texan would ever waste a bullet by shooting it at the sky. They learned a long time ago you won't hit it.

Just an aside note - and I don't mean to insult you but rather spotlight that you are truly ignorant and operating on stereotypes with regard to your comments about Texas - they have some of the stricter gun laws in the US. I have more freedom in carrying and using a firearm here in Arizona, back in my home state of North Carolina, or in states like Idaho and Wyoming than I did when I lived in Texas. Do yourself a favor and do some practical comparisons instead of just perpetuating the same ignorant myths.
8. Like the CIA who helped to get him whre he is today. Man I hate those terrorist orgs.
The CIA never helped him get where he was - he did that by himself. Why do people like you think that the US has to back all the tin-pot dictators of the world? Do you think the Husseins, Pol-Pots, and such of the world are stupid?
9. make sense when you spend your life trying not to get shot.
Eh?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Funny you should say... (2.00 / 3) (#145)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:39:26 PM EST

Before the last election there was a Conservative (right-wing) party political broadcast, aimed at preventing Labour getting re-elected.

Imagine if you will, dark, blurry, shaky camera work, tearful girl filming herself and saying "Oh my God, it's all my fault, I got us into this mess..."

... and mix to the caption "The Ditch Blair Project"

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 ]
Are you an idiot? (2.76 / 13) (#58)
by Jman1 on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:25:33 PM EST

Do you really think that Bush *wouldn't* have a majority of Americans in support of a war on Iraq? Seriously?

I know it's difficult sometimes, but you have to remember that just because something seems so obvious to you that you can't imagine anyone disagreeing with you doesn't make it so.

And for the record, when do you think it'd be a good time to fight Sadaam? After he gets nukes? Oh, we should just prevent him from doing so? Why don't we send some inspectors to make sure he's not making 'em?

Can you tell me (3.40 / 5) (#64)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:45:03 PM EST

why the US is more concerned about the nukes Saddam might or might not have yet, but doesn't seem that much concerned about the nukes of any other country with large numbers of extremists in their population and involved in developing or stockpiling nukes?

[ Parent ]
One reason that I can see... (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by beergut on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:21:32 PM EST

... is that Saddam has already proven that he is stupid enough, and insane enough, to use them. He proved that by using them on his own people (i.e., gassing the Kurds in the North,) so what makes you think he wouldn't find a way to use them against the Great Satan?

That said, I think we'd do a lot better withdrawing all our troops from everywhere around the globe, and not wasting money, lives, and resources on "peacekeeping missions" in places in which the occupants obviously do not wish for peace. That money would be far better spent researching alternate energy sources, or developing our own oil reserves. But, I guess that's not the real endgame.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

yes, somewhat I agree, but (4.00 / 2) (#85)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:09:37 PM EST

it seems to me you haven't made a real decision.

If you can conclude from Saddam's previous actions that his "genocide" intentions and capacities are of the order of a Himmler, then you have to make the decision to go into a war against him.

The question is if you can make a decision and conclusion based on the facts. What makes me suspicious is that the current decision to go against Saddam is based on facts that occurred before 9/11. So the facts have actually not changed from before 9/11. But the evaluation of the facts have changed, otherwise the US would have had the same plans they have today before 9/11.

I think it would be great if the US would engage all its might and invest in its own people within its own borders. The people would need that very much and a population, which is not suffering too much self-inflicted hardship, is the best guarantee for not falling into the propaganda traps of the wrong preachers.

There is no doubt that when the US is attacked, the whole nation will unite in self-defense. There is much doubt that when the US attacks first, the whole nation will unite behind that attack when the going gets tough, unless it is heavily manipulated into believing that the attack is an act of true necessary self-defense.

I said that before, the crux for me is to make a decision, when a preemptive strike is justified. Considering the technology of the weapons used that decision is much harder to make these days.

[ Parent ]

are you talking about France, or the UK? [n/t] (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by Delirium on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:25:00 PM EST



[ Parent ]
US is not necessarily more concerned (4.00 / 2) (#94)
by pexatus on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:28:32 PM EST

To keep extremists in Pakistan, for instance, from getting their hands on nukes, the US government can work cooperatively with the Pakistani government to ensure the nukes are secured. There's no one in the US who thinks that this kind of cooperation is a bad idea.

Trying to keep Saddam from using nukes is a bit trickier, since he's got his own country within which to work. Therefore, in the US government's opinion, preventing him from hitting the US with nukes requires action (war) that is not as likely to be universally supported. So it's not that the US is more concerned about Saddam's nukes than it is about any other nukes. It's that the only action Bush can think of to prevent Iraq from using nukes is one that requires the PR machine to be warmed up first, so on the news, you hear more about how Iraq is evil than about how Pakistani militants are evil.

[ Parent ]

I do understant this, (none / 0) (#105)
by mami on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:15:06 PM EST

but it has the side of effect of judging President Bush's words like you would judge dogs. The ones who bark a lot, don't bite. I don't think that's what Pres. Bush wants either, don't you think?

[ Parent ]
Freedom and Government (none / 0) (#264)
by cam on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:01:57 PM EST

Do you really think that Bush *wouldn't* have a majority of Americans in support of a war on Iraq?

At a fourth of july BBQ, one lady there said she didnt mind giving up some freedoms for safety. Considering freedom is born with a human, you cant trade away your freedom anymore than you can trade away your mind or your soul. You can have you liberty restricted though, which is what Government IMO is doing.

The terrorists killed 3000 or so, out of 300 million that is around 0.00001 %. Those are odds that I can live with. Between the American, Australian, British and Canadian Special Forces in Afghanistan I think Al Queda is underground and had most of their protective infrastructure ruined. They are also a known entity now. I feel safer for those men and women doing their job over there.

I dont feel safer domestically from Government. Liberty doesnt need to be restricted by Government, certainly not on mandate. This whole give up your freedom for safety is wrong. You cant give up freedom, if someone is removing or restricting your right to personal liberty, then it is tyranny.

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

The author of this is a moron. (1.41 / 41) (#60)
by ganglian on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:34:18 PM EST


First off you are a fucking clueless twit...

<If Bush thinks this adventure is worth billions of taxpayers' dollars and an unknown number of human lives, he first needs to answer certain basic questions like: >

1) Why is Iraq a threat to us? No, really, I mean it: what does he think Iraq is going to do to us if we don't invade it?

They have gassed their own people, they have financed hamas, al qaeda and others, and if you recall they were happy to take 2000 western hostages when they invaded Kuwait, innocents caught in acroos fire. It is only a matter of time before they go nuclear, as in, they've already gassed their own people. You are stupid.

<What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat? Why won't any of the other things, or all of them put together, work?
What are the specific goals of this proposed war? <

Remove saddam and kill every loyalist he has.

>Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals? <

By any means nesscary, including the invasion and occupation of the Country.

>Aren't there a lot of potential side effects? How do we intend to avoid them? If we can't avoid them, is it really worth it to incur them? <

Like what, efforts towards retribution, like the Arab world hating us, heres some reality Genius, they already do!

>What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole? <

Revenge for 9/11, and making the Middleeast so afraid of us, it wont happen again.

>What is the target future we are acting strategically in an effort to reach? Is it a safe and happy America free of terrorist attacks, thriving amid a prosperous and content world, or is it something completely different? If it is something different, then why should the American people support it? <

A future free of fundalmenta;list wahhabe shitheads trying to wage a middle age jihad against anyone and everyone who isnt Muslim, god forbid.

>Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them? <

Fuck you, why should they be above board. that is how wars get lost. These people have proven they are willing to play dirty and I for one see no reason why we shouldnt meet them on the same level. Stop being niave.

> How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals? Unless I'm missing something, prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.<

It does if they're all dead.

> Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq?<

Palestine doesnt matter because neither side wants peace. Iraq is our problem and maybe its time the Israels cleaned up their own mess.

> Isn't this exactly the opposite incentive to what we should be trying to create?
In general, what on earth are you thinking?<

That this time maybe we go and do the job right. It was compassion that left Saddam in power in the first place.

 Discuss.

Typical hippie wanting to stir the pot. Fuck you
You heard me.

He said discuss, (3.66 / 3) (#91)
by JChen on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:27:06 PM EST

not troll.

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
Idiocy (2.00 / 3) (#95)
by hbolling on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:33:47 PM EST

You're absolutely right, Bubba! I'll tell the clueless one what W's mandate is -- he's the legally installed most powerful man on the planet. Commander in Chief, not a poll-whore like his predecessor. We have every justification in the world to remove Saddam and his gang, and to raise it high as an object lesson for anybody who wants to try to mess with us.

[ Parent ]
Thank you (1.66 / 3) (#103)
by tonedevil05 on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:13:20 PM EST

for properly labeling your comment.

[ Parent ]
death to the infidels! (3.66 / 6) (#100)
by werner on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:03:10 PM EST

Good to see that Islam doesn't have a monopoly on loony fundamentalists.

[ Parent ]
Go back to school (2.33 / 3) (#115)
by xee on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:24:57 PM EST

And learn to read. You are not answering the questions. For example, the first question asks what Saddam did to us or what threat he poses to us. You answer with a small list of questionable offenses. We gas our own people too -- they're called prisoners. If you were thinking of a more specific case of gassing people then maybe you should have mentioned it. You did the same thing to the other questions but i'm not wasting my time to rebut each one.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
was 1988 that long ago? (3.00 / 1) (#370)
by ringlord on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:08:06 PM EST

The gassing of the Kurds in 1988 is considered common knowledege, especially for those taking part in a disucssion of Iraq and Saddam.

But here's a link for you, since you were apparently too lazy to search for it yourself (google returns lots of links when searching for Iraq, Saddam, and gas) or read through many of the other comments to this story that have the same reference.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#372)
by xee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:54:15 PM EST

Thanks for that link, I'll read up on that. In an argument or serious discussion it's rarely enough to just say "well it's common knowledge, you should know what i'm talking about". If you want people to know what you're talking about, you should be specific and detailed in your descriptions. Then there will be no confusion regarding what you are trying to say. As far as I know, Shakespeare is the only author whose works by convention can be referenced without a citation.


Proud to be a member.
[ Parent ]
They US will not go to war in Iraq... (4.26 / 19) (#61)
by bobzibub on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:38:55 PM EST

..for these reasons:
  1. No Coalition: I cannot see any Arab, UN or NATO support for this.  Not even the UK.  Blair is already paying a price for being so close to Bush.  The US would likely have to go it alone here--there is just no interest in spilling a lot of blood to depose one of many evil dictators with WMD.
  2. Body Count: Fighting in cities is nasty.  Much more difficult than fighting in the desert with night vision. (Especially when your opponents don't have it.) This will involve a body count when they hit Bagdad.  It may not play well at home.
  3. Fundamentalism: This would antagonize the Middle East and give popular support for funamentalist movements in Arab Countries.  They'll have another card to play--the "US killing of our brothers in Iraq".  Many Arab governments are on shaky ground already.  The West could loose more friends over this than it would gain.  
  4. War on Terrorism: It would squander the political capital the US has gained from 9/11.  Especially if more Iraqis civilians die than died in the US.  This will weaken the resolve of many countries to fight terrorism.
  5. Aftermath: Nobody wants to do nation building--its costly and teadious.  What happens when you find and kill Saddam?  March right back out?  To be worth the effort, you have to install a government that is kind to US interests.  Yet Iraq is not a single cohesive group of "Iraqis".  One cannot split up the country for fear of Iran getting ideas.  They might need a strong leader (read dictator) to prevent the country from coming apart, but then the whole thing looks kind of pointless doesn't it?
George & Co. are just "sabre rattling" for the upcoming election.  The real strategy is float plans like this to whip everyone into a nationalistic ferver and gain Republican votes.

Cheers!
-b

sputter! (3.14 / 7) (#114)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:24:41 PM EST

No Coalition? No Coalition?!

This is bad thing? The US is having a GREAT time going it alone. Heck, beyond the special ops that Britain and Australia did, there was no help in Afghanistan.

Yeah, the US military went in alone. And you know what? They really liked it. In fact, they will probably argue AGAINST any future coalitions.

Body count: Yeah, didn't Sadamm already say we won't go to war with him because the US can't handle the body count. Yes he did..in 1990.

Fundamentalism: You think we're stupid or something? They already have many reasons to kill Americans, and if they didn't, they are more than happy to make them up. We're already fighting the Fundamentalists because we're already a bane to their existence.

War on Terrorism: Interesting. What political capital have we gained? Despite the UN calling for the defense of the US against terrorism few countries out there did anything. It seems that our political capital is not worth saving.

Nation Building: That I agree with you. Now then, if GWB wanted to go in there, rip out their culture, and replace it with a reflection of the US culture, you think he would tell YOU? Face it; it's a no-win situation in that regard. If he doesn't nation build, he'll be bitched at. If he does, they nail him for destroying someone else's culture.

So, screw it. If they want our help afterwards, they can ask publicly.


[ Parent ]

Guerrilla war (4.00 / 3) (#132)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:48:16 PM EST

They already have many reasons to kill Americans, and if they didn't, they are more than happy to make them up. We're already fighting the Fundamentalists because we're already a bane to their existence.

Sure, but wouldn't some of our actions be counterproductive in that they serve the enemy's propaganda goals?

Guerrilla armies live or die, not in battles, but by their recruitment ability. Shouldn't we be trying to limit rather than support that ability?

[ Parent ]

That doesn't make any sense... (2.50 / 2) (#148)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:47:17 PM EST


"Sure, but wouldn't some of our actions be counterproductive in that they serve the enemy's propaganda goals?

Guerrilla armies live or die, not in battles, but by their recruitment ability. Shouldn't we be trying to limit rather than support that ability?
"

First, there would have to be a grass roots support for the current regeme. I don't think there is one.

Second, playing the propaganda wars is a loosers game. Say what you're going to do, go in there and then do it. People respect you when you do that.

[ Parent ]

Not quite alone (5.00 / 1) (#222)
by sigwinch on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:10:32 AM EST

Heck, beyond the special ops that Britain and Australia did, there was no help in Afghanistan.
Except for the Canadians. And the Afghans. Etc.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

oh my (2.07 / 13) (#63)
by Work on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:44:13 PM EST

i cant believe this tripe made it onto the front page. Do a little research on the issues and various stances taken.

Groupthink? Groupthunk.

Forget Iraq - Let's Attack North Korea!!! (2.37 / 8) (#68)
by cybrpnk on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 12:58:07 PM EST

Think about it - attacking North Korea makes MUCH more sense. It's on the Axis of Evil List. Supposedly they've already GOT nukes. We've already got lots of US Army soldiers lined up at the DMZ ready to go. We've got US Air Force bases in Japan that's on our soverign land, no need to negotiate usage leases. We can turn the US Navy loose to work in real oceans instead of that Arabian Sea deathtrap. It's closer to home than Iraq, so resupply is simplified. We've been thinking hard about how to take North Korea for half a century, so you KNOW there's got to be a plan in the Pentagon for such an effort - no more of this arguing about "how" we're currently seeing for Iraq. It gives us a chance for a feel-good round-two rematch for a fiasco that's even older than Desert Storm. Seriously, Bush should forget this Iraq nonsense, go on national TV, and declare Kim the archenemy. Or maybe flip a coin to decide the opponent, live in the Oval Office. Or let us check a box on a special tax form we have to fill out to pay for the whole affair. Yessir, if we're ready to unilaterally attack Iraq, we ought to be just as ready to take out North Korea!!!

We don't have enough soldiers... (4.00 / 3) (#72)
by trimethyl on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:07:30 PM EST

We've already got lots of US Army soldiers lined up at the DMZ ready to go

Trust me on this one, we don't have enough soldiers on the DMZ. Though I can't give you any useful numbers (in case the North Koreans are reading this...), I can tell you that I would not be the least bit surprised if North Korea's army is larger than ours by a factor of 2. In fact, South Korea's army is bigger than ours (and for good reason!)

[ Parent ]

Ummm..You Thought I was Serious? (3.66 / 3) (#79)
by cybrpnk on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:28:45 PM EST

The literary effect I was striving for was...irony.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, I've noticed. (1.66 / 3) (#125)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:56:33 PM EST


The people who are aligning themselves up with the original poster seem to be using Irony and Sarcasm as their main weapons.

It doesn't seem to be working very well.

[ Parent ]

addendum (2.00 / 3) (#144)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:38:25 PM EST


Sarcasm, Irony, and modding down to 1.

[ Parent ]
We are. (2.00 / 2) (#118)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:37:20 PM EST


Keep your britches on warhawk. We're getting to N. Korea soon enough. For maximum effectiveness the US military goes after one target at a time.

N. Korea is last on the list, but it's on the list.

I know you're trying to be "Over the top", so I hope this doesn't come as a shock to you. You should check out a few discussion groups on how we're going to handle N. Korea.

[ Parent ]

Been tried already (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by Kinthelt on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:41:56 PM EST

Ever heard of the Korean war in the 1950s? One word brought that word to a halt: China. If the US and cronies go to war with North Korea (again), then China will almost certainly get involved. And that would destabilize the entire area. It will give them a perfect excuse/opportunity to take out Taiwan (aka Chinese Taipei).

[ Parent ]
An error of assumption ... (4.10 / 10) (#81)
by joegee on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:40:44 PM EST

"In our country, which is a republic, the leaders need a mandate from the people."

No, in a republic the people elect representatives, so the leader only needs a mandate from the people's elected representatives. It's funny how a highway project, a new defense contract, and a few late night phone calls can get such a "mandate." Although the people may not support the action (the polls I have seen so far show they do), if their representatives give their endorsement the U.S. president has all the domestic mandate he requires. The people cannot usually react until the next congressional elections (even numbered years in the U.S.)

As far as I know as a rule very few countries allow their citizens to directly decide matters of foreign policy (save the recent examples of votes to join the EC, to adopt the Euro currency, or to join NATO, which are all rightfully important national issues that should be decided by a general ballot.) Realistically I don't think voters in a pure democracy could respond quickly enough to fluid national security situations -- if your country is about to be invaded how do you organize a vote to authorize the action to defend yourselves?

I'll close by saying I am not in favor of toppling Saddam. I think Saddam was a mistake bred by presidents 39 through 40, 41 had a good chance to do something about him and didn't, and I suspect that president 43 and his successors are going to have to live with him. If America doesn't like him, let that be a lesson in our future foreign political policies. Stop picking favorites among despots. If you go to bed with a skunk you're going to wake up smelling like one.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
Umm... (2.60 / 5) (#93)
by pla on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:28:26 PM EST

As far as I know as a rule very few countries allow their citizens to directly decide matters of foreign policy (save the recent examples of votes to join the EC, to adopt the Euro currency, or to join NATO, which are all rightfully important national issues that should be decided by a general ballot.)

Important national issues? As opposed to, oh, say, bombing large portions of the planet into dust and rubble? Yeah, relatively minor issue, that one.

The US has a very, very serious problem, and it doesn't take democrats adding paint to make Prince George the Usurper look like a megalomaniacal tyrant. The man needs help, of the psychological sort, and instead we give him access to buttons with a madman on one side and the end of the world on the other.

Call me paranoid, call me "overly vigilant", call me whatever you will. But this situation keeps getting worse, and I feel less and less optimistic that it will improve within my lifetime (even assuming Georgie doesn't cut that lifetime short, either directly by sending me off to die in his war on Isla^H^H^H^Hterrorism, indirectly by letting me just "dissapear" at the hands of the police some day, or indirectly by pissing off every human on the planet to the point that they treat the US very much like Nazi Germany).


[ Parent ]
You know, I remember feeling the same way ... (4.75 / 4) (#130)
by joegee on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:24:44 PM EST

... with Ronnie Raygun, and a generation later here we are, with someone handing my old conventional wisdom back to me. I remember Reagan's not-so-funny pre-speech joke, to paraphrase: "ladies and gentlemen, I have signed legislation declaring the Soviet Union illegal. We begin bombing in 5 minutes." I remember swearing vehemently that I would not be shipped off to die in some foreign land fighting an unjust war. I remember threatening to emigrate, to renounce my citizenship, etc. I held signs, marched, signed letters ...

In retrospect I look back at the time of Ronnie Raygun, and although I still vehemently disagree with many of his policies, what at the time seemed like insane brinkmanship has freed millions of people across Europe and the former Soviet Union. I no longer have as many nuclear weapons pointed at my head.

Thanks Ron.

I don't believe Bush II is any more visionary or gifted than you do, but something else that a few more days between then and now has taught me is that although the American system may elevate the mediocre and dumb down the brilliant, it also softens the tyrant and blunts the sword. George is unlikely to do any more damage than any of his predecessors, and unless he's exceptionally gifted his "vision" will begin and end with his tenure in the oval office.

Afghanistan the sequel might seem horrible to you, but I would remind you that during the first Soviet invasion of Afghanistan tens of thousands of Afghans died. This is the most peaceful transition of power that has ever occured in the country of Afghanistan.

The action in the Gulf against Iraq killed thousands of Iraqi soldiers, but in regards to the amount of ordinance dropped it did very little to Iraqi civilians. Before you go on about a hundred thousand Iraqis killed, even at that extreme estimate please consider World War II, where some twenty million people died. I hate to say it, but humanity's getting better at fighting wars.

Give it time, Bush will go, the pendulum will swing back to the left, you and I will grow older, and the world will go about its merry way of spinning days into years while nothing except the names change. Twenty years from now unified Europe will be sitting in the US' seat, the US will be playing second fiddle to the great American powers Brazil, Mexico, and Canada, terrorists from some currently insignificant place will planning attacks on one of the great powers, a war will have just been fought, and someone very much like you and me will be thinking just the way we did.

Life will continue.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Misplaced gratitude (3.50 / 2) (#160)
by localroger on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:55:38 PM EST

In retrospect I look back at the time of Ronnie Raygun, and although I still vehemently disagree with many of his policies, what at the time seemed like insane brinkmanship has freed millions of people across Europe and the former Soviet Union. I no longer have as many nuclear weapons pointed at my head.

Reagan did nothing to end the Cold War. If you want to thank someone for toppling the Soviets, thank the Soviet technicians who decided to turn off all the safety devices at Chernobyl so they could finish the neato-keen power down test they were undertaking.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

I think you are incorrect ... (4.50 / 2) (#177)
by joegee on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:07:29 PM EST

As Gorbachev came into power the U.S. had several years earlier begun a massive military buildup under Reagan to counter the "evil empire". This was a buildup that many of us vehemently opposed. Gorbachev's glasnost "openness" and perestroika "new thinking" were initiated in 1985 in part to help modernize the Soviet system and keep it competitive with the challenges continually offered by the West.

