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Why the UKUSA won't tell anybody where the nukes are

By Wiggy in Op-Ed
Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 06:22:53 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Many people have noted that the UN inspectors are having problems finding weapons of mass destruction within Iraq. It's also been noted that the US and the UK have hard evidence about weapons of mass destruction being made within Iraq, but won't tell the UN inspectors where to find them. People see a contradiction - I do not.

This article is intended to draw people's attention to a few basic facts that are obvious to me, and should be obvious to you. Hopefully, it also gives some insight into why government's keep their own mouths shut.


This is not spy school, and I'm not going to give away anything here that you couldn't find elsewhere on the Internet, but there are some standard policies of governments that make sense when you realise what they are protecting and why. I should point out that I refer to "UKUSA" as within this scenario the intelligence agencies are acting effectively as a team. It's not meant to imply anything else.

The first policy of any government is to make no comment. That is, you don't say something unless you absolutely have to. This works within intelligence, the treasury, press briefing guys, your local highway department, the whole shebang. It is easier to say "no comment" than even attempt to make a slight comment. The reason for this is that if you start discussing something, if a journalist pushes a goon into an area of discussion where security may be compromised and they THEN start "no comment"'ing, the journalist/spy/whoever can make obvious deductions. Imagine the following conversation between a journalist and a government goon:

Journo: Is that submarine over there a Trident nuclear submarine?

Goon: Yes, it is

Journo: Does it have nukes on board?

Goon: Yes, it has. They all have. You know that.

Journo: Is it true there is a submarine on patrol at the moment off the coast of country "X"? [X being a relatively friendly country]

Goon: One has docked in X for emergency repairs.

Journo: And is there one in the Gulf on patrol?

Goon: No comment

Straight away, you know that submarine movements in the Gulf are "hush hush", and it's almost certain that there is indeed a submarine in the Gulf on patrol and nobody wants you to know it's there. Don't blame them. You'd probably post a diary entry about it up here. Imagine the conversation if it went like this:

Journo: Is that submarine over there a Trident nuclear submarine?

Goon: No comment

Journo: Right. We can both see it. Does it have nukes on board?

Goon: No comment

Journo: Is it true there is a submarine on patrol at the moment off the coast of country "X"?

Goon: No comment

Journo: And is there one in the Gulf on patrol?

Goon: No comment

See how now, the fact that there is a sub on patrol in the Gulf disappears? The security of that submarine has not been compromised. It seems stupid that a goon won't accept that several hundred tons of metal in front of him may or may not exist, but the overall method is sensible.

Next, we have partial release. This is a risky business. You see, you can release just a little too much information that can then be built into a profile of a country's actions. Let's suppose the UK and the US announce they have firm intelligence of WMD in Iraq. This is partial release - Iraq is now aware that UKUSA are spying on it. They now need to work out how they know WMD is present, so they can engage in counter-surveillance. Already, UK/USA have given a huge amount of intelligence away - they have made the ultimate mistake of tipping off the target.

Let's then suppose that the press push a little more for what the evidence is. UKUSA decide to throw them a bone. They have copies of shipping records for components for WMD devices being sent into Iraq from the early 90's (this is an example - I'm not sure if they have or not in reality, but they certainly know about stuff back in '86). They tell the press this. Oh boy where do we begin as to what happens now. All of the following is the minimum impact:



  • Iraq is aware shipping is being monitored

  • Other 'unfriendly nations' know it is likely their shipping is being monitored

  • The person who obtained the shipping information is now compromised as an agent of UKUSA intelligence agencies, and may possibly be in extreme danger

  • The shipping company is now know to have weak security on confidential information, or they work with intelligence agencies, meaning they are in extreme danger as is all their property within Baghdad and other ports in unfriendly nations

  • If UKUSA have access to shipping into Baghdad, they probably have many live agents working on other information gathering exercises there

  • Iraq will now change their shipping conditions, so it becomes impossible for UKUSA to monitor their actions so easily.

  • Other nations will secure any data they wish to hide around shipping operations

  • UKUSA intelligence agencies have to change their entire methodology for tracking shipping into ALL these countries to counter-act the changes made by those countries



Not suprisingly, the decsion to give that one little piece of information away is now having massive effects. It's costing taxpayer's millions to change information gathering techniques, it's degraded diplomatic relations with half a dozen countries, several people's lives are now in danger, and several intelligence-friendly companies are now severly compromised. All because one photocopy from one shipping company, has been given to a journalist. All because we "need proof".

So, we say don't tell us all that nonsense, just give the UN directions to where the WMD is being developed. Sounds easy. It isn't. Let's suppose they give the UN that information, and the inspectors get into their jeeps and head straight to the first site. They find a biological warfare lab, developing Anthrax, Ricin, the whole shebang. Woop-woop! Let's have us a war! Not so fast though. The problem is, intelligence agencies, Iraq, everyone will want to know how the UKUSA guys knew it was there. The minimum impact, at best, is the following:



  • Assumption: satellite intelligence was used, and is refined enough to watch people walk in and out of the building with WMD components. Result: All unfriendly nations hide their labs better, specifically make all operations at night in close-to-darkness to make it harder for this technique to work

  • Assumption: Somebody on the inside squealed. Result: After the UN leave, all personnel at the site, whether they were aware of the existence of the bio-lab or not (it might be under a school after all), will be killed by local intelligence agencies.

  • Assumption: Information leakage on documentation around the project confirmed the site's location. Result: All documentation around the project is destroyed, all unfriendly nations tighten up security, the UKUSA guys job's become a whole lot harder a year down the line when we move onto country "X" or whoever.

  • Assumption: a defector to the UKUSA gave the intelligence about the site's location over as part of his asylum deal. Result: All potential defectors in all unfriendly countries are killed, thereby putting a stop to the most useful tool UKUSA have for gaining information.

  • Counter-intelligence efforts raised in all unfriendly nations

  • Diplomatic relations with half a dozen countries now break down

  • Other countries demand UKUSA assist them in their "cause" (Israel/Palestine) and get annoyed that they wouldn't own up to having loads of toys in the past

  • People start asking questions about budgets of intelligence agencies that are able to run such large operations

  • Conspiracy theorists go nuts on believeable stories that if they know these sites now, that proves they must have known "X" back then and that "Y" was the case in 1974, and start spreading FUD about government intentions

  • etc., etc., etc....



It's not just one of these that will be done, it's ALL of them. As a result, intelligence on future operations will become non-existent. It's difficult enough as it is to get defectors, perfect satellite intelligence, get insiders on-side, run agents in hostile nations, etc. without giving the game away to everybody about how you do it.

I suppose what I'm trying to say, is that there comes a point when if the CIA, NSA, MI6, GCHQ, whoever, say that there is hard evidence of WMD in Iraq you're just going to have to trust them. They're going to "no comment" on everything you ask them. They will not get into partial release, they will not give directions to the site. It compromises them, it compromises agents, it compromises every single component of a vast intelligence system that, in the UK at least, has taken over 400 years of experience to perfect.

Often, you assume that intelligence agencies want to lie to you, and can't be trusted. This is wrong. Politicians lie to you. The CIA used to lie to you because they hadn't got the hang of "no comment". These days, when they reveal something, you can guarantee it's been double-checked and they're taking big risks. They think it's worth it.

I know a lot of people will think I must be just the voice of the Man telling you not to panic. I can't say why you should just trust these people when they tell you WMD is in Iraq, but you should.

As a side-note, I really don't want a war in Iraq. I just think that the people supplying the idiots that are Bush and Blair with the hard intelligence, have probably got a point.

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Why the UKUSA won't tell anybody where the nukes are | 468 comments (433 topical, 35 editorial, 0 hidden)
taxpayer's (2.57 / 7) (#7)
by vile on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:20:51 AM EST

Common error. You seem to have a habit of putting 's where you don't need to.. only seems to happen every now and then... a man's gun.. ownership of a gun.. a man's right.. ownership of right.. a man's going to jail.. ownership of the action of going to jail.. man is.. it's costing taxpayers millions of dollars.. correct.. the taxpayers' millions are allowing us to go forth with this oil war... I think you get the point? Nothing big.. common.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
Trust them? Never (4.28 / 14) (#8)
by twistedfirestarter on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:22:29 AM EST

The intelligence agencies are telling their politican bosses exactly what the bosses want to hear - that iraq is hiding WMD. How damn convenient. Do you really trust the CIA & MI6 that much?

Information passes up the chain of command. The agents in the field could very well be perfectly competent and honest. But as the information is passed up from officers to bosses to politicians I can easily imagine it being seriously embellished and exagerrated to please superiors. Particularly when there is pressure to justify a war.

Weighing the evidence for WMD is a complex process and a matter of degrees of probability. Perhaps what is a significant threshold for the intelligence agencies (say 30% probability that Iraq has wmd) is not enough for joe citizen.

Regardless of whether you trust the CIA or not, we are talking about starting a war here that'll cost hundreds of thousands of lives (anyone disagree with that? I doubt it.). The question you have to ask yourself is whether you think the unjust and unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands outweighs the potential harmful effects revealing a single bit of proof of WMD might have on the operations of western intelligence agencies.

depends (3.00 / 2) (#153)
by veldmon on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:24:34 PM EST

I certainly concur with your sentiment about politicians receiving intelligence that they want to hear. I believe that's what happened during the vietnam war with Lyndon Johnson and the CIA. Although maybe you would agree that your statement is a wee bit oversimplified? For instance, there's been quite a few press reports of the CIA contradicting the White House on reports like the supposed meeting between an Iraqi agent and a member of al qaeda in a Czech restaurant I believe it was.

[ Parent ]
Not really (4.33 / 6) (#264)
by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:55:50 AM EST

Regardless of whether you trust the CIA or not, we are talking about starting a war here that'll cost hundreds of thousands of lives (anyone disagree with that? I doubt it.). The question you have to ask yourself is whether you think the unjust and unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands outweighs the potential harmful effects revealing a single bit of proof of WMD might have on the operations of western intelligence agencies.

No, not really. I know I'll be modded down for this, but what they hey; I'm not trying to win a popularity contest.

There hasn't been a land invasion yet. We don't know when or if there will be a land invasion. Similarly, there hasn't been a public release of proof of WMDs yet. We don't know when or if there will be a public release of proof.

Please bear with me now. We're comparing things that haven't happened yet and may or may not happen. Now, there are a lot of people who are absolutely certain that there will be a land war and have a lot of ego invested in that expection. There are also a lot of people, though relatively fewer on kuro5hin, who are absolutely certain that there will be proof of WMDs and have a lot of ego invested in that expectation. There's a battle of the egos going on between the two, but it's still about things that haven't happened yet and may or may not happen.

Maybe the intel on WMDs in Iraq is accurate, and maybe it isn't. But there's still a process to go through. The process is complex and involves a lot of things. It involves the existing inspectors in Iraq. It involves the cooperation or non-coooperation from the Iraqi government. It involves the military buildup for a possible war, without which, the inspectors probably wouldn't be there. It involves the U.N. It involves the U.S. It involves the history of the U.N. over the past decade. It involves the way the U.S. interacts with the U.N. It involves the behavior of the Saddam Hussein government. It involves the events going back at least to the Gulf War and possibly much longer. It involves people who don't trust each other trying to figure out what the other will do.

In short, it's a difficult and complex situation which is not amenable to the simple models that I've seen on kuro5hin.

It certainly isn't that keeping intelligence secret means war and making it public doesn't. Maybe putting pictures of Iraqi missile silos on the Web would actually increase the chances of ware. Maybe releasing all the intel would mess up a covert deal with the inspectors. Maybe it would even lead to the popular assumption that the inspectors were just puppets of the intel community and thus undermine their appearance of legitimacy. People have pointed out that maybe Iraq has American weapons, and maybe they do, and maybe the U.S. doesn't want to be embarassed. Maybe they have French weapons, and maybe France doesn't want to be embarassed. Or maybe they have the good old Al Saddam and Al Hussein missiles that are made from Scud parts and Russia, with whom we're friends now, doesn't want to be embarassed. Or maybe they don't have jack shit. Maybe we think they have something and they don't, and maybe they have something we don't think we have. Maybe there's a secret deal going on, like with the Cuban Missile Crisis with the Jupiter missiles in Turkey. Or maybe not.

All that can really be told is what has happened. There hasn't been a ground war, but there has been a lot of talk about a ground war and a lot of buildup. You could say ground war=hundreds of thousands of deaths, and I'd agree. I could also say ground war buildup=renewed willingness to comply with inspections, and I think you'd have to agree. So what's bad or good? What's worth what? Compare the cost of buildup and some estimated factor of the probability of war, versus the estimated factor of probability of Iraqi compliance. Put in a term for the relative imporatance if you lke, but also include a term for having the U.N. not become like the League of Nations. These things can be argued by people with good faith.

What's going to happen in the long term? I don't know, and neither do you.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Interesting Point (3.47 / 17) (#10)
by GRiNGO on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:23:46 AM EST

But all youve really done is expand upon one line from the film Enemy Of the State: "You and I know wha t the average citizen does not, that this country is at war 24 hours a day.... [blah blah blah]".

Most of what you say is true, except for the fact that all this isnt "for our own good".

America wouldnt be the slighest bit interested in Iraq and Iraqs (non)potential threat to the United States if it were located, say in the South Pacific or Siberia or somewhere where there was no Oil involved. The whole war in Afghanistan thing was really just about the oil from the Caspian Sea and the pipeline they are building. The Gulf War - do you think theyd have been interested in the safety of Kuwait if it wasnt for oil?

Seriously, what potential threat do you see as Iraq posing to UK or USA? Absolutely fuck all. Do you really think that if Iraq launched one missile that USA would not be able to remove that threat within minutes of it being launched? But if you go to war and start bombing Iraq ( not that you've ever stopped bombing it... ) on a massive scale all you will do will be to create loads more fanatics who hate UK/USA and are willing to carry out terrorist attacks within those countries.

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


Absolutely (3.40 / 5) (#28)
by fink on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:51:29 AM EST

America wouldnt be the slighest bit interested in Iraq [...] if it were located [...] somewhere where there was no Oil involved.
Agree. I use as evidence: DPRK, aka North Korea. These guys admit to trying to get weapons of mass destruction, and otherwise pose about as much of a security threat (not much if left to their own devices, for many of the same reasons - isolated financially for years, etc).

Yet the US (and by extension, Australia - since we apparently can't make foreign policy decisions of our own, ever) insist that Iraq is a bigger threat.

Huh?

There is but one reason why - and that, as you say, is oil - a resource which is (depending on who you talk to) becoming limited, and Iraq is sitting on one of the biggest fields in the world (the persian basin). It would be "good" for the US government to have a friendly government in there, if only to guarantee the supply of oil - something they can't do with a recalcitrant despot of a leader who they managed to piss off about 15 or 20 years ago.

Now I'm starting to sound like a conspiracy nut, which is usually a good sign that I need to shut up. :-)

----
[ Parent ]

The difference between North Korea and Iraq: (3.55 / 9) (#43)
by DigitalRover on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:41:53 AM EST

North Korea isn't building a nuclear weapons program with the intention of marching troops across the border. Rather, Pyongyang is continuing along the tried and true path of nuclear blackmail; it can not exist without aid shipments from the West.

Iraq, on the other hand, has shown a willingness to invade its neighbors and threaten the West whenever it's deemed convenient. If Hussein is allowed to develop a nuclear weapons program and/or mature his chemical/biological program then he will be marching his army across the Arabian peninsula.

Containtment has been attempted for the last decade without results. Baghdad has received numerous "last chances" from the UNSC to come into compliance with the resolutions and dismantle its war machine. Slowly, the world is realizing that the Hussein government doesn't give anything but lip service to anything but deadly force. At this point the only remaining "powers" that are calling for more inspections are France, Germany, and Russia. Why? Because not only do they want to protect their steady supply of profits flowing out of Iraq but these governments know that war and the subsequent "regime change" will almost surely reveal the fact they have all along been engaged in illegal dealings with Iraq.

I find it ironic that the "peace activists" are so quick to question American motivations for removing Saddam from power yet they will never examine the motivations of those who wish to maintain the status quo.

[ Parent ]
Bullshit, Hypocrisy (3.50 / 6) (#48)
by GRiNGO on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:55:26 AM EST

Iraq invaded kuwait. So what, whats that got to do with america? America would have took nothing to do with it if it wasnt for oil. And what is America anyway. Think back a few hundred years, isnt america really composed mainly of europeans who sailed over and took the land from the native indians. So who are they to say Country X is developing nuclear weapons lets destroy them.

Even if Iraq had an extensive nuclear weapons programme, which it clearly doesnt that still wouldnt give america the right to invade and crush them. All this bitching about weapons of mass destruction. Who is the only country ever to use them? America... against the civilian population of Japan.

India, Pakistan, Israel, UK, China, Russia, France... all have nuclear weapons and would be in a much better position to mount an attack against the US than Iraq. Iraq could not pose a serious threat against UK/USA.

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


[ Parent ]
There's another difference (3.28 / 7) (#73)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:53:53 AM EST

between North Korea and Iraq. North Korea is located in a part of the world that has been reasonably stable for about 50 years now and when last at war made no attempt to enlarge that war.

Iraq, by contrast, is located in arguably the most volatile, unstable region of the world, and has demonstrated a willingness, nay an eagerness, to expand a war to regional conflict, as shown by those Scuds launched at Israel in the hopes of provoking a counter-attack.

The rest of the world has pretty much viewed the Middle East as a messy but distant situation, barring occasional terrorist attacks that killed perhaps tens of people -- a managed threat. September 11 was a demonstration that the regional issues could extend as far as New York, or even London. That's what it has to do with America.

Are we taking the right approach? Beats me, but I do agree that the approach pioneered by the UK ("Let's create a new nation, chuck it into the Middle East, and then watch from a safe distance!") isn't working anymore. There is no safe distance. Like it or not, we are all involved in the Middle East.

[ Parent ]

Two Pence. (4.50 / 2) (#94)
by melia on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:25:21 PM EST

Iraq invaded kuwait. So what, whats that got to do with america?

Read [bbc]

As the Iraqi troops poured in, Kuwait Radio pleaded for assistance before going off air. The appeals were rejoined by Kuwait ambassadors around the world.

So, the Kuwaiti's asked for the help of the world community.

And from the BBC again:

29 November: The UN Security Council says Iraq must voluntarily withdraw from Kuwait by 15 January 1991. It authorises "all necessary means" to force Iraq out if it does not comply. Baghdad rejects the "ultimatum".

And the UN offered help. The US complied with the UN. You see my point.


Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

A royale with cheese (4.00 / 3) (#112)
by karb on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:06:38 PM EST

Iraq invaded kuwait. So what, whats that got to do with america? America would have took nothing to do with it if it wasnt for oil.

First off, everybody sees everything as related to oil. Nearly every country in the world seems to either have oil or can have a pipeline built across it to transport oil.

Anyway, the U.S. depends on oil. Now, you can talk all day long about how Bush and Cheney have buddies in the oil industry. But if there's a democrat, a green, a libertarian, a patriot in the oval office, the country still depends on oil. I don't think anybody likes this (even GWB coughed up a decent amount of change for alternative fuels research), but that's the way it is.

Now, the initial fears were that Saddam was going to go tromping all over Saudi Arabia. That puts a significant amount of our oil under the control of a despotic dictator. And the U.S. has played the "we don't have enough oil" game before. We don't find it to be a whole lot of fun, so that may spark our proactivity a bit.

So, absolutely, there's an economic and oil based rationale (although it was unlikely the only rationale, but it exists) for the original gulf war. Saddam could have taken a shot at extorting the west for oil. And we're not talking a few oil executives missing their holiday bonuses. We're talking Saddam, with control of Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia and the oil therein, making the 1970's look like the 1990's.

Of course, that's just a guess at a rationale. :)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Reality (2.33 / 6) (#122)
by DigitalRover on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:33:10 PM EST

Think back a few hundred years, isnt america really composed mainly of europeans who sailed over and took the land from the native indians. So who are they to say Country X is developing nuclear weapons lets destroy them.

What on Earth has that to do with the current situtation in the Middle East?

Even if Iraq had an extensive nuclear weapons programme, which it clearly doesnt that still wouldnt give america the right to invade and crush them. All this bitching about weapons of mass destruction. Who is the only country ever to use them? America... against the civilian population of Japan

If you're going to use the standard rhetoric, at least pick something that's not anywhere near as tired (nor incorrect) as the bit above ... This standard bit of dogma keeps getting trotted out as "evidence" that the US is evil. Do you need to be reminded that the Japanese had attacked the US? Do you have any concept of the slaughter (of both sides) that would have ensued had the Allies invaded Japan? Do you have an concept of reality?

India, Pakistan, Israel, UK, China, Russia, France... all have nuclear weapons and would be in a much better position to mount an attack against the US than Iraq. Iraq could not pose a serious threat against UK/USA.

None of these countries have shown a desire to provoke a conflict with the US. France in particular would probably surrender at the slightest hint of US aggression.

[ Parent ]
You are forgetting the context of that aggression. (5.00 / 2) (#188)
by seer on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:14:51 PM EST

Do you need to be reminded that the Japanese had attacked the US? Do you have any concept of the slaughter (of both sides) that would have ensued had the Allies invaded Japan? Do you have an concept of reality?

Hold on there a sec, cowboy! The US got together with every country that provides Japan with oil and cut off Japan's supply. They saw that within three months people would start to starve, and they PRE-EMPTIVLY attacked the biggest force in the Ocean so they could go and get their own oil.

Also, you are saying that killing 100 000 people who have nothing to do with the war effort was worth saving a similar ammount of MILITARY PERSONAL? I guess at the time we were calling them "Barbarian Nips", so it's okay, right?

Also, the US invaded Panama (and killed about 3 000 innocents) for far less than that. And that was Bush the elder.

[ Parent ]
ill replyy to this tomorrowq (2.00 / 1) (#206)
by GRiNGO on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:47:45 PM EST

when im not pissed. are yu going to give every comment you disagree witha 1 rating?

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


[ Parent ]
No ... (2.50 / 2) (#383)
by DigitalRover on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:52:49 AM EST

... Just the ones that are written at a first grade level.

[ Parent ]
funny... I see it the other way around... (4.00 / 1) (#171)
by seer on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:01:11 PM EST

I disagree with your Iraq assesment.  First of all, if, say, France told the U.S. after WWII that Maine was going to be an indendant country, and that all the (fish?) oil coming out of Maine would not be under US control, would you US accept that?

Then why would Iraq accept Kuwait?  Even more troubling, it's got the best access to the Gulf, which is the major pipeline for oil!

Also, I've notive that you believe that Saddam has his "war machine" roaring and that it needs to be dismantled.  Well, how many countries has the U.S. invaded in the last, say, 20 years?  (Let's see.  Panama, Columbia, Libya, Sudan, Afganistan, Chile, Yugoslovia, not to mention funding the many local paramillitaries who kill democraticly elected leaders in places like Latin America and Indo-China)

How much (as a % of GDP) does the U.S. spend on "defense".  Now that I mention it, ever notice that if we really have been spending the largest segment of our budget on "defense" for so long, how come we couldn't "defend" ourselves from 9/11?  

The U.S. has got the biggest war machine on the planet.  Hell, we are building F-22s because we've sold F-16s to almost every country on the planet, good or "bad"!

I think you got some things a little messed up.

---

Oh, and if you think removing Saddam is going to magicly create "Democracy" in Iraq, give me _ONE_ example of the U.S. doing this.  Just one.

[ Parent ]

Honestly, it doesn't matter (none / 0) (#233)
by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:32:56 AM EST

Because the U.S. treats Iraq and North Korea differently, the response is "You hypocrites!" If the U.S. treated Iraq and North Korea the same, it would be "Iraq, North Korea, need I go on?"

A year ago, I heard a lot of people complain that the U.S. were hypocrites because they were going after Afghanistan and not Iraq, and why did the U.S. turn back when they were in striking distance of Iraq anyway? A few months ago, I heard a lot about how the U.S. were hypocrites for not going after Saudi Arabia and how they would never do so. A month or so ago, when the U.S. started going after Saudi Arabia, this was all forgotten. Hell, I've even seen sarcastic comments about disarming Germany in cheerful defiance of the fact that the U.S. did so.

You might as well argue with a spastic colon.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Can't stop missiles yet... (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:51:40 AM EST

That's the rationale behind the Missile Shield. As things stand, if Iraq could build a missile capable of hitting the US or UK (and they're not far off hitting the UK at the moment), then they would be able to deliver whatever warhead they have. Bear in mind that they could undoubtedly hit Israel NOW.

Of course, they wouldn't do it because they'd get nuked into the stone age by Israel even if the UK US didn't join in.

The argument for war goes that if you don't take Iraq down now, you won't be able to do it once he's got nukes (you attack conventionally and the birds fly). Of course, that's a whole different story and I don't feel like having that argument again. Search my other posts if you want to know what I think.

Not that you sould care what I think but you know what I mean :).


--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]

So... (3.57 / 7) (#50)
by GRiNGO on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:02:33 AM EST

Are you saying America should just flatten any nation they think might attack them at some undetermined future point? Fuck it may as well just nuke the rest of the world then, because over the next few centuries america is gonna make a lot of enemies as it tries to rule the world.

Any nation would know that it would be suicide to try and launch a nuke attack against america and to suggest flattening a country that is already reduced to ruins because we are afraid that it will attack us is just nonsense.

It brings to mind a scene from the film Three Kings where an Iraqi soldier pours oil down an american soldiers throat and says "Stability? This is your fucking stability, Bro."

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


[ Parent ]
Misunderstood me a little - my fault (3.66 / 6) (#54)
by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:09:06 AM EST

I should have gone ahead and had the argument again :).

I wasn't suggesting that the argument was correct, I was just saying what it was.

One of the major reasons that I oppose the war is that I believe that pre-emptive attacks against nations is an extremely dangerous path to go down.  During the cold war, the "First Strike" hawks generally lost the argument. This time round, they seem to have won. Very scary.

Apart from that, In terms of countries getting flattened, I was just pointing out that if Iraq used a nuke, they would get bombed into the stone age. Of course, you're right that given that they're already in the Iron age (with nuclear age pretentions), that wouldn't be a very great distance to fall (sorry - tastless joke but I couldn't resist).

--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]

Oh, hell no!! (4.68 / 38) (#12)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:29:53 AM EST

I suppose what I'm trying to say, is that there comes a point when if the CIA, NSA, MI6, GCHQ, whoever, say that there is hard evidence of WMD in Iraq you're just going to have to trust them.

No, actually I don't and I won't - balanced against the long list of consequences you list for telling UN inspectors where the WMDs are is one very important consequence -

If our government isn't required to make its case to the American people than they're not going to be held accountable and they can make up anything they want in the future and not have to back it up with proof.

I'd like to remind you that this is the same government whose leaders have promised us lower taxes for 30 years, while taxes have continued to go up; that provided false and misleading information to Congress so that it would pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution; that experimented on its own citizens with biological and chemical agents in the 60s; that sponsored a burglary on its political opposition that resulted in the resignation of a President; that let its secret intelligence agencies make contacts of mutual benefit with cocaine smugglers and radical terrorists, among whom are Bin Laden and Hussein; that perpetrated a massacre in Waco; that allowed a president to lie about getting a blow job in the Oval Office; that regularly has secret meetings with industry and financial leaders to set policy without the knowledge or approval of the American people; that has allowed embezzlement, incompetance, and corruption, sometimes as a matter of standard policy; and now claims to have proof of WMDs in Iraq but will not share this proof with the people in charge of investigating it or the people who must approve doing something about it.

Trust them? Hell, no, I don't trust them. Why would any rational person trust them after all the shit our government's pulled?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Nah, I trust `em. (4.42 / 14) (#18)
by fink on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:54:26 AM EST

I trust them, and I trust the Australian government - my elected officials1 - too.

I trust them to lie, cheat, steal, embezzle and warp the truth at every possible interval; I trust them to not keep promises, to not truly advance from the status quo, and to not give proof of any kind where proof is due.

Realistically all a politician's in it for is to secure their berth in the next election - the next {num} years, as it were. That's all. Why do you think there's been no progress on matters such as renewables? Renewables don't pay off in the next three, or six, or even nine years. By the time the renewables do start paying off, the current batch of elected officials won't be able to benefit from it.

And of course their big oil buddies will make sure they're not in power next term anyway.

Politicians are cowards, liars, and cheats - the ultimate in white collar criminals. Yes, this is a sweeping generalisation, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due.


1. I didn't vote for this particular batch (not the Liberals, anyway), but as a member of a country with a constitutionally protected democracy, I in theory am represented by them.

----
[ Parent ]

I trust my glorious leader too (3.00 / 4) (#27)
by IslandApe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:41:30 AM EST

Let me agree with you completely! What you're saying is - OK, so we can't be allowed to see any proof but we can take things on trust because your politicos are such trustworthy people. Yeah right. Tony "Blur" is marginally more trustworthy than our Xenophobic "opposition" in the UK but that still doesn't mean I want to see the lives of military personel lost without good reason. Ditto the increased likelyhood of a serious terrorist attack in the UK. Ditto the strong possibility that the two Muslims working for me will end up suffering for the actions of extremists. Ditto etc. ad nauseum. Sorry, I want to see proof before agreeing to the shedding of any life. Maybe if politicians were actually honourable I might be more inclined to trust.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion;
[ Parent ]
Good reason? (3.00 / 2) (#189)
by metalfan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:17:16 PM EST

What would be a good reason to sacrifice lives?

[ Parent ]
Here's what it would take... (none / 0) (#443)
by baron samedi on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 05:09:29 PM EST

It would take evidence of this nature:
  • Definitive recent photographic evidence that Iraq is not only developing nukes but actually possesses them. Israel struck the Osiraq site because Iraq just can't have nuclear weapons.
  • Troop movements that indicate an impending invasion of one of Iraq's neighbors by Iraq.
  • Saddam Hussein finally really blows a gasket and begins large-scale genocide against some or all of Iraq's ethnic and religious minorities.
  • *Provable* Direct involvement in, or material support of, international terrorism.
So far, the US administration has failed to demonstrate any of these, so I do not give my assent for stepping up military activities in Iraq. Just that simple.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
I dont trust them termite (2.12 / 8) (#47)
by yosef on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:54:07 AM EST

But the truth remains what it is, tehy need secrecy to do what they do, safeguard our security by ruthless means, and they dont care if you dont approve.

I am confident they are more out to get the guys out to get our country than they are me, I can live with that reality.

Your stupid mindset would kill our way of life.

[ Parent ]

Clinton is as bad as Iran-Contra? (4.33 / 9) (#172)
by electricmonk on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:07:13 PM EST

that allowed a president to lie about getting a blow job in the Oval Office

I honestly don't understand what the big deal is. The guy fooled around and then lied about it. Did he massacre hundreds of innocents in the process? No. Did he start a war that killed more than 50,000 Americans? No. He just got some extra-marital head and then did the predictable thing when asked to own up to it. Who was he hurting, again?

--
"There are only so many ways one can ask [Jon Katz] what it's like to be buried to the balls in a screaming seven-year-old" - Ian
[ Parent ]

Well... (3.00 / 2) (#243)
by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:46:00 AM EST

Back about a year ago, we got told a lot that we deserved 9/11 because of Bad U.S. Foreign Policy, which must have meant Clinton, because he was in power for eight years, and the plans for the attacks started during his administration. And those economic sanctions that, entirely without help from Saddam Hussein, killed eight quadrillion Iraqi babies were maintained throughout his administration.

No, I don't think the Mystery Blow-Job should have been that big a deal, and I think that overall Clinton was quite good, but you can't have your cake and eat it, too.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I'll be happy to flame Clinton (none / 0) (#421)
by Sloppy on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 01:03:36 AM EST

Part of the problem with Clinton lying was his reason for doing so -- what he had to gain from it.

One plausible explanation for why he lied, was that is was embarrassing and he didn't want everyone to know, including his wife. That is a very believable reason for lying.

Another explanation is that he perjured in order to win a court case. Do you remember why Clinton was ever being asked the questions he lied to? He was being sued for sexual harassment by .. uh.. Paula Jones, I think? He was being asked these embarrassing questions because they were trying to establish a pattern of behavior. i.e. would it be out-of-character for Slick Willy to come on hard to a chick at the office? He lied, the attempt to establish he character failed, and he escaped. But how would things have gone if the told the truth? You see, it turns out that he really was an aggressive skirt-chaser, so when people say he exposed himself or grabbed their asses or something... I just have to wonder if maybe they aren't just making it up. Maybe it actually happened?

And maybe it didn't happen, and all those harassment charges were bullshit. Normally, though, once a formal accusation has been levelled, that would be for a court to decide. The president was above the law, though, so he decided in his own favor instead.

He had very good, selfish strategic reasons for deceiving the court, beyond the usual embarrassment that goes with marital infidelity.

[rant] Maybe I would do the same thing if I were in a similar situation, but I never opted to take an oath to defend the constitution. Most of us only implicitly agree to the social contract by default. He did it explicitly. He promised, in front of millions of American citizens, and then received an immense amount of our delegated power in trust because of it. Many other people who go to jail for contempt of court, never did that.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

So, getting back to my post... (none / 0) (#428)
by electricmonk on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 01:28:57 PM EST

How many people died as a result of this? How many children were rendered parentless? Please, enlighten me again exactly how this dishonesty equivocates this event with Iran-Contra, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, or any other dubious presidential action.

--
"There are only so many ways one can ask [Jon Katz] what it's like to be buried to the balls in a screaming seven-year-old" - Ian
[ Parent ]

Nobody died over that (none / 0) (#431)
by Sloppy on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 06:39:44 PM EST

Nobody was killed or orphaned by that particular instance of dishonesty.

But it did reveal that the president covered things up after the fact, and didn't place a high value on -- I hate to use Dubya's words, but.. -- honor and integrity.

The level of deception that would be necessary to pull off something like Iran-Contra, was something that I don't think Clinton would be too uncomfortable with. That would normally be a pretty nasty and slanderous thing for me to say about someone, but that's just it: Clinton showed he has what it takes.

We don't know how many people he killed or orphaned. Maybe it wasn't very many. But please remember your question was within the context of this.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Make the case not only to the U.S. people (3.50 / 4) (#213)
by trane on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:12:30 PM EST

...but also to the UN.

Why did we agree to the UN inspections in the first place, unless we thought they would find something?

The UN is sort of a world court. So if we have evidence that Iraq has WMD, we should make our case before the world court.

The objections listed don't make any difference in criminal court cases in the US, I don't think.

So if we have evidence, show it. If we don't, you shouldn't be able to convict someone because you "trust the prosecutor".

[ Parent ]

A point (3.66 / 12) (#13)
by vile on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:35:02 AM EST

Did you ever consider that the Bush admin. planned to release partial info on Iraq? You stated that you believed it was a mistake. I really do not think that it was. Besides, how informed are you on how many countries *do* have nuclear capability? You're living in one.

This is politics... Bush will be re-elected next term. Oil and weapons companies will make more money. The airline industry will get more 'help' from our good friends in the govt. The economy will stabalize, but unbalance itself again. Unemployment will go down. The stock market will still suck. Microsoft will still be the main desktop O/S. And you will still be reading k5. *shrug*.

Nothing new here.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
Hear! Hear! (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by jungleboogie on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:34:10 PM EST

Don't forget, the suck market will still stock.

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#344)
by vile on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:48:23 PM EST

I forgot to include, sorry. The suck market shall still stock.

~
The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Well, OK. (4.72 / 37) (#14)
by Il Maestro on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:35:09 AM EST

My intelligence sources tell me that you are wrong. I can't really tell you why because of security reasons, but you really should trust me.

I'll bite (2.16 / 12) (#87)
by Wiggy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:13:58 PM EST

OK, I know I'm right in my story. I used to have clearances, I used to work for a public sector body. I'm not saying which, but how do you think I managed to write the story in 15 minutes? Because I was taught it myself one day a long(ish) time ago. Glad I'm out of the whole shebang these days though. If you're really curious, I'll tell you I used to work in a town with a famous race course.

[ Parent ]
Doncaster? :) [NT] (3.00 / 3) (#92)
by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:22:33 PM EST



--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the question, but... (4.45 / 11) (#93)
by Il Maestro on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:24:03 PM EST

how do you think I managed to write the story in 15 minutes?
No comment.

[ Parent ]
Facts, reasoning, hypothesizing (4.42 / 7) (#248)
by gulfie on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:55:30 AM EST

  • Facts:
    1. The text of the main article is about 1600 words and 9000 charicteres as plain text.
    2. There are presicely, 15 minutes in 15 mintues, or 900 seconds.

  • Reasoning:
    1. about 107 words per minute, or 1.8 per second
    2. about 600 charicters per minute, or 10 charicters per second.

  • Hypothesizing
    1. You type really fast.
    2. You use a different input device.
    3. Sarcasm isn't dead.
    4. Being show in one instance to be less than fully truthful, your credibility is in greater doubt.
    5. Sometimes in the service of truth and brevity one must lie.... like George Bush?
    6. Intentional disinformation.


[ Parent ]
Re: Facts, reasoning, hypothesizing (5.00 / 1) (#363)
by sams on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 11:25:21 AM EST

I believe the words he is looking for in reply to this are "No Comment".


[ Parent ]
No comment (none / 0) (#377)
by Wiggy on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 05:23:55 AM EST

Too right. I'm not saying a thing without a lawyer. Or at least a guy who sells doughnuts to distract the interviewers whilst I escape.

[ Parent ]
Ha! You lie! (3.71 / 7) (#108)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:02:17 PM EST

'Cause I worked there as, uh, a Class C-3 Alpha Tango 7-sub-H operative, and I don't remember you being there.

<sarcarm>, I do acknowledge that there's a small chance that you're not a Walter Mitty, but you'll really have to try harder than that to convince us that you're not just another armchair spy that's read too much Tom Clancy and now reckons he has the Big Picture.

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

You sir (3.00 / 2) (#239)
by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:26:38 AM EST

Are an idiot.

I don't know about the parent poster's native government, but the US hands out secret and top secret clearances like candy to defense contractors and military officers in technical MOS's.

The appropriate responses to information requests from uncleared personnel are described in stupid little brochures that everyone gets in their clearance packets.

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
You, sir (3.00 / 2) (#275)
by Rogerborg on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:10:07 AM EST

Need to explore the difference between plausible and credible.

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

If I do that (3.00 / 2) (#302)
by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:17:57 PM EST

None of my theories work.

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Ocam's razor (4.48 / 33) (#16)
by Betcour on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:44:14 AM EST

Either all that, or USA & UK really do not have any proof whatsoever.

Never dismiss the simple two-line explanation before looking for a convoluted one that takes 3 pages to explain :)

What (3.37 / 8) (#41)
by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:39:23 AM EST

All the gassed Kurds and Iranians weren't enough proof for you that Saddam had chemical weapons at some point? Where's the proof that his chemical weapons are all gone now... you'd think Iraq would have intentionally left a big paper trail, especially since they needed to prove they were all gone to get sanctions lifted.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Interesting point (4.00 / 3) (#88)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:14:10 PM EST

But also viewed from the other side: why isn't there a big paper trail showing that they've destroyed all the weapons that the CIA say they had?
  1. They (or the UKUSA air force) destroyed the weapons, but they were too dumb to document it.
  2. They didn't destroy the weapons, and were too dumb to fake up documents saying that they had destroyed them.
  3. The weapons didn't exist to be destroyed, and were too dumb to fake up documents saying that they had destroyed them.
Note the theme.  How dumb would they have to be to not create documentation saying that they'd destroyed whatever weapons the CIA say they had, regardless of whether the weapons ever existed or not?

Perhaps they believed that it really wouldn't matter one way or another, because whatever list they came up with, the CIA would add another few items to it.  And perhaps they're right to believe that.

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

Faking documents isn't that easy (3.00 / 2) (#167)
by BCoates on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 06:00:10 PM EST

It's not enough to make a good (internally consistent) story, it has to be completely consistent with what the intelligence agencies already know, as well as whatever investigation the UN and the like will make on-site. This would be exceedingly difficult--along the lines of faking the moon landing, it would be harder to make a convincing fake than actually do it.

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

Germany (1.25 / 5) (#140)
by dr k on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:28:45 PM EST

Speaking of gassing, didn't Germany kill millions of Jews not too long ago? Where are the fucking inspectors? Germany could be building weapons of mass destruction right now! It is even more suspicious because they appear to be witholding support from the penultimate war in Iraq.

Germany must disarm now!


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

As I recall (4.33 / 4) (#145)
by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:43:19 PM EST

The "German Problem" was solved with over 50 years ago with "regime change."

