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[P]
All about what?

By skyknight in Op-Ed
Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 08:17:46 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

It's all about oil. It's not all about oil. We've all seen the charges and the counter-charges. "No Blood For Oil!" various activist groups chanted. "Sacrifice our SUVs, not our children!" they entreated. "Nonsense," others retorted, asserting that it couldn't possibly be all about oil "because the numbers don't work". The sad fact is that the numbers don't have to work... for everyone. The time horizons that many of these analyses use are misleading as well. What if the war isn't just about oil, but rather has come about as a complex confluence of interests, oil being a key but non-singular player, that benefit a subset of the American population to the detriment of the public good?


Simple, one dimensional explanations for complex situations are nearly always wrong. More often than not, there are several factors at play, many of them subtle. Components of a system may appear illogical when viewed in isolation, but when considered in a wider purview their rhyme and reason become evident. Such is the case with the war in Iraq.

So, "no blood for oil" they hollered. This was largely written off as an argument put forth by the usual leftist suspects. Supporters of the war were quick to draw up equations showing that war for the simple purpose of a resource grab did not make any numerical sense. The cost of waging a war and rebuilding Iraq dwarfed any of the benefits that could accrue as the result of controlling Iraqi oil. This line of argumentation was convincing, and brought a sense of righteousness to many. Unfortunately, while it is true that as a nation the US does not stand to reap economic gain from snagging Iraqi oil, there are actors within the US that stand to gain from war in Iraq, actors with substantial political pull.

Consider for a moment how an air conditioner works. You might think that its function is to cool air, but this isn't quite what happens. What an air conditioner is actually doing is creating a temperature differential that is pleasant if you're standing on the right side of the thing. By exploiting Boyle's law, one may expend energy to transfer heat from one system to an adjacent one. This transfer, however, comes at a cost. Not only does one system get hotter, but the super-system consisting of the two systems gets hotter on the whole, as a result of the energy expended in creating the differential. This physics based scenario is a perfect counter to those who claim that war in Iraq is completely devoid of profiteering motives.

While the US may be taking a hit financially to invade and occupy Iraq, it is conceivable that oil interests could reap benefit from the transaction. Not so, claim the oil companies. Were Iraqi oil to be available on more favorable terms, this would perhaps create a supply glut, and consequently drive down prices. In the short term this seems unlikely; with the current instability of Iraq militarily, and the great expense involved in getting Iraqi oil facilities operational again, this scenario will take some time to materialize. However, It may in fact happen eventually, but is this really so bad for oil interests?

Looking at a longer time horizon, one realizes that supply stability is far more important to oil companies than is short term profitability. Why might this be so? Consider for a moment what might happen were there a true oil shortage crisis. There would likely be an immediate and concerted effort at developing alternate energy technologies. There is already a very real threat that novel technologies could drastically reduce our needs for oil as a fuel. Hydrogen is starting to show real promise as an efficient means of powering cars, with companies such as Ford pioneering the way. Were such innovations to decrease our heavy dependence on oil, the effect would be largely irreversible. Thus oil companies have huge motivations to keep oil constantly cheap and readily available, even if it means taking a hit from their bottom line in the short term.

Now let's forget about oil companies for a moment. Who might also stand to attain localized benefits from a war in Iraq? Military contractors are too obvious to be worth mentioning. Clearly they stand to gain from the desire to knock stuff down. The US doesn't just knock stuff down though. Afterward it likes to put things back up again, a perfect synergy. Now, to be fair, Halliburton may in fact be the best choice for many of the jobs in Iraq, but couldn't the US at least make the most minimal of efforts in trying to avoid a conflict of interest? In an open bidding contest, Halliburton would probably have won the lion's share of contracts, so why have the process be so closed? This serves only to heighten the suspicion that the US invasion of Iraq was a front to transfer wealth from US taxpayers and Iraqi oil reserves into the hands of a few US corporations.

As the majority of most states are facing unprecedented budget crises, resentment is running high at the prospect of underwriting public services for Iraq. Nicholas Kristof of the NYTimes notes in his latest op-ed piece:

People, like those in my hometown of Yamhill, Ore., have trouble understanding why the administration wants to buy Iraqis new $50,000 garbage trucks. On my last visit, I was struck how Oregonians, seeing their local school programs slashed, resent having to subsidize Iraq.

Well, certainly the US taxpayers who are funding the garbage trucks are disgruntled. One might, however, solicit a different opinion from those who are getting paid to build and deliver garbage trucks. This war will ultimately cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars, and cause untold casualties in the armed forces. Our finances hosed, and our military power stretched thin, we are left vulnerable should a war of necessity arise, as it may well in North Korea. Certain subsets of the US population, however, are crying all the way to the bank.

Bleeding metaphorically and literally, America has gotten itself into quite a rough spot. To what end? I hope that Iraq ultimately turns out to be a better place, as otherwise this will have been the cruelest of jokes, but why did we really go to war? So-called Conservatives, with their typical animosity toward use of government as a means to redistribute wealth, might do well to look themselves in the mirror.

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Gulf War II
o Very financially motivated 51%
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o Not all financially motivated 8%
o Shut up, or The Terrorists have already won 18%

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All about what? | 288 comments (246 topical, 42 editorial, 1 hidden)
Reenactment of what that reminds me to invest in (1.84 / 25) (#9)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 02:02:18 PM EST

    ___
  _-   -_
 /       \
|\_     _/|
|  -___-  |
|         |
|  AGENT  |
|  ORANGE |
|         |
 \_     _/
   -___-


Defoliate palm trees (2.66 / 6) (#54)
by RyoCokey on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 10:30:33 PM EST

We plan to fight them in the steamy jungles of Umm Qasr!



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Clarifying reenactment (2.66 / 6) (#82)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 06:18:49 PM EST

And then we'll whup those
pansy North Koreans right
here, in Umm Qasr with the
tanks and such that we've
already stationed there.
 |
 |              Sir, yes sir, we'll have the SeaBees
 |              begin the relocation of Umm Qasr.
 \    ______       / 
  _n_ |`/ /|    _n
   O_/| \/.|    <O
  <|  ------     |\
   |             |
  /|             |\


[ Parent ]
Might be easier (none / 5) (#115)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:57:36 AM EST

To use the mighty US navy to ferry all the North Korean combatants to the Iraqi desert and commence Mortal Kombat there.

[ Parent ]
Where does the energy come from? (2.92 / 14) (#12)
by Polverone on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 02:22:44 PM EST

Unless you have electricity "too cheap to meter," this doesn't really clarify how hydrogen will reduce oil dependence. Hydrogen made from petrochemicals can be reasonably cheap and clean, just the sort of thing you'd use for fuel cells. But, whoops, it's derived from oil! I don't even know if the various processes for obtaining H2 from liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons are efficient enough to yield any energy savings. If H2 could be made on-site at fueling stations, rather than forcing long distance transport of the finicky and low-density stuff, it might be viable. But small conversion units of modest cost are probably less efficient too. Can oil->H2 conversion reduce oil consumption, when you look at the entire chain? I don't know. Ask a chemical engineer.

Processes that don't ultimately start with petrochemicals are more expensive. Either they take a lot of electricity to generate H2 directly from water (electrolysis), or they take considerable effort/energy to clean up the dirty H2 formed by large scale chemical methods (reaction of steam with hot coke). Either way, you burn a lot of coal or start looking at many more nuclear plants. I favor the latter path, but how well is that going to play in the court of public opinion?
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.

Lock-in (3.00 / 9) (#16)
by ZorbaTHut on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 02:59:32 PM EST

Right now there's an amazing amount of lock-in with regards to oil. If someone came up with a free source of energy tomorrow, we'd still be using gasoline for years, if not decades. The point of H2 is to remove that lock-in - suddenly we're not dependent on one particular fuel source, we're dependent on something that can be easily synthesized given a lot of energy, and it turns into "what's the cheapest way to get that energy".

Sure, that might be "oil" for a very long time, but some day Japan's going to put up that orbital power satellite, or Professor Frink is going to say "Hey! Look! Cold fusion!", and suddenly the oil market crashes as people realize we no longer need it. If we don't have cars that run on electricity-derived products, that ain't gonna happen.

Although it would be quite ironic if we all switched to H2 and immediately came up with an ultra-efficient method of synthesizing gasoline . . . but that's less likely :P

[ Parent ]

Just like computer programming (none / 2) (#158)
by pdrap on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:53:03 AM EST

You can solve any problem by adding another level of indirection.

[ Parent ]
Superconductors (none / 0) (#275)
by RyoCokey on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 06:35:35 PM EST

Why add an additional layer of inefficiency when work on advanced power transmission via superconductors continues to this day? Advances in the field raised the temperature of modern superconductors to the point where they could be cooled by liquid nitrogen, allowing for their actual use in some areas.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
Have a look at these links (2.85 / 7) (#32)
by whazat on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 06:12:14 PM EST

Info on the hydrogen economy and it's potential problems.

Information on how to break down water using heat(has to be 900 degrees or so, so nukes are a possibility), sulphur and iodine. So no costly conversion to electricity first.

I had a longer post but k5 ate it, so I will just put that I think electric cars are more plausible from current technology than H2 cars.

[ Parent ]
interesting (none / 4) (#35)
by Polverone on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 06:57:23 PM EST

I've long thought that methanol would be a better energy carrier than hydrogen. Of course it too is fairly expensive if you exclude any petrochemical feedstocks. And it still has considerably lower energy density than existing liquid hydrocarbon fuels, though for some applications this could be offset if you could use it in fuel cells. The news on production of hydrogen from petrochemicals (from your first link) was even worse than I expected.

Was that second link the link you meant to post? It had little in the way of technical details. It also was based on nuclear energy, which I think is reasonable but may again be a problem when it comes to public opinion.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

It was the best I could find (none / 3) (#61)
by whazat on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 05:29:51 AM EST

In short time. Just enough to give people the idea so that they can google for more info.

Such as this one (about the chemical process) or this one (about the high temp nuke reactor needed) from the Japanese who seem to be quite interested in this tech.

The heat source has to be able to reach 700 degrees so Nukes are more feasible than renewable sources of heat.

I don't know exactly what energy technologies will be used in the future (well apart from scepticism that H2 will be an energy carrier).

Public opinion, on nukes, may change depending upon whether there is major tension with energy rich areas (Russia and Middle East). Whether there are large economic imapcts from declining energy production and many other factors.

Personally I hope my home country (UK), can make good use of the energy of the seas around us. And that public opinion will change towards electric vehicles (battery life is less of issue on this small isle).



[ Parent ]
Hydrogen (none / 5) (#66)
by Cameleon on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:53:06 AM EST

For those interested in hydrogen and its use in our future energy infrastructure, look here (sorry, only in dutch). In this program, it was mentioned that Iceland is switching its whole energy infrastructure to hydrogen, getting the power from geothermal and wind energy, over the next few decades.

I think that's the beauty of hydrogen. Once you have it, it's perfectly clean: the only exhaust product is water. And you make it with electricity, so you can easily switch between different methods of getting the energy to produce it. Right now, that might be mostly coal, oil or gas, but you can switch to solar, wind, biomass, or any other form of energy as it becomes available.

[ Parent ]

Hydrogen fuel cells... (none / 0) (#238)
by ip4noman on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 05:53:20 AM EST

This is correct. Hydrogen fuel cells store energy, but do not create it. I'm shocked by how many otherwise intelligent people think H is an energy source, when it in fact it is a sink.

A recent newspaper article made a similar error when it mentioned "clean" electric cars being bought by the local university, by failing to mention that most electricty around here is created by coal-fired plants.

--
Breaking Blue / Cognitive Liberty Airwaves
[ Parent ]

Economics don't matter, we are obeying the Lord! (1.10 / 37) (#15)
by sellison on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 02:56:03 PM EST

The war in Iraq was a moral war to save people from evil and to punish evildoers who struck at America first.

It also is turning out to be a good idea as we are creating a honeypot where crazed Islamic fanatics can die at the hands of brave voluteer professional soldiers rather than attacking unarmed American citizens here.

Even if you depend on the socialistic programs that will have to get cut to pay for this just and moral cause, the Lord Himself commanded us through President Bush to attack Iraq, disobeying the Lord's order would surely have greater economic consequences than obeying will, so there should still be money left over for the liberals to try and use to buy votes from the welfare class.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

The Honeypot (2.71 / 7) (#24)
by Rich0 on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 05:01:16 PM EST

Obviously I don't think that a president's orders should be obeyed as thus-sayeth-the-Lord, but you have to admit that most Americans would rather have the suicide bombers trying to blow up embassays in Iraq than skyscrapers in the USA.

Religious fanatics are lazy - they'll try to shoot/blowup/whatever the first infidel they stumble upon.  If we keep a supply of infidels in their backyard and arm them well, they'll keep throwing themselves up against the walls of the castle and we can just pour oil on them.  If we don't keep a token fort out in enemy territory we invite the fanatics to go to the trouble of flying to the homeland to blow people up.

Granted, you don't have to conqueror an entire nation to accomplish this single goal, but there may very well be legitimate uses for military honeypots to slow down terrorism.

[ Parent ]

American Troops and Embassies were a target before (none / 4) (#26)
by cam on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 05:13:40 PM EST

If we keep a supply of infidels in their backyard and arm them well

The justification of invading Iraq for the purpose of fighting them over there is a myth. Terrorists were attacking American Embassies, bases and ships in the Middle East and Africe before the US/UK/Au invaded Iraq. America was still struck even with the availability of US targets in other parts of the world.

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

Hitting embassies and hippy/journie tourists (none / 3) (#33)
by sellison on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 06:26:19 PM EST

had been tried plenty of times by the islamic fanatics, but they obviously didn't the impact to change our policies. But when they tried to change our policies by direct attacks on the homeland, a tactic that works so well with the cowards of europe, well they did change our policies (of non-interference & peaceful co-existence) in a BIG way.

So now we've done much more than plant a building or send a few hippies and journies, we've taken over an entire islamic state and begun setting up Christian Capitalism right in their dark heartland.

This isn't much a honeypot I guess as sticking a finger right into the hornet's nest an swirling it around!

But the Islamic fanatics cling to islam because they think it will make them strong, let them see up close what real strenth comes from Christian Capitalism and we'll soon have them on our side just like we did the fascists of Germany and the imperialists of Japan!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Policies and Non-interference (none / 1) (#48)
by cam on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 09:35:48 PM EST

But when they tried to change our policies by direct attacks on the homeland,

Do you mean the first attack on the World Trade Center or the second?

well they did change our policies (of non-interference & peaceful co-existence) in a BIG way.

Do you mean Non-interference policies such as having airbases and marine garrisons in Saudi Arabia?

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

Sure (none / 1) (#50)
by sellison on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 09:44:42 PM EST

"Do you mean the first attack on the World Trade Center or the second?"

It takes a BIG act to awaken a sleeping giant.

"Do you mean Non-interference policies such as having airbases and marine garrisons in Saudi Arabia?"

Yes of course, its hardly 'interference' when someone invites you in to protect them from their unstable neighbor.




"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Truth and Consequences (none / 2) (#63)
by MorningAfter on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 06:03:09 AM EST

But when they tried to change our policies by direct attacks on the homeland, a tactic that works so well with the cowards of europe, well they did change our policies (of non-interference & peaceful co-existence) in a BIG way.

The September 11th attacks were not perpetrated by morons. Groups like Al Qaeda increase their power and influence by stirring up anti-American sentiment around the world. After the Bush Administration's predictable response to the attacks, America stood lower in the court of world opinion than it did before the attacks. The terrorists who wrought this massacre of American civilians knew that America would fight back, and they knew how the rest of the world would view that. Unfortunately, we fell for it, and the attacks served their intended purpose.

we've taken over an entire islamic state

Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not an Islamic state. Hussein's Baath Party ran a secular totalitarian government. Saddam controlled his people by fear, and as religious fanatics generally aren't afraid of a whole lot, he knew they posed a threat to his power; he therefore did a lot to suppress religious fanatacism in Iraq.

----
If you wanna live like a Republican, you gotta vote for the Democrats --Dick Gephardt
[ Parent ]

Depends on what opinion you ask about (none / 3) (#76)
by sellison on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:33:18 PM EST

The opinion of "is America a big sweet pussycat you can push around?" definitly went down.

"Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not an Islamic state"

I'm a bit confused here as you seem to agree that Iraq is predominantly islamic, and would have had an islamic republic a long time ago if Hussein wasn't actively suppressing the mullahs, right?

So we've taken over an entire islamic state, though it wasn't officially a state ruled by sharia, if the population of a state is almost all islamic then I would think one should can certainly call it 'islamic'.

More importantly, Qaeda and the other islamic terrorists regard Iraq as an islamic state and regard our taking it over as a conquest of an islamic state, which matters alot your liberal elitist' fine semantic distinctions.

I suppose you'd say Pakistan isn't an islamic state, either, so it won't bother the islamic fanatics if we take it over too, right?


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Confusion (none / 2) (#98)
by felixrayman on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 10:21:47 PM EST

I'm a bit confused here

Correct.

if the population of a state is almost all islamic then I would think one should can certainly call it 'islamic'.

Incorrect. The vast majority of the population of the US is Christian, the US is not a Christian state. The vast majority of Iraq was "Islamic", Iraq was not an "Islamic" state under Saddam Hussein.

More importantly, Qaeda and the other islamic terrorists regard Iraq as an islamic state and regard our taking it over as a conquest of an islamic state

Incorrect. The only problem "Qaeda" had with the war against Saddam's Iraq was that they were not allowed to fight it themselves.

I suppose you'd say Pakistan isn't an islamic state, either, so it won't bother the islamic fanatics if we take it over too, right?

Pakistan is not currently an "islamic state", and it takes force of arms to maintain this situation. It is quite similar to a Iraq - if you took a vote in each country on whether or not to be ruled by the laws of Islam, rule by Islam would probably lose. If you took a vote and only allowed those willing to die for their beliefs to vote, rule by Islam would easily win. In both countries, only by force can a government which does not rule by the laws of Islam continue to govern.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
war as education? (none / 3) (#101)
by unsubtle on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 11:12:07 PM EST

The opinion of "is America a big sweet pussycat you can push around?" definitly went down.

before invading iraq, the usa invaded afghanistan, somalia, panama, grenada, ...; was the main arms supplier to mass-murdering governments in colombia, israel, turkey, ...; had troops in more than 100 countries.  anybody who believed that the usa was a pussycat was very poorly informed.

i agree that some people did hold this opinion.  i agree that they should be better informed.  i do not agree that invading iraq was justifiable for the purpose of educating these people (nor is it an effective way to educate them).  i suggest educating people by giving them more and better information.



[ Parent ]
Dude, back the hell up... (none / 1) (#114)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:54:10 AM EST

You know not the troll force you're dealing with, young Jedi.

I just hope that the Christian Capitalism bit IS a troll... otherwise I shall take that outburst as an indication of the type of loonies one is apt to find in the US.

[ Parent ]

Ummm (none / 2) (#151)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:15:25 AM EST

"The September 11th attacks were not perpetrated by morons. Groups like Al Qaeda increase their power and influence by stirring up anti-American sentiment around the world. After the Bush Administration's predictable response to the attacks, America stood lower in the court of world opinion than it did before the attacks. "

Sorry but we were already regarded as "The Great Satan" before the 11th... we didn't really have much to loose opinion wise by our reactions. The people that hated us after Afghanistan/Iraq were the same people that hated us before it. The people that were our freinds before are still our freinds after...nothing much has changed there.

The only thing it has demonstrated to the rest of the world is that America has both the capability (already known) and the will (not known) to strike back against anyone who engages in attacks against her soil...and that she will not shirk from enforcing that resolve even if it means U.S. casualties and political fallout.

As far as Al Qaeda being "smart", I have to disagree. These are people who fervently believe that "Alllah" will swat F16's out of the sky for them. Their stated goals were to get "the infidel" (i.e. the U.S.) to withdraw it's troops from the "Holy Territory of Islam" (i.e. the Middle East). Take a look at current U.S. troop deployments and tell me if you think that goal has been achieved?

The only thing these people have achieved is (1) Getting thier own orginzation decimated. (2) Loosing thier most secure base of operations. (3) Getting even more U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East (4) Strengthening the resolve of the most powerfull nation in the world (5) Changing  American public opinion from being slightly sympathetic toward Palestine to open hostility toward it.

As far as Iraq is concerned, I believe it would have happaned regardless of the 11th, although the 11th certainly gave alot of impetus to it.
You are correct that Hussein was not a supporter of Islam. He gave some lip service toward Islam in the latter part of his reign (i.e. adopting the title of "The Lion of Islam") but in general he tried to surpress it. His goal was to control a secular Pan-Arabic Empire, much in the same vein as the Nazi's wanted to forge a secular Pan-Germanic Empire. I'm not sure how that would have been any better for the U.S. or the rest of the world then radical Islam?

[ Parent ]

But God wants us to believe in Bush (none / 1) (#110)
by andamac on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:38:00 AM EST

He put Bush in office, after all.

[ Parent ]
Snort (3.00 / 8) (#31)
by Tatarigami on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 06:01:02 PM EST

Who taught you to troll, your dad?

[ Parent ]
"Crazed Islamic fanatics" (none / 1) (#37)
by frankwork on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 07:20:16 PM EST

If that ain't the pot calling the kettle black.

[ Parent ]
Why think when I can recycle? (2.00 / 6) (#19)
by Kwil on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 03:22:53 PM EST

From an earlier comment:
[The war in Iraq is] Justified anyway..
..simply because Saddam was an Evil Dictator and the United States Government does not support those.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


I disagree (2.63 / 11) (#20)
by whazat on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 03:24:44 PM EST

I don't see a conspiracy to favour a few in power.

But it is about Oil. Just not in the sense of stealing it. It is all about oil security. Have you ever asked yourself why Neocons want to remake the Middle East? Why not Africa, terrorism and corrupt oppresive regimes aplenty.

But not so much strategic oil and gas. Considering the north sea is starting to decline and america is also in its long decline, it does not make sense in a economic view to rely overly much on oil from a unstable region that may be riven with revolution and terrorist action against the oil infrastructure.

So it is about oil, but not just iraqi oil, and not just stealing it, but the future of a region and our major transport fuel.

Also gas may become an issue to reach in Weatern Europe and North America regions as well.

In Soviet Russia.. (none / 2) (#95)
by chimera on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:17:38 PM EST

there is a very good reason Europe, Western Europe and particularly the EU is very meekish and flirting heavily with the Russians - and that is spelled oil too. Russia has pretty much of it, as well as natural gas. And if there are unknown oilwells of great size, its a pretty big statistical chance it's placed in Russia due to it's landmass.

Besides, there is Norway, which as a sizable amount of oil already under it's belt.

And besides once again, Europe realised that atleast gasguzzling cars are easy to get rid of, dependentwise. We just use fewer of them. It probably does not make such big a dent in overall oil usage, but it sure feels pretty nice to know that we aren't dumber than necessary.

Note that none of these oilpumps needed war for pumping, it needed tact and a lot of money. And for Norways sake, lots of free fish that nobody eats and cheap Swedish booze (which we buy in Denmark even cheaper, so we still make a profit).

Just so that you know that oil is elsewhere than Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi-Arabia. Lots of wars to secure all of it..

Darn, eh?

[ Parent ]

Other oil (none / 0) (#122)
by whazat on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:14:45 AM EST

Yes there is other oil in places, but that will be needed by China and India as they industrialise. Also it probably won't be much by middle eastern standards.

Have a look at BP Stats and you will see that Europe imports more oil from the middle east than America (161 Million tonnes vs 114 Million tonnes).

Then understand it doesn't matter a lot where the oil comes from that you buy, if there is shortage in the middle east, europe would get oil from other sources making Oil expensive for the US.

[ Parent ]
wow thats wonderful (none / 2) (#107)
by tsk1979 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:23:26 AM EST

Thank you o great westrener, you have come to rescue the savages. My god you people are so great. How about a temple is build for dear god Bush. How can you be so selfless so caring. 50 years ago your ancestors saved asia from becoming savages and developed the region now your Mr. Bush will do that to the middle east. How can the world repay that messiah's gratitude.

[ Parent ]
Why are you under the impression (none / 0) (#119)
by whazat on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:58:42 AM EST

I supported the war, or that I thought the war was done for anything more than selfish reasons?

[ Parent ]
hmm it seemed that way (none / 0) (#123)
by tsk1979 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:15:37 AM EST

that you are supported the war. Maybe your phrasing is not correct. Forget the humanitarion issues, even by pure economics, money needs to be spent on other things, not war. Lets focus on the goddamn economic slump!

People dont have jobs and dont have the same purchasing power, and our leaders are concerned about fake issues. It happens everywhere. Im my country India, just to take peoples minds of the biggers problems of poverty, disease, lack of education, crime politicians and leaders try to create issues of race, caste, religion, so that people dont focus on these pressing issues. Same things is done by all govts!

[ Parent ]

Of course it was about the oil. (1.52 / 17) (#21)
by thelizman on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 03:25:52 PM EST

...so what? It's like bitching about "this war is just for air". Could you live without either?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Remind me (none / 3) (#28)
by beijaflor on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 05:40:56 PM EST

Weren't you the one ranting about users who should have read the fucking submission?

[ Parent ]
I wasn't addressing the submission (none / 2) (#57)
by thelizman on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 12:51:55 AM EST

I was addressing the meme.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
thelizman is full of shit (proof enclosed) (none / 1) (#117)
by Torka on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:36:09 AM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/4/17/0728/39637/68#68


[ Parent ]
Funny. (none / 1) (#146)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:30:40 AM EST

I have a comment attached to his from six months ago that is a perfect prelude to this present article. It reads like an abstract. So, you can tell that I'd been wanting to write this piece for a while. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Well, that explains that. (none / 1) (#189)
by cburke on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:22:03 PM EST

I was going to post a comment saying something along the lines of: "While I enjoyed the article, I have to ask: Who's the retarded fuck who thought that the money spent and the money gained are going to be coming and going to the same people? The money comes from the taxpayer and goes to contractors along with the oil profits, and these numbers 'didn't make sense'?" But I guess now I don't have to.

[ Parent ]
Troll Misses the Point (none / 0) (#210)
by thelizman on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 12:06:08 AM EST

...film at 11:00...
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#213)
by Torka on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 01:47:30 AM EST

I understand the point completely. When you turn out to be wrong you simply pretend that you held the new viewpoint all along. You pathetic fucking jackass.

[ Parent ]
No, You Really Fail To Understand This (none / 0) (#220)
by thelizman on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 01:58:00 PM EST

It was never about the oil. It was about security.

If you need me to draw you a big pretty picture (in crayon) so your feeble little infantile mind can grasp these concepts further, then I'll be more than happy to. On second thought, ignorant people like yourself will form the new underclass in the service-based economies that industrialized nations are heading towards, so perhaps it is in my best interest to let you stay stupid.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
so (none / 2) (#132)
by tps12 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:34:25 AM EST

Wanting to secure a foreign nation's natural resources for our own use is a valid cause for invasion? Aren't you right-wing types supposed to believe in free trade or something? I guess France had better hope we don't decide we need to control the cheese industry.

[ Parent ]
Free trade (none / 0) (#140)
by Viliam Bur on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:45:07 AM EST

is usually about free selling, not free buying. This is why GMO food is good, but French Fries are bad.

[ Parent ]
It Sounds Good When You Say it, But (none / 0) (#223)
by thelizman on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 05:37:18 PM EST

Wanting to secure a foreign nation's natural resources for our own use is a valid cause for invasion?
...it's still not the truth no matter how often you ramble on. Iraq is selling it's oil on the open world market. We're paying the same as if we hadn't invaded - actually more.

When you "left wing" types start making sense...nevermind, that'll never happen.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Bush makes money when oil prices go up (2.50 / 6) (#25)
by simul on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 05:03:02 PM EST

And ... guess what... oil prices are up. And Al-Quaeda, his old buddies, are now in Iraq ... keeping those prices high by bombing pipelines. Hooray for high oil prices in the U.S.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
Still to simplistic (2.70 / 27) (#36)
by godix on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 07:18:06 PM EST

The second Iraq war was about oil. And business contracts. And flexing our muscles. And showing the world what we can do if we want. And fixing a situation that's been broken for 12 years. And because Saddam tried to kill our Presidents father. And because Saddam was supporting terrorist even though he wasn't supporting Bin Laden. And because we got tired of our planes being shot at. And because Saddam was a mass murdering violent maniac. And because the UN proved to be worthless in this situation (and LONG before Bush II came around). And because we got tired of hearing about how sanctions were killing millions. And because this puts the ANWAR debate on hold for several years. And because we were sick of sitting in Saudi Arabia. And because Saudi Arabia was sick of us sitting there. And because there's actually a chance the 'building a middle eastern democracy' claims aren't total bullshit. And because if we waited till Saddam had a working NBC program it'd be far to late. And because Bush's foreign policy isn't determined by polls. And because we were sick of our 'allies' selling our enemies weapons. And because the entire situation directly lead to 9/11. And because maybe, just maybe, a world leader gave humanitarian concerns more than a few seconds of thought.

You start out by correctly claiming this war had many complex reasons but you end just repeating the same old 'there's no reason except money' crap.

I don't understand spending all that money for a fancy shot ... when pregnancy ain't nothing that a good coathanger or a pair of steel toed boots can't fix<

I didn't mean to imply that I had the whole story. (2.66 / 6) (#38)
by skyknight on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 07:34:29 PM EST

All I wanted to get across is that this mess is not as simple as the spin that either the government or the protesters would have their supporters believe. I agree that all of the things that you have listed are probable causes for Gulf War II. I just wanted to debunk two or three of the more simplistic explanations for war, not do an exhaustive list of all the possible motivations.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Ah, good job then (none / 3) (#56)
by godix on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 11:38:59 PM EST

Ok, you did a good job of showing that it wasn't just oil or even that oil was the main cause. I do think you put to much emphesis on the tangible reasons though. I suspect that the intangible reasons of making a friendly government that's really friendly (as opposed to Saudi Arabia's general dislike), ending a 12 year standoff, and perhaps most importantly getting rid of the guy who tried to assassinate a US President and father of the current President were the primary causes for this, the money aspects were just a bonus.

I don't understand spending all that money for a fancy shot ... when pregnancy ain't nothing that a good coathanger or a pair of steel toed boots can't fix<
[ Parent ]
That's brilliant (none / 5) (#58)
by epepke on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:41:00 AM EST

Concise and accurate. Whether one supported the invasion or not (I did not), you've hit most of the nails squarely on the head. And I only say "most" because of the possiblity I might think of one that you missed in the next couple of days, not because I can think of one now.

Good one.


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


[ Parent ]
What about the US? (2.66 / 9) (#62)
by gordonjcp on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 05:52:39 AM EST

And because Saddam was supporting terrorist even though he wasn't supporting Bin Laden
But the US supported terrorism in Iraq for years. It supported terrorism in the UK for years. It still does, although to a vastly diminished extent.
Why are Americans not baying for the President's blood? And the last President, and the one before him, and the one before him?

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


[ Parent ]
*SIGH* (2.83 / 6) (#143)
by godix on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:20:41 AM EST

As I've said dozens of times by now, anyone bitching about US supporting scumbags in the past that doesn't take into account we did it to oppose a greater evil is just a whining idiot. Put some context to your history, nothing happens in a vacuum. In this particular case you aren't even correct, the closest thing to 'terrorism' in Iraq we had a chance to support was the Kurd uprising and we screwed them over. As for the UK, there were quite a few rich stupid Americans who supported the IRA but to the best of my knowledge it was never official US policy.
Why are Americans not baying for the President's blood?

They are. Haven't you been paying attention for the last year or so?
And the last President

In case you overlooked it, we tried to impeach our last president, something we had only done once before in history. I know that it was a backpage news story that didn't get much coverage so I guess I can understand you missing it.
and the one before him

Bush I was generally considered not worth the effort. I think he was more influencal than generally credited with but he will never go down as one of our more notable presidents. Pretty much he was a placeholder between Reagan and Clinton.
and the one before him

This is getting far enough back that you might not remember it if you're reasonably young however Reagan had his fair share of people calling for his blood. Do a google search for October suprise or Iran/Contra. We even had one wacko who almost killed Reagan.

I don't understand spending all that money for a fancy shot ... when pregnancy ain't nothing that a good coathanger or a pair of steel toed boots can't fix<
[ Parent ]
The US did impeach Clinton (none / 0) (#253)
by epepke on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 04:13:50 AM EST

He just wasn't convicted.