It was this Soviet openness and new thinking that helped make the world aware of Chernobyl. Because of glasnost and perestroika Chernobyl was vilified by the Soviet press as an example of the evils of the old system. At the time I remember watching a newscast, possibly Dan Rather's evening program, and hearing how the coverage of this disaster from within the Soviet Union was unprecedented.

Had Chernobyl happened in the decades prior to glasnost and perestroika it is easily arguable that it would have been swept under the carpet. Countries would have complained, the satellite photographs would have shown empty cars and abandoned apartment complexes, and intelligence would have uncovered the name Chernobyl, but certainly there would have been limited information from within the USSR.

Anyways by the late 1980's glasnost and perestroika had reached everywhere but the bloc countries. Reagan issued his famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" challenge in West Berlin. The people of the Bloc countries started to notice. Poland held free elections in 1989 with Solidarity participating, a bit later Hungary opened its borders to travel, and one by one the old communist dictatorships began to fall. I think it has been pretty much established that the echo of these Bloc revolutions tore the USSR apart.

My point would be that many different factors came together to free Eastern Europe, but the 80's political conservatives much of the left-leaning world so hated and feared -- Thatcher, Reagan, and Kohl -- played a significant part, and contributed to the meaningful reduction of nuclear tensions we enjoy today. In addition these leaders' challenge of the Soviet system contributed to the existance of free nations where fifteen years ago there were authoritarian dictatorships.

I think that's pretty much how the history books read, unless someone went along and changed them while I wasn't looking.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Cause and Effect (4.50 / 2) (#183)
by localroger on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:36:46 PM EST

It was this Soviet openness and new thinking that helped make the world aware of Chernobyl.

It was some amateurs and IIRC hackers who revealed the secret Western radiation analysis who made the world aware of Chernobyl.

Thing was, Chernobyl was too big to hide, and the Russians knew it. Not just to hide from us, but more importantly from their own people. A major radiological catastrophe right in the middle of their breadbelt, it was going to leave people grumbling about early mortality and sickness no matter how well the statistics were scrubbed.

Chernobyl was the last straw for a system that was already teetering. "Star Wars" defense was a non-issue, because the Russians knew it couldn't be made to work -- not then, and not now. But with millions of people breathing enough radiation to noticeably change the mortality and cancer rates, something had to give.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Soviet stuff (5.00 / 2) (#223)
by sigwinch on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:31:34 AM EST

It was some amateurs and IIRC hackers who revealed the secret Western radiation analysis who made the world aware of Chernobyl.
It was detected, among other places, in routine measurements made by European nuke plants.
A major radiological catastrophe right in the middle of their breadbelt, it was going to leave people grumbling about early mortality and sickness no matter how well the statistics were scrubbed.
Nah, it was *much* bigger than that. A city was evacuated, the pavement along the evacuation route had to be decommissioned because of radioactivity carried by the evac buses, many people died *immediately* after the explosion (such as the poor soldiers who were picking up pieces of the reactor core with their bare hands), and the power went offline.

The thing is, the USSR *could* have covered up the incident domestically. Disappearing the necessary quantity of people would have be difficult, but it was not unprecedented. (Indeed, covering up Chernobyl would have been nothing compared to the exploits of Stalin.) And covering up industrial, bioweapons, and radiological accidents was old hat for the Soviet leadership. But they didn't: the pervasive cultural changes of perestroika and glasnost meant that it was handled differently.

"Star Wars" defense was a non-issue, because the Russians knew it couldn't be made to work -- not then, and not now.
On an engineering basis, Star Wars was, and is, perfectly feasible. The thing is, American resources would have been tightly stretched to design and manufacture the necessary systems. The Soviets could never have dealt with it.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

I want to give you some credit ... (none / 0) (#277)
by joegee on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:17:40 PM EST

... because Chernobyl certainly hastened the USSR's demise. Without Chernobyl perhaps the USSR might have lasted an additional decade or so. I think you're 100% correct in seeing Chernobyl as a key turning point in the USSR's history.

Thanks for the great comments!

-Joe

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Public Mandate (3.66 / 3) (#106)
by Lai Lai Boy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:19:48 PM EST

As I understand it, elected politicans can choose to reprsent or be a trustee. The former entails knowing what the people want and voting in that manner, regardless of the politican's feelings. As the later, the politican assumes the public elected him or her to make desicions for them and they rely on the officals judgement.

The government class (and text) that was spelled out in said, for the most part, polictians are both to different degress.

[Posted from Mozilla Firebird]
[ Parent ]

I understand what you're saying ... (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by joegee on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:27:37 PM EST

... but I suspect that most of them vote in a way that will serve to forward their political careers. Although this may please some constituents it tends to leave these legislators open to manipulation, e.g. Representative A is from a district that needs jobs, so if Representative A will vote favorably toward legislation in which you have interest you will make certain that friends of yours in the Department of Defense tap an aerospace contractor conveniently located in his district.

In this way Representative A can be made to consent to something that may or may not coincide with his own or his district's principles, but it gets his voters jobs.

Idealists may conform to one of the two choices you present, but I suspect that most politicians are pragmatists that sometimes whore their votes for later actions that benefit their favorite interests. I know this is a part of the nature of politics. It makes me squirm.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Foreign policy and citizen's choice. (5.00 / 2) (#201)
by M0dUluS on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:31:02 PM EST

As far as I know as a rule very few countries allow their citizens to directly decide matters of foreign policy (save the recent examples of votes to join the EC, to adopt the Euro currency, or to join NATO, which are all rightfully important national issues that should be decided by a general ballot.)
I'm not sure whether you mean the EEC or the EU, but if you mean the EU then there are some interesting examples that reinforce your point:
  • Denmark held a referendum on joining the EU. The people rejected it. So the government held another. It just passed. So the government didn't hold another.
  • The Nice Treaty which enlarges the EU and gives more power to the Council of Ministers and implements a population-proportion vote and establishes a European Rapid Reaction Force required all countries to ratify the Treaty. The only country required by it's constitution to hold a referendum was the Republic of Ireland. They held it last year and rejected it pretty convincingly. So guess what their government is going to do ... ?
There's not much direct democracy in evidence anywhere these days.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
EEC and EU ... (none / 0) (#239)
by joegee on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:21:26 AM EST

... not living there I get the two mixed up. European Economic Comunity, European Union. The EEC is the range of the euro, but to be a member of the EEC a nation does not need to be a member of the EU? The EU is a political union?

Isn't it funny how governments everywhere have a way of getting what they want to accomplish accomplished? In the less subtle countries the opposition dies, disappears, or leaves the country quickly to hole up with the likes of the Pinochet and Milosevic families (those who have Sinned Grievously and must atone by living the rest of their lives in sunny tropical resorts.) In our more civilized lands, we smile for the cameras, commit little political character assassinations, shake hands, bribe, cajole, hold a fundraiser, and browbeat until we get what we want. It has the same net effect, it just takes us a little longer to get the job done. :/

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
[ Parent ]
Hear hear (5.00 / 1) (#240)
by phybre187 on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:33:03 AM EST

Realistically I don't think voters in a pure democracy could respond quickly enough to fluid national security situations -- if your country is about to be invaded how do you organize a vote to authorize the action to defend yourselves?

Yes, pure democracy becomes increasingly infeasable as a governmental choice as population increases. That may or may not be why none have ever existed of any notable size (I'm not counting your hosehold, or Smallville city council, where everyone shows up).

I agree with you in that it's really none of the US's fucking business what Saddam does in his own country. It wouldn't bother me if the US *prepared* for the (arguably) inevitable day where Saddam will make it our business, by throwing botulism around in some country that's going to ask for our help, or some such, but there's no good justifiable reason for us to do anything to Iraq in the mean time. They have a right to stockpile amazingly dangerous weapons just like we do.

[ Parent ]
FYI (4.33 / 6) (#82)
by Skywise on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:49:05 PM EST

2 of your 3 links are the same Reuters story, and the third appears to be highly derivative of the Reuters article .

Also note this quote:  "Nothing in the document or in interviews with senior military officials suggests an attack on Iraq is imminent, the newspaper said."

We have/had war plans with Russia that were updated every year and probably have them with China too, and we did just as much sabre rattling with Russia.

But might I also point out that politics is a two-way game and that while Republicans might be pushing war to gain votes, Democrats might be pushing Bush as a war-monger... to gain votes.

doesn't work! (3.00 / 1) (#128)
by harrystottle on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:22:11 PM EST

But might I also point out that politics is a two-way game and that while Republicans might be pushing war to gain votes, Democrats might be pushing Bush as a war-monger... to gain votes.

if the democrats support Bush then they are mongering just as much war as he is...

 

 

 



Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
huh? (5.00 / 1) (#154)
by Skywise on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:32:14 PM EST

Who said the Democrats are supporting Bush?  They're not.  But they'll leak documents to the press that "prove" Bush is war-mongering, and get everyone all riled that Bush is just blood-thirsty and we need to vote in the Democrats to reel Bush in...

[ Parent ]
I wish more people would think instead of react (3.85 / 7) (#97)
by StephenThompson on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:35:10 PM EST

I agree with this article. Some of the reader who have posted reactionary responses clearly haven't thought it through very well. I ask them this: if it wasn't right to go into Iraq four years ago when the so-called gassing was alleged, what makes it right to go in now? I say that invading Iraq would be a heinous crime against humanity that in the end will bring down the United States of America. Actions have repurcussions, and once we've crossed the line, our allies will join our enemies in stopping our rampaging.

Rampaging? (3.50 / 4) (#108)
by gewis on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:29:47 PM EST

Our rampaging? It WAS right to go in four years ago, and it's still right now. The problem was gutless, politically correct, but morally incorrect Clinton. A heinous crime? The goal of this isn't to take land, but to boost regional stability by removal of an instable regime. Once our allies see that we're winning, they'll fall in line and support it. I'm sorry, but they really are fair-weather fans.

"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." -Charles Sanders Peirce
[ Parent ]
instable regime (none / 0) (#172)
by redux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:55:26 PM EST

funny how most of these "instable regimes" had been funded and supported by the US when they served the purpouse of keeping the russians out... Osama...CIA trained...keep evil commies out afghanistan. hello ? wait for the day when the monster turns against his creator...once again.

[ Parent ]
Because we're done waiting. (1.40 / 5) (#117)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:32:43 PM EST


Note the Axis of Evil. These are countries the US are going to do something about. Beforehand, well, we really didn't care. But it looks like some situations will eventually become the US's problem if we don't do anything.

The government now has the blessing of the people to start getting involved, they have the ability to get involved. We're involved.

[ Parent ]

Nobody tell Saddam... (3.16 / 6) (#99)
by IvyMike on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 02:54:20 PM EST

...but Bush doesn't really want to go to war with Iraq. He wants to do one of two things:

Bluff Saddam into thinking that we're going to go to war with him, and have Saddam finally back down and allow UN inspectors into the country.

Alternatively, and more likely, bluff the wishy-wash European countries (the ones who sorta support the UN inpections, but don't put any teeth behind it) into thinking we're going to war with Saddam. They'll be highly motivated to put more pressure on Saddam to avoid a war, and let UN inpsectors back into the country.

Unfortunately for them, if they do increase the pressure and Saddam still doesn't back down, they're probably going to be committed to supporting an invasion.

But whatever you do, don't tell Iraq, that blows the whole plan.



Who's bluffing who? (1.25 / 4) (#102)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:07:32 PM EST

bluff the wishy-wash European countries
If there's any bluffing going on it's by the Europeans. They know that if they keep up the pretence of not having an interest in Iraq they can get the US to do their military work for them.
--
(&()*&^#@!!&_($&)!&$(*#$(!$&_(!$*&&!$@
[ Parent ]
Ooops! (none / 0) (#164)
by Humuhumunukunukuapuaa on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:32:14 PM EST

Must have hit a nerve!
--
(&()*&^#@!!&_($&)!&$(*#$(!$&_(!$*&&!$@
[ Parent ]
The problem is, Iraq has been playing right back (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by first axiom on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:44:47 PM EST

It's diplomacy, and it's been playing back and forth wonderfully. Every time the U.S. makes threats about invading Iraq, Iraq says it will "consider" talking about weapons inspectors. The U.S. goes on low-burner for a while, and eventually Iraq discards inspectors. Again Bush threatens, and Hussein "considers", Bush backs down a little, Hussein refuses. It's a wonderful game of diplomacy.

The problem is, to make the bluff, Bush has to be willing to carry it through, otherwise he'll be left looking silly having pounded his chest and put on all that war paint, to just simply back down. Unfortunately, he can't pull through his threats while Iraq is considering letting weapons inspectors in, because the U.S. loses the little moral ground they have left. Whenever Iraq turns down inspectors, the U.S. wants to invade. Unfortunately, invasion requires informing a bunch of governments so that they don't freak out whenever warplanes start flying into the Arabian peninsula (mostly European and Middle Eastern governments). Whenever the U.S. starts warning people of an oncoming invasion, Iraq "considers" weapons inspectors, which means the U.S. has to wait for Iraq to refuse, at which point the U.S. has to start its war maching all over again...

You get the drift.

[ Parent ]

US militarism encourages nuclear proliferation (4.56 / 16) (#104)
by Maurkov on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:14:34 PM EST

The US has shown that it has the will and the power to meddle with any country lacking nuclear capability. Any country that does not wish to be meddled with must therefore get nukes. Until recently that meddling has been for the most part limited to persuasion, intimidation, and/or covert action. Aggression against Iraq is a clear escalation. If the US goes through with it, any country that doesn't want to be violently overthrown must get nukes.

If a nation's sovereignty or continued existence depends on nukes, nukes become infinitely valuable to that nation. The US cannot win the proliferation battle. Instead, it must align its foreign policy such that the benefit of having nukes does not outweigh the difficulty in obtaining them.

The US has the ability to conquer Iraq. Ethics aside, it should not exercise that power. The side effect of such a policy would leave the world less safe than if Saddam remained in power.

Maurkov

Your theory doesn't match the facts (3.33 / 6) (#113)
by quasipalm on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:20:07 PM EST

Your theory is that nations seek out nuclear weapons in order to get the U.S. to leave them alone. Yet, Iraq's pursuit of nuclear (and biological) weapons is one of the main reasons the US is planning an attack. The same can be said about most of the US's other enemies (for example: North Korea.)

(hi)
[ Parent ]
follow it through (4.40 / 5) (#123)
by ethereal on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:52:36 PM EST

But, once they have the nukes, the U.S. becomes a lot more respectful: Pakistan, India, etc. It is risky to attempt the weapons program, but once you've completed it, the results may be worth the risk that you went through.

--

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

Interesting... (4.00 / 5) (#153)
by quasipalm on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:23:07 PM EST

Interesting analysis... It's risk vs. reward, right? The risk is that the US will find out you're trying to build weapons and bomb you. But, if successful, the reward would be freedom from US bombing. Iraq then tries to build weapons in secret to limit the risk.

It's an interesting idea. Perhaps this is a large part of the motivation behind Iraq's desire to be nuclear, but I'm sure it's not the only reason.

(hi)
[ Parent ]
So? (1.25 / 4) (#116)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:26:54 PM EST


You think Nuclear proliferation is a bad thing?

So, how's that border war going between India and Pakistan? Gosh, it looks like they've toned down their macho postering.

[ Parent ]

Proliferation (4.33 / 3) (#135)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:04:37 PM EST

You think Nuclear proliferation is a bad thing?

Yes. Deterrence works only on the rational, and the more nuclear material, components, weapons, programs, and knowledge are floating around, the more likely it is that a critical mass of them will someday fall into the hands of fanatics.

[ Parent ]

Ok, assuming you're correct. (1.33 / 3) (#150)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:11:26 PM EST


Fanatics who want to die don't matter in the long run. The weave of humanity will have them removed. And it's an easier job with nukes.

[ Parent ]
I wonder... (3.33 / 3) (#200)
by maestrozen on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:20:18 PM EST

Yes. Deterrence works only on the rational, and the more nuclear material, components, weapons, programs, and knowledge are floating around, the more likely it is that a critical mass of them will someday fall into the hands of fanatics.

Maybe it is already in fanatics' hands. There's a country in this crazy big world full of people that believe there's no one else is worth enough outside their humongous country, they claim to be the chosen rulers and defenders of "the civilized world" (expression they use to talk about their way of life). Also, they use to interfere in internal political issues of countries all over the world assuring they beliefs are attacked.. Of course, they think they are THE HOLDERS OF TRUTH AND FREEDOM... Can we consider such kind of country a fanatics' one? I think so.

Damn! Those fanatics have nukes!!! What should we do?



[ Parent ]
Not worry. (2.00 / 1) (#210)
by AmericanGuy on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:47:50 AM EST

It is obvious that you are refering to the United States of America.

However, we, unlike the rogue and terrorist nations, stand for the following values:

  • Democracy.  There should be no dictators, only by listening to the people will you get a government that is right and fair.
  • Freedom.  Freedom to choose your own beliefs.
You have nothing to fear.  If your nation does behave and cooperate with our demands, rest asured that you will be okay.

A. G.


[ Parent ]

Yes worry (5.00 / 3) (#215)
by vagabond on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 01:10:02 AM EST

Democracy.  There should be no dictators, only by listening to the people will you get a government that is right and fair.
Like in the US, where you have a choice between the Democrats or Republicans, who's views in the larger schemes of things are very similar and are run by the same group of people (rich businessmen).
Freedom.  Freedom to choose your own beliefs.
Like freedom of religious belief, not having to swear allegiance to a god? Or freedom from detention without proof or legal counsel.
You have nothing to fear.  If your nation does behave and cooperate with our demands, rest asured that you will be okay.
I'm sorry, if you weren't being sarcastic and were actually trying to defend the US with a statement like that you've perfectly shown why in so many streets around the world there are the chants of "down with America".


[ Parent ]
Right (5.00 / 2) (#218)
by ariux on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 02:06:45 AM EST

The problem with democracy / republican forms of government is their double face. The voting system effectively prevents the leaders from exploiting the voters, but instead they just go off and exploit people who aren't voters (foreigners, slaves, women, ...).

While this is incrementally better than just exploiting everybody, it seems pretty clear that there remains some room for improvement. (How? Who knows?)

[ Parent ]

Because of US intervention (5.00 / 1) (#295)
by Demiurge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 09:23:33 PM EST

The actions taken by Musharraf's government in Pakistan, and the drastic change in tone of the rhetoric coming from India, as well as things like allowing flights between the two countries, were the result of intense US diplomatic pressure.

This was not necessarily due to the fact that both countries are nuclear powers(the situation would almost have certainly not gone as far as that), but because the US needs Pakistan's support.

[ Parent ]
Oh puleez (3.50 / 20) (#107)
by gewis on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 03:22:23 PM EST

1.Why is Iraq a threat to us? No, really, I mean it: what does he think Iraq is going to do to us if we don't invade it?

Normally possession of chemical and biological weapons is frightening, but a scare we can live with. When the possessor of these weapons has demonstrated that he's willing to use these weapons aggressively against his neighbors in a region vital to our interests, then he becomes a significant threat. In addition to this, he funds several terrorist groups (which have been listed in other posts).

2.What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat? Why won't any of the other things, or all of them put together, work?

Well, let's see... There's U.N. inspections, which didn't work. There's other variations of diplomatic negotiation, all of which have been fruitless. And we've got economic sanctions, which, again, hasn't accomplished much except to have Saddam make his people starve. We could turn and look away, pretend the problem isn't there, but being a paper tiger got us 9/11, so that isn't viable. In fact, Saddam cannot be worked with, and two decades of interaction with him has proven it. The only option is to put somebody else in charge of Iraq. The less smashing we have to do in order to accomplish it, the better, but you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. And I don't say that lightly, as a member of a US Army Special Forces Group, I'd likely be one of the soldiers on the ground breaking some eggs.

3.What are the specific goals of this proposed war?

Specific goals: potential Kurdish independence, although this issue is sensitive with both Turkey and Iran, and of course Iraq; removal of a threat, and that threat isn't Iraq as a whole but Saddam and his regime specifically; a partial movement toward regional stability, as a major component of the current instability is Saddam; and sending a powerful message to our other rogue country enemies in the world, "You've picked the wrong superpower to dick with, and your days are numbered." Such a message goes a long way towards diplomatic leverage in other places.

4.Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals?

Given our position and resources, it won't be too terribly difficult, as long as our leadership isn't still reeling from Vietnam and afraid of actually getting their hands dirty. It simply requires a bit of intestinal fortitude and perseverance. Specifics, well, are kept secret for a reason. =) We just don't openly discuss our war plans for our enemies to read about in the paper and use it counter us.

5.Aren't there a lot of potential side effects? How do we intend to avoid them? If we can't avoid them, is it really worth it to incur them?

Hmm... wait until Saddam uses WMD against us or our allies OR cope with the difficulties of working with a new government that may or not be friendly to us, but hopefully better than Saddam. And of course, side effects include initial disapproval from our rather spineless European allies, but I imagine that will change if things run smoothly. But, it's hard to know how our constantly nay-saying fairweather friends are going to respond. Then again, is it even relevant?

6.What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole? What is the target future we are acting strategically in an effort to reach? Is it a safe and happy America free of terrorist attacks, thriving amid a prosperous and content world, or is it something completely different? If it is something different, then why should the American people support it?

No, why on earth would the US work toward a thriving happy America in which we're not being blown up by passenger airliners and other various suicide bombers, or our allies are getting hit with scud missiles tipped with Anthrax? Sheesh. This is obviously one of those questions you strained hard for, just to meet the requisite ten for your list to look pretty.

7.Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them?

Moving from a stance of deterrence to preemption, we're adapting to this very different threat. The Soviet Union and the US could deter each other with the knowledge that we could totally annihilate each other in the blink of an eye. Assymetric and regional threats, though, are threats none the less and need to be dealt with. So, here's a general strategy: continue to provide foreign aid to various otherwise unstable nations to provide stability (and therefore less motivation for denizens to lean toward anti-American and terroristic activities), preemptively strike our enemies to eliminate or render ineffective their ability to hurt us, continue to pursue what we believe is in our best interest, with or without coaltion support, and show some patience and perseverance with all of this, because it takes a good deal of time.

8.How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals? Unless I'm missing something, prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.

Well, if we were planning on carpet bombing Baghdad, we'd just use WWII era bombers and blow them all to smithereens. As stated earlier, the goal isn't to pound Iraq into submission, but to remove Saddam and his regime from power. We don't want a bombed out waste-land, but bombs happen to be effective tools for dealing with conventional military forces. I would think that surgery, if feasible, would work a lot better than chemotherapy has been. Indeed, sanctions would have worked if Saddam didn't just suck all the money out of the Iraqi middle class. He's sitting pretty while his people are suffering, which is his plan... what a virulent cancer.

9.Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq? Isn't this exactly the opposite incentive to what we should be trying to create?