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
And, of course (3.00 / 2) (#226)
by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:41:29 PM EST

The Germans were effectively disarmed, and there has been a rather expensive and significant American military presence in Germany for more than a half century to make sure that they stay that way.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
on the grissly subject of gassing: (3.00 / 2) (#190)
by simonfish on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:21:38 PM EST

Using this as proof of WMD is a bit absurd, anyone(and I mean ANYONE) can make, or buy lethal chemicals. A student with high school chemestry knowledge can make them in an oven at home with a car battery(I won't say how), though they'd most likely hurt themselves, or kill themselves in the process. Much more efficient methods are required to really qualify something as a WMD, if you want to really think about it, suffication could be considered a WMD under that deffination. We must stop the mad bagger. right. I'd suggest that we say that things like serin gas are WMD, but Cl2 or CO2 or whatever the hell else you want to think of(CO might be quiet effective actualy) are not really WMD, they disipate far too easily. Either way, I came, I ranted.

[ Parent ]
cuts both ways (3.75 / 5) (#183)
by Lode Runner on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:39:36 PM EST

Never dismiss the simple two-line explanation before looking for a convoluted one that takes 3 pages to explain :)

Or 10,000.

Isn't it odd that the same French who find 3 pages "convoluted" deride Bush's "Saddam is evil and must be stopped" as "simplisme" while they hail Saddam's myriad-page explanation for why he has no WMD as cooperation?

At the very least, a simple "Yes, we have WMD" would've saved quite a few trees.

[ Parent ]

Ugh (3.66 / 3) (#274)
by Betcour on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:05:27 AM EST

At the very least, a simple "Yes, we have WMD" would've saved quite a few trees.

Except they might really not have any WMD at all. Ever heard of something like "innocent until proven guilty" ?

[ Parent ]
history says (3.00 / 2) (#310)
by Lode Runner on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:46:08 PM EST

he's got plenty. He had enough WMD to use them regularly during the Iran-Iraq war. UN inspectors found lots of evidence for such weapons in the '90s. And now I'm supposed to believe he hasn't got any at all or even an inclination to acquire them?

Anyway, it's quite suspicious that France (Saddam's #2 WMD supplier) and Germany (Saddam's #1 --by far-- WMD supplier) have become so vocal about Saddam having no WMD.

[ Parent ]

Hello ??? (none / 0) (#353)
by Betcour on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 04:03:12 AM EST

he's got plenty.

Oh really ? You might want to get in touch with the UN inspector directly to send them your informations about Iraq's WMD, because they haven't found anything yet. Heck how come you didn't volonteer to go there, with all your top-secret knowledge the inspections would be finished by now !

He had enough WMD to use them regularly during the Iran-Iraq war.

Look up your calendar. Look at the date. Notice that it is not the 80s anymore.

UN inspectors found lots of evidence for such weapons in the '90s.

They found two things :
  1. Evidence that Iraq had (past tense) WMD that were already destroyed by the allied bombings (you don't think they only dropped bomb on sand to look good on CNN ?)
  2. A few real WMD left - the UN inspectors organised their systematic destruction. What you have forgotten is the the UN inspector job was not only to look for weapons but also to disarm, which they have done plenty of times in the 90s (but of couse you won't see US medias insist on that...)
Iraq certainly had WMD in the past, nobody's contend that. The point is : do they still have some now, after being thoroughly bombed, emborgoed for 10 years and inspected in and out ? And now I'm supposed to believe he hasn't got any at all or even an inclination to acquire them?

Nobody's asking you anything about Saddam inclinations. When you are about to kill thousands of peoples, the least you can do is to look at hard facts and proofs first.

[ Parent ]
you omitted something (5.00 / 1) (#359)
by Lode Runner on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 07:53:02 AM EST

as usual, something that's so top-secret only Richard Butler (and perhaps a few... hundred... million... others) knows it. To append your list of UN finds in Iraq:
  1. Saddam's chronic obstruction: During the '90s, UN inspection teams were routinely confronted by armed Iraqi officials who prevented the inspectors from examining certain areas, especially Saddam's "palaces."
Your appeal to the authority of the current UN team is lost on me; frankly, they strike me as a bunch of oafs. Here's an extreme example.

Hans Blix --hand-picked for the job by France and Russia-- knows that even if Saddam wanted to get rid of WMD it would be a herculean task, and he knows what genuine cooperation looks like --South Africa, Kazakhstan, etc; but thus far he's only slapped Saddam on the wrist for "not being proactive."

Now, maybe I'm wrong, maybe Saddam's reformed --like Mugabe?!-- and he's lost all interest in WMD, but he's sure not making any indication that this is the case. The refusal of the Iraqi scientists to speak privately with UN officials means that Saddam has nothing to hide... yeah, that's the ticket!

[ Parent ]

Public opinion is not a court of law (none / 0) (#349)
by grouse on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 02:00:47 AM EST

I don't think the Bush administration believes it has to prove guilt to fight a war. They just have to convince people to accept the thesis of this article:

  1. Revealing our intelligence will have many ill effects
  2. Therefore you should trust us and we should go to war

This ignores the fact that war, too, will have ill effects, and that it must therefore be shown that these effects are lesser than those of revealing the intelligence. Paradoxically, this is almost impossible to do without revealing the intelligence information. Still, war is horrible enough that we should not again blindly trust our government to get into one.

I wish I knew what the confidence level of the intelligence agencies is in these kinds of determinations. To what standard of evidence do they think they could prove their contentions about Iraq? Could they do it beyond a reasonable doubt, or is it simply by a preponderance of the evidence?

You sad bastard!

"Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
[ Parent ]

No CONCLUSIVE Proof (3.66 / 3) (#308)
by czolgosz on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:17:45 PM EST

My take is that the US/UK have intelligence which indicates the presence of WMD in Iraq, but it is not specific enough to indicate location or quantity.

When Iraq is invaded, it is likely that some WMD will be found. If not, they're easy to plant, or some dual-use technology will be presented as WMD precursors.

There are three points that need to be proven to justify war: capability, intent, and evidence of imminent danger of attack. Even if WMD are found, only part one of those three points will have been shown (a weapon but no delivery capability), and this point is the one that, on its own, least justifies an attack.

The primary reason for this war is the subversion of the US military to commit armed robbery on behalf of the oil companies. Secondary reasons include the marginalization of the UN (consistent with the Bush junta's abandonment of other international treaties), electoral advantage in the US (public opinion basically says "We're pro-war as long as we can get away with it"), a vast revenue stream for the old-economy and defence businesses that back Bush, and the achievement of a major Israeli strategic goal in the region.

I completely concur with the view of other posters that a policy decision to attack Iraq had already been made when Bush entered office, and Rove and the other White House propagandists spent many late nights brewing up pretexts that could be used to sell it to the American public. There were even a few trial balloons. You might recall the now-abandoned attempt to link Saddam to Al-Qaida. I wonder if focus groups were used.

Despite the odiousness of Saddam's regime, the underlying motives for this war are ignoble and immoral. I take strong issue with those in the antiwar movement who emphasize the dangers of US casualities, illness due to exposure to depleted uranium munitions, etc. The reason to oppose this war is because it is wrong to kill thousands of civilians ("collateral damage") to benefit Exxon, and it is wrong to attack someone who is not about to attack you.

And as regards intel: another simple explanation may well be that the government really is simply lying. They did it in Vietnam, they did it in Panama. There is no reason to believe that they wouldn't do it now if it suited them. These are profoundly arrogant people with few if any moral constraints on their behavior. Far better to analyze the situation from observed behavior rather than by trying to interpret what they say. What they say is a smokescreen, and presents a deliberately distorted picture even if it happens to include a few facts.
Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
That's why it's "Hush hush". (3.83 / 12) (#20)
by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:01:03 AM EST

But.

We would like to think that the main differentiating factor between the good guys like the CIA and MI5 on the one hand, and the Gestapo and KGB on the other, is that apart from having much more debonair operatives, that they are accountable to their respective governments for their actions, and these governments are in turn accountable to their consituenties. In the olden days the feudal overlord could declare war on any damn neighbouring feudal motherfucker he liked without having to explain his every sneeze and fart to his sullen vassals. These days, though, the populace would like to know just why they are required to drop daisy cutters on the unwashed heathen enemy, and that requires just a tad more openness these days.

An unfortunate consequence of living in a representative democracy. Life would be indeed so much easier if our glorious leaders and the heroic men who protect us in secret did not have to explain or account for any of their actions in the name of national security. A good thing for Iraq's populace that Saddam and his National Guard are well aware of this.

Debonaire my tush (3.42 / 7) (#24)
by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:25:57 AM EST

There was an article somewhere recently (I'll try to dig it out) about what nasty horrible people the intelligence services had recruited and employed over the years.

Indeed, I seem to remember that in general, the best operatives are not people that you would necessarily want to know in day to day life.

Come on, James Bond is a complete bastard. Alright, he can be quite a "cool" bastard, but still.

:)

--
Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
[ Parent ]

Lemme guess (4.14 / 7) (#42)
by Spork on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:41:28 AM EST

You are a fan of "political thriller" fiction. Sure, in your books, this is exactly how it is. Maybe on your home planet, it's like this too. But here, the CIA goons are no less vile than the KGB and Nazi agents (Gestapo were secret domestic officers, not foreign agents.). We have plenty of evidence for this, that I won't list here. I'm only commenting to register my bewilderment at the brainswashing that our western governments have accomplished, so that people assert this sort of crap without a single shred of evidence. But if you want to talk about evidence anyway, start here: How many heads of state did the KGB assassinate? Uh huh, I thought so.

[ Parent ]
I started reading this just for this (In quotes) (1.50 / 10) (#44)
by yosef on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:50:27 AM EST

"These days, though, the populace would like to know just why they are required to drop daisy cutters on the unwashed heathen enemy, and that requires just a tad more openness these days.

An unfortunate consequence of living in a representative democracy. Life would be indeed so much easier if our glorious leaders and the heroic men who protect us in secret did not have to explain or account for any of their actions in the name of national security. A good thing for Iraq's populace that Saddam and his National Guard are well aware of this.
"

But we're the good guys, we deserve to know..... typical clueless leftie think. You are a twit.

East Germany had nasty people safegaurding their secrets by ruthless means and you know damn well that we do to. With every other Islamist militant wanting us destroyed, that fact doesnt lose me any sleep at night.

Grow your commie ass up, pinko.


[ Parent ]

What it comes down to. (4.14 / 14) (#21)
by LaundroMat on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:05:42 AM EST

So basically, you're saying that the reason why the information isn't published is that by giving away the information, the intelligence agencies would give away their methods, and thus render all future intelligence efforts useless.

Ofcourse Saddam knows he's being spied upon from all possible angles. Ofcourse he knows people are squealing. Ofcourse top secret documents are being smuggled to the enemy.

Does he know exactly how? Not always, but publishing evidence about a "secret atomic site" won't help him much further.

Spies, agents, infiltrants and snitches (in whatever form) get busted every day.

And anyway, the CIA wouldn't care if their sources got killed/tortured/deported or whatever. They would no longer be interesting when the information is handed over and/or published. The source would have dried up.

I'll abstain from this vote, as I do not believe anyone can honestly believe these to be the true motivations behind the intelligence agencies' actions.

Occam-man. You'll get a +5.
---

"These innocent fun-games of the hallucination generation"

Better yet (4.00 / 10) (#25)
by Pac on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:34:40 AM EST

He is saying that it is preferable to have a war, kill thousands of Iraquians, maybe hundreds of Americans and whoever chooses to join them in their adventure, de-estabilize the region for years, maybe decades, than to give away a limited amount of information that would allow the inspectors to find and dismantle Iraq weapons.

It is obviously bullshit. The war is coming because the United States wants access and control over the second largest oil reserve in the world. That is also why France and Germany have risen the level of their opposition. Since the Korean incident it should be painfully obvious to any external observer that the whole problem has absolutely nothing to do with WMDs.  

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Fallacy (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by melia on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:04:17 PM EST

I'm not going to discuss "reasons for going to war" but:

Since the Korean incident it should be painfully obvious to any external observer that the whole problem has absolutely nothing to do with WMDs.

People seem to think that it's somehow proving a point that the US isn't dealing with NK the same way that it deals with Iraq. This just isn't a sensible argument, because it's not the same situation. Here is one reason - As we've heard many times, the artillery 50 miles from Seoul would cause countless lives to be lost. And there's so many other reasons as well!

It'd just be plain stupid for any government to apply some sort of "one size fits all" standard to a situation. NK is not a way to argue the US's motives concerning Iraq.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

Really... (4.66 / 3) (#96)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:25:38 PM EST

Since the Korean incident it should be painfully obvious to any external observer that the whole problem has absolutely nothing to do with WMDs.

I'd have thought that the current North Korean situation would have made clear to all rational observers exactly why potential Iraqi WMDs are, in fact, the issue. Perhaps it's not so clear, after all?

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


[ Parent ]
Error number ID Ten T (2.66 / 6) (#34)
by wiredog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:15:13 AM EST

the CIA wouldn't care if their sources got killed/tortured/deported or whatever. They would no longer be interesting when the information is handed over and/or published. The source would have dried up.

Always nice to see someone demonstrate their complete lack of knowledge. The CIA, like most intelligence agencies, does its best to protect agents, and to get them out of trouble if their covers are blown.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Document that? (2.66 / 3) (#91)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:20:22 PM EST

And Tom Clancy doesn't count.

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

I'll do it for him. (2.80 / 5) (#135)
by ti dave on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:14:08 PM EST

I've been inside half a dozen CIA "safe" houses in Germany.
They weren't necessarily for agents, per se, but they housed compromised sources and defectors.

You don't have to believe me, but I have no reason to bullshit you.

Watch for Ice!
[ Parent ]

Just more anecdotes (3.33 / 3) (#277)
by Rogerborg on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:14:42 AM EST

I think the basic problem here is that secret stuff is almost axiomatically unbelievable.  Until I see disclosure from the agencies involved (i.e. when hell dreezes over), I'll retain my skepticism.

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

hitherto undivulged particulars of history? (none / 0) (#318)
by ti dave on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:01:05 PM EST

Yes, that was an anecdote, but true nonetheless.

Watch for Ice!
[ Parent ]

That sort of depends... (3.00 / 2) (#240)
by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:32:34 AM EST

...on what you mean by agents. For natural born American citizens trained as field ops and handlers, yes. For high-value foreign assets, yes. For plausibly deniable wetwork or freelance stringers.... only if it is convenient.

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
This may be a very simplistic view (4.11 / 18) (#22)
by andymurd on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:14:41 AM EST

but why can't $SECURITY_AGENCY say "Hey, Mr Blix, go look in $LOCATION and you'll find a $WEAPON". This gives away nothing about how they know, if the intelligence is good, the weapon gets found, war starts, etc.

Oh, hang on, aren't they doing that already and they've found fuck all?

Either the security agencies are deliberately feeding bad information to the weapons inspectors for the reasons you state, or their intelligence is bad.

You have too much faith in military intelligence, I'm surprised they can find their arse with both hands.

Because of what happens next (3.14 / 7) (#30)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:52:49 AM EST

Then $DICTATOR says "Hey, someone leaked information about $LOCATION. Only 5 people could have done that. Therefore, we know that one of those people is a spy."


--
"Your article (and I use that term losely) is just a ad-hominem filled rant from a right-wing extremist loony." - Psycho Les


[ Parent ]
Why? (4.00 / 6) (#33)
by thejeff on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:13:30 AM EST

The inspectors are going to all sorts of places regularly. They haven't given an official schedule to the Iraqi government. How will Iraq know that this inspection was the result of an intelligence leak?

You don't have to announce to the world that U.S. intelligence is telling the inspectors to look somewhere. You just slip the info to them, and then they check the location as if it was a regular inspection.

[ Parent ]

It's interesting (3.50 / 4) (#60)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:26:26 AM EST

You're more concerned about the life of one $SPY than that of thousands of $INNOCENT CIVILIAN BODIES that the war would produce. If you can justify keeping something secret for the good of $SPY why can't I insist that the government prove its case to justify the killing of $UNLUCKY CIVILIANS? Or is the life of one $SPY worth more than thousands of $COLLATERAL DAMAGEES?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
That's a huge problem (3.66 / 4) (#64)
by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:34:18 AM EST

If the spy gets killed because the US wasn't the least bit concerned about his welfare, it becomes much difficult to recruit other people to risk their lives becoming spies in the future. Not just in Iraq, but anywhere. And effectively gutting your intelligence gathering capability may cost you many more $INNOCENT CIVILIAN BODIES in the future.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Still more dangerous without proof (3.33 / 3) (#89)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:14:12 PM EST

And effectively gutting your intelligence gathering capability may cost you many more $INNOCENT CIVILIAN BODIES in the future.

Not if you can keep the "sell-out" secret or plausably deniable. Also, giving a government license to start wars without ever having to give justification for it could result in a LOT more $INNOCENT CIVILIAN BODIES, couldn't it? This isn't a dictatorship where the President can just say, "It's because I said it was." No, he's got to make his case and prove his facts.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Not just one spy (3.75 / 5) (#69)
by zakalwe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:45:11 AM EST

Sell out one spy and no one else will ever reveal information to you in future. Every future bit of information that would save the lives of $INNOCENT_CIVILIANS will no longer be passed on, because the one guy who knows and would have passed it on now knows that doing so will cause him to be killed.

One spy isn't worth it, but the integrety of the intelligence agency that allows them to get such information in the first place is.

[ Parent ]

Ummmm? (3.00 / 2) (#76)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:57:28 AM EST

How would selling out the spy prevent a war?


--
"Your article (and I use that term losely) is just a ad-hominem filled rant from a right-wing extremist loony." - Psycho Les


[ Parent ]
Pfft. This post ended up in the wrong place. [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#148)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:51:08 PM EST


--
"Your article (and I use that term losely) is just a ad-hominem filled rant from a right-wing extremist loony." - Psycho Les


[ Parent ]
Not necessarily (3.33 / 3) (#85)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:10:16 PM EST

Sell out one spy and no one else will ever reveal information to you in future.

Spies have been sold out since ancient times - it's part of the risk. Just like government witnesses have been sold out, or not given the level of protection they were promised, but still witnesses come forward. The key is - when you sell a spy out, you keep it as quiet as possible, or make it appear as though they were going to get caught anyway.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
What you're neglecting (3.00 / 2) (#196)
by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:08:29 PM EST

There isn't a $WAR yet. The situation is still in the stage of $BRINKMANSHIP. So, as yet, the issue is the emotions of thousands of $HISTRIONICS. And, yes, the life of one $SPY is more important than that.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Dear Achmed (3.33 / 3) (#95)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:25:37 PM EST

Thank you for risking your life to get this information to us.  Rest assured that we value all such information so highly that we file it away and never use it, so that you can continue risking your life to get us more such information.

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

Duh. (4.00 / 3) (#241)
by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:35:47 AM EST

It's not used by the traitorous bastards at State (you know, for diplomacy and whispering to their host country geishas), but it is used by the Air Force and Navy staff officers to set up Air Tasking Orders for all the strike packages to follow. Achmed's work is appreciated.

--
"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
That would happen anyhow (3.00 / 2) (#298)
by vnsnes on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:59:18 AM EST

Say, inspectors got to a location without having been tipped off by an intelligence agency. The dictator will assume one of 5 people who knew about the location tipped the intelligence agency off whether that is true or not. So the outcome is the same.

[ Parent ]
found fuck all (3.41 / 12) (#32)
by wiredog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:00:15 AM EST

Except for some rockets designed only for delivering chemical weapons that Iraq somehow "forgot" to list in its report to the UN.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Yep. (4.58 / 12) (#36)
by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:20:50 AM EST

11 empty warheads (not rockets), unusable, dating before 1990, that's the best they've found to date.

I'm really, really impressed.

[ Parent ]

Heh (4.66 / 12) (#37)
by andymurd on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:20:55 AM EST

The evidence for war in Iraq is an empty shell?

How appropriate.

[ Parent ]

In the words of Doonsbury: (3.00 / 2) (#217)
by another lame modstorming troll on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:31:09 PM EST

[aide] We've found a pretext, sir.

[president] let's roll.

[ Parent ]

And ... (2.85 / 7) (#38)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:22:51 AM EST

Thousands of pages of documentation on a nuclear program that somehow Iraq forgot to include in the report.

Much more stuff that we know they had remains missing. Iraq may have destroyed some or even all of it, but they are required to prove it.

1441 isn't about finding a smoking gun. It is Iraq's last chance to cooperate fully and disarm or prove disarmament. Since Iraq isn't cooperating, and isn't proving disarmamant, they are in further material breach of several U.N. Security Council resolutions. They were and are violating the ceasefire terms. That mean serious consequences. Perhaps the U.N. can draft a scolding letter to Saddam and resolve the whole thing!

[ Parent ]

Hmm ... (3.80 / 5) (#55)
by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:10:48 AM EST

The trouble is, there are lots of things Iraq can do - and probably has done - that play on the gap between proving conclusively that they have no WMD (which is what the hawkish reading of 1441 requires), and proving conclusively that they have (which is what the dovish reading - and most public sentiment - requires).

For instance, they can bury all the evidence in a big hole in the desert. Personally, if I were Mr Hussein, I'd have done that on Sept 12th 2001. Such actions present an awkward situation: they make it impossible to prove the case conclusively either way. That calls the UKUSA intelligence agency's bluff: they'd have to reveal what they believe they know, or the basis for the war goes away.

Simon

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

Not the inspectors job to ... (3.80 / 5) (#58)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:19:53 AM EST

It is not the inspectors jobs to show a smoking gun.

It is Iraq's jobs to prove compliance and to prove that they have disarmed. This requires that they follow the requirements of 1441. They have violated 1441 in at least three major ways.

Burying everything in a hole violates and denying it is a violation. Obstructing inspections is a violation. It may be impossible to prove #1 because of #2. But either way, they are in violation and in further material breach of obligation. Therefore they have continued to violate the ceasefire terms. What can happen when you violate ceasefires? Obviously, nothing. So what influence does the U.N. have over Iraq? Why should Iraq cooperate?


[ Parent ]

I realise that ... (4.50 / 8) (#83)
by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:07:59 PM EST

The only obligations the inspectors have is to keep inspecting, and tell the UNSC how it's going. The intention is to verify that Iraq has, in fact, disarmed, not to find evidence of a weapons program. However, 1441 doesn't say explicitly that it is up to Iraq to prove it's innocence. What it says is that a "further material breach" may have "serious consequences" (UN code for war). It doesn't sanction action, however: hence the need for a further chapter 7 resolution.

A "further material breach" (definitely) means failing to declare something, or obstructing the inspection process, or (possibly) some other violation of cease-fire terms (this is not clear from the text). I've counted two definite violations: the chemical warheads found the other day, and the documentation on a nuclear program that wasn't handed over in the dossier, but there may have been others. The Iraqis claim to have forgotten about both of these. So is this enough for a war ?

No. For there to be a legal war, the UN has to pass a chapter 7 resolution authorising the use of force. This was the compromise the US made to get 1441 passed: it doesn't authorise the use of force. This is also why the US and UK have declared that they may go to war regardless.

The difficulty facing them is that they need one of two things in order to carry the American population, and (especially) the British population along with them: they either need a chapter VII resolution authorising the use of force, OR an ability to demonstrate that what they're doing is definitely morally legitimate, even though it was not authorised by the UNSC. These essentially amount to one thing: they need a smoking gun, because having publically stated how certain they are that Iraq has an ongoing WMD program, they will lose credibility if they can't guide the inspectors to it.

This is why burying the evidence in a hole in the desert would confuse the issue, and possibly destroy the USA and UK's chance of proving their case.

The UN obviously has no power over Iraq. The UN is only powerful when it is lending its (dubious) legitimacy to the actions of a powerful state (usally the USA). The only reason Iraq is giving its (possibly fake) cooperation, is because it is under threat. The USA, for good or ill, finds itself in a situation where it needs that legitimacy to avoid being faced with a powerful anti-war lobby should the war turn nasty. As yet, it doesn't have a claim on that legitimacy. Hence the need to follow UN procedure, which hasn't (yet) authorised a war.

Simon

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

According to Blix ... (3.50 / 3) (#102)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:48:24 PM EST

"If evidence is not presented, which gives a high degree of assurance, there is no way the inspectors can close a file by simply invoking a precept that Iraq cannot prove the negative. In such cases, regrettably, they must conclude, as they have done in the past, that the absence of the particular item is not assured."

That is, Iraq must prove disarmament in order to not be in "material breach" causing "serious consequences".

[ Parent ]

Yes, but ... (4.33 / 4) (#106)
by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:59:45 PM EST

Blix is right, of course. The inspectors can't verify that Iraq has disarmed without Iraqi cooperation. Therefore, they'll present a "cannot verify" report to the security council.

It's not in the text of 1441, however, that being unable to verify Iraq's disarmament is a "further material breach": that only applies to lies, or attempts to obstruct inspections. It's hypothetically possible, albeit unlikely, that Iraq could cooperate and the inspectors would still be unable to verify that it had disarmed. However, just what a "further material breach" is doesn't, for practical purposes, matter much. The US needs a UNSC resolution, or clear grounds for a claim tht the council was negligent, in order to proceed, given the state of public opinion.

They aren't going to get that unless they can find better evidence than they've got.

Simon

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

1141 and Blix's statements on lack of evidence (4.00 / 4) (#114)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:14:15 PM EST

A quote:

"4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the Council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 below;"

Lack of cooperation is certainly a material breach.

Mix this with Blix's statement about what Iraq must do to prove disarmament:

"As I mentioned on 19 December, the UNSCOM document S/1999/94 and the Amorim Report (S/1999/356) list a number of issues on which doubts exist as to whether all proscribed items or activities had been eliminated. UNMOVIC is not bound by every conclusion in these reports, but they are, in our view, professionally written. They give Iraq a clear idea of questions, which need to be answered and of doubts, which must be dispelled by very active efforts. These doubts will not disappear by the resubmission of old documents or by conversations between teams of experts.

The overall impression, which I reported to the Council on 19 December and which remains after some weeks of examination of the Declaration, is that it is rich in volume but poor in new information about weapons issues and practically devoid of new evidence on such issues. It appears that the vast majority of the supporting documents are the same as those provided in previous "Full, Final and Complete Declarations" or obtained by UNSCOM through the inspection process. Those documents that are new do not seem to contribute to the resolution of outstanding questions.

The Declaration repeats the assertion that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that there is no more evidence to present. However, in order to create confidence that it has no more weapons of mass destruction or proscribed activities relating to such weapons, Iraq must present credible evidence. It cannot just maintain that it must be deemed to be without proscribed items so long as there is no evidence to the contrary. A person accused of the illegal possession of weapons may, indeed, be acquitted for lack of evidence, but if a state, which has used such weapons, is to create confidence that it has no longer any prohibited weapons, it will need to present solid evidence or present remaining items for elimination under supervision. Evidence can be of the most varied kind: budgets, letters of credit, production records, destruction records, transportation notes, or interviews by knowledgeable persons, who are not subjected to intimidation.

I have not asserted on behalf of UNMOVIC that proscribed items or activities exist in Iraq, but if they do, Iraq should present them and then eliminate them in our presence. There is still time for it.

If evidence is not presented, which gives a high degree of assurance, there is no way the inspectors can close a file by simply invoking a precept that Iraq cannot prove the negative. In such cases, regrettably, they must conclude, as they have done in the past, that the absence of the particular item is not assured."

So Blix thinks that Iraq must provide more evidence and that they have not yet lived up to this agreement. The burden of proof is on Iraq. Given noncooperation, and the incompleteness and inconsistancies in the Declaration, Blix doesn't think Iraq is acting in accord with 1441.

So while a theoretical case could be made that lack of evidence alone isn't a material breach, the actual situation is different. Iraq hasn't yet cooperated enough to even approach that conclusion.

[ Parent ]

A question (3.66 / 3) (#77)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:58:43 AM EST

It is Iraq's last chance to cooperate fully and disarm or prove disarmament.

I always thought it was impossible to prove a negative - why, then, do we expect Iraq to?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Read the resolution, look at Blix's statements. (3.50 / 3) (#104)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:55:48 PM EST

Here's the lead inspector on your quandry:

"If evidence is not presented, which gives a high degree of assurance, there is no way the inspectors can close a file by simply invoking a precept that Iraq cannot prove the negative. In such cases, regrettably, they must conclude, as they have done in the past, that the absence of the particular item is not assured."

-------------------

It is Iraq's job to convince the world by providing a complete and honest declaration of proscribed weapons and weapons programs. They didn't.

It is Iraq's job to provide Blix's team with a full list of people to interview to confirm disarmament. They didn't.

It is Iraq's job to allow complete freedom of movement for inspectors. They didn't.

It is Iraq's job to allow inspectors to interview people under the inspectors conditions. They didn't.

[ Parent ]

Then the whole idea of inspections ... (4.00 / 6) (#115)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:15:53 PM EST

... is a farce. Really. While the UN goes through the motions of an investigation whose purpose is to find the weapons if possible, but conclude that the weapons are hidden if they're not found, the US and others have already made their conclusions. The inspections were simply for show and to justify the war further if they did happen to find something.

It's nothing less than Kafkaesque.

It is Iraq's job to ...

... surrender their national sovreignity, whether through inspections or force of arms. This is the truth of what we've told Iraq. And we may well get away with it next time.

But there are other countries in the world who are watching and learning - the lessons are clear. If you are a relatively weak country that wants to develop weapons of mass destruction, do it quickly in a way that will ensure that anyone who tries to bully you into a inspections "or else" choice will have to pay a high price to enforce it. It would seem the North Koreans are the first country to apply this lesson. There will be others.

None of this is making the world a safer place.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Yes. (4.00 / 3) (#119)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:29:22 PM EST


"It is Iraq's job to ...

... surrender their national sovreignity, whether through inspections or force of arms. This is the truth of what we've told Iraq. And we may well get away with it next time."

Absolutely correct. That is often what happens when you lose a war, especially one that you start. It happened to Iraq due to the Gulf War, Germany and Japan in WWII, and many many other nations throughout history. You might want to think about how absurd you sound by acting surprised at this.

Regarding this statement:

"While the UN goes through the motions of an investigation whose purpose is to find the weapons if possible, but conclude that the weapons are hidden if they're not found"

If Iraq had cooperated fully and lived up to 1441, then you might have a point. Iraq had to cooperate. They didn't. But absence of evidence without cooperation isn't good enough. Absence of evidence with cooperation would be enough. But part of the Declaration was supposed to be about accounting for things that everyone knows they once had. For example, look to chemical weapons. Destroying them requires specialized techniques. Iraq could document destruction if they actually did it. Even if they just dumped them, they could tell inspectors where this occured so inspectors could verify that the evidence is consistent with dumping. See how that works? Without cooperation, absence of evidence doesn't help Iraq show compliance. Even Blix explicitly states this.


[ Parent ]

It's still a charade (none / 0) (#131)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 02:05:30 PM EST

It happened to Iraq due to the Gulf War, Germany and Japan in WWII, and many many other nations throughout history.

Like Germany after WWI. Hmmm ... that didn't turn out too well, did it?

You might want to think about how absurd you sound by acting surprised at this.

And you might want to think about why a simple, true statement sounds surprised in the context of how these issues are usually discussed.

Absence of evidence with cooperation would be enough.

Unless our government decided to claim they had the evidence anyway, and refused to share it with the world at large, which brings us right back to the main article, doesn't it? I remember the story about the Kuwaiti babies taken from the incubators in the last Gulf War - it proved to be an effective lie. Obviously, our government's more than capable of pulling this kind of stunt.

In short, it's a charade.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
It is only a charade ... (4.00 / 1) (#133)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:09:48 PM EST

It is only a charade if Iraq doesn't cooperate.

That is the charade. Iraq agreed to abide by 1441, but they aren't doing so.

The inspections aren't the charade and 1441 isn't the charade.

[ Parent ]

Oh and Germany in WWI (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:14:26 PM EST

.. is much closer to the situation from 1992-today. That is, a nation loses a war but is allowed to go its own way with restrictions. Germany was restricted from having certain weapons and was required to act in a certain way. They didn't obey, and another war was started by them.

Contrast that with WWII where defeat meant forced reconstruction.

So if WWI and WWII are our only guides (they certainly aren't), then invasion, regime change, and reconstruction according to democratic principles are superior to the current situation. Reparations, restriction and punative acts like embargo (like Germany suffered Post-WWI and Iraq is suffering now) are not the way to go. Containment was attempted and failed on Germany post-WWI. But you seem to be arguing that it is a great idea today.

[ Parent ]

Yep Containment is a bad idea - see the USSR (5.00 / 2) (#138)
by sien on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:23:54 PM EST

I agree, and it was a tragedy that containment was used against the Soviet Union. If only a massive war had been started after WWII or a nuclear war had been started a few years later the results would have been so much better.

[ Parent ]
Strawman + (none / 0) (#146)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:44:37 PM EST

Containment was the only option asside from nuclear war. That is one reason why Iraq's pursuit of WMD is so important.

So your argument is a strawman (I never said containment was always innapropriate) and even so your argument almost certainly provides support for the position that Iraq should be forced to disarm before they get WMD.

[ Parent ]

Hardly. (none / 0) (#185)
by Neil Rubin on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:04:17 PM EST

Containment was the only option asside from nuclear war.
There was a nice window of opportunity for a U.S. attack prior to the first Soviet nuclear test in August 1949. The Soviet economy was in shambles, while the U.S. was responsible for about one half of world economic output. The problem was that selling such an attack and a subsequent war to U.S. public and world opinion would have been nearly impossible.

Not that I think the Soviet example tells us a whole lot about what we should do in Iraq...

[ Parent ]

I'm for minding our own business (5.00 / 1) (#139)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:26:48 PM EST

So if WWI and WWII are our only guides (they certainly aren't), then invasion, regime change, and reconstruction according to democratic principles are superior to the current situation.

Except that I doubt very much that Iraq will be reconstructed according to democratic principles.

Containment was attempted and failed on Germany post-WWI. But you seem to be arguing that it is a great idea today.

Actually, it's my view that this is a regional problem best solved by those in the region, not the US. I don't think that anything we do in the Middle East will be seen with gratitude by anyone, especially if we have ulterior motives in doing so. Countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey have enough power to contain, negotiate with or perhaps overthrow Saddam. Perhaps they should be the ones who decide seeing as they're the ones who are most directly affected.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Like we did after WWI? (none / 0) (#260)
by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:10:15 AM EST

Didn't work out too well, now, did it?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
What war? (none / 0) (#211)
by arose on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:56:57 PM EST

There was no declared gulf war.
--
Dzīvot ir kaitīgi, no tā mirst.
[ Parent ]
Riight. (none / 0) (#230)
by sonovel on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:18:30 AM EST

Yup. Unless someone exactly uses the words "We declare war", there is no war, yup.

Absurd word games don't help your point, whatever that is.

It is irrelevent whether war was declared. There was a war, started by Iraq (perhaps responding to some provication from Kuwait).

[ Parent ]

Surrender! (none / 0) (#219)
by another lame modstorming troll on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:37:12 PM EST

Hmm, if regime changes can be forced after the conclusion of hostilities, perhaps the Canadians should like to call American attention to 1812?

[ Parent ]
The war never ended. (5.00 / 1) (#231)
by sonovel on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:23:41 AM EST

A ceasefire was signed (which was soon violated by Iraq) but no peace agreement was negotiated.

Perhaps you missed these little things called sanctions, and perhaps you missed the war over air superiority still going on. Perhaps you also missed the attack against Iraq that Clinton performed in 1998. Oh, I guess you never heard of the assasination plot against G. Bush Sr. Or the blockade runners that work against the U.N. sanctions.

So whatever gave you the idea that the war was over? Seriously, where have you been? A desert island with no radio?

[ Parent ]

and North Korea? (4.00 / 3) (#147)
by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:46:23 PM EST

Why wait on North Korea, who has the bomb?

Or is it a strategic move to safeguard the oil for the war machine first?

And what of China? Will they sit by or will they pounce on Taiwan? And if they pounce on Taiwan, will India trounce on Pakistan? And so on and so forth.

Is it really worth it?

In any case, it's all in the masterplan. I just try to love Jesus and my neighbor as myself. ;)


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Umm. (4.00 / 4) (#150)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:13:24 PM EST

Once a nation has WMD, the situation changes.

Also, a nation with an ally like China is a little different from Iraq.

Add ten other reasons why different situations may need different responses.

Conflating the two is beyond merely simplistic and is done most often as a rhetorical trick rather than as to make real point.

[ Parent ]

Does it? (4.00 / 3) (#151)
by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:22:17 PM EST

[Once a nation has WMD, the situation changes.]

So if Iraq does indeed have WMD as many suggest, and inspectors find them, will the U.S. still attack them? Will the attack be called off at the last moment? Somehow I don't think so due to the fact there's a *lot* of oil in that region.

I agree with you on the China point, though. You have to remember, though, that China (as an up and coming superpower) has an interest in the oil in both the middle east and s. east asia.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

The response ... (none / 0) (#155)
by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:29:54 PM EST

The response still could be different between Iraq and NK even if Iraq had WMD. However, the situations are different.

Attacking NK risks nuclear war with a major world power (China).

Attacking a nuke armed Iraq doesn't risk ICBMs hitting the west coast of the U.S.

See? The situations are different even if Iraq had WMD.

There is certainly a difference between the policies between NK and Iraq. You imply this means that the policy on Iraq is wrong. This is faulty logic for at least two reasons. The first is (as mentioned) the situations differ in almost all regards, except wrt to your hypothetical Iraqi WMDs. Second, the inconsistancy could be resolved by threatening NK as strongly as Iraq is being threatened. Your inconsistancy would be gone. Is that what you think should happen? If not, you might want to rethink your argument. It doesn't support your apparent position.


[ Parent ]

Yes, they're different. (5.00 / 2) (#156)
by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:43:27 PM EST

Don't think I could argue otherwise. ;)

I still think war in either situation is not the right course of action, though. I hate to see people die. It really bums me out - even if they are the 'enemy' they're still people.

I'd rather see the billions go into making the U.S. better - education, education and more education instead of consumerism, consumerism and more consumerism.


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

right course of action (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by wiredog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 05:47:48 PM EST

War may be the least wrong course.

I'm mostly anti-war with regards to Iraq, on the grounds that it's none of our business, and he'll still have to sell oil and we'll still buy it. Plus , we're a long way downwind when the nukes start flying.

But I can see an argument that going after Iraq now will prevent Hussein from giving nukes to various nogoodniks, that a nuclear war in the mid-east could cause damage to our allies outside the region, and that no one else has, or is interested in having, the capability to do something about it.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Sale of weapons (5.00 / 1) (#168)
by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 06:18:27 PM EST

Currently:
  • Russia is helping Iran with Nuke capabilities (sure, just a reactor and what not, but...)
  • North Korea ships No-dongs (SP) all over the middle east - a bigger threat then Iraq currently.

    I can see your point about 'getting him now is easier' - but does the U.S. want to go it alone and create more animosity towards the country?

    I think the possibility of Musharaff (SP) in Pakistan falling from power and someone else getting their hands on their nukes. And with what's been going on over in that region lately (i.e. the U.S. bombing on Pakistan's turf a week or so back...) a bigger threat may lie there.


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

  • So, let me get this straight..... (3.60 / 5) (#75)
    by BobaFatt on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:56:30 AM EST

    The most convincing evidence is a pile of old shells which could become deadly chemical weapons, if only they were filled with deadly chamical weapons?
    The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
    [ Parent ]
    did the US sell them to him? (3.00 / 2) (#144)
    by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:42:24 PM EST

    or was that the actual chemicals?

    in any case, no one seems to care. back then, he was a 'good guy' and iran was the bigger 'bad guy.' hence we're 'justified.'

    i just don't see it, tho. seems a bit hypocritical to be honest.


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Weapons Inspectors = CIA spies? (3.33 / 4) (#40)
    by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:38:43 AM EST

    Of course, Iraq claimed (and this was confirmed I belive by whatshisface - the former inspector turned anti-war activist) that the inspectors were spying for the CIA.

    Of course, all you can say to that is:

    "Well... Duh!"

    It's interesting though that the tables have apparently turned. If so, then the CIA etc. must have intelligence sources that they didn't have after the war.

    Wonder how they managed that?

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    "Spies" (2.16 / 6) (#52)
    by DigitalRover on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:06:15 AM EST

    Of course, Iraq claimed (and this was confirmed I belive by whatshisface - the former inspector turned anti-war activist) that the inspectors were spying for the CIA.

    That would be Scott "I like little girls" Ritter.

    It's interesting though that the tables have apparently turned. If so, then the CIA etc. must have intelligence sources that they didn't have after the war.

    Wonder how they managed that?


    Could they have possibly sent in their own people to develop intelligence contacts completely independent of the inspections?

    Blix decided from Day One that he would not find any evidence of WMD as he did not want to be remembered as the first employee of the UN to "start" a war.