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


[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#258)
by godix on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 01:54:28 PM EST

Good point. Considering that I've been pedantic about this very issue I shouldn't have made that mistake. You're right, we impeached Clinton but did not convict him, same as we did once before.

I don't understand spending all that money for a fancy shot ... when pregnancy ain't nothing that a good coathanger or a pair of steel toed boots can't fix<
[ Parent ]
So the ends justify the means... (none / 0) (#259)
by chalito on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 02:29:34 PM EST

congratulations, now you can officially ready to be a terrorist.
chalito
[ Parent ]
oops (none / 0) (#260)
by chalito on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 02:31:04 PM EST

sorry, s/can/are/

chalito
[ Parent ]
You missed one reason. (3.00 / 10) (#124)
by Mtrix on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:35:22 AM EST

You missed one reason, the one I believe is the true reason. Gulf War II was/is a war between the dollar and the euro. In november 2000 Saddam switched from trading oil in dollar to trading in euro. The USA cannot afford to loose the oil trading. It is not about controlling the oil in itself, but rather to control in what currency the oil is being traded. You can bet that soon (if not already) the Iraqi oil is being traded in dollars again.

Here's a quote from this:
...the effect of an OPEC switch to the euro would be that oil-consuming nations would have to flush dollars out of their (central bank) reserve funds and replace these with euros. The dollar would crash anywhere from 20-40% in value and the consequences would be those one could expect from any currency collapse and massive inflation (think Argentina currency crisis, for example). You'd have foreign funds stream out of the U.S. stock markets and dollar denominated assets, there'd surely be a run on the banks much like the 1930s, the current account deficit would become unserviceable, the budget deficit would go into default, and so on. Your basic 3rd world economic crisis scenario.

A Google search for Saddam, oil, euro will give you more info.



[ Parent ]
Any chance... (none / 2) (#173)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:09:40 PM EST

...a real economist has endorsed this cock-eyed theory? The theory doesn't pass the smell test for me on many accounts--most notably that US currency is the international reserve currency of choice for many reasons totally unrelated to OPEC and in any case the US will remain for foreseeable future the largest petroleum market in world--but I'm no economist. I've watched as this idea spread among the indymedia set, but so far I haven't seen anything supporting the idea from anyone with any credibility whatsoever on economic matters.  

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


[ Parent ]
Largest petrolium market (none / 2) (#240)
by Mtrix on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 08:52:23 AM EST

most notably that US currency is the international reserve currency of choice for many reasons totally unrelated to OPEC

Yes, but before the euro there was no other realistic alternative. Now there's the euro which I suppose can be used instead of the dollar for the very same reasons. What other reasons are there b.t.w. that would not also be valid for the euro? I'm genuinely curious.

and in any case the US will remain for foreseeable future the largest petroleum market in world-

Then you don't see very far into the future. Next year when 10 countries join the EU, the EU will be the largest petroleum market in the world. I don't consider that unforeseeable. I saw a number that said that by next year (after the new countries join) the EU will import 33% more oil than the US.

[ Parent ]
Actually (1.70 / 10) (#41)
by sellison on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 08:27:55 PM EST

I think it was "about" destablizing the emerging atheist/socialist power known as the EU.

Which I think Rove, Wolfowitz, et al will not get full credit for until the history books are written by the inevitable winners of the culture war.

After all, our very good friends have got enough oil to last us to the Rapture up north http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/4/20/201246/566




"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

"No blood for oil" (2.91 / 12) (#42)
by swr on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 08:32:39 PM EST

Television news rarely spends more than a couple of minutes on any given story, and sometimes as little as a few seconds. The "no blood for oil" thing is an oversimplification because there isn't air time to put forth a real argument. It's a sound bite.

"No blood and budget deficits for Boeing, Raytheon and Halliburton pork-barrelling" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Besides, the whole military industrial complex meme has been considered passe for a long time now.



Soundbites are ruining democracy, as per usual... (2.50 / 6) (#44)
by skyknight on Wed Oct 15, 2003 at 08:50:47 PM EST

If news outlets don't want to provide news, then they shouldn't pretend to do so. Uneducated voting masses in a democracy are a recipe for disaster. It would be safer to have a dictatorship.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Tell me... (none / 1) (#141)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:03:19 AM EST

...who else do you prefer to do the work that Boeing, Raytheon and Halliburton do? Or is it that you think paying a high price in tax dollars for insanely complex work is unjust?
------------------------------------------------

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

I would prefer not having to do the work at all. (none / 1) (#163)
by ethereal on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:53:26 PM EST

By not invading quite so many places, for one thing. Or, when invading, to not have gone it alone.

--

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

You're right, of course... (none / 0) (#248)
by cburke on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 06:41:39 PM EST

Destroying vast amounts of a nation's infrastructure is complicated and expensive, as is re-building it after you destroy it. It seems to me there has to be a way to completely avoid all that complexity and cost associated with blowing things up then rebuilding them. If only we knew what it was!

[ Parent ]
it's about status quo, if you will (2.50 / 6) (#67)
by dimaq on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:54:34 AM EST

I've heard an interesting opinion (someone provide a link), where it was argued that 'capitalism' and 'happy people' is difficult, if at all possible to reconcile, and in the case of the u.s. it works through govermental injection of funds into economy through military contracts.

One might say, though this may be a little far-fetched, that in this sense, u.s. just has to go to war every now and again, in order to sustain the social model (for citizens of us).

One might as well say, that when it does go to war, it may as well have a reason, or come up with one - and then, some would say "oil" while others "terrorists".

what do you think?

What it reminds me of... (none / 4) (#68)
by skyknight on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 08:03:12 AM EST

Oceania is allied with Eurasia. Oceania has always been allied with Eurasia.

...

Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Erm, escuse me, but... (none / 0) (#92)
by lordDogma on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 08:57:49 PM EST

A $400 billion defense budget is nothing compared to our $10 trillion economy. Nice try though.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

four percent (none / 2) (#128)
by dimaq on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:13:34 AM EST

is not enough for you?

[ Parent ]
Nope. (none / 0) (#182)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:15:53 PM EST

Not enough to make the difference between a happy democracy and a society characterized by total social breakdown as you've tried to argue. -- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]
Spot on (2.83 / 6) (#71)
by Ted Briderider on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:41:26 AM EST

Just like to point out that the contracts to develop the Iraq oil fields where all handed out to American companies with out even bothering to make it look like there was a possibility of them going else where. I hope someone in the UN vetos this new resolution, as America deserves to pay every penny.

Trying to reduce unemployment (2.85 / 7) (#81)
by DaChesserCat on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 04:18:58 PM EST

Well, let's see. The contracts to rebuild/repair Iraq's oil infrastructure were awarded to Haliburton before the war even started.

The US also pushed to make sure that whichever companies get to rebuild the telecomms infrastructure has NO government ownership. Since all the European telecomms companies have significant amounts of ownership by their respective governments, this effectively removes ALL European telecomms companies from bidding on the contracts, leaving primarily US companies.

Consider the number of North American (US and Canandian) people who will be working to do this. Consider the very high levels of unemployment in the US, espcially in the manufacturing and tech sectors. I'm starting to think the author is right: it's not JUST about oil. It's also about unemployment.

George Bush (the previous one), was puzzled, near the end of the term, by the fact that people were so unsatisfied with the results of his presidency. I mean, we won a war for heaven's sake! Some or another newspaper supposedly printed a headline stating "It's the economy, stupid!" Well, the current economy is arguably in worse shape. Maybe the Shrub (or, at least, someone in his administration) is trying NOT to repeat his father's mistake. Between rebuilding oil infrastructure, building a new telecommunications infrastructure and building new weapons for Uncle Sam, that should be good for SOME new jobs. Eventually. Assuming, of course, they haven't all been outsourced to India.

Excuse me if I sound bitter. My tech sector job WAS outsourced to India. I'm still looking for another one, four months later.

Trains stop at train stations Busses stop at bus stations A windows workstation . . .
[ Parent ]
what does india have to do with it? (none / 1) (#105)
by vinayd on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:01:40 AM EST

did India decide to outsource your job? no. probably some Americans did. I for one am glad india is getting so many jobs, but I would also be sad if they took mine. but these foreign countries aren't the problem; corrupt and incompetent domestic leadership is the problem.

do you think George Bush gives a rat's ass about your job? no, he does not.

Could it possibly be the case that the Iraq war will somehow --- through reconstruction, whatever --- help the recovery of the US economy? And if that is true, was it in any way a reason for going to war? No and no.

I don't think this war was about oil; it's not about India and China; it's not about recovering economies. That's all ornament.

The war was an ideological action, given energy and support by historical circumstance --- America's need to kick someone's ass and the President's need to stay in office.

you really don't need to look any further than that.

Don't forget what Rumsfeld said on the afternoon of the New York/Pentagon attacks: "Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not."


One can be silent and sit still only when one has bow and arrow: else one chatters and quarrels. - Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

We deserve to keep every penny too. (none / 2) (#93)
by lordDogma on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:05:05 PM EST

Right. So what you're saying is that you expect the US government to dish out billions of dollars to European firms to help rebuild Iraq. If we dare hire US companies then we are being greedy for wanting to re-invest *OUR* money back into our own country?

We're just trying to kill two birds with one stone. Rebuild Iraq and help out our own economy. There's nothing sinister about that.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

um (none / 2) (#133)
by tps12 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:58:10 AM EST

There's nothing sinister about that.
There isn't? If someone attacked you in a dark alley, and you killed him in self defense, staining your trousers with blood, would you empty his wallet to cover the dry cleaning bill?

[ Parent ]
that's a ridiculous metaphor (none / 0) (#136)
by llimllib on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:09:47 AM EST

that is all.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
i don't think so (none / 1) (#137)
by tps12 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:24:52 AM EST

My point is that if the US derives any economic benefit (other than indirectly through increased global security) from the war, then it throws our stated motivation into question. The metaphor doesn't quite work, though, because when the judge (the international community) asks us why we took the wallet, we'll just ignore, or possibly bomb, him.

[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 1) (#188)
by cburke on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:28:19 PM EST

It seems to me that the major reason your metaphor doesn't work is that the guy we killed and took the wallet from didn't attack us in the first place. I think that rather changes the nature of the metaphor.

[ Parent ]
true (none / 1) (#190)
by tps12 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:01:55 PM EST

But it changes it in my favor, right? I mean, we should especially leave the wallet alone, considering we only killed him because we were afraid he might try something. The point still stands, that we have to expect observers to question our motives if we gain financially from the war.

[ Parent ]
This happens to me often (none / 1) (#138)
by Viliam Bur on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:26:08 AM EST

Most of people attack me when I try to inspect them. I only want to be sure they do not have more weapons than me, but if they do not cooperate, it is their mistake.

[ Parent ]
metaphor (none / 3) (#177)
by codemonkey_uk on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:30:43 PM EST

Um, more like:
If someone shouted at you across the street, then later on, someone threw a rock at you, and then you went back and found they guy that was shouting at you and demanded he hand over all his rocks, and he refused, and you attacked him, and you killed him, and burned down his house, would you then get your brother to rebuild his house, and force his children to work in a coal mine to pay your brothers salary?

---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
I see it more like (none / 3) (#239)
by Ted Briderider on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 08:02:48 AM EST

You had drunk all your beer but then you noticed the guy next to you still had full pint. So you steal his pint and set fire to his socks. Then you sell his beer back to him (for twice as much)to put the fire out.

[ Parent ]
Dumb metaphor because... (none / 0) (#267)
by lordDogma on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 12:56:43 AM EST

Your longwinded, frankly wrong, and academic sounding analogy is stupid because:

1) The issue we are discussing is straighforward enough that it doesn't require a bloated, contrived analogy to make sense of it. Your post added nothing to the debate.

2) We wouldn't be deriving economic benefit because the money was taxed out of OUR economy to begin with. We are simply MINIMIZING economic loss by not sending our money off to other countries for them to gain from it.

3) With regards to the idea of greedy US corporations hogging all the contracts, remember fools: Normal, middle class Americans work for those "greedy" corporations and earn wages from them. Would you rather we give our tax dollars to greedy European corporations instead? Are you so naive that you think only bigoted, racist, corrupt and cash-hungry American companies are out to make money?

4) Countries gain things from war. They lose things too. Get over it. Ever wonder why countries like the US, Germany, Japan, and Italy dominate the auto/engine industry? Do you think its just a coincidence that these countries were major players in WWII? A lot of technical know-how was gained in that war. Should these "belligerents" disband their auto industries out of moral concern that they benefited in some way from war? I'd like to see Germany shut down BMW and Mercedes. Once that happens, then maybe I'll start listening to the bullshit academic arguments you spew out in the safety of your universities where your weak arguments don't have to stand up to any thoughtful criticism.

"I've found that ad hominem attacks increase my credibility substantially. That's why I use them. Maybe if you weren't so fat and stupid you would understand that." -- LD

[ Parent ]

no veto! (none / 3) (#97)
by chimera on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:54:18 PM EST

It wasn't vetoed and I agree with that vote (note: I dont have a right to vote on that council, which should be self-explanatory). Vetoing against it wouldn't help the Iraqis one bit in the short term, while not voting against it might or might not help, depending on the user.

US should pay every penny and every soldiers death. In fact there should be a mandatory draft for all adult americans to serve in Iraq. That way each and every  citizen with voting rights would realize what war means to those on the ground, how much war costs in terms of money, and where the money goes. There would be far less wimping about 'expensive' fire trucks and such itty bitty things as law and electricity.

Does US House, Senate or President decide to pack up and leave in the next year (for domestical political reasons.. ie not good for candidatures) United States of America should be nuked on principle for invading a sovereign nation without due cause, decapitating its rule and then leaving the civilians to die bar none - once again.

If, say, the EU would send large amounts of troops to the region for stabilization the first thing that would happen would be the yankees hauling ass back home, under 'normal rotation', leaving the french to clean up the mess (and then of course, blaim the french for failing).
So, no troops and thus far, no money. US can handle good progress in Iraq if it wishes or is forced to do it.

Make peace, make elections, zen we mayh talk muney. Messiers.

[ Parent ]

Kholhass article (2.87 / 8) (#72)
by cameldrv on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 12:02:10 PM EST

Kholhass claims in his article that he can't figure out where Kuchinch comes up with his five trillion number for the value of Iraqi oil, and he claims that that number is wrong.  The EIA says that Iraq has 112 billion barrels of proven reserves.  Furthermore, they state that the vast majority of Iraq is unexplored, and they estimate there to be an additional 100 billion barrels in the ground.  That's a total of 212 billion barrels.  The current nymex crude price is $31.77/bbl.  That makes Iraqi oil worth 6.7 trillion.  In fact, in order for the number to be less than 5 trillion, crude prices would have to go down to about $23/bbl, lower than they have been in the past year.

Arguments about Iraqi production pre-war aren't very informative, because Iraq had been hampered by the sanctions, and was unable to adequately maintain its industry, much less do additional exploring.  Furthermore, Iraq's exports were limited by the sanctions, so there was no incentive to increase production.  With such huge reserves, I'm sure that once things get stabilized, production will increase dramatically, and the U.S. will be a big beneficiary.  If a pro-U.S. government is installed, whether Iraq stays in OPEC or not, Iraq will have huge leverage to control the price of oil.  Even beyond the lower price that the U.S. will enjoy on oil, a greater benefit is that other countries such as Saudi Arabia will have a limited ability to punish the U.S. by reducing production.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the new government is given subsidies to maintain extra production capacity for just this reason.

Not just the Price (none / 1) (#172)
by TomV on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:00:07 PM EST

It's nt so much the price of oil that really matters here, so much as the currency in which that price is measured.

Iraq had already moved to pricing its oil in Euros.  OPEC looked as if it might follow.  And faced with the threat of the petroDollar being superseded by the petroEuro, it's just about arguable that attacking Iraq and deposing its government was an inescable act of self-defence in the face of imminent catastrophe.

The principal reason the US economy is able to sustain its current level of debt is that changes in demand for Dollars on the currency markets is heavily moderated by the world's need for Dollars to pay for oil.  So long as oil is sold for Dollars, there will always be a demand for dollars.  Remove that prop, and suddenly the US switches from being the richest, to the most indebted country on earth, with a very poor record of paying off its past debts and little prospect of paying off its present ones.  Then the inflation, and the high interest rates, and the unemployment.