I've never heard of any instance where our being gutless with one enemy made a different country with generally hostile citizens (Palestine, in this case) more willing to work with us. Sorry. People just don't work that way. We are in favor of a Palestinian state, and perhaps the Palestinians will see that we're trying to work for their benefit, which will be even more appealing if they see that being our enemy isn't a very good place to be.

10.In general, what on earth are you thinking? Discuss.

What are YOU thinking? Or, are you?
"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." -Charles Sanders Peirce
I wonder... (3.40 / 5) (#137)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:13:57 PM EST

preemptively strike our enemies to eliminate or render ineffective their ability to hurt us

Isn't cutting off the enemy's sources of recruitment the most important part of fighting a guerrilla enemy?

Won't the "collateral damage" arising from periodic preemptive strikes against the enemy's host populations tend to have just the opposite effect?

[ Parent ]

Oh puleeze yourself. (3.44 / 9) (#140)
by losthalo on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:25:31 PM EST

>> When the possessor of these weapons has
 demonstrated that he's willing to use   these weapons aggressively against his neighbors in a region vital to our interests, then he becomes a significant threat. <<

If Iraq is such a threat because of their chemical and biological weapons, then why didn't we do something about it a long time ago?  Did we just now realize "Oh, yeah, Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!  Oughta do something about that!"?  No, someone needs a target to attack to keep the War on Terror rolling, a target he knows we can take on militarily, one most Americans still don't like very much...  

Face it: whatever threat Iraq is now, it's been that same degree of threat for years.  The only reason -now- to go into Iraq and tear shit up is to keep Bush's political momentum going.  He's afraid of losing steam just like Daddy did after winning a "war".

As for Kurdish independence (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) it's apparent from our behavior since the "Gulf War" that we care not much at all about the fate of the Kurds.  When last we were in the region with military force, what did we do for them?

And, providing foreign aid to increase stability?  When has that ever worked?  When have we ever managed to increase the stability of a nation through our efforts at diplomacy?

I would say the chances of Iraq using any and all weapons they have, including WMD's, would be only -further- -provoked- by an attack from the US.  Just think of how ruthless the US would be if invaded by a serious opponent, then apply that level of viciousness to a smaller, more nervous nation...

If we're in favor of a Palestinian state, you'd think perhaps we'd stop financing Israel's economy so that they can afford all of their nice military equipment, rather than encouraging their militance by footing the bill.  Hmm.

Losthalo

[ Parent ]

Has been coming for a long time. (4.00 / 1) (#170)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:48:13 PM EST

If Iraq is such a threat because of their chemical and biological weapons, then why didn't we do something about it a long time ago?  Did we just now realize "Oh, yeah, Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!

The US has been trying. Ever since the end of the Gulf War, the US has been trying diplomatic and economic means of achieving this goal; that's what the UN sanctions are about, that's what the occasional bombing runs that Clinton and Bush both have conducted were about (trying to force Hussein to agree to allow inspectors back into the country).

I don't know if invasion is the only remaining option. But finding ways to deal with the problem, or percieved problem, have been high on the list of US presidential administration priorities continuously since 1991, and various different methods have been tried in that time, and the argument that tihs came from out of nowhere is spurious.

[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#258)
by losthalo on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 01:15:27 PM EST

I'd still like to hear what the US has to fear from Iraq.  I'd like to know how their WMDs might be deployed to affect US citizens across an ocean.  I want to know how much of a threat they really pose to our safety, in comparison to how much effort, how much money, and most importantly how many lives will end in order to solve the "Iraq problem".

I suppose the War on Terror rhetoric is really the only reason we're thinking of pursuing this (fighting terror anywhere it is found) rather than anything rational...

I don't think invasion is a reasonable response, given how little Iraq is really related to the US.

Losthalo
"Audiences know what to expect, and that is all that they are prepared to believe
 in."


[ Parent ]

assasination? (none / 0) (#167)
by marc987 on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:42:39 PM EST

If sadam is really a problem why not have him killed, it would save billions of dollars and countless lives. (and don't say because it's illegal cause that has never stoped the US from killing before)

In other words i don't believe the shit Bush and the media are shoveling.

[ Parent ]

Two words: (none / 0) (#267)
by losthalo on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:33:08 PM EST

Political fallout.

It would be obvious who did it, you can't make the assets "deniable" enough.

Everyone else on our shit list would immediately wonder when we'd start using assassination on them.

Martyr, anyone?

Losthalo
And whose cruel idea was it to put an 's' in the word 'Lisp'?


[ Parent ]

Oh boy. (1.50 / 4) (#110)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:11:07 PM EST


If this is how you react to Iraq, I'm going to love to see what you do when we invade N. Korea.

Comedic side topic.. (3.50 / 6) (#111)
by steveftoth on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:16:30 PM EST

If this happens and it propells Bush to be reelected, I expect that we shall see at the first state of the union speach for his second presidency, Bush Jr. rip off a mask and reveal that it is really Bush Sr.! He laugh histerically, and say something like "I told you I'd get reeleected, muhahhah-ahaha" (heart attack, roll down stairs)

course I could be funnier.

A bet (4.37 / 8) (#112)
by Nimey on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:18:49 PM EST

How much do you want to bet that it'll be another of our famous undeclared wars that the President starts without a formal declaration of war from Congress?

IIRC (and I hope someone proves me wrong), the USA hasn't had a Congress-declared war since that little fracas in the 1940s.

Repeal the War Powers Act.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

You know, this used to bother me too. (3.00 / 3) (#122)
by EriKZ on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:52:30 PM EST


Until someone pointed out that Congress almost never formally decalares war anymore.

Ok, it still bothers me. Do your ^%#$ing job Congress!

[ Parent ]

yes, they did. (none / 0) (#251)
by SocratesGhost on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:12:31 PM EST

You can find the congressional resolution here.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 0) (#266)
by John Milton on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:23:59 PM EST

That's not a declaration of war. It was a normal resolution authorising the President to use force in Iraq. An official declaration of war is an entirely different thing.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Really (none / 0) (#300)
by cr8dle2grave on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 12:04:44 AM EST

Care to name the judicial precedent which establishes this? How does an authorization to commit acts of war against another nation differ from a declaration of war? Can Congress authorize the use of the military without an official declaration of war? Is the war powers act constitutional?

You don't know the answers to these questions because they haven't been answered by a court of competent jurisdiction (the Supreme Court in this case).

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Oh puleez (1.92 / 28) (#119)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:39:32 PM EST

1. Why is Iraq a threat to us? No, really, I mean it: what does he think Iraq is going to do to us if we don't invade it?

That's the easiest.

They have chemical weapons and they have shown they are going to use them. We have tried the easy way: just go there and, by force, destroy all their weapons and militar installations.  It didn't work.  What else is there to do but go kill those m*ther f*ckers and destroy their whole country (their infrastructure, their universities, their economy) like we did with Afghanistan before they continue to kill any single of us civilized human beings.

Or would you like another 9/11 of bigger proportions?

2. What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat? Why won't any of the other things, or all of them put together, work?

As I said, we already tried the peaceful way.  These terrorists didn't really cooperate and wouldn't let us destroy all their security systems and weapons but would try to keep them concealed from us.

3. What are the specific goals of this proposed war?

Very simple:

  • To continue our never ending war on terrorism and neutralize all those forces that threat our national security.
  • To save american lives from future possible terrorist events.
4. Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals?

By use of the force.  Negotiating with these guys is pointless: they won't agree to letting us review all their weapons and national security and they won't willingly allow us to destroy them (which, as I said, is necessary for our security).

5. Aren't there a lot of potential side effects? How do we intend to avoid them? If we can't avoid them, is it really worth it to incur them?

What side effects?

Okay, I must admit it: some persons might end up losing their lives and the whole country could be left completely destroyed.  I wish they wouldn't force us to take such extreme measures and would instead cooperate with our non-negotiable demands.

Still, this is just an already-very-poor country in the middle of nowhere (although it has some very important natural resources that are very important for our economy) and what do you expect us to do?  Let them build weapons of massive destruction they can use against us?

This is one of the easiest of the questions you made.  We have absolutely nothing to lose and much to win.  Too much to win: saving human lives from the grip of this terrorists!

6. What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole? What is the target future we are acting strategically in an effort to reach? Is it a safe and happy America free of terrorist attacks, thriving amid a prosperous and content world, or is it something completely different? If it is something different, then why should the American people support it?

You said it yourself:  A safe and happy civilization (not just America, most of the countries in the world are included) free of terrorist attacks and rogue nations; a prosperous and content world where human rights are actually respected.

It is very important that other nations are included so we won't have this enormous problems of ignorant immigrants from poor countries who show no respect for american law and sneak their way into our land, making use of all the wealth we have created with our hard work without giving anything back.  IMMIGRANTS GO HOME!  Or else ...

7. Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them?

Uh.

Are you stupid or what?

8. How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals? Unless I'm missing something, prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.

You are right: prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't [SIC!] usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.

However, you must see everything in context.  You didn't specify that the bombed-out wasteland was home of arab terrorist scum who do nothing but work on making massive destruction weapons that can be put to no use but to destroy those very values you mention: prosperity, contenment and absence of terrorism.

It is easy as 1-2-3: Prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism comes much more from a bombed-out wasteland than from a heavy strong military center full of nuclear and biological weapons.

This is exactly why we (and I wish other nations would help us in our efforts to rid the world of terrorist, but I guess they are just too used to America making everything for them, helping them and the world, without giving anything back, not even saying "Thank You Americans For Making The World A Better Place") must use our militar force to destroy that country.

9. Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq? Isn't this exactly the opposite incentive to what we should be trying to create?

Hmm.

Palestines are a different (though not entirely unrelated) problem. Still, it has been shown that negotiation with both groups is entirely futile. I mean, Palestine's won't change that corrupt politician Arrufet (the one who wears his underwears in his head) and supports the killings of Israelis, even when our President told them to!

The same can be say about those red Cuban communists, who aren't willing to listen to our demands and have allowed that thief and pedophilic Fidel Castro to rule their country for 30 years!!

We, as the most important and wealthy country in the world, have the responsability to support noble causes all over the world, such as the kurdish independence.

10. In general, what on earth are you thinking? Discuss.

Er, what on earth are you smoking?

In this we have only two options: either we destroy that country or we let them use their weapons of massive destruction to kill american lives!

The world is trusting on us and we can not disappoint it.

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

Proud American.


Only one way to respond to that... (1.66 / 3) (#143)
by Kinthelt on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:35:36 PM EST

Sieg Heil, Herr Bush!

[ Parent ]
No way! (1.60 / 5) (#147)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:46:48 PM EST

Hahahah!

What do you mean Sieg Heil Bush!

Our noble President (even though I didn't vote for him!) is merely doing his best to free the world from the terrorism, which is exactly what we did back in WWII with those stupid Nazis.

I find your comment ironic.  We were the ones who stoped the german fascists and now we're just doing the same with those arab terrorists that declared the war on us.

Or would you rather they kept on crashing their planes against our buildings, causing the loss of thousands of lives?  Those (and the RIAA!  Thanks for shuting down our AudioGalaxy, you #$*%(&!) are the real terrorists!

Thanks.

A. G.


[ Parent ]

confused ? (none / 0) (#166)
by redux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:38:32 PM EST

i find it very interesting how you rant on about america ridding the world of nazis, when your homepage link point to something that can only be described as blatant extreme-right propaganda with (not so subtle) nazi undertones...
oh...and the audiogalaxy reference just reaffirms my belief that you're about 12 years old. thanks for clarifying.

[ Parent ]
Oh, come on! (none / 0) (#197)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:59:59 PM EST

i find it very interesting how you rant on about america ridding the world of nazis, when your homepage link point to something that can only be described as blatant extreme-right propaganda with (not so subtle) nazi undertones...

You are right.

Damn, I meant to make it point to How to Marry a High-Quality Woman, which is an article I found very interesting (irreglardless of its crappy antisemitic parts).  I suggest you give it a read, it might help you too.

Thanks for pointing that out, I'll fix it soon.

oh...and the audiogalaxy reference just reaffirms my belief that you're about 12 years old.  thanks for clarifying.

I'm 26 years old and counting. :)

I wish you could use logic instead of mere name calling to prove your points.

Proudly American,

A. G.


[ Parent ]

No You are 12 (none / 0) (#220)
by tonedevil05 on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:00:07 AM EST



[ Parent ]
i was referring to your mental age (none / 0) (#285)
by redux on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 06:40:20 PM EST

not your physical age. good luck in finding your quality woman, as per link. if all else fails, i'm sure your sister or cousin will do as well, eh ?

[ Parent ]
Think harder Homer (4.33 / 3) (#149)
by dte on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:50:51 PM EST

This is not only arrogant but insulting to people with different beliefs and different origins. Your basically saying that if you beat a dog hard enough it will obey. You're right, but one day it will bite you in the face and that's what happened on Sept. 11. The beating might not be such a great idea afterall...



"They have chemical weapons and they have shown they are going to use them. We have tried the easy way: just go there and, by force, destroy all their weapons and militar installations."

The United States have nuclear weapons and have shown they could use them (ask the the people from Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Should this justify another country or organisation to attack the US? Think about it. What would Saddam Hussein gain by randomly attacking US interests? He knows he'll be overthrown following US retaliation.



"It didn't work. What else is there to do but go kill those m*ther f*ckers and destroy their whole country (their infrastructure, their universities, their economy)"

So your saying that the poor, uneducated and probably very resentfull population that will come out from such a military offensive would never consider getting back to you for what you did? How would you feel somebody kills your family, your friends, take away your job and everything you own.... where do you from there??



"Very simple: To continue our never ending war on terrorism and neutralize all those forces that threat our national security. To save american lives from future possible terrorist events."

Says who? Bush? Connie Chung? You're so gulable...



"By use of the force. Negotiating with these guys is pointless: they won't agree to letting us review all their weapons and national security and they won't willingly allow us to destroy them (which, as I said, is necessary for our security)."

Define "these guys"... The Iraqi people?



"You said it yourself: A safe and happy civilization (not just America, most of the countries in the world are included) free of terrorist attacks and rogue nations; a prosperous and content world where human rights are actually respected."

Did you just pull that out of your ass?? A lot of people in Saudi Arabia hate the US not only because of its support for Israel but also because it is occupying their terroritory simply to secure the present and absolutely dictatorial Monarchy in power. How would you feel if another country imposed you a dictator?



"The world is trusting on us and we can not disappoint it."

Really? How many non-American have you asked?



"I mean, Palestine's won't change that corrupt politician Arrufet (the one who wears his underwears in his head) and supports the killings of Israelis, even when our President told them to!"

How can you even begin a dialog if you insult the other party before you get started?



"The same can be say about those red Cuban communists, who aren't willing to listen to our demands and have allowed that thief and pedophilic Fidel Castro to rule their country for 30 years!!"

Who aren't listening to your demands???? Are you Cuban? Probably not, so what the F*ck do you care about what they do! Leave them alone! Mind your own business!!!



"We, as the most important and wealthy country in the world, have the responsability to support noble causes all over the world, such as the kurdish independence." Let's see... The US supports or supported the following dictatorship: Saddam Hussein, Pinochet, The Saudi monarchy, Musharaff, etc... Don't be so naive to think that the US is capable of no harm and behaves like a sweet angel. Every country on this planet is capable of great evil (as Bush would say), US included.



I am not going to give you a solution because the complexity of the problem in Iraq and that of the rest of the world is far too complex for one man understand. It requires a lot of reflexion and you simply cut&pasted your arguments from the movies.




"Proud American."
No, Stupid American.





[ Parent ]
Pay attention, Bart (1.33 / 3) (#157)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:45:53 PM EST

Your basically saying that if you beat a dog hard enough it will obey. You're right, but one day it will bite you in the face and that's what happened on Sept. 11. The beating might not be such a great idea afterall...

What happened on 9/11 was entirely different than you make it.  It wasn't a "dog" that bite us, it was a terrorist organization full of highly trained people with lots of technology and resources.

But, to use your metaphor, the dog will never bite you in the face if you leave him in such a sorry state that it is impossible for him to move.

This is precisely what we need to do with those countries that harbor terrorist organizations.  Not kill them, but destroy their economies, leave them in such a sorry state that they won't be able to perform these terrorist act.  It might sound cruel until you realize that they are persons who's sole purpose in life (as is shown by the suicidal bombings or that the terrorists in the plane who perpatuated those undescribably evil acts on 9/11 where the very first who died) is to kill civilians for believing in the lord Jesuscrist who died in the cross for us.

The United States have nuclear weapons and have shown they could use them (ask the the people from Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Should this justify another country or organisation to attack the US? Think about it.

Oh gosh, that was more than 50 years ago, when we saved the world from the grip of the Nazis.  Please tell me when have we used our weapons and force against other nations in any unjustified way (that is, one that wasn't necessary to save american lives) in the last hmm 15 years.

So your saying that the poor, uneducated and probably very resentfull population that will come out from such a military offensive would never consider getting back to you for what you did?

Hey, you said it!  The poor, uneducated people.  What do you think they can do against the strongest and wealthiest of the nations?  This brings us back to your revisited dog analogy.

And, if you are thinking 9/11, keep in mind all the preparation and training it required.  Do you know where all that training came from?  It didn't appear magically out of the middle of nowhere.  Do some basic research.

How would you feel somebody kills your family, your friends, take away your job and everything you own.... where do you from there??

This is exactly what they did to many of our fellow americans and I understand and feel their anger and grief.  Lets make sure that crime doesn't go unpunished!

Like you would put it, lets give those arab dogs their proper beating!

How can you even begin a dialog if you insult the other party before you get started?

Do you really expect us to begin a dialog with these serious killers?

If dialog actually worked and would keep this arabs happily in their lands rather than flying suicide planes against our most important buildings, I would be the first to advertise it.  However, on 9/11 it was made clear where our peaceful negotiations with them get us.  If a dog is biting off your penis, would you just try to talk with him and ask him to leave you alone?

How can they even expect us to dialog with them after what they've done to us?

Who aren't listening to your demands???? Are you Cuban? Probably not, so what the F*ck do you care about what they do! Leave them alone! Mind your own business!!!

Let me tell you this.  I'm not Cuban but my exgirlfriend's mother is.  She (my girlfriend's mother) lived in a relatively wealthy family of hard working people.  They had a good business that served the community.  When that dictator Fiddle Castro and his violent guerrilla of illiterate peasants forcefully seized the power of the country, his government took control of all their properties, that they had earned with years of hard work.  Her family had to gather as many money as she could and flee from the country to somewhere else for their personal safety.  It is very sad that Castro's regime cuts so many civil liberties for his citizens.

How do you expect me to feel about that thief?

What's up with all your anti-americanism?  You ought to be thankful for all the good things we've done for this world.

Thanks.

American Guy.

By the way, do something useful: VoteHale.


[ Parent ]

who trained the terrorists ? (none / 0) (#168)
by redux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:43:22 PM EST

>And, if you are thinking 9/11, keep in mind all the preparation and training it required. Do you know where all that training came from? It didn't appear magically out of the middle of nowhere. Do some basic research. Osama was trained by the CIA ... YOU should do some basic research

[ Parent ]
Exactly. (none / 0) (#176)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:06:19 PM EST

Please read my reply.

(I messed up and posted it in the wrong place; I'm sorry... I'm not really into computers that much and as I think you could see, I'm fairly new to Kuro5hin.)

Thank you very much for your input and opinions, redux...

A. G.


[ Parent ]

Listen CaptainCOINTELPRO&trade; (none / 0) (#291)
by sunyata on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:35:56 PM EST

Just go home, Your dumbass tactics are so obvious, its not really even funny.

[ Parent ]
"I'm not Cuban but my exgirlfriend's mother i (none / 0) (#175)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:06:16 PM EST

It is very important that other nations are included so we won't have this enormous problems of ignorant immigrants from poor countries who show no respect for american law and sneak their way into our land, making use of all the wealth we have created with our hard work without giving anything back. IMMIGRANTS GO HOME! Or else ...

Now that's hilarious ...
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Heh. (none / 0) (#178)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:14:17 PM EST

This was 8 and half years ago, dude.  I was barely 17 then.

People change, learn, grow up.

Finding out that her mother was cuban wasn't the exact reason but these days I actually think was somehow related with our breakup.

I want the American dream without Americans

What makes you think the american dream would be possible without us hard working americans? :)

I mean, why do you think it is called the american dream rather than the arab dream or the indian dream or whatever!

Thank you very much.

A. G.


[ Parent ]

I've got a live one here (none / 0) (#181)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:26:54 PM EST

I mean, why do you think it is called the american dream rather than the arab dream or the indian dream or whatever!

You haven't noticed my sig yet, have you?


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Hmm. (none / 0) (#185)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:48:46 PM EST

You haven't noticed my sig yet, have you?

What do you think I ws replying to?

I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

A. G.


[ Parent ]

Now what does all mean? (3.50 / 2) (#187)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:10:34 PM EST

It doesn't say "for white people", it doesn't say "for Americans", it doesn't say "for everyone but immigrants", or "for everyone, but arabs and indians", but "for ALL".

It's hypocritical to recite a pledge you don't believe in, isn't it?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I'm glad I'm not your dog. (none / 0) (#193)
by DJBongHit on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:50:02 PM EST

But, to use your metaphor, the dog will never bite you in the face if you leave him in such a sorry state that it is impossible for him to move.
Or you could just not kick the crap out of him in the first place, and maybe he won't be inclined to bite you.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
But what about arabs? (none / 0) (#198)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:06:50 PM EST

You raise a very important point: if you don't beat the dog, it's likely he won't be inclined to bite you.

But what do you do with a culture that has declared a religious war on you, on freedom, on democracy and on everything you stand for?  What do you do when they are willing to die in order to destroy you?

Leaving the `dog' alone while he continues to bite you isn't helping.

That was a very interesting comment.  I'll be looking forward to your opinion.

A. G.


[ Parent ]

Yeah, well. (none / 0) (#207)
by DJBongHit on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:24:16 AM EST

But what do you do with a culture that has declared a religious war on you, on freedom, on democracy and on everything you stand for? What do you do when they are willing to die in order to destroy you?

Leaving the `dog' alone while he continues to bite you isn't helping.
Clearly. However, don't you think there's a reason that they've effectively declared war on us? Did they just feel like fighting somebody and pick us out of a hat, or were there other circumstances? Obviously if you beat on a dog until it starts biting you, you can't stop and then be pissed when the dog continues to bite you. You shouldn't have kicked the dog in the first place.