    [ Parent ]
    Rhetorical, not sarcastic (4.00 / 5) (#56)
    by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:16:03 AM EST

    I know how they've done it. As I've already said elsewhere, I tend to think that they really do have the intelligence that they're talking about and it's pretty clear that they've turned someone (probably lotsa folk) in Iraq.

    Lets face it, Saddam is hardly popular over there. Working in the Iraqi government has to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

    As for Blix, I would suggest that you're being a little paranoid. I think he'll do his job. If there's a war, it would hardly be the fault of the inspectors.

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    DrDuck (4.20 / 5) (#67)
    by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:38:28 AM EST

    Do you actually make comments (as another nick) or just moderate? I'd like to know since at present I have to assume either:

    a) You really really like moderating and reading but not writing

    b) You post under another nick and DrDuck is a pseudonym

    I'd like to think that it was "a" as "b" would be a little unpalatable since it would suggest that you are afraid for some reason.

    Just out of interest.

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    drduck: So come on. What do you actually think. (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:45:33 AM EST

    Instead of just modding down things you think you don't agree with, why not actually tell us what you think?

    Seeing as you've just modded every single post I've made to this article @3 or lower.


    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    He's all ratings (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by jjayson on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:40:48 PM EST

    I've been modbombed (more than 30 1s) a couple times and I generally get nothing but 1s from him everytime he rates me. I have emailed rusty a month or so ago, but our fearless leader hasn't said anything. Just get used to him and carry on.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    Blix is (probably) incompetent (3.00 / 2) (#117)
    by DigitalRover on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:23:49 PM EST

    ... so I don't think I'm being overly paranoid. As head of the AEC he either turned a blind eye or failed to root out information on burgeoning nuclear arms programs around the world. Once he was out of that post his successor spent time cleaning up the mess he left.

    Going back prior to this round of inspections, the US and the UK did offer to provide some intelligence as to the whereabouts of evidence of Hussein's weapons programs but he turned it down.

    Currently, he refuses to create a safe environment for Iraqi scientists to be interviewed and is instead cowing to Baghdad's demands. Rather than transporting the scientists, engineers, and technicians and their families out of Iraq where they can speak freely without fear of retribution (remember, this a country that beheads female family members of those it suspects are being disloyal) Blix complained that he wasn't in the refugee business.

    I don't think he's evil, just spineless.

    [ Parent ]
    One story - getting scientists out (3.50 / 3) (#278)
    by idiot boy on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:15:01 AM EST

    I read a story (in last weeks Observer I think - I'll try to dig it out) regarding the nuclear scientist the weapons inspector busted a couple of weeks ago with a house full of documents relating to Iraq's nuclear program.

    He gave a press conference at which he said that one of the weapons inspectors (a woman) quietly offered to spirit him and his family out of the country into a nice comfy retirement country.

    He (being a loyal - or terrified - Iraqi) said no and proceeded to tell the world also.

    It appears to me that they are at least trying to get scientists out of the country.

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    Yellow journalism (3.50 / 4) (#82)
    by pyramid termite on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:05:25 PM EST

    That would be Scott "I like little girls" Ritter.

    Was he convicted? No. The case was dismissed.

    It's interesting the lengths people will go to so they can "prove" their case. Is this an example of the sort of "intelligence" the pro-war faction relies on - yellow journalism and scandal mongering without a shred of proof?

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    WorldNetDaily (2.66 / 4) (#99)
    by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:41:51 PM EST

    Official journal of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Talk about lack of journalistic impartiality.

    That's before even mentioning that the linked article consists of raking up a court case that was not only dismissed, but sealed to defend the presumption of innocence, in order to discredit a political opponent on spurious grounds. How much lower can you sink ? I suppose they still have the "Daily Mail" to look up to.

    Simon

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

    Do you lack all basic skills ... (2.75 / 5) (#110)
    by DigitalRover on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:06:14 PM EST

    ... or just reading comprehension: Editor's note: The following is a transcript of former weapons inspector Scott Ritter's appearance on "CNN Newsnight with Aaron Brown" on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003.

    [ Parent ]
    You mean Scott Ritter (3.50 / 3) (#72)
    by HidingMyName on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:52:44 AM EST

    Interestingly, he lives near me and there has been a lot of coverage of an arrest on his alleged solicitation of a minor (16 year old girl) over the internet, apparently the records were sealed and the charges were dropped.

    [ Parent ]
    it is simplistic (3.40 / 5) (#113)
    by influx on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:14:08 PM EST

    Let's assume that they do this, and the inspectors find a weapon. Then all the negatives that the article talk about are immediately in effect. The intelligence sources are comprimised and on top of it France and Germany still will be arguing against war.

    People will be saying, well it seems the inspections are working! Let's give it some more time to continue. The problem is, not even the best intelligence is likely to know where all the weapons of mass destruction are located. After some time of having UN inspectors on the ground there will be a demand to eliminate sanctions, pull out the inspectors and normalize relations (France has to get its oil too).

    At which point it will be likely that Saddam will still be in power and still have some spirited away WMD. What does the US gain from this scenerio? Nothing.

    ---
    The more you know, the less you understand.
    [ Parent ]

    Intelligence works like this (Blechly and Enigma) (4.14 / 14) (#23)
    by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:23:11 AM EST

    Intelligence does work like this, it has to. When the Enigma code (WWII encryption used by the Nazis) was broken at Bletchley Park, the British government suddenly had access to vast amounts of 100% reliable intelligence on what the Germans were up to.

    Even with this information though, the allies were not always able to stop German actions and very frequently had to sacrifice ships, soldiers and civilians, not because they didn't necessarily have the resources to stop those actions but because to do so would give away the fact that THEY KNEW.

    In this situation, if the UKUSA do indeed have the information they are talking about then it would not be unreasonable for them to refuse to make it public. It's far more important to them that they remain able to gather such intelligence than to make a quick PR killing. Give away your source and your source becomes useless (and in this situation - very dead).

    This principle applies to journalism too!

    Sure, this means that our politicians start to look duplicitous and if we just blindly believe them all the time then you take a couple of steps closer to 1984 but that doesn't mean that they're always lying.

    The solution is to take what information you can rely on and extrapolate with that and the pronouncements of politicians to make an informed decision as to whether or not to belive them.

    In this case, it is highly likely that Iraq has at least some of the materials and skills required to manufacture nukes and other WMD. It's also likely that they retain stocks of Chem and Bio weaponry. We "know" this given history and reports that are in the public domain.

    However, it's safe to say that he doesn't actually have a nuke. If you're Saddam Hussain and you have a functioning nuclear weapon, you bloody well tell the world about it (ref: North Korea). There's little point having nukes (if you're a country - the same does not apply to terrorists) unless your enemies know you've got them.

    In this case then, it is reasonable to err on the side of believing the politicians that they do indeed have the information they allude to.

    That doesn't make a war right though.

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself

    Not a great comparision. (4.00 / 4) (#163)
    by kitten on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 05:31:17 PM EST

    In WWII, the Germans basically thought their Enigma code was unbreakable, and relied on it almost exclusively for higher-level stuff. If our convoys and bombers always "just happened" to show up at the right place and time, Germany would go, "Oh, they broke our code," and design a new one, at which point the Allies would have been screwed.

    But that isn't the issue today. If we knew from intelligence gathering that Iraq had weapons at X, Y, and Z, we could say so and lose nothing. In fact, we would gain quite a bit, for it would be a fantastic demonstration of our intelligence network in action. Merely saying "We know you have weapons here, here, and here," reveals nothing about how we got that information. But it would send the messege: "Don't try anything stupid, because we're watching."

    However, I do agree with this:

    you have a functioning nuclear weapon, you bloody well tell the world about it

    Nuclear weapons have always been weapons of deterrance, not of war. I believe it was Dr Strangelove who said something to the effect of, there's no point in having an "ultimate weapon" and keeping it secret.
    mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
    [ Parent ]
    Gaaaah! (4.00 / 3) (#175)
    by pmc on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:18:44 PM EST

    In WWII, the Germans basically thought their Enigma code was unbreakable, and relied on it almost exclusively for higher-level stuff. If our convoys and bombers always "just happened" to show up at the right place and time, Germany would go, "Oh, they broke our code," and design a new one, at which point the Allies would have been screwed.

    Germany didn't think that enigma was unbreakable - they went to great lengths from the 1920's up until the last days of the war to continually improve enigma. In fact, used properly, Enigma could not be beaten with the technology of the time (in fact, many German codes using enigma were never broken because they were used properly). The whole story of Enigma and how it was defeated is fascinating stuff.

    You are also wrong about the "just happened" type stuff - during the Battle of Britain the British fighter squadrons "just happened" to turn up where the German bombers were. Mind you, this was backs to the wall type stuff - without Enigma breaks I'm sure that Britain would have been invaded (successfully) by Germany, and the world would have been a very different place today. (This was only one of quite a series of extraordinary pieces of luck - another was that Germany didn't bomb the British radar stations.)

    [ Parent ]

    No, kitten's basically right (3.50 / 3) (#194)
    by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:59:41 PM EST

    Germany didn't think that enigma was unbreakable - they went to great lengths from the 1920's up until the last days of the war to continually improve enigma. In fact, used properly, Enigma could not be beaten with the technology of the time (in fact, many German codes using enigma were never broken because they were used properly). The whole story of Enigma and how it was defeated is fascinating stuff.

    It is correct that the Enigma could never have been broken with the technology of the time if it had been used properly. Actually, even with modern technology, it could only occasionally be broken, perhaps not often enough significantly to affect a war. Remember that the main goal of wartime cryptography is simply to make it take so much time to break a code that the information would be stale by the time it is broken.

    The biggest weakness of the Germans was psychological. They had so much confidence in the Enigma, based on mathematical arguments and their hierarchical information structure, that they didn't seek significantly to plug up the social holes that made it breakable. So the trick for the Allies was not to raise suspicions strong enough that they would close these holes.

    So, the Allies could occasionally "just show up" but couldn't do it too often for fear that the Germans would wise up. There must have been some incredibly excruciating and life-costing decisions made by the Allies for this fear.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    They tried to block the holes (3.00 / 2) (#266)
    by pmc on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:09:58 AM EST

    They had so much confidence in the Enigma, based on mathematical arguments and their hierarchical information structure, that they didn't seek significantly to plug up the social holes that made it breakable.

    If they had so much confidence then why did they improve it (plug board, larger range of rotors, more installed rotors, etc)? If they didn't realise the social holes why did they go to great lengths to fill then (albeit without succeeding)? If the German High Command was so confident about enigma, why did they move to an entirely separate cipher system Lorenz (aka Tunny)?

    Actually, the allies alarming often "just showed up" (especially in the battle of the atlantic). The method was that was used was e.g. to find out where the U-boat supply ship was, send over a spotter plane to supply the "cleaned intelligence", and then sink the ship. They did have a big psychological weakness though - they knew that intelligence was getting out, but thought that conventional espionage was the culprit. This idea was inadvertently reinforced as when the Allies sporadically overstepped the line they tended to e.g. sink all the German north atlantic weather ships in a few days, which does look like more conventional espionage (and, no, this was not some sort of Uber-mind game - the allies were horrified at this slip and were sure the game was up when this happened).

    [ Parent ]

    Improvements (3.00 / 2) (#268)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:28:15 AM EST

    If they had so much confidence then why did they improve it (plug board, larger range of rotors, more installed rotors, etc)? If they didn't realise the social holes why did they go to great lengths to fill then (albeit without succeeding)? If the German High Command was so confident about enigma, why did they move to an entirely separate cipher system Lorenz (aka Tunny)?

    I'm not exactly sure what you're arguing, but it seems to be some kind of an abolutist argument. Espionage and counter-espionage are a kind of balancing act. You want to push the balance as far as you can without making the changes too obvious, and the weights on the balance matter. Pushing the balance just far enough so that it becomes obvious, and the enemy goes to a new system, is part of the act--obviously, how long it takes them to adapt to a new system is part of the calculation.

    All I'm saying is that the German confidence in the unbreakability of the system and a relative lack of attention to the social weaknesses were a weight on the balance, which weight made all the difference.

    You seem to be saying, "Ha-ha! The weight wasn't infinite!" Or if that's not what you're saying, I can't figure out what you think you're arguing against.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    What I'm arguing against... (3.00 / 2) (#307)
    by pmc on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:06:26 PM EST

    ... is the statement "The Germans thought Enigma was unbreakable." They didn't. They knew that procedural errors could allow it to be broken, and they knew that operator error could allow it to be broken. All through the war they worked to proof the machine against procedural errors, and tried (and failed) to eliminate operator blunders.

    There is no doubting that they thought - wrongly as it turned out - that they'd done enough, but the way that it's portrayed is that the Germans basically put their feet up when enigma entered the scene and rested on their laurels until they were defeated. This really couldn't be further from the truth. There is a world of difference between negligence and ineffectualness, even if the end product was the same.

    [ Parent ]

    What we'd gain... (5.00 / 1) (#355)
    by idiot boy on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 04:27:35 AM EST

    we could say so and lose nothing. In fact, we would gain quite a bit, for it would be a fantastic demonstration of our intelligence network in action..

    Wrong. They've got a lot to lose. Primarily their intelligence sources. Saddam has shown little or no compunction at killing anyone who he or his security services even suspect of doing anything to jeaposdise his power.

    Bottom line is that you've got your "Fantastic...intelligence network" to lose!

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    One problem with your point... (3.33 / 3) (#220)
    by CrazyJub on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:37:42 PM EST

    ...Germany and England were already fighting, war had already started, unlike today.

    [ Parent ]
    I don't really see the relevance (none / 0) (#354)
    by idiot boy on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 04:23:22 AM EST

    Of the fact that we're not at war.

    Does the fact that we're not at war make it any less likely that the Iraqi regime would kill anyone it managed to finger as a spy. Of course not. Indeed, in a position where war is likely, there's lilely to be even less willingness to jeapordise intelligence resources.s

    Once again. I wasn't making an argument in favour of war but just trying to make a more sensible argument in favour of the articles position.

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    What would Iraq do with the information? (none / 0) (#426)
    by nebbish on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 08:20:56 AM EST

    I can see the point of not revealing intelligence, but the problem is that without doing so it will be very difficult to justify going to war. It's an unfortunate Catch 22 situation but Bush and Blair are going to face massive opposition otherwise, that will only increase once we're actually at war.

    Once intelligence is revealed the UK and US will have justification for the war and would be able to embark on it immediately. There wouldn't be much point in Iraqi using information they have gathered from the revealing of intelligence to cover up their activities when there is a few million tons of military hardware coming down on them.

    You're right about the spies though. They'd be stuffed.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    You're probably right (none / 0) (#441)
    by idiot boy on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 03:52:32 PM EST

    Perhaps what we'll see is a sudden burst of intelligence sourced information in the immediate runup to an attack on Iraq.

    This starts to look especially likely given Blair's outburst at PMQT today (reported in the Standard - aparently, he had a total hissy fit at his bolshier backbenchers who were heckling him inceacently) where he said that there would be a release of especially damning information "soon".

    You have to suspect that "soon" will coincide with there having been a sufficient buildup of troops and materiel in the Gulf to support an invasion.

    The coincidence of this outburst being 12hours after Bush's state of the union points very strongly to there having been a decision on the part of the BB twins to get on with a war come what may and for there to be a public appeasing release of "damning" information in the immediate (days prior) run-up to an attack.

    A release on intel on the eve of a war would be less damaging to their sources since Saddam's forces will likely be distracted and won't have time to work out what else might have been leaked (and hence won't be able to move critical materials etc.).

    You're right then. We're likely to see it soon. Could be an interesting prediction that. I bet days before the start of hostilities as the time for a significant release of incriminatory information.

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    Some shown already... (none / 0) (#446)
    by nebbish on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 07:53:08 AM EST

    I can't remember if it was yesterday or the day before, but aerial photos have been published of large amounts of activity at suspected sites just before the inspections. There's also been "speculation" in the media about the burning of files which was maybe leaked as it wasn't mentioned before.

    What I *ahem* ommitted from my last post was a comeback to the argument that revealing intelligence about Iraq would compromise ALL intelligence gathering, as it would reveal techniques. The aerial photos have shown that the US has enough faith in its own stealth technology not to worry -- because you can bet there are drones above N Korea after seeing that.

    But yeah, the evidence is coming out now and I suspect that war is just around the corner.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    They'll need more than areal photos... (none / 0) (#448)
    by idiot boy on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 09:44:21 AM EST

    to convince people I think. I reckon they'll wheel out something really juicy closer to the time.

    They all know about the satelites and the drones. Someone shot one down quite recently. What they don't know about are agents on the ground in Iraq.

    Anything really convincing is going to come from either cracked communications or real human agents on the ground. Both of those can be silenced if the Iraqis get wind of them. There's not really a lot they can do about the stuff in the sky.

    The thing about large amounts of activity is that it might have been a car (cart) boot sale :).

    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    Here's the thing ... (4.47 / 21) (#26)
    by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:39:26 AM EST

    I agree with you about intelligence info. It is quite clear that governments can't go around telling everyone what they've learned and who they've learned it about. The unfortunate thing is, the public no longer trust politicians. At all. If you think back to the Cuban missile crisis, or to Suez, or <insert cold war military intervention here>, the public at that time pretty much trusted politicians. When Kennedy told the public he knew the Russians had nukes in Cuba, the public believed him, even though the photos that proved it were never released.

    The public is much more skeptical now. Partly because we're much more aware of having been deceived in the past: about "communists" in central America, about the secret passages of the Rambouillet accords, and so on, not to mention the far more numerous broken promises regarding domestic policies. We know politicians lie. We're pretty sure that also cheat, are open to bribery of one kind or another, and occasionally even steal.

    Given this, how the hell are we supposed to trust them ?

    Simon

    If you disagree, post, don't moderate

    Photos (3.55 / 9) (#31)
    by wiredog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:57:40 AM EST

    They photos of the missile sites in Cuba were released. I've seen quite a few of them.

    Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
    Phil the Canuck

    [ Parent ]
    Yes, but not at the time (nt) (3.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:35:46 AM EST



    Simon

    If you disagree, post, don't moderate
    [ Parent ]
    At the time (4.33 / 6) (#46)
    by linca on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:53:28 AM EST

    Photographs were shown to allies and to the UN.

    Apparently no such thing has happened this time. If the US is not willing to trust its allies with proofs, then why should the aforementioned allies believe the US has proofs?

    [ Parent ]

    Indeed ... (3.50 / 3) (#61)
    by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:26:47 AM EST

    FWIW, UK intelligence agrees with the CIA about Iraq's WMD programs. Presumably this intelligence is shared, but they've not shown people outside the UKUSA pact. This intelligence sharing, and the apparently sensitive nature of the sources involved, may explain the extreme difference in opinion between the English speaking world's governments (most of whom are privy to UKUSA intel, especially from SIGINT), and the other traditional allies.


    Simon

    If you disagree, post, don't moderate
    [ Parent ]
    why i believe (3.00 / 2) (#109)
    by influx on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:04:36 PM EST

    This is why I think there is something substantial. Tony Blair is seemingly committing political suicide by siding with Bush on the Iraq issue. While you may call him a "poodle", I have a hard time he would risk sending his country to war and killing his political future without seeing hard evidence first.

    Australia also seems to be supporting us and it's pretty well known that a lot of intelligence gets shared between the UK, USA, Australia and NZ.

    ---
    The more you know, the less you understand.
    [ Parent ]

    Blair (4.00 / 3) (#132)
    by Simon Kinahan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:09:42 PM EST

    He's taking a risk, but he's also probably calculated that it's worth it. The man is a very canny politician, regardless of what you think of his politics. That implies that he either reckons that the war will be easy and won quickly (likely, but not guaranteed), in which case the bad PR will blow over fast, or, more likely I think, he knows that there is information that can be revealed to the public at some stage that will make much of the opposition go away.

    I agree with your conclusion that his support implies that the US govt really does know something. I don't agree he's committed suicide. I don't think he's the type.

    I don't think he's Bush's poodle at all, although I know a lot of other people do. He's almost certainly been a moderating influence by taking Colin Powell's side. To the good, I think.

    Simon

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

    Australia's involvement is economic (3.50 / 3) (#178)
    by martingale on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:23:45 PM EST

    The Australian government has been working hard in the last few years to obtain a free trade agreement with the USA, the decision about it being scheduled for 2004. Until then, and probably afterwards too given the disparity in economic might, they hop when the US tell them to hop. Here's an interesting summary of Australia's economic ties with the Middle East.

    [ Parent ]
    Hrrm (3.00 / 2) (#261)
    by influx on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:28:45 AM EST

    Well, it looks like there is pretty good trade from .au to Iraq. So why would Australia want to upset the apple cart and piss off the people they are doing business with by supporting the Americans?

    If Australia wanted to be slick, they could easily go the whole, "we won't support a war without a second UN resolution". Which is pretty much the same line every other country is spouting and it would be hard for the US to condemn Aussies for taking it. This has the second effect of not overly pissing off the Iraqis as they can't say that Australia was out to get them.

    Instead, Australia probably has seen some of the intel that the UKUSA has and being moral people realize that sometimes a country has to take action. We learned in history that appeasing dangerous dictators for peace in our time doesn't work and the longer you wait, the worse the situation will be.

    ---
    The more you know, the less you understand.
    [ Parent ]

    possibly (3.66 / 3) (#279)
    by martingale on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:20:01 AM EST

    Instead, Australia probably has seen some of the intel that the UKUSA has and being moral people realize that sometimes a country has to take action.
    Quite possibly, you're on to something here. Which is why the prime minister has seen fit to refuse categorically to have a parliamentary debate about the pros and cons of sending troops to invade alongside the US, decided unilaterally to send troops to Iraq against a backdrop of 70% popular opposition to an involvement in the war, accusations of abuse of power by the opposition parties, and heightened security fears on Australian soil due to regional terrorist threats, troops which reduce substantially the relatively small security forces available in Australia in the event of threatened attacks.

    Whatever he's smoking, it must be real good.

    We learned in history that appeasing dangerous dictators for peace in our time doesn't work and the longer you wait, the worse the situation will be.
    I fully agree with you on that statement. I just wish that somebody they will listen to would tell Blair and Howard that their appeasement strategy isn't a good idea.

    [ Parent ]
    Valid/Argument? (3.66 / 4) (#160)
    by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 05:12:34 PM EST

    Everything you say is valid and reasonable. But is it an argument?

    Given this, how the hell are we supposed to trust them?

    The most reasonable conclusion is that we aren't supposed to trust them, or more precisely, that whether we are "supposed" to trust them is irrelevant, because we don't.

    The obvious conclusion is that either it's a bluff, and there is no intelligence on WMDs, or there is intelligence on WMDs, and the governments in charge of the intelligence have to be very damned careful about how to demonstrate that it's accurate.

    Now, the former is more emotionally satisfying to most people, and it was people want. Doesn't everybody just wish that there are no nuclear weapons in Iraq? It would make everything so much simpler and more comfortable. It would be very easy simply to categorize the UK and the US as a bunch of vicious, war-mongering nutcases, unlike the civilized and peace-loving Germans, say.

    On the other hand, the desire for a certain outcome has a tendency to produce ostrich-like behavior. There is some evidence of this, such as the UN inspectors not being subjected to adequate background checks. The easiest way to maintain faith in something is to render it unfalsifiable. This is a good way to do religion, but it isn't a good way to find out the truth.

    But, since nobody trusts politicians, and there is no smoking gun, there is no good logical reason to prefer one explanation to the other, and so we're left with a kind of Bayesian approach. We have to examine all possibilities, figure out what their outcome is likely to be, and evaluate that outcome against observed reality.

    So, we do have to consider the possibility that the intelligence is at least somewhat accurate and figure out what would happen. This isn't about trust; it's merely being thorough.

    People have cartooned this as a Tom Clancy novel. A better metaphor would be one of Richard Feynman in the essays "Mr. Feynman Goes to Washington," in What Do You Care what Other People Think? Now, Feynman was on the Manhattan Project, and I am hard pressed to come up with an event in history more needful of security. He was asked to serve on the board of inquiry of the Challenger disaster which, tragic as it was, was fairly minor in comparison. That is, the stakes were relatively small. By the time he was on the team, it was already known what caused it. However, in order to leak Feynman the information, a general had to make up a story about his carburetor. Feynman had to be there as an "outsider" to "discover" the cause.

    The stakes in Iraq are much larger than this, comforting though it may be to imagine them trivial. The only group that is perceived to have any authority is the UN weapons inspectors, and they do not even have decent background checks. The former team had been infiltrated; it is reasonable to assume that the current team is as well. Setting up this group of people to "discover" nuclear weapons is not a trivial task, and it is not a task that can be accomplished quickly.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Interesting ... (3.00 / 2) (#285)
    by Simon Kinahan on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 07:51:04 AM EST

    I more-or-less agree with what you say. I wasn't really making an argument. Just pointing out that our governments have their work cut out if they want the public to support this war, which they do, being mindful of past disasters.

    I am curious, however, about this:

    The only group that is perceived to have any authority is the UN weapons inspectors, and they do not even have decent background checks. The former team had been infiltrated; it is reasonable to assume that the current team is as well.

    I've heard several stories along these lines in forums like this, and they mostly come from Americans. I therefore conclude that the American media is running stories that the European media isn't, or at least running them with a higher profile. That normally only happens with Israel/Palestine stories. I therefore wonder what's going on, on this occasion.

    Simon

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

    Yes, interesting (none / 0) (#337)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 08:17:19 PM EST

    I've heard several stories along these lines in forums like this, and they mostly come from Americans. I therefore conclude that the American media is running stories that the European media isn't, or at least running them with a higher profile.

    Well, we'd have to go back at least five or six years in the vault to find out whether that is true, but it's certainly an interesting question.

    It's been my experience that there are some interesting differences between our experiences. Just to lighten things up a bit, I was recently watching the Platinum DVD of Fellowship of the Ring. Very good commentary. If you remember, there was a reference to dwarf-tossing. In the commentary, one of the people on the team (a Brit) asserted that Americans wouldn't understand the reference, asserting that it was a British sport. But, in fact, America did have dwarf-tossing; it just died out about ten years ago. I can date it pretty accurately, because there was dwarf-tossing at a local bar called The Phyrst, which was at the same location as The Silver Dollar, which was where Ted Bundy used to hang out. The Phyrst was demolished and replaced with cheap student housing about ten years ago.

    Another amusing incident was when I was sitting talking to the actor who did Big Wind on Campus. My mother, who's a theatre person, had gotten him to Sarasota to give a performance. Great one-man show with a half a dozen characters. Anyway, we were sipping martinis and talking and the subject of British perceptions, and I mentioned something about how the British generally think that All Americans Carry GunsTM. He told a story about how he once did an exchange student thing and his host family in the U.K. sat down and, with earnestly serious expressions on their faces, told him that they'd thought about it a lot, and they wanted him to keep his gun in the house. This was so funny it brought tears to my eyes. But I've been to the U.K., many times, and the only American influence on television seems to be reruns of pathetic American cop shows like Mannix, unless it's pathetic American soap operas like Dynasty. So, I forgive you lot, but it's still hilarious.

    So, no doubt you're right. No doubt there is some delta with respect to reporting, or Weltanshauung, or something.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    If the world was from a Tom Clancy novel (4.36 / 19) (#29)
    by creo on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:52:31 AM EST

    You would of course be 100% correct. The reason for this is that the CIA and the government would be being run by a bunch of Jack Ryan clones, whose dedication to their country would only be outdone by their dedication to their family - and of course they would all have a family of perfect children and a good looking wife who would balance career with taking care of her man.

    We all know that the reality of the situation is quite different. This whole Iraq business has the stench of a trawler of rotting fish. Other people who are far more eloquent than I have covered this in far greater detail, so I'm not going to bother.

    One of the interesting points raised, either in your article or in a comment was that of WWII and Enigma. While following a similar vein of thought, the reality in that case was completely different. When enigma was cracked the allies were at war, the enemy was identified, the enemy was in a position to cause major damage to both the war effort and the information gathering process. At the current time it is a potentially corrupt government attempting to divert investigation into domestic issues by raising the bogeyman of a tin pot dictator who has no ability to damage the UKUSA alliance members. The 1942 population did not need convincing facism presented a clear and present danger, whereas at the present time the information that can show Iraq presents a danger is conveniently hiding behind the facade of national security.

    None the less, good article, made me think, +1.

    boggle (4.00 / 4) (#173)
    by adequate nathan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:17:24 PM EST

    The 1942 population did not need convincing facism presented a clear and present danger...

    They most certainly did, in the USA at least. FDR dragged the USA kicking and screaming onto a war footing (otherwise Pearl Harbor would have led to a capitulation as the USA would have been unprepared for a campaign in the Pacific.) It is doubtful whether the USA would have gone to war with Germany at all if Hitler hadn't declared war in solidarity with the Japanese.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Right and wrong (3.00 / 2) (#242)
    by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:45:42 AM EST

    Right: FDR did drag the US kicking and screaming into war with both Japan and Germany.

    Wrong: The US was confident that it would be able to defeat the Japanese because, even though their fleet was marginally superior at the initiation of hostilities, American shipbuilding capacity was unassailable and far outstripped Japanese capability both in scale and availability of resources. Furthermore, FDR deliberately provoked war between Japan and the US (and he was well aware of US Navy capabilities, having served as Secretary of the Navy for Woodrow Wilson).

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    I think you need to read 1441. (4.18 / 22) (#35)
    by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:15:50 AM EST

    The inspections aren't about finding a "smoking gun".

    They are about verifying compliance with this and other resolutions.

    Hostile inspections don't work. They didn't work previously in Iraq, they didn't work in North Korea (under Blix!), and they won't work now.

    1441 says Iraq faces severe consequence unless it cooperates fully and proves that it is willing to disarm, or has disarmed.

    It isn't the inspectors job to prove this. It isn't really the inspectors jobs to find hidden things.  

    The inspectors job is to be witness to Iraq living up to its agreements. They haven't yet, meaning the ceasefire of 1991 has been broken. 1441 is supposed to be Iraq's last chance to live up to their agreements (read it!).

    Obviously Iraq has spit in the face of the world and once again isn't doing what it agreed to.

    The required report is incomplete and contains falsehoods, according to Blix. Material Breach #1.

    Unmonitored interviews with weapons scientists are not being allowed. Material Breach #2.

    Iraq is not allowing flights for surveilance by inspectors. Material Breach #3.

    So once again, Iraq is giving the finger to the world. This was supposed to be Iraq's last chance. Serious consequences are suppossed to occur because of this. But many seem to think that Iraq deserves even more "last chances". Of course, if one thinks the U.N. is often a bad joke, this situation shows another bad punchline.

    South Africa? (3.66 / 3) (#53)
    by hughk on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:09:03 AM EST

    AFAIK, South AFrica disarmed and suffered UN/IAEA inspections to verify that their remaining nuclear fcailities were for peaceful use only.

    [ Parent ]
    Difference (4.00 / 3) (#57)
    by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:19:19 AM EST

    Then the IAEA was dealing with a country that wanted to be cooperative. The only reason anyone knew about the South African nuclear program was because they voluntarily revealed it, offered up a list of scientists for the UN to privately interview, and invited inspectors to their sites to verify that the weapons programs were dismantled. That's the point that Condoleeza Rice made in her NY Times Op-Ed.

    Constrast with Iraq, who dicked around with the inspectors for the last 12 years, fought against the inspectors from even going back in to the country this latest time, has military officers accompany Iraqi scientists for interviews, and accuses the inspectors of being US spies and anti-Islamic agitators. How do you expect a couple hundred people to effectively canvas a country the size of France without cooperation from the government?

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

    Canvas a country the size of France (3.00 / 2) (#65)
    by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:35:57 AM EST

    Looking for what, the Amazing Handbag Sized Nuclear Reactor? Or the Invisible Nuclear Blast Sites?

    Chemical weapons and biological weapons are one thing, but nukes are another entirely. Stop being silly.

    [ Parent ]

    Funny (3.00 / 2) (#68)
    by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:39:23 AM EST

    I seem to recall North Korea developing a uranium enrichment facility right under the IAEA's nose.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    Since when (3.00 / 2) (#79)
    by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:00:17 PM EST

    has North Korea's nuclear capability been a secret? Before the inspections begun North Korea had one operational reactor, with two under construction. They've always had 'em. They were simply not quite forthcoming about telling the IEAE they were refining weapons grade plutonium. The damn plants aren't invisible.

    [ Parent ]
    Hi (3.00 / 2) (#81)
    by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:04:22 PM EST

    A uranium enrichment facility is not a nuclear reactor.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    Hello (3.00 / 2) (#86)
    by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:12:53 PM EST

    Yes, and the enrichment facility was not invisible either, nor was its construction secret for long.

    [ Parent ]
    Well (3.00 / 2) (#103)
    by KilljoyAZ on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:49:45 PM EST

    It wasn't the IAEA that found it, now was it? As I recall it was North Korean defectors that tipped off the US.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    enrichment facility != nuclear reactor (n/t) (none / 0) (#97)
    by jjayson on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:27:08 PM EST


    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    The South African Bomb (3.66 / 3) (#180)
    by Neil Rubin on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:29:37 PM EST

    The only reason anyone knew about the South African nuclear program was because they voluntarily revealed it
    As I understand the history, this is false. According to the Federation of American Scientists:
    Beginning in 1975 two test shafts over 250 meters deep for conducting nuclear tests were drilled at the Vastrap military base in the Kalahari Desert. A Soviet surveillance satellite detected these test preparations in August 1977, and the Soviets notified the US of their discovery. South Africa was forced to cancel the tests in the face of diplomatic pressure from America, the Soviet Union, and France.

    A flash over the Indian Ocean detected by an American satellite in September 1979 was suspected of being a nuclear test, possibly conducted by either Israel or South Africa, alone or in combination. the Carter administration assembled a panel of scientists from academia to review the data. After their review, the panel concluded that, lacking independent collaborative data to support a nuclear origin of the signals, the original interpretation of the satellite data could not be justified. The panel said the flash could have been caused by a combination of natural events, specifically a micrometeorite impact on the detector sunshade, followed by small particles ejected as a result of the impact.

    The international fear of nuclear proliferation made South Africa the focus of intense concern during the 1980s. Cape Town academic Renfrew Christie was jailed for passing details of South Africa's nuclear power program to the African National Congress [ANC] in 1980.

    It seems that it is possible to learn about a weapons program even if the country in question does not announce it. Of course, this is how we knew about Iraq's weapons programs before the Gulf War.

    This doesn't mean that it is impossible to hide a weapons program. The Soviets, for example, seem to have successfully hidden a massive bioweapons program.

    [ Parent ]

    Suspected, not verified (none / 0) (#340)
    by KilljoyAZ on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:08:20 PM EST

    Your own quotes say there were strong suspicions about the South African nuclear program, but they didn't know it for a fact. It was only confirmed when the South Africans revealed it. From your linked article:

    In March 1993 President de Klerk declared that South Africa had previously developed a limited nuclear capability which had been dismantled and destroyed before South Africa acceded to the NPT. The IAEA sent experts to visit the facilities involved in the abandoned program and to review historical data. It found no indication casting doubt on South Africa's statement that all the highly enriched uranium for weapons had been reported in its initial declaration. Also it has found no indication to suggest that there remain any sensitive components of the nuclear weapons programme which have not been either rendered useless or converted to commercial non-nuclear applications or peaceful nuclear usage. The IAEA declared it had completed its inspection in late 1994 and that South Africa's nuclear weapons facilities had been dismantled.

    It's also telling that after 9+ years of inspections, the IAEA still isn't done in Iraq when it took them only a year in South Africa.

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

    Thanks. (3.00 / 2) (#59)
    by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:22:37 AM EST

    You prove my point. Inspections only work with a cooperative government. SA wanted to comply and therefore inspectors could do their jobs of verifying compliance. Very different from Iraq and North Korea in the late 1990s.

    [ Parent ]
    What are you babbling about? (4.14 / 7) (#62)
    by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:28:14 AM EST

    First you say:
    1441 says Iraq faces severe consequence unless it cooperates fully and proves that it is willing to disarm, or has disarmed.
    And then you say
    It isn't the inspectors job to prove this. It isn't really the inspectors jobs to find hidden things.
    The full text of resolution 1441 can be found here. Resolution 1441 states, shorn of the usual waffle, that Iraq has to meet two goals: submit a complete declaration of all aspects of its WMD programs to date, and provide UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors full and unfettered access to any site they wish to inspect. To date Iraq has complied with both directives.

    Nowhere in the resolution does it state that Iraq has, in addition to complying with the two stated goals, also prove that it has complied with both goals. Nowhere. Iraq has to comply with both stated goals, and if it is found to be in material breach of either, a report to the UN Security Council will be made of that fact. Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei have been given the responsibility of determining whether Iraq is in material breach of the second goal of resolution 1441, unfettered weapons inspection. The criteria for compliance with the first goal are unspecified. Read the damn text first before pontificating about it on k5.

    [ Parent ]

    You haven't read it, have you? (4.25 / 5) (#66)
    by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:36:01 AM EST

    "Iraq has to meet two goals: submit a complete declaration of all aspects of its WMD programs to date, and provide UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors full and unfettered access to any site they wish to inspect. To date Iraq has complied with both directives. "

    There is more to 1441 than access to sites and the report. You really need to read it.

    Even so, Iraq has violated both of your selected requests.

    The report is incomplete and contains falsehoods, according to Blix.

    The refusal to allow surveillence flights means that inspectors are not allowed to go where they want to inspect what they want.

    So how can any impartial person claim that Iraq is complying?

    The other violation I have discussed is just icing on the cake.

    Seriously, you need to actually read the resolution and pay attention to what the head inspector is saying about Iraq's "cooperation".

    [ Parent ]

    You've got the link, prove it. (3.40 / 5) (#71)
    by StrontiumDog on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:50:41 AM EST

    The report is incomplete and contains falsehoods, according to Blix.
    Funny that Blix would say that, considering that the 12,000 page report was shipped directly to the US, who have only provided an edited version for other countries to view. Care to provide a link where Blix makes such a statement?

    The refusal to allow surveillence flights means that inspectors are not allowed to go where they want to inspect what they want.
    Ha ha. Surveillance drones have nothing to do with resolution 1441. Iraq could invade China and still not be in breach of resolution 1441. Invading China may breach any number of other UN resolutions, but 1441 doesn't say anything about that. You can't lump everything you see and read about on TV under the catch phrase "Resolution 1441". Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei will determine if Iraq is in breach of the inspections mandate, and nobody else.

    Read the damn text, sonovel.

    Here's the summary of 1441:

    The resolution, number 1441, establishes an enhanced inspection regime for Iraq's disarmament, which will be carried out by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    All 15 council members voted for the resolution: permanent members China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and non-permanent members Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Guinea, Ireland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, and Syria.

    The resolution states that Iraq remains in material breach of council resolutions relating to Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and requires that Baghdad give UNMOVIC and IAEA a complete and accurate declaration of all aspects of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and ballistic missiles systems, as well as information on other chemical, biological, and nuclear programs that are supposed to be for civilian purposes, within 30 days.

    It gives UNMOVIC and IAEA, among other things, unrestricted rights of entry and travel into and throughout Iraq; provides for U.N. security for the inspectors; gives the inspectors the right to freeze sites and declare exclusion zones; and gives them the right to conduct interviews, either inside or outside the country, without the presence of Iraqi officials. Most importantly, it gives the inspectors immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to all sites in Iraq, including so-called presidential sites.

    The resolution directs Hans Blix, executive chairman of UNMOVIC, and Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA director general, to "report immediately to the council any interference by Iraq with inspection activities as well as any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations." The council will then "convene immediately ... in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security," it says.

    Finally, it warns Iraq that "it will face serious consequences" if it continues to violate its obligations as spelled out in the resolution.