So they had to nip the change in the bud.  National Security, it's the first responsibility of any government.

[ Parent ]

Seems like this should mention (none / 5) (#74)
by nutate on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 12:12:29 PM EST

Haliburton's contract with the Army Corps of Engineers. Surely average Americans working for Haliburton (and Bechtel) will get some benefit when they head over to Iraq to help rebuild things there. But doesn't this sort of economic stimulus seem awfully indirect? Other countries all want a piece of the action as well, and may well get some when the contract is held up for open bidding in a year (or something to that effect that I heard).

In my opinion it would seem like under / unemployed Iraqi engineers should be getting the money from the UN/US. Engineers from other countries shouldn't be necessary unless the Iraqi engineers find need to hire them. Others have suggested that this would substantially reduce the cost of the rebuilding effort. International forces could remain to keep the peace, and hopefully relieve the troops out there on extended tours. My ( bleeding? ;-) ) heart goes out to them.

PS for entrepreneurs looking for there own Iraq contract, check out this link U.S. Commercial Service Bahrain Iraq Reconstruction

Haliburton -> Halliburton (link's correct)[n/t] (none / 0) (#144)
by nutate on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:23:29 AM EST



[ Parent ]
This just shows what we have known all along... (1.00 / 28) (#75)
by rmg on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:05:38 PM EST

Americans are the Great White Satan. In all of human history, there has been no greater murderer or rapist than the white, American male. Our course of action is clear: We must kill, kill, kill the white man.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

(bad) satire aside, (none / 1) (#77)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:41:23 PM EST

Very few people actually mean that when they critize the US, or Western society in general.

Most of the time, such as in the case of this article, the points are valid and as Americans, each one of you has a duty to examine every argument made about your country, since they may in fact be correct.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

gosh, better get crackin' then! (none / 1) (#79)
by rmg on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:45:04 PM EST

i'll put on another pot of coffee.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

speaking of coffee and capitalism (none / 1) (#80)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 01:47:12 PM EST

or, nevermind... :-)

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
are you saying invade Colombia? (none / 1) (#135)
by llimllib on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:05:58 AM EST

Oh, wait, we're already spending billions of dollars over there, and have "Civilian Forces" over there. It's a shame nobody notices that... But we get our Colombian coffee damn cheap!

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Huh, I thought that this... (none / 2) (#91)
by skyknight on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 08:37:48 PM EST

looked familiar.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
*good* eye (none / 1) (#102)
by rmg on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 11:39:28 PM EST

with chops like that and plenty, you might have skills like rmg some day.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

that should say "plent of practice" (none / 1) (#103)
by rmg on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 11:40:02 PM EST

sorry for any confusion.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

No! The endangered specie must be protected (none / 0) (#112)
by Lord of Caustic Soda on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:40:35 AM EST

Driven by they wild animal lust, they consume with gleeful gluttony and couple with females of all colours. The once proud race of blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryans have turned to a ragtag bunch of half-breeds tainted so much by Moorish blood. Even their language has been corrupted by the vile influence from blighted Iberia.

[ Parent ]
oil and dollars (2.28 / 7) (#84)
by lankakid on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:20:38 PM EST

it is right that it is not 'just about oil'. these things are always more complexed as to make the mind boggle and explode. However if the UK or the US lost it's percentage ownership of the oil in the middle east both countries would econmicaly collapse - so understandably, we maintain whatever power we can over the region, by whatever means. Iraq, prior to gulf war II, changed it's oil currency from US dollars to Euro dollars... with the Euro gaining strength, the US administration got worried... funny how the UK (non Euro member) backed the US and Germany and France backed the anti-war stance...

"euro dollars" ??? (none / 1) (#131)
by dimaq on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:48:40 AM EST



[ Parent ]
meta: your text wraps in elinks 0.4pre5 :( [nt] (none / 4) (#85)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:34:04 PM EST


"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
You're trying... (none / 3) (#86)
by skyknight on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 07:42:21 PM EST

to render web pages with an abacus, aren't you?

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
1..1|1111111...1 (none / 2) (#111)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:26:27 AM EST


"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
And now... (none / 1) (#126)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:40:04 AM EST

You're trying to curse at me in base one, though the pipe is confusing and probably has some kind of special semantics of which I am not aware.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Isn't it an abacus nt? (none / 1) (#127)
by whazat on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:07:18 AM EST



[ Parent ]
an abacus (none / 2) (#134)
by llimllib on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:02:24 AM EST

is a series of 1s? I would think it would need at least 0s to be useful...

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Abaci and 0 (none / 3) (#154)
by RadiantMatrix on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:29:47 AM EST

The abacus, IIRC, predates 0. So, it works by bead positions corresponding to "1" and "not 1" rather than 1 and 0.

The difference is subtle, and not really all that important, but I love being a pedant. :P

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

I'll accept that (none / 3) (#155)
by llimllib on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:39:27 AM EST

since I was being a pedant too.

Peace.
[ Parent ]
Another simple explanation (2.92 / 13) (#94)
by Calieri on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:08:10 PM EST

I agree that it's neither convincing that the war is entirely for oil, or has nothing to do with the concerns of the Bush administration or associated parties, and I agree that THESE are too simple. But that doesn't mean the issue has to be complex. Perhaps we just don't have a clear idea of what is going on and that makes us think it must be complex. (Maybe we are making poor use of our information. Maybe we just don't know enough. Maybe people are working to confuse us. - bear in mind, this is an enumeration of possibilities, not of conspiracies.) The point is that it is not best to overlook simple explanations in general just because some simple explanations are poor.

Is it possible that the war really is driven by ideology, but that the ideology is stupid and insane? As a best guess, I think this must be it. The stated intentions of the administration range from dull-witted to insane. Who needs corruption to explain bad decisions when you have stupid ideology?

Lest this sound too speculative - and lest you were waiting for something to get rabid about -this isn't new for Republican administrations. I could dig for lots of examples, but two will illustrate: 'domino effect' and 'trickle-down.'

One can't entirely blame people (or even Republicans) for buying stupid ideas; people are often deceived. But much of the popular conservative moral ideology is equally bankrupt - like social darwinism - and here there is no excuse. Evil ideals make a person evil even if they are not corrupt or duplicitous. My simple explanation is that the administration is evil in just this way.

Bad doctrines make for bad decisions, and they can easily make hell on earth in concert with efforts to discourage all rational discussion and all dissent. Like the classification of anyone who questions the ends and means of this war as immoral, unpatriotic, not caring about 9/11, or supporting terrorism. (I guess you can't teach an old Republican new tricks - unless, perhaps, they are stolen from the Communists.)

Your comment is almost golden (none / 1) (#139)
by sllort on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:27:22 AM EST

But I most protest that you are confusing party allegiance with something more subtle. John McCain, with the Republican nomination in 2000, would have won, but not invaded Iraq. He is not a perfect man, but he is far less stupid than George Bush.

One can't entirely blame people (or even Republicans) for buying stupid ideas; people are often deceived

Good things have come from Republicans. Bad things have come from Democrats. There was the Marc Rich pardon, and the campaign finance reform bill.

Asking the question whether the mainstream media has a liberal or conservative bias is like asking whether al Qaeda uses too much oil in their hummus. I might think they use a little bit too much oil; some people might think it's a little dry. But the problem with al Qaeda is they want to kill us. And the problem with the mainstream media is that it has these other biases that are much more important.
- Al Franken.

As soon as you put your fingers in your ears and close your eyes and start singing "la la la la la Republicans bad" you've become as bad as Rush Limbaugh. The problem with America isn't the Republicans, really, it's George Bush and his personal gang of idiots, and the fundraising muscle they've been able to bring to bear. A lot of people may be singing along to stay in the party, but it doesn't mean they all agree. What Washington is truly missing is personal integrity and intelligence, and I will vote for anyone from either party who brings both to the table. God knows there are people on both sides of the aisle who bring neither.

I miss Paul Wellstone.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

If you don't think... (none / 1) (#142)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:09:43 AM EST

...that carrying out the campaign against Iraq despite massive resistance from the unwashed masses is an indicator of personal integrity and intelligence, then you have lost the plot. The campaign in Iraq is all about drawing a line in the sand. If you can't see that, then you're just one more face in the crowd of cretins that think reading the newspaper is the criteria for a thinking man.

I don't like George Bush. I have mixed feelings about Rove, Runsfeld, et al. But to call them idiots and accuse them of lacking personal integrity and intelligence is just so weak. I mean, what exactly have *you* accomplished in the past two years?
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Um (none / 2) (#145)
by sllort on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:24:44 AM EST

So you're asserting they've been completely open with the public about the reasons behind their actions?
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 1) (#149)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:03:49 AM EST

And I don't require them to be. I have a fucking brain, and I use it. Why would you depend on the President to make you understand the dynamics at play? Isn't that your job as a citizen?

My point is that people who think the war is about oil or defense contracts or religious beliefs or weapons of mass destruction are wrong. The war is about poking sticks into hornets nests. Who cares what the President says it's about? Who the hell is stupid enough to think that any President was trustworthy? When I tell you that I question authority, I don't mean that I assume the authorities are misguided--what I mean is that I don't pay much attention to their stated motives. Frankly, I can't see why anyone would.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

aol keywords: personal integrity (nt) (none / 0) (#150)
by sllort on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:14:58 AM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
We can differ on that. (none / 1) (#157)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:51:34 AM EST

If you think that personal integrity means doing what you say, and I think personal integrity is doing what you think is right regardless of what you say, then I'm okay with that.
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[ Parent ]

Absurd (none / 2) (#218)
by Calieri on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:43:10 AM EST

Suppose you hire me to teach your children about life, thinking that I have very excellent judgement and wisdom (ridiculous, of course.)

It is true that my job is just to teach your children about life. However, when I force them to drink alcohol until they vomit, you are entitled to an explanation of why I do this abusive thing. It would be very thick to think that I couldn't be wrong just because you hired me, or that it is somehow an affront for you to ask this, on the grounds that I am the teaching expert. Even if you are not a teaching expert, you can recognize the problems with force feeding children alcohol, and you are at least entitled to some reliable and substantive indication of the factors which you don't understand.

Not just an assertion that you know what you're doing and that everything is in hand.

[ Parent ]

You lost me. (none / 1) (#227)
by SPYvSPY on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 08:52:11 PM EST

I think a more apt analogy would be that you proposed to teach my children to drink until vomitting, and I asked you why, and you responded "because I think children need to have high tolerance to alcohol". Then I wondered if you really meant that, and whether you were actually just doing it to get wasted, which I fully support, so I give the tyke to you and you get him hammered.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Example (none / 0) (#232)
by Calieri on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 01:27:50 AM EST

Bush's mandate isn't specifically to, say, invade Iraq. Rather, I'd suppose it's something more generic like taking care of the country.

But I think you got the point. Or anyway, mumble mumble drunk children.

[ Parent ]

A Dangerous View (none / 2) (#160)
by czolgosz on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:09:19 PM EST

I don't like George Bush. I have mixed feelings about Rove, Runsfeld, et al. But to call them idiots and accuse them of lacking personal integrity and intelligence is just so weak. I mean, what exactly have *you* accomplished in the past two years?
I hope you meant to say "what exactly have you accomplished that's positive?"

Bush and his government have accomplished a lot, but little or nothing that should have been done: economic mismanagement (running up a huge deficit to stimulate the economy, then financing it by devaluation followed by inflation-- just watch and wait), starting a war of aggression to funnel revenue to their political sponsors as well as for geopolitical leverage, abrogation of treaties, enabling totalitarian repression at home. These are all accomplishments, but none of them is positive. That's what happens when strong leadership is exercised without moral constraint. All their religiosity is a fig leaf for this essential moral bankruptcy, even if some of them sincerely regard themselves as nice guys "doing the Lord's work."


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
wow. (none / 1) (#171)
by naught on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:55:17 PM EST

what 'should have been done' is largely a matter of personal values.  how it has been handled is really up to the people in power, that the american citizenry voted there.  if you don't like the way things get done, vote for someone else next year.  that is the way we run our country, and no amount of quibbling about electoral votes and a stolen election is going to hold water given the results of other recent elections.

bush has had, as a president, a difficult task.  between the attack on sept-11, and the subsequent deflowering of america, to the sorry state the military and intelligence communities were in when he took office, to the sorry state the economy, which began its decline long before he was elected, it's a mighty wonder that anyone has a job or a positive outlook on life at all.  but most people in the US go to sleep at night not fearing another sept-11, and confident that we're making progress in the economy, and happy that they're going to work in the morning.

i call that accomplishing a lot that's good.  for the most part, the things americans are unhappy about are related to wants, and the things they're happy about are related to needs.  while there's grousing about the economy, it is largely because of the unrealistic bubble and subsequent unrealistic expectations created in previous administrations.  people have what they need, if not what they want -- and what's more, most people agree with me.  and that's the real fun of a democracy: what you want doesn't matter -- even what a significant portion of the population wants doesn't matter -- the policies of the politicians elected by the majority matter.

i'm happy that the nation didn't fall apart.  i'm happy i have a good job.  i'm happy that another dictator isn't killing civilians.  i'm happy that the qdoba i eat lunch at isn't going to explode tomorrow.

we focus too much on what we don't have, as americans.  personally, i'm gonna go home, have a nice dinner, hang out with my friends and have a few, then retire home and show my girlfriend the best time she's had since last night.  because i can.

if anybody else wants to stay up and worry about the fate of the nation, go ahead and take my share of the worry too.  i won't be needing it.

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

But hey, you're ok. (none / 0) (#203)
by andamac on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:37:48 PM EST

Millions don't have what they need, aren't going to work in the morning, and have problems much more serious and real the the possibility that Saddam might chuck a WMD at them. The world has become on the whole more dangerous for americans. And this president's status as "voted in by the people" is highly debatable.

Every president has a difficult task. No different for this one. (And the state of intelligence and so on is also debateable, given that the it seems Clinton officials warned of the dangers of Bin Ladens ilk, and the fact that the department of homeland security was something that had rooted during the Clinton administration and Bush was urged to pick up on it before 9/11 happened, but did nothing.) The fact that he hasn't let the country collapse into complete disarray is not impressive, and can only be seen as "doing good" by the most dismal standards.

Do I lie awake at night, fraught with worry at the state of affairs? No. But neither do I find them acceptable. And I am rather looking forward to next November. It's likely that the next guy will do little more then Bush, but with a change in control, at least there's a chance.

[ Parent ]

scale (none / 0) (#262)
by naught on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:41:30 PM EST

millions don't have what they need, but the overwhelming majority do.  the word 'millions' in light of the fact that our nation is rapidly approaching 300 of those millions doesn't have quite the gravity perhaps that it used to.

you're subject 'but hey, you're ok.' is right on.  i'm ok.  as are all the people i know.  i know a few people without jobs, but they don't have jobs because they -- in one form or another -- choose to not have jobs.  they have some idea that because they're pretty they shouldn't have to work as a register biscuit, despite the fact that they have no marketable skills.  and they're not starving.  why?  because i make sure they're fed.      because it's my responsibility, as their friend, neighbor, or family, to see that they get what they need to survive.  mine, not some guy from texas.

people have this all backwards: being top down fails.  being bottom up works.  you're willing to complain about people not having what they need, and more serious problems.  what have you done to help?  what has andamac done this month to help the people who have needs that aren't being met?

yes, our unemployment rate is stupid.  but so is our education, a fact that it takes parents to fix, not uncle sam.  we have a lot of complicated problems that the people have to fix themselves, and not even the most compassionate conservatism is going to be able to equalize the situation through legislation.

as for next november, i think the result might suprise you.  not because bush is the best president ever and we all want him to hang in there, but because as the democrats draw furthur left they abandon many of their constituents.

most people want moderation, liberal or conservative.

scratch that.  most people don't know what they want.  those that do have a bell distribution that places the bulk of their desires in the 'moderate' column.  the republican position is moving center-ish, and the democrat position is falling toward the radical.  how do you think the public is going to respond?

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

What I can (none / 1) (#268)
by andamac on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 01:23:12 AM EST

To answer the first question. Not much, but my options are few for the time being.

I DO stay awake at night worrying that the Dems are going to run some lackluster far left ass and we'll end up with Bush again. Well, sometimes. Ok not often.