Now that the dog is already biting us, so to speak, I'm not sure what to do. I'm just glad I'm not in a position where I'm responsible for knowing what to do. I've got a feeling Bush and friends are in a lose-lose situation.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Kicking the dog... (none / 0) (#349)
by nhl on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:33:22 PM EST

Now that the dog is already biting us, so to speak, I'm not sure what to do. I'm just glad I'm not in a position where I'm responsible for knowing what to do. I've got a feeling Bush and friends are in a lose-lose situation.
I realize that this is just a followup on a followup on a troll, but nevertheless, as an animal friend (hoping that this works in the real world as well):

Perhaps one should start off by apologizing to the "dog" for the wrongdoing, and given that the dog gets bored at chewing on you, you can gradually build up trust and friendship.

I guess the same would work with the people who declare Jihad against the US. Instead of always trying to kick them into the mud (or until they can not move), perhaps try to find out WHY they declared their war in the first place; was it something you did that offended them? Perhaps apologize for the action (retract unilateral financial and military support for the Israeli state?) and slowly gain the confidence of the "dog".

[ Parent ]
Question (none / 0) (#212)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:53:32 AM EST

But what do you do with a culture that has declared a religious war on you, on freedom, on democracy and on everything you stand for?

When did that happen? I noticed that a few terrorist fanatics had declared war on us, and a country under the dictatorship of religious radicals foolishly decided not to turn them over, but I don't recall that a whole culture had declared war on us. Which culture was that and when did they do it?
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Lemme get this straight??? (none / 0) (#290)
by sunyata on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:31:01 PM EST

So what you are saying is that God and Jesus like white American people best? Holy crap dood, you are one sick individual. No wonder your posts are so misinformed.

I suggest you lay off the *hate* propaganda posing as religious truth, and go out an get yourself an honest to goodness education. Thats the truth man. Make like Nike™ and Do it.

PS: How is working for COINTELPRO? Do you get good benefits?

[ Parent ]

Don't bite, folks (5.00 / 2) (#194)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:50:34 PM EST

The guy's an obvious troll trying to whip you up by acting out a caricature.

I'd be surprised if he's even from here - his English looks like it doesn't get much use.

[ Parent ]

To clarify (none / 0) (#196)
by ariux on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:57:59 PM EST

By "the guy," I mean whoever is posting as "AmericanGuy."

[ Parent ]

Thank god you agree with the terrorists (5.00 / 2) (#151)
by tthomas48 on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:14:19 PM EST

the only way to destroy the global threat of terrorism is to destroy america... or did I read that wrong? But I'm pretty sure I can destroy you. Right-wing pseudo-libretarian facists such as yourself fall under the "Timothy McVeigh" category. Let us not forget that it was he, a white US born citizen who inflicted the second largest terrorist act on American soil. Did we freeze the bank accounts of the Republican Party, a known supporter of many of these fringe groups? How about the Christian Coalition, a group known to have links with the Army of God? No we did not. So what conclusion can you draw? There is no war on terrorism. There is only a war on people who we don't like for one reason or another. Historical and statistical precident would indicate that the number one reason for not liking people is because they're "different" or have another skin color. I guess it's time to drum up an article on how patriotism in modern times is basically just an outlet for racism...

[ Parent ]
Reply? (none / 0) (#191)
by godix on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:40:29 PM EST

I'm not sure how to reply to this comment. On one hand it has some indications of being a troll. On the other hand is the disturbing thought you might actually be serious. On the gripping hand, regardless of if you're serious or a troll it's probably not worth the effort of debating with you.

[ Parent ]
Sarcasm is like knife-throwing (none / 0) (#236)
by Demiurge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 07:24:23 AM EST

It looks really cool if you can pull it off, but if you're no damn good at it, stop before you manage to put someone's eye out.

[ Parent ]
That was just an experiment. (none / 0) (#314)
by AmericanGuy on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 02:16:48 AM EST

Okay, I am not an american guy, I was just making a little experiment.  I am sorry for all of you who wasted your time there.

Did you notice that roam, jonathan_ingram, acronos, phunhippy and SMN all rated my initial post 5 (and EriKZ rated it 4)?

I find the results incredibly interesting as it should be very obvious I was just putting up stupid bullcrap with no absolutely no logic whatsoever (as many of you kindly (and not so kindly) pointed out).  I didn't expect even the most ignorant americans to agree, but there you go.

Also, I must say, I found most of the rebuttals to my post mediocre, to say the best.  I think this happened because most of you replied full of anger rather than calmly and logically.

Thanks and, again, I'm sorry I had to waste some of your time.

No Longer American, Guy.


[ Parent ]

Sigh ... (2.00 / 1) (#326)
by pyramid termite on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 11:44:18 AM EST

... you know, you guys keep this kind of stuff up, and I might have to get a new account and show you what a REAL troll is ...
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
i apologise if our rebuttals were mediocre... (4.00 / 1) (#339)
by redux on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:02:44 PM EST

...but some of us don't have time to waste with bull like yours, really. the fact remains that there ARE people who strongly believe exactly what you wrote here, and a "logical" rebuttal will not change their bigoted ways.

[ Parent ]
Separate the issues: (3.33 / 3) (#124)
by harrystottle on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 04:52:51 PM EST

Just a quick comment: You are making two important points. It would be wise to keep them separate. I suspect you'll get a split on the one, and a pretty wide consensus on the other. The first is "Is it a good idea to attack Iraq?" The second, and in my view more important issue is "Who should decide whether its a good idea to attack Irag? President or People?"

Mostly harmless
The difference between Iraq and Afghanistan (4.37 / 8) (#133)
by Perianwyr on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 05:56:17 PM EST

In Afghanistan, the US was able to harness the Northern Alliance to do the lion's share of the ground fighting. In Iraq, the indigenous forces are likely not to be as easy to use.

Saddam's internal opponents consist of the Kurds and the Shiite Muslims. The Kurds' main interest is the establishment of a Kurdish state. This is something that no one in the region generally supports, and is openly denied by Turkey, the place many Kurds consider a primary location for such a state. In fact, one of the more significant Kurdish factions (the PKK) is primarily concerned with attacking Turkey from bases in Iraq.

The Iraqi Shiite majority is in favor of Iranian intervention in Iraq, and this has been previously shown to be unacceptable to international forces (the attempted Shiite uprising in 1991 received no support due to fears of increased Iranian influence.)

The bottom line, however, is that Saddam Hussein is far more entrenched in Iraq than the Taliban ever were in Afghanistan, and his opposition is fragmented and simply opportunistic rather than dedicated.

The best hope that international forces have in any attack against Saddam Hussein is if enough momentum can be gathered that tribal leaders join the opposition, and the commanders of Saddam's own armed forces revolt against him.

Ach, that was meant to be a reply to a comment (none / 0) (#134)
by Perianwyr on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:03:20 PM EST

Specifically, this one.

[ Parent ]
Yea... Iraq looks way harder than Afghanistan (3.66 / 3) (#171)
by confrontationman on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:48:23 PM EST

I don't think being asked to "check things out" after the USAF has virtually nuked the place flat (i.e. cut daisies) counts as the "lions share" of work.

On the other hand, in Gulf War 1, Iraq put up such fierce resistance that the total time taken for the ground campaign was a whopping 3 days.

Coalition ground forces equipment lost vs Iraq forces:
Tanks: 4 to 4000
Artillary: 1 to 2100

Yea... the US is definitely going to need help on this one.



[ Parent ]
Nowhere to retire (none / 0) (#286)
by svampa on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 06:47:07 PM EST

I full agree, the Iraqi army is a joke against USA army, but if iraq is invaded and USA doesn't have allies inside, they won't fight only against millitary forces, but against the people, as you would if your country were invaded. The cant retire like in kwait.

In this case USA has two options: Stand a lot of casualities in the gound, or beat with bombs no matter if they are civils or millitary, till almost extermine.

Another question is that USA used bases in Arabia Saudi, I'm not very sure if in this case Arabia will be so gentle.



[ Parent ]
wrong figures (none / 0) (#332)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 02:58:13 PM EST

IMHO counting casualties in ODS is the wrong approach here. This isn't so much a military war as a psychological war. What did ODS really accomplish? The US took on yet another major military responsibility-at the cost of annoying lots of folks in the middle east. Saddam stayed head of state of Iraq.

[ Parent ]
Kurds ? no way (none / 0) (#284)
by svampa on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 06:24:35 PM EST

What Kurds think is their land is part in Iraq, part in Iran and part in Turkey. They have opression from the three countries, they won't fight only against the foe chosen by USA.

Besides, They have been used by USA before, they didn't have a nice experience. USA supported them against Iraq, the problem was that they also fought against Iran, then ruled by The Sha, pro-american, so they were left alone Kurds, so they got a brutal retaliation from Iraq.

This article shows the nice behavior of USA with Kurds.



[ Parent ]
blah blah blah (2.75 / 4) (#139)
by turmeric on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 06:22:18 PM EST

'there is a time for thinking, and a time for acting! and this is no time for thinking! -- canadian bacon

Nice timing.. (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by AnalogBoy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:36:40 PM EST

That it comes out on the day the UN / Iraq negotiations failed..   Looks like a job for.. GLOBOCOP!

Actually, if i actually cared anymore and was a conspiracy theorist and wasn't scared of being branded under the recently-passed-in-secret "anti-liberal sedition act" just enacted by this regime, i'd say we were all being played for fools..

=)

--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)

CNN Poll (3.25 / 4) (#156)
by Silent Chris on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:43:56 PM EST

Here is all you need to see America's opinion on this one.

Meaningless (none / 0) (#159)
by localroger on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:50:42 PM EST

This QuickVote is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole. The QuickVote sponsor is not responsible for content, functionality or the opinions expressed therein.

In other words, it's exactly as meaningful as the poll attached to any K5 story -- which, beyond a moment's entertainment, is no value at all.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Even more meaningless ... (none / 0) (#179)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:18:34 PM EST

I wonder what the answer would have been if the question was, "Should the US go to war with Iraq if it means a member of my family has to go to help fight the war and perhaps be killed?"
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Ok. (none / 0) (#214)
by EriKZ on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:57:12 AM EST


So, 33 thousand people vote on something, and you say it's meaningless?

All polls give some data.

[ Parent ]

No (5.00 / 1) (#232)
by localroger on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 07:05:29 AM EST

So, 33 thousand people vote on something, and you say it's meaningless?

We do not know 33,000 actual people voted. For all we know 4 people ran scripts that accumulated 33,000 impressions. I doubt seriously that CNN even bothered to make sure the 33,000 votes came from unique IP's.

All polls give some data.

Not this one. There might be a majority consensus, there might be a majority consensus among CNN readers, there might be a majority consensus among people who self-select for taking online polls, there might be a majority consensus among people who are motivated enough to stuff the ballot box. We don't have any way of knowing which is the case, so in this case the poll really doesn't tell us anything.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

yes (4.00 / 1) (#254)
by EriKZ on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:45:25 PM EST

I doubt seriously that CNN even bothered to make sure the 33,000 votes came from unique IP's.

Oh really? For someone who insists on validity of the data, you sure don't bother to make sure YOUR ascertains are true. I guess when they follow your beliefs, they must be true!

I did a little research and sent off a few emails.

Not this one. There might be a majority consensus, there might be a majority consensus among CNN readers, there might be a majority consensus among people who self-select for taking online polls, there might be a majority consensus among people who are motivated enough to stuff the ballot box. We don't have any way of knowing which is the case, so in this case the poll really doesn't tell us anything.

So, a majority consensus among CNN readers is not data?

Everyone self-selects when taking polls. There is no law forcing people to answer polls and they can always say 'No.' I guess all polls are invalid.

Again you assert that their poll mechanism is easily subject to spoofing. Without ANY evidence.

But again, I suppose we're missing the issue. The CNN poll told you something you didn't like so you're going to nit-pick it to death.

[ Parent ]

On the other hand... (none / 0) (#259)
by localroger on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 01:38:30 PM EST

So, a majority consensus among CNN readers is not data?

Well it would be, but that's not what we have. We have a majority consensus among impressions which came into an online poll, which is a very different thing.

The CNN poll told you something you didn't like so you're going to nit-pick it to death.

No, I would be just as unimpressed if the CNN poll told me anything else. Online polls are useless and it's a sign of weakness to bring one up at all in defense of your own argument.

If the poll had supported my side of the argument, I would not have brought it up, because it establishes nothing.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

No (none / 0) (#263)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 02:56:36 PM EST

Everyone self-selects when taking polls. There is no law forcing people to answer polls and they can always say 'No.' I guess all polls are invalid.

First that is not true. Scientific polls are not self-selects. If the selected participants answer no or refuse to participate after they had been selected, that number has to be included and reported in the results. Nothing of that sort would you ever see in any online quick poll.

So, a majority consensus among CNN readers is not data?

No, it's not. First the strata of people who read CNN don't reflect a random slice of people representing the whole US population. Second the strata of people, who are engaged enough to answer a CNN poll online, are absolutely not a random slice of people from all over the US.

I have forgotten all the things I learned about sampling and am too lazy to reread them for you. But may be that link will give you an introduction and will show you that your assumptions are as unscientific as the CNN polls admit they are.

[ Parent ]

Just a hunch (none / 0) (#256)
by Silent Chris on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:49:47 PM EST

This is just a hunch, but I don't think most CNN readers would have the technical literacy to pull off such a script.  I think the numbers watching the tube and going to vote would far outweigh them.

[ Parent ]
Problems with poll (none / 0) (#261)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 02:28:14 PM EST

From the link "This QuickVote is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. ".

A scientific poll here would be helpful. Also what might be helpful is a measure of how the people who will be doing the actual fighting-making the actual sacrifices feel about this.

[ Parent ]

Gore Vidal Explains it All (4.45 / 11) (#158)
by localroger on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 07:47:02 PM EST

Here.

I can haz blog!

What I want to know (4.61 / 13) (#163)
by vyesue on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:32:13 PM EST

... is why in GWB's mind, it's smarter to respond to the terrorist "threat" by starting something that will be repugnant and provoking to the terrorist element (bombing moon-god states like Iraq or Afghanistan) than by stopping the first thing that was repugnant and provoking to the terrorist element (sending more money to Israel than to any other foreign aid recipient). Especially when there's really no clear benefit to either of these actions, unless you consider fucking with terrorists until they come here and kill a bunch of americans a benefit. I'm starting to wonder if maybe deep down in our foreign policy's heart, it's actually intended to provoke people into hating the US.

I'm quite sure that if GWB is voted out of office next time around and the new guy got on tv and said "Yeah you know what, our complete bad about the Israel thing, we were wrong to support such jerks for so long, effective immediately Zion stands or falls on its own, good luck everyone!!!" and we skipped the whole bombing Iraq thing, we wouldn't hear another word from a terrorist for a loooong motherfucking time.

Parenthetically, I thought I'd leave you with the following, an explanation of the quotes around 'terrorist "threat"' that I used above.

Annual influenza epidemicas... result in an average of >110,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths in the United States.
--Detection and Control of Influenza Outbreaks in Acute Care Facilities, US Centers for Disease Control

A total of 3,547 people were killed in international terrorist attacks in 2001, "the highest annual death toll from terrorism ever recorded," according to the U.S. State Department's annual terrorism report.
-- untitled news article, US Dept. of State


Wanna protect american lives? free flu shots for everyone! 15$ at retail per head, 300 million americans, give or take - it's cheaper than supporting the Zionists or bombing the Islamists!

Good point (5.00 / 1) (#313)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:41:07 AM EST

I really liked this comment. The American people can do quite well without Zionist support or Mideast oil.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but American Politicians Can't. (5.00 / 2) (#333)
by bobzibub on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:31:29 PM EST

Americans could get along without supporting the Isreali Government (well, limiting support to humanitarian aide would be nice.) but politicians couldn't get along without the Jewish vote just as they are dependant upon the Cuban vote in certain states.  Both groups influence US foreign policy because they are such powerful voting blocks.

http://www.aipac.org/

The Free Cuba PAC--I couldn't find the homepage so try this:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pubs/cubareport/free.asp

Conversely, I couldn't find aipac on opensecrets and I believe this to be because they are not required to report spending like other PACs.

I think all this is far more important than oil for the decision making process.

Cheers,
-b

[ Parent ]

Money more important than votes (none / 0) (#338)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 05:12:05 PM EST

I think your point about the role of Aipac was really good. Jewish donors make up something like 50% of the donors to the Democratic party at the national level and 20% of the GOP donors according to articles I've read. These folks aren't such a huge block of votes outside of a few key states, but neither major party is going to address and issue this important to major donors-which is a great argument against the two party system. If the US had proportional representation, at least there would be someone on the national scene that could shed some light on these issues. Now, there are lots of folks that support with Israel that aren't Jewish(fundamentalist Christians and folks that strongly identify with the Jewish community even if they aren't Jewish themselves). Still, I honestly think the interests/desires of most of the American public aren't being reflected in the US MidEast Foreign policy. Most of the US foreign aid budget goes to Israel. What does that really say about the US government?

[ Parent ]
Can't be that high... (none / 0) (#347)
by bobzibub on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:30:34 PM EST

Thanks.

50% of Democratic donators and 20% of Republicans?
Wow.  Do you remember the source?  If that is true, they must have wonderful organizational skills.  

I agree, but I think PR has it's own issues--quacks in the legislature.  Allowing more official parties would be good:  Two parties is only one more than tyrany.  If one party's leadership gets involved in a major scandal, the other is free to do as it pleases.  It would help solve the 49% of vote = win dilema--parties would not be expected to get over 50% to win.  Granted, the Liberals in Canada are free to do pretty much what they want with their majority.

State financing of government parties and multiple parties would probably be a good solution.  That way, the richest won't automatically win.  Look at Bloomberg's Campaign in NY state.  Who is seriously going to fight that?

I'm pretty sure aid to Isreal is about 30%
http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/US-Israel/U.S._Assistance_to_Israel1.html
($2B military, $M840 humanitarian.)

With 400 nukes and a submarine fleet to launch 'em do they really need any more military funding?
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Israel/Nuke_Nation.html

Sorry, didn't mean to end on a gloomy note...
-b


[ Parent ]

Response (none / 0) (#353)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 08:57:35 PM EST

50% of Democratic donators and 20% of Republicans? Wow. Do you remember the source? If that is true, they must have wonderful organizational skills.

Here is an article from that anti-Semetic rag, the New Republic. They indicate the low estimates are about 30% of the Democratic National Committee's donations from from Jewish donors. The figures I saw were in the San Jose Mecury News a few years back.

According to Morley Sachar's Modern Jewish History, about 40% of all millionaires in the US were Jewish in the early 60's. The figures I saw are fairly close to that if you average the Democratic and GOP figures. With the exception of labor PAC's, a good chunk of campaign donations come from wealthy folks with one agenda or another.

I agree, but I think PR has it's own issues--quacks in the legislature.

Given the choice between crooks and quacks, I'll choose quacks. I don't see a problem with a few folks like Ciccolina or David Duke getting a voice. Besides, these folks have to grow up a good bit to be effective legislators.

State financing of government parties and multiple parties would probably be a good solution. That way, the richest won't automatically win. Look at Bloomberg's Campaign in NY state. Who is seriously going to fight that?

IMHO there is a valid point there. I think the bigger issue is narrow control of the mass media-including major Radio/TV networks/film distribution. Here again, the folks that control those resources are far from a cross section of the general population.

[ Parent ]

foreign interests (none / 0) (#367)
by vyesue on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:31:54 PM EST

The fact that American politicians are dependant in any way upon the political will of any foreign country is evidence that "for the people, by the people" is a complete sham and that our "government" is nothing but a power-hungry self-propagating lie intended to rob us, as citizens, of the power over our own destiny.

We'll have little peace, sanity, or compassion out of our government until it is replaced.

[ Parent ]
Ehh (none / 0) (#376)
by A Trickster Imp on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:11:32 PM EST

The fact that American politicians are dependant in any way upon the political will of any foreign country is evidence that "for the people, by the people" is a complete sham and that our "government" is nothing but a power-hungry self-propagating lie intended to rob us, as citizens, of the power over our own destiny.

I.e. only my own pet insanities should be forced down everyone's throat as implemented by the will of the people, once they realize how good my ideas are, when will they learn, the fools!

[ Parent ]

neg (none / 0) (#377)
by vyesue on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 02:38:44 AM EST

I don't think my political beliefs are all that viable and I haven't mentioned them at all. I'm saying that there's no reason that foreign special interests are at all interesting to me. I don't care what local tribes are warring about, really as long as they settle their differences without demanding that the "rest of the world" (read: UN, World Court, etc) become entangled.

why do you think it's good that we fund or listen to or are swayed by one side of any of these idiotic arguments?

me: can't we just ignore this circular argument, resist the urge to beat anyone up, and instead make our country stronger, healthier, less expensive, fairer, maybe concentrate on something that might be of anythign other than shock interest to the American people?

someone: yeah, we dont need the political support of one side or the oil interests in another!

someone else: yeah but your politicians need the support of one side [just as, of course, they need the support of the oil industries in the Muslim states, which this poster didnt mention but which I'm sure we all obviously saw as the blatantly obvious counterpoint here, I'm pointing this out because apparently numbnuts missed it]

me: more evidence that our government isn't acting in our favor, but in it's favor!

you [stumbling over yourself on the way in]: urrrrrrrrrr hEY DUDES THIS GUYS ***INSANE**** HE WANTS TO BE THE BOSS EHEHEHHE AND GET HIS IDEAS LAW WHATEVER!!@### LOOK WHAT HE'LL FORCE DOWN YOUR THROAT GLUGRUHRGBHLLGHHB


[ Parent ]
Don't forget... (none / 0) (#368)
by ringlord on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:42:01 PM EST

...to include the $40 billion + of economic damage caused by the 9/11 attacks into that dollar figure of yours.

[ Parent ]
Ah. Misread it. (1.00 / 1) (#169)
by harrystottle on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:46:44 PM EST

must have been in dork mode.

Mostly harmless
Exactly. (1.00 / 2) (#173)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 08:58:13 PM EST

Osama was trained by the CIA ... YOU should do some basic research

You should do some research into how to read properly or something: That is exactly my point (silly).

It took a lot of training before he got soo powerful.

Where else did you think he would find access to such high-quality training?

The way he's acting, killing our civilians rather than being thankful for without our help he would be no one, just shows you what kind of scum he is.

But you've hit the nail: No more training, lets just bomb those $@#$*$@!

Thank you very much for your attention and time.

In the name of our lord Jesus,

A. G.


Ack. (none / 0) (#174)
by AmericanGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:03:44 PM EST

Oooops, I'm sorry, I messed up.

This was supposed to be a reply to redux's post here. :(

Sorry.

A. G.


[ Parent ]

All signs (4.00 / 6) (#180)
by MVP99Z on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:26:41 PM EST

All signs point to a late Fall invasion based on my conversations with selected Air Force fleet members stationed out of New Jersey.

Based on news I heard this morning on FOX, their estimates are probably dead-on.