    And this is the full text:

    The Security Council,

    Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions, in particular its resolutions 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990, 678 (1990) of 29 November 1990, 686 (1991) of 2 March 1991, 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991, 688 (1991) of 5 April 1991, 707 (1991) of 15 August 1991, 715 (1991) of 11 October 1991, 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, and 1284 (1999) of 17 December 1999, and all the relevant statements of its President,

    Recalling also its resolution 1382 (2001) of 29 November 2001 and its intention to implement it fully,

    Recognizing the threat Iraq's noncompliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security,

    Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to Resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area,

    Further recalling that its resolution 687 (1991) imposed obligations on Iraq as a necessary step for achievement of its stated objective of restoring international peace and security in the area,

    Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than one hundred and fifty kilometres, and of all holdings of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well as all other nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to nuclear-weapons-usable material,

    Deploring further that Iraq repeatedly obstructed immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to sites designated by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), failed to cooperate fully and unconditionally with UNSCOM and IAEA weapons inspectors, as required by resolution 687 (1991), and ultimately ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA in 1998,

    Deploring the absence, since December 1998, in Iraq of international monitoring, inspection, and verification, as required by relevant resolutions, of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, in spite of the Council's repeated demands that Iraq provide immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), established in resolution 1284 (1999) as the successor organization to UNSCOM, and the IAEA, and regretting the consequent prolonging of the crisis in the region and the suffering of the Iraqi people,

    Deploring also that the Government of Iraq has failed to comply with its commitments pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) with regard to terrorism, pursuant to resolution 688 (1991) to end repression of its civilian population and to provide access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in Iraq, and pursuant to resolutions 686 (1991), 687 (1991), and 1284 (1999) to return or cooperate in accounting for Kuwaiti and third country nationals wrongfully detained by Iraq, or to return Kuwaiti property wrongfully seized by Iraq,

    Recalling that in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that a ceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of that resolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein,

    Determined to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq without conditions or restrictions with its obligations under resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions and recalling that the resolutions of the Council constitute the governing standard of Iraqi compliance,

    Recalling that the effective operation of UNMOVIC, as the successor organization to the Special Commission, and the IAEA is essential for the implementation of resolution 687 (1991) and other relevant resolutions,

    Noting the letter dated 16 September 2002 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq addressed to the Secretary General is a necessary first step toward rectifying Iraq's continued failure to comply with relevant Council resolutions,

    Noting further the letter dated 8 October 2002 from the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA to General Al-Saadi of the Government of Iraq laying out the practical arrangements, as a follow-up to their meeting in Vienna, that are prerequisites for the resumption of inspections in Iraq by UNMOVIC and the IAEA, and expressing the gravest concern at the continued failure by the Government of Iraq to provide confirmation of the arrangements as laid out in that letter,

    Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, Kuwait, and the neighbouring States,

    Commending the Secretary General and members of the League of Arab States and its Secretary General for their efforts in this regard,

    Determined to secure full compliance with its decisions,

    Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

      1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraq's failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991);

      2. Decides, while acknowledging paragraph 1 above, to afford Iraq, by this resolution, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council; and accordingly decides to set up an enhanced inspection regime with the aim of bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council;

      3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, in addition to submitting the required biannual declarations, the Government of Iraq shall provide to UNMOVIC, the IAEA, and the Council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material;

      4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the Council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 below;

      5. Decides that Iraq shall provide UNMOVIC and the IAEA immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all, including underground, areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport which they wish to inspect, as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted, and private access to all officials and other persons whom UNMOVIC or the IAEA wish to interview in the mode or location of UNMOVIC's or the IAEA's choice pursuant to any aspect of their mandates; further decides that UNMOVIC and the IAEA may at their discretion conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq, may facilitate the travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that, at the sole discretion of UNMOVIC and the IAEA, such interviews may occur without the presence of observers from the Iraqi government; and instructs UNMOVIC and requests the IAEA to resume inspections no later than 45 days following adoption of this resolution and to update the Council 60 days thereafter;

      6. Endorses the 8 October 2002 letter from the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA to General Al-Saadi of the Government of Iraq, which is annexed hereto, and decides that the contents of the letter shall be binding upon Iraq;

      7. Decides further that, in view of the prolonged interruption by Iraq of the presence of UNMOVIC and the IAEA and in order for them to accomplish the tasks set forth in this resolution and all previous relevant resolutions and notwithstanding prior understandings, the Council hereby establishes the following revised or additional authorities, which shall be binding upon Iraq, to facilitate their work in Iraq:

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall determine the composition of their inspection teams and ensure that these teams are composed of the most qualified and experienced experts available;

      • All UNMOVIC and IAEA personnel shall enjoy the privileges and immunities, corresponding to those of experts on mission, provided in the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the IAEA;

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have unrestricted rights of entry into and out of Iraq, the right to free, unrestricted, and immediate movement to and from inspection sites, and the right to inspect any sites and buildings, including immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to Presidential Sites equal to that at other sites, notwithstanding the provisions of resolution 1154 (1998);

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to be provided by Iraq the names of all personnel currently and formerly associated with Iraq's chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programmes and the associated research, development, and production facilities;

      • Security of UNMOVIC and IAEA facilities shall be ensured by sufficient UN security guards;

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to declare, for the purposes of freezing a site to be inspected, exclusion zones, including surrounding areas and transit corridors, in which Iraq will suspend ground and aerial movement so that nothing is changed in or taken out of a site being inspected;

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the free and unrestricted use and landing of fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, including manned and unmanned reconnaissance vehicles;

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right at their sole discretion verifiably to remove, destroy, or render harmless all prohibited weapons, subsystems, components, records, materials, and other related items, and the right to impound or close any facilities or equipment for the production thereof; and

      • UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the right to free import and use of equipment or materials for inspections and to seize and export any equipment, materials, or documents taken during inspections, without search of UNMOVIC or IAEA personnel or official or personal baggage;

      8. Decides further that Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or of any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution;

      9. Requests the Secretary General immediately to notify Iraq of this resolution, which is binding on Iraq; demands that Iraq confirm within seven days of that notification its intention to comply fully with this resolution; and demands further that Iraq cooperate immediately, unconditionally, and actively with UNMOVIC and the IAEA;

      10. Requests all Member States to give full support to UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the discharge of their mandates, including by providing any information related to prohibited programmes or other aspects of their mandates, including on Iraqi attempts since 1998 to acquire prohibited items, and by reCommending sites to be inspected, persons to be interviewed, conditions of such interviews, and data to be collected, the results of which shall be reported to the Council by UNMOVIC and the IAEA;

      11. Directs the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC and the Director General of the IAEA to report immediately to the Council any interference by Iraq with inspection activities, as well as any failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations, including its obligations regarding inspections under this resolution;

      12. Decides to convene immediately upon receipt of a report in accordance with paragraphs 4 or 11 above, in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security;

      13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;

      14. Decides to remain seized of the matter.



    [ Parent ]
    Can you read? (4.55 / 9) (#100)
    by sonovel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:44:11 PM EST

    What the hell are you talking about:

    "Ha ha. Surveillance drones have nothing to do with resolution 1441."

    It is right in your damn post!

    "UNMOVIC and the IAEA shall have the free and unrestricted use and landing of fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft, including manned and unmanned reconnaissance vehicles"

    You quote the whole thing but you still, obviously didn't read it. Beyond bizzare. And I didn't mention drones, though they are part of the issue. The main issue is over manned surveillance planes. Iraq is forbidding the inspectors from using the planes they want to use. Yet another Material Breach.

    As far as Blix on the report, here you go. Blix's comment about the Declaration are clear, he doesn't think Iraq is being open and honest. Heres an excerpt:

    "The overall impression, which I reported to the Council on 19 December and which remains after some weeks of examination of the Declaration, is that it is rich in volume but poor in new information about weapons issues and practically devoid of new evidence on such issues. It appears that the vast majority of the supporting documents are the same as those provided in previous "Full, Final and Complete Declarations" or obtained by UNSCOM through the inspection process. Those documents that are new do not seem to contribute to the resolution of outstanding questions.

    The Declaration repeats the assertion that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that there is no more evidence to present. However, in order to create confidence that it has no more weapons of mass destruction or proscribed activities relating to such weapons, Iraq must present credible evidence. It cannot just maintain that it must be deemed to be without proscribed items so long as there is no evidence to the contrary. A person accused of the illegal possession of weapons may, indeed, be acquitted for lack of evidence, but if a state, which has used such weapons, is to create confidence that it has no longer any prohibited weapons, it will need to present solid evidence or present remaining items for elimination under supervision. Evidence can be of the most varied kind: budgets, letters of credit, production records, destruction records, transportation notes, or interviews by knowledgeable persons, who are not subjected to intimidation."

    Note especially the reference to the previous "Full, Final and Complete Declarations". He is refering to the previous documentation that we found to be inadequate. So the current document is basically the same as the old ones, and we know the old ones weren't accurate and complete. Blix explicitly meantions areas where the Declaration isn't complete, and places where it is inconsistent with known facts.

    As far a cooperation and proof, here's Blix again:

    "I have not asserted on behalf of UNMOVIC that proscribed items or activities exist in Iraq, but if they do, Iraq should present them and then eliminate them in our presence. There is still time for it.

    If evidence is not presented, which gives a high degree of assurance, there is no way the inspectors can close a file by simply invoking a precept that Iraq cannot prove the negative. In such cases, regrettably, they must conclude, as they have done in the past, that the absence of the particular item is not assured."

    Absence of evidence is not acceptable to prove disarmament without Iraqi full cooperation. Blix agrees with me that Iraq has to prove compliance:

    "If the Iraqi side were to state that there were no such programs, it would need to provide convincing documentary or other evidence,"

    So lack of evidence provided by Iraq and lack of cooperation are material breaches that can cause "serious consequences".

    [ Parent ]

    hmm (4.00 / 3) (#216)
    by martingale on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:29:59 PM EST

    Just a quick comment about the spy plane. Is that the spy plane the Iraqis claim to have downed, but the Pentagon denies it as a fabricated lie? Or are you talking about US spy planes which are being generously placed at the disposal of UN inspectors in accord with 1441, but whose intelligence data cannot be released to the inspectors because of security risks?

    I think it is telling that there isn't a whole lot of fuss being made about the spy planes, it is clear from the paragraph you quoted that only officially requested UNMOVIC and IAEA reconaissance vehicles are covered. Any hardware not officially presented as being under direct UNMOVIC or IAEA operational control is obviously fair game under a strict reading of 1441.

    [ Parent ]

    Nope. (4.00 / 3) (#232)
    by sonovel on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:26:49 AM EST

    The inspectors want to use the best available surveillance plane, but Iraq is refusing to allow them to fly. This is very much against the letter and intent of 1441.

    It is in the news, but it is kept pretty low key. Look around at your favored news source and I bet you can find it.

    [ Parent ]

    allright, we'll hear on monday [n/t] (3.00 / 2) (#280)
    by martingale on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:47:52 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Why isn't Bush mentioning 1441? (4.00 / 3) (#204)
    by khym on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:41:22 PM EST

    Having read through this thread, it would appear that Iraq is indeed in violation of 1441. So, why isn't Bush mentioning any of this? Why doesn't he tell the American people "We gave Iraq/Saddam one chance, and he spit in our face?" I assume that wouldn't be the sole argument he'd give, because he'd need more than that to get the American people to approve a war, but why isn't he mentioning it along with everything else he spouts? And why isn't he shoving it in the faces of all of the European governments?

    Perhaps Bush doesn't want the cooperation of the U.N.; maybe he's ignoring 1441 because he wants to set a precedent of the U.S. going it alone, without U.N. support, in order to weaken whatever little power it currently has.



    --
    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
    [ Parent ]
    Waiting (3.00 / 2) (#258)
    by influx on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:06:04 AM EST

    I suspect he will mention this in the State of the Union address. Notice that the inspectors report back to the UN on Monday and Bush is giving his speech on Tuesday. I expect it will be historic. I wonder how much of it is already written.

    ---
    The more you know, the less you understand.
    [ Parent ]
    So what you are saying is (4.33 / 9) (#63)
    by krek on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:31:57 AM EST

    That it is better to keep your citizens in the dark so that the bad guys can do their 'thing' with as little impediment as possible and as in the open as possible so that the CIA goons will have an easier time doing their job?

    If the bad guys have to bury their bases and only work at night, then we have increased their expenses, decreased their productivity and made it clear that we are not cool with their bullshit and we will do everything in our power to stop them.

    And, to extend your example, don't you think that it is a good idea to make those shipping companies scared of doing business with the bad guys? 'Out' them as the evil profiteering bastards that they are and watch their business dry up, both dirty and clean. Make the bad guys go and find another way to do their shipping, and then 'out' those bastards. Keep going until noone will even consider doing business with the bad guys. As it is it is very profitable to deal with the bad guys; under the table, tax free payments, and CIA protection.



    I'm almost certain that the US is funneling some (3.57 / 7) (#78)
    by Demiurge on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:58:47 AM EST

    information to the inspection teams. But that doesn't mean they'll give them full access to their information, for a number of reasons. One, which was discussed in the article, is to protect sources. Saddam's regime is hardly kind to suspected traitors.

    In addition, the UN team is almost without a doubt compromisted by Iraqi intelligence. It was back during the first round of inspections, and now that Blix isn't carrying out detailed background checks, it's almost certain. So any information that the US gives to the inspectors will very likely wind up on Saddam Hussein's desk.

    Two edges (4.14 / 7) (#84)
    by marx on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:09:06 PM EST

    So any information that the US gives to the inspectors will very likely wind up on Saddam Hussein's desk.
    And any information discovered by the inspectors will wind up on Bush's desk, even if it has nothing to do with WMD. The excuse when the previous UN team was accused of spying was that this was "how the game worked" etc. So if you think that was ok, then you must think this is ok too. Tough luck. If you start playing the spying game, I guess you have to accept the consequences.

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    Incorrect (4.00 / 3) (#161)
    by Demiurge on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 05:13:52 PM EST

    Objectionable as the US using the inspection teams to look inside Iraq may be, it strengths the inspections. Penetrations by Iraqi intelligence weaken the purpose of the inspections program.

    [ Parent ]
    Must be fun (2.00 / 3) (#199)
    by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:16:22 PM EST

    To think of this all as some sort of stupid neener-neener boo-boo game without any consequences. Too bad some of us live on Earth.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Out of interest (4.00 / 3) (#90)
    by idiot boy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:16:07 PM EST

    How was the inspection team compromised? Was it on principle (i.e. they liked Iraq) or financial (they were bought off)?


    --
    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]
    +1 though I disagree (4.63 / 11) (#101)
    by Pihkal on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:47:19 PM EST

    I see several problems with this. Though it is probably true that the UKUSA agencies have no reason to lie while politicians do, the fact of the matter is, it's the politicians who are doing any and all announcements to the public. So if, as you admit, politicians are liars, why couldn't they lie about having proof, particularly if the intelligence agencies have a "no comment" policy? I don't recall any press conferences, releases, or interviews with operating CIA officials confirming WMD in Iraq. Your own characterizations of the government as liars and intelligence agencies as tight-lipped also supports the scenario where the statements issued by the government have little to no basis whatsoever on actual intelligence. In particular, what everyone is really worried about is evidence of nukes. Chemical (GAO report on 80's Iraq, section 4) and biological (anthrax) weapon evidence is much easier to come by.

    Much of your argument hinges upon the huge cost in money, resources, and agent safety should the data be revealed to a press that claims to "need proof." You build the consequences of "one photocopy from one shipping company" up to unreasonable proportions in order to bolster your argument. The consequences you describe represent a worst-case scenario which is statistically unlikely to occur to the full extent.

    Even setting that aside, you're missing out on a crucial detail: while revealing information to the press tips your hand to your opponent, so does using the information gained, even if the press was never told. The only way to maintain total security about the sources and methods of obtaining intelligence is to not act on it. Any use of the information whatsoever raises the possibility that your opponent will wonder, "How could they have known that?" The intelligence agencies must deal with this frequently, and have contingency plans for it.

    If they really have proof, why not reveal it to clinch the deal, so to speak? The polls show that most Americans support the war if there is sufficient evidence. From the White House's point of view, why not extract the agents or send them into hiding, reveal the proof, and set full speed ahead for war? I think the political desire for this war is strong enough that if substantial proof existed, it would be proffered. I think the fact that it hasn't suggests that it doesn't exist. The only variables are the polls indicating under what circumstances the public supports the war, and the extent to which the administration thinks it can initiate a war without sufficient public support in the hopes of appeasing the public later.



    "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
    -- Number 6
    exactly (4.00 / 4) (#184)
    by ethereal on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:41:43 PM EST

    For example, the inspectors go to a bunch of random agricultural institutions, and one of them just happens to be the one that the CIA tipped them off that has traces of cultured anthrax laying around. The inspectors can still say they found it by accident, so the secrecy of the real intelligence gathering is somewhat protected.

    Heck, what if they *did* find something completely on their own at random chance, say buried under a street-corner garbage bin in Bagdad? Would the Iraqis immediately tell the world that the U.S. has a massive garbage-Echelon project going on? At a certain point, it's going to be impossible to tell the difference between sophisticated intelligence (magic - Clarke's Law) and pure dumb luck. So the harm done to the intelligence-gathering methods may not be that great.

    --

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

    Didn't I read this (4.10 / 10) (#105)
    by Rogerborg on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:56:09 PM EST

    on alt.fan.tomclancy?

    This is overly verbose, and you don't even deal with the (second) simplest explanation:

    The less a just-passing-through politician knows, the less he can be blamed for afterwards, and the more likely he is to be reelected.  The less clearly a career beaurocrat explains the whole situation to that career politican, the less he can be blamed for being wrong and the more likely he is to make it to retirement.

    So I really have to wonder: how many of the accountable elected politicians in the UKUSA actually really know the full extent of what their spies suspect?  Or do they just leave the go/no go decision up to the beaurocrats while they get on with the photo opportunities?

    I'm reminded of an exchange in Henry V that's still very relevant today:

    KING HENRY V
        [after hearing CANTERBURY's tortuous explanation of the situation] May I with right and conscience make this claim? [to the throne of France, leading to war]

    CANTERBURY
        The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!

    Read the whole lot for context.  I doubt people or politics have changed much since Shakespeare's time.

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

    also: We are no tyrant, but a Christian king [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#143)
    by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:37:25 PM EST


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]
    Reassuring (3.00 / 2) (#245)
    by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:49:44 AM EST

    To see that at least sometimes you make sense.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Well (3.00 / 2) (#276)
    by Rogerborg on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:11:14 AM EST

    There's a chance I might be drunk

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

    In that case (3.00 / 2) (#299)
    by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:16:05 PM EST

    It is clear that sobriety impairs your judgment.

    As your doctor (remember -- you are drunk, listen to me), I recommend an exclusive diet of imported beer nutritionally enriched by Glennfiddich.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Actually, they have (3.00 / 2) (#249)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:02:29 AM EST

    I doubt people or politics have changed much since Shakespeare's time.

    I recently listened to Kenneth Branaugh's reading of The Diary of Samuel Pepys. For the benefit of those who haven't read it, this is a seemingly very honest diary of someone who lived in the 1660's, well after Shakespeare, at the times of the re-introduction of the monarchy to England, the plague, and the fire of London. Anyway, to hear him speak casually about whether it would profit England to be at war with the Dutch and make peace with the Spanish chilled me to the bone.

    Up until the French Revolution, whole countries really didn't go to war--armies did. Then, of course, there was the American civil war and then World War I and its sequel. I think that politics has changed quite a lot since then, though people may not have done. WWI was, I think, the last war with old diplomatic standards but with new technology, which is why it was so incredibly bloody. In many ways, even WWII failed to live up to the sheer carnage. A lot of civilians were killed in WWII, but for sheer battle loss, it's hard to beat WWI. But anyway, in Shakespeare's time, popular support for a war was largely irrelevant. Now it's essential, with all the associated games.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Actually, they have (3.00 / 2) (#250)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:03:11 AM EST

    I doubt people or politics have changed much since Shakespeare's time.

    I recently listened to Kenneth Branaugh's reading of The Diary of Samuel Pepys. For the benefit of those who haven't read it, this is a seemingly very honest diary of someone who lived in the 1660's, well after Shakespeare, at the times of the re-introduction of the monarchy to England, the plague, and the fire of London. Anyway, to hear him speak casually about whether it would profit England to be at war with the Dutch and make peace with the Spanish chilled me to the bone.

    Up until the French Revolution, whole countries really didn't go to war--armies did. Then, of course, there was the American civil war and then World War I and its sequel. I think that politics has changed quite a lot since then, though people may not have done. WWI was, I think, the last war with old diplomatic standards but with new technology, which is why it was so incredibly bloody. In many ways, even WWII failed to live up to the sheer carnage. A lot of civilians were killed in WWII, but for sheer battle loss, it's hard to beat WWI. But anyway, in Shakespeare's time, popular support for a war was largely irrelevant. Now it's essential, with all the associated games.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    You can agree with BOTH sides, you know... (4.00 / 6) (#107)
    by ToastyKen on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:01:12 PM EST

    I don't see why this has to be either-or.  I would tend to agree with both sides...

    I think that, given his history, Hussein is probably hiding weapons somewhere, and the CIA is probably telling the truth... and I agree with the article author that revealing evidence would be too costly.  So we should attack, right?  Well....

    Thing is, I ALSO think that, given the cost of this in terms of both human lives and diplomacy, it would be VERY costly for the US to attack Iraq without the evidence.  So we should NOT attack, right?  Well.....

    I think that there is pretty much no good solution to this.  What else is new.

    (FYI, personally, I would tend to say that attacking is more costly than not right now.  I think the Bush administration is underestimating how much this is going to cost us in the long run, with regard to sparking more anti-US sentiment.)

    that's exactly right (4.00 / 4) (#182)
    by ethereal on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:34:19 PM EST

    He probably does have the weapons, but the U.S. is looking like it will have to go it alone if it can't provide some proof. Even the Brits might not go along if popular sentiment continues to shift.

    IMHO, by getting the inspectors back into the country we've achieved ~1998 levels of control of the Iraqi situation. It's unlikely that development is ongoing right now with the inspections going on. As long as the inspectors are rummaging around, Saddam isn't likely to be a continuing threat. We should hold off on the war unless:

    • Saddam kicks out the inspectors
    • They find something damning and Saddam refuses to destroy it or let it be destroyed

    I mean, when you think about it, the point isn't to have a war, it's just to make sure that Iraq is disarmed. The inspectors are currently effectively ensuring that Iraq won't immediately attack; eventually if there's something to find (perhaps tipped off by UKUSA intel) they'll find it. Until then, war doesn't have to be a near-certainty.

    --

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

    How stupid is this (3.77 / 9) (#111)
    by fhotg on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:06:35 PM EST

    You exaggerate a real problem of intelligence agencies to the point where the only conclusion is that they are useless, because acting on any intelligence gathered would make future intelligence gathering impossible.

    Of course there is no knowledge of the whereabouts of secret labs in Iraq, else they would simply bomb them. As if that were a problem for our leading military surgeons.


    ~~~
    Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

    Some of your arguments seem a bit weak (4.33 / 12) (#118)
    by michaelp on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:25:05 PM EST

    UKUSA intelligence agencies have to change their entire methodology for tracking shipping into ALL these countries to counter-act the changes made by those countries

    Sorry, this seems more an argument for bureaucratic inertia than best practices.

    3 counter arguments:

    1) Releasing intelligence (so long as agent's lives are not unduly risked in so doing) when we have it allows us to actually use the intelligence data to avoid disasters or set better policy. Note the number of attacks that may have been stopped if intelligence agencies had been less protective of their data.

    2) Releasing intelligences forces the enemy to change their habits, as you have noted. So long as our ability to gather intelligence in new ways out strips the enemy's ability to efficiently change their habits, we are causing them to waste time and resources trying to hide their attempts at WMD production/deployment from us, thus slowing and making increasingly costly development of weapons.

    This seems to me an extension of the policies that won the cold war: force the enemy to develop new methods/weapons at a speed unsustainable by the enemy's economy until we achieve regime change in a more or less peaceful manner.

    3) UKUSA intelligence should change their methods continually even if the enemy is flexible and efficiently changes it's own methods without hardship, as it keeps our own intelligence agencies on their toes, continually developing new methods, and making it difficult for the enemy's counter agents to keep up with our methods.

    Further, seems to me a better argument for keeping the weapons secret from the perspective of the folks who want to go to war is that they want to be able to demonstrate that Saddam is acting in bad faith. If UKUSA tells the inspectors where to look, there won't be the same kind of outrage as if Saddam purposefully & successfully hides the weapons from the UN, says see all is clear and then the UKUSA says 'but what about those WMDs right over there???' (Hussein is supposed to be cooperating after all).

    Then the UKUSA can reveal the location, say 'see he can't be trusted' and tell the gentlemen & women of First Armored to start their engines...

    PS despite my critique, I give the story +1, it is an important topic to think about, whether one thinks intelligence should be free or hidden.


    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

    information flows both ways (3.00 / 3) (#128)
    by bandy on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:56:46 PM EST

    Releasing intelligence (so long as agent's lives are not unduly risked in so doing) when we have it [...]

    Which tips our hand as to what we know and likely how we know it.

    MINISTER: Glorious Leader, Long May You Live, the UKUSA has announced the locations of two of our gas storage depots and our breeder reactor.

    SADDAM: <GRUNTS> No mention of the bio lab?

    Telling people what you know is also telling them what you don't know.
    Marlboro: War ich Rindveh bin.
    [ Parent ]

    Right, which apology for beureaucratic inertia (3.66 / 4) (#137)
    by michaelp on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:17:42 PM EST

    I addressed in part 2: So long as our ability to gather intelligence in new ways out strips the enemy's ability to efficiently change their habits, we are causing them to waste time and resources trying to hide their attempts at WMD production/deployment from us,

    In your scenario, either Saddam now has to pull resources from developing the bio lab to finding new ways to hide his reactor and gas, thus making his overall effort slower and less efficient (much in the way that continual development of superior weapons by the US led to the 'regime change' in the USSR) and/or the UKUSA points out to the world (with evidence) that Saddam has grossly violated the UN resolution and we now have international support for taking him out.

    Seems to me that saying losing international support is worth making things easy for our intelligence professionals is rather short sited, to say the least. Obviously in another context (like in the middle of a desperate struggle for survival with an enemy in many ways our technological superior ala Enigma), the value of secrecy vs. international support might add up very differently.



    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

    [ Parent ]
    Question (3.25 / 8) (#124)
    by omegadan on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:48:48 PM EST

    Isn't the real reason the US won't divulge any secrets to the inspection team - that Iraq has managed to get Iraqi sympathizers on the inspections team.

    Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley

    more importantly (5.00 / 1) (#332)
    by chimera on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:19:03 PM EST

    by doing nothing else than what they are doing - cooperating if ever so little - the Iraqi regime has made me understand that there is no argument for a US attack other than oil and bad manners. Thus I am now a terrorist targetting Unites States installations in my local area, embassy and infrastructure included. Also included will be United States based companies and organisations, but not local franchises of same.

    I will start the usual way, alone with eggs and pies. But as I refine by methods and contacts actions will become more sophisticated, more organized, more coordinated and more lethal.

    I've just had it. It is in my interest of personal and political security and the longevity of national security to remove the threat United States presents from my local area.

    However, no war in Iraq and Elsewhere - No Terrorism. No pre-emptive strikes or other military operations - No terrorism. Abidance of International Law, Courts and Agreements - No Terrorism. Diplomacy, Negotations and use of international juridicial bodies to solve the problems there exist - No Terrorism.

    Congratulations George W. Bush. You've just gotten another enemy on your hands.

    sincerely
    A European.

    hint -- I am white caucasian. I will begin operations when you begin the Iraqi War, part2.

    [ Parent ]

    Save some time and effort (none / 0) (#381)
    by br284 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 08:03:50 AM EST

    Just save us all some grief and join the travelling Iraqi Human Shield movement that is currently touring and recruiting members in Europe. I'll even be kind enough to include your name on my Darwin nominations list.

    -Chris

    [ Parent ]

    This is probably the dumbest (3.61 / 13) (#125)
    by redwolfb14 on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:52:24 PM EST

    thing I've read in a while regarding WMD's in Iraq. No offense but if Iraq has WMD's the US/UK (especially Blair) would love nothing more than to post a big picture of a nice large nuke sitting in some Mosque or underground somewhere. Counter surveillance is not a problem because then Iraq would be going against UN resolution policy and they could do whatever it is they want afterwards the rest of the world will just remove the nukes. And it's very easy to take sat photos of spots in Iraq seeing as Iraq is mostly flat with little natural forest area, this means the WMD's would have to be underground or encamped in some building.

    If you read the book MI6 and if you've ever been involved in any type of Intelligence operation the first rule is to trust no one because EVERYONE is lying. I really don't know where you get your info. The "No Comment" you hear means that either the person really has no intel (as no intelligence agency is gonna report everything they know to their press guy; unless you want him/her kidnapped or sniped on site) or this person is the "dumb man" used to keep the press off the agencies ass, most of the time a paid liar.

    It's different if you're talking about a country like China or good old Russia having WMD's because they have sat's, they have the ability to do certain things etc etc. There is just no logical way even if Iraq really really wanted to have a WMD could they get one under the public scrunity it's been under for years now. They might boast and pretend they are gearing up to get an WMD every now and then but it'd have to be pieced in over time and then put together and they just don't have any cohesive facilities to build one.

    This war is about oil and making it seem as if we are doing something about terrorism and all it'll cause is more terrorism and more violence against the US. It will also spawn countries like North Korea to do exactly what they are doing now.. Including China and Russia rebuilding.. Cuba etc etc etc etc.

    Say what you want because I already have.

    Suppose the Inspectors Find Something. (4.25 / 12) (#129)
    by snowlion on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 01:57:06 PM EST

    Saddam Hussein won't know if inspectors had a US tip, or if inspectors were lucky.

    In fact, your arguments should conclude with "There should be no inspections", because if they find something, then the negative consequences you listed will kick in.

    Give the inspectors the evidence, and they'll cover the knowledge with a smoke of miss inspections.
    --
    Map Your Thoughts

    Well, there are another possibilities (2.60 / 10) (#149)
    by jth on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:52:59 PM EST

    Claiming to have "definite proof", but not presenting it to anyone, would be perfectly logical if Bush wanted to attack Iraq no matter what (for various reasons). If the "proof" (if it even exists) turns out to be true and US/UK troops find said WMD, it will be a political victory for Bush (and Blair). But if they cannot find anything, they can plant pretty much anything to pretty much anywhere, and still claim their "definite proof" was correct.

    And no, this isn't that far fetched. Can you honestly imagine it ever happening, that the war turned out to be unjustified? The political consequences would be horrible, both for Bush in internal politics, and the US in international relations.

    World War 2.5 Civ Style (3.77 / 9) (#152)
    by kpaul on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:24:11 PM EST

    Gulf War 2 (aka World War 2.5)


    2014 Halloween Costumes

    Yeah, that would be bad. (2.00 / 4) (#212)
    by gjetost on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:57:20 PM EST

    We can make it shorter by nuking all those countries in the first place.

    [ Parent ]
    Don't quite agree (4.00 / 7) (#154)
    by BushidoCoder on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:28:53 PM EST

    While I agree one reason that the US may not release information is fear of compromising agents, I think this really boils down to one of two real options.
    • The United States does not actually have intelligence to the effect that they claim they do.
    • The United States does have the intelligence they claim, but the nature of the intelligence is such that the same method is used to collect data from Russia, China and other states that the US keeps its eye on. If this were the case, although releasing the information would be a political victory for Bush, it would also clue in every other country we watch as to this avenue of intelligence, and in the end, would be an intelligence failure.
    I tend to think the second is the more likely scenario. I base this on the fact that the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee (who would have access to this data) regardless of party seem to be in favor of "action". Furthermore, internationally, the only nation that we would likely trust with the information is Britain, and they support Bush's approach despite an incredible lack of public support. I don't believe the US would share sensitive data with any other single nation if it meant compromising an intelligence source.

    My 2 cents.

    \bc

    Maybe (4.00 / 3) (#157)
    by redwolfb14 on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 04:53:26 PM EST

    Or maybe it's just that two large super powers want a resource that neither of them own in large quantity but a 3rd world country has.

    As for sharing intelligence between nations. That historically never happens but I guess if the above is true then it would only make sense. However, from the flack that Blair is catching as well is Bush it would only make sense to show a nuke sitting in a garage so that we could have the justification for the war. I don't know exactly how that would compromise how things are done intelligence wise, even if it's just a satellite photo.

    There are alot of military intelligence units that were disbanded here in the US for a new organization that concentrates on satellite photos and imaging only; so I find it hard to believe they would have these pictures of WMD's and keep them to themselves.

    So do other ex military officials in Britian and the US. Which says something to me.

    Say what you want because I already have.
    [ Parent ]

    If Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (3.81 / 16) (#159)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 05:04:40 PM EST

    then why do Democratic Senators like Dick Durbin say that the top secret evidence that they were shown doesn't indicate that? Is he lying? Did they show them top secret information but only superfulous top secrets? Why would they bother?

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    Party Lines (3.33 / 3) (#174)
    by jjayson on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:18:17 PM EST

    Because he is a Democrat and biased against the President. If the President did nothing and the US was attacked, the Democrats win. If the Democracts can convince the US people that there is no case for was and we still go at it, the Democrats win.

    Why would you believe him? Information has also been shared with more impartial parties, such as other countries, and they are in agreement with the US that there is a case for war based on Iraq's WMD program.
    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]

    well, why is Bush more trustworthy? (4.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:23:29 PM EST

    I think Bush wants this war for a few reasons. If the Democrats convince the country that there is no case against Iraq and they do actually have weapons then the Democrats lose badly. If Durbin is lying I think it will come back to haunt him badly.

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    [ Parent ]
    No, they don't. (4.66 / 3) (#191)
    by jjayson on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:22:00 PM EST

    The Democrats' stance is more diplomacy and more inspection. If the Dems can win the battle to not go to war and WMD are found, they can turn around and say that the President didn't do enough diplomacy or the right type. They will spin an excuse. The President is ultimately in charge of wathing over this great counry of ours right now, so blame will rest at his feet. If there is an another attack, nobody is going to try to blame a congrassional body, but a single person.

    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    But, the Democrats could be caught lying (4.33 / 3) (#192)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:40:02 PM EST

    if they are lying. So, they will be held very accountable for that. There will be no spin they could hide behind.

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    [ Parent ]
    Another country is more impartial than (1.25 / 8) (#179)
    by jungleboogie on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:24:07 PM EST

    a leader of our own government ? You are a fucking moron. Go back to watching television, dipshit.

    [ Parent ]
    There's a lot of evidence that (1.17 / 23) (#166)
    by medham on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 05:58:16 PM EST

    TEHE HTE SAID FUCK, TUFK FUCK tHE LATS THDO THOE SILVER BACK MIND SHARE SAID UCKF! THE SNLUER BASHERS WILL NOT BE REWORN--SNTHE THE UTCTF! BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR MIND SHARE, SILVER BACK, MINDPOOL, CRAZYLEGS HORSE SALOON, NYBORG, BRASS BALLS. 3:19pM 18:34am :12:2034R324ZM cAREFUL HOW YOU USE IT.

    The British have contigency plans to use their nuclear arsenals against the U.S. and the rest of the EU. It's all a matter of certain permutations of the 'mnz' pattern. Now Firx, that's a fine fellow.

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

    Okay (3.00 / 2) (#246)
    by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:51:27 AM EST

    Now you just suck.

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    I might as well mention that UKUSA really exists. (3.66 / 4) (#170)
    by it certainly is on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 06:50:13 PM EST

    Or rather, the UKUSA agreement exists, which was originally a WW2, then cold-war agreement between UK's GCHQ (the UK signal monitoring body) and the USA's Secret Service, which expanded to include Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It doesn't include higher level intelligence passing at the FBI/MI5 or CIA/MI6 level, which is done on a less open and less formal basis at the discretion of those agencies.

    I don't know when news of it was first broken to the public, but I heard of it in Peter Wright's Spycatcher. Recently, the ECHELON monitoring network was in the news -- this is just part of what the UKUSA agreement has been doing for the past 60 years.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

    Idiotic (4.18 / 11) (#176)
    by jungleboogie on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 07:22:19 PM EST

    So, by your twisted logic, Iraq must not know that the CIA knows about their WMD. Otherwise, it would be just as if the inspectors had raided the compound immediately, and all unfriendly countries would start following the steps in your last ten bullet points. Yeah, right, bucko.

    Another way to put it...the USA and the UK both say that they know about the WMD in Iraq. If Iraq really has them, then the intelligence route is already compromised. Sending in the inspectors would confirm this. Your argument holds no water.

    Any country that carries out secret operations against international law or treaties already knows they need to be extremely careful. How can you honestly think that all of these rogue states are all of the sudden going to massively change their tactics because we go into Iraq and take their (non-existant?) WMD??? This is over-simplification to the extreme.

    so? (3.75 / 4) (#186)
    by loudici on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:07:55 PM EST

    if the USUKA has such an intelligence network that they are afraid to weaken, how come they did not know anything about 9/11? how come they have no clue where ben laden and mullah omar are?
    gnothi seauton
    but they did know... (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by Calm Horizons on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:22:01 PM EST

    Or at least following the logic used in the article and assuming a good intelligence network, it seems likely that they did know, but didn't do anything because that would comprimise the intelligence source and network.

    It seems obvious that the value of information is directly proportional to what you can do with it, further if you can't do anything based on the intel for fear of comprimising your intelligence network, then your intelligence network and the intelligence it gathers are totally worthless.

    [ Parent ]
    They did know (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:48:09 PM EST

    Remember how, very quickly, the FBI managed to trace the hijackers, from information they already had? Also remember how there was a warning from Mossad a few days before 9/11?

    The problem wasn't a lack of intelligence but a glut of it, far more than could be sifted through without a goal to look for. Furthermore, while there was some rather intensive work surrounding Jan 1, 2000, after the date passed, people didn't want to think about it anymore.

    Nobody really thought, before 9/11, that an attack by commercial airlines was a significant possibility. Prior to 9/11, no commercial airline that took off from U.S. airspace had gone down in a terrorist attack. Ever. The 9/11 trick could only work once.

    But, what do you do? 9/11 could probably have been prevented by acting on all information when it became available. But that would have meant that all airports would have been shut down every two weeks, and people would never have standed for that. But consider about how people have bitched about the "terrorist warnings" since then. You only see the times when intelligence fails, not when it succeeds. And if there's a "terrorist warning" and nothing happens, people think, "Damn stupid intelligence agencies."

    There were some significant intelligence failures that led to 9/11, such as the fact that the FBI didn't release to the airlines information about Mohammed Atta. But for every Mohammad Atta there are probably a thousand people that are as suspected but never do anything. So, what are you going to do? Every time you deny a traveller a flight, there's a big bruhaha in the news about someone unfairly being denied a flight. Oh, no, it's American Racism again. I'm sure that if Mohammed Atta had been denied boarding, Noam Chomsky would be beating the bongos for him today.

    To be honest, I don't know if there's anything to the intelligence about Iraq, and I'll withhold judgement until something happens: the inspectors find a smoking gun, a war begins, etc. But there's been a lot of focus on Iraq now, while focus on al Quaeda was largely dismantled at the end of the Clinton administration, so it isn't fair to make the comparison.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    aha (none / 0) (#203)
    by hypno on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:26:23 PM EST

    So you are assuming they didn't know about 9/11 in advance. Interesting.

    [ Parent ]
    Not Absolute, and It's Worth It (4.85 / 34) (#187)
    by tudlio on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:10:44 PM EST

    I've never been affiliated with any intelligence agency, so I'm not speaking from personal experience. I have, however, done a lot of research (of the nonfiction kind).

    I have two problems with your analysis:

    1. You are correct in saying that any action taken as a result of intelligence information will provide clues to the other side about how and where the information was obtained. I believe that you're incorrect in assuming that this will completely compromise the intelligence source, and that it will compromise that method of gathering intelligence.
    2. The President is asking the American citizens to support a war in which innocent Iraqis and Americans will die. He's asking us to do this on a pre-emptive basis, in other words as the aggressor. He's asking us to do this in the absence of support from the international community and the UN. The consequences if he's wrong will be severely detrimental to the United States' ability to achieve its goals in the future. I believe the severity of the situation justifies the risk of compromising some intelligence assets.



    insert self-deprecatory humor here
    Well put, however (2.57 / 7) (#235)
    by Bossk on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:46:26 AM EST

    In principle, the government has no obligation to inform the citizens of any intelligence information details. If this action could hurt the nation from a tactical defense perspective, then it is foolish to leak anything of the sort.

    This is a trade-off of public support vs national defense. Should measures require taking, then they should be done swiftly.

    The justifications by the government should be enforced subsequent to the measures. Then the majority of citizens and the world can judge the wisdom of the actions.

    Of course in the event that the actions were unjustified, then a horrible wrong was committed and the people who were hurt will never be fully compensated. This is an inevitability of life and our current system as we know it.


    [ Parent ]

    There are other possibilities (3.80 / 5) (#193)
    by acheon on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 08:59:29 PM EST

    I agree with you that the intelligence is usually paranoid, perhaps even to the extent you describe. I also agree with many others that your analysis doesn't hold if you look at the other side of the coin, nor that intelligence services are that reliable.

    But it matters little. What matters is that there are other possibilities you seem to neglect that could easily explain a "no comment".

    1) They can't say a word before the information itself could be source of embarassment. Say, for example, they got the bulk of their material from Russia, or a state of the ex-URSS. Maybe they got whole nukes shipped from there ; who knows. Now THAT would cause tensions with other countries. It may even start a new war on a larger scale. It would be far worse than alienating half a dozen third world nations.

    In addition, it could put emphasis on U.S. intelligence's failures, perhaps incompetence.