It's quite true that people seem to be preferring moderates, but Bush is not a moderate. GOP members are all in a tizzy because Arnold won by a decent amount in a heavily democratic state, but Arnold is as socially liberal as half of the democrats around. Go gays, go abortion, go cloning, and (at least in campaign) save instead of spend economics. What's Bush? WAY the fuck over on the right. Boo on gays, boo on abortion (and premarital sex for that matter, tech abstinence only) and spend and spend while lowering income economics. Is the average american happy with the prospect of paying through the nose to make the world not really a better place? I'm not. But then I'm not that sure the average american is that smart, and since in elections money can talk louder then ability, I AM starting to worry about where we'll be after four more years of this, considering what the last 3 have been like.

[ Parent ]

This one is a classic. (none / 0) (#217)
by Calieri on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:35:43 AM EST

Ahh, 'if you don't like it, too bad because it was the popular mandate.'

<rueful musing> But it seems probable - and please prove me wrong - that you have no problem criticizing other officials when they do something YOU think is stupid. You just don't have any objection to Bush, which is why you seem to think that being voted automatically puts your decisions all beyond reproach. But not all of those decisions were voted for, and anyway destroying the world because a lot of people thought it sounded good is still destroying the world and isn't particularly moral. </rueful musing>

[ Parent ]

correction, since you asked. (none / 0) (#261)
by naught on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 03:25:19 PM EST

i try not to criticize officials if all i'm going to do is criticize.  on the other hand, if i have criticism, i generally let that official know about it, by whatever means i have.  then they either change their policy, or i vote for someone else.  you gotta focus on what you can do, not what you can say, because we all know the economics of talk.

the problems this and most like sites have is that far too many people are willing to talk about what they don't like, and far too few people are willing to do something about it.  but since we're an instant-gratification nation, we don't have the attention span or fortitude to actually follow through with our criticisms.

just so we're clear, i never said i didn't have any problems with bush.  i said that he's doing a good job given what he had to work with.  we don't get to vote on every decision .. that's the way our system works.  i have my own ideas about what would work better, but since it will never happen, i don't see the point in wasting bandwidth about it.

any 'destroying the world' melodrama is just that.  your world isn't falling apart any faster or slower because of the action of one man or one administration.  things just aren't that simple.  and trying to make it that simple is the mindset of the simple.

if you want change, do something.

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

Personal integrity as shown by stubbornness (none / 1) (#216)
by Calieri on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:29:04 AM EST

If doing something despite massive resistance is an indicator of personal integrity and intelligence, I guess you have a lot of great role models. Like Hitler, for one.

And drawing a line in the sand. There's something that's always necessarily good.

What have you accomplished, smartypants? Why do you employ this kind of trying to grapple to a better position with ad hominem when the exact same ad hominem applies to you (- that is, even completely neglecting the uselessness of ad hominem to anything resembling rational argument.)

[ Parent ]

Substance (none / 1) (#215)
by Calieri on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:25:54 AM EST

I took a couple humorous oblique swipes at Republicans, knowing full well that they do the same at opportunity, but these are easily differentiable from my points.

There's no inherent virtue in being uncertain, or refusing to condemn anyone. You should go ahead and condemn people when they are doing bad things. I think it is more than fair for me to criticize the conservatives, even if it makes me 'like them' in the trivial sense that I don't mealy-mouth when I evaluate ideology. What's important is whether my evaluation is correct.

Address whether my evaluation is correct, because it's beyond doubt - to anyone but, well, most Democrats (note, that's mostly just a swipe) - that we should say unequivocally that wrong things are wrong and bad things are bad, when this is our best conclusion.

[ Parent ]

You're at least half correct (none / 2) (#168)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:46:29 PM EST

The overt ideological motivations behind US actions in Iraq are dismissed all to quickly by many critics in favor of shadowy conspiracy theories, but stupid, insane, and evil are all terribly poor characterizations of the ideology in question. Disagree with it--I personally do on many counts--but summarily dismissing ideologies you object to as stupid or insane is poor form, and "evil" is word that should just never be used in polite company.

The Bush administration has, generally speaking, done a stupendously poor job of communicating the big picture worldview under which they operate, opting instead for shallow slogans and thinly construed pretext, no doubt due to Bush's self avowed aversion to overly analytic or "theoretical" approaches to international affairs. The active ideological wing of the Bush administration is not to be found with Bush himself, but among everybody's favorite shadowy network of covert power brokers, the so-called Neo-Cons. How the Neo-Cons ever got pegged as some shadowy organization bound together by family relations and oil money is beyond me, as they--insofar as we can say that "they" definitively do exist--have never been particularly shy about expressing their positions.

As I said earlier, feel free to disagree with them, but you can on no account write off the so-called Neo-Cons as stupid. If anything, they represent the most explicitly "academic" ideology to exert significant influence on American foreign policy in modern history. American foreign policy has long been associated with a sort of ad hoc pragmatism, but the Neo-Cons are most comfortable placing their ideas in context of Hegel, Marx, Hobbes, and Kant. Whatever else you might wish to call them, neither the Kagans (Sr. and Jr.) nor the Kristols (Sr. and Jr.) are in any way stupid. And while many people seem to believe Wolfowitz is a frothing at the mouth brute, the truth is that he is by all accounts a brilliant man and an accomplished scholar.  

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


[ Parent ]
What's important is what's said, not how (none / 3) (#214)
by Calieri on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 02:21:56 AM EST

If my dismissals are too summary: 'stupid', 'evil', 'insane'; then so is yours: 'terribly poor,' 'summary'. You don't occupy the high ground until you actually defend the *ideology*: explain why the *ideology* is bright, moral, rational, or at least just middling. That would, I'd wager, be hard to do, but you can try.

Putting a stupid idea in the context of Marx and Kant, or into the mouth of someone who can talk to you about political philosophy, doesn't change the fact that it is a stupid idea. It just impresses people who worship form.

It is not beyond any debate that the ideology Bush is using is all of the things I said about it. But neither is this strictly a bunch of careless insults. In contrast with, for example, the facile comparison of all liberals to Stalin, we don't need to rely on guilt by association or a slippery slope to find faults in ideology; we have the behavior and justifications of Bush, held explicitly to conform to the ideology, to judge with.

No; we can judge by the results. The deficit balloons. (Bush can't be exclusively blamed for the economy.) Critical information and justification of decisions is missing and what substitutes are flatly wrong overstatements (paraphrase: 'We have found the weapons in trailers'), patriotism and fear. The sound-bite reasons for the wars change by the month, in particular being different from the grounds which led us to the wars to begin with, which themselves hung on the slimmest logical threads. Relations with much of the rest of the world - much of Europe, China and North Korea, and the entire Muslim world, to name 'a few' - have been wrecked so well it almost looks intentional. The UN is weak and there is a precedent for starting war on no principle except suspicion of malice, with a weak burden of evidence; we know we're right, but since our reasons are actually poor, it's very hard for anyone else to see that, and the damage is done.

The wars themselves have been very costly and the occupation will be even more costly.

It's not unpredictable that this has utterly failed, and will utterly fail, to stop terrorism. It isn't particularly practical or in our interest to threaten quite explicitly every regime which disagrees with us about how to run their country. And it isn't moral to kill many thousands of people who have nothing to do with terrorism, because we were attacked by someone, as if the entire world were divided into (as the Onion put it) "US" and a homogenous "Them."

So yes, I think Bush's actions, which are held to conform to some kind of coherent policy, show that the policy is stupid, insane, and evil, at least at a first approximation.

[ Parent ]

Now why would I... (none / 2) (#224)
by cr8dle2grave on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 06:06:45 PM EST

...take up the task of defending and justifying the Neo-Con's theories concerning international relations when it was my contention that they've done a more than adequate job of that on their own? They aren't in need of apologists.

If you have any specific criticisms, I'd be more than willing to discuss them with you, but thus far you've not issued a single substantive objection. Pardon me if I'm underwhelmed with your analysis, which amounts to nothing more than labeling ideas you disagree with as "stupid", "insane", and "evil". Anyone not already disposed to view your charges as self-evident could hardly be persuaded by what you've put forth.

You came closer to actually making an argument in the previous round when you suggested that we can "know them by their fruits," but you introduce a somewhat wider field than what I was initially addressing. My comments were narrowly directed at the so-called Neo-Con's theories on international relations and specifically the motivations for the attack on Iraq. The relevant "fruits" which you've offered up for analysis are:

  1. Feasibility: You boldly assert that it will not succeed--on this specific point you should keep in mind that I'm strongly inclined to agree with you--but put forward no argument as to why. Nor do you offer up any evidence that you have it clearly in mind what exactly it is that the Neo-Cons have argued we would be achieving in Iraq.
  2. International Standing: You argue that US relations with Europe, China, North Korea, and the entire Muslim world has suffered irreparable damage. Sorry but I fail to see it. We now have poor relations with most of the Muslim world and we've long had mostly poor relations with the Muslim world. We've had 50 years of uninterrupted hostile and volatile relations with North Korea and we still do. Nothing has changed there save another flare up. US/Chinese relations are essentially unchanged. And Europe? Well, other than an increase in ill will and mutual frustration nothing substantive has changed at all. Much to the chagrin of nay-sayers on both sides of the Atlantic, the US and Europe have far too much in common and share too many strategic interests to ever stray too far from one another. Finally, the question of the UN. As I see it, the UN has always been a thoroughly impotent and ineffectual organization and nothing has changed there. The UN hasn't been weakened, but rather the dreams of those who would have had the UN assume a more powerful role have been dashed.

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


[ Parent ]
Start batting or get off the plate (none / 1) (#226)
by Calieri on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 08:32:02 PM EST

First: You introduced the assumption that I am drawing insults out of a hat, and applying them to people, just because I disagree (say, irrationally) with the people. Understand that this assumption is wrong (at best; I'm, say, 65% confident that it's not even selective memory, but outright ad hominem.) My claims, however little I have argued for them (understanding that it would be a waste of time which would almost certainly only press back the disagreement into lots of small specific points rather than resolving anything), are that the policy may use ineffective means, that its ends are probably not moral ends, or that its basis or operating assumptions may be delusory. Note the qualification, which is not removed by my by-the-way expression of hunches. I used simple words, but the words point to what the disagreements with the policy or ideology are; their simplicity doesn't mean that I am just calling people any names which sound bad. I am calling the ideology the names for the things I find bad about it.

This is especially important because the content of the post was not especially oriented toward proving that these things are true of the 'Bush ideology,' but rather that, were any one of these possibilities instantiated, they would explain the motivation for the war simply and - unlike 'the war is for oil' - without a vastly difficult stretch of evidence, and also without even needing to assume (as is actually not uncommon) that decisions are being made on corrupt or duplicitous bases. The three categories are categories which would serve to provide this sort of explanation. I think this is all pretty reasonable. If you accept this and say that, for example, poorly chosen means and inappropriate ends COULD be an explanation for a war which seems like an enormous and poorly justified waste, then you can still discard the explanation on some other basis.

This is much weaker than just saying that the ideology is bad in some way, so it's reasonable to wonder why it's useful. It's useful because because not everyone takes the administration at its word re: the justification for the war. This is not because they are irrational; there are some justificationss (or, at worst, decent exuses) for it. The administration's word is really pretty incomplete and incoherent, and relies a lot on allusions to goals which aren't goals for anyone except a certain bunch of people, and to others look really immoral.

Here is an example, of roughly the moral sort. Is it a good goal to export 'American principles' everywhere? This is a commonly assumed end.

1. This isn't obviously beneficial to America, even if attained without cost; and doing it will certainly have a fearful cost, while there is nothing to say that we could not thrive in a world which was not all clones of America, or that we necessarily would in a world of America-like nations (after all, they would be perfectly comfortable attacking us pre-emptively on grounds which are internationally controversial at best.)

2. America has good principles, principles which are good for us and others, but it also has some bad principles, principles which are bad for us and others. Failing to discriminate between these in saying that it is a good end to disseminate American principles is immoral to anyone who desires the most good for us and others.

3. I would hesitate to argue this, but many people will argue that it would be a great loss if all countries were too like America, and some would point out (per 2.) that America isn't unequivocally the best thing since sliced bread, hence the (expensive and bloody) enforcement of American principles may actually work in a direction which does not improve the world.

This is an example. I have no interest in debating the specifics. The point is that there are non-trivial ways to criticize the goal of 'total American leadership,' hence this instantiates a non-trivial criticism of the ideology. When such criticism holds, it may well also explain what seems to a lot of people to be a pretty inscrutable or even irrational war, as I said, without requiring there to be any scandals involving duplicity, cronyism, good old boy networks, etc.

That's the point I tried to make simply, by saying that there might be a simpler explanation: that the admin. is stupid or evil without being corrupt or even secretive about it. This conveyed the point. It was also a great cue for deliberate misunderstandings from people who disagreed, hence found it easy to focus on everything except the point: a defense of the intelligence of the 'neo-conservatives,' etc.

Finally, a comment on the argument. Suppose I say that so and so is wrong. You point out that I am wrong, because so and so is right. This is a matter of say-so against say-so. No one will believe you unless 'previously disposed to' any more than they will believe me, so this doesn't help you. But you also criticize my post because there isn't enough justification in it. But you never said why so and so is right, you only said they did in a dismissive way. This is what introduces the asymmetrical situation: I don't have a dismissal on the grounds that you or anyone else is dismissive or too summary on the table, while you do, but yourself are dismissive and summary in your dismissal. If you wanted it to stick, you wouldn't follow what you contend to be my pattern - namely, dismissing points and insinuating things about the people who make them because you disagree, without providing (or perhaps even having) substantive justification.

I don't have anything staked on getting down to brass tacks, and have no interest. You do because your exclusive argument for why I am wrong is that I don't get down to brass tacks. You'd have a stronger position if, having stepped up to the plate as a neo-con apologist, you started batting, but I actually have no interest in your doing so, only an interest in pointing out the self-defeat in the line of argument you've pursued.

[ Parent ]

It looks like... (none / 0) (#236)
by cr8dle2grave on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 02:08:40 PM EST

...we've got something of a Mexican standoff going on here. So I'll depart suspecting you a bit rash and you can judge me however it is you wish. Perhaps we'll meet again one day when we're actually interested in engaging the topic of conversation. Till then, g'day to you sir.

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


[ Parent ]
I will say (none / 0) (#274)
by RyoCokey on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 06:32:02 PM EST

He used an awful lot of words to say very little.



farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
[
Parent ]
one thing is certain. (1.00 / 9) (#96)
by chimera on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 09:29:39 PM EST

what ever it WAS for, I know what it IS and WILL BECOME.

In the next year Iraq will effectively be the newest state of the United States, wringing hands more effectively than good ole' Florida and shining new internally armourised California.

yep folks, we back to that Sleek meek Presidential Campaign Politics.

Note the fucking sissies of the House and Congress, wanting to pull out before paying the Bills or paying the Monopoly Price.

I just hate Early-Campaign Positioning.

Look, you even got the rest of the world to not fuck it up if you deliver just this day at the UN, so what is US waiting for?  

Usama isn't there anyways....

What are you talking about. (none / 3) (#120)
by tkatchev on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:09:44 AM EST

You are a retard.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

stability of the region... (2.41 / 12) (#99)
by moonpolysoft on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 10:57:09 PM EST

...is the last thing on the administrations collective minds. Stability in the middle east means the complete loss of american economic power in the international arena.

This war, along with the first desert storm, is directed at saddam for the singular reason that he was one of the most progressive leader in the region. Do not misunderstand, however. This does not mitigate his crimes against humanity. He aroused our wrath because of his asperations towards the unification of the middle east. If someone were able to accomplish a unification of arabian nations, or at least a tight knit cooperation, said person would essentially be able to dictate policy to all oil-dependent western nations.

So having a set of stable nations that generally promote the welfare of their citizenry is against the interests of the western world. This is why the administration and administrations before it have tolerated and even installed insane religious zealots as national leaders. They have no great ambition other than torturing and brainwashing their own populous. Thus keeping a frightened and impoverished population from seizing the opportunity of competing on a fair playing field with the rest of the world.



stability is when you do what i say! (none / 5) (#106)
by unsubtle on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:15:34 AM EST

yes, the US government will try to suppress any pan-arab unity: because they can't fight all the arabs at the same time.  yes, they will try to supress any arab democracy: because democracies would use the oil money to relieve the poverty of their own people, and then how would halliburton pay dick cheney's pension?

a don't think saddam's pan-arab rhetoric was of overriding importance - though it was probably a factor - because he was in such a weak military position since gulf war #1, and had no real allies among other governments.

the administration and administrations before it have tolerated and even installed insane religious zealots as national leaders. They have no great ambition other than torturing and brainwashing their own populous.
yeah, except that some of the religious zealots are also keen to steal their way to vast personal wealth (e.g. the saudis certainly are; i'm not sure about the taliban).