Fox? News? (none / 0) (#363)
by Wulfius on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:02:50 AM EST

"Based on news I heard this morning on FOX,..."

Well, here we have two mutually exclusive words
in one sentence.
NEWS? Fox?

Fox is a propaganda outlet for the radical republican extremists.

If you believe they have anything to do with independant news please compare to the other news
media outlets out there.
Either Fox is right or the rest of the planet is wrong.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

As opposed to? (none / 0) (#375)
by A Trickster Imp on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:06:18 PM EST

As opposed to all other channels, which are propaganda outlets for the extreme left?

[ Parent ]
Smothering Iraq (3.50 / 2) (#186)
by chbm on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 09:50:53 PM EST

The reason is simple and has been touched lightly has a side note by US officials and commentators, Iraq is a cloud on Israel dominion of that region. While Iraq remains "hostile" or a regional power it will be a target no mather what it does or doesn't do.
Considering history repeats itself, in 20 years US will targeting Israel. Ironic.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
Return to Principles (4.25 / 8) (#190)
by outlandish on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 10:32:49 PM EST

Reading t he commentary that's been going on, one seem to encounter two well-worn positions. On the one hand you have people who implicitly Trust the Government to Carry Out this War in an Honerable Fashion, and on the other those who think the whole idea is stupid.

The core question is not whether or not something aught to be done about Saddam (we've got to have a policy, even if it boils down to "contain him until he dies of natural causes") but whether or not there's a good plan being worked on and whether or not we trust our current heads of state to execute it. While the author clearly has a rather pessimistic view of the situation, this is the question he's raising. It's a salient one, and it's sadly getting lost in the Hawk-Dove flame-flinging.

I for one have to say that the talk that I hear frankly is not very heartening. To be honest, I feel that 9-11 and the other terrorist acts that led up to it overseas come as a direct result of our country's leadership (at many times and under many administrations) straying away from the core ideals that this nation is founded on.

Let's get down to brass tacks: if our objective is to "be safe" we will never make it. We will fail. We cannot simply crush our enemies, because for each enemy we crush two will rise up to take his/her place. To succeed, we must aim higher. We must seek to export prosperity, justice, democracy and the same rights that we enjoy domestically throughout the globe. If we are to truely be secure, we must establish a global order in which all parties are invested. In short, we must make sacrafices and at the same time be uncompromising in our goals.

In other words, unless we seriously take a step up in terms of acting in an honerable and morally infallable fashion (meaning we take some fsking responsibility and make amends when we cock it up and bomb a wedding) we are going to amount to little more than a rich bully on the international playground and we'll be treated as such.

Currently I hear a lot of vague talk about a big partiotic war that will protect our oil interests (important, but far short of the brass ring we need to grab) and to keep our people safe. I don't hear any serious considerations about how to eliminate the crucible of despairs from which our terrorist enemies spring. If there is to be an invasion, it must be impeccible in design and execution, and followed by a serious and committed long-term plan for rebuilding.

Getting back to my original point, I for one do not believe that our current administration is working on this sort of plan, or is capable of producing or financing one even if they wanted to. In short, my current fear is that the US will continue to act in a flagrantly un-American fashion and only further polarize global opinion. I see this invasion creating more problems than it will solve.


-------------
remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

What are the specific goals of this proposed war? (4.60 / 5) (#202)
by speedfreak2K2 on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 11:47:31 PM EST

<sarcasm?> Well, one definite goal is to establish an interim government, move one of Bush's cronies in as president and install a new oil pipeline.</sarcasm>
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
"Stop The Insanity!" (3.85 / 7) (#211)
by Tetsu no Chef on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:51:56 AM EST

If Bush thinks this adventure is worth billions of taxpayers' dollars and an unknown number of human lives, he first needs to answer certain basic questions like:

1. Why is Iraq a threat to us? No, really, I mean it: what does he think Iraq is going to do to us if we don't invade it?

Why is Iraq desperately pursuing a WMD (weapons of mass destruction) program? Are they planning on putting massive amounts of cash in to these weapons programs to NOT use them? What use do these systems have (especially nuclear) other than as a deterrent to foreign powers, and why are they more important than, say the basic well being of the population? If I'm supposed to buy the concept of Iraq needing a nuclear deterrent, who are they supposed to be protecting themselves from? Are they planning on using it as a political shield for another friendly neighborhood invasion?

"Desert Storm" was ended on conditions laid out in the terms of cease fire. Iraq has never fully complied with these, at least where weapons inspections teams were concerned.

The expected result of breaking the conditions of a cease fire is the resumption of military operations. (If conditions are important enough to be necessary for fighting to stop, they should be important enough to resume fighting. i.e. the leaders at the time said "we won't stop attacking you unless you agree to this") No one cared back then (when the UN inspectors were ejected) and decided that they'd just ignore it and hope that it'd go away. It didn't work. It never *works*. It usually comes back to bite you in the ass.

2. What are all the things we could possibly do about this threat? Why won't any of the other things, or all of them put together, work?

They've already been tried... for about 10 years. Sanctions, supporting internal opposition, a firm scolding... everything reasonable not involving force has been tried. If you think of something new, please inform everyone.

Saddam is a well entrenched dictator with too much internal support structure (cronies/fear) to be susceptible to external or internal influence that does not include force. He doesn't need a large mass of society supporting him when about all he needs for a successful economy are enough scared/loyal people to run the oil industry. From there he just needs willing oil buyers (plenty available). Then, he has enough money to fund his military machine well, and thus has the instrument to keep his regime running.

3. What are the specific goals of this proposed war?

Remove the current government and install whatever interim government will work in this case.. preferrably a 'friendly' democracy. Remember what happened after WWII in Japan? That's the target. #1, the new government will have to be willing to not acquire WMD capability. If they will agree to that we help them out with funding, training, and technology etc... like Windows XP.

No wait... just kidding we're some crazy bastards, but we're not that cruel. (Or so I hope.)

4. Given our position and resources, and the other demands on those resources, how will we achieve those goals?

Solidify our position in Afghanistan, try to get NATO to take some of the peacekeeping burden. One remaining problem is to move a large force into the theater without Saddam deciding to attack first (since he'll then more or less know he's screwed)... and if he can drop a good biochem weapon on Israel, I can't say if the Israelis would go for a retaliatory nuclear strike, or just wait it out... but a bio/nuclear exchange between Israel and an Arab state woud suck for everyone.

5. Aren't there a lot of potential side effects? How do we intend to avoid them? If we can't avoid them, is it really worth it to incur them?

We try not to cause side effects... anyone who will hate us for the sole reason of removing Saddam will hate us. Trying to please everyone is impossible.

All we can do is remove Saddam with as few casaulties (on both sides) as possible and then be as kind and supportive to the Iraqi people as possible. We have a problem with their leadership, not them.

6. What endgame are we realistically aiming for in Iraq and the middle east as a whole? What is the target future we are acting strategically in an effort to reach? Is it a safe and happy America free of terrorist attacks, thriving amid a prosperous and content world, or is it something completely different? If it is something different, then why should the American people support it?

First off, replace the current government of Iraq. The current government has decided that their pursuit of WMD is more important than staying out of war. Bad choice.

Increaced stability in the region... getting the Palastinians a homeland so that they can get on with their lives and stop putting so much effort into hating the Israelis and the West.

By the way... there is never an 'end to the game' (endgame)... unless we really screw things up. Politics is perpetual, whether that's a good thing or not.

7. Assuming for the moment that the broad goals in question are above board, what is our broad strategy for achieving them?

Already addressed.

8. How does the tactic of kicking the daylights out of Iraq contribute to these broad goals? Unless I'm missing something, prosperity, contentment, and an absence of terrorism don't usually emanate from bombed-out wastelands.

Kicking the daylights out of Iraq allows us to remove it's current governing body, and give them a run at rebuilding their society. What else did you think this was about?

Note: Japan is the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons... not to mention the much worse fire-bombing. How long did it take them to recover from ther "bombed out" state after WW2 with the help that the world community gave them? Also note Germany's condition.

How many places are bombed out wastelands where the United States (and friends) came in and replaced a government? The last one I can think of is Panama. Let's see how Afghanistan turns out. We try to come in, blow up shit as needed and then help rebuild. It's the one lesson everyone should have learned from the two world wars.

9. Won't this plan make all kinds of people work really hard to worsen and prolong the Palestine thing, since it's thought of as an obstacle on the road to Iraq? Isn't this exactly the opposite incentive to what we should be trying to create?

The "Palestine thing" is between Palestine and Israel. The people truly significant to making this a prolonged problem are not motivated long-term by what happened to anyone but themselves and the occupation of Israel by Jews.

If someone gets pissed off in the situation, what are you going to do? Are we pissing off Arabs Muslims by going into Afghanistan and removing a Muslim government? Should be stop if we are?

What kind of 'incentive' are we supposed to provide? The people that we're concerned about mostly have the motive of the desire for destruction of the Israeli state.

There are a few reasonable explanations I see for "no peace with Israel": 1) They truly expect to destroy Israel. (unlikely to happen in an acceptably clean fashion since it's fairly certain that Israel has significant nuclear capability) 2) There are many people in positions of influence who maintain those positions of (military grade) authority and income (from varied sponsors) by continuing the attacks. 3) They bought into the idea of living a holy war and simply have no other way of living life. 4) Strict belief in the reward for Jihad fighters... "it doesn't matter what happens in/to this world if I get my reward in heaven."

I'm beginning to fear that Bush doesn't have any intention of trying to answer such questions. Worse, he doesn't even appear to understand that there's a reason for him to answer them.

Most of these things he'd be an idiot to discuss openly, since they would expose planned military operations and probably get more Americans killed and not save any innocents (American or Iraqi).

Others will hopefully be addressed when/if the Afghanistan situation calms down, and the U.S. government is ready to actually *do* something. Talking long before you're ready to do something is generally a bad idea. It tends to make you wrong.

This is dangerous regardless of whether or not the answers make sense.

Of course it's dangerous. This is the real world. There are bears and stuff.



I disagree (4.00 / 1) (#217)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 01:38:55 AM EST

If I'm supposed to buy the concept of Iraq needing a nuclear deterrent, who are they supposed to be protecting themselves from?

Us, obviously. I suppose offensive capability against Israel might be a motive, too, although how one uses the bomb there without getting fallout on Palestinian areas is another question.

Remove the current government and install whatever interim government will work in this case.. preferrably a 'friendly' democracy.

And what if we can't come up with an interim government that will work? How do we keep the Kurds from trying to leave? And as much as I dislike dictatorships, isn't it true that if democracy was practiced in many Middle Eastern countries that the resulting governments might be even more opposed to us?

Solidify our position in Afghanistan, try to get NATO to take some of the peacekeeping burden.

The problem with this is the Afghans don't want us to have a position in Afghanistan and NATO isn't real enthusiastic about taking some of the burden.

We try to come in, blow up shit as needed and then help rebuild. It's the one lesson everyone should have learned from the two world wars.

It didn't work that way in Vietnam, did it? Or Somalia, where our whole motive was to help, except that some didn't see it that way.

The "Palestine thing" is between Palestine and Israel.

And they'll continue to be at each other's throats no matter what we do. But there are reactions that could be more significant in the area; what if Iran was not bluffing when a general (I beleive it was) said that Iran would fight the US over an invasion of Iraq, and it would do so by taking out as many oil wells as they could? This would make the situation much harder. What if Saddam did retaliate significantly against Israel and Israel retaliated, possibly with nukes? What if Arab anger causes other governments in the area to fall, or become more unstable? And of course, there's the wild card in the situation - are India and Pakistan going to stand down and settle things? War between them could complicate everything.

The point I'm making here is that I really don't think an invasion of Iraq is a good idea. If Iraq was surrounded by stable democracies that liked us it could be a good idea. But instead, it's in one of the most dangerous parts of the world. We need to be a lot more careful. There's a lot of double dealing going on in that part of the world and taking everything at face value is not a good idea.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Welcome disagreement as always.... (none / 0) (#234)
by Tetsu no Chef on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 07:18:09 AM EST

Us, obviously.

Fairly irrelevant as far as defensive purposes are concerned. We could have easily continued destroying Iraq with impunity, but we stopped. (That is to say, the only thing that saved Iraq from us... was us.) The only thing they've been doing to even give us an excuse to be agressive is the WMD proliferation. (That, and the fact that they keep trying to shoot down planes enforcing the no-fly zone.) About the only valid reason I can see that they'd need a deterrent against outside intervention is if they were intending to do something that would normally compel other countries to intervene.

Actually, I flubbed up and forgot to mention that Iran is the other likely Iraqi rival that they may actually percieve the need for a deterrent against. (Considering that Iran is expected to have nuclear capability within 10 years.)

I suppose offensive capability against Israel might be a motive, too, although how one uses the bomb there without getting fallout on Palestinian areas is another question.

I, too, see little offensive value for them... if they used offensive nuclear capability, there would be an immediate response (probably nuclear itself). Hopefully only launch facilities would be targeted... but likely command and control would be targeted as well... probabaly meaning Bagdad. At any rate... there's too much nuclear deterrent floating around in the rest of the world for any world leader with any sanity remaining to use them offensively.

The people who should be afraid of Iraq having nuclear capability are the neighboring countries... they are the only likely targets. (Conventional invasion with nuclear deterrent for any would be do-gooders.) What would have happened in early 90's Kuwait if Iraq had a nuclear capability? I'm guessing that Iraq would be a larger country with a nice seaport.

And what if we can't come up with an interim government that will work?

We can only try. We're human and we can't guarantee that we'll be successful in anything. What's the likelyhood that something that is better than the current situation can be established? Seems pretty high.

How do we keep the Kurds from trying to leave? And as much as I dislike dictatorships, isn't it true that if democracy was practiced in many Middle Eastern countries that the resulting governments might be even more opposed to us?

I find that unlikely in the case of Iraq. (Saudi, definitely true.) Given the situation, I'll much rather give democracy (or more likely, another form of interim government for a while) a chance in lieu of staying with the status quo.

The problem with this is the Afghans don't want us to have a position in Afghanistan and NATO isn't real enthusiastic about taking some of the burden.

Not a permanent American position... just get the new government established and working on their own... continuing to provide various forms of aid. Are they even done fighting those "pockets of resistance"?

Not establishing military bases, etc. Not an occupation.

WRT NATO... that's why I said "try". :)

It didn't work that way in Vietnam, did it? Or Somalia, where our whole motive was to help, except that some didn't see it that way.

Two ways of looking at Vietnam... either the military was, for some unknown reason, fighting a war where the objective was something other than defeating the enemy. (Perhaps severe mis-micromanagement from Washington.) Either that, or that the military was being kept from being too aggressive because the whole thing was proxy war between the USSR and the USA... and being too aggressive against USSR's communist friends would be seen as a direct push by the USA against the USSR. (Much like if there were a communist revolution in a country, and the USSR just came in and levelled the opponents of the communists.)

In Somalia, there was a change of leadership, and no desire by anyone in the new administration to be there. It was Bush Sr.'s mission, and once he was out of the picture, there was no drive to do anything. One incident of Americans getting killed, and military forces were withdrawn.

Some of that was due to the repeated showing of Somalians (members of the 'victorious' warlord's clan) psychotically celebrating in the streets over some dead Americans, and the Americans back home decided, "Well, if they're so happy to be killing our guys, screw 'em, let them go back to killing each other." Of course that's pretty much what happened... warlords went back to practicing their business freely and soon after that all international aid fled fearing for their own safety.

And if you'll note, both Vietnam and Somalia were more or less internal conflicts (though we tagged north and south onto Vietnam) while the Iraqi conflict was centered around an international incident. This is one reason why nations rarely get involved in internal disputes of other countries.

And they'll continue to be at each other's throats no matter what we do.

Generally true. It all depends on what proportion of the populations are extremist in their politics. I still think that there's a good possibility of resolving things to a livable point within the next few decades.

But there are reactions that could be more significant in the area; what if Iran was not bluffing when a general (I beleive it was) said that Iran would fight the US over an invasion of Iraq, and it would do so by taking out as many oil wells as they could? This would make the situation much harder.

Hmm... I seem to recall something like that a while back... but I can't find it with a quick search. You have any pointers to that quote?

It's kinda puzzling that Iran would be wanting to run to the aid of a man that waged war on them, including the use of chemical weapons. They might just be that anti-USA, or they might be fearing a subsequent invasion of Iran, or even just fearing the US setting up a puppet government to use against them (not that I could blame them on that concern). All we can do is hope to convince them that helping us (not interfering) would be more of a gain than a risk. And saying that one would engage in war if something that can't happen right now happens is far different than deploying troops. It might even be "a first step in Iranian diplomacy" (i.e fine under the table dealings: "okay... we'll agree to not interfere... provided certain conditions are met"). I don't know their methods at all.

I'll keep an eye out for Iranian statements of policy on this.

What if Saddam did retaliate significantly against Israel and Israel retaliated, possibly with nukes? What if Arab anger causes other governments in the area to fall, or become more unstable?

One would hope that Israel would be content with staying out of things and letting the Americans handle the situation, much like in the Gulf War. The Israelis certainly won't have their country overrun by an invading force without using nukes, but they also won't intentionally piss off their only large ally. If Israel started tossing nukes without getting hit by a nuke themselves, I think they'd lose American support quite quickly... at least in diplomatic circles (where it really counts). Non-use of nuclear capability should be a very loud subject in closed door meetings between Israeli and American officials.

Arab anger... that's why any invasion would have to be fast, and quickly followed up with massive humanitarian aid. The UN/NATO might even help in that. :)

And of course, there's the wild card in the situation - are India and Pakistan going to stand down and settle things? War between them could complicate everything.

Yes India vs. Pakistan is a bad situation. One (kinda) good thing in that situation is that an all out war between them would be pointless, since if either side were to start to lose a conventional war, it's quite plausible that they'd go nuclear. Then the other side would go nuclear... and then they're all done. So as long as there are non-suicidal people in the lead, we have the good(?) old balance of terror. It's good in that it prevents a lot of conventional war, but bad because of... well, obvious reasons.

That's one situation where diplomacy seems to be the only available route right now. Hopefully no one there would take a conflict with Saddam's regime personally.

The point I'm making here is that I really don't think an invasion of Iraq is a good idea. If Iraq was surrounded by stable democracies that liked us it could be a good idea. But instead, it's in one of the most dangerous parts of the world. We need to be a lot more careful. There's a lot of double dealing going on in that part of the world and taking everything at face value is not a good idea.

It won't be any less dangerous when people who are *not* our allies have long range nuclear delivery capability... one thing that Iraq is moving directly toward. (And then there's also Iran.)

I'm not absolutely certain that an invasion would be a good idea, myself. There's a great deal of uncertainty here... but there always has been and always will. I do, however, see plenty of justification for it, and plenty of reasons why removing Saddam would most likely be a good thing for everyone considered (Saddam and kids are not on my consideration list).

To a certain extent we need to be careful, but we need to be "bold and spicy"* enough to not screw over by timid inaction the people we need to be trying to help.

*okay, so I'm hungry...



[ Parent ]

Just a couple of things (none / 0) (#243)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:02:43 AM EST

Hmm... I seem to recall something like that a while back... but I can't find it with a quick search. You have any pointers to that quote?

No, I'm afraid I don't. It may have just been a case of someone shooting his mouth off; Iran's been kind of quiet about it lately, as far as I know.

It won't be any less dangerous when people who are *not* our allies have long range nuclear delivery capability... one thing that Iraq is moving directly toward. (And then there's also Iran.)

And here I think we've come to the real question - leaving aside the question as to whether it's reasonable for us to insist that other countries shouldn't have WMD when we and several other countries do, is it going to be our policy that ANY country whom we believe is developing these weapons is going to be forcibly restrained from doing so? I have my doubts as to whether it's realistic with nuclear weapons - it's certainly not realistic with chemical or biological weapons. Even assuming it is, clearly we're going to have to commit to more than one war in the future years to enforce this idea, or just admit that we are going to say that some countries are allowed to have them and some aren't. Iran could be next. Will we invade them, also? It's questionable that we could have stopped Pakistan, for example. It's certain we couldn't have stopped India.

There are other options with Iraq. We can simply keep our eyes on what they are doing - if they should happen to be developing a missle base, we can bomb the hell out of it. A full fledged invasion is going to be costly and have unpredictable results. It's conceivable that there might be a time where something like this becomes necessary, but I don't think it's now.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Why is Iraq in the WMD aspects worse than the US? (3.50 / 2) (#231)
by sangdrax on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:46:56 AM EST

America /also/ has WMD and still has after decades of cold war. Americans put cash in it to /not/ use them? Why doesn't America put this money elsewhere?

Even though countries in the world have signed all kinds of treaties with the US, your bombs still ain't gone.

Also, more and more countries aren't seeing the US as being "friendly" anymore. Ofcourse, the US is a very powerful nation, making it a not very balanced situation. And the US just doesn't want it to be. Should we all bust in the US, kill Bush and take away /your/ bombs? Unlike Iraq, you're actually using weapons (well not WMD) on foreign countries lately.

But on these points, you still accuse Iraq of being "bad"?

PS: Ofcourse, Iraq is treating many of its citizens very badly, and there are many countries with WMD like atomic bombs. But that doesn't invalidate my point, IMHO.

PPS: Didn't the US test their chemical/biological weapons on their own soldiers?

[ Parent ]

all these wild speculations (5.00 / 1) (#247)
by FourDegreez on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:25:53 AM EST

Why is Iraq desperately pursuing a WMD (weapons of mass destruction) program.
You mention Iraq's "desperate" pursuit of WMD several times, and yet you haven't cited any sources. The reason you haven't is because such sources do not exist. Even G.W. Bush has no sources to cite when he makes such claims. Whatever you say of Iraq's alleged WMD program is pure speculation. Keep that in mind at all times.
"Desert Storm" was ended on conditions laid out in the terms of cease fire. Iraq has never fully complied with these, at least where weapons inspections teams were concerned.
The US violated the terms by using the inspectors to spy on Hussein, and in so doing, "corrupted and delegitimized the inspections process" (quote from Scott Ritter, head of the weapons inspection team in Iraq). That is why Iraq threw them out. Ritter also said: "On Iraq, where is the threat? I challenge Perle, Butler, Wolfowitz or anyone to a debate about Iraq's weapons programs. When you deal with facts, this kind of rhetoric no longer flies. This entire "Iraqi threat" is built on a framework of lies -- a house of cards." You can find an interview with Ritter here, but it is Salon premium content. Ritter goes on to say that a US invasion of Iraq "would put us outside of the international law" and would place us "on a shortlist of countries that include North Korea when it invaded South Korea and, sadly, Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait in 1990."
3. What are the specific goals of this proposed war? Remove the current government and install whatever interim government will work in this case.. preferrably a 'friendly' democracy.
Yes, because it is working so well in Afghanistan (sarcasm). Why not first build Afghanistan into a respectable democracy to prove out the concept? So far, it has been quite a dismal failure.