    2) They truly don't have a clue, but it hardly matters. Politicians WANT to attack Iraq for reasons not to hard to figure out. No matter what the intelligence will say, they are under the political layer. The politicians can be very selective when it comes to analyzing information. They may have told their intelligence services to look for that evidence in the first place. And they want results, that is, don't come back empty-handed if you don't want to be disgraced and replaced. Now whatever evidence they have is assembled and the conclusions are more or less "constructed". In any case, what they need is a pretext for war ; they only need to *convince* other nations that it is so. It doesn't need to be authentic.

    It may look crazy. It IS crazy. You know what this scenario reminds me ? A U.S. government-funded study. Nowadays this kind of fabrication becomes more and more common in the U.S.

    Oh, I see. (3.33 / 3) (#195)
    by NFW on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:05:35 PM EST

    So what you're saying is, the inspectors in Iraq are touring only those sites to which they have been explicitly invited by Hussein's government. God forbid they should look at anything not clearly labeled with a big red arrow, lest one of their sources be compromised.

    Thank for clearing that up, that changes everything.


    --
    Got birds?


    Ockhams razor (4.31 / 19) (#197)
    by Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:14:42 PM EST

    Well... you COULD believe the elaborate an implausible story of the article.  Then again, you could also choose to use Ockham's razor.  What do we actually know:

    - The Bush administration wants a war for many reasons that have nothing to do with WMD (Oil, regional imperialism, popularity polls, pushing through unrelated police-state legislation, etc.)

    - Facilities that can actually produce are far too big and characteristic looking to hide from detection.  They give off detectable background radiation, identifiable isotypes seep into surrounding soil in trace amounts, etc.  The traffic to/from such facilities cannot be hidden from satellite imaging.  And so on.

    - Iraq has been under embargo, and has no means of obtaining 99% of the materials and equipment that would be needed to build nukes.

    Hmmm... what should we conclude? Iraq has hidden nukes? Ummm, maybe not.  Try this one on for parsimony:

      BUSH IS LYING.

    Well, fits all the facts.  Involves no hidden assumptions.  Matches past behavior.  Yep, I'll take that one.

    You mean well, flat-footed Kuro5hin. (3.00 / 2) (#205)
    by Sherloccam Holmes on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:43:57 PM EST

    But please stop quoting my ancestor's obiter dictum outside its nominalist context.

    --
    It is fortunate for this community that I am not a criminal.
    [ Parent ]

    Shut up (2.00 / 4) (#247)
    by CodeWright on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:52:37 AM EST

    mudhen

    --
    "Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
    Sure... (3.75 / 5) (#215)
    by qbwiz on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:25:12 PM EST

    pushing through unrelated police-state legislation
    He's doing fine, thank-you.  If he takes Saddam out of power, he will have removed part of an excuse that he could use to push through legislation.  Iraq would no longer be a horrible power we need to enact legislation to protect ourselves from.

    They give off detectable background radiation
    Yeah, that Anthrax sure emits a lot of gamma rays, doesn't it?

    Iraq has been under embargo
    I doubt that anybody normally willing to give Iraq some of the necessary substances (don't ask me who) would care about that.

    I agree that it's unlikely that they have nukes, but other WMDs still could be in their posession. That's not to say that I necessarily agree with the Bush's planned course of action, though.

    [ Parent ]

    "WMD" is an inhomogeneous category (3.50 / 6) (#227)
    by Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:13:37 AM EST

    The thing that gets ellided in the USAian regime's posturing is that nukes are a very different thing than are chemical or biological weapons.  The latter, despite the rhetoric, are simply not a significant threat.

    For example, the anthrax that was distributed in the US was of the very most refined particulates--much more infectious than anything Iraq could conceivably produce.  It should be the best, after all, since it was clearly illegally created in US military chemical weapons research facilities.  Despite mailing it just about everywhere the sender could think of, it would up killing about a half dozen people.  The vast majority of those exposed survived, in some cases with some symptoms prior to treatment.  Ordinary anthrax (non-micronized, non-aerosolized) can be found in ordinary soil throughout the world... it's not a rare thing.

    Likewise, the Om Shun cult's efforts to poison Tokyo subway's with sarin wound up killing about a dozen people.  Months/years of planning by dozens of people were involved in obtaining the materials to synthesize sarin, planting it, and so on.

    While I feel very bad for the people killed in either situation, the plain truth is that one single person with a semi automatic gun could very easily kill more people than were killed in these cases.  These "weapons of mass destruction" are, in point of fact, quite a bit less effective at making people dead than are things I can buy at Walmart with no particular fuss or checks.  A half dozen people intent on killing with guns could do a lot more harm than chemical or biological weapons would do.

    In any case, the article specifically alleged a secret nuclear program, as do members of the Bush regime very frequently.  I was answering that.

    [ Parent ]

    Aum Shinrykyo (none / 0) (#444)
    by baron samedi on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 05:36:27 PM EST

    Aum Shinrykyo's sarin attack (actually they made more than one) in the Tokyo subway could have been much more devastating if they had developed a decent delivery system. That's the thing with nerve gas: you have to get the dispersal going. If they had heated it or somehow aerosolized it, they could have killed hundreds, perhaps thousands.

    The point is, you have to go beyond the ability to simply make the stuff, and develop the capacity to use it to maximum effect.
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]

    Is Bush lying? (2.60 / 5) (#221)
    by arose on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:49:09 PM EST

    Or is he being lied to?
    --
    Dzīvot ir kaitīgi, no tā mirst.
    [ Parent ]
    OK, fine. (2.88 / 9) (#229)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:14:01 AM EST

    Facilities that can actually produce are far too big and characteristic looking to hide from detection. They give off detectable background radiation, identifiable isotypes seep into surrounding soil in trace amounts, etc. The traffic to/from such facilities cannot be hidden from satellite imaging. And so on.

    OK, fine. So, let's go there and test the soil. What's that, I hear you cry? We can't go and test anything in that place with an area the size of Washington D.C. because it's one of several scores of Presidential Areas that have traffic going to them all the time and have been off-limits to inspectors for a decade?

    What's that? There have been inspectors in Iraq for a few freakin' months after a hiatus of four years? And I'm sure it's just a coincidence that they're there. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the buildup of U.S. troops. And I'm sure the U.N. would just have decided to do something anyway. Maybe they drank too much during Oktoberfest in 1998 and just needed four years to sleep off their drunk. But they haven't found anything yet, so it proves there are no nuclear weapons in Iraq.

    Nah, Bush must be lying.

    If people really believe that, get the U.N. to rescind all the resolutions and award Saddam Hussein the peace prize already! You could put it up there right next to Jimmy "Ah solved the nookuler problem in North Korea, y'all" Carter.

    But seriously. I don't know if the intelligence is accurate. I don't know how much Bush or Blair are lying. I hope there won't be a war. But nobody outside the U.S. or U.K. has done anything except sit around with their thumbs up their asses, and if it were up to them, there would still be no inspectors in Iraq.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    uhuh (3.50 / 4) (#234)
    by martingale on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:38:46 AM EST

    Facilities that can actually produce are far too big and characteristic looking to hide from detection.
    Obviously this must be wrong, or else the inspectors would have inspected those facilities first already. Next!
    OK, fine. So, let's go there and test the soil. What's that, I hear you cry? We can't go and test anything [...] because it's [...] off-limits to inspectors for a decade?
    Not since the return of the inspectors late last year. They can and do go anywhere they want. Next!
    Nah, Bush must be lying.
    I would simply say that he's not telling the truth. But as an employee of the American people, actively keeping his boss in the dark may just be a firing offense.
    But nobody outside the U.S. or U.K. has done anything except sit around with their thumbs up their asses, and if it were up to them, there would still be no inspectors in Iraq.
    Or, one could argue, if it weren't for the spying that the US and UK performed five years ago, the inspectors would not have been thrown out in the first place. Whee, five extra years of data and inspections instead of six months!

    Arguments are great, there's two sides to each of them (except for the Moebius argument of course :-).

    [ Parent ]

    Exactly (2.66 / 4) (#238)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:05:59 AM EST

    Not since the return of the inspectors late last year. They can and do go anywhere they want. Next!

    Right. A whole thwacking couple of months. In a country the size of Iraq.

    Or, one could argue, if it weren't for the spying that the US and UK performed five years ago, the inspectors would not have been thrown out in the first place.

    What? Inspectors spying? God forfend!

    Here's a clue: Inspectors are spies. They're supposed to be there, and they're supposed to spy. That is their job. That is what they do. If you don't like that, get the U.N. to change the terms of the ceasefire.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    WMD are almost impossible to find (3.57 / 7) (#252)
    by CitAnon on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:39:00 AM EST

    - Facilities that can actually produce are far too big and characteristic looking to hide from detection.  They give off detectable background radiation, identifiable isotypes seep into surrounding soil in trace amounts, etc.  The traffic to/from such facilities cannot be hidden from satellite imaging.  And so on.

    You must have a very short memory span because just a couple years ago the US was blindsided by Pakistani and Indian nuclear tests.

    - Iraq has been under embargo, and has no means of obtaining 99% of the materials and equipment that would be needed to build nukes.

    Iraq has been under embargo, even though its neighbors and nice European countries like France have been all too happy to sell it all kinds of neat toys.

    Let's not forget about anthrax, small pox, VX, botulism, ebola et cetera, every one of which can be manufactured in small labs that are nearly impossible to find even with people on the ground hunting them and every one of them can easily be passed to nice people like Osama and smuggled into a Western country without any type of hard evidence trail linking the producers to the attackers to the thousand heck million death attack.

    People in the US government have known for quite a while now that this would be the century of massive and anonymous terrorist attacks.  It took 9-11 to jolt them into facing this hard reality.  


    [ Parent ]

    Ummm (4.00 / 4) (#259)
    by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:06:37 AM EST

    France doesn't sell Iraq anything.. it loaned Iraq money.. alot of money.. and Iraq currently owes France billions of dollars.

    NBC weapons (nuclear, biological, chemical) are almost always detectable. Biological and Chemical are easier to hide but still are detectable and need their proper environments to operate. UN inspectors only need to look for the environments, which I'm sure they are doing. It's there job right?

    Pakistan/India aren't under any embargos and we have proper relations with them. We knew about this, it was just a shock to everyone else. Umm the US isn't the only country with dictate power.. China has their own nukes, Russia so on and so forth. Any country can have nukes so long as the body of the UN likes you and you play nicely. People generally will leave you alone. Iraq just hasn't played nicely in the past and thats why the world has said "No nukes for Iraq".

    Ummm a biological or chemical attack isn't as easy as you make it sound. You just can't smuggle it in and set it off.. it takes alot of preparation and precise deployment area otherwise the people affected will be few to none. The best way is to attack a major hub in a major city on a windy day or through food etc etc (this is why there are military guards at places like penn station) when the weather allows a lingering cloud so to speak. On the combat lines you can just drop off a load in an area but it won't affect that many people especially if they are mobile.

    So all in all NBC or WMD's as they are being called are pretty difficult to employ and even more difficult to own and keep. It's really not like a basketball or a tent or something you throw up and just store. It takes proper facilities and constant maintenance all which would of been found by now if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    Like the superbowl I'm probably gonna start betting on how long the war last. I figure it'll last about 2 weeks max. 50 dead on the US side and 20,000 or so dead on the Iraq side before they give up. Who's in for betting?

    Say what you want because I already have.
    [ Parent ]

    I think your numbers are high (2.33 / 3) (#271)
    by BCoates on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:43:19 AM EST

    50 dead on the US side and 20,000 or so dead on the Iraq side before they give up. Who's in for betting?

    I'm no expert, but i would guess that there aren't more than a couple thousand iraqis actually interested in comitting suicide like that--but I'm assuming that Iraq has no trick up it's sleeve and will fold pretty much instantly, if they make any progress at all in defense it will get real ugly.

    --
    Benjamin Coates

    [ Parent ]

    That's incorrect. (3.25 / 4) (#281)
    by CitAnon on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 07:10:27 AM EST

    Pakistan/India aren't under any embargos and we have proper relations with them. We knew about this, it was just a shock to everyone else.

    At the time of the tests, Pakistan and India were both under US arms embargo.  The US government specifically stated that they had no hint of either country's nuclear development program until the first tests were conducted.  This was cited as a massive intelligence failure, which was believable since the US certainly would have raised public alarms about Pakistan, a country which was politically unstable and still could turn to Islamic extremism.  The failure of the US intelligence apparatus to detect weapons development programs in India and Pakistan forms part of the Bush Administration's impetus for war on Iraq (they don't trust their own intelligence).

    NBC weapons (nuclear, biological, chemical) are almost always detectable. Biological and Chemical are easier to hide but still are detectable and need their proper environments to operate. UN inspectors only need to look for the environments, which I'm sure they are doing.

    That is categorically false. There is no magical method of detecting WMD.  Chemical and biological weapons can be produced and transported without giving off any telltale signature.  In the case of biological weapons, even upon release, the agents will be very difficult to identify.

    So all in all NBC or WMD's as they are being called are pretty difficult to employ and even more difficult to own and keep. It's really not like a basketball or a tent or something you throw up and just store. It takes proper facilities and constant maintenance all which would of been found by now if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    Nuclear weapons are large and heavy.  Chemical weapons do need proper dispersal but modern agents such as VX are potent enough to kill scores even if the delivery attempt is non-optimal.  Certain biological agents are completely different animals because they could be easily transmissible and they could have a long incubation period during which they will be transmitted from person to person.  Anthrax is not one of these, but small pox is.  Half a dozen terrorists walking around New York with some small pox could cause a massive outbreak.


    [ Parent ]

    Uhm... (none / 0) (#320)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:26:56 PM EST

    I mostly agree with you on the subject of bio and chem weapons, but you're incorrect about US knowledge of the Pakistani nuclear program. The US was fully aware of their nuclear program in the early 70's and revoked economic aid to Pakistan under the Symington Amendment in April 1979, as the French had sold Pakistan uranium reprocessing technology in 1976 (gotta love the French, huh). Of course, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan changed everything and the US ramped up military aid to Pakistan in 1981 and Pakistan continued its nuclear program with significant assistance from the Chinese. The US imposed some limited sanctions again in 1990. In 1998 Los Alamos claimed to have detected small amounts of plutonium -- which the US was not aware of -- in the atmosphere resulting from the Pakistani underground nuclear tests. Those results are disputed.

    Source: FAS history of the Pakistani nuclear program

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


    [ Parent ]
    Actually (none / 0) (#321)
    by redwolfb14 on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:42:16 PM EST

    Pakistan/India aren't under any embargos and we have proper relations with them. We knew about this, it was just a shock to everyone else.

    The US/UN (lets not kid anyone here) didn't have any problems with India until the time you site which is around 1998 and thats not because of trace elements found by Los Alamos thats because we knew for a fact that they set off two atomic bombs. So we as well as other countries complained to the UN and the UN security council called India in to explain. They said they were just testing their stuff and everything is cool; relax basically. That is what happened.

    If we had improper relations with India or Pakistan in specific we wouldn't outsource any work to them and would have heavy embargo and little to no trade relations with them at all. That is not the case, so I'm going to have to disagree with you but I can see why you would think the way you do based on the reports from the FAS. Who tend to have bias as well as they tend to reference their own stuff alot of the time. It's not so much the scientists as it is the management probably.

    Say what you want because I already have.
    [ Parent ]

    I'm not sure I understand your point (none / 0) (#326)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:13:04 PM EST

    The US has a long history of troubled relations with India. Firstly, because they were viewed a Soviet client state during the cold war era, and specifically over their nuclear program which began in the late 60's.

    so I'm going to have to disagree with you but I can see why you would think the way you do based on the reports from the FAS. Who tend to have bias as well as they tend to reference their own stuff alot of the time.

    What are you disputing in the FAS report?

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


    [ Parent ]
    ebola (3.00 / 2) (#303)
    by kraft on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:35:06 PM EST

    Let's not forget about anthrax, small pox, VX, botulism, ebola et cetera, every one of which can be manufactured in small labs

    Can ebola be manufactured in a small lab?

    --
    a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes! (none / 0) (#335)
    by CitAnon on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:44:14 PM EST

    Like any other virus you need a bioreactor with the proper culture and proper containment procedures. The equipment is not bulky because organisms that infect humans grow best in easily recreatable environments.

    [ Parent ]
    Ebola = Shitty WMD (none / 0) (#402)
    by Kintanon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 02:29:56 PM EST

    Ebola kills the host too quickly. It makes it too easy to quarantine outbreak areas. you need something with a minimum 7 day incubation period for a REALLY effective bio weapon for use on a civillian population. Of course for troops in the field shorter incubation is great. Want to kill them as fast as possible.
    But with a civillian targetted bio-weapon you want a decent lead time for it to spread so that when it triggers it's too late to stop it or quarantine the victims.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Condensed version (4.00 / 14) (#198)
    by kwertii on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:14:59 PM EST

    If the government told you the reasons why we had to go to war, it would make bad things happen. So trust us*cough*ahem* just trust them. They can't tell you why, because then not only would bad things happen, but then also the government wouldn't be able to keep finding out about bad things that might happen. So just take their word for it, it's absolutely necessary to go to war.

    Yes, war -- exercising vastly superior military might to killing people, blowing things up, and driving people from their homes -- is a very serious matter, but far more serious is the integrity of the UKUSA intelligence network, whom we should just trust to be completely above board and honest at all times, despite the fact that they've been repeatedly publicly exposed doing illegal and/or immoral things in the past. But they've learned their lessons, and I'm sure they'd never do it again. It was all in our best interests that they did, anyway.

    War is necessary. Just relax. Eurasia is our friend. It's Eastasia we're at war with. Don't worry, The Drew Carey Show will continue as scheduled during the war.. there won't be any pesky news broadcasts cutting in. They wouldn't dream of letting reporters near the front lines. Just take some Soma, and turn on the TV, and it'll all be over before you know it.




    ----
    "He lives most gaily who knows best how to deceive himself." --Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Silly story, serious issues (4.75 / 41) (#200)
    by johnny on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:21:50 PM EST

    This is a silly and content-free story. As far as I can tell, what it says is that in sharing intelligence with the world, there is a risk that some of the sources of that intelligence will be disclosed. If there is another point being made here, please accept my apology (and tell me what the point is).

    Assuming that I have correctly understood the point, I say, first, Duh!, and second, so what?

    The USA is, purportedly, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Making war is a matter of consequence. Incurring the wrath, disdain, opprobrium and enmity of the rest of the world is a matter of consequence. If the people are to make war, therefore, the people need to know why they are doing it. Ditto for UK. If what you call UKUSA has evidence of a compelling reason for going to war, now is the time to show it, lest those who would make war forfeit their claim to legitimacy. This is a larger matter than "loss of assets." What I am saying is that in the USA the power to make war resides with the people, not with the President or the unelected intelligence apparatus. The President and the various security agencies have some legitimate reasons for secrecy and circumspection about some matters. But those claims are subordinate to their only reason for occupying the positions they do, namely, to serve the interests of the people.

    In other words, if the President says, "I have proof but I can't show you," I, johnny, cry bullshit. You can use that logic when the risk/reward ratio favors discretion, but when you're talking about launching a war that might conceivably go nuclear, the costs of losing a few "assets" whether on the ground or in the sky or wherever are just part of the cost of doing business. It's not as if, for Pete's sake, the government of Iraq doesn't know that the USA has spies and satellites.

    There is also the hope, of course, that as the people of the USA learn why they are making war, that the rest of the world, or a good portion of the rest of the world, will be so persuaded. One thinks, for example, of Adlai Stevenson at the UN in 1962 showing proof that Russian missiles were indeed present in Cuba, and of the effect of that proof on the US's stature among people and nations.

    But obviously I worry that this whole "I could show you but then I would have to kill you" line is just a pretext. I'll say it: I don't trust ArbustoBush or HaliburtonCheney. I think they're lying cynics with a plutocratic agenda. I think they want to make war for reasons that have little to do with their stated reasons for making war. I think that they are imperialists. Myself, I believe that Saddam has these nasty weapons that everybody's talking about because we gave them to him when the President's father was head of the CIA. I believe further that Saddam is a murderous tyrant and that children die every day because of him. However, these facts alone do not convince me that we need to go to war, and I believe that it does not convince most of my fellow citizens that we need to go to war. I believe that it's an ugly situation with no obvious solution, but that a USA-led war to depose Saddam will only make things worse.

    Here we have a President that many people believe was instilled by a virtual coup d'etat. Now he wants to unleash the full fury of the most destructive power in the history of earth while increasing surveillance of, and constraining the liberties of, the very people in whose name he purports to act. If he has good reason for doing so, he had better show them or risk being perceived as a tyrant and not a servant of the people. We're a little past the time for Tom Clancy style platitudes about the need to keep hard truths away from the soft people who can't handle them.

    yr frn,
    jrs
    Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.

    I concur, but... (none / 0) (#442)
    by baron samedi on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 04:58:56 PM EST

    George H.W. Bush was head of the CIA in 1976-1977, and the U.S. didn't start supporting Iraq in the war with Iran until the early 80's, so there's a bit of a factual discrepancy there. In the late 70's, we were actually playing both sides a bit, recall the arms-for-hostages deal where Iran obtained some TOW anti-tank missiles.
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]
    Duly noted. (none / 0) (#445)
    by johnny on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 07:16:37 PM EST



    yr frn,
    jrs
    Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Cheap Complex Devices.
    [ Parent ]
    Intelligence doesn't exist for its own sake (4.00 / 12) (#202)
    by jbuck on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:22:04 PM EST

    Intelligence exists to be used, and at some point it has to be used. This may reveal sources and methods, but that's the tradeoff.

    For example, JFK showed the UN security council U-2 spy plane photographs, revealing info about how good they were. It was necessary to get international backing for the US's position in the Cuban missile crisis; without it, the USSR would have succeeded in painting the US as the aggressor. JFK overruled his security people, who didn't want the data revealed.

    Another point is that the Bush administration has happily blabbed classified information whenever it has suited their purposes. For instance, they revealed a detailed transcript of a private conversation between Clinton and Barak, something that it never done. This kind of thing means that foreign leaders will be reluctant in the future to have frank conversations with US presidents, if as soon as the other party gets in it will all be leaked. The reason for the leak was petty: the Bush people wanted to score political points against Clinton concerning the Rich pardon, and they were willing to embarrass Barak as well just to do this.

    Since the Bush folks have such a record of politically useful leaks, if they don't put up some evidence that Iraq really has WMD, and soon, they simply aren't going to be believed by anyone other than Republican party loyalists. Going to war with neither UN backing nor some kind of smoking gun might result in the fall of the Blair government; already half his party is rebelling.

    Just an observation... (2.88 / 9) (#208)
    by cr8dle2grave on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:51:55 PM EST

    Does anyone else find it interesting that nowhere among the many comments attached to this story is there to be found any mention of 500,000 dead Iraqi children?

    How quickly we forget the costs of containment.

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


    Clarify please. (4.00 / 4) (#218)
    by Sherloccam Holmes on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:32:44 PM EST

    Are you referring to FAO's estimated child mortality figures as a result of the UN sanctions, or are you citing Madeleine Albright's quote that US policy in Iraq is worth half a million Arab children? Either way biological warfare means something different. Perhaps you meant to argue for war as the means to end sanctions. Here again, the operative word ('logic') means something different. Perhaps you meant Iraq isn't being successfully contained. By their nature, it is not possible to contain biological agents, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been policing the Non-Proliferation Treaty since before anyone learnt the name Hans Blix, reported as early as last year that Iraq has not acquired fissile material for use in its nuclear power plant.

    --
    It is fortunate for this community that I am not a criminal.
    [ Parent ]

    Just stating the obvious (3.00 / 2) (#244)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:47:49 AM EST

    As Sherloccam, I bet you cut the ingredients for your 7% solution with a razor.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Yes (2.00 / 3) (#225)
    by epepke on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:14:15 PM EST

    This is kuro5hin after all, and I am surprised that this story has been published for almost five hours without somebody bringing this up.

    We have had most of the standard responses, including "it's all about the oil, stoopid," "Bush is going to have a war no matter what," and so on.

    But we're still missing the "news media is controlled by a bunch of kikes" one. Perhaps someone could oblige.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Bush wants war for the sake of war (3.62 / 8) (#209)
    by miguel on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:53:12 PM EST

    Review of book written by former GW speech writer

    Remember the famous "Axis of Evil" phrase? It was originally "Axis of Hatred," and it was written by Frum. Why? Frum writes: "Bush decided that the United States was no longer a status-quo power in the Middle East. He wanted to see plans for overthrowing Saddam, and he wanted a speech that explained to the world why Iraq's dictator must go. And from that presidential decision, bump, bump, bump down the hierarchy....to me."

    Again, what can this mean? Bush knew he wanted to get rid of Saddam but didn't know why? He hires people like Frum to drum up some, any, rationale? Talk about pulling back the curtain!

    I want you to be free

    One of the worst articles (4.21 / 14) (#210)
    by jman11 on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 09:56:12 PM EST

    This is one of the worst articles I've seen posted to the FP while I've been checking out this site.  Sure I haven't been here as long as others, but this is complete rubbish.

    Most of your bullet points are garbage and rely on an unlikely chain reaction, yet you state them as if it was obvious that is what would happened.

    If the USoA and the UK revealed a weapon site no one in the world would give a flying fuck how they knew it was there.  Both govts could quite easily say it's classified and no one else would batt an eyelid.

    There is almost nothing you introduce that couldn't be inferred just as easily from Bush's and Blair's statements they already have evidence.

    except... (2.75 / 4) (#236)
    by SocratesGhost on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:46:51 AM EST

    the possibility that it's a bluff. While it may cost the western intelligence communities to change their processes if the evidence is proved true, it will also cost Iraq to change their methods. By the west only claiming knowledge of WMD, both sides can maintain a degree of incredulity and Iraq can continue with their plans on the assumption that the U.S. couldn't possibly have known about a particular super secret facility.

    We lucked out in World War II. We had broken the enigma codes that Japan was using, and had even acted on knowledge that could only have been traced to broken codes (the U.S. assassinated the architect of the Pearl Harbor invasion), but the Japanese were too proud to admit that they were compromised. In the Atlantic, though, we were frequently lucky that the codes that some German outfits used were not the most up to date. Why use out of date codes? Because new codes and methods take time and energy to implement.

    There's a cost to change by both sides. So, you don't change unless you know you have to. Otherwise, it's wasted resources.

    I agree, there's a bit of presumption in the article, but there's also some provocative thoughts here.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    [ Parent ]
    I got a better theory for you (3.60 / 10) (#214)
    by another lame modstorming troll on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 10:14:45 PM EST

    The US has hard evidence of these WMD because they gave/sold them to the Iraqis during the war with Iran. Then they intercepted some terrorists trying to smuggle one of said US-sourced WMD back into the states.

    Presto, you have proof:

    • of possesion of weapons of mass distruction;
    • that said WMD are not accounted for in the statement of disarmament, meaning said document is demonstratably false; and
    • of Hussein's terrorist intent.

    Problem is, you can't cop to this on the world stage because the rest of the world would quite justifiably crucify you for handing out dangerous toys to certifiable nuts.

    And Hussein can't screw the US with it either, because in taking the US down he'd inconveniently hand the rest of the world the justification needed for UN intervention.

    But it is something you can pass under the eyes of a trustworthy and useful ally like GB (explaining Blair's otherwise incomprehensible urge for war), yet hide from those less trustworthy, less usefull, and more likely to morally judge like Canada (explaining our far more reasonable stance on the matter).

    It's just a theory. But for me, it beats the "I'm gonna finish Daddy's war" theory which is the only other real working theory at the moment.

    Your Intelligence theories aside, the US administration's stance and statements only make them look like complete kooks while the UN inspection teams find sweet f--k all. To maintain their international stature, they should really have let the UN process work, made statements in favor of the same, and let the inspectors come up with proof on their own (suitably led to it after some period of time). There would be no need to come off like a bunch of power hungry, contradictory bozos, which would provoke the UN grand standing we've seen France, Russia, and Germany indulge in over the last week.

    Neat (3.33 / 3) (#223)
    by karl_hungus on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:10:11 PM EST

    People who get burned on drug deals don't exactly call the cops. I find this plausible.

    [ Parent ]
    hole in your theory (3.80 / 5) (#257)
    by F a l c o n on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:00:06 AM EST

    There's a huge hole in your theory. You essentially say "we can't tell because they're ours".

    Well, the world already knows. It's pretty much common knowledge that the kurds where gassed with US-sponsored stuff. That Saddam actually got into power with much help from Washington (or should I say: Langley?).

    There's no embarassment in admitting what everyone knows already.

    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
    [ Parent ]

    Really? (3.00 / 2) (#287)
    by another lame modstorming troll on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 09:13:27 AM EST

    Even if the missing Weapons of Mass Destruction happened to be nuclear?

    [ Parent ]
    Naah... (none / 0) (#317)
    by fenix down on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:56:33 PM EST

    Nobody thinks they have nukes. Even Bush isn't pushing that. Just nerve gas and botox, which we're classifying as a bioweapon for some reason.

    We wouldn't give them nukes anyway. We wouldn't trust them not to use them in a way that would give us away. Nerve gas is simple and quiet. You gas some village, and maybe a year later some guy from the BBC finds it. Nukes make this big fucking boom that everybody sees right away, and then the BBC just traces the hot trail up your ass instead of taking creepy, but emotionally disconnected pictures of some deserted village.

    [ Parent ]

    Care to substantiate... (none / 0) (#324)
    by cr8dle2grave on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:56:46 PM EST

    this myth: Saddam actually got into power with much help from Washington (or should I say: Langley?)

    It is a myth with no basis in fact, as far as I am aware. There is some very inconclusive evidence that the CIA provided the Ba'athist regime that came into power in 1968 with names of Communists (ICP), many of whom were executed by the new military government.

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


    [ Parent ]
    She's a witch! Burn her! (4.09 / 11) (#222)
    by Thing 1 on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:00:09 PM EST

    The problem with what I read in your article is that you must absolutely trust the people who are tasked with using force against others.

    This is no different from crying "witch!" I can't think of any way for the person accused to get out of the attack.

    Saddam may or may not be stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. The USA is going to attack him anyway, regardless of what he says or the UN finds.

    I don't doubt that he deserves to be attacked (he did attack Kuwait without provocation), but blind trust is dangerous.

    Only need one WMD, then Saddam is gone (4.00 / 4) (#224)
    by Eric Green on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 11:12:26 PM EST

    All it needs is one WMD found in Saddam's possession and he's gone. It seems to me that saying "we know Saddam has WMD" is ridiculous. HOW do we know this? Well, because Emperor Bush II told us so. How do we know Emperor Bush II isn't lying to us? After all, there's other reasonable reasons why Emperor Bush II wants to invade Iraq, like wanting to finish up what his daddy didn't finish, personal animosity against Saddam because Saddam tried to kill his daddy, or oil. If there is a WMD, sure, divulging its location will probably kill the source -- but shortly thereafter Saddam and all his soldiers will be *DEAD* and we won't *NEED* the (now-dead) source anymore.

    Thus I conclude that Iraq has no Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Mad Emperor Bush is lying again, as he is prone to do.
    --
    You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
    [ Parent ]

    Burn those who would think for themselves! (3.33 / 3) (#305)
    by I am Jack's username on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:57:03 PM EST

    But maybe, just maybe, those who don't yet live under tyranny should have a say in what their governments do.

    That wasn't in the latest GOPleader emails... Burn him! What was he asking for under his attorney?
    --
    Inoshiro for president!
    "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]

    Saddam and his 'honesty'. (none / 0) (#338)
    by Zero Sum on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 08:28:28 PM EST

    I don't doubt that he deserves to be attacked (he did attack Kuwait without provocation), but blind trust is dangerous.

    I don't doubt that he desreves to be attacked either (although I am not sure about Iraq itself) but NOT because he invaded Kuwait. His invasion of Kuwait was legitimate (if war is ever legitimate) and provoked by Kuwaiti theft and their refusal to stop that theft.

    But if you are an American you probably do not know this. Try finding out the facts.
    Zero Sum - Vescere bracis meis
    [ Parent ]

    Embarassing evidence (4.60 / 23) (#228)
    by driptray on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:32:39 AM EST

    The USA knows that Iraq has WMD because the USA has the receipts.

    But they can't mention this 'cos it would make them look silly.
    --
    We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating

    Funny. (4.00 / 3) (#292)
    by sonovel on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:23:40 AM EST

    The two nations most responsible for arming Iraq with conventional weapons were Russia and France. And Germany is the nation recently named as the one that broke sanctions the most.

    Interestingly, these are three of the nations most opposed to acting against Iraq.

    One possibility is that they don't want the world to actually find out what they provided to Iraq.

    [ Parent ]

    Hear hear! (none / 0) (#384)
    by Iblis on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:31:15 AM EST

    'nuff said.

    [ Parent ]
    The inspectors are doing a fine job for US (3.62 / 8) (#251)
    by CitAnon on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:24:08 AM EST

    Just not the job that they think they're doing.

    Washington's nightmare scenario is thousands of elite Republican guards hiding in Bagdhad armed with chem/bio weapons that can be fired from artillery pieces, small rockets et cetera, which are hidden in Baghdad's millions of houses, sewers, etc.  Any US UK Canadian Australian attack force would then face the prospect of being bombarded by accurately aimed chem/bio weapons that will be darn near impossible to find and destroy.

    If that happens, Bagdhad will be untouchable, and American forces will have to settle down for a looong and VERY unpopular siege.

    The weapons inspectors are serving to prevent this disastor.  With the weapons inspectors on the ground, Iraq can't load or distribute its chemical and biological stockpiles to its forces for fear that the inspectors will find them.  

    The minute that war appears inevitable, Washington will race to cut Iraqi communication lines while Baghdad will race to pull back loyal Republican guard units and arm them withChem and Bio weapons before the Americans succeed in cutting communications.  

    In reality the Bush administration has no faith in the UN's ability to disarm Iraq.  Instead, the inspectors are one piece of its attack plan.  The idea is to use them to tie down Hussein's resources and confuse him about US intentions, giving American forces time to prepare.  Also, they're supposed to help gather international support.

    So far part 2 doesn't seem to be working too well, but 1 might be working.  Since American forces are now well positioned to strike, the game will change to one of brinksmanship as the US attempts to spook Baghdad into kicking out the inspectors.

    We'd know in a few months (3.00 / 2) (#254)
    by CitAnon on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:47:53 AM EST

    And by this line of reasoning, if the US actually has hard intelligence on WMD, we'd see in next few months right as cruise missels are being launched. If the US doesn't, we'd still probably attack, just without showing hard intelligence.

    [ Parent ]
    It's always funny when... (none / 0) (#342)
    by CitAnon on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:27:00 PM EST

    Reality catches up with speculation.

    But hold off your snide comment because evidence shows that the US military isn't quite ready yet,

    So for now, the delaying tactic continues and the inspectors are allowed to do their thing.  Come late Feb. early March, though, Saddam better get his bags packed.



    [ Parent ]
    Saddam's nukes - in the US already? (none / 0) (#374)
    by mveloso on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 12:28:41 AM EST

    One of the poor endgame scenarios for the US is that Saddam has nukes hidden in the US somewhere, but we don't know where they are anymore, and we're trying to flush that information out of an Iraqi sympathizer somewhere.

    Consider that the chain of commandm (including one of Saddam's many sons) in Iraq always warns of "serious catastrophic consequences" if the US invades Iraq. Ever wonder what that means? Al Sharpton is already running for President, so it can't be that.

    Or maybe the US knows exactly which WMDs has, and wants to perform a small demonstration, like in the movie Deterrence (see imdb.org).

    Yet Another Thing to worry about.

    [ Parent ]

    I have a problem with one of your assumptions... (3.60 / 5) (#253)
    by TrentC on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:46:46 AM EST

    Assumption: a defector to the UKUSA gave the intelligence about the site's location over as part of his asylum deal. Result: All potential defectors in all unfriendly countries are killed, thereby putting a stop to the most useful tool UKUSA have for gaining information.

    If this were the case, why wait until the horse has gotten out of the barn to close the door? They'd be killing potential defectors now to prevent any leaks.

    And if you were a potential defector, wouldn't you be more likely to jump ship ASAP once your government makes a policy of taking people like you and putting them up against the wall to be shot?

    Other than that, it's a decent article. Thought-provoking, even if some of the arguments and assumptions have some rather large holes...

    Jay (=

    A more plausible angle for the Faith-In-Bush-ites (3.57 / 7) (#255)
    by astrobrick on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:53:16 AM EST

    I think that the basic point of this article is silly. It would have played better before inspectors were in Iraq, when accusations of WMD couldn't have been verified on the ground. At this point, if "they" know where to go to find WMD, they'd have spilled the beans.

    A far more plausible explanation for the Bush crowd's insistence of WMD in Iraq is as follows. Note that this interpretation is only as interesting as your inclination to grant Bush Co. a respectable motive (ie not just a power/oil/stature grabfest).

    Simply, that the Bushers feel Sad-ham is a serious threat to them/us on many fronts including sponsoring terrorism. And that everyone basically agrees that he is a bad guy, and would be good to get rid of. And that he almost for sure has WMD of some sort. And that if inspections are restarted they will find evidence of WMD pretty quickly. And that would provide justification for taking radical steps, like war. And that then the world would be impressed, both the good guys and the bad. And that this would be good for the USA. And that unfortunately the inspectors have not turned up anything so far. Which puts Bush Co. in a very awkward position that they probably thought possible but extremely unlikely. And that backing down looks like a bad option, as the result is more or less 100% the opposite of the end you wanted to realize when undertook the gambit. That is, Sad-ham still has WMD, still sponsors terrorism or whatever, is a renewed hero to the Arab street, and the USA looks once again like a belligerent aggressor to the same and many others. Thus, you find yourself out on a bit of a limb, as far as world opinion goes.

    I'm only presenting this as a more realistic scenario for the actions of the US administration. I think it's impossible for an average joe citizen to feel confident that they understand enough about this situation to be certain about the motives that are in play. What I do feel strongly is that Bush is exactly the wrong dude to be handling this situation. I have no reason to trust him, or what he says, whatsoever. But that doesn't mean that I think he's always wrong or always disingenuous.

    You probbly have it pegged (none / 0) (#468)
    by jubal3 on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 02:16:37 AM EST

    This whole thing looks like a series of miscalculations and really bad luck on the part of the USA. *Never attribute to maliciousness what can be easily chalked up to incompetence* -HBOwen

    [ Parent ]
    missing the obvious (3.66 / 12) (#256)
    by F a l c o n on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:54:41 AM EST

    You could have at least mentioned the other side of the coin: It's a bluff.

    Okham's razor is perfectly applied here. Your explanation runs for about 3 pages. Mine can be written up in 3 sentences. All other things considered equal, mine is more likely.

    Over here in europe, it has become very clear just what is going on. Maybe because our media isn't under the "they're either with us or against us" banner.

    Obviously, you sum up the reason why anyone (not just a government) defaults to "no comment" very well. However, you fall into the usual conspiracy-theory trap: "If there could be something to hide, then there must be something they hide."
    "no comment" doesn't necessarily mean there is a sub, or even that I know whether or not there is. "no comment" can most certainly mean "I'm just bullshitting you". And its second great advantage in addition to not going down a slippery slope is that it is a great tool to bluff and then stonewall any and all attempts at calling the bluff.
    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster

    and what if? (2.50 / 6) (#262)
    by influx on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:38:55 AM EST

    If you are correct and it is all a big bluff, then Iraq could solve the problem in a month or two of concerted effort to prove they no longer harbor weapons of mass destruction and humilate Bush and Blair and recieve accolades from the world and have the crippling sanctions on their people and nation lifted.

    Let in the foreign press without an Iraqi "watcher". Let them roam whever they want, talk to whomever they want and get access to whatever documents and officials they'd like. Let the inspectors talk freely to any former or current scientist. Let them freely visit any country to conduct interviews with their families without any fears of retribution.

    Instead, this whole shame has gone on for over a decade, with Iraq continually violating the will of the UN and the UN constantly turning a blind eye to the shell game.

    And frankly, over here in America it is becoming clear what is going on with Europe. It is easy to point the finger at Americans for somehow contriving a war to get at oil, but somehow I don't see you questioning where France is getting some of its oil right now and why they would be against kicking over the nice setup they have with the current regime.

    The United Nations can either take action or make itself into a redux of the League of Nations. I find it less and less credible, but it's obvious that Europeons will hem and haw and obstruct as long as possible, until the UN is completely toothless. Then they'll proceed to whine about how Israel (never mentioning Palestinian violations) and North Korea are also ignoring the UN.

    ---
    The more you know, the less you understand.
    [ Parent ]

    logically impossible (4.20 / 5) (#272)
    by F a l c o n on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:47:05 AM EST

    But that exactly is the bind: You can not prove that you do not have something.