[ Parent ]

Vast personal wealth. (none / 3) (#121)
by tkatchev on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:11:16 AM EST

That never seemed to bother the Bush crowd.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

well put. (none / 3) (#165)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:02:00 PM EST

As a side note I'd also like to point out that the US is supporting a government in Eygpt that is activly stifling a pro-democracy, left leaning movement in that country as well.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Growth (none / 2) (#100)
by auraslip on Thu Oct 16, 2003 at 11:00:28 PM EST

Think about india and china. What they are becoming. India is taking most of our tech jobs, and china just launched a man into space. In twenty years both of them will be a power rivaling america.
Around this time the worlds oil supply will be diminishing, and as the president of Exxon put it "alterntive fuel will be non-viable for the next 75 years".
This is where Iraq comes in. If we have a puppet state in an oil rich region, we can control the oil. Thus controling the means for economic growth.
Thus the US mantains Hegomony, which is what is good for the country.

___-___
hmm... (none / 0) (#164)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:56:33 PM EST

as the president of Exxon put it

I would give that too much credence... the president has a vested interest in ensuring that alternatives remain off the table for as long as possible, or at least until Exxon can develop them.

Thus the US mantains Hegomony, which is what is good for the country

But is it? How many Osamas will this create, and how many can the US truely defend itself against?

All I can say is that clearly, it's evident the issues the USA is having with one are huge. Everything from the patriot act to the unauthorized invasion of another country stems from the actions of a single disgruntled man.

The solutions advocated by the Project for a New American Century can only be successful within the confines of an empire resembling the harshest of police states - both within and without.

Think about that before you support Total American World Dominance, espescially if you're American.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#193)
by auraslip on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:24:24 PM EST

being the rich country will make us enemys. But I guess it's better to be rich and have a few rag tag haters, then poor and hating the rich.

Actually the US would be best off it had multiple competitors of equal stature. Our economy is stagnating right now, but once india, china, and EU start to gain dominance I'm sure we'll start reving up.

Competition or cooperation?
___-___
[ Parent ]

What's the difference... (none / 2) (#194)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:41:07 PM EST

between Pakistan and a pancake?

I don't know any pancakes that were nuked by India!

silence

What, too soon?



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
the plans are hidden in plain sight (3.00 / 16) (#104)
by unsubtle on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:24:06 AM EST

the bush administration appears to be implementing the policies proposed by the Project for the New American Century, a think tank whose statement of principles (1997) was supported by cheney and rumsfeld.

i think PNAC's plans could fairly be summarized as world domination, but naturally you should look at the site and make up your own mind.

i especially draw your attention to Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century (853k PDF - sorry) (September 2000).  e.g. from p.14:

While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The numbers do work (none / 3) (#108)
by thogard on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:53:01 AM EST

Keep in mind the oil must be paid for and there are cheaper ways than using money. Right now the US pays for oil with tobacco. After the 1st gulf war, Uday started buying American tobacco through Spain and rebranding it and selling it through the Arab world. Two years ago he was moving as much as 1/4 of the worlds tobacco. The prices a country pays for US tobacco is based on a number of factors and one is can the local conditions grow the stuff. The ones that can't end up paying much more than others. There are also huge export taxes that the US collects and Uday was messing up that whole system.

Throw in the long term prospects for a more stable oil and tobacco market and the war is good for the US budget.

refreshing to see liberal sense made......but (none / 2) (#109)
by inkster211 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:27:03 AM EST

In the article and in the comments Ive seen many uses of the terms idiot, insane, bad idealogy, sensless, etc. While I was no proponent of the invasion of Iraq initially I have come to accept the fact we are there, and strive to make sense and rationale just as most do, and have come to embrace the occupation there as perhaps necessary. OK lets assume it was for the oil! Would we have to be there in the first place then if it werent for the insane, idiotic, sensless dashing and smashing of many attempts to get at Californian oil, and Alaskan oil, and Canadian pipeline routes??? Then...could it be that the same "idealists" that were behind this legislated famine of domestic oil solutions are the very same voices now calling the invasion of Iraq senseless, idiotic, and bad decision making??? And calling the very same forces, people, and companies who attempted the domestic appraoch mean, stupid, greedy, senseless, idiots, etc.???
--inkster211
[ Parent ]
hmm?! (none / 0) (#207)
by phlux on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:47:22 PM EST

Interesting post.. I will go google around a bit for more info - but do you have any links or further info you could provide. Something that you found to be more telling than others - or something that you dug up that wouldnt be so obvious or readily available via a one-off search result?

Thanks.

[ Parent ]

Nice job, and a couple of points. . . (2.71 / 7) (#113)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:41:39 AM EST

Nice post! And you seem to have managed it without receiving a single comment from any of the veritable parade of lunatic right-wing detractors I seem to have acquired over the last couple of years on K5. -I suspect this is simply because you are a more skilled and less flamboyant writer than I am.

Kudos, and a tip of the hat to you, mate!

Anyway. . .

Aside from this, I thought the proceeding item might be of interest:

The Middle Eastern telecommunications company, Betelco shortly after the U.S. invasion, invested $5 million in new equipment to set up a cell phone network in Bagdhad. They did so without the 'permission' of the occupational government, and were forced to remove their equipment and services.

It gets better. Any bets on who ended up getting the lucrative satellite phone contract? You guessed it! An Israeli Telco. Unbelievable!

Another (albeit slanted) write-up with more details here.

Thanks for the excellent story. Short and sweet, with nice tight logic. I'm sure the lunatic fringe are wringing their hands in frustration even as their monocles steam up.

-FL

Thanks. (none / 0) (#147)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:41:57 AM EST

I did what I could to armor plate it against the arguments that I expected would be fired at it in volleys. I suspect the whole "redistribution of wealth" thing will really get under the skin of some, as it is patently true, albeit unavoidable in some cases when it comes to military related matters. It's still young in the queue though. There's plenty of time for vitriol to spew.

That bit about the Israeli telco is not surprising, but depressing all the same.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
You might as well quote pravda... (none / 1) (#199)
by beavan on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:18:23 PM EST

From the "about us" links in the websites you linked to:
  1. Gulf News is the leading English language newspaper of the United Arab Emirates
  2. Dar Al Hayat Dar Al Hayat Bldg; Maarad St; Riad Solh Sq. PO Box: 11-1242 Beirut; Lebanon
  3. Al Bawaba commercial offices are located in Amman, Jordan, and in London, UK.

How about posting something from a slightly more balanced news agency?

I love burekas in the morning
[ Parent ]
my biased media, your biased media, ... (none / 2) (#208)
by unsubtle on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:57:39 PM EST

there's no such thing as a balanced news agency.

reports from the agencies you mention should be taken with a pinch of salt; so should reports from western news agancies.  checking out the "about us" page, like you did, may be useful so you know what kind of bias to be looking out for; it's not a good reason to dismiss in advance everything they may say (OK, maybe it would be if it were Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf).

it's also useful to look at a range of media sources with different biases, because then you can may be able to put them together and work out something nearer the truth.

in this case, i'd be very surprised if these agencies just made up the whole story.  though it's quite possible they got some things wrong, or left out some significant details.

[ Parent ]

very thought provoking....thank you (none / 2) (#116)
by inkster211 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:00:16 AM EST

In the article and in the comments Ive seen many uses of the terms idiot, insane, bad idealogy, sensless, etc. While I was no proponent of the invasion/war of Iraq initially I have come to accept the fact we are there, and strive to make sense and rationale just as most do, and have come to embrace the occupation there as perhaps necessary. OK lets assume it was for the oil! Would we have to be there in the first place then if it werent for the insane, idiotic, sensless dashing and smashing of many attempts to get at Californian oil, and Alaskan oil, and Canadian pipeline routes??? Then...could it be that the same "idealists" that were behind this legislated famine of domestic oil solutions are the very same voices now calling the invasion/war of Iraq senseless, idiotic, and bad decision making??? And calling the very same forces, people, and companies who attempted the domestic appraoch mean, stupid, greedy, senseless, idiots, etc.???
--inkster211
Conservation, alternative energy sources... (none / 0) (#174)
by PylonHead on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:16:11 PM EST

The people who are fighting against off shore drilling and opening up the Alaskan oil reserves have suggested other solutions.

Don't buy an SUV.  Carpool.  Let's shift our energy economy over to renewable resources.  Recycle, reuse.  God knows the oil is scheduled to be gone within 100 years anyway.  Sure, we'll be dead, but our kids and grandkids will have to deal with it.

[ Parent ]

Don't buy an SUV. (none / 1) (#183)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:30:49 PM EST

Don't buy an SUV.

Yes, this was Arianna Huffington's main platform during the California race. Strangely enough she drives around in a Lincoln Towncar that gets worse gas mileage than a Ford Explorer.

Just because it is shaped like an SUV doesn't necessarily mean it burns more gas than your car.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

Cycles (none / 5) (#125)
by nuck on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 06:38:58 AM EST

The extreme left makes the claim the Bush administration is systematically setting up a path for American military bases to subdivide the Eurasian subcontinent. Based on Afghanistan (does anyone even turn an eye that way anymore?), Iraq, the expanding energy needs of China and India (>1/2 of the world's population), and the past dirty findernails of the people in power, it is understandable how this point can be made. On the other hand, the extreme right claims there are terrorists waiting at the gates whose sole purpose exists to harm America and our interests. Based on the several small incidents we have seen, there are people out there who would do harm to our people and way of life. But at the moment we appear to be provoking them quite well. Looking deeper at this extreme right, we see the same military contractors who are supplying the weapons are the ones who own the oil distribution networks and play golf with the principle holders of the companies do the recontruction. The question is no longer are there shady things going on above our heads. The question is how much soma... er... prozac will it take to get the entire country not to care and continue working to pay increasing taxes?

population (none / 1) (#129)
by absolut_kurant on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:25:02 AM EST

India and China combined do not have >1/2 of the world's population. Current world pop. is around 6 billion, China has ~1.3 billion, India ~1 billion

[ Parent ]
Oil, Euros and Spending (2.88 / 9) (#130)
by ennui2342 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:27:15 AM EST

Heres a couple of relevant articles:

The Euro and the War on Iraq. This kind of position can be found in many places with a quick google on "iraq euro dollar". Basically the position is that America is trying to ensure that the dollar remains the unit of currency for the worlds oil, particularly so that it can continue racking up huge budget deficits.

Too much of a good thing. This is a very interesting article by Monbiot looking at an economic argument that the invasion is a way for America to dump excess capital and stimulate growth:

Attacking Iraq offers the US three additional means of offloading capital while maintaining its global dominance. The first is the creation of new geographical space for economic expansion. The second (though this is not a point Harvey makes) is military spending (a process some people call "military Keynesianism"). The third is the ability to control the economies of other nations by controlling the supply of oil.
The argument isn't as simple as 'its about oil', but iraq oil is very important on the world stage. The benefits to America certainly factored in the choice of invading Iraq rather than one of the many other countries that it could have picked on purely moral grounds. Without its oil iraq probably would never have been invaded - that undeniably makes oil a big factor in this war.

-Mark

Stupid (none / 1) (#180)
by harryh on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:18:34 PM EST

That first article is really stupid and doesn't make any sense. Read This.

The second one is prolly stupid too. I dunno though cause I haven't read it yet.

-Harry

[ Parent ]
Reducing oil consumption will improve stability (none / 3) (#148)
by simulate on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:01:41 AM EST

Most of U.S. oil is used for gasoline for cars. So the easiest way to improve stability is not to import more oil but to reduce demand by either driving less or using some other fuel than gasoline. Increasing imports will only reduce stability over the long run.

An entertaining tool for exploring U.S. oil import policy can be found here: U.S. Oil Policy Simulation

Interesting quote from the simulation: "After Saudi Arabia, the U.S. is the second largest oil producer in the world. But the United States also happens to be the largest consumer of oil. Oil consumption in the United States and Canada is almost three gallons per person per day, twice as high as in Europe."

Agreed but.... (none / 1) (#152)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:21:38 AM EST

Get an accurate map and take a loot of the total land mass of the U.S. & Canada as compared to Europe.

What would you expect to take more fuel...

Getting from Madrid to Berlin or Getting from Miami to Calgary?

[ Parent ]

Long trips? (none / 2) (#175)
by lordpixel on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:20:07 PM EST

Also agreed. The North America is a Big Place.

However I have no idea what % of fuel is burned on long trips. I suspect stop/start cross town short trips probably account for the lion's share of the fuel consumed, which would make long distances irrelevant. That's supposition though. Anyone know any figures?

Of course, the definition of a "short" commute in the US may well be much longer, due to the way the cities are laid out and the common lack of meaningful alternatives to driving. Even those who do not commute might be "forced" to drive: how many developments do not even *have* sidewalks, much less convenient stores within walking distance?


I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
[ Parent ]

Personally... (none / 0) (#153)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:21:51 AM EST

I almost exclusively get around via a bike. If more people did that, we probably wouldn't even need so much as to think about oil, and we'd have a lot less fat people.

Europe has lower oil usage for two reasons... First, it has punitive taxes on gasoline. Second, it has public transportation that doesn't suck.

Here in America you are a second class citizen on the road when you opt for a bike. Most people are assholes and cut you little if any slack. This is a big inhibitor for many people when it comes to making the choice to get around via bike, and it's a nasty, auto-catalytic process: the fewer people that bike, the more dangerous it is, and the more dangerous it is, the fewer people that choose to bike. In some countries, cyclists get just as much respect as automobile drivers, but not in America where owning a car is as much a status symbol as a mode of transport.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
In the US (none / 3) (#176)
by Polverone on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:22:36 PM EST

I've seen riding a bike as a sort of inverted status symbol, like not owning a television. People who travel by bike get more exercise without deliberately "exercising," don't have to suffer long commutes (otherwise the bike would not be an option), and don't have children or other passengers they need to haul around. Neither do they need to haul around much cargo. They probably live in a region with a mild climate, if the bike is an option all year 'round. And they probably live in an urban area (everything you need is nearby) or have a friend who can help haul cargo in a car when the need arises.

So bike riders are generally fit, urban, single or at least childless, and of course own the moral high ground. "Ha ha fat mom rushing your kids around in a minivan, look at my sleek and carefree biking ways!" Cars really do endanger bikers (or at least make us very nervous) on a regular basis, which of course further secures that high ground. Nothing polishes a halo like being in harm's way.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

excellent link! (none / 0) (#162)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:39:57 PM EST

I requried, among other things that 25% of cars run on alternative fuels, and average MPG be increase from 25 to 50, targets which no government would dare set, and US oil imports went up 11% by 2020.

Certainly highlights a big part of the problem.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

I agree . . . (none / 0) (#167)
by simulate on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:37:27 PM EST

that high oil consumption in the US and Canada isn't necessarily due to some sort of moral failing and that geography plays a major role.

But, regardless of the reason, it's true that most oil gets used for transportation in the US and Canada. In Europe most oil gets used for industrial applications (like plastics, for example).

So the high leverage point for reducing US imports is to reduce consumption and the high leverage point for reducing consumption is reducing the use of gas in cars. Finally, the quickest way to reduce use of gas in cars is to car pool, or, as skyknight suggests, to bicycle.

Improving MPG or using alternative fuels works well, but takes more time because there is a huge stock of cars out there already that use gas and average 23 MPG. Reducing use can have a big impact right now.

Actually as a fraction of the total, the US is not nearly as dependent on imports as most of Europe (Norway and UK excluded) and Japan. For example, Germany and Japan import over 98% of their oil. The US is fortunate to have its own oil fields.

[ Parent ]

Great Link (none / 0) (#192)
by phlux on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:20:46 PM EST

I was able to reduce oil consumption by 98% with that simulator... but I was assinated early in my term as president by the OPEC Security Services... OSS.

The only thing I was wondering about in that simulation was that they didnt include any sort of mass transit initiatives.