[ Parent ]
Smacks of. . . (3.00 / 1) (#272)
by Fantastic Lad on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:37:44 PM EST

All of your reasons smack of exactly the carefully produced answers you were supposed to see.

It is much, much easier for people to be sold on ideas when they think they've looked at the 'facts' and concluded their results independant of anyone telling them how it is. That is, the propaganda has been very effective.

And that's not to say that some of your reasons are valid to a degree. Yes. Iraq hates America and it can be argued, as you have done with such verve, that Iraq poses a threat. But it should be kept in mind that this is has been a carefully exacerbated situation designed to be exactly what it is currently. Iraq is a low-risk straw man which has been set up specifically to be knocked down. --Set up to convince Gung-Ho American voters who fail to see the manipulations, that it is somehow in our best interests to be starving and terrorizing an entire nation of mothers and husbands and children.

Another excuse to keep the super-profitable war machine trundeling along.

I suspect you've heard this argument before in one of its many flavors and are perhaps even rolling your eyes and constructing many clever, pre-recorded responses in your mind. (Heck, at this point, even my objections seem to come pre-recorded, given the number of times I feel the need to point this stuff out people!). In this case, though, my pre-recorded opinions don't make any money for anybody, which makes it reasonable to assume that they are genuinely something I've constructed without the input of well-paid propagandists. In your case, however, this cannot be said with any reliability, simply because there ARE spin doctors who work for agencies who stand to make trainloads of money from continued war.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Lacking logic. (none / 0) (#337)
by Peaker on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:42:37 PM EST

You are basically blaming him for saying things he didn't himself think of. While you may be right about it being some sort of 'propoganda', it still has no connection to whether or not it is the truth.

He tried bringing examples from the past, where America bombed countries and the results thereof.

It could be nice if you responded to what he's saying, rather than pointing out that all he has said has been said many times before, and whether or not it serves the interests of powerful or wealthy men.

[ Parent ]

Already did. (none / 0) (#346)
by Fantastic Lad on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:21:44 PM EST

It could be nice if you responded to what he's saying, rather than pointing out that all he has said has been said many times before, and whether or not it serves the interests of powerful or wealthy men.

I did. I agreed that many of his points were valid to a degree in that Iraq hates America and it can be argued that this poses a threat.

Then I tried to point out that this situation was a manipulated affair, which it seems to me, should help one to realize that arguing about the pros and cons of continuing to be manipulated should be seen as foolhardy.

I don't know about the poster, but when somebody points out to me that I've been played for a fool, rather than continuing to have my reactions directed by greedy and malevolant forces, I like to instead withdraw myself from the game and re-examine the rules with a critical eye in order to perhaps find a way to get out from beneath the thumb of the rule-makers.

But maybe I'm just strange.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Why Saddam Must Go (2.85 / 7) (#213)
by WombatControl on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:56:23 AM EST

There's a host of damn good reason for why President Bush is hawkish on Iraq. The first is that Saddam Hussein represents a major threat to the region. Today the Iraqis once again violated the terms ending the Desert Storm campaign by refusing to allow UN weapons inspectors into Iraq. It is clear that Iraq is developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to be used against the United States.

If that isn't enough, the ten years of UN sanctions have been a dismal failure. The peace activists who called for sanctions as "a more humane way of removing Saddam" are now calling the sanctions genocide. However, the responsibility for the famines wracking Iraq are not on the US, they are squarely on Saddam Hussein who used money from the UN oil for food programs to finance weapons of mass destruction and pay off families of suicide bombers in the PA. It is clear that sanctions alone will not be sufficient to remove the threat.

The next reason is speculative. Czech intelligence agents reported that Sept. 11 ringleader Mohammad Atta met with an Iraqi agent in Prague in the summer previous to the attacks. Some of the hijackers also had symptoms similar to those of a cutaneous anthrax infection. It is quite possible that the source of the anthrax used in the attacks against American media outlets was Iraq. It is quite possible that Iraqi agents could have gotten ahold of small amounts of the Ames anthrax strain and weaponized it themselves or somehow been able to obtain a quantity of weaponized material. If that's true (and there's some possibility of it), it would indicate Iraqi complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks, which is more than enough to justify a military response.

I doubt those reasons will be enough to sway the crowd that believes that Bush is an imperialist looking to dominate the Middle East or build some kind of oil pipeline. But for those of us who live in the real world, the fact remains that Iraq poses a threat, has violated international law, and Saddam Hussein is personally guilty of the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of his own people. If that doesn't justify his swift elimination, I don't know what does.



Huh? some problems with that statement: (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by simonfish on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 01:17:41 AM EST

1st, the anthrax attacks on media outlets are currently(by the very media attacked, and the government of your country)believed to have been inacted by a scientist inside your country. Not somone in Iraq. 2nd, vague reports of somone meeting with another person are nothing to consider too highly. CIA officials were seen meeting with Bin Laden family member and Bin Laden himself over the past two years, yet I don't have nearly enough evidence(nor will I ever I believe) to make an issue of this. 3rd, How the heck could they know that the hijackers were suffering from anthrax symptoms?! HOW?! Think about this: You plowed into a building at 300+ miles per hour, and then were engulfed in flames hot enough to partialy melt steel. And then, through this, your body was intact and identifiable. Not bloody likely, not even in the flight which crash landed in a field. The plane was ripped apart(pieces no bigger then a few metres), and planes are alot more sturdy then human bodies. 4th(yup, my rant continues), I doubt the decision makers decided what was to be done sanction wise. And I refuse to listen to stupidity suggesting that somehow the 'food for oil' sanction was in anyway effective as a peaceful solution. A million(give or take) Iraqi children dead is pretty war-like solution in my eyes, you can't blaim the activists for trying, but I doubt the government actualy didn't know this would happen, nor would they for that matter, have listened to a very small minority of activists.. As to international law, it was international law imposed on them. Deals made under dures are void in your country, why should it be any diferent in the larger world? I suppose thats pushing it. 5th, I suppose the most important point, is to ask: HOW THE HECK ARE THEY GOING TO NUKE YOU? How are they going to lob chemical weapons at you? Biological weapons? They don't have ICBMS, now while airplanes worked once, you honestly think it would work twice? I doubt it. They can't even hit france, believe me, the US is in very little danger from them, and frankly, a million children is alot to pay for a minor threat illiminated. A final thought: If the iraqis didn't have any reason to be mad before you invaded them, they sure as hell do now.

[ Parent ]
Anthrax and Sept. 11 (none / 0) (#253)
by WombatControl on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:31:38 PM EST

Two of the hijackers went to a doctor before the attacks with symptoms that are eerily similar to those of cutaneous anthrax. While no one can know for sure, there does seem to be a chain of circumstantial evidence that ties these two attacks together.



[ Parent ]
.. *mutter* (4.00 / 1) (#311)
by simonfish on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:14:57 AM EST

eerily similer? The symptoms are vague enough that they could be any one of a number of alements. Also, anthrax is a very immediate infection, you don't have it sit around. If they went to a docter, they would have went shortly after infection, and looking at the time frames I find this hard to believe. Also, anthrax is found native in your country. I've seen people catch it. It's not unheard of. To recap: You have a group of people, who might have had an illness, which might have been anthrax(or a cough, or a rash, or mono, or .. ), who might have between training and moving in and out of the US been exposed to what might have been the anthrax involved in this case, despite the potential for it to be a native strain of anthrax, or a strain found elsewhere(diferent from the one which was mailed out, which is definatly from a US lab). And we don't even know they were ill. That chain of circumstantial evidence, is extremly weak, even for circumstantial evidence. so much so it would be the same as me claiming the holocost didn't occure to claim that this was the case(sorry for the bad reference, but you must admit, the evidence is sorely lacking).

[ Parent ]
Why its none of our business whether he goes or no (3.50 / 2) (#230)
by Oh Man on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:53:22 AM EST

There's a host of damn good reason for why President Bush is hawkish on Iraq. The first is that Saddam Hussein represents a major threat to the region. Today the Iraqis once again violated the terms ending the Desert Storm campaign by refusing to allow UN weapons inspectors into Iraq. It is clear that Iraq is developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to be used against the United States.

Iraqi government, just like that of any other country under serios threat of attack, has an obligation to its people to acquire weapons that will provide deterent against that attack. Many countries have weapons of mass destruction (at least chemical and biological), but that doesn't mean that they would be crazy enough to use them, especially against a superpower with 1000's of nuclear weapons, or against its proxy (Israel) with 100's.

It is true that Iraq represents a long term threat to Israel, McCain says so anyway, but this is something that Israel should deal with. Or at least American people should be asked whether they support sending American soldiers to fight and die for Israel.

If that isn't enough, the ten years of UN sanctions have been a dismal failure. The peace activists who called for sanctions as "a more humane way of removing Saddam" are now calling the sanctions genocide. However, the responsibility for the famines wracking Iraq are not on the US, they are squarely on Saddam Hussein who used money from the UN oil for food programs to finance weapons of mass destruction and pay off families of suicide bombers in the PA. It is clear that sanctions alone will not be sufficient to remove the threat.

More rubbish. There is no evidence that oil-for-food program is being used "to finance weapons of mass destruction and pay off families of suicide bombers". Maybe the complete destruction of Iraqi economic infranstructure in the Gulf war, followed by a decade of sanctions and a continuous bombardment by US and Brutain ever since have had something to do with the famine as well? In any case, it is clear that UN sanctions have done an enormous harm and should be lifted. However, USA and Britain are the main obstacles to lifting these sanctions that you yourself called a "dismal failure".

The next reason is speculative. Czech intelligence agents reported that Sept. 11 ringleader Mohammad Atta met with an Iraqi agent in Prague ....

By now even birds know that this story is a failed attempt to pin some sort of a blame for September 11 on Iraq. All the US intelligence agencies have been desperatly seeking to find a connection between the terorrists and Iraq ever since, and all they could come up with is a speculative, and likely fake report by a Czech agent.

I doubt those reasons will be enough to sway the crowd ....

You are right there. It's because you arguments don't make sense and are not backed by evidence.

But for those of us who live in the real world, the fact remains that Iraq poses a threat, has violated international law, and Saddam Hussein is personally guilty of the mass murder of hundreds of thousands ...

Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator for sure, but only one of many in the world. US poses a threat to anybody who doesn't dance to its tune, it has violated the international law innumerable times, and is guilty of the mass murder of hundreds of thousands, in fact millions of civilians since the WWII.

[ Parent ]

Country != Country (none / 0) (#315)
by barnasan on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 02:31:32 AM EST


Iraqi government, just like that of any other country under serios threat of attack, has an obligation to its people to acquire weapons that will provide deterent against that attack. Many countries have weapons of mass destruction (at least chemical and biological), but that doesn't mean that they would be crazy enough to use them, especially against a superpower with 1000's of nuclear weapons, or against its proxy (Israel) with 100's.

That must be one of the stupidest arguments I've ever heard. Wow, your referencing to the "Iraqi government" has something reassuring. You make it sound like they are people you can deal with normally.

What "Iraqi government"? You consider Saddam, one of the bloodiest dictators of all times, and his puppet cabinet a government?

Oh I'm sure if Saddam would feel any obligation towards his people he would stop killing them and wouldn't use aforementioned chemical weapons against them (there aren't any Kurds reading K5 by any chance...???).

Pssst... I tell you a secret. Saddam (like any other dictator) has only one single obligation: to keep himself (and his family and friends) in power - at any price.

You can be sure that Saddam is "crazy enough" to use any weapon he can get hold of without thinking twice - or even once (as he has demonstrated it several times), his only problem is that he cannot build a large enough rocket to send the gas (or whatever) to the U.S. Not yet that is - and that's why he must and will be stopped before this happens.

[ Parent ]

"Iraqi Government"? (none / 0) (#374)
by A Trickster Imp on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:00:07 PM EST

There's only one Iraqi person the Iraqi Government is obliged to protect, and that is the same person doing the obliging.

The bizarre statement made above is the result of an incorrect world view that sees as eqivalent a voluntary government of a free people as being indistinct in validity from a local territory seized by the most vicious local thug, then compounds that error with the cloying temerity to pretend the government is some legitimate one concerned for its own citizens.

[ Parent ]

Factually Incorrect (5.00 / 1) (#244)
by FourDegreez on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:02:50 AM EST

There's a host of damn good reason for why President Bush is hawkish on Iraq. The first is that Saddam Hussein represents a major threat to the region.
Israel, too, represents a major threat to the reason. If one country can be chosen which destabilizes the region the most, it would be Israel. Yet we pump billions of dollars in aid each year in support of Israel.
Today the Iraqis once again violated the terms ending the Desert Storm campaign by refusing to allow UN weapons inspectors into Iraq.
What you don't hear about on Fox News is how we (the US) were the first to violate the terms by using the inspectors to actively spy on Hussein.
It is clear that Iraq is developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to be used against the United States.
It is clear? Okay, then prove it for us simpletons. Please, elaborate. But I do think it is quite unprecedented in the modern world for a country to launch a full-scale military invasion against another country on a hunch that their leader might be up to no good, with zero evidence.
Czech intelligence agents reported that Sept. 11 ringleader Mohammad Atta met with an Iraqi agent in Prague in the summer previous to the attacks.
Czech intelligence retracted that claim. From the linked article: "U.S. investigators no longer believe suicide hijacker Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Europe last year, eliminating the only known link between Saddam Hussein's government and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." There is nothing linking Iraq with the events of 9/11.
Some of the hijackers also had symptoms similar to those of a cutaneous anthrax infection. It is quite possible that the source of the anthrax used in the attacks against American media outlets was Iraq.
First, cite your source. Second, no one in the intelligence community believes the anthrax mailings originated from outside the US. Their investigations have led only to US scientists. Your wild speculation about Iraqi involvement is evidence of how far right-wingers are willing to twist and bend logic to justify their ill-concieved march on Baghdad.
If that's true (and there's some possibility of it), it would indicate Iraqi complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks, which is more than enough to justify a military response.
If you are looking for a target in the holy war on terror, why not at least focus on a more appropriate country. Saudi Arabia's wahabis are known to fund world-wide terrorism. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. You are grasping at straws to try to connect Iraq to 9/11, while the Saudi connection is right in front of your eyes. And as for your statement about justification, would a complete lack of connection between Iraq and 9/11 mean that a military response is not justified?
I doubt those reasons will be enough to sway the crowd that believes that Bush is an imperialist looking to dominate the Middle East or build some kind of oil pipeline. But for those of us who live in the real world ...
If the "real world" consists of such wild speculation and countries going to war on a whim without so much as a shred of evidence against the target country, then I don't want anything to do with it, thanks.

[ Parent ]
hmm ... (none / 0) (#255)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 12:48:59 PM EST

really?

Israel, too, represents a major threat to the reason. If one country can be chosen which destabilizes the region the most, it would be Israel. Yet we pump billions of dollars in aid each year in support of Israel.

Can you give me an example why Israel is supposedly a major threat to the region? Have they ever attacked someone without being attacked and provoked first? What's your rationale for bad-mouthing a tiny country, which is surrounded by hostile nations and attacked for no other reason than some lousy square kilometers of dry desert land for over fifty years. Noone in his right mind would be that greedy for this land. The PA could have plenty of land given to them by other Arab nations.

What you don't hear about on Fox News is how we (the US) were the first to violate the terms by using the inspectors to actively spy on Hussein

Oh my, what a sin. Just imagine the British and Americans hadn't spied successfully on the Germans ... Only an idiot wouldn't spy on someone like Saddam.

It is clear? Okay, then prove it for us simpletons. Please, elaborate. But I do think it is quite unprecedented in the modern world for a country to launch a full-scale military invasion against another country on a hunch that their leader might be up to no good, with zero evidence.

The problems with the simpletons is that they can't understand a proof, if there is one and if there is none. And the problems with the non simpletons is that they obfuscate the proofs for political interests. Case closed. You won't find a perfect proof.

The Atta-Iraq connection is not clear (yet). So are hundreds of other "proofs". I agree with that.

First, cite your source. Second, no one in the intelligence community believes the anthrax mailings originated from outside the US. Their investigations have led only to US scientists.

True, but still not "proven beyond reasonable doubt".

If you are looking for a target in the holy war on terror, why not at least focus on a more appropriate country. Saudi Arabia's wahabis are known to fund world-wide terrorism. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

Sure, but who are the Saudi terrorists? Their government officials? I think a little bit of pressure to the Saudis to get control of their own terrorists would be nice though.

If the "real world" consists of such wild speculation and countries going to war on a whim without so much as a shred of evidence against the target country, then I don't want anything to do with it, thanks.

I understand your concern, but you will have difficulties to have nothing to do with it And there might have at least a shred of evidence.

Would it have helped if the US had attacked Germany only after they had ALL the evidence they found only after the defeat? I don't think so. So, somehow you have to take a risk to make decisions based on "weak evidence" some times. Not that I would support that, but I think it's unavoidable.

[ Parent ]

why so keen to support this war-mongering? (none / 0) (#280)
by FourDegreez on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:43:21 PM EST

Oh my, what a sin. Just imagine the British and Americans hadn't spied successfully on the Germans ... Only an idiot wouldn't spy on someone like Saddam.
And only an idiot would allow himself to be spied upon when he could just throw the inspectors out. The spying that was taking place was outside the scope of the UNSCOM mission. If the inspectors had concerned themselves exclusively with the task of ensuring disarmament, perhaps we wouldn't be in this predicament today.
Would it have helped if the US had attacked Germany only after they had ALL the evidence they found only after the defeat? I don't think so. So, somehow you have to take a risk to make decisions based on "weak evidence" some times.
There can be no comparison between Germany and Iraq. Hitler's Germany was marching across Europe, invading ally nations and leaving death and destruction in its wake. Sure, we might not have known the full extent of the genocide that was taking place at the time, but the justification for sending our military over there was plain as day. The situation today with Iraq bears absolutely no resemblance to WWII Europe. And you use the term "weak evidence." I would use "no evidence." We have no evidence that Saddam is building weapons of mass destruction. We have no evidence that he had any connection with 9/11. Has a sane and civilized country ever gone to war on such a dearth of evidence? I don't think so.

[ Parent ]
I didn't say (none / 0) (#289)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:18:15 PM EST

that I consider it wise to compare Saddam to Hitler anywhere. I think you can read my other comments and it will show you that I am quite careful not to run in war-mongering attitudes, nor am I a supporter of the preemptive strike against Iraq under current conditions. That's what you read in, not what I said.

Nevertheless, spying is the only thing you can do to prevent potential terrorist attacks without going to war. So, I prefer spying. Simple as that.

[ Parent ]

Fact Checking.... (none / 0) (#257)
by WombatControl on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 01:03:40 PM EST

Israel, too, represents a major threat to the reason. If one country can be chosen which destabilizes the region the most, it would be Israel. Yet we pump billions of dollars in aid each year in support of Israel.

Israel is also the only functioning democracy in the region. Would you prefer the Middle East consist of nothing but two-bit theocracies? The fact is, the Middle East's problems have far, far more to do with their own systems of authoritarian government than they do with Israel.

What you don't hear about on Fox News is how we (the US) were the first to violate the terms by using the inspectors to actively spy on Hussein.

So say the Iraqis. In fact, the UN inspectors had a mandate to inspect whatever they wanted under the terms of the surrender agreement. The reason they were kicked out of Iraq is because they were finding that the Iraqi government was rebuilding stocks of chemical and biological weapons. Of course, to the Iraqis, that would be considered "spying"

It is clear? Okay, then prove it for us simpletons. Please, elaborate. But I do think it is quite unprecedented in the modern world for a country to launch a full-scale military invasion against another country on a hunch that their leader might be up to no good, with zero evidence.

Former members of Saddam's weapons program have stated that he is dangerously close to developing nuclear weapons as well as rebuilding his existing WMD capability. Remember, this is the same Saddam Hussein who gassed thousands of Kurds in Northern Iraq. He has used chemical weapons in the past, and the fact that he continues to refuse inspections is another sign that he intends to do so again.

Czech intelligence retracted that claim. From the linked article: "U.S. investigators no longer believe suicide hijacker Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Europe last year, eliminating the only known link between Saddam Hussein's government and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." There is nothing linking Iraq with the events of 9/11.

Even if that meeting never took place, (which I still maintain it did, and was covered up to allow the trail to be investigated further) we know that Iraqi agents had made contact with Osama bin Laden and members of al-Qaeda. In December of 1998, an Iraqi intelligence agent by the name of Farouk Hijazi met with Osama bin Laden in Kandahar. There is evidence that connection was still taking place in the months prior to Sept. 11. Certainly Hussein would have known of bin Laden, and certainly he would have been willing and able to offer support to al-Qaeda.

First, cite your source. Second, no one in the intelligence community believes the anthrax mailings originated from outside the US. Their investigations have led only to US scientists. Your wild speculation about Iraqi involvement is evidence of how far right-wingers are willing to twist and bend logic to justify their ill-concieved march on Baghdad.

Yet after months of searching, there's no evidence other than the type of anthrax strain used that connects the attacks to a domestic source. We also know that the weaponization process was extremely fine. To produce that quantity and quality of anthrax could not be done by someone in a basement lab. It would have to be done by someone with access to a significant weaponization laboratory. A domestic terrorist with access to those kind of facilities would be unlikely to evade capture for this long. Thus the possibility of an Iraqi connection remains a distinct one.

If you are looking for a target in the holy war on terror, why not at least focus on a more appropriate country. Saudi Arabia's wahabis are known to fund world-wide terrorism. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. You are grasping at straws to try to connect Iraq to 9/11, while the Saudi connection is right in front of your eyes. And as for your statement about justification, would a complete lack of connection between Iraq and 9/11 mean that a military response is not justified?

I agree that the House of Saud must be removed from power and Wahhibism treated as the fanatical sect that they are. However, removing Iraq gives us much more leverage over the Saudis and will make that process easier. The recent shifts in US policy make it clear that the Saudis days are numbered, and Iraq is one of those signs

Even if there's no direct connection between Hussein and Sept. 11, the fact remains that the Iraqi regime has refused to comply with the terms of the post Gulf War surrender agreement, therefore meaning that there is sufficient justification for military action against Saddam's regime.

If the "real world" consists of such wild speculation and countries going to war on a whim without so much as a shred of evidence against the target country, then I don't want anything to do with it, thanks.