    Here's a thought experiment: I hereby claim that you are a terrorist and are hiding a biological bomb. I'm not saying how I know this or what I know about the bomb and its location. National security and so, you know?

    Now prove that you don't have a bio-bomb.()

    About the "watchers" and all that: Journalists aren't free to roam wherever they want even in western democracies. Do you seriously expect a dictatorship to be more open? You can't get into the CIA headquarters, or any given military base in the US, but you ask Saddam to grant you a favour your "elected" president never would? Get real.

    () Just to preempt a few arguments:
    No, "come in and check" won't work. Obviously, it only means you've hidden it so well that you are sure I won't find it. Or that you've hidden it somewhere else altogether.
    No kind of documents will work, they can be faked.
    Witnesses can be intimidated, or impersonated.
    In fact, I'm sure that no matter what you do, it can be turned into yet further proof that you're hiding something. There's a reason why lawyers instruct their clients to say nothing without consulting them first.

    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
    [ Parent ]

    The lead U.N. inspector ... (3.00 / 2) (#291)
    by sonovel on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:18:29 AM EST

    The lead U.N. inspector, Hans Blix, explicitly rejected your argument on lack of evidence in a speech to the U.N.

    Had you been paying attention to the applicable UN resolutions, and the statements of the person most responsible for inspections, you would know this.

    [ Parent ]

    So you admit.... (none / 0) (#350)
    by DominantParadigm on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 03:10:48 AM EST

    That there's absolutely no way for Iraq to satisfy the U.N. inspectors? Surely this is where you UN haters can really get the ball rolling !

    Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


    [ Parent ]
    Nope. (5.00 / 1) (#366)
    by sonovel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 01:18:49 PM EST

    Iraq must comply with 1441 and provide full cooperation. They haven't done that.

    Certainly Blix thinks that Iraq can provide evidence of disarmament, but that they have failed to do so.

    So since Iraq isn't cooperating (at least three parts of 1441 are  being violated), and isn't providing evidence of disarmament (which Blix says can be done), they are in "further material breach" with U.N. resolutions.

    We can go around and around. But it is very clear that Iraq does have a way out according to the lead U.N. inspector. Read Blix's statments on evidence. He isn't asking Iraq to prove a negative. He is asking for positive proof of the acts of disarmament. Iraq certainly had weapons and weapons programs that remain unaccounted for. Blix is asking for evidence that these weapons were destroyed and is asking for documentation on the weapons programs.

    You obviously haven't been reading the most important sources about this. These are the full text of 1441 and Blix's recent statements to the U.N.
     

    [ Parent ]

    source ? (none / 0) (#357)
    by F a l c o n on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 06:28:56 AM EST

    Can you point me to a source, transcript or anything like it? I would be very interested in how he rejects an argument that I can't see any way around.
    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
    [ Parent ]
    Here ya go. (none / 0) (#365)
    by sonovel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 01:11:43 PM EST

    Blix's recent statements to the U.N. are the source of these quotes:

    "The overall impression, which I reported to the Council on 19 December and which remains after some weeks of examination of the Declaration, is that it is rich in volume but poor in new information about weapons issues and practically devoid of new evidence on such issues. It appears that the vast majority of the supporting documents are the same as those provided in previous "Full, Final and Complete Declarations" or obtained by UNSCOM through the inspection process. Those documents that are new do not seem to contribute to the resolution of outstanding questions.

    The Declaration repeats the assertion that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that there is no more evidence to present. However, in order to create confidence that it has no more weapons of mass destruction or proscribed activities relating to such weapons, Iraq must present credible evidence. It cannot just maintain that it must be deemed to be without proscribed items so long as there is no evidence to the contrary. A person accused of the illegal possession of weapons may, indeed, be acquitted for lack of evidence, but if a state, which has used such weapons, is to create confidence that it has no longer any prohibited weapons, it will need to present solid evidence or present remaining items for elimination under supervision. Evidence can be of the most varied kind: budgets, letters of credit, production records, destruction records, transportation notes, or interviews by knowledgeable persons, who are not subjected to intimidation."

    "I have not asserted on behalf of UNMOVIC that proscribed items or activities exist in Iraq, but if they do, Iraq should present them and then eliminate them in our presence. There is still time for it.

    If evidence is not presented, which gives a high degree of assurance, there is no way the inspectors can close a file by simply invoking a precept that Iraq cannot prove the negative. In such cases, regrettably, they must conclude, as they have done in the past, that the absence of the particular item is not assured."

    Absence of evidence is not acceptable to prove disarmament without Iraqi full cooperation. Blix agrees with me that Iraq has to prove compliance:

    "If the Iraqi side were to state that there were no such programs, it would need to provide convincing documentary or other evidence,"

    So lack of evidence provided by Iraq and lack of cooperation are material breaches that can cause "serious consequences".

    Haven't you been paying attention to what Blix has been saying? Or have you used sound bites from you favorite biased news source? (All news sources are biased. One must go to the source documentation, whether it is the full text of 1441 or real transcripts of Blix's statements.)


    [ Parent ]

    covered (none / 0) (#370)
    by F a l c o n on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 05:04:20 PM EST

    I think I've already covered this: Everything that he mentions as evidence of absence are documents. Documents can be forged.

    So, back to my challenge: You show me your bank record and through some miracle can actually show what each $ was spent on.
    So what? Your bank record could be faked. Your receipts could be faked. Or you had some cash that never was in the bank, possibly from some other illegal deals. Or you got the bomb through a non-money deal (favours, some service or exchange of goods). Or one of a dozen other reasons.

    You still haven't proven that you don't have a bio-bomb. I think I should call the FBI. :-)

    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
    [ Parent ]

    Still nope. (none / 0) (#371)
    by sonovel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 05:54:30 PM EST

    Blix talks about much more than just documents.

    Documents can be verified to a point.

    Interviews with cooperative people can confirm them.

    And physical inspection of evidence can also help.

    For example, tons of VX doesn't just disapear. You don't just lose it. You can't even just dump it without leaving physical evidence.

    So where is the VX that we knew they had? Why aren't they telling the inspectors? Why aren't they bringing them to the dump or the furnace where it was burried or burned? Why can't the inspectors interview people on this issue without government minders?

    Iraq could provide a lot of evidence of disarmament if they disarmed and if they chose to. They aren't providing this evidence. They aren't allowing the required interviews. They aren't telling the inspectors what sites have the evidence for destruction of prohibited weapons. They are limiting the technology used for inspection.

    Doesn't seem like Iraq is willing or able to show disarmament. I wonder why.

    You can't prove a negative ("we don't have such weapons"), but you can prove a positive ("we destroyed the weapons, here's the sites, and here's the documents, and here are some people involved, talk to them without minders"). See the difference?

    Since Iraq isn't even attempting to be active in supporting inspectors with the demanded information, and access to sites and people, they are not living up to 1441.

    Blix certainly doesn't seem to want war. Yet even he thinks there are many many things that Iraq could do in accordance with 1441. He has stated over and over again that they have failed to do these things.

    The bar may be high, but Iraq isn't even making a serious attempt to comply. That is a "further material breach" and grounds for "serious consequences".

    [ Parent ]

    good points (5.00 / 1) (#386)
    by F a l c o n on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:52:55 AM EST

    Doesn't seem like Iraq is willing or able to show disarmament. I wonder why. Oh, I guess one reason is that nobody likes to be shoved around. Not to mention that the last UN inspectors were CIA spies. If your brother broke into my house earlier, you'll understand that I'll be a little reluctant to let you check out the phone line, right? You can't prove a negative ("we don't have such weapons"), but you can prove a positive ("we destroyed the weapons, here's the sites, and here's the documents, and here are some people involved, talk to them without minders"). See the difference? Good point, yes. There's still the question of whether or not your evidence would be accepted though. Back to your alleged bio-bomb: You show me that you've brought back that load of chemicals you could have used for it (was only for cleaning the bathroom anyways). I can still choose not to believe you. I can doubt your evidence, I can claim you've dumped that chemicals, but acquired others, etc. The point is this: If Saddam believes that the US will attack anyway, no matter what, then why exactly should he give more than lip-service to cooperation? He can only lose.
    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
    [ Parent ]
    so why... (3.00 / 2) (#286)
    by lemming prophet on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 09:07:19 AM EST

    And frankly, over here in America it is becoming clear what is going on with Europe. It is easy to point the finger at Americans for somehow contriving a war to get at oil, but somehow I don't see you questioning where France is getting some of its oil right now and why they would be against kicking over the nice setup they have with the current regime.

    It's becoming clear.. = you finally start to believe the propaganda you're being fed 24/7?

    And what, if this is about WMD, are the halliburton people doing in Iraq?

    And it's not the Europeans who try to make the UN toothless, but the Americans who make threats about ignoring the UN resolutions and starting war all by themselves... and if even the US doesn't keep to them, why should the others?

    ... and i distinctly remember having learned in history in school that attack wars (Angriffskriege ) are wrong, and that this fact is finally being acknowledged by the international community... too bad the u.s. are doing everything to destroy that maxime... and THIS is going to be the major threat to world peace in the next years...


    --
    Follow me.
    [ Parent ]
    UN (4.00 / 3) (#296)
    by br284 on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:23:16 AM EST

    And it's not the Europeans who try to make the UN toothless, but the Americans who make threats about ignoring the UN resolutions and starting war all by themselves... and if even the US doesn't keep to them, why should the others?

    The flip side is that if the UN cannot be bothered to enforce its own resolutions, and other countries are perfectly willing to flaunt them for whatever reason, why is the UN even relevent at this point, and why should the US be bothered to follow UN resolutions if there's no consequence to not following and the resolutions only get in the way of the US objectives? If anyone values the UN as a device for setting and enforcing global policy, then the UN MUST go to war with Iraq if and when evidence of WMDs are made available.

    The funny thing about this entire situation is that the people who hem and haw about how things should be done through the UN and international law are more effectively neutering the UN and other global organizations by refusing to enforce the policy set forth because they find it distasteful. This reluctance to war in Iraq only serves to make countries act in a more unilateral fashion in the long run.

    (Of course, this post does assume that there are WMDs in Iraq, of which I personally have no doubt about.)

    -Chris

    [ Parent ]

    Why? (none / 0) (#322)
    by lemming prophet on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:49:02 PM EST

    If anyone values the UN as a device for setting and enforcing global policy, then the UN MUST go to war with Iraq if and when evidence of WMDs are made available

    Why? Even if they do have these weapons, it's not like it would be the only country with WMDs.
    It's definitly not the only country which is ruled by a dictator without respect for human life.
    Even on Bush's "Axis of Evil", there is a country which DOES have WMDs for sure, and even did missile tests in the last 5 years.
    So WHY Iraq?

    War does always have grave consequences, for the loser AND for the winner, and the risks are astronomically compared to possible benefits. War has to be the last solution, and not just "the continuation of politics by other means".

    I'm not so naive to believe that humanity will stop waging wars, but Iraq is not a threat at the moment.

    --
    Follow me.
    [ Parent ]
    Why Iraq. (5.00 / 2) (#345)
    by sonovel on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:48:33 PM EST

    That is why.

    In order to keep from being overthrown, Hussein agreed disarm. The UN put particular conditions on how Iraq was to prove compliance.

    Iraq didn't live up to their agreements.

    The US forced the UN to take itself seriously and restart the process. This was Iraq's last chance.

    Since Iraq is obiously saying "Fuck You" to the UN and inspection process, they are in further material breach of UN security council resolutions. This is supposed to have "serious consequences".

    That is why Iraq.

    Perhaps you weren't around for all this, after all, the invasion of Kuwait that started the U.S. (UN)-Iraq Gulf War was over 12 whole years ago. Ancient history, of no interest to today I guess. Or at least so it seems from your question of "Why Iraq".

    [ Parent ]

    bad title. (none / 0) (#347)
    by sonovel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 12:08:43 AM EST

    I changed the title at the last minute and broke my post.

    The title was originally:

    they lost the war.

    [ Parent ]

    That's not true (5.00 / 1) (#358)
    by lemming prophet on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 06:35:51 AM EST

    Iraq didn't live up to their agreements.

    Not? Up to now, the inspectors didn't find anything which would confirm the existence of WMD. It's only te US Gov. and it's pet dog Blair who "know" that there are WMDs. But "of course" they can't say where they are.
    In western jurisdiction one is innocent until proven guilty. The US didn't manage to prove Saddam is guilty of possession (of WMDs), and as long as they are not able to prove it, any attack is illegal.

    (If anyone still cares about that if they really attack is a completely different question. :( )
    --
    Follow me.
    [ Parent ]
    Wrong. (none / 0) (#364)
    by sonovel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 01:05:32 PM EST

    It isn't the inspectors jobs to find hidden things. It is the inspectors jobs to verify Iraq is complying. This requires Iraq's complete cooperation. They haven't cooperated in the past, and they aren't now.

    You just don't understand inspections. They are for verification of compliance. Thinking that 300 inspectors whose behavior is restricted can find hidden things in a country bigger than California is stupid.

    Iraq of course violated all the previous agreements on inspections. And they are doing the same now. The "Full, Final, Complete" report isn't full, final, or complete according to Blix. Further material breach #1.

    Inspectors are not allowed to interview Iraqis without government minders. Further material breach #2.

    Inspectors are not allowed to use surveilance planes like they are explicitly allowed in 1441. Further material breach #3.

    Why further material breach? Because the U.N. agrees that Iraq has been in material breach of its obligations under the ceasefire terms for the last decade.

    [ Parent ]

    But (none / 0) (#379)
    by lemming prophet on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 06:55:26 AM EST

    of course Iraq does not want the Inspectors check out their army. No country would do more than the absolute minimum it has to because of outside pressure.
    And Iraq is allowed to have an army, otherwise it could not stay the only secular state in the region for long.
    Seeing the american troops gathering around it's borders, knowing that some of the inspectors who were thrown out in 1998 were us spies (they confessed some time ago, if you still remember), it's clear they wont show any initiative themselves.
    Still, the _are_ innocent until proven guilty, no matter how many times $USAUKPROPAGANDAOUTLET says they are not complying, up to now they are!


    --
    Follow me.
    [ Parent ]
    Innocence (none / 0) (#380)
    by br284 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 07:41:11 AM EST

    If they are innocent and have nothing to hide, why has Saddam passed up a perfectly good opportunity to make the Bush administration bad by allowing inspectors full access to everything and allowing the inspectors to say quickly that Iraq has nothing and that UKUSA is only using the UN to wage an unjust war? The diplomatic and international relatons coup would be immense.

    However, Saddam has not done this, and only until faced with the prospect of serious consequences did his regime quit jerking the UN inspectors around. Furthermore, the while the chemical weapons casings and engines illegally imported into Iraq do not constitute WMDs by themselves, they are restricted technology prohibited by the terms of the ceasefire, and thus UKUSA has all the legal reasons it needs to go to war WITHOUT having to go to the UN for permission. They would not be waging a new campaign, rather they would be continuing an older, paused, campaign that was sanctioned by the world community years ago.

    However, we'll see what happens and if France and Germany do what they can to make the UN an irrelevent body as its predecessor was.

    -Chris

    [ Parent ]

    sure man (3.66 / 3) (#313)
    by influx on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:14:50 PM EST

    Here are the sites I get my news from:

    So where exactly is the propoganda coming in? I supose it's all a big conspiracy and the only press that is fair, honest and open is what ever country you are from? Which magical country is this anyway? I'm guessing Germany. If so, I'm not going to argue that I want Germany to become armed and passionate about war.

    The international community learned our lesson about that. But, it is ironic that you are basing your outlook on what you "learned in history in school". Somehow I'm brainwashed by American and British press, yet you are an independent thinker by swallowing whole what you learned in school. No one can argue that war is good, but one can argue that events leave a course of action where a moral choice is going to war, even before being attacked.

    In my view, the Bush administration is pushing to have Iraq disarmed because they learned all too well the dangers of inactivity on September 11. It is fairly well known in America that during the Clinton administration there was good intelligence on the location of Bin Ladin, the CIA had spies on the ground giving up to date information. There was apparently a special forces team in Pakistan ready to go.

    Unfortunately, Clinton was more worried about the international uproar that surely would have insued, instead of worrying about American lives. I think Bush has vowed not to make this mistake again. Iraq must either disarm or we will do it for them. You can sleep safe in the fact that Germany can't do much about it even if it wanted to. It just doesn't have the military power to do it. Americans can't sleep so soundly. We know that we either take a stand and do what we feel is right and will make America safer, or we can stand by and do nothing and listen later as the entire world criticizes us for doing exactly that.

    More and more Americans are discounting the UN and the EU. We heard the shrill voices declaring calamity if we struck Afghanistan. We heard all the whining and doomsaying on how many people would starve in the harsh winter because of the big bad imperialistic Americans and we heard the condemnations that we had no real evidence that Bin Laden was behind 9/11. After all, it was probably just a Zionist conspiracy. We saw how the only people to vote against Libya becoming head of the UN human rights commission was Canada and the US while Europe abstained. We saw how the Dutch let the biggest post-1945 massacre occur while they stood by.

    We listened, but we had no choice but to take action. We warned the Taliban just like we are warning Saddam. The Taliban didn't heed the warning, they and many other countries seemed to be relishing the thought of American troops getting chewed up like the Russians did. Instead, the American military came up with an innovative strategy and toppled the Taliban with minimal loss to our soldiers.

    Contrary to popular belief, the people in Kabul cheered and felt liberated. In the meantime, international aid workers were able to get through and peace keeping has been established in major centers. Is there still a long road ahead? You bet, and there will be an even longer road in Iraq, but you must understand that Americans are committed to doing these things because we can not afford to stand by and do nothing like we did for the past 10+ years in Iraq.

    Saddam continues to flaunt the UN authority daily while American and British aircraft patrol the no fly zones. There are credible reports that he is still holding a pilot from the Gulf War. If this is so, I'd support a war in Iraq for that single purpose. I'd hope that any country would feel the same way about their citizens.

    Europeans are fond of claiming all Americans are ignorant about any country but the United States, but increasingly the only thing Europe seems to see is a tired stereotype. September 11 changed our course of action here in the USA. Perhaps if Europeans tried to understand our mindset instead of looking down their noses at us, and starting working with the ally who has spent billions protecting them for the past 50 years, we could both find a better feeling of security. Instead, it seems that "old Europe" is telling us that we have to go it alone. I think you are saying this so that we will reconsider our course of action. Instead, we simply have to shrug our shoulders and move forward anyway. I hope our countries can find a common ground again soon, but we'll not threaten our security to appease Saddam or Europe.

    ---
    The more you know, the less you understand.
    [ Parent ]

    Ok, (none / 0) (#329)
    by lemming prophet on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:52:56 PM EST

    I'll try to to answer seriously, even though you seem to border on trolling sometimes :)

    I supose it's all a big conspiracy and the only press that is fair, honest and open is what ever country you are from? Which magical country is this anyway?

    No, i don't. There is no perfectly fair and honest press anywhere, since there is no universal "truth", or if there is, no human being will ever be able to grasp it because of inherent limitations of the human mind.(imho)
    But there are some media which are more influenced by the "official government truth" than others, and less likely to bring news of opinions other than those the government wants too see...
    I'm from switzerland, and my impression is that we do have a relativly broad spectrum of opinions available in the mainstream press, compared to other western countries

    I'm not going to argue that I want Germany to become armed and passionate about war.

    And (not really hidden) remarks about nazi germany really help keeping the discussion on a factual level. Thanks.

    I know that my view of the world is shaped by my upbringing, my education (e.g. history in school) and my social and other environment. But still i believe that peace is a goal we all should try to achieve, and threatening with attack is never the way, except maybe in some simplyfied "what if" games...

    In my view, the Bush administration is pushing to have Iraq disarmed because they learned all too well the dangers of inactivity on September 11.

    And stupid me thought that the Al-Quaida "press releases" always talked about the continued us military presence in islamic holy places and the us support for israel. Both of which i hardly think can be labeled "inactivity".
    (Note: I do NOT agree with Al Quaida. But knowing the propaganda of every party involved might help to understand the actual reasons for their behaviour)

    You can sleep safe in the fact that Germany can't do much about it even if it wanted to. It just doesn't have the military power to do it. Americans can't sleep so soundly. We know that we either take a stand and do what we feel is right and will make America safer, or we can stand by and do nothing and listen later as the entire world criticizes us for doing exactly that.

    Yes, Switzerland couldn't do anything even if it wanted, and I do agree that sometimes outside military (American, Russian, EU under UN Control) has to be used to stop a conflict. But NEVER to start one.
    And it's not like Iraq is a real threat to America. It just lost almost all it's Army 10 years ago, and Saddam was known to throw the islamists into jail, as opposed to your "allies" Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, which funded them...

    Contrary to popular belief, the people in Kabul cheered and felt liberated. In the meantime, international aid workers were able to get through and peace keeping has been established in major centers.

    Kabul is peaceful now, but the Sharia is still the official law, and outside Kabul any woman who doesn't wear her Burka is still being punished as always, and the Warlords are still raging their "tribal" wars.. AND parts of Afghanistan are now contaminated by the uranium ammo you used, which will cause cancer and disease for many generations. See the reports from Yugoslavia, where similar ammo was used, about the effects of low level contamination on the population.

    Saddam continues to flaunt the UN authority daily while American and British aircraft patrol the no fly zones. There are credible reports that he is still holding a pilot from the Gulf War. If this is so, I'd support a war in Iraq for that single purpose. I'd hope that any country would feel the same way about their citizens.

    American and british aircrafts are flying over Iraqi territory. Saddam does NOT attack. and THAT is bad behavior? How would the us react if they even saw airplanes of an enemy approaching?
    And the US are still holding the 200 or more people in Guantanamo...

    Do not judge others lest...

    I hope our countries can find a common ground again soon, but we'll not threaten our security to appease Saddam or Europe.

    Well i certainly hope that the US and the EU getting better relations again too, but despite all the propaganda I cannot see a threat in saddam which would justify an attack war (if an attack war can every be justified..)
    --
    Follow me.
    [ Parent ]
    Great! (3.00 / 2) (#265)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:03:13 AM EST

    Over here in europe, it has become very clear just what is going on.

    I hope you're all right in Europe. I really, truly, honestly do.

    If you're wrong, though, will you come back here and admit it?


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    sure (3.00 / 2) (#269)
    by F a l c o n on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:30:21 AM EST

    I guess it would take a while for me to realize that Bush Jr. is, in fact, a nice guy who just wants to save the world from great evil, instead of a warmongering half-idiot who's out for the only thing he understands (oil).

    So what exactly would it take? Well, I guess if he puts those tons of "proof" he claims to have about 9/11, Al Quaida and Iraq on the table for everyone to see, that would certainly change my mind.
    --
    Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
    [ Parent ]

    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#336)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 07:57:27 PM EST

    I guess it would take a while for me to realize that Bush Jr. is, in fact, a nice guy who just wants to save the world from great evil, instead of a warmongering half-idiot who's out for the only thing he understands (oil).

    Nah. Bush isn't a nice guy who just wants to save the world from great evil. Nor is he a warmongering half-idiot who's out for the only thing he understands (oil). The truth is somewhere in between. Nor is Bush the only factor int the administration. Nor is the Executive Branch the only factor in the U.S. government. Nor is the U.S. government the only factor.

    These are, however, complicated issues that have the disadvantage or requiring more than one neuron to represent, so I understand why they wouldn't be so appealing.

    The "oil" shibboleth is particularly vapid. Think, man! What would U.S. oil companies like more than anything else? It would be no war and a slow removal of economic sanctions. The U.S. simply taking over the Iraqi oil fields for the use of the U.S. would be a complete economic disaster. The glut of oil would result in a massive price war which would cut significantly into the oil companies' bottom line. During a recession.

    So what exactly would it take? Well, I guess if he puts those tons of "proof" he claims to have about 9/11, Al Quaida and Iraq on the table for everyone to see, that would certainly change my mind.

    Change your mind into what? I was strongly skeptical about the connection between al Quaeda and 9/11 for quite a while, but a significant amount of evidence was published some months later. Iraq probably doesn't have jack squat to do with al Qaeda except for the training camp in Iraq, which isn't much more damning than the flight schools in Florida. Bush was talking about doing something severe in Iraq when he was campaigning for the 2000 election, which you would know if you had been paying attention. Certainly, the Bush administration has used the flurry of support in the wake of 9/11 to get the Iraq plans on the table, but American support of Bush has gone down almost to pre-9/11 levels, which were pretty low.

    If you think that a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda is the only thing going on here, then logically, you should be campaigning for the U.N. to throw out the ceasefire and put up a permanent, unconditional peace agreement with Iraq. Sure, it would probably be vetoed by the U.S., but I haven't seen anybody willing to put their money where their mouth is and even advocate such a thing.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, there's a reason you aren't an oil tycoon. (5.00 / 1) (#351)
    by Noam Chompsky on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 03:23:43 AM EST

    The "oil" shibboleth is particularly vapid.

    Did you know Bush's oil company, Arbusto, never struck oil? It was dry and going broke before the Bahrain government intervened with an offshore drilling lease. Bahrain had previously being doing business with Amoco when, out of nowhere, it decided to give its business to an insignificant little company that just happened to be owned by the President's son. You underestimate the economic worth of friendly oil despots. No, it's not just about oil, but how much will you wager Bush's inner sanctum of oilmen or their intimates will not profit because of Saddam's dishonorable discharge?

    --
    Faster, liberalists, Parent ]

    Heh, yeah (none / 0) (#356)
    by epepke on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 04:35:18 AM EST

    No doubt. I've heard about Enron, too.

    But if it's about supposedly "oil" companies that really don't have anything to do with oil, by corporate jiggery-pokery, then people should say that.

    You underestimate the economic worth of friendly oil despots.

    And invading a potentially friendly oil despot, when it would be so much easier just to lower the sanctions, is supposed to help, just how?


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    You already answered that... (none / 0) (#392)
    by Kintanon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:13:08 PM EST

    You answered your own question a  couple of posts ago. We're in an economic downturn, the price of oil needs to go up for the oil companies to make more money, one quick and easy way for that to happen is for there to be less stability in the middle east. I noticed in the Southeast US recently that gas went up for $1.08 to $1.30 essentially overnight a few months ago and has been there ever since. You can't tell me that's not good for the oil companies.
    The oil companies want sanctions in the mid east, or they want control of the oil fields so that they can limit the supply. Whenever OPEC scales back production of oil a bunch of US oil magnates make another billion apiece.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Religion always beats science... (2.20 / 5) (#263)
    by eSolutions on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:40:40 AM EST

    ...since scientific method requires openness, peer review, and replicability. Religion only requires faith in other humans (agents!) to channel truth, or God's will, or "Clear." Religion will always have this brick in its boxing glove.

    These days, when they reveal something, you can guarantee it's been double-checked and they're taking big risks.

    Huh -- I always thought uncritical obedience was the True Path. So they'll lead our people to victory with fire from the sky? We'll be infallible under our UKUSA messiah, if only we believe in them with all our hearts?

    What's that, Father O'Colleen? Yes, I do have a real pretty mouth -- and of course I'll pray for you. *Mrpghghgagggaaargh.*

    ----
    Making periods more convenient -- one box at a time.
    --Tampax Commercial

    Sig rulz. (3.66 / 3) (#282)
    by StephenThompson on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 07:22:11 AM EST

    that is all

    [ Parent ]
    I am very disappointed (2.60 / 5) (#309)
    by adequate nathan on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:41:23 PM EST

    While I don't pretend to anything like your consummate mastery of Na-pentothal-induced free-association, I have at least managed to carve out my own little niche. As such, I feel entitled to ask you just what the blazing fuck you think you're doing squandering and diluting your brand identity like this. Sweet gibbering mother of Perl, man, I could find something better than this on slashdot in the wild.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    The Brand, She is Weak (2.33 / 3) (#311)
    by eSolutions on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:02:07 PM EST

    Shalom! Purity of Brand, like the Purity of Race your President Sharon is obsessed with, is something that cannot be pursued at the expense of all else. Mainly, when I saw this article, my testes clenched and floated like canned peaches, sending a jolt up my spine and into my gut, where the words of the post were formed.

    Look around you! Quality, here, withers and dies like a dreamy stripper. Purity of Essence won't bring Peace on Earth. This is why your Settlement is still peppered with Palestinian gunfire every night, despite the IDF's cleansing of elderly women and toddlers. So it is here, with the Troll Kabuki. Such is such.

    ----
    Making periods more convenient -- one box at a time.
    --Tampax Commercial
    [ Parent ]

    as a practicing Orthodox Christian (5.00 / 1) (#323)
    by adequate nathan on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:52:35 PM EST

    My sympathies lie with the Arab Christians, hated and persecuted by both sides (when not teaching at Columbia University.)

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    So why... (4.00 / 9) (#273)
    by ramdam on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:01:26 AM EST

    I agree with that scheme and "no comment" behavor looks obvious to me too but It raises one question.

    Why France and Germany are not backing up this operation ?

    They both have their own Intelligence Services, And they have particpated (at least France) to the first Gulf War.

    The risk for UKUSA to give the WMD evidence to FR/DE Intelligence is it as high than giving it to journalists ?

    AfterAll, UKUSA and France ar allies. And the policy of France is against proliferation of WMD (check out the reaction of France when North Korea has relaunched their Nuclear Race)

    My thoughs on that is that UKUSA have not given any evidence of WMD to France Intelligence. two possible reasons :
    1) The evidences don't exist
    2) They are real but UKUSA has decided to not pass the information to France

    In case of 2), I think it's a wrong (and surprising) move not to trust a key member of Security Council of UN that have helped during the first Gulf War.

    Maybe the truth is out there...

    Actually... (4.00 / 1) (#339)
    by Pyrion on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 09:06:55 PM EST

    They have their own interests in the region that they don't want screwed if and when the United States goes to war with Iraq. See, they still think this is about oil, so this isn't a "moral high ground" or any BS like that, just simple economics. They're going to do whatever they can (next to nothing, just like the UN is) to protect their own economic interests in the event that the United States goes to war.
    --
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]
    None (3.00 / 5) (#283)
    by izn on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 07:36:46 AM EST

    My opinion is that war against Iraq is a so important issue for everybody around the world and for Iraqui People as well. For that reason, UKUSA should have a full disclosure policy regarding the reason why they want to invade Iraq. WMA is just a pretex, everybody knows it. And for that matter, to know whether UKUSA has evidence of WMA in Iraq or not, whether Iraq __has__ WMA or not, who cares ?

    What's wrong with an anonimouse tip off? (3.00 / 5) (#284)
    by anonimouse on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 07:42:44 AM EST

    [ring][ring]
    Hi, Mr Blick,
       you don't know us, but if you happen to look in location X for WMD Y, I guarantee you'll find it and you can then go home while we invade Iraq and shoot Saddam and his friends.
    ~
    Sleepyhel:
    Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
    I have evidence (3.75 / 12) (#288)
    by mikelist on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 09:17:36 AM EST

    that you are a minority communist paedophile, with a propensity toward irrational religious, social, and political views. I won't share that evidence with anyone, but everyone should take my word that it exists. If that is in line with what you are trying to espouse here, then you are an idiot to boot. However I think it may just be a well designed troll.

    play with fire (4.28 / 7) (#289)
    by dorc on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 09:30:34 AM EST

    The shipping company is now know to have weak security on confidential information, or they work with intelligence agencies, meaning they are in extreme danger as is all their property within Baghdad and other ports in unfriendly nations

    It realy is a sad day when a company cannot knowingly aid in, and profit off of, the production of WMDs by a madman without any fear of repercussions.



    Huh ? (none / 0) (#360)
    by salsaman on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 08:27:40 AM EST

    But wouldn't all such shipments be recorded as part of the UN sanctions records anyway ? And what about Iraq's own report - didn't it supposedly list all the companies who supplied them ?

    [ Parent ]
    Is it just me ? (2.50 / 6) (#293)
    by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:31:44 AM EST

    Does anyone else think this article simply states the completely obvious ? Surely there weren't any k5 readers out there for whom this was new information???

    --
    "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

    Re: Is it just me? (3.00 / 2) (#295)
    by espresso_now on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:00:44 AM EST

    Sometimes, is it not so much a matter of already knowing the information, but putting two and two together to result in an interesting article?
    -- This will get attached to your comments. Sigs are typically used for quotations or links.
    [ Parent ]
    But what was the point? (3.00 / 2) (#300)
    by Phillip Asheo on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:17:11 PM EST

    It would be a more productive use of time for the reader to go away and read 'the art of war' and 'the prince'. And my real point is that k5 readers in particular are not stupid and would know all this already, therefore the article is not really interesting, its patronising and condescending.

    --
    "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 ]

    The Prince (4.00 / 3) (#306)
    by it certainly is on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 01:05:19 PM EST

    is required reading material at Adequacy, but not at k5. Therein lies your confusion.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    How is it obvious...? (5.00 / 2) (#316)
    by joto on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:56:06 PM EST

    Personally, I find it far from obvious that we should trust anything by anybody.

    Why would you tend to believe, say NSA, more than, say Saddam? Both have a political agenda, both have lied in the past. Neither of them are particulary trustworthy by any standard!

    Do I find it likely that a western democratic security agency would throw definite lies at it's own citizens? Not really, but with regards to the USA, they already have a long history of it. It would be pretty stupid to throw away that particular piece of history. Also, when anyone (even someone you trust) makes completely unsubstantiated claims, it usually pays off to be sceptical.

    Please tell me why it is suddenly obvious that we should put all our trust in anything the NSA says, despite all the evidence that says that they will only speak truthful when it benefits them or their cause (which would be most of the time, but not always).

    Personally, I find it just as likely that Iraq might just as well does not have weapons of mass destruction. There have been a war there recently, and they are probably more interested in rebuilding the country. They have been heavily monitored. Import and export has been severely restricted. There have been large economic sanctions. I don't really know the details, but I think few people do, and everybody else who is speaking about it is just talking out of their ass. A lot of factors that all go against the "common knowledge" that they have weapons of mass-destruction. Including the fact that none have been found.

    Now, if the unsubstantiated claims about weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq came at a time when the president could not get re-elected, and such a finding would not result in USA getting better political, economic, and military control of another countrys territory and resources, then I might be more inclined to believe it. As it is now, I find scepticism is pretty much a healthy trait.

    [ Parent ]

    Well... (5.00 / 3) (#343)
    by epepke on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:18:51 PM EST

    Considering that nearly all of the first-level responses are to the effect that this is totally ridiculous and wrong, I think the answer would have to be "no." It's not only non-obvious to most kuro5shin members, it's positively anathema.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    US have no choice but to invade Iraq and Saudi (3.35 / 17) (#294)
    by burbilog on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:59:39 AM EST

    It's just a matter of time.

    First, forget "human rights" crap. US never cared about them when they did not see political profit. Do you know that HALF OF MILLION Russians fled Chechnya when slavery regime was established (with the help of US)? No, it did not matter ANYTHING to US, because it was against main course. Actually, there was NO media coverage at all. Compare that with chechen refugees, feautred everywhere.

    So, look at the global picture, not persons in charge -- they mean little. And that global picture is daunting:

    1. Proven results of oil in the world are shrinking everywhere except in Iraq and Saudi, while oil companies spend more and more money to discover new fields. Some people argue that it was common to predict oil shortage since invention of automobile, but until now rate of finding new fields wasn't taken into account. And that rate is going up only in two places that are NOT under US control today. In 10 or 15 years these two countries will account for 50% of world oil resources.
    2. Humanity is going to switch from oil to something else. This WILL happen. Most probably it will be either global destruction of modern world and going back to horse and carriage (btw, horse is highly efficient vehicle) or switch to nuclear power, synthetic fuels and super low mileage cars (yes, they do exist in prototypes -- look at 1 liter VW), or both. Germans succesfully used synthetic fuel (made from coal) during WWII.
    3. During this transition world will experience serious disasters, economies will go down. But it's easier to survife for any country in Europe than in US. America equals car. You can't live in US without car, except few and crime ridden places. To survive US HAVE to control at least half of world oil production. Europe can develop public transportation due to compact habitable areas, US simply can't.
    So... in this light US politics during last decades is highly logical. It doesn't matter what monkey poses as president... small deviations from global direction do not matter.

    Gulf war was created and then interrupted on purpose. Let's remember that any land belong to the country if it can defend it. Before the Gulf war Kuwait had pro-american rulers, but did not belong to US. It was almost impossible to invade Kuwait, because there was NO REASON and world would not tolerate such behavior. It took a lot of efforts to provocate Kuwait and lure Iraq into that war, today everyone seems forgot that war started because Kuwait was draining neighbor Iraq fields... and now, today Kuwait is full of stationed US troops. Note that before the war you could not do much to change their behavior, now you can give orders and have full control in two hours. Today Kuwait belong to US, being a colony. Period.

    And everything happened with UN approval. It was impossible to install US troops in Iraq during that war, world would not approve that. US could not go that far during that time. That's why Gulf war was abruptly stopped -- US needed baddy there, but his time did not come yet. Also it allowed them to settle in Kuwait.

    Then came Afghanistan. UN got used that US is driving its soldiers across the planet as they wish. Also they got some very nice bases in close proximity to Russia.

    Now US are ready to invade Iraq no matter what UN thinks. Why? Because their time is running out. If current situation calms down they won't have another chance to invade them and they won't have time to break them with cold war. Most probably Iraq will be split and oily parts will belong to US as Kuwait does now -- there is no need to spend lives and money fighting rebels, better drive them to the part of the land without oil and leave alone.

    US is the only country that profited from September 11. While people tend to blame terroris, ask the question -- who got the main profit in the field of politics?.. remember that most of september terrorists were Saudi?.. Look, these deaths is just a drop of water in the sea compared with US destruction... Still, you need some heavy propaganda, but some years ago it was impossible to imagine US invading them and now it's possible. Tomorrow it WILL happen.

    So, US are going to invade Iraq. They have no choice. Actually, they have another choice -- build nuclear plants everywhere, force population into bubble cars of 1950s and public transportation... they could support such fuel consumption with their own resources. But people who used to live in super luxury conditions compared even with developed countries will revolt I guess...

    The only right in the world is the right of the force.

    -- If the life is just a game of D&D then the DM really sucks.

    sans automobile (none / 0) (#348)
    by kpaul on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 12:22:43 AM EST

    [You can't live in US without car, except few and crime ridden places.]

    Not to brag (it was difficult), but I went six years without driving an automobile. Toughies are groceries and laundry, but you can somewhat account for that by planning where you live (i.e. within walking distance to most necessary locations...) And the neighborhood was near a campus so the crime wasn't too bad.

    You make some valid points, though. Thanks for sharing.


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Times change (none / 0) (#387)
    by Cro Magnon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:59:35 AM EST

    I went a long time without a car too, but I don't think I could do it now. The grocery store that used to be 5 blocks from my house went out of business; now the nearest one is nearly a mile away. Also, my job moved to where public transportation would be much worse than it used to be (and it was a PITA before).
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Two more reasons (3.00 / 4) (#297)
    by lateral on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 11:34:04 AM EST

    There are at least two other reasons why the UKUSA might not release sensitive information on WMD.

    Safety of armed forces

    In the first few hours of an attack by UKUSA Iraq's WMD would be one of the primary targets. If Saddam successfully deploys his WMD he might be able to bring Israel into the war and could cause serious casualties - both are 'nightmare' scenarios for UKUSA. The most effective way to disable the most numbers of WMD is to go after all of them, at the same time. Going after them piecemeal with inspectors allows Saddam to react or even attack first.

    Incomplete Intelligence

    There seems to be a general assumption that the UKUSA could tell the inspectors exactly where to find the WMD if they so wished. I think it's highly unlikely that they have a complete picture. It's quite possible that they have enough intelligence to know that Saddam has been aquiring the things he needs for a post 1998 weapons programme but they don't know where it's being put together. Getting the full picture on three unrelated weapons programmes is going to be *really* difficult.



    Where is Israel in your reasoning? (2.75 / 5) (#301)
    by f0rTyLeGz on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:17:56 PM EST

    One problem that I see with your reasoning Wiggy is this: if the UKUSA desire to attack Iraq really means, that Iraq has WMD, then Israel would have demolished them back when that news first started circulating around the various agencies.



    What this all boils down to... (4.00 / 13) (#304)
    by jd on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 12:38:57 PM EST

    ...is that Governments, despite 10,000 years of evidence to the contrary, still believe in security through obscurity.

    It has never worked, it will probably never work, and all it does is increase the vulnerability of the US and UK to attack.

    How? For several reasons. First, you have the "Cry Wolf" syndrome. If you cry wolf often enough, and nobody sees one, then they're going to start ignoring you. Being ignored, when there really IS a wolf, is a really, really Bad Idea.

    Second, Iraq (and any other nation) operates on the assumption that they're being spied on. You'd be stupid not to. For that reason, letting another country know that you know X, Y and Z is really not telling them anything they don't already believe, anyway.