I thought that was really odd. also what about promoting more telecommuting?

[ Parent ]

Telecommuting (none / 0) (#200)
by simulate on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:40:46 PM EST

There is a way to kind of fudge telecommuting into the simulation. It's mentioned in some user comments on the sim. Still, I agree that it would be better if it were explicit.

Probably you could do the same thing with mass transit initiatives.

[ Parent ]

Look here.... (none / 0) (#209)
by phlux on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:58:04 PM EST

this si a great link explaining the prices of crude/diesel /barrel....

very informative about hwo the price of oil varies and from what fators.

http://www.tbabz.com/CrudeOilDieselPrice.htm

[ Parent ]

Interesting calculation (none / 0) (#243)
by simulate on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 11:07:17 AM EST

That's pretty interesting. I like the simple formula, but it doesn't seem to calculate through quite the way that I would expect.

Right now, crude sells for about $30 / barrel. Using that website's formula, that means that gas should be selling for:

$30 crude = $1.35 per gallon diesel pump price

but in California, where I live, gas is around $1.95 for regular. I'm sure that part of this difference has to do with CA's high gas taxes, but it still seems a little rough of an estimate.

[ Parent ]

Tax (none / 0) (#246)
by phlux on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 12:31:35 PM EST

I don't believe it adds local (state) gas taxes....

Which I believe CA tax is ~50c or so.... Which would work out pretty closely. Additionally there is markup on the cost at the station.

[ Parent ]

Who wins at the end? (none / 2) (#156)
by siener on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:46:22 AM EST

One thing that the article says, but that I think should be stated a bit more directly and clearly: Although the war will not be profitable as a whole, cetain people are going to make a hell of a lot of money from it. It is a kind of redistribution of wealth: Money goes from the pocket of the tax payer, into the hands of corporate America.

$10 billion loan (none / 1) (#159)
by ennui2342 on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:00:26 PM EST

Indeed. What I don't understand is that if America is providing a $10 billion loan which is then spent on contracts serviced by American companies and then is paid back from Iraq oil, doesn't that mean America actually makes a profit of $10 billion? I can't see anyone talking about this in the recent announcements - is my economics naive?

[ Parent ]
No, America as a whole gets royally hosed... (none / 3) (#161)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 12:09:57 PM EST

but the companies getting the contracts make out like bandits. The taxpayers suffer under the crushing burden of hundreds of billions in wartime expenditures, and our soldiers get shot or bombed on a daily basis, but the recipients of the contracts win big time. Since these corporations have enormous pull in the government, their considerations can potentially trump the general welfare of the country.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Needle in a Haystack (none / 0) (#222)
by Mike the Kid on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 05:33:01 PM EST

I've been slogging through this article all day. Read a little K5, eat breakfast. Read a little K5, go to the store, watch some tv, do some work, read a little K5.

This is the first post I've seen which seems to make a reasonable (though undeveloped) and original statement. Cheers!

[ Parent ]
Lot's of potential reasons, pick one. (2.85 / 7) (#166)
by NateTG on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:07:44 PM EST

There are lots of potential motivations for the invasion of Iraq, some of them may even seem contradictory, and lots of them are implausible.

  • Strategic control of oil reserves in the middle east. This is one of the PNAC justifications. With hostile or semi-hostile governments controlling most of the oil reserves in the middle east, and oil a valuable resource, this is a pretty reasonable theory. One flavor of this theory is concerns about international oil deals switching to Euro's.
  • Lower (long term) oil prices. This would be the way to sell the war to Detroit.
  • Higher (short term) oil prices. In the short term the war will raise oil prices, a good sell for Haliburton et al.
  • Pork opportunities for military infrastructure, reconstruction, and access to natural resources. We've all seen this stuff.
  • An attempt to stabilize the region. This one doesn't really make sense.
  • Demonstrate US power in the region to exert Hegemony. Why bother when Afghanistan is just next door?
  • Take control of strategic location as part of military world domination plot. Not plausible because at the current rate, it would take several generations of bushies to complete a project like that.
  • The benefit of the population. This doesn't make any sense at all because the current administration is willing to look the other way in many other situations.
  • Personal vendetta due to assassination attempt. No strong indication either way.
  • Distract from an unsuccessful campaign in Afghanistan. My understanding is that things aren't going so hot in Afghanistan right now, but this is a bit far fetched
  • As a response to floundering US economy. Distraction and stimulus together. Not a bad deal really.
  • Distraction to avoid dealing with questions about handling of 9/11 and aftermath.
  • Defuse an immenent threat to the US. This one is a joke: WMD are not necessary for launching devestating attacks(see 9/11). Iraq was incapable of attacking Iran or defending against Coalition forces in Desert Storm, and had since been subject to sactions designed to reduce her military capability.
  • Deal with the Kurdistan problem. Not plausible because there clearly hasn't been a solid effort on that front.
  • Create a base of operations in the region since Saudi Arabia is becoming more hostile. Iraq is militarily weak, in a strategic location, rich in resources, and a regional Pariah. It also has some of the best infrastructure in the region.
  • Dumping ground for U.S. capital in a worlwide slow growth economy. Not a bad theory, but the dollar has been slipping against the Euro for a while despite higher growth in the U.S. probably because our current government is so unstable.
  • Deal with terrorists supported by the Iraqi government. Not likely, and definitely not Al Quaida. Iraq was definitely the most secular of the governments in the Middle east, and would have had massive misgivings about anyone operating on his soil without his control.

There are probably many more reasons, since these are only some of the obvious ones. Considering the number of people that were involved in making this happen, there isn't a single convenient reason for it.

My big concern with the invasion of Iraq, and, to a lesser degree the invasion of Afghanistan is that there is no clear list of priorities or goals for the invasion -- either because nobody knows, or because the actual list is not politically acceptable -- which is IMHO one of the reasons the effort is floudering.



Good. (none / 0) (#185)
by phlux on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:07:50 PM EST

This is a very good post for the following reasons.

There is too much effort from people on both sides of the issue to pin the reason on, or debunk a theory for any given point.

This list shows a series of reasons and factors that all have a certain amount of merit - but no single point can be factually claimed to be the final driving force.

What's important to remember that its likely a given that every single one of the points was considered and thought about in the war rooms of the pentagon, the offices of the Whitehouse - and the undisclosed locations from which some decision seem to be born.

This list shows - that one must simply look upon the issue with a continuing questioning of motive. Given the fact that we will surely never know the full details behind any of these motives - aside from assumption, speculation and mediocre arm-chair political analysis, the least we must do is maintain our distrust of any motive that is either immediately accepted or denied.

We are in a situation (as citizens of a very powerful nation), where we claim to lead by majority - and while on the surface it may seem that this is truly the case - the fact is that majority refers not to numbers of people and their opinions, but rather the majority of political influence, regardless of its source.

In the case of the current administration the major political influence would appear to be held by ex-oil executives, political families with tight connections to oil, defense contractors and infrastructure contractors (oil and otherwise).

This sounds paranoid - but it is fact. Documented fact (see my K5 post here:
http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/10/9/10194/6141/88#88

So, regardless of whether you are a political pessimist, or optimist on this issue - just be sure to keep all options open regarding true and secret motive. For once enough time has past to the point where we see either the direct motive revealed - or just the unfortunate global consequences that may or may not unfold, having yourself open to what the truth of the situation becomes, will enable you to make appropriate decisions on what to do, and think next.

The situation we are in now has only just begun - there will be positive and negative side effects to it, but what wool has been pulled has been pulled - now we must really try to see from here on out - and not allow ourselves to be too firmly polarized in any particular direction, else we run the risk of not being able to take advantage of new opportunities and information as they become available.

[ Parent ]

The numbers work out... for someone (none / 0) (#169)
by Baldrson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:46:53 PM EST

it couldn't possibly be all about oil "because the numbers don't work". The sad fact is that the numbers don't have to work...

Indeed. As reported by Kevin MacDonald in "Thinking About Neoconservatism":

Kristol eschewed any attempt to justify U.S. support for Israel in terms of American national interest:
"[L]arge nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns... That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary."
If the US is an "ideological" nation, this can only mean that the motivations of neoconservative ideology are a legitimate subject of intellectual inquiry.
MacDonald goes on to posit Jewish ethnocentrism as that motivation with Zionism a secondary ideological cover.

If we accept MacDonald's thesis then we should expect that the numbers do work out for Jewish ethnocentrism.

As I reported in my K5 diary entry "Iraq Invasion WAS About Oil After All":

Ha'aretz reports that:

U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan

... The National Infrastructure Ministry has recently conducted research indicating that construction of a 42-inch diameter pipeline between Kirkuk and Haifa would cost about $400,000 per kilometer. The old Mosul-Haifa pipeline was only 8 inches in diameter.

The numbers work out as predicted given MacDonald's thesis.

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


Go away... (none / 1) (#178)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:39:02 PM EST

...nobody here takes you seriously, Jimbo.

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


[ Parent ]
Believing you can read everyone's mind... (none / 1) (#179)
by Baldrson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 02:53:37 PM EST

...really is sign of psychosis.

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


[ Parent ]

Well, for everybody else it is. (none / 0) (#247)
by error 404 on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 04:47:42 PM EST

For me, it's just accepting the facts.

At the moment, everybody agrees except for nine hard-core Right-Wing Communist Libraritarians.

And that guy over there who doesn't care, since it is completely irrelevant to his dream of aquiring a full size replica of the Victory at Samothras (with restored arms) done entirely in Toblerone.

Oh, and that one other guy. You know who you are. Get help right now.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Do you read your own sources? (none / 0) (#181)
by Skywise on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 03:57:59 PM EST

From your Haaretz article:

Iraqi oil is now being transported via Turkey to a small Mediterranean port near the Syrian border. The transit fee collected by Turkey is an important source of revenue for the country. This line has been damaged by sabotage twice in recent weeks and is presently out of service.

In response to rumors about the possible Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline, Turkey has warned Israel that it would regard this development as a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations.

Sources in Jerusalem suggest that the American hints about the alternative pipeline are part of an attempt to apply pressure on Turkey.

Secondly, Israel is an "Ally" to the US. Say that carefully, "All-y". As an island of western civilization thought in a sea of Islam it's a strategic alliance. This alliance would also be greatly weakened if the US manages to normalize and strengthen relations with the new Iraqi government.

Which would sort of go against any Zionist movement... dontcha think?

[ Parent ]

Zionism's Domain (none / 0) (#187)
by Baldrson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:13:07 PM EST

Israel is an "Ally" to the US. Say that carefully, "All-y". As an island of western civilization thought in a sea of Islam it's a strategic alliance. This alliance would also be greatly weakened if the US manages to normalize and strengthen relations with the new Iraqi government. Which would sort of go against any Zionist movement... dontcha think?

That comment demonstrates ignorance of the historic vision of Zionism: that of a Greater Israel stretching from Egypt to the Tigris and Euphrates. Conquering the land now called Iraq is required for the fulfilment of the covenant with Abraham:

"I give unto them the land where they have sown their seed, from the river of Egypt unto the great river of Euphrates' (Genesis 15:18).

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


[ Parent ]

Wanna bet? (none / 0) (#191)
by Baldrson on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 07:19:21 PM EST

You quote as though authoritative unnamed "Sources in Jerusalem suggest that the American hints about the alternative pipeline are part of an attempt to apply pressure on Turkey."

So, if you want to track the trackrecord of your prediction vs others on this issue, go to Foresight Exchange and create a claim stating that the huge oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel will not be built.

Alternatively, if you want to put real money down you can go to Jacks Book and set up your own real money booking.

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


[ Parent ]

Here's another thing israel is guilty of... (none / 0) (#195)
by beavan on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:43:38 PM EST

Sure.
Israel is also responsible for unemployment rates, world hunger and the fact that fish smell bad.
The USA was involved in so many conflicts around the world, I'm sure you can find the jewish relation to all of these conflicts.
Let's see...
The vietnamese people didn't eat kosher, so the jews made the USA start the vietnam war.


I love burekas in the morning
[ Parent ]
Yeah, those crafty Jewish Frenchmen... (none / 0) (#197)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:50:16 PM EST

Dien Bien Phu was all their fault, a total setup.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Biting.... (none / 0) (#205)
by phlux on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:03:18 PM EST

Regardless of how sarcastic this troll was trying to be - this is the lamest attempt at witty cynical trolling I have ever seen.

It is completely obvious from your post here that you have neither a firm grasp on the perceptions of the poster to whom you replied - nor Reality itself.

Although you may have a sense of what you believe - and a good internal understanding of your delusions - your ability to communicate succinctly is non-existent.

Thankyouverymuch.

[ Parent ]

ideolgy is bunk (none / 0) (#202)
by unsubtle on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:16:13 PM EST

Kristol eschewed any attempt to justify U.S. support for Israel in terms of American national interest

that was silly of him, then.  there are 2 obvious major reasons for the US's support for israel:
1. it's what jewish citizens in the US want.
2. israel does a job for the US: it's a "policeman on the beat", contributing to US efforts to dominate the middle east.

[L]arge nations ...inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns

this theory of "ideological nations" seems a bit vague to me.  perhaps the US uses so much oil because it has an oleocentric ideology.  or perhaps we should look for more down-to-earth explanations before we throw up our hands and say: "it's just the ideology".

MacDonald goes on to posit Jewish ethnocentrism as that motivation with Zionism a secondary ideological cover.

this doesn't add up.  most of the loony right in the US are not jewish, so how come they support the same policies?  the US is government is clearly not dominated by jewish fundamentalists (because most of them are christian fundamentalists :-)).

i read some more of MacDonald's article and it gets even wilder; he seems to be a bit obsessed (in a bad way) with jews.

getting back to the facts: the US is investigating piping iraqi oil through israel instead of turkey, possibly for real, possibly just to give them leverage against turkey.  all this shows is that iraqi oil is important to the US government.  which, in turn, is another small piece of evidence that the war was - at least in part - about oil.  which it was.

[ Parent ]

Get a clue about Christian fundamentalists already (none / 0) (#219)
by Baldrson on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:21:55 AM EST

MacDonald goes on to posit Jewish ethnocentrism as that motivation with Zionism a secondary ideological cover.
this doesn't add up. most of the loony right in the US are not jewish, so how come they support the same policies? the US is government is clearly not dominated by jewish fundamentalists (because most of them are christian fundamentalists :-)).
You're so out of touch with Christian fundamentalsm its ridiculous. Let me give you a clue: They don't have to deal with the rhetoric that says "But you're being hypocritical because Jesus was a JEW!" They're already hard-over on the Zionist bandwagon because it is what they see as necessary to fulfill Biblical prophecy for the second coming of Christ.

The rest of your "critique" amounts of literary nonsense.

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


[ Parent ]

this is going downhill ... (none / 0) (#231)
by unsubtle on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 12:55:15 AM EST

the christian fundamentalists who have a lot of power are hardly at all motivated by theological details: they're just hypocrites who care about their own power and bank balance.  ("ordinary people" who are fundamentalists may be less hypocritical.)

you can not explain everything by identifying people as zionists.  not everybody is a zionist, and zionists have other motivations as well as furthering zioinism.

The rest of your "critique" amounts of literary nonsense.

in other words, you haven't thought of an answer (yet).  do keep trying!