Unfortunately, the real world doesn't give us the luxury of waiting for a strike with a weapon of mass destruction before we take action. It is clear from numerous sources of evidence that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction, as former Iraqi officials, UN inspectors, and US intelligence all have indicated. It is completely unacceptable for Saddam Hussein to develop these weapons under the terms of the surrender agreement. That in itself is more than enough to defang the Hussein regime and seek one that is more concerned about the welfare of its people than weapons of mass destruction.



[ Parent ]
Israel only LOOKS like a democracy (4.00 / 1) (#274)
by You Are Wrong on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:45:13 PM EST

What is the value of a democracy which is founded on the racist principles of zionism. or whose leaders constantly get assassinated whenever they propose anything resembling peace for their region.

Israel is not a functional democracy due to the nature of the conflict which is has been involved in.  If the US or Canada were involved in the same kind of prolonged struggle against a particular race of people, then they too would no longer be functioning as democracies.

Even now, as we see the United States pursuing its War Against Terror, or a few years ago, when it used to be the War Against Communism, the United States is trying to use coersion to produce the kind of world which is conducive to its success.  Even if at a local level the United States appears to be acting as a democracy, it does not participate in world politics as a democratic member.  Neither does Israel.

If Iraq has been ignoring sanctions, then it is not the only country which does so.  The United States of Israel are two other countries who completely ignore sanctions against them.  So, if you consider the US and Israel to be "functioning democracies", then Iraq is actually in pretty good company, isn't it.

Plus, which functioning democracies are keen to export weapons all over the middle east for fun and profit?? hmm. yes. the US.  Another "democracy".

I don't have much faith in the state of the world's democratic institutions right now... could you tell?

[ Parent ]

The US is a Republic. (none / 0) (#283)
by loucura on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 06:14:10 PM EST

The United States is a democratic Republic, which has NO responsibility for any other nation. The leader's of the United States have responsibilities to their respective constituents, and are given a mandate from two to six years. Why should the United States acknowledge any sanctions levied upon it? 1. No country in the world equals it's military might. 2. No country in the world equals it's economic power either. Now, I don't condone this, but there is nothing in the US Constitution that says that we owe ANYTHING to the rest of the world. Nothing. It does not participate in world politics as a democratic member. Neither does Israel. Can you name ONE country that participates in world politics in a democratic manner? What nation elects it's UN representatives? What nation elects it's diplomats? Are there any? If a nation was to participate in world politics in a democratic manner, it would require that EVERY single resolution decided on the International front to be voted by the populace effected. Since no resolutions are determined in such a manner, world politics is intrinsically not a democratic process. Plus, which functioning democracies are keen to export weapons all over the middle east for fun and profit?? hmm. yes. the US. Another "democracy". Exporting weapons is a facet of capitalism. Not democracy. Democracy is a political institution. Capitalism is an economic institution. While they are often found together, they are not dependent upon one another. Now, the US is a (quasi?) capitalist country, it is in its best interests to export what ever it can to whomever will purchase it. Whether that be food, automobiles or armaments. Since democracy is often linked with capitalism, it is not a violation of the democratic political structure to export weapons to the Middle East.

[ Parent ]
The US is now a plutocracy (none / 0) (#292)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:49:26 PM EST

The US _used_ to be a republic. That started to change during the civil war when a lot of power was centralized. By WW I, financial elites in the US had enough power to get the US to fight a war most of the folks in the US didn't want to fight. Since 1900 the makeup of the voters in the US has changed to the point it doesn't especially matter what the descendents of the people that founded the Republic think/do. Over 80% of the US public oppose US immigration laws - but plutocrats/ financial elites want/get these laws.

[ Parent ]
wrong link (none / 0) (#281)
by FourDegreez on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:46:25 PM EST

Czech link is here

[ Parent ]
Some Reality Might Help (none / 0) (#312)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:19:29 AM EST

Israel, too, represents a major threat to the reason. If one country can be chosen which destabilizes the region the most, it would be Israel.
Israel has a stated policy of peace, which they have stuck to. They have only even occupied territories as a result of being attacked, and they have repeatedly pulled back from those territories as a matter of peace.

Contrast that to her neighbors, who have had a stated policy of destroying Israel for years, have launched countless multilateral attacks, and have openly sponsored terrorism within Israels border.

Hell, if anything you cannot deny that Israel is a stabilizing force if for no other reason that all her neighbors are busy hating Israel instead of each other.
What you don't hear about on Fox News is how we (the US) were the first to violate the terms by using the inspectors to actively spy on Hussein.
That's funny, because I didn't hear it on Drudge Report, Washington Post, Iranian Free Press, Radio for Peace International, UK Daemon, or half a dozen other media outlets I frequent.

As for you points on Saudi Arabia - a defeated Iraq would make a nice starting point doncha think?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Strange logic (5.00 / 1) (#270)
by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:07:17 PM EST

Czech intelligence agents reported that Sept. 11 ringleader Mohammad Atta met with an Iraqi agent in Prague in the summer previous to the attacks.

Bin Laden met with a CIA guy before the attacks. So what ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Yeah, like...TEN YEARS before...your point? [n/t] (3.00 / 2) (#310)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:13:24 AM EST


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
No, a few months in fact n/t (2.50 / 2) (#322)
by Phillip Asheo on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 10:20:09 AM EST


--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

You = Full of Shit [n/t] (1.00 / 1) (#323)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 10:26:20 AM EST


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Whatever, wanker. (2.50 / 2) (#325)
by Phillip Asheo on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 10:43:37 AM EST

It must be nice for you being so sure about everything. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps you are mistaken ?

CIA agent alleged to have met Bin Laden in July

CIA AGENT ALLEGEDLY MET BIN LADEN IN JULY

An article in the French daily Le Figaro confirms that Osama bin Laden underwent surgery in an American Hospital in Dubai in July.

During his stay in the hospital, he met with a CIA official. While on the World's "most wanted list", no attempt was made to arrest him during his two week stay in the hospital, shedding doubt on the Administration's resolve to track down Osama bin Laden.

La CIA aurait rencontré Ben Laden en juillet

Bin Laden 'met CIA agent before terror attacks'

Gaping Holes in the 'CIA vs. bin Laden' Story

Bin Laden comes home to roost

Finally: CIA Says It Didn't Meet With bin Laden

Who do you believe ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Multiplicity and Your Laughable Attempts (none / 0) (#343)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:52:22 PM EST

Lets see, you've got five links to stories that only refer to the story from La Figaro, a Parisian tabloid. The MSNBC article isnt' even related to your allegation that a CIA agent met with Bin Ladin.

Oddly enough, you can't provide a source link to La Figaro themselves, and a search at their site turns up notta.

So, you're basically 1:1 here, and still full of shit. What's the matter, didn't think I'd "recherche" this one?

To answer your question, I wouldn't believe either one.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Again I say, whatever, wanker. (none / 0) (#362)
by Phillip Asheo on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 10:23:32 AM EST

It is not "my allegation". It is the allegation of some journalist somewhere. Being that the journalist is French, and the French hate the Americans even more than most other Europeans, I give the report a lot of credibility.

The fact that you failed to find it at le Figaro just means you are stupid. Anyway most Americans Believe 911 Was Homegrown/NWO Operation


--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

Don't Tell Lies You Can Back Up (none / 0) (#371)
by thelizman on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:26:56 PM EST

It is not "my allegation". It is the allegation of some journalist somewhere.
It was also your allegation. You directly stated (without proof) that Bin Ladin met with a CIA agent. Oddly, Bin Ladin's people don't claim this.
Being that the journalist is French, and the French hate the Americans even more than most other Europeans, I give the report a lot of credibility.
Well, that's a good standard for veracity. "The french hate americans, so whatever bad things the french say about america must be true". My five year old neice has more intelligence than you.
The fact that you failed to find it at le Figaro just means you are stupid.
Oddly, you can't find it either. I wonder which of us is the stupid one, since I never claimed there was an article there.
I wonder if it ever even existed? Anyway most Americans Believe 911 Was Homegrown/NWO Operation
Most? Ha! Not even "a lot". I'm through feeding this ignorant troll, hopefully you'll starve to death.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Bush must go (none / 0) (#279)
by svampa on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:31:25 PM EST

A lot of people all over the world thinks that Bush is not a good president, has jeopardized world peace, and is turning it's own contry in a police state.

I think the answer of any USA citizen is "That's not your bussines, you don't have to like it"

Why that answer is not valid from an Iraqui citizen?



[ Parent ]
The Iraqi Citizenry Ever Gave Such An Answer... (none / 0) (#309)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:12:30 AM EST

"Free Elections" in Iraq mean you don't pay for anything.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Did they say help ? (none / 0) (#335)
by svampa on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:24:42 PM EST

I don't think they want to be liberated by bombs losing their lifes their houses.

Probably most of Iraq people is more anti-american than ant-hussein. They balme USA for their hunger, UN sanctions, Gulf war etc.

if there are free Elections will win an islamist, like in a lot of Arabian countries, or a socialist, like in a lot of pour countries. I don't think USA will like it. And probably USA won't allow it, like did before in Iran, that supported Sha agains a prosocialist regime, Like did in Iraq that supported Sadam Hussein against a comunist regime.(yes, long time ago, the same dictator was USA friendly ally against Iran)

The feeling is that they don't want to be bombed to exchange Sadam Hussein for a USA pupet. They don't trust in USA, and they recall USA bombs.

Don't say he must go because is nasty dictator for Iraqui people, it has never been important in USA policy.



[ Parent ]
Like You Know Anything? (none / 0) (#344)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:54:31 PM EST

Your baseless speculation and unfounded non sequiter assumptions don't really impress me. The fact of the matter is that there is a sizable ex-patriat community that wants Saddam out. Regardless, its only one reason why he has to go.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
and why (none / 0) (#350)
by sal5ero on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 08:08:19 PM EST

should the ex-patriots have any say over the matter? surely only those living *IN* the country should have a say?




[ Parent ]
Watch out for that corner... (none / 0) (#356)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 09:23:48 PM EST

should the ex-patriots have any say over the matter? surely only those living *IN* the country should have a say?
Good point, so then all we have to do is kick every Iraqi out and then they no longer have a say in what happens in Iraq right?

And it's spelled e-x-p-a-t-r-i-a-t.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#357)
by sal5ero on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 11:00:19 PM EST

because kicking the iraqis out would be depriving them of their rights by that action, which would then be wrong. i was referring to people who leave a country of their own free will. i don't expect to be able to have a say in my home country until i return there. ex-patriot <=> ex-patriat, does it really matter that much?




[ Parent ]
Yes, Because Words Have Meanings (none / 0) (#365)
by thelizman on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:13:18 PM EST

because kicking the iraqis out would be depriving them of their rights by that action, which would then be wrong.
So you can then agree that just because a person has been forced out of their home country does not mean they should no longer be able to effect change within their country. The difference is, you seem to selectively grant that right to those people "we" would have forced out, but deny it to those people Saddam forced out. There is no consistancy in that in and of itself, and if you consider external factors (like your disdain for the US) then it appears hypocritical. So, would you care to revise this doctrine of yours?
ex-patriot <=> ex-patriat, does it really matter that much?
Yes, because the implications of an 'ex-patriot' are vastly different from those of an 'expatriat'. The latter means one who has left their country by means of hardship or exile, while the former implies someone who is no longer a patriot.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
blah (none / 0) (#384)
by sal5ero on Wed Jul 10, 2002 at 07:18:39 PM EST

the sort of ex-patriats i had in mind were ones leaving their home country of their own volition. i don't know much about the specifics of this situation.

oh, and the meaning of the word should have been obvious anyway as i was talking about the same one you were, even if i did type the wrong one. yeah it would have been confusing if i had brought up the word first, but you did, so it should have been obvious. you obviously knew which one i was talking about.




[ Parent ]
once again, did they say help? (none / 0) (#359)
by svampa on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 03:43:07 AM EST

My baseless speculation is based upon the history of USA help to remove and put dictators. It's only speculation, but based on a quite fixed precedent

Do the sizable ex-patriat comunity wants a war? I've heard a lot of them in TV that hate sadam hussein, but don't want embargo that only damage people. Do they want a war? that's speculation too.

Regardless, its only one reason why he has to go.

Yes, it's not only one, not the main, in fact it is so little important, that more than a reason it is an excuse for this war.



[ Parent ]
I'm taking the bait... (none / 0) (#358)
by mirleid on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 01:27:07 AM EST

What a bunch of crap!!!!!! Are you sure you aren't the CIA/NSA/FEMA/Whatever idiot in charge of spouting 100% proof, true, unadulterated crap on this site?

BTW, do you mean to tell me that somebody was able to recover the corpses of some of the other suicidal idiots that perpetrated 911? From the ruins of the WTC/Pentagon? After a plane crash? After a building collapsed on them?

Moreover (and not meaning to give anybody the impression that I take you seriously or that you are able to have a rational discussion), what the fuck do you care that Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of his own people? Sukarno (go look it up if you dont who that was) happily slaughtered a few thousands himself, with the benediction of Henry "lying dickhead bastard" Kissinger and the US government, and, with regards to abiding by international law, go have a look at what is going on in Gulagtanamo!!!

This said, I think that you pretty much get the idea regarding what I think of your post!!!



Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
What will this mean? (2.50 / 2) (#225)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:00:08 AM EST

The current public consensus seems to be that a war with Iraq will be quick and clean. This overlooks several important facts:

A war with Iraq will involve substantially more casualties than Viet Nam war.

The US is far more divided at the onset of this war than it was during the onset of the Viet Nam war.

Viet Nam had no real ability to conduct war within the US: Iraq and Islamic allies have demonstrated such capacity.

Islamic governments friendly to the US in the middle east are all a bit shakey.

US involvement in the middle east has gone on for over 10 years and shows no indication of ending any time soon. Already, much of the Arab world has extreme hostility against elites based in the United States. Within the next 10 years, I expect the US will get dragged into conflicts in Latin America and the Far East-and will find its relationship with India and China become extremely strained. Strikes against the US will continue-but the strikes against the US will be highly stategic and the US will be unable to respond similarly. Discontent in the US will increase to the point that the US is quite literally torn apart.

Operation Desert Storm (4.00 / 2) (#226)
by Talez on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:14:04 AM EST

A war with Iraq will involve substantially more casualties than Viet Nam war.

265 casualties from Operation Desert Storm and I think you yanks know what you're doing better now (ie, you know how to fight properly in desert). I really think the Iraqis are in much trouble. ;)

Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
[ Parent ]
There is a bit of a difference between fighting (3.00 / 1) (#227)
by llamasex on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:34:58 AM EST

in Kuwait and fighting in Iraq. In Kuwait they hadn't had time to Bunker down and set up lines of defense etc etc. Whereas Iraq is a bit better set up to fight off an invasion, as opposed to defending a country you just took over.

Howard Dean punched me in the face
[ Parent ]
You're wrong in two places (3.00 / 1) (#235)
by Demiurge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 07:22:13 AM EST

Fighting in the Gulf War did take place inside Iraq proper.


And after 10 years of embargoes, with a military force that has still not been rebuilt to the strength it had before the war, Saddam will have no chance of resisting the American military.

[ Parent ]
We were fighting in the desert ... (none / 0) (#245)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:09:35 AM EST

... against an enemy that was using WWI tactics in a WW3 era war. Three things will have changed - one, we will be fighting in urban areas, possibly against irregular troops. Two, I find it inconceivable that Saddam hasn't learned something about modern warfare from the thrashing he's received. Three, once we won, we would have to hold the territory we'd won, not just fly over it and bomb anything we didn't like. This last reason could be the toughest of all.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Ground troops fought in Iraq? (none / 0) (#288)
by llamasex on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 08:04:21 PM EST

or are you just talking about the bombings?

Howard Dean punched me in the face
[ Parent ]
The Hell You Say... (none / 0) (#302)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 12:55:32 AM EST

Fighting in the Gulf War did take place inside Iraq proper.
So that giant armor-cav charge did'nt happen "inside Iraq"? And I suppose the scud-hunting missions performed by SpecFor - they all happenned in the Neutral zone? You'll have to excuse me, but my recollection of recent history is slightly different.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Shit, nevermind... (none / 0) (#304)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:01:24 AM EST

contact fuzzy, didn't see the "did" for the "didn't". TIME FOR BED.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Hmm, a flaw of logic? (none / 0) (#341)
by nhl on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:19:51 PM EST

If the Iraqi military pose no threat to US invaders (as claimed), and lacks credible weaponry, why is the US worried in the first place about Iraq? My own guess (which probably isn't worth many cents) is that the US is not at all worried about Iraq or what President Hussein is doing, but a new war against a new "arch-evil" will atleast temporarily keep the US citizens from asking their government how the search for Bin Laden is doing. (Not to mention asking nasty questions about terroris... err "unlawful combatants" and their legal rights).

[ Parent ]
Defensive Positions (4.00 / 1) (#364)
by Merk00 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 11:41:35 AM EST

Actually, the Iraqi soldiers were heavily in defensive positions during the Gulf War. In fact, the only ones that survived the air attacks were bunkered down where they couldn't be seen or hit from the air. That said, the reason that the coallition forces were able to easily destroy the Iraqi's was simply that they did not attack directly against the defensive positions. They attacked around them (the initial attack was on the Iraqi's right flank in the desert). Had the coallition forces attacked head on, casualities would have been much higher.

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

No CHANCE (4.00 / 2) (#228)
by FuriousXGeorge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:39:29 AM EST

The US forces are much, much, MUCH better suited to fight a war in a desert than a war in a jungle.

If the gulf war didn't prove that, what more do you need?

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Bullshit [rant] (3.66 / 3) (#237)
by phybre187 on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 07:59:09 AM EST

The current public consensus seems to be that a war with Iraq will be quick and clean.

I was never asked. I'm a member of the public. It's a bullshit statement, with no basis.

A war with Iraq will involve substantially more casualties than Viet Nam war.

I dispute your psychic abilities. It's also unreasonable to assume that. Who are these people that will die? US soldiers? How many have died in Afghanistan so far? Or perhaps Iraqi civilians? How many died in Desert Storm? It's only reasonable to assume that LESS will die than in Desert Storm, since killing technology has advanced since then.

The US is far more divided at the onset of this war than it was during the onset of the Viet Nam war.

I don't even know what you mean by "divided" here. That's ridiculously vague. Vietnam was decades ago. There's no basis for comparing a possible war with Iraq to what happened in Vietnam.

Viet Nam had no real ability to conduct war within the US: Iraq and Islamic allies have demonstrated such capacity.

No real ability? Have you ever READ a fucking history book? Who completed their objective in the Vietnam "war" and who pulled out? What is "such capacity" ? That's another ridiculously vague statement.

Islamic governments friendly to the US in the middle east are all a bit shakey.

Yes, the sheer number of your examples shows that.

Within the next 10 years, I expect the US will get dragged into conflicts in Latin America [...]

Yeah, that's really fucking insightful, Nostradamus. Because Latin America isn't a hotbed of political turmoil or anything, and the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine hasn't stipulated that we'd routinely get involved in the affairs of any country in the Americas. I must really applaud your amazing predictive skills.

[...] and the Far East-and will find its relationship with India and China become extremely strained.

Once again, your gift for prophecy has taken me aback. The US relations with India (a country that doesn't even really have a consistent government within its borders) and China (communist, enough said) will become strained some time in the future? Get RIGHT out of town! You should start putting this down in quattrain form!

Strikes against the US will continue

You mean all those peace talks with Bin Laden, Hammas, Arafat's suicide bombers, and every other terrorist organization have broken down? SHIT! That was our only hope for the future!

but the strikes against the US will be highly stategic and the US will be unable to respond similarly.

Similarly to what? They aren't highly strategic now? Fooled me. Whether an operation is "highly strategic" or not does not depend on whether it succeeds.

Discontent in the US will increase to the point that the US is quite literally torn apart.

You mean the US won't exist forever? How shocking. That shakes the very foundations of my world. I thought it would endure forever... like Rome... oh wait.

You post a lot of total bullshit and seem obsessed with finding and destroying these "elites" you constantly talk about. Perhaps some day you'll even decide how you want to define the term, instead of using it as a label for any corporate or government entity that doesn't cater to you.

[ Parent ]
Time will tell (none / 0) (#262)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 02:50:03 PM EST

In the piece to which you replied, I made some speculative statements. Now, the simple fact is that predictions can only be evaluated at some future date. How would you suggest we keep score here? I'd suggest that in comparing this to Viet Nam, we'd need to take at least 12 years. So the question becomes: What odds would you place on the premise that in 2014 everything will have settled down? What odds would you place on the premise that before 2014 the US will have experienced another 5,000 civilian casualities and at least 50,000 military casualities related to Mid East conflict? Personally, I'd put the odds of things settling down beween the US/MidEast at less than 5% and the odds of civilian/military casualities at the level above at greater than 80%.

What are the other key isssues that may or may not come to pass here. I don't claim to be 100% accurate in my predictions here. I do think it is useful though for us to lay out what we all expect so that we can over time see who has some credibility on these issues.

[ Parent ]

I predict (3.50 / 2) (#297)
by fluxrad on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 10:54:26 PM EST

At some time in the future there will be a flood! It is coming...maybe to Missouri!

There will also be people dying somewhere else of.....of.....um......STARVATION! YES!! I SEE IT IN MY MIND'S EYE!!!!

And I predict that within the next 6 years, George W. Bush will be replaced as the president. The people will rise up and vote for a new leader!

now that's three predictions i have just made. if they all come to pass then it's obvious that I am the most credible person on K5, not you!

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
gureilla vs conventional warfare. (3.00 / 1) (#366)
by wtmcgee on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 12:42:14 PM EST

in my opinion, any war that the US wages in a more "conventional" manner (i.e. our army attacks a country with a similar army with many planes, tanks, troops, using military tactics), the US will win this war very handily. with the air supremacy we can establish within days, and the sheer tech. advantage and training advantage we have, most of these type of wars are won quickly. the only way to beat the US was shown in vietnam - take our advantages (sheer numbers, technology and planning) and take them away with gureilla warfare. it beat the russians in afghanistan, and beat us in vietnam. i'm not saying i condone or agree with an attack on iraq - i'm just saying it probablly WILL be a pushover of sorts. more people will die than in desert storm, but not vietnam-like numbers.

[ Parent ]
Look.... (2.00 / 2) (#229)
by FuriousXGeorge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:46:55 AM EST

This is my criteria for when I would fight, and when I think the US should fight...
  1.  If genocide on the level of hitler (or close, see Rwanda) is occuring.
  2.  If the US is directly attacked.
I don't see this from SoDamn Insane.

He never directly attacked us, and he isn't hitler.

I'm all for fragging the motherfuckers responsible for 911, but SoDamn Insane isn't the guy.

If the people of Iraq what our help to get out of dictatorship and achieve democracy, I say help them.

But all this invasion will result in is MORE CIVILIAN DEATHS.  I just won't tolerate that shit.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!