    Third, the US and UK really won't have that many intelligence "sources" to protect. The US and UK have listening posts for a reason, and it's not to monitor the BBC's World Service. They also use aircraft. Remember the incident in China, involving a US spyplane? You seriously think that letting a Government know that you know what a radio does is going to put people at risk?

    Last, but by no means least, if the US and UK actually had the intelligence they claimed, they wouldn't be making press statements; they'd be too busy organizing some black ops. (If a weapons site that doesn't exist and shouldn't exist suddenly stops existing, it's kinda hard for that country to protest. That's precicely the sort of commando raid that the SAS and similar organizations were created for.)

    Disinformation, as a means of controlling a population, is common practice. It's certainly been used by both the US and UK in the past, and there is no reason to assume that the current governments would have cold feet over using such tactics again.

    We already know that the US has been active, in the past few years, in researching uses of disinformation to manipulate the media and population. The public effort was scuppered, but it would be a brave (and foolhardy) soul who assumed that that also scuppered all secret efforts.

    I'm not saying Iraq isn't in violation, or that they don't have banned weapons. What I am saying is that healthy skepticism is required, together with an understanding of the tools that Governments have available.

    If a tool is not being used when it could (and logically should), or is being used when there is no obvious reason, then it seems reasonable to assume that those in a position of authority believe something radically different from what they are saying. To apply Occam's Razor, one must work on the basis that the simplest explanation is that the tools used reflects the real understanding, whether that mirrors what is said or not.

    Sadly, skepticism seems to be put on hold, and President Bush/Prime Minister Blair are held up as Divine Gods Who Can Do No Wrong and who Know The One True Path. Even by Christians, for whom worshipping other people is a definite no-no.

    I don't know if a war is right, wrong or indifferent. I don't know whether there are banned munitions or not. And, frankly, I don't care. What I care about is that neither the US nor the UK are Theocracies, ruled by God Kings, although you'd never know it by listening to the media.

    To sum all this up, the US and UK should listen to the advice that has held true through the millenia. Sun Tzu passionately argued that political leaders have no place in a sane military. The founders of the SAS argued the same thing. A politicized military is doomed to stupidity and eventual collapse. Gibb's "Decline And Fall" documents, in considerable detail, exactly how and why, in a superb case study.

    Second, manipulation of populations has a very nasty habit of backfiring. Again, we've thousands of years of documented case studies on this. We really don't need to add any more to the list. The belief in the "inherent superiority" of certain nations and races, for example, has often been used to coerce one group into subservience, for the benefit of another. When the lie is exposed, the reaction has usually been catastrophic to both groups.

    What am I saying? That governments shouldn't lie? And shouldn't wage wars for political gain? Yes. The long-term costs have, historically, always outweighed the gains. That's why we're in this mess.

    (The Afghans were mostly armed by the US, during the Cold War, and then paid to beat up the Russians. Those weapons and training are now being used against the US. If the US had never shipped them anti-aircraft missiles, we wouldn't NEED to be protecting our aircraft against them now! It is this kind of short-term thinking that created September 11th.)

    Assuming all this is true, and that the premise of this argument is solid, what do I suggest? I suggest that we should expect the Kurds and the Iraqi opposition to be a threat, within the next decade. I suggest that we should be a bit more careful in who we vote for - not just looking to next week's bribe^H^H^H^H^Htax cut.

    As for what we do about the current situation - really, there's nothing we can do. It got out of hand a long time ago. Ride the storm as best you can, try to get a bit better weatherproofing for the next one, and try not to create the one after that.

    This is the part that people really should try to get to grips with. These international crises aren't "spontaneous", and aren't inevitable. We feed them and protect them, so that they can grow into Big Unhealthy Disasters. Once they do grow up, they're outside of our control. We're far better off to let go, because we're just wasting our time otherwise. The issue is why we're feeding them in the first place. Are two, maybe three, wars really worth a few hundred dollars in rax rebate? Are people really that cheap?

    Commando raids (none / 0) (#315)
    by Eater on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 03:28:07 PM EST

    Why the hell would the US or UK organize commando raids on known weapons sites instead of making a press release or sending the info to the inspectors? They're not after destroying weapons, they're after starting a war. Bush practically SAID that himself on multiple occasions. There are dozens of theories as to why they are actually doing this, but I don't think a great many people actually believe that it's mainly because of the weapons.

    Eater

    [ Parent ]
    Afghanistan (none / 0) (#331)
    by mmsmatt on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:14:29 PM EST

    (The Afghans were mostly armed by the US, during the Cold War, and then paid to beat up the Russians. Those weapons and training are now being used against the US. If the US had never shipped them anti-aircraft missiles, we wouldn't NEED to be protecting our aircraft against them now! It is this kind of short-term thinking that created September 11th.)

    The United States armed Afghan mujahadeen to deter Soviet aggression. But hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?

    [ Parent ]

    Great points, but... (4.14 / 7) (#314)
    by pla on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 02:55:24 PM EST

    But you overlook two really rather important ideas...

    First, all the methods you describe (shipping records, satellite imaging, etc) count as "common knowledge". Yeah, we have a million and one ways of knowing fact X, but the "enemy" already knows about all those methods, and has no way of knowing which holds true. We would only need to use enough caution, if we had a *new* way of gathering data, to make it plausible we used an already-known means of spying. Unless Saddam has his WMD building facilities hidden in the core of the Earth, or in some sort of pocket universe he's created (either of which I would consider more interesting than him having WMDs <G>), we have plenty of already-known means of noticing Iraq's activities. Plausible deniability.

    Second, and more important, if we do not make some USE of the knowledge gained by our intelligence agencies, why do we have them in the first place? This seems like one hell of a catch-22... Use the info we get, and possibly lose the means we used to get it; or, don't use what info we get, making it effectively no better than not having it. You could argue that this makes a good analog to the whole US/USSR cold war, where stockpiling weapons actually helped *prevent* all out war, but "intelligence" doesn't carry the same weight as "nuke pointed at my capitol". With either, one's opponent may tell the truth, or may bluff. If they bluff, you lose nothing, and if they tell the truth, you still lose nothing. Only by acting on the truth of such information does one side gain anything.

    Either way, this seems to boil down to the same conclusion - Use what information we have gathered. That would compromise future efforts? GOOD! Guess what - You have written this as a scenario of us-vs-them. Our governments (theoretically) work FOR US. Why do I have a problem with lack of full disclosure to the public? Because we paid for it, they did it on our behalf, and it damned well better benefit us, or just get rid of it now. When our governments get down to the business of keeping things *IN* their respective countries running smoothly (which does not include "monitor everyone and everything for the slightest transgression of an arbitrary and irrelevant set of laws), rather than playing poker with human lives as the chips, we'll all do a hell of a lot better for it.


    why won't they? (4.00 / 5) (#319)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:09:05 PM EST

    for a simple reason:

    Saddam has moles in the Inspection department of the  UN and unless the US or the UK tell Blix himself and Blix makes a change of plans mid drive so no one in his team or back at the UN offices know where he is headed and why, Saddam will find out that they know and will move the weapons.

    Saddam's moles = Western press (none / 0) (#330)
    by mmsmatt on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:04:37 PM EST

    I think the best intelligence source Iraq has is CNN (s/CNN/Foxnews/ if it makes you feel better). With dozens of cameras following UN personell around his country, Hussein doesn't have much need for moles.

    Five minutes after Blix turns the caravan around to inspect Chemical Plant B instead of the scheduled Nuclear Site A, we'll see correspondents relaying this vital intelligence information over videophone to the American people. And maybe, just maybe, a few CNN fans in Baghdad will tune in.

    [ Parent ]

    well I had heard (none / 0) (#341)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 10:25:21 PM EST

    from former feild agents on Fox that he did have moles in the UN inspection office. I would not put it passed him...his intelegence service is very good acording to reports.

    [ Parent ]
    Not convincing (3.50 / 6) (#325)
    by Shimmer on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 04:59:49 PM EST

    What this boils down to is the claim that the UK/USA must withhold information in order to protect its sources.

    Protect its sources from what?  From harm, of course.

    But if a war starts, the UK/USA must either a) allow those sources to be harmed during the fighting, or b) remove them from Iraq beforehand.  Note that, in either case, there is no longer a need to withhold information.

    So, if a war is going to start, I expect the UK/USA to make a full disclosure shortly beforehand.  If they do not, I (and you) will have every reason to believe that they have no hard evidence.

    -- Brian

    Wizard needs food badly.

    huh? (none / 0) (#327)
    by jjayson on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 05:33:26 PM EST

    There are many examples of how you are wrong, but I'll stick to just two.

    • If the information comes from a mole and was starts that mole would still be useful.
    • If the infomation includes targets that we would like to attack, it would allow Iraq times to set up its human shields of civilians.
    • You're a smart person and can think of more.

    _______
    Smile =)
    * bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
    <bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

    [ Parent ]
    I'm not as smart as you think I am (none / 0) (#334)
    by Shimmer on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:38:35 PM EST

    I know that "conventional wisdom" is on your side, but I don't see it.  For example:

    If the information comes from a mole and war starts that mole would still be useful.

    If it's a short war, the "mole" will not be so useful because there will soon be US flags flying over all the presidential compounds.  On the other hand, if there's a long war, the mole's life is in danger and he/she will want to get out.  Either way, the usefulness of a mole in this situation is measured in days/weeks at most.  This is vastly outweighed by the usefulness of revealing the mole's secret evidence.

    If the infomation includes targets that we would like to attack, it would allow Iraq times to set up its human shields of civilians.

    So what?  We're planning on overrunning the entire country this time.  "Human shields" are mostly useful against long-range bombing like in the previous war.  If Hussein sends human shields around a target, we just work around them and wait until Hussein is no longer a factor -- then we send the human shields home.

    Any other examples you'd like to discuss?

    -- Brian

    Wizard needs food badly.
    [ Parent ]

    Trust them? (3.77 / 9) (#333)
    by shovelknife on Sat Jan 25, 2003 at 06:26:08 PM EST

    "I suppose what I'm trying to say, is that there comes a point when if the CIA, NSA, MI6, GCHQ, whoever, say that there is hard evidence of WMD in Iraq you're just going to have to trust them."
    Hmm... trust a government that doesn't tell what it knows to its own people, wiretaps and monitors everything that goes on in and out of its borders, and makes fatal errors daily... I see what you're saying, but no. If we trust them in their silence, our enemies will know less, but it will be that much easier for some suit on Capitol Hill to bomb the crap out of a country we've never heard of to check another item off of his or her personal agenda.

    I have here in my hand... (4.50 / 8) (#346)
    by grouse on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 12:01:14 AM EST

    "...a list of 205, a list of names made known to the secretary of state as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department." -- Sen. Joe McCarty, 9 February 1950

    This article provides many reasons why the government is reluctant to provide intelligence information. Fair enough. It admits that it provides no reasons why I should trust the Bush administration on this matter. This administration has at best misled the American people about several aspects of domestic policy (e.g. who gets the benefits of their tax cuts, the nature of the University of Michigan's affirmative action policy). They seek to confuse us on their foreign policy by trying to fit Iraq into the "war on terrorism" pigeonhole, when they do not even claim that Saddam has anything to do with terrorism. They have lost much of their credibility with me. But to be fair, our leaders have been misleading us for a long time. So if they say they have in their hand a list of sites where Iraq develops weapons of mass destruction, I'd like to see it verified by someone else before I acquiesce to Americans dying in the next gulf war.

    You sad bastard!

    "Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs

    credibility? (5.00 / 1) (#395)
    by dirtmerchant on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:27:05 PM EST

    I'm curious what they did to earn credibility in the first place?
    -- "The universe not only may be queerer than we think, but queerer than we can think" - JBS Haldane
    [ Parent ]
    remember gulf war 1? (4.71 / 7) (#352)
    by miguel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 03:59:59 AM EST

    babies being pulled from incubators!

    I want you to be free

    Looks like CSM got it wrong this time (none / 0) (#414)
    by Vygramul on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 04:47:05 PM EST

    Robert Wiener's book on his experience in Iraq as a CNN producer discusses the incubator incident. The CNN crew actually WENT to Kuwait, taken by Iraqi officials to debunk the babies-taken-out-of-incubators story. The interview was cancelled after mere moments and the entire crew were escorted out.

    Word got out that they had investigated and had said no evidence was found, but that report happened before they even got back from Kuwait, and Wiener insisted that they had come to no such conclusion, nor that they had filed any story. He accused Iraq of manipulating them.

    Now, I don't know if the story is true or not. But I do know that Christian Science Monitor's claim that no news organization tried to check out the story is false if one is to believe Robert Wiener.


    If Brute Force isn't working, you're not using enough.
    [ Parent ]

    Wrong way round (3.50 / 4) (#361)
    by salsaman on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 08:30:49 AM EST

    You are assuming that Iraq does have nukes, and are then wondering why hard evidence is not being released. However, in the civilised world, we assume innocence until proven guilty.

    Thus, we should all assume that Iraq does not have nukes until proven otherwise.

    Read Blix's statements ad 1441. (4.00 / 1) (#368)
    by sonovel on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 01:42:44 PM EST

    Iraq had weapons and weapons programs. They need to show evidence of disarmament, or need to admit to and dismantle ongoing programs.

    This isn't about criminal law. This is about what happens when you lose a war. They agreed to a ceasefire with certain terms. They violated these terms almost from day one.

    Certainly Blix totally disagrees with you and certainly 1441 contradicts your statements. Read 1441 and Blix's comments to the U.N.!

    [ Parent ]

    I just find this funny.... (3.50 / 4) (#362)
    by pere on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 10:19:15 AM EST

    I cant understand why anybody would take something like this seriously. There could be a point if the UKUSA did NOT say they had hard evidence of WMD. This way they could fool Iraq (if such weapons existed), and maybe destroy everything in a surprise attack. This could protect the sources of the information. To just say that you have the evidence, and not telling the coordianates is just stupid. Lets just face it, UKUSA does not have such evidence. The interesting question is whether it is likely that Iraq has WMD. If we belive Bush when he says Saddam is the most evil person living , is it likely that this evil person would like to have WMD? Imagine you are Saddam. Lets also say that you had large quatities of chemical weapons in 1990, and the means to get a one or two small nukes. Then he choose not to use them in 1990. Why? He had the opportunity to use it against foreign troops in Iraq, but he knew that would destroy any sympathy he had from the rest of the world. Does he have any more reason to use chemical weapons now? Lets look at the polls: In 1990 about 75% of the europeans supported the war agains Iraq. Those who were against it, were mainly people that would not support any war. Today 5-10 percent of the europeans support a UKUSA-attack on Iraq, and it is getting lower every day. The numbers from Asia and Africa is even lower. Saddam is not stupid. (He might be a lot of other tings, but he is not stupid). He knows that getting rid of any traces of biochemical weapons is the best strategic move he can do. As long as he cant get into a position were he can threathen to use biochemical weapons (and thus avoiding an attack), he does not have any use for them. He will never get into a situation where he can use them. Anyone - even me knowing very little about military weapon systems - can see that anti-aircraft-systems is a lot smarter military investment for Iraq (and maybe some sniper rifles , cluster bombs and mines for a fight in and around Bagdad). Right now US is loosing the PR war. To everyone, except a few loyal american republicans, Bush looks like a ten year old kid 2 minutes before the match is over, saying "I know you are cheating, but I wont give you the evidence".

    india example (2.00 / 2) (#367)
    by minus273 on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 01:21:39 PM EST

    when india tested nukes, they go away with it without th eUS knowing becaue 2 years earlier Clinton had shown then satellite images of the facilities before another nuke test. The indian's calcualted the times the satellites would come over and hid the facilities and wire at the right times.

    Er, Wrong (none / 0) (#430)
    by Amesha Spentas on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 04:49:34 PM EST

    Actually the seismic events that occurred during the underground nuclear tests is what confirmed that both India and Pakistan had nuclear weapons. Before that there was strong support but no one knew if India and Pakistan had functioning nuclear weapons.

    Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
    [ Parent ]

    i know (none / 0) (#450)
    by minus273 on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 06:26:11 PM EST

    im talking about 2 years earlier when clinton confronted rao with pictures.

    [ Parent ]
    Its all M.A.D. baby (2.33 / 3) (#369)
    by darndog on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 02:32:25 PM EST

    Its all M.A.D. baby Saddam wants to stay President, he's never going to get voted out of power, The only thing that could depose him is an internal coop, or another country invading. And of all the bastard luck, his one time friends the Yank's took offence to the small land-grab in Kuwait and have been gunning for him ever since kicking him out.

    Saddam knows that the US never left, and that its only a matter of time before they finish the job, he also know that he cant fight them with conventional weapons, to hold them back he's going to need some big leverage, and the only thing that could keep the Yanks out (and him in power) is Mutually Assured Destruction.

    So Saddam needs WMD's, and he needs a delivery vehicle capable of hitting the USA, because hitting local US troops while its business as usual in the states will only anger the yanks & speed up his eventual defeat. If you are going to hit another country then you can only use ICBM's or People, and ICBM's are too expensive, technically difficult to manufacture, cannot be tested and make it blindingly obvious who fired them off, inviting a massive response. People on the other hand are dirt cheap and can be 3rd parties, leaving a tenuous trail of evidence back to you.

    Step in Osama & his terrorist network, delivery solved. Now he needs WMD's, first choice has to be Chemical, its relatively cheap, and given the delivery method (people) can even be assembled at the Target country from locally available materials.

    Second would be Nuclear, Far more expensive, uses very difficult to obtain materials, but without having to worry about building rockets the whole device can be tested (with dummy nuclear material) without anyone knowing, can be made small enough to transport, and has a massive fear factor for your enemy wondering which city will be wiped off the map, this is traditional MAD, and at the moment I'm guessing that Saddam hasn't got it.

    Biological's not so good, because while cost effective, the effects cannot be contained at the target and could easily spread back to you, also this could potentially lead to an inconceivably massive retaliation directed toward just about every country that ever stuck its fingers up at the yanks, and you would be top of the list. That hardly means that Saddam doesn't have any though as this is big time MAD.

    So its all going sweet, Osama's networks setting up cells around the western world, and they are using the training and money Saddam supplied to produce the Chemical WMD's on site so to speak, And then that Fucking idiot Osama pulls a Pearl Harbour on the yanks for nothing more than an ego boost, alerts them to your delivery network, and the whole game changes.

    Shortly the US knows all about the WMD's and Saddam's MAD plan, but its even worse because Osama has proved that the Delivery System is quite capable of using the weapons without Saddam's say so. The Yanks cant direct the UN inspectors to the WMD's because they are not in Iraq, They are in various stages of manufacture inside the US, UK and a number of other western countries, and they are never going to reveal the whole picture, because that would create nearly as much panic and economic disruption as if the WMD's were actually used.

    The only thing they can do at this point is invade Iraq, They have to regard Iraq as being the source of the technical help and finance behind these WMD's, but no longer in control of their use, the supply has to be cut immediately, while Intelligence agencies go on a no holds barred hunt for any WMD's that are ready for deployment and the delivery system (Al Quada).

    Saddam knows the jigs up, and he's giving chemical weapons to his troops because he has nothing left to lose, Its only a matter of days before the yanks start bombing, the only reason they will delay longer is to give their IA's more time to mop up and to build up so much force that they can hopefully destroy Iraq before Saddam presses his (now flaky) button.

    So stay out of the big cities, watch dumbfounded as it all plays out, and hope we are around in 50 years for the movie that explains all the details.

    Proof.. (none / 0) (#385)
    by Argon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 10:52:28 AM EST

    Where did you get the idea that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are in the destruction business together?

    Where is the proof? How can you say something like that when there is a single proof?

    They are both Muslims and that is enough? Is that what you are implying?

    Come on... be serious.


    [ Parent ]

    Osama & Saddam (none / 0) (#429)
    by darndog on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 02:03:10 PM EST

    Its an assumption, like everything else posted here, I based it on them both having been previously backed (trained & supported) by the US, Then both being dumped by the US, Both having publically stated their hatred of the US, both being in severe mortal danger from the US and each being in the unique position to work together to actually hurt the US (Osama's network & Saddams Resources).

    Frankly they would be total idiots if they were not in colaboration. Religion is the biggest red herring in this conflict, this is all about power UK & USA included.

    [ Parent ]

    Osama & Sadam (none / 0) (#437)
    by Argon on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 04:53:01 AM EST

    I agree, it makes perfect sense for Osama to join forces with Sadam, after all An enemy of my enemy should be an ally.

    However, we cannot assume that this is the case. Specially if we use that to justify declaring war on a sovereign nation. It's the same on a court of law, it may make sense to assume something, but if there is no proof there will not be a punishment.
    Why can't we apply the principles of one man to one nation? We don't condemn one man without proof, why should we condemn a nation?
    By the way, why should we force Iraq to prove it's innocence? Shouldn't the burden of proof be on the accusers? It's always more difficult to prove a denial.

    I think the world agrees that Saddam Husseim is a pain, and that his regime is not very healthy for it's own people. But that is not at question. It's their regime, their leader. The UKUSA doesn't have the right to disapprove others peoples leaders or regimes.
    Our Freedom ends where other peoples Freedom start. Nothing is more true... and more annoying :)

    [ Parent ]

    Evidence as requested (none / 0) (#440)
    by darndog on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 02:17:15 PM EST

    Seems like bush is pushing my scenario, News reports today that he will be releasing (or fabricating) evidence that Saddam has dealt with Osama as a chemical weapons delivery system. I totally agree with you that the burden of proof should always be on the accuser, and hopefully we will see some sort of evidence, opinion poll pressure will force the Bush to show something soon anyway.

    The problem we face in the 21st century though is that exponential technological progress gives disaffected groups or citizens access to ever greater destructive capabilities, even without NBC weapons the carnage that could be caused with available technology is staggering, relations between the western culture and the rest of the world are falling apart. It would be nice to believe that the corporations and governments will develop morals and resolve the situation peacefully but in the real world unthinkable things are going to happen with ever greater frequency while endless wars wage in devastated lands

    If this planet was a city I would pack up & move out. darndog

    [ Parent ]

    A Nation's rights (4.50 / 4) (#372)
    by adiffer on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 06:42:26 PM EST

    Here is a question to ponder in our current situation between the US and Iraq.

    Does the accused Nation have the right to confront its accuser and have the alleged evidence of its wrong-doing laid bare before a jury of its peers before judgement is passed by an accuser?

    What does the UN Charter and its related amendments say on this issue?

    -Dream Big.
    --Grow Up.

    but it's the UN (4.90 / 11) (#373)
    by ryochiji on Sun Jan 26, 2003 at 10:22:15 PM EST

    If the government wants to withhold information from the general public, that's one thing. But if they withhold information from the UN, that's another matter. The UN is an organization that oversees international matters, and in cases of conflict, act sort of like a court. Making unilateral decisions without the UN's authorization is like executing a prisoner without trial...and saying "we couldn't show the judge the secret evidence we had." It's simply not the way a country with a civilized legal system should operate.

    ---
    IlohaMail: Webmail that works.
    Er, no (none / 0) (#419)
    by BCoates on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 08:38:42 PM EST

    The UN doesn't oversee anything, it's not a court and it's not a world government.

    [ Parent ]
    What are you talking about?? (none / 0) (#439)
    by zenetik on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 11:22:55 AM EST

    Your statement implies that nations of the world are subject to the United Nation, or at least should be. The United Nations is anything but united and it is often a great platform for enemy countries, with little power elsewhere, to take shots at each other. It's also a great way for gathering cheap intelligence by trying to force powerful nations to give up their secrets using the same logic you just used. Sorry, but a lot of hostile nations have representatives in the UN.

    [ Parent ]
    i'm orry, but this is horrible propoganda (4.00 / 1) (#375)
    by tweetsygalore on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 12:41:08 AM EST


    there are better ways, i think, to advance, advocate and protect the need for national security than a material, to me, that whimpers and basically rolls over and plays dead in the end.  

    in other word, it lacks backbone.  it comes across like it "opposes" a lot of what the government does but ultimately placates, concedes and acquiesces in the end.  the thinking audience is insulted.  
    After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan

    Thank you, K5 (1.60 / 5) (#376)
    by Fantastic Lad on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 05:00:51 AM EST

    After reading through the outpouring of responses, I realize again why I like coming here. I couldn't have slammed this poster any more thoroughly myself, and boy, I was grinding my teeth while reading through his armchair logic, with unbidden strains of Dennis Leary's 'Asshole' song rising up to torment my brain in time with his bulleted nonsense.

    To be fair, though, he seems more misdirected than stupid. It's a full time job to avoid Misdirection while living in the great You-Ess-of-Eh. So peace to you brother, and don't sweat it. One of the prime glories of the web is that it kicks our asses when we post crap. . . A great way to learn! (I ought to know.)

    And now, (because I had to go Googling for the damned reference), I offer you all. . .

    The Asshole Song

    Folks, I's like to sing a song about the American dream. About me. About you. About the way our American hearts beat way down in the bottom of our chests. About the special feeling we get in the cockles of our hearts-maybe below the cockles-maybe in the sub-cockle area. Maybe in the liver. Maybe in the kidneys. Maybe even in the colon, we dont know.

    (singing)

    I'm just a regular Joe with a regular job
    I'm your average white suburbanite slob
    I like football and porno and books about war
    I've got an average house with a nice hardwood floor
    My wife and my job
    My kids and my car
    My feet on my table
    And a cuban cigar

    But sometimes that just ain't enough
    To keep a man like me interested
    (oh no) Uh-uh (no way)
    No, I've gotta go out and have fun
    At someone else's expense
    (Oh yeah)
    Yeah yeah
    (Yeah yeah)
    Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
    I drive really slow in the ultra fast lane,
    While people behind me are going insane

    I'm an asshole
    (He's an asshole)
    I'm an asshole
    (He's an asshole, such an asshole)

    I use public toilets
    and I piss on the seat
    I walk around in the summertime
    Sayin', "How 'bout this heat?"

    I'm an asshole
    (He's an asshole)
    I'm asshole
    (He's the world's biggest asshole)

    Sometimes I park in the handicapped spaces,
    While handicapped people
    Make handicapped faces

    I'm an asshole
    (He's an asshole)
    I'm asshole
    (He's a real fucking asshole)

    Maybe I shouldn't be singing this song
    Rainting and raving and carrying on
    Maybe they're right when they tell me I'm
    Wrong......

    Nah!!

    I'm an asshole
    (He's an asshole)
    I'm asshole
    (He's the world's biggest asshole)

    (Screaming, now, the ultimate ugly American)

    You know what I'm going do? I'm gonna get myself a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado convertable - hot pink with whaleskin hubcaps and all-leather interior and big brown baby seal eyes for the headlights. I'm gonna drive around in that baby at 115mph, getting one mile per gallon, sucking down Quarter Pounder cheeseburgers from McDonald's in the old-fashioned nonbiodegradable containers. When I'm done suckin' down those greaseball burgers, I'm gonna toss the Styrofoam container right out the side and there ain't a goddamned thing anybody can do about it. You know why? Because we got the bombs, that's why. Two words, "Nuclear fuckin Weapons," okay? Russia, Czechslovakia, Romania - they can have all the democracy they want, have a big democracy cakewalk through the middle of Tianamen Square and it won't make a lick of difference because we've got the bombs, okay?!

    John Wayne's not dead - he's frozen. And as soon as we find a cure for cancer we're gonna thaw out the Duke and he's gonna be pretty pissed off. You know why? Have you ever taken a cold shower? Well multiply that by 15,000,000 times - thats how pissed off the Duke's gonna be. I'm gonna get the Duke and John Cassavetes and Lee Marvin and Sam Peckinpah and a case of whisky and drive down to Texas...

    (Hey)
    and have a humongous barbecure-
    (Hey)
    we're gonna go to LBJ's ranch and start a bonfire
    (Hey!)
    and throw deer and rabbits and cats and old people, and-
    (HEY!)
    slow drivers and MIckey Rourke and - (HEY)
    (You know something? You really are an asshole)
    Shut up and sing the song

    (He's an asshole)
    You empty little simp. I thought I was the asshole-
    (He's a real fucking asshole)
    And it was him the whole time
    (He's an asshole
    (He's the world's biggest asshole)
    A-S-S-H-O-L-E
    (everybody!)
    A-S-S-H-O-L-E
    (barking),br> Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf
    (snapping) Chimg fump ching puh fluh cluh bing Ooh ooh ooh ooh
    I'm an asshole and I'm proud of it.

    You're welcome.

    -Fantastic Lad

    Hey there (none / 0) (#396)
    by phlux on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:29:05 PM EST

    Hey fantastic lad - I enjoy reading your posts up here and want to ask you a favor - i would like it if you could post some links to some things. Specifically one comment you posted i really enjoyed and would like more reading material on it: Having to do (indirectly or otehrwise) with the 2012 cycle change etc.. that you talked about (kinda) - but I would like to read more (either from you or other sources) about what you think is going on in this orld with the powers that be, the times-a-changing, and reality in general... thanks

    [ Parent ]
    Here you go. . . (none / 0) (#420)
    by Fantastic Lad on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:52:09 PM EST

    Well first off, thanks for the thanks. It's nice when I am appreciated for having such a big mouth. You'd be surprised at how few do! Luckily, (or disastrously), I seem to enjoy the sound of my own voice far too much to shut up.

    That being said. . .

    The first and best tool for accumulating information is and always must be YOU. The books you find when you seek openly, the webpages you settle upon through curiosity, the course you follow when you manage to set aside obsession and bias and the kind of reality you wish would exist, (usually those requiring the least amount of change on your part). . . When you decide to take what comes, not get attached to any of it, (which allows you to quickly burn away the lies, of which there are SO many!), to not lie to yourself ever and get over the bruises to your ego which will come every time you make a mistake, as you will. . .

    Well, then you can't possibly go wrong.

    If things go well, a powerful teacher or two may pop up in your life. --If, that is, you are at a point where you won't lose your cool if/when it happens, and won't screw it up with pettiness, jealousy and closed-mindedness. (Which is actually quite common; good teachers have their act SO together and their Karma charged so highly that luck and fortune literally radiate from them. While the rest of us poor shmucks have to grind our way through the most menial daily nonsense, a master walks on water. Don't sweat this. It's important to remember that to have become a teacher, endless miles of work and suffering had to be endured on their parts.)

    In any case and for right now. . .

    Some of my favorite mundane sources of info have been, (and these may hold little or no interest for you; everybody's path is by necessity, different); Carlos Castaneda's early works, Dan Millman, A group called, 'The Evergreens' (Though, I'm still not 100% sure about them; they never touch on certain subjects, which may actually be a wise thing considering the level from which they work, but it still makes me wonder. Similar messages have been sown to mislead, but so far they haven't said anything which really sounds any warning bells. My Jury is still out on them.)

    And then there's Laura Knight. --She one of the most current and prolific. I don't always agree with her approach and her interpretations, but there is absolutely no denying her energy, intellect and investigative skills. Plus her source is one of the more fascinating I've come across; an etheric group calling themselves the 'Cassiopeans'. Her website is extensive; literally thousands of pages. An interesting page to start with among the jungle which is Laura Knight, is here.

    That's a general sampling. There is a great deal more, but that's more than enough for one plateful. Enjoy.

    -Fantastic Lad

    [ Parent ]

    Thanks (none / 0) (#427)
    by phlux on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 01:13:30 PM EST

    Thanks. I have read all of Dan Millmans books, most of Carlos - but never heard of Laura Knight... However my primary focus over the last several years has been martial arts - so I havent been paying as much attention to authors as I once was.

    I am particularly interested in what you believe is going on with the change between now and 2012....

    I think that we have a similar understanding - and I like your articulate ability to express your thoughts about the current state of affairs.

    I would like some more consistant information rather than having to read through all of your postings to only get a reactionary thought flow from you....

    maybe you have more concise thoughts written up somewhere - as opposed to the birdwalk of response to individuals questions/statements?

    Did you read anything by Baird T Spalding? Just curious on your interpretation... What about Jose Arguelles - The Mayan Factor. Or the Four agreements & Mastery of Love?

    An interesting statement that you made in one of your K5 posts had to do with the 60 htz frequency - and I was wondering if that would have any relation to the fact that many monitors work on a 60 htz refresh? Also of interest to me was the talk about the "standing wave" as it were - of human thought with regards to the "intensity of shared reality" within the ranges of major cities. Personally I find that I have definitely felt a sort of energy pressure after having moved closer to a very large city - and find that it is much more difficult to meditate and even acheive the same states as I previously was.

    I was not sure if this had to do with getting older (and having to take on more of "everyday life's responsiblities") or if it was a combination of things - and I want to know how to overcome the signal to noise ratio I feel here.

    Do you maintain a site of blog anywhere?

    Talk to you soon.

    Phlux

    [ Parent ]
    Cities. . . (none / 0) (#447)
    by Fantastic Lad on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 08:59:06 AM EST

    My ad hoc methods have a purpose behind them. If you really need to know about something, you will find a way, or a way will find you, in order to provide all the depth of detail you need with which to accomplish the goals you set for yourself in this incarnation.

    There are many things, however, which I can say. First, that you are almost certainly not mistaken in your take on how cities affect you. This is commonly available knowledge. The powers that be have fine control over the affectation of mood, mental states and even the physiology of people living in many, (if not any), geographic area, with focus being placed on large centers of population. No large city I know of is exempt. As well, centers where there exist concentrations of military activity, (Denver, Las Vegas, Parts of New Mexico, to name a few where things are particularly 'hot'), are not places you want to be as certain reality shifts are already in advanced stages. There are numerous cordoned off areas on the planet's surface which already exist permanently in the next higher state of reality; like stepping through the looking glass.

    Even in 'normal' areas, you may have experienced moments where you suddenly realized that you were able to see the other sides of objects, or that you could see both in front of and behind yourself without turning your head, or other breakdowns in the structure of 3d reality and time. These are glimpses into the 4d realm, and they will manifest in different ways and will become more common as things proceed and as more bleedthroughs occur. --One of the many Chemtrail theories is that one such effort is to hold touchy areas of 3d reality together. Numerous people who are more sensitive are even able to 'see' reality tears in the sky, which are all over the place these days.

    As for 2012. . , that date is commonly held to be 'the' year when thigs will change, but it has also been strongly cautioned that as time is both flexible and chaotic, firm dates cannot be posted with ANY authority. --You will have probably noticed by now that Time has not been traveling at a constant speed, with the overall effect being that of a general 'speeding up', particularly over the last four years. The realm shift border will arrive when it arrives; any time from tomorrow morning to as late as 2016, (approx). It has been suggested that it is best not to dwell upon it, but rather to focus on your life lessons where you are, and on the conservation and development of your energy levels and awareness so that when the shift does occur, you will have a greater edge available in dealing with massively altered perceptions.

    Interestingly, much of what is being done to cities by way of HAARP and the many other controls, is specifically to lower people's vibrational states. (HAARP has nothing to do with weather control.)

    The fact that you are studying martial arts, (and hopefully energy work as well), is probably one of the best things you can do at this time. It sounds to me as though I am not very far ahead of you in terms of knowledge accumulation, and I would suggest further reading and networking on your part if you want to continue growing along these lines.

    -Fantastic Lad

    [ Parent ]

    Not FL, but 60 Hz... (none / 0) (#463)
    by subversion on Mon Feb 03, 2003 at 05:13:44 AM EST

    Although I'm not FL, and therefore can't guarantee that this is what he meant, most technological references to 60Hz have nothing to do with monitors (most monitors aren't run at 60Hz anymore; it's absolutely unbearable to me, I see too much flicker and really need 72 Hz or even better, 85 Hz).

    99% of the time, 60 Hz references refer to the fact that some (primarily the US') power systems run on 60 cycle single phase alternating current, which changes phase at 60 Hz.  60 Hz hum does pollute space pretty badly; although I'm not exactly in agreement with a lot of what FL's ideas seem to be, I've worked in a recording studio, which gave me a new appreciation for exactly how easy it is to have sensitive electronics polluted by 60 cycle hum.

    If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
    [ Parent ]

    Utter nonsense (2.50 / 2) (#378)
    by synaesthesia on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 05:40:07 AM EST

    Assumption: satellite intelligence was used, and is refined enough to watch people walk in and out of the building with WMD components. Result: All unfriendly nations hide their labs better, specifically make all operations at night in close-to-darkness to make it harder for this technique to work

    Oh, no! Please, no! Not the old 'cover of darkness' trick!

    How the hell do you think satellites spot WMD? Edge detection on images with pointy nose-cone shapes in them?

    Assumption: Somebody on the inside squealed. Result: After the UN leave, all personnel at the site, whether they were aware of the existence of the bio-lab or not (it might be under a school after all), will be killed by local intelligence agencies.

    If you work at the school in which WMD are being developed, you're marked for death, whether by Iraqi intelligence agencies or UKUSA smart bombs.

    Assumption: Information leakage on documentation around the project confirmed the site's location. Result: All documentation around the project is destroyed, all unfriendly nations tighten up security, the UKUSA guys job's become a whole lot harder a year down the line when we move onto country "X" or whoever.

    Assumption: a defector to the UKUSA gave the intelligence about the site's location over as part of his asylum deal. Result: All potential defectors in all unfriendly countries are killed, thereby putting a stop to the most useful tool UKUSA have for gaining information.

    Counter-intelligence efforts raised in all unfriendly nations

    Either Iraq has WMD or it does not. If it does, and it is attacked by UKUSA on that basis, these things will happen anyway.

    Diplomatic relations with half a dozen countries now break down

    Wheras if countries perceive that UKUSA might attack them with no tangible proof of WMD anyway, relations will be peachy keen?

    Other countries demand UKUSA assist them in their "cause" (Israel/Palestine) and get annoyed that they wouldn't own up to having loads of toys in the past

    Happens already (Israel/Palestine).

    People start asking questions about budgets of intelligence agencies that are able to run such large operations

    People will complain if they actually see the results of public spending on intelligence agencies?

    Conspiracy theorists go nuts on believeable stories that if they know these sites now, that proves they must have known "X" back then and that "Y" was the case in 1974, and start spreading FUD about government intentions

    Conspiracy theorists will go nuts either way.

    etc., etc., etc....

    blah, blah blah...


    Sausages or cheese?

    So Randomize the Info ! (5.00 / 1) (#382)
    by redelm on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:17:27 AM EST

    This article points out some considerations, but stops 'way too early. The UKUSA intelligence agencies would never release an undiluted list. They would mix in lots of sites they know nothing about, but want to know more or would like to give the impression that they know about. Plus some stupid sites to confuse the counter-intel readers. Oh yeah, they might mix in about 1/3 of the real sites they know about.

    Everything is about deceit. You pretend not to know what you really know. The agencies don't mind looking stupid -- it reduces countermeasures. And you pretend to know things you don't. I think the latter is the case.



    I agree with this, but your missing the point. (none / 0) (#388)
    by Jaritsu on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:15:17 AM EST

    The whole idea behind the goings ons in Iraq isn't about what they have, but what they HAD, and more importantly, what they have done with it.

    What I find interesting is that no one seems to contest the fact that Iraq has had WMD in the past, yet they cant seem to grasp that for years now Iraq has violated an agreement made after the last war. They need to show that they have dismantled and disposed of thier weapons.

    This article makes a great point, we cant expect to know everything, all of the time. and that some secrets need to remain secret. But to use it in the context of an argument, to try to show that Iraq may have weapons and that the "UKUSA" probably knows where is moot. It's not about what we know they have, it's about claims that Iraq is completely unable to back up.

    "Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon

    Prove it then.... (none / 0) (#391)
    by Kintanon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 12:39:11 PM EST

    How do you prove that you DON'T have a nuclear weapon?
    Can you personally prove that you do not now and have never in the past had posession of any form of WMD?

    Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Read 1441 and read Blix's statements to the UN. (none / 0) (#397)
    by sonovel on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:42:46 PM EST

    1441 requires that Iraq do certain things, and allow certain things. They have failed to do and have disallowed. "Further material breach", "serious consequences". 1441 provides a framework for inspections and lays out Iraq's obligations, including cooperation with inspectors, certain data, etc. They haven't cooperated, so they are in "Further material breach". Hostile inspects don't work. Inspections with full cooperation would. Why isn't Iraq cooperating?

    You also need to look at Blix's statements to the UN. He explicity argues against the "can't prove a negative point".

    Blix denies that Iraq needs to prove a negative (ie. "We don't have weapons") and states they can (if they choose!) prove a positive statement (ie. "We have disarmed, here are documents, here's the dump site/furnace site/etc, here's the people who did it, feel free to interview them without government minders").

    Your argument is very tired and shows that you haven't read the source UN documents and haven't been paying attention to the lead inspectors statements. Blix doesn't want war, and he has told Iraq how they could succeed at obeying 1441. They obviously haven't listened.