Interesting (none / 0) (#233)
by phybre187 on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 07:14:04 AM EST

Why do you think it's the responsibility of the United States to prevent genocide outside of its borders? I'm also interested in the minimum necessary death count involved to fit your "on the level of hitler (or close [...] )" criterium. Is that to imply that the "cleansing" of a smaller ethnic group is perfectly acceptable? Or is the firepower of Uncle Sam just too valuable to be wasted on so many small atrocities?

[ Parent ]
No, (none / 0) (#250)
by mami on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 11:25:44 AM EST

I think it's the responsibility of the US military power to use its might to prevent atrocities outside its borders, if there is a clear sign that the atrocities go so far that more than fifty percent of that nation's population is eliminated.

To be VERY cynical, I think the so-called "small" atrocities outside of US borders should be dealt with by the involved countries themselves. Of course, that is quite difficult, if those countries would use nuclear missiles etc. And of course that doesn't count, if the atrocities are spread out worldwide caused by a loose network of terrorists, who ethnically or ideologically kill people worldwide at unknown places.

But if the atrocities are geoghaphically contained in a certain area, how else do you think those killers will ever have the only experience, which will make them stop slaughtering themselves? That experience being the total exhaustion over their own messy wars. People have to get sick over their own shit to want to go to the negotiating table. So, let them do that. Sad, but true.

If the US were to come in as big daddy to help to prevent each ethnic conflict everywhere in the world, you can be sure, people count on that and count that US reaction in.

The same way those countries count in the fact that the US can always to be counted on to get weapons from them they want. So, you can't have it both ways.

Either the US is truely independent and powerful and will not need to go into bed with the wrong guys for "national interests" (aside for reasons of true self-defense) or it is not.

If you need to sell your weapons today to your future "genocidal" enemies tomorrow to keep your economy going, then you don't need to be surprised to end up to be drawn into conflicts all the time to prevent the wrong guys to use those weapons to slaughter some other guys.


[ Parent ]

That only works for (relatively) equal combatants (5.00 / 1) (#336)
by Wateshay on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:40:54 PM EST

I'm pretty sure the Kurds have total exhaustion over Saddam's attempts to wipe them off the face of the Earth. It doesn't do them much good, though, if the government of their country has no desire to negotiate, and is in such a position that they are so much stronger as to never reach a point of even near exhaustion. Nor do Iraq's neighbors have any desire to stop the slaughter.

Furthermore, I think you will find exactly the same situation in every other case of genocide throughout history. Genocide doesn't occur if both sides can effectively fight back.

As for you suggestion that we should wait until 50% of a given population has been slaughtered before doing anything, I'm not going to even dignify that with an answer.


"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
Heh, (none / 0) (#273)
by FuriousXGeorge on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:38:43 PM EST

It's the responbility of ANY moral person or country to try and stop genocide if they can.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Morality is relative [nt] (none / 0) (#373)
by phybre187 on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 09:37:08 PM EST



[ Parent ]
That's cool but.. (3.00 / 1) (#268)
by sunyata on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 03:34:07 PM EST

Its not the point. The US Gov. could give a rats ass about genocide, if we did, then we would truly do something about it, yet in all these cases, we actually come out in support of the genocidal regime.

One could argue US policy actually tends to support genocide on a global scale. This could be the reason the USA band of thugs is literally shitting their pants right now. If the Court could try us, we may be found guilty again of terrorism, or worse..

The again, its much easier to just cry out, why do they hate us?

[ Parent ]

What are you waiting for... (4.00 / 1) (#308)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:10:58 AM EST

  1. If genocide on the level of hitler (or close, see Rwanda) is occuring.
  2. If the US is directly attacked.
I don't see this from SoDamn Insane.
So, you're waiting for Hussein to hit the 3 million dead mark before you mark him a genocidal maniac? I do believe the Kurdish slaughter in Iraq alone has met Rwandan standards.

As for attacking the US directly, NOBODY is that damn stupid. Okay, well one guy was, but we're not even sure he lived past 6 months after. Make no mistake: Saddam Hussein lacks compuction, but would not deign to cause massive damage to America if he could do it without being connected to the act.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Scary (3.40 / 5) (#260)
by marckris on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 02:22:30 PM EST

I am all against terrorism but judging the average comments and what has been going lately from the news, etc. I can't help myself of thinking that the US is the most dangerous nation today. A very "ingenious" way of thinking ("solving" the world's problem) by a Country that has "In God We Trust" on it's bill.


Related? Nope (none / 0) (#306)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:04:18 AM EST

by a Country that has "In God We Trust" on it's bill.
And that has what to do with anything?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Mandate my ass. (4.60 / 5) (#269)
by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:04:25 PM EST

In our country, which is a republic, the leaders need a mandate from the people. Getting such a mandate is not as simple as running a few TV commercials...

It isn't ?

--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long

Shall we count the ways? (3.00 / 3) (#271)
by wytcld on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:09:33 PM EST

Let's see:

1. Not a democracy
2. Run by someone insance
3. Willing to kill even his own subjects wontonly
4. Developing nuclear and biological weapons

Any time those four measures are met, not launching an all-out attack amounts to a sort of suicide wish on our part. And we have to be sure that other nations realize that we are the most dangerous nation on earth - and that if they meet those four conditions it amounts to a suicide wish on their part, which we will help them fulfill.

Re: Shall we count the ways? (4.00 / 3) (#275)
by bojwolb on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 04:57:45 PM EST

You know,
The US passes your points 2, 3, and 4. Doesn't that make you awfully close to some terrorist nation?

And we have to be sure that other nations realize that we are the most dangerous nation on earth

I sincerely hope this isn't what the average American feel about foreign politics.

[ Parent ]

hell, they even pass 1. (none / 0) (#294)
by toastman on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 09:14:41 PM EST

Bush was appointed..

not exactly very democratic.

[ Parent ]

Evidence? (none / 0) (#305)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:03:04 AM EST

I suppose you have valid proof that we meet 2 and 3, at least in the degree Iraq does?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Well. (none / 0) (#331)
by bojwolb on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 02:56:16 PM EST

Valid proof? No.

Common sense, however, tells me that just ignoring the Koyto charter all of a sudden, is insanity. As is throwing away a whole fucking lot of money on a super-duper rocket shield when it could have been used fighting poverty and crime. The man is paranoid.

Also, you may want to take a look at the statistics for people sentenced to death in Texas the last years, for example. Then take a look at how many on death row has been found out to be innocent afterall.

I'm not sure, but isn't "One nation, under God" something you say in the schools over there?
Death sentence is something that places you beside God, not under. Which is insanity.

[ Parent ]
Difference (none / 0) (#334)
by Peaker on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:14:28 PM EST

There's a difference between death rows and throwing biochemical weapons at concentrated populations in your own country.

Also rememmber that you are not exposed to any of the meterial the government is, and an educated government decision about a missle shield may be very right, and for reasons you may not be exposed to.

[ Parent ]

Is there such thing as a "thought sharpener&q (none / 0) (#345)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 07:06:34 PM EST

Common sense, however, tells me that just ignoring the Koyto charter all of a sudden, is insanity.
Common sense (at least yours) should tell you that the Kyoto treaty is a piece of shit. The big pollutors like China and India are exempt. The US is the only other significant contributor to world emissions. You'll also note that the only people who have ratified the Kyoto accords are themselves either exempted or non-industrial.
As is throwing away a whole fucking lot of money on a super-duper rocket shield when it could have been used fighting poverty and crime. The man is paranoid.
As it stands, I (and many other Americans) want it used for missile defense. We can deal with crime and poverty (and it would be ignorance to assume we are not dealing with it anyway) over time, but it will only take a few nukes from North Korea or China to kill more people than crime or poverty has done in the last 100 years. Failing to provide a missile sheild now is like failing to arrest terrorists pre-9/11...short sighted.
Also, you may want to take a look at the statistics for people sentenced to death in Texas the last years, for example. Then take a look at how many on death row has been found out to be innocent afterall.
The governer of Texas neither judges nor sentences criminals. Likewise, unlike other governers, he cannot issue a stay of execution. So, precisely what are you blaming Bush for here? I suppose I can hold you just as responsible under that logic.
I'm not sure, but isn't "One nation, under God" something you say in the schools over there?
That was added in to the pledge of allegience in 1954. The money is imprinted with "In God We Trust". It doesn't say who's god, and enough people worship money to make it their god. I still don't see a point to this line of allegations.
Death sentence is something that places you beside God, not under. Which is insanity.
No, death sentence is something that places someone convicted of a crime before God. People have the right to judge each others actions, but not their souls. Many a person miss this fine theological distinction. But, as has already been stated, that doesn't relate to Bush in any way. I'm still waiting on a point.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Iraq is the enemy of Israel ... (3.00 / 3) (#296)
by Judson39 on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 09:45:49 PM EST

Oil doesn't have anything to do with it ... we are acting like the surrogate army for Israel. What do you think the Evangelical Christians are praying for? Jerusalem is to be the ruling center of the world in their view ... but this is only becausae they believe that they have immortal souls that will perish in hell if they don't support the Jews.

[ Parent ]
Aaah, no... (4.00 / 1) (#303)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:00:29 AM EST

a) Your interpretation of Christian End-Times Cults missed the mark. The mark is over there, and your point hit right about.... here.

b) We are acting like the only thing between Israel and the rest of the middle east. That much is true, only in that we have restrained Israel from stomping her neighbors into a mudhole and then walking it dry. Israel doesn't need the US to fight for them. Last time I checked they did quite a good job cleaning their neighbors clocks on multiple fronts in unprecedented military actions that historically doomed any country in Israels situation.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Count yourself (2.00 / 2) (#327)
by amorangi on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 12:00:57 PM EST

Oh, when I read that I presumed you were talking about the USA! But you are talking about Iraq, right?

[ Parent ]
Arab Human Development Report 2002 (4.00 / 2) (#276)
by thebrix on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:14:59 PM EST

I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned this, just published and with an Egyptian principal author. Goodness knows what the solutions to the (colossal) problems are, but dropping bombs almost certainly isn't one of them.

Economist story

UN report (huge)

Thanks!!! (none / 0) (#320)
by Futurepower on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:58:51 AM EST

Thanks for mentioning that report. It's excellent.

[ Parent ]
And more (none / 0) (#321)
by thebrix on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 09:39:29 AM EST

The reports on freedomhouse.org (particularly relating to press and democratic freedoms) are interesting, and also paint a deplorable picture:

Press Freedom Surveys 1999-2002

Freedom in the World 2001-2

[ Parent ]

The real reason.. (4.50 / 4) (#278)
by Sheepdot on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 05:21:21 PM EST

I'm going to state this only once on this site because you're simply going to believe me or you're not.
  1. Corporate world needs oil.
  2. Enviromentalists say no drilling.
  3. Democrats agree in attacking Iraq.
It comes down to political push and pull.

The environ*mental*ists have enough control to make it so Bush can't open up places for drilling, but the people they feed money to aren't opposed to war. Same goes for corporate fat cats that just want the oil, some care about the trees, some don't. None of them have a problem with attacking Iraq.

So why Iraq? Because the US can. That's why the US does a LOT of crap. Personally it makes me sick that my government would do this kind of stuff. But it also makes me sick to see people influencing politicans so the only other alternative is an "us vs. them" scenario.

In short: its inevitable.

Take Responsibility... (3.33 / 3) (#301)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 12:45:36 AM EST

Corporate world needs oil.
I suppose you don't drive a car? You don't use electricity? You wear all natural materials? Puhleeze. Corporations pander to consumers. I know its easy to blame the faceless corporations and make them your whipping boy, but at the end of the day you're the one buying products made oil. Blame yourself.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
gee (none / 0) (#307)
by sayke on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 01:09:33 AM EST

i don't drive a car, my bike is made from aluminum, my electricity is generated by dams, and my clothes are made out of cotton and wool.

eh? my shoes have some plastic and rubber to go with their leather, and some of my clothes have nylon in em? well gee, i suppose i'm responsibile for all the excesses of corporate america.

bah. don't blame me for their shortsighted actions. i actively oppose them.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Nice Try, But No... (none / 0) (#324)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 10:31:20 AM EST

i don't drive a car, my bike is made from aluminum,
Aluminum - refined metal. You have any idea how much oil is used in making your bike?
my electricity is generated by dams,
No, only part of your electricity is generated by dams. Unless you're connected stright to the generator, your power comes from a grid which gets its electricity from a variety of sources.
well gee, i suppose i'm responsibile for all the excesses of corporate america.

bah. don't blame me for their shortsighted actions. i actively oppose them.
Don't kid yourself mr holier than thou. You support corporate America with your money - hardly "active opposition".
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Electricity generated by dams. (none / 0) (#328)
by vectro on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 12:43:04 PM EST

Well, you can't really say where his electricity was generated, since it's a huge grid. But it's entirely possible that the <EM>money</EM> for his electricity goes only to dams, and that's what counts.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Nope... (none / 0) (#342)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 06:37:24 PM EST

That would depend on a large number of assumptions, adn of all the damn dams I'm aware of, you don't knwo hwere your money is going.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Nope... (none / 0) (#354)
by vectro on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 09:01:29 PM EST

See <A HREF="http://www.green-e.org/">here</A>, <A HREF="http://www.greenelectricity.org/">here</A>, <A HREF="http://www.greenmountain.com/index.jsp">here</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.greenprices.com">here</A>. Of course, we don't know what country sayke lives in. But there's a good chance he uses a green tarrif.

Of course, you're being deliberately obtuse here. If sayte is truthful, he's using orders of magnitude less oil than the average westerner, and bears corespondingly very little blame for worldwide oil consumption. Not to mention the impossibility of living entirely without supporting oil in any way, especially in the US.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Nope... (none / 0) (#355)
by vectro on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 09:02:44 PM EST

Apologies for the poor choice of formatting. Let's try again.

See here, here, here, and here. Of course, we don't know what country sayke lives in. But there's a good chance he uses a green tarrif.

Of course, you're being deliberately obtuse here. If sayte is truthful, he's using orders of magnitude less oil than the average westerner, and bears corespondingly very little blame for worldwide oil consumption. Not to mention the impossibility of living entirely without supporting oil in any way, especially in the US.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Actually (none / 0) (#381)
by Sheepdot on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 08:40:33 PM EST

It is possible to live without supporting big oil.

Its the real environmentalists that I truly admire. Guys like my fruitcake (I still admire him, but he was crazy at the time) of an uncle that decided that they would buy land in Montana and live off of their gardens.

The problem is, these people are as detached from reality as the most profit hungry CEO. And while a CEO is making stockholders and board members rich while they get rich, my uncle is only helping himself.

Now we can get into the whole selfish/not selfish crap, but I'm not a fucking Randite and that bitch can get skull fucked for all I care. What really is at issue here is what happens when both the scientists/environmentalists and corporate bigwigs decide that "hey, its not worth fucking with anymore" and start to quit participating in society as we know it and support themselves, which they know they can do.

Sort of like an Atlas Shrugged, but not just of rich men and celebrities, but men and women meritocrats of all breeds. That is more believable if you ask me.


[ Parent ]

Living off their gardens (none / 0) (#382)
by vectro on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 09:16:10 PM EST

Do they grow wheat? If so, better ensure the government doesn't find out -- growing your own wheat is usually illegal under protectionist US law. Same for a number of other crops.

Do they pay taxes? If so, they're supporting the US government, which in turn supports big oil in a number of ways.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Hah. (none / 0) (#385)
by Sheepdot on Thu Jul 11, 2002 at 08:42:05 PM EST

In Montana nothing is illegal except for the stuff that offends other people. If you stick to your own land, you're not going to have to deal or worry about the government and that includes federal, state, and local.

[ Parent ]
Nice theory (5.00 / 1) (#386)
by vectro on Fri Jul 12, 2002 at 03:00:27 AM EST

but unfortunately the federal government has a habit of enforcing its laws even where they're not wanted.

Now, it's entirely possible that no one will prosecute in this particular case, but it has happened in the past (not in Montana) and could very well happen again, especially if one pisses off the authorities.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Not sure (none / 0) (#383)
by vectro on Tue Jul 09, 2002 at 09:18:36 PM EST

I'm unclear on what you're trying to say in the last two paragraphs -- what is the antecedant of "it" in the quotes?

If you're saying what I think you're saying, I think it's a pipe dream. Human nature is to seek power. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

you missed the point greviously. (5.00 / 1) (#351)
by anti filidor on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 08:10:18 PM EST

He wasn't really whining about the fact that the corporate world needs oil.  He was stating it as the fact that it is.  

He was talking about where we get that oil, and the wars we're willing to undertake to avoid upsetting US-Centric environmentalists.

[ Parent ]

Corporations pander to consumers. (none / 0) (#352)
by Sheepdot on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 08:53:31 PM EST

Corporations pander to consumers.

Precisely. And due to taxes and other functions these thugs promise those they "protect", the wealthier kids get to offer better things to help keep these thugs in power while not losing as much of their lunch money.

It's not just the wealthier kids.. its the sleaziest ones. Which is why both environmentalist and corporate policy makers are at fault. The only way to make it so they don't influence government is to give the government NO AUTHORITY in the matter.

But enough with the classical liberalist stuff I spew out on here in ever comment, none of it ever sinks in, so it goes to waste.

[ Parent ]

There are things more important than peace (3.00 / 2) (#316)
by annenk38 on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:11:20 AM EST

There are more important things than peace. In particular, for the U.S. the price of gasoline is certainly one of them. Do you remember how just two years ago the truckers converged on Washington to demand a gas price relief. And I would wager they represented a fair cross-section of the general population in their views. The fact is, gasoline is the blood of the U.S. economy, and most people do not care where it comes from, or at what cost, so long as it doesn't weigh too heavy a burden on their wallets. Persian Gulf is the number one U.S. "interest", and Iraq is the thorn in our side. The opportunity to vanquish it is now, while the iron is hot, while the patriotic fervor runs high. Peace sells, but who's buying?

And if my left hand causes me to stumble as well -- what do I cut it off with? -- Harry, Prince of Wales (The Blackadder)
Figure all the costs (4.00 / 2) (#317)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:46:01 AM EST

Why should the general public be taxed to subsidize the price of oil and the state of Israel? If you add in the costs of military involvement in the Middle East, the oil in that region is simply not a practical energy source in today's market. One problem is that these costs are invisible to consumers of MidEast oil so there are limited incentives to correct the situation.

What ought to happen here:
US/EU, ought to both place substantial a tax on MidEast oil to be used to pay for the current military costs associated in the middle east and use the resulting funds to reduce other taxes on their populations--and to have serious reasearch into technologies that would remove the dependency of the West upon MidEast Oil. Aid to Israel should be eliminated and aid be made available to westerners/industries that are especially negatively affected during the transition period.

There was some legislation proposed to the House GOP leadership a while back to have a series of substantial prize awards that would lead to creation of a practical fusion reactor(the total was something like $US 200 Billion). This would be a lot cheaper than fighting WW III over oil and a genocidal religious text.



[ Parent ]

The hostility is for profit, not oil. (4.33 / 3) (#319)
by Futurepower on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 04:25:37 AM EST


It is sometimes said that the U.S. government tends to be hostile because of the country's great need for oil. There is an error in this. The fact is that the U.S. government tends to be hostile because of oil profits. There is a big difference.

The amount of oil in the world is determined by how much has been discovered and whether there are ways of processing and delivering what has been discovered. All the oil that can be sold is sold, for a price that is set by the world market. So, nothing deprives a country like the U.S. of oil. Oil is available on the world market, and the U.S. has the money to buy it.

It is secret attempts to increase oil profits that cause the tendency to hostility.

-- Taken from the book, What should be the Response to Violence?. See the chapter, "Avoid the Common Mistakes."

See also the chapter about Senator Biden. Here is a quote:

The demand for oil is somewhat stable. The amount of oil produced is somewhat stable. If Saudi Arabia did not sell to the U.S., it would sell its oil to some other country. That other country would then not buy as much oil from its current supplier. The current supplier would then have oil available to sell to the United States. The price would be the current world market price in any case.

So, if Saudi Arabia does not sell oil to the U.S., the amount of oil products available to the U.S. will not change. The only change would be which oil company gets the profit from handling and/or refining the crude oil.


[ Parent ]
Nothing is more important than peace. (2.00 / 1) (#361)
by Lethyos on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 07:54:05 AM EST

Are you being sarcastic? Witty? Or are you just a fool? Without peace, you can have nothing else. No freedom, no prosperity. We can have all the gasoline - the blood of our economy you call it - and it's meaningless if we are always in a state of war and/or chaos.

How can you have liberty if you worry that at any moment, a few thousand megatons of ordinance will detonate nearby? How can you plan for the future when you could to be called off to some blood-thirsty politicians' pet war?

The US government is throwing its endless weight around, abusing the rights of those home and abroad. We have no care about democracy anywhere else in the world - so we are willing to drop bombs to get our way in a moments notice. That's a bold statement, but I think it is supported by the notion that the Bush administration has been trampling on our American rights since it first got the chance.

There have been times when the US engaged in war to work towards peace. When the US joined Allied forces against the Nazis, we were working to preserve democracy and make the world a safer, better place. Today, the US just wants to drop bombs because we have a blood-thirsty, psychotic president, and a blood-thirsty population that wants revenge for 9/11.

This war Bush wants on Iraq will only serve to beget more war. It will reduce peace on a global scale. It will enrage of world of Islam and make us a target for even more terrorism (which is probably what the Bush administration wants since this leads to more powerful legislation). It will mean deaths of innocents in regions in the world we will never see and it will cost countless American lives in both the immediate and distant futures. This act, combined with Bush's formal withdrawal of balanced support for Palestine to 100% biased support for the Israelis, will only further destabilize the entire world.

Somehow, I doubt this will make your gasoline cheaper. But hey, we get to do cool stuff like bombings and... stuff...

earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit
[ Parent ]
I don't want to die for your oil^H^H^H war (4.00 / 1) (#369)
by nusuth on Mon Jul 08, 2002 at 04:06:43 PM EST

I'm Turkish and have not completed my military duty yet. If you attack Iraq, you'll just hurl tons of explosives from edge of the athmosphere .It is us, Arabs, Kurds, and "peacekeeping!" Turks will die. Have you ever cared about our lives? If you did, you never showed that. You are not short of explosives or aircrafts, you don't have to care about that either. So I think this discussion is fundementally misguided and the real important points to discuss are: 1) Who will we invite to BYO-badguy-down-celebration-party? 2) How can we make sure CNN broadcast is better this time? 3) Which new toys our armed forces will demonstrate this time? Are they cool? 4) Will Hollywood produce better movies this time? 91 ones really sucked. 5) Will there be new and cool Chomsky quotes about it? ...

Enough of this insanity | 386 comments (375 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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