    [ Parent ]

    Maybe... (none / 0) (#404)
    by Kintanon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 02:36:31 PM EST

    Maybe Iraq can point to a big pile of dismanted weapons and say, "Yeah, that's all of them" but as far as I can see they tried that before and all they got was, "Well where are the REST?!" they are maintaining that they have dismantled their weapons and given the lists to the inspectors. I haven't seen or heard of anything which shows that to be untrue. As far as we (The citizens) know Iraq is disarmed.
    That assumption of innocence is the one that I MUST work with until someone shows proof of guilt.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Well (none / 0) (#405)
    by Jaritsu on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:05:01 PM EST

    If they would even do this it may be something. as of yet they have failed to do anything at all.


    "Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon
    [ Parent ]
    Have I stopped my wife? (none / 0) (#401)
    by Jaritsu on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 02:22:38 PM EST

    My wife? yes.
    Your mom? no.

    And the question isn't can I prove I dont have any WMD, but rather, if I was known to have WMD, can I prove that I have dismantled them. In which case, the answer should be yes. Hell I can show you the pizza box I dismantled after I ate the other night.

    You know, AFTER I was done beating your mom.

    BTW
    Grow the fuck up.

    "Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon
    [ Parent ]

    What about that OTHER Pizza box? (5.00 / 1) (#403)
    by Kintanon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 02:32:24 PM EST

    Hmm? How do I know you've dismantled ALL of the pizza boxes you had? You could be hiding some!

    Oh, and you obviously missed the whole wifebeating comment. It's an allusion to the kind of question that has no right answer. The sort that can't be asked in court. Saying yes implies that you in the past beat your wife. Saying no implies that you are continuing to beat your wife.

    Kintanon


    [ Parent ]

    Well whatever logic your using. (none / 0) (#406)
    by Jaritsu on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:11:42 PM EST

    Thanks for the sig

    "Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon
    [ Parent ]
    Pizza boxes (none / 0) (#411)
    by Cro Magnon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:45:47 PM EST

    But there's no evidence that Saddam has dismantled ANY of his pizza boxes! And we know for a fact that he had them! BTW, it's common knowledge that Saddam beats his wife. Hell, he probably gasses her!
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Have you found any? (none / 0) (#413)
    by Kintanon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 04:26:11 PM EST

    But has anyone found a complete pizza box anywhere yet?!
    Gawd this analogy is becoming absurd...
    But anyways! We don't have any proof that he hasn't dismantled his weapons. We've been shown dismantled weapons, empty warehouses, destroyed equipment... We have yet to dig up a single functioning WMD. What are our grounds for accusing Iraq of still having them?

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Oh, he's got more than Pizza boxes (none / 0) (#460)
    by CitAnon on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 06:33:15 AM EST

    The first round of UN inspections determined that he had thousands of liters of chemical and biological agents, tens of thousands of delivery systems, tons of bacterial cultures.

    We know this not only from the UN inspections, but because we gave him some of that stuff from our earlier shortsightedness.

    So he definitely had pizza last night, because we delivered some of the pizza to him, and because some of our buddies were at his house last night looking over them.  Now, this morning, he shows us an empty room and says "what pizza"?  Huh?  Does he honestly expect us to believe this crap?

    [ Parent ]

    Hrmm.. (none / 0) (#465)
    by Kintanon on Mon Feb 03, 2003 at 04:24:35 PM EST

    I was of the impression that his stance was, "Pizza? I ate all the pizza already and tossed the boxes in the dumpster, sorry."
    I mean, how do you prove that once the dumpsters been emptied? How do I know you don't have some pizza wrapped in plastic wrap in your fridge?

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    But he hasn't even come that far. (none / 0) (#466)
    by CitAnon on Tue Feb 04, 2003 at 06:46:49 AM EST

    He has simply not mentioned the pizza from last night.  That's why Hans Blix says the report that Iraq submitted was incomplete.

    [ Parent ]
    Well then! (none / 0) (#467)
    by Kintanon on Tue Feb 04, 2003 at 08:30:44 AM EST

    If that's the case he's just being stupid. He should at least be claiming to have destroyed the stuff.
    Anyone guilty of abject stupidity should be done away with (Excepting myself of course). I still don't think war is a great way to go about it, I prefer assassination. But he certainly should be removed if he's not even going to make a token effort to hide his activity.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Hans Blix is making his report (none / 0) (#389)
    by dash2 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 11:22:44 AM EST

    ... live on BBC news 24 and presumably most news channels.

    If you believe in your power and duty to influence events in democratic countries, then get listening!
    ------------------------
    If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

    Paradox (none / 0) (#390)
    by cheezit on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 12:22:09 PM EST

    So I view the argument as saying there are two sides of the situation, the "public" and "private" sides, and that crossing the line creates problems. Intelligence is "private" information. Any public action based on private information will have the effects described. Weapons inspection is a "public" action. As others here have pointed out, war is a public action. There are only two ways around this. 1. Take private action. Covert assassinations and sabotage fall in this category. Those types of activities are not effective responses to this type of threat. 2. Somehow create public information. That is what the weapons inspectors are trying to do. I don't really buy the argument that sharing of private intelligence with the weapons inspectors creates problems, as long as it is done covertly. The UN team has been farting around in Iraq long enough; if they had made a beeline to a WMD site on their first day, that would have been suspicious.
    It is fun to have fun But you have to know how
    Why would the US make this stuff up? (none / 0) (#393)
    by mveloso on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:17:07 PM EST

    You'd think the US has better things to do than squish Iraq. War is expensive, time-consuming, and as everyone has seen, diplomatically a pain in the ass. It has strained relations between the US and most of the rest of the OECD members.

    And for what? Consider the reasons given by the opposition:

    1) the US wants to control the Iraqi oil fields.

    2) George W has an overwhelming, irrational hatred of Saddam Hussein because the latter tried to kill the former's father.

    3) George W is a warmongering cowboy who gets his jollies via warfare, and he eats babies for lunch.

    4) the US wants to control the Iraqi oil fields.

    #1 is the most tiresome one, because it's not only such a tired slogan ("no blood for oil"), but it doesn't even rhyme. As has been said before, the US already controls most of the world's oil reserves via its relationships with Kuwait, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

    #2 and #3, well, it's possible that they're accurate, but it's a bit far-fetched. While you might not like Bush the President, it's difficult to believe that he's actually bonkers. After all, he was right before (the link to Al Quaeda, Afghanistan, and the  WTC incidents).

    What's strange is the European reaction is basically the same as it was when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Maybe old Saddam has some leverage in Europe that we don't know about?

    And #4 (none / 0) (#394)
    by joecool12321 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:26:13 PM EST

    #4 ignores the fact that if we wanted the oil so badly, we could have taken it in '91.

    [ Parent ]
    i don't think (none / 0) (#410)
    by tweetsygalore on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:25:26 PM EST

    that the china, middle east and russia oil alliance were that solidified then. best, C
    After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
    [ Parent ]
    Motive. (none / 0) (#399)
    by sllort on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:54:33 PM EST

    1) the US wants to control the Iraqi oil fields.
    I believe you've misstated point number one. I think it reads something like this: due to our increasing dependence on Iraq, the massive profits reaped by the Bush family in reparations for their Kuwait holdings in Gulf War I, and the existing plans for Bush's campaign contributors to extract payment in oil for the upcoming war (i can't find that link, anyone got it?), the Bush administration is not fit to make decisions regarding war on Iraq by the world community due to a severe conflict of interest. It's not that we can't attack Iraq, it's just that we can't be led by someone with such a strong profit motive.
    --
    Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
    [ Parent ]
    oh my God, (none / 0) (#409)
    by tweetsygalore on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:23:40 PM EST

    you are SO dead-on on the conflict of interest. they are willing to risk the lives of americans, EXCLUDING their children and relatives, to fatten their profit margins and reserves. are you listening, hawkish dick cheney? you are a disgrace to public trust.
    After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
    [ Parent ]
    actually, #1 (none / 0) (#408)
    by tweetsygalore on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:21:00 PM EST

    IS pretty precarious and fragile in light of the hush-hush oil alliance among china, middle east and russia. and dubya AND eat-your-hearts-out tony blair and jack straw know that. best, C
    After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
    [ Parent ]
    Some different viewpoints. (4.50 / 2) (#398)
    by CitAnon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 01:47:12 PM EST

    p>The NY Times has an interesting op/ed on the Iraq-Al Qaeda connection.

    Collin Powell does a pretty good job of elucidating the US position on Iraqi WMD in his speech to the World Economic Forum.

    The support of U.S. intelligence and the intelligence of other nations can take the inspectors only so far. Without Iraq's full and active cooperation, 100 or so inspectors would have to look under every roof and search the back of every truck in a country the size of California to find the munitions and programs for which Iraq has failed to account for.

    After six weeks of inspections, the international community still needs to know the answers to key questions. For example: Where is the evidence-- where is the evidence-- that Iraq has destroyed the tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and botulinum we know it had before it expelled the previous inspectors? This isn't an American determination. This is the determination of the previous inspectors. Where is this material? What happened to it? It's not a trivial question. We're not talking about aspirin. We're talking about the most deadly things one can imagine, that can kill thousands, millions of people. We cannot simply turn away and say, "Well, never mind." Where is it? Account for it. Let it be verified through the inspectors.

    What happened to nearly 30,000 munitions capable of carrying chemical agents? The inspectors can only account for only 16 of them. Where are they? It's not a matter of ignoring the reality of the situation. Just think, all of these munitions, which perhaps only have a short range if fired out of an artillery weapon in Iraq, but imagine if one of these weapons were smuggled out of Iraq and found its way into the hands of a terrorist organization who could transport it anywhere in the world.

    What happened-- please, what happened-- to the three metric tons of growth material that Iraq imported which can be used for producing early, in a very rapid fashion, deadly biological agents?

    Where are the mobile vans that are nothing more than biological weapons laboratories on wheels? Why is Iraq still trying to procure uranium and the special equipment needed to transform it into material for nuclear weapons?

    These questions are not academic. They are not trivial. They are questions of life and death, and they must be answered....



    Erm (4.00 / 7) (#400)
    by FourDegreez on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 02:17:21 PM EST

    Message from Bush to US:

    Saddam's a bad man. An eeeevil man. He has WMD. The fact that he refuses to admit he has them should be proof enough for you that he's covering something up. If he says he doesn't have them, it means he has them and he is just good at hiding them. Our intelligence has proof, but we aren't about to share it. Just trust us. We are your government. The US government would never lie to start a war. What's that about Gulf of Tonkin? Never heard of it. Don't change the topic. Just close your eyes, relax, and let the government make all the evil go away. Think of us as your brother. Your Big Brother, who will protect you from the evil men with WMD, by bombing out their country. What's that about Kim Jong Il and his well-documented WMD program? Well North Korea doesn't have oi- I mean, we think we can negotiate peacefully with North Korea. But you are thinking to much. That's anti-American and gives comfort to our enemies. Just trust us and everything will be okay, and every SUV will have a full tank of gas. It's the American way.

    No oil... (none / 0) (#407)
    by pr0t0plasm on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:13:46 PM EST

    ...and those pesky 1M soldiers on the edge of the DMZ RIGHT NOW. Unless you view arbitrary numbers of South Koreans as acceptable collateral damage, you don't want consistency between these policies.


    - - - - - Patent applied for and deliver us from evil.
    [ Parent ]

    Well (none / 0) (#412)
    by CitAnon on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 03:57:39 PM EST

    Read the Powell speech.  The last time that the inspectors were there they decided that Saddam had:
    1. ^4 Liters for anthrax and botulinum.
    2. *10^3 munitions for the delivery of chemical weapons.
    3. *10^3 kg of biological growth material.
    And now, the inspectors come back into the country, and puff, the stuff just disapppeared?  They sure as heck weren't in the disclosure that Iraq sent to UN, nor has Iraqi officials told where they are.  So, umm, where are they?

    [ Parent ]
    Re North Korea (none / 0) (#415)
    by CENGEL3 on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 05:25:39 PM EST

    It's a very good policy to try to prevent an historicaly agressive nation (like Iraq) from trying to develop nuclear weapons....even if that means using force.

    It's a very, very bad policy to threaten to use force against an historicaly agressive nation (like North Korea) that ALREADY has developed working prototype nuclear weapons.

    You can thank Clinton for that one.

    [ Parent ]

    Intelligence agencies (5.00 / 1) (#416)
    by nhl on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 07:14:09 PM EST

    The US and UK are not the only countries in the world that have intelligence agencies, or access to satellite images and so forth. Practically any major country and most smaller ones too have active foreign intelligence programs that assess the global risks and issues that violate the nations foreign interrests. Many of the countries have better ties to the arab world (and especially the Iraq region) than the US-UK coalition, and are more likely to receive proper intelligence from within Iraq.

    Thus I find it odd that leaders of large countries such as Germany and France, which realisticly would both be aware of Iraq's WMD's, take such a strong stance against a war. Tho their stance does reflect the will of their people, it is not a very logical position to take were they in possession of definite evidence of Iraq's WMD's. It could be a "global conspiracy" in which Germany and France (and China and Russia) want to defend their own interrests, such as future foreign trade, but its still a long shot - the leaders of these countries will look rather foolish if UK/US is able to provide some actual proof to back up their claims.

    However, it is more likely that the global intelligence community has some flimsy feeling that Iraq could still have biological and chemical weapons, based on estimates and calculations from the previous inspections, and claims (lies?) from Iraqi deflectors (who certainly have their own agendas and want to see Hussein removed). What they lack is tanglible, fool-proof evidence that the leaders of the world can be sure will convince their population of Iraq's breach of treaty. Due to this lack of evidence the "International Community" is unable to unite behind a plan to oust the "Shadow of Baghdad".

    Here's why they don't reveal it (4.50 / 2) (#417)
    by A Trickster Imp on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 08:14:51 PM EST

    Should they reveal anything prior to immediately before attacking, the pacifists of the world will pressure for "diplomatic" solutions.

    Which, of course, is what got us into this situation in the first place, just as it got WWII started.

    They wanted sanctions.  They got them, and his army was smashed to boot.  Those sanctions were never lifted, and are still in place.  Does anyone think those sanctions alone would have caused him to leave Kuwait by now, over 10 years later?

    Didn't think so.

    No, the reason they aren't revealing anything isn't because they don't have any info, it's because they don't want more of the "hide the head in the sand" sentiment to get in the way.

    [ Parent ]

    But then... (none / 0) (#432)
    by broter on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 07:29:19 PM EST

    "...is what got us into this situation in the first place, just as it got WWII started."

    Actually, selling massive amounts of munitions and tools for the creation of WMD back in the Reagan days is what got us into this. Take any bush tyrant and give him all the toys he can eat & you're bound to make a problem for yourself 10-20 years down the line when he thinks he doesn't need you. For the most part, WWII was caused by the treaty of Versailles making the German government (which was weak already) unmanageable. Would it have been avoided if the world stomped on Hitler quickly? Maybe not.

    "Does anyone think those sanctions alone would have caused him to leave Kuwait by now, over 10 years later?"

    No, but if sanctions were lifted 2-3 years after the gulf war, may experts believe that Saddam would have been overthrown. The sentiment in Iraq at that point was that Saddam and the army was the cause of their misfortune. Now, that hatred has been moved onto the US. A generation is being raised undersantions being continued (mostly) at the US's insistance. That's where I think you should draw your WWII parallel.

    As for hiding our heads in the sand, few people who have been in the intelligence community believe that Saddam would use WMD except if his rule was threatened. Also, most people from the intelligence community believe that he would be likely to offer heavy support for al Queada only if attack from the west was likely.

    So, if these assessments are at all close, by taking the aggressive stance that Bush has, he's created a self fulfilling prophesy. Why?

    Some say it's to get back at Saddam for trying to kill his daddy. Others suggest that, because this administration is so closely tied to the oil industry, he's attempting to get control of Iraq's oil. Gary W. Harding noted the key position Iraq holds back in 1998: "...due to the embargo, Iraq has the oil supply likely to last the longest." What would it do to American security if Iraq became the predominant producer of oil in the world and only sold to China?

    A few months before September 11, the US gave millions of dollars to Afghanistan with full knowledge of their involvement with bin Laden. Why? To secure the rights to send an oil pipeline through the country.

    I don't believe that this is the result of a conspiracy, I think it's simply short sitedneses on the part of our representatives. I also think it is the job of the American people to tell their officials when they believe that they are going into a war that's not in the best interest of the US people.

    [ Parent ]

    Propaganda and politicians (5.00 / 4) (#418)
    by xmedar on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 08:32:27 PM EST

    If you want my opinion, based on past performance is that the politicians are trying to stick us with some very dodgy propaganda, to illustrate the point we only have to look at what happened the last tiem around, when They said Iraqi forces were massing on the border of Saudi Arabia and they had satellite photos of them, when commercial photos showed no such thing also remember the babies thrown out of incubators was yet more propaganda in the last Gulf War then recall that last time Saddam, who had claimed Kuwait as Iraqi territory since the 70s got the go ahead from the US Ambassador April Glaspie on 25 July just nine days before Iraq invaded Kuwait oh and so no one starts saying I'm anti-Bush, or a lefty, Mr. Clinton was throwing cruise missiles at Sudan for PR, what else can I say about the situation-

    1) There's a lot of oil under them there sands.

    2) You can jack up the price of cool new weapons systems, if they've been battle-tested

    3) With a nice war you can take peoples eyes off a guy you cannot catch, Americas own complicity in terror, and the training of other murderous thugs

    Just something for you all to think about.

    maybe i should (none / 0) (#423)
    by obyteme on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 04:24:36 AM EST

    remove my "Proud Parent of a School of Americas grad" bumper sticker?

    ---------------------------------------:-p
    To err is human, or I could be wrong.
    If you can't poke fun at it, get a sharper wit.


    [ Parent ]
    Maybe you should invite Saddam into your house (none / 0) (#425)
    by CitAnon on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 06:10:49 AM EST

    You know, have he and his Republican Guards and his Baath loyalists come into the ol' pad, guns blazing, and afterwards, get familiar with your friends, your family and your significant other in that oh so friendly way that they go about behaving themselves.  

    What's that?  You wouldn't like that?  Well, neither did the Kuwaitis nor do the tens of millions of Iraqis who are there with him now.  But you don't really care do you?  Because while they are stuck in the shithole, thousands of miles away, you sit esconced in the comfort and protection of a capitalist, democratic society, insulated enough that their suffering don't seem nearly as weighty or real as your smugly contemplated notions of "peace" or "truth".

    The truth is that the great majority of the Iraqi people can only enjoy freedom and peace when Saddams' tyranny has been destroyed, that though they are fearful of the consequences of war, they would love the life that you have, that their freedom is worth fighting for and that, with the full backing of our European allies, we could go into Iraq today and help the Iraqi people build a free and prosperous country, that in doing so we could shatter the illusion of strength posed by the terrorists and the extremists in the Mideast and elsewhere and show the oppressed and the destitute that, even for them, there is hope for a better life and that the road leading there does not lie in the direction of militant religion or ultranationalism.

    [ Parent ]

    Then I guess I'd be... (none / 0) (#434)
    by xmedar on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 11:14:29 PM EST

    Donald Rumsfeld, yes, THAT Donald Rumsfeld

    [ Parent ]
    Henry Kessinger once said... (none / 0) (#435)
    by CitAnon on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 12:28:31 AM EST

    That Don Rumsfeld was the most ruthless man he had ever met...

    That doesn't mean that Don Rumsfeld isn't right on taking out Saddam.

    [ Parent ]

    The truth.. (none / 0) (#449)
    by nhl on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 11:28:00 AM EST

    The truth...

    The truth is that nobody is sure what kind of regime would develop in Iraq if Saddam were to be ousted. Saddam was the closest to an ally the US (and the capitalistic western world) could find in a region that is largely controlled by religious rulers or fragmented warlords with local influence.

    Before the Gulf war, the rate of literate people were quite high (compared to many other countries in the region) and there was atleast adequate medicine in Iraq. Despite the "tyranny", Saddam and the Baath party did manage to create an infrastructure that benefited the Iraqis. Now, I'm not saying that Saddam committed no evils, but the fact that prior to the war, the standard of living in Iraq was quite high, and that there are no guarantees that the situation were to go towards the better if Saddam is ousted.

    [ Parent ]
    I agree with you whole-heartedly on this point. (none / 0) (#451)
    by CitAnon on Thu Jan 30, 2003 at 10:27:24 PM EST

    It's just that I think the terms of the debate over war with Iraq should shift to whether and how we would win and the cost of that rather than whether there is justification for war.  

    There's plenty of justification.  We know that he is not being contained.  We know that he would strike us by any means he could.  We know that he is hiding chemical and biological weapons and we can well imagine how he could attack us with them through willing proxies. We know that he is hurting his own people.  We know that he is not disarming.  What we don't know is if a war now will put us in a better position strategically and that's where we and our allies need to put our heads together and ponder.

    However, that's not what we're seeing.  Even after it has become painfully apparent to any astute observer that Saddam is not disarming, France, Germany, China and Russia are still talking about giving inspections more time.  Let's put aside China and Russia.  Their objections are based on the principles of non-intervention and multi-polar world order and are understandable and expected and ultimately irresolute.  France and Germany are different and I'll take the cynical view point here and say that the only reason they want inspectors in Iraq is to appease domestic opposition against war, which is understandable but lacking in courage.

    The more courageous course of action, IMO, would be to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US and Britain.  

    1.  This allows the Europeans more influence over the thinking of the US leadership than their current wilderness opposition type action.
    2.  This makes war less likely by sending a strong message to Saddam that he NEEDS to disarm or abdicate.
    3.  If war does come it will probably be less painful for all involved if US had strong international backing.
    Just my $.02

    [ Parent ]
    justification still not there... (none / 0) (#458)
    by bobzibub on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 02:43:17 AM EST

    As long as inspectors are in the country, Iraq can't work on WMD programs.  Sure they've got some buried in the sand but they may eventually be ferreted out.  While the inspectors are poking about in Iraq, it is a stalemate--but there is no war.  150 inspectors + staff is cheap.  Hint: this is the original purpose of the inspection program--to halt activity, not to find every last chemical tipped shell.

    Iraq has a weak military now and has more immediate concerns other than the West (like all it's neighbors), except for a very large build up of troops & material on it's borders.  Saddam was vicious but now he's cornered and vicious.

    Some European governments are willing to support the US & UK but these are primarily the poorer countries and it likely has more to do with deals with the US which will affect their economies.  Ask Yemen.  While 80% of Europeans believe it is a bad idea to go to war w/o full UN approval, many European governments are tempted by the thought of containment of the US.  By bending on this issue--they can't stop the Americans anyway--they might be able to moderate the Americans in some future crisis and preserve the UN.  The Denver Post commented today that these countries were rightfully thankful by being saved by the US during WWII and the cold war.  Au Contrair!  "Containment" is their main strategy now--that same strategy the West used against the USSR in the Cold war.  Irony abounds.

    1. I doubt if the Polish government, for instance, has any pretenses on influencing US decisions in a post-war Iraq. They would just be kidding themselves.  I think they know that.
    2. The join-US-to-make-war-less-likely theory is proposed by Democrats like Senator Biden but I don't see how it will work.  Most countries tend not to disarm when other armies amass at their borders.  I'm not saying Hussein would quickly disarm w/o enemy troops on the border, but this won't work either.  Perhaps by design: I think we are re-living Germany's WWI "Von Schlieffen Plan", where once initiated, war is inevitable.  If I recall, the plan to mobilize German troops was "fire and forget" and so could not be stopped or the German rail system would jam entirely.  Same today.  So much political capital has been allocated to war that it is now damn near inevitable.
    3. It will be less painful for the US if it has substantial numbers of allies.  That way other countries can help to nation build, pay for war, and legitimize the action in the first place.  Also it helps if fundamentalists have other places to attack.
    You never asked nor deserve it, but I'm going pontificate even more:  The whole terrorism-WMD focus in Iraq is half-assed in two major ways.  

    1) For one to attack they must have the means but they must also have the will to act and to die in the process.  Don't ignore the will.

    Cheney, Rumsfield, etc are playing their cards in terms of the rational Soviets.  The Soviets were rational in that they would attack you only if their benefit cost analysis was sound.  Bin Laden's forces will sacrifice their lives to attack you.  This means that the Bush Cabinet's plan of an "awesome show of force" in Iraq will not persuade groups like Al Qaeda of the futility of their cause.  Like the Vietnamese, they are willing to fight to their irrational end.  No amount of force will be convincing for these people.

    To erode the will of the enemy, one must not be seen to be a bully to the Muslim world.  Imposing a peace settlement upon Israel would go a long way to this end.  TV commercials about how great life is for Muslim Americans on Al Jazeera won't cut it.  Powell saying that Israeli-Palestine conflict is really really important, and will be gotten to ASAP after Iraq is not convincing either.  (Like that hasn't been promised before.)  

    The missing focus of the Bush plan is an effective hearts and minds campaign.  Invading Iraq will remove Iraq's government and they may even see democracy, but to many Muslims, Infidels will be occupying their land, and that is unacceptable to them.  Plus, there won't be a Koranic government installed so it won't make fundamentalists happier.  The average shop keeper will be happier (provided he and his family survives the 800 or so cruise missiles in the first week) but he probably isn't the target demographic we worry about anyway.  
    What I argue for is not appeasement; It is cutting the legs of any arguments they may have for recruitment or finance.  These organizations survive on popular support.  Kill that and you kill Al Qaeda.  

    How to do that?  Here, deeds speak louder than words:  Provide aide.  Eliminate trade barriers.  Help their economies.  Get them working.  Feed them.  Attacking oil rich Iraq will look like a rape to most of the Islamic world; exactly the same thing that Iraq did to oil rich Kuwait, but the West found that unacceptable.  This hypocrisy, (deserved or not) will anger many in the Middle East.  It serves no purpose but to fan the flames of hatred.

    2) The only means to kill are not necessarily WMD.

    The 9/11 hijackers showed that one does not need plutonium--merely box cutters.  If Hussein (or Bin Laden) wanted to cause death and destruction he could send his agents to put pennies on railway tracks or crap in the water supply.  It doesn't take much to kill.  Hussein's WMD are meant for local use: Syria, Iran and Turkey all have them too.  Sure, he could give it to terrorists some day but what would it buy him when it is found out?  There is little that terrorists could offer him in exchange, and of course, little love between fundamentalists and Iraq's secular government.
    Perhaps some evidence of minor co-operation will be revealed in the near future.  In response I humbly offer my own empirical evidence and ask who has a connection to whom?  ; )
    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=bi n+laden+hussein+shaking+hands&sa=N&tab=wi
    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=ru msfeld+hussein+shaking+hands&sa=N&tab=wi

    There are many many people in this world who could conceivably decide to kill Westerners.  Like Al Qaeda, denial of access to WMD is not sufficient to stop them because they will simply alter their means.  How quickly we've forgotten that.

    Justification, bah.

    Cheers,
    -b

    [ Parent ]

    The justification is there. (none / 0) (#459)
    by CitAnon on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 06:25:56 AM EST

    People on this board and other places have all argued similar points, and so I'm going to be brief in stating my position.

    1.  150 inspectors cannot stop someone from developing WMD when they are faced with the impossible task of policing a country the size of Texas and while working against the collected resources of a nation-state working on its home-turf.

    2.  The eastern Europeans, having resided under the rule of repressive regimes, instinctively gravitate towards to the US.  While in normal circumstances, raising the threat level faced by a nation causes it to build up arms, the point here is to force a capitulation with overwhelming display of strength.  

    3.  The will of an enemy is much more complicated than you believe.  The heart of the matter is that the ambitions of generations of young mideastern men have been stifled and channeled towards anti-US and Israel hatred which their repressive, incompetent, corrupt and self-serving rulers have used as a safety vent for the anger and frustrations of the "Arab street".  The situation there will not improve until fundamental political and economic reforms are instituted there internally.  Today, we are in no position to affect that change because we depend on the stability of those governments to secure our energy supply, deposing Saddam would be the first step to take the strategic high ground we need to affect real change.  Until then, the billions of dollars we continue to send as aide to the region will continue to flow into the coffers of corrupt mideaster politicians and demogogues.

    4.  The argument that we should not defend against a particular method of attack because there are other ways makes absolutely no sense.  Do you find doors unecessary because thieves might break into windows?  Is guarding against heart disease unwise because people might suffer from cancer instead?  The fact is that there are only two types of weapons that could realistically threaten the economic, social and political foundations of the Western world today, nuclear and biological.  It is not only prudent, but imperative that we guard against them and demonstrate ruthless resolve in doing so.

    [ Parent ]

    Your position, Sir, Is incorrect. (none / 0) (#461)
    by bobzibub on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 10:16:24 AM EST

    1. 150 inspectors is plenty.  The creation of WMD involves an industrial plant, years to build and then operate.  To weaponize these technologies is complex and is not what one does in their back yard.  So double the number.  It is still cheaper than a couple modern tanks.
    2. Really think this will happen here?  They repeatedly say that backing down would be tantamount to surrender and they won't surrender.
    3. The Mideastern men you talk of know that many of these despotic governments reside in our client states.  So how will deposing Saddam be a strategic high ground, exactly?  You seem to imply that securing Iraq's oil is what we need to be independant upon these governments.  I cannot however, believe that a blatant grab for oil will make the Middle East a better place, or lessen animosity.  Afganistan is not going to be a modern democracy any time soon.  Iraq won't for the similar reasons.  They will simply be another client state like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan...and that is not quite the stellar model we should strive for.
    4. I do not argue against programs which limit proliferation of WMD.  I am whole heardedly for these programs.  These programs work best when countries sign treaties that allow inspections.  Using our WMD (albiet conventional) on Iraq won't limit the spread of WMD.  It will make the case crystal clear (along with N. Korea) that WMD are the only way to protect one's state against overwelming US military power.  If you ruled Syria, what would you be doing right now?  Personally, I'd be building a big line of artilary, conscripting a huge fighting force (expect loss ratios of 1:10+), and building a couple nukes to back it up.  To a Middle Eastern military analyst, this is clearly the only deterant against a US which is now showing itself to be aggressive in securing it's economic interests by way of force.  Again, we come back to the "containment" theme and that is frightening.
    Cheers,
    -b


    [ Parent ]
    I think we just have to sit here and disagree. (none / 0) (#462)
    by CitAnon on Sun Feb 02, 2003 at 11:38:01 AM EST

    1.  Your plain wrong on WMD.  Biological weapons such as small pox need not have large industrial plants.  You need some culture and a way to maintain a favorable growth environment.  Also, some biological weapons, like anthrax, is hard to weaponize, but the ones people are most worried about (smallpox in Iraq's case) just requires some volunteers going around passing it to people.  
    2.  They've said backing down = surrender.  Our point is that we want them to surrender or we're going to kill them.
    3.  Well, we grab control of Iraq's oil fields, but buy the oil at fair market price and use the money to develop Iraq into a secular state.  Then, we can use Iraq as both a symbol of hope to entice the disenchanted mideasterners and we use our newfound position of strength to force people like the Saudis into political reform.  I have serious concerns whether this will succeed but I'm willing to bet that this is the basic game plan.
    4.  Things like international treaties only work when signatories want to cooperate.  Without the threat of force do you honestly believe that the enemies of the United States will throw up their hands and go, oh well, no need for those things, I could spend my money to better the lives of my people.  If they were really like that then they probably wouldn't be the enemies of the United States.  Over and over again, we've proven that building a huge consript army just ends up increasing the kill ratio.  There's just no way for an army like that to strike against the US military.  In any case, people like Assad of Syria speak and obey the language of force.  That's they way that they think and live, that's the way they deal with their own people, and ultimately, when they realize that the US has the political will to use force, that's what will make them cave.
    5.  Overall, I think you and I view the world through different sets of lenses and it would really take events to prove either of our positions.  In reality, things will happen in a way that splits the difference between our two viewpoints, but I think it'll be closer to mine than yours.
    Happy Chinese New Year.

    Cit

    [ Parent ]

    Yep. Agreed. (none / 0) (#464)
    by bobzibub on Mon Feb 03, 2003 at 09:57:11 AM EST

    Interesting article:
    http://www.american-blue.com/artman/publish/printer_1587.shtml

    But anyways...

    ...In reality, things will happen in a way that splits the difference between our two viewpoints, but I think it'll be closer to mine than yours....

    Though I would assign a low probability to it, I sure hope you're 100% right, not just partly right.  

    Cheers,
    -b


    [ Parent ]

    What makes you think you are right? (none / 0) (#455)
    by gorfman on Fri Jan 31, 2003 at 11:18:45 PM EST

    Why do you think that you have the right to press your notions of right and wrong on anyone else?

    American arrogance.

    The fact remains that although the iraqi people do not like saddam, they see the current events as preparation of invasion NOT liberation, go do some research, news groups, non-american media.
    It is not americas place to ensure that every country in the world has a well developed american-style capitalist system in place, that is greedy, arrogant and self serving.
    From where I am sitting the Bush administration is the one engaging in terrorism, Saddam may not be well loved, or even democratically elected, but then neither is George "W" Bush.

    Gorfman.

    [ Parent ]
    Oh, I'm right. (none / 0) (#456)
    by CitAnon on Sat Feb 01, 2003 at 07:47:28 AM EST

    Greedy?  Yes.

    Self-serving? Definitely.

    Arrogant?  Quite.

    Wrong?  Hell no!  

    The fact remains that a regulated capitalistic economy coupled with a free society and a stable pluralist political system has proven to be the most equitable and efficient resource distribution system and the strongest driver of innovation in history.

    Now, if you're sitting in the villages of Iraq or the slums of Rio, you may diagree, and even if, tomorrow, American soldier come into your country, dispose of the local asshole in charge, and start instituting a "democratic" government, capitalism, and all the other American goodies, you'll probably still despise America.  However, I guarantee you that if the Americans play their cards right, your grandson's generation will be so thoroughly corrupted by American influence that the only time they'll remember your old feelings for America will be in recreational pharceutical induced hazes of mental masturbation where they spout cliches like social justice and "What gives us the right?!" (oh, wait, that's actually me on a sexless Saturday morning).  

    And don't say that those guys are brainwashed or repressed.  Even in media saturated America, if you're a strong and determined mind, you can go and delve into all kinds of non-mainstream ideas without fear of retribution or ostracism (unless you decide to start blowing up college professors or hanging with flip-flop wearing buddies who like to blow themselves up with 10 or 20 of their best enemies), and you can certainly find a tremendous number of opportunities to better your situation or realize your passions.

    Fundamentally, it's about choices, opportunities and getting the monkey off your back.  That combination that has proven irresistable to the youths of Rhinelands, the descendents of Kamikaze fanatics, and the inheriters of the Lenin's revolution and is today transforming the lives of those who grew up waving Mao's little red book (I even have a copy).  

    Now, you may ask, what gives you American's the right?  Umm, I think you've missed the point of the first three lines.

    J/k, actually, I respect your views and don't want to disparage them.  However, try putting yourself in the shoes of people living in that part of the world, in the shoes of their children, who know not yet about right or wrong or hate and prejudice, in the shoes of their ostracized and repressed, who know too much about both.  If your truly a humanist, then ask yourself, what would I want for myself?  Are those wants and needs the product of my environment, or are they transcendant ideas and desires that hark to the core of my humanity?  I think you already know the American answer and I just want to suggest that if you truly open your mind, you may not diagree.

    cit

    [ Parent ]

    Caveat. (none / 0) (#457)
    by CitAnon on Sat Feb 01, 2003 at 07:56:09 AM EST

    Now, I do have to say that, given Bush's domestic record thus far, I have serious doubts about he and his people's ability to "play their cards right", and given the nature of the military mission and the international situation, I have serious questions about whether war at this point is strategically sound, but those are separate issues.

    [ Parent ]
    Oh dear (none / 0) (#422)
    by jeremyn on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 03:20:25 AM EST

    I couldnt care less if the US invades Iraq. Saddam is a relative dictator. Non-democratic states- such as Saudi Arabia, Cuba, China, Vietnam and North Korea should be destroyed as a matter of course- even if they didnt pose a threat.

    I'd rather have fascism than communism. Destoy the leftist ecoscum and their allies in China!

    They don't have to tell us. (5.00 / 2) (#424)
    by mdevney on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 04:56:21 AM EST

    Let's pretend the "UKUSA" has the evidence they say they have.  And if they tell the public, then all the badness happens that the poster said.  But why would they tell the journalists?

    The people Bush and Co. have to convince are leaders of other countries.  If this evidence existed, there would be a fair chance that Germany for example would have discovered it independently.  

    I can judge two things from Germany's (again for example) position on the war: First, that they have not independently found this evidence, and second that the Bush team has not shown them this evidence.  

    If this evidence the Bush administration claims to have does exist, why have they not shown it to the leaders of the Security Council countries?  Close personal friends in NATO?  Anybody?  Given how desperate the Bush administration is to have international backing, the only logical conclusion is that they don't have that evidence.  

    Most countries have professed a sort of half-hearted "Show me evidence and I'll think about it" attitude toward invading Iraq.  The Bush administration has not shown them evidence.  We're talking about showing a prime minister and a couple of top generals from each of 5-8 countries, not revealing everything to the world.  If the Bush administration had any evidence, they would have shown that small group of people.  They haven't.  They don't.

    Bush doesn't care about the UN (none / 0) (#453)
    by mmuskratt on Fri Jan 31, 2003 at 01:52:32 PM EST

    "Given how desperate the Bush administration is to have international backing, the only logical conclusion is that they don't have that evidence."

    Bush has been very clear that he doesn't give a shit about "International backing."  His definition of this is very simple, either you're with us or you're not, but we're going to go in anyway.  He has been saying that we will do this, with or without the support of our allies, confirmed again in his State of the Union (strong Union, strong economy, strong military) address.

    He's not desparate at all.  He's behaving like a child, and it is going to have very bad ramifications for our children.

    [ Parent ]

    The UKUSA apparently is telling. (none / 0) (#433)
    by Falkkin on Tue Jan 28, 2003 at 07:33:54 PM EST

    CNN is reporting that 'Blix said U.S. officials already are providing information about Iraq's efforts to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, "and that is helpful."

    Bush administration officials have said they are likely to declassify some intelligence on Iraq next week. They said the material will show that senior Iraqi officials have been concealing weapons and evidence of weapons programs from inspectors.'

    So it seems this story might be out-of-date soon.  I'm sure Bush isn't going to unclassify everything the US has on Iraq, but it's obviously no longer a complete "no comment".

    Source: http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/01/28/sprj.irq.wrap/index.html
    --
    All portions of this document authored by myself are hereby released into the public domain.
    View a copy of the public domain dedication at creativecommons.org.

    Another reason for the push to war. (none / 0) (#436)
    by Uncle Alex on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 12:52:26 AM EST

    An old friend of mine (who I do not see often enough) and I had a conversation about this and he brought up a point I hadn't considered in the whole crisis/tension/potential war.

    He reminded me that both the US and the UK have been enforcing a "no-fly" zone over Iraq for the last ten years. They've also been attacking "enemy positions" for the same period of time. This can add up to quite a lot of money - especially when you consider the period for which it has been enforced. Financially speaking, it's probably a better idea to get the deed done and send Sadam to whatever god(s) he worships than to maintain the current course of action for yet another ten years.

    Now, I'm not saying that this is the main reason for these two countries to push for a final attack but it certainly helps.

    The problem (none / 0) (#438)
    by wrax on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 10:47:59 AM EST

    Is that the USA has proven itself to be wrong on so many occasions that we all have a hard time trusting them at anything they say, even with proof. They expect people to believe them at their word when they don't back anything up with proof, they are just making the inspectors jobs harder than they need to be because they just tell them to keep looking in the dark. If they gave them a little bit of help with intel then maby iraq will be caught with its pants down. Information is only useful if you can do something useful with it, otherwise what's the point to having it.
    --------------------

    I don't know whats worse, the fact that people actually write this crap or the fact that people actually vote it up.

    The lives of the few, or the one... (none / 0) (#452)
    by mmuskratt on Fri Jan 31, 2003 at 01:45:20 PM EST

    I'd be willing to compromise an agent or two to prevent something like this from happening:

    We invade Iraq with tremendous amounts of circumstatial information.  Russia, China, Germany and France condemn our actions.  North Korea (a very real threat) uses the "Axis of Evil" designation to invade South Korea (the US has forced their hand by invading Iraq, who is next?), and they add to the situation by nuking Japan.

    Meanwhile, terrorist groups set off a massive attack on the UK, using ricin, dirty bombs and other attacks, in preparation for a now easily justifiable assault on US soil.  

    Sorry, but our President has a LOT of explaining to do, and if that compromises a few lives, so be it.  We're talking about huge numbers of deaths if we invade Iraq...and the North Korea FUD I'm distributing here may not be too far fetched, if you look at the posters they've got over there with missiles aimed at our capitol building.

    Why the UKUSA won't tell anybody where the nukes are | 468 comments (433 topical, 35 editorial, 0 hidden)
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