[ Parent ]

why is the us in iraq? (none / 3) (#170)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 01:49:14 PM EST

september 11th, 2001 is the reason.

yes, of course, it's just an excuse for a preconceived agenda, but no one can honestly say with a straight face that the us would be in iraq right now even if september 11th had not happened. i mean come on.

bali, somalia, kenya, chechnya, kashmir, lovely israel/ palestine... folks, stop obsessing over the us in iraq. there is a bigger picture here. it is called the rise if islamic fundamentalism and the sclerotic response to it from the west.

next time you want to know what the future will be like, look at ambon.

don't know where ambon is? then you don't know what is really going on in the world and how much of the agenda is being driven by the radicals on either side of the issue. know this, gentle reader: the islamic fundies are not a nemesis mirror image of american evils from the cold war come back to haunt us. yes, dear martha, the islamic fundies have an agenda all their own, and should the good ol' usa turn into a crater or giant lake tomorrow, they would not celebrate and become pastoral sheep farmers... they would go right on with their murderous fascist geopolitical agenda.

oh excuse me, i forgot: only the usa has such a notion.

ha!

imagine that folks: an agenda that has nothing to do with the us of a. i have hope that some of you can imagine such a thing, as it seems most of you are obsessed with the usa in such a way that it clouds your judgment, and when i say "obsessed" i do not imply "in love with"... knee jerk simplistic hating of the usa is just as useless and stupid as knee jerk loving of the usa.

most of us reading here on kuro5hin are nice, well-meaning western armchair political enthusiasts. hooray. good for us. who gives a shit.

us nice in the middle folk are not in control of the world right now. who is in control? who is driving the situation? isalmic fundies and christian fundies and jewish fundies and hindu fundies and sikh fundies. and if that doesn't scare you, you are insane.

what the middle- us well-meaning gasbags here on kuro5hin, what we need to do is figure out a way to steer control of the world away from the religious lunatic fringes. because the world is very much playing into their hands right now. and that's not funny. with every act of terror that is committed MORE people go to the camps of the fringe, which further drives more idiots to strap bombs onto their backs and walk into buses full of children... rather than become civil engineers and granfathers someday. that's sad and tragic.

the problem is, i can't think of a way to break that escalating cycle of violence. that worries me. if the middle can't figure out a way to wrest control of the world away from the fringes, we are all fucked.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

no... (none / 3) (#186)
by codejack on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 05:12:47 PM EST

you are fucked; I'm waiting to see who'll come out on top, then joining. I just hope it's not the Jews, 'cause I can convert to christianity ir islam or even hindu, but I'd have to marry a Jew, and I really don't want to get married ;(


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
An agenda, just waiting for a reason... (none / 0) (#196)
by skyknight on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 08:48:36 PM EST

Ah, yes... That's pretty much the story of the world, the history of all politics. You cannot, however, explain a complex agenda in a 15 second sound byte on the evening news, nor could the general population stomach it. So, here we are, with our "war on terror". They keep on telling us it's a war on terror, and so we're starting to believe them. It's Pavlov's voting constituency...

DING



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
breaking the cycle of violence (none / 2) (#198)
by unsubtle on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 09:00:48 PM EST

september 11th, 2001 is the excuse, not the reason.

i agree with a lot of what you went on to say.  i think it's unlikely the US would be in iraq yet if september 11 hadn't happened - though not impossible.

islamic fundamentalists have 2 main aims.
1. get rid of western power over muslim countries (i.e. countries where most of the population are muslim).  that includes getting western troops out, and getting rid of governments who cravenly do what the west (mainly the US) tell them to.
2. establish a crude, barbaric interpretation of islamic law in the same countries.

in my opinion, aim no. 1 is a very good idea; and aim no. 2 is a very bad idea.

so, if the US (and other western countries) got their troops out, stopped trying to dominate the middle east, etc.; then islamic fundamentalists would not disappear, they'd continue going for aim no. 2.  which agrees with what you said.

however, becasue nearly everybody in muslim countries agrees with aim no. 1, more aggressive US intervention in the middle east encourages some of them to turn to absolutely anyone who has a strong stance on aim no. 1 - and the result is that more of them end up supporting the fundamantalists and aim no. 2.

to put it positively, if we in the west can replace our own fundamentalist governments with something more moderate, that will have the effect of reducing support for fundamentalism in muslim countries too.  (and i can think of no more effective way for us to reduce support for islamic fundamentalism.)

as for how to get more moderate western governments, i'm afraid you're right that it will be very difficult.  i can only say that my top priority at the next elections here in the UK will be to vote for candidates who would unconditionally withdraw out troops from iraq; and i i'd suggest it should be the top priority in the US too.  in both countries, it may be difficult to find candidates (from mainstream parties) who fit the bill :-(.

[ Parent ]

Interesting Theory But... (none / 2) (#211)
by EXTomar on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 12:35:48 AM EST

It should be pointed out as long as Sadam and his iron fist where in control he would readily squash any islamic fundemental dissidents. He would not only kill the fundementalists he could but also their cousins. Afterwards he would have a nice banquet celebrating his accomplishments.

By removing Sadam, the US has created a power vacuum. Now these Islamic Fundementalistis you were afraid of now smell their chance to take power.

So I call your theory BS. The US butting in has given the chance for fundementism to take hold instead of stopping it. They've taken a country that was headed by an insane but secular lunatic and are actively pushing it towards open religious revolt.



[ Parent ]
well, duh! (none / 3) (#184)
by codejack on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 04:50:37 PM EST

Of course it's about oil! we had to go in there so no one else would have any. why, if the rest of the world could have oil, it would start the cold war again, because we're on top now, and we're sure as hell not going anywhere; yes, it may wind up destroying the world, but that's a risk we're willing to take. and if you don't like it, just remember; you're either for us or against us, that's what freedom is all about!


Please read before posting.

The reason for this war: Israel! (1.50 / 6) (#201)
by crunchycookies on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 10:10:24 PM EST

The reason that we went to war with Iraq is that Israel demanded it. Oil may produce a few billions for some profiteers, but this war is about Israel. Bush is surrounded by rabid Zionists. All these men have worked for Israel in the past and probably still do. The plan was simple; all intelligence was cooked as necessary. The propaganda machine was fired up. It all worked flawlessly!

Now we are in the come down phase, the drugs are wearing off; we are beginning to face reality. Many are asking why. The actual reason should be obvious. No one was enthusiastic about this war except for the Israelis. We have been duped.

Consider the advantages for Israel:

* America is now pinned down on the ground in the Middle East in a military conflict that will not end.

* America will continue to prop up Israel with money and arms as an incidental expense of the war. Thirteen billion for Israel was included in the funding legislation for the war. If Israel had asked for 26 billion, they would have gotten it. No questions asked. The billions have continued to flow.

* American soldiers will die at a steady rate in our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. This will confirm that Arabs are "bad" in the minds of many Americans. The Israeli propaganda machine will use this to great advantage.

* The war and its aftermath will provide Israel a cover for increasing the violence against the Palestinians and for implementing the "Israeli Final Solution". America will look the other way because Arabs are "bad".

* Israel will not be asked to give the Palestinian their rights, the only thing that will bring peace, because the Palestinians are "bad".

The really scary thing is since this scam worked so well, it will be repeated. Syria and Iran are next on the list. Israel will decide when to attack and we will obediently do the dirty deed.

We now find ourselves ever more closely tied to the world's last racist state. We are getting ever closer to guaranteeing it's existence. We are getting further from demanding that Israel end the oppression and give the Palestinians their rights. Israel is on the road to hell and we seem to be following right along.



consider interest groups, as well as countries (none / 2) (#204)
by unsubtle on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:00:38 PM EST

you forget that not all US citizens have the same interests.  the war (and the occupation) does not benefit most of them - but does benefit some of them (e.g. executives in oil, military and construction industries).  so there's no need to look outside the US to find who wanted the war.  and how could people have been persuaded to support the war?  who owns the mass media in the US?  is it big US corporations (some of whom also have interests in the oil, military or construction sectors), or israel?

you also forget that in the US-israeli alliance, the US is by far the stronger party.  the US could cut off the supply of arms and money to israel; since they don't, you can be sure that israel is doing pretty much exactly what the US government wants it to do.

incidentally, not all israelis like having a government that does whatever the US government tells it to (we're getting to understand a bit more about what that's like in the UK).  not all like living in a racist state.  and even fewer will like the bloodbath that sharon intends to provoke in order to drive the remaining palestinians out of israel/palestine.

[ Parent ]

You have things reversed! (none / 2) (#206)
by crunchycookies on Fri Oct 17, 2003 at 11:30:36 PM EST

You have things backwards, in the Middle East, Israel dictates US policy. The things that we do there, invade countries, prop up unpopular leaders, and prop up Israel, are things that are detrimental to the US. The oil would continue to flow even if the Arab world was taken over by Moslem fundamentalists. For example, Iran is happy to sell us oil.

You are correct in saying that domestic interests should be considered. The domestic interests that wanted this war are the Zionists, the supporters of Israel. Zionists are American Jews and American Christian fundamentalists. These represent a powerful lobbying faction. They work closely with Israel in support if Israeli interests. American interests are a distant second.

One would think that America would call the shots since America is the stronger party. This is obviously not the case. Why would America do so many things against our own interests in the Middle east? The obvious answer is that Israel is calling the shots.



[ Parent ]

no, the glass is half full! (none / 2) (#212)
by unsubtle on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 01:31:11 AM EST

ok, US/israeli policies in the middle east are against the interests of most US citizens.  they are in the interests of some groups in the US, and also of the israeli government.

does the israeli government adopt these policies just because the US tells them to?  no, they genuinely believe in a greater israel, and in threatening and attacking their neighbours rather than peacefully co-existing with them.  however, it's difficult to get very far in israeli politics without US support, so the reason that israelis with these opinions form the israeli government is - in part - that the US government wants them to.  but the main power the US government has over israel is that it could threaten to withdraw military and financial aid; it doesn't, because it doesn't want to.

do the US supporters of the current policies take the line they do just because israel tells them to?  no, they're motivated by money (for themselves, not for US citizens in general), by power, by the oportunity a war gives to distract the electorate from how badly the economy is doing (and - maybe - to kick-start the economy), and so on.  you say they are all zionists i.e supporters of israel.  anybody who favours increased US military power in the middle east will favour strengthening the country that has the best military in the middle east and is a loyal ally of the US; yes, that makes them all zionists.  however, they are zionists as a consequence of their support for increased US military power in the middle east, they do not support that policy because they are zionists.

[ Parent ]

Some good points, some wrong. (none / 1) (#221)
by crunchycookies on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 03:23:32 PM EST

You make a good point with your statement "it is difficult to get very far in Israeli politics without US support". The converse is also true, it is very difficult to get very far in American politics without voicing absolute support for Israel. I disagree that the extremist Zionists policies of the Israeli government exist is because that is what the US government wants. Most moderate Americans, even moderate Americans that support Israel, want is for the whole issue to go away. They don't want for Israel to continually stir the pot. The reason that Israel continually opts for oppression and war is that they want an religiously and ethnically pure country and they want to dominate the region.

You are completely wrong in claiming that Israel is a natural ally for those that want increased US military power in the region. We would be far better off if we dumped Israel if that were our goal. Consider; with Israel as an ally we will have increased military power in the Middle East but it will continually be pinned down in various wars. We will be despised wherever we go and we will always have to cover our back. Our military power will not get the things that we want; stability and the ability to influence local events to our favor.

If were to dump Israel, and after the hatred for the US dissipated, we would have far greater influence. The Middle East would become more like other regions of the globe where we trade and have moderate influence. In most of the world local problems are not immediately blamed on the US the way they are in the Middle East. In the Middle East many of their problems are, to some degree, the result of our meddling. This results in our being blamed for all their problems. At the core of many problems there is some reason to blame the US thereby making the blame justified.

The best type of military power is when it does not have to be used or even displayed. When military power is used it is often the result of a policy failure as is currently the case. Contrast the Middle East with South America. South America was a terrible problem for the US during the cold war. Both America and the USSR were meddling in local affairs. "Yankee go home" was a cry heard all across South America. Now that the cold war is over and we have mostly stopped meddling in local affairs, South Americas do not blame us for their problems. From our perspective this is the best of all outcomes. We trade with them and generally have friendly relations. We don't have to worry about them developing WMD. Even if they did, we would not be the target. The Middle East can be this way too. There are two things necessary for us to do; dump Israel, and for us to get out of their lives as power brokers. If we do the former, the latter will come naturally.



[ Parent ]

i agree with a lot of that (none / 2) (#230)
by unsubtle on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 12:52:26 AM EST

i won't keep on about whether israel dictates to the US or the US to israel, because i don't think we're that far apart, and it could just turn into a tennis match.  a couple of specific points:

you're right about all the disadvantages to the US of its current middle east policy, and your alternative policy would be better.  but i can see some reasons why US policymakers favour the current policy.  if you deal in a friendly way with other countries, they will (mostly) treat you OK in return - but they won't give you everything.  if you want the lion's share of the benefits of middle east oil to go to the US (through a mixture of US involvement in oil production and profits being spent on arms made by the US), then there's no alternative but to impose that arrangement by force.  i think it's better to treat people better and accept smaller financial rewards, but the policymakers see it differently.  there are also incidental benefits, e.g. a war is an excuse to boost military spending, which is good for US arms manufacturers.

US policy in south america is indeed not as bad as in the middle east, but there are problems.  e.g. the US backed the failed coup(s) in venezuela last year; the bolivians have just chucked out a president they called "the gringo".  but that should really be a new story.

[ Parent ]

good thread (none / 0) (#263)
by naught on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 04:23:47 PM EST

both of you make good points.  nice.

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

Why? (none / 0) (#225)
by myth17 on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 06:57:02 PM EST

I understand your point completely, but why is the United States so indebted to Israel in the frist place?

[ Parent ]
Stupid Libel against Israel (none / 1) (#251)
by OldCoder on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 02:24:31 AM EST

If Israel ran US policy the war would have been against Palestinians.

This is just a re-worked version of the old anti-Semitic "Jews in Charge" paranoia.

The War in Iraq is not doing Israel any good. Syria is and has been much more active in the anti-Israel military activities than Iraq had ever been.

If you were the Zionist Prime Minister of Israel, and you had the magical powers you ascribe to Israel, would you arrange a war between the US and Iraq? No, you'd arrange to clobber Syria, which is supporting Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad which are killing your citizens practically on a daily basis.

If you really think that the Jews had such control over America, you should be able to provide some evidence. Or is this one of those secret cabals that never leave evidence behind? There is no shortage of Gold-diggers. If the power was with the Jews, the number of people signing up to help and protect and finance the Jews would be huge. Passover would be a US National Holiday.

Your theory also doesn't explain why the US was so friendly to Saddam back in the 1970's and 1980's, and doesn't explain why the US is still so friendly to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, both of which hate Israel.

You also completely ignore the fact that the Clinton administration was as friendly to Israel as the Bush administration is, and no invasion of Iraq took place. You also completely ignore the effect of the 9/11 attacks on US strategic thinking.

Your theory also completely ignores the pattern of aggression by Saddam's Iraq against Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and yes, Israel. And your theory also completely ignores Saddams well-documented history and capabilities in developing weapons of mass destruction of all kinds.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
[ Parent ]

stupid defence of israel! (none / 0) (#266)
by unsubtle on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 11:09:03 PM EST

If Israel ran US policy the war would have been against Palestinians.

there already is a war against palestinians (fought by israel, mainly with US arms).  the iraq war is just a bonus.

This is just a re-worked version of the old anti-Semitic "Jews in Charge" paranoia.

if you read all of crunchycookies' comments on this story, it's clear that it's no such thing.

The War in Iraq is not doing Israel any good.

well, i can think of 3 strategies for (trying to) do israel good:

  • instead of attacking the palestinians and its neighbours, israel could make concessions and try to co-exist with them
    this should be done because it's the right thing to do.  it would also improve israeli security, becasuse (almost all) arabs wouldn't hate israel, and so wouldn't attack israelis.  the US could put economic pressure on israel to do this.
  • wipe out the people behind attacks on israeli citizens
    this aim can never be achieved, period; because the more people are wiped out, the more people hate israel, and so the more people volunteer to launch a new wave of attacks.  the only way i can see to stop the attacks is to follow the first strategy.  note: sharon's escalation of violence is increasing attacks on israelis; he knows that, and doesn't care.  obviously a reasonable israeli PM would care.
  • wipe out the biggest military threats to israel in the region
    why not syria instead?  perhaps because iraq's military was stronger than syria's (it certainly used to be - not sure if it still was after a decade of sanctions and bombings); perhaps because it was easier to paint saddam as evil; perhaps because iraq has oil.  and syria is apparently next on the hit list.  the war clearly does advance this aim; i think this is the main thing sharon likes about it.  again, probably one of the side effects is to increase attacks on israelis.

the US is friendly to egypt and saudi arabia (and used to be friendly to saddam), because they do (and saddam used to do) what the US told them to.  their governments never do anything that would really hurt israel (and saddam didn't until after he quarrelled with the US): their (limited) anti-israeli rhetoric is just designed to keep their populations (who are anti-israeli) happy with their undemocratic governments.

i fail to see what saddam's past aggression and past use of WMD can explain.  does the US attack all aggressors?  no, far from it.  so that can't explain the invasion.  (incidentally, the US neither could nor should attack all aggressors, but that's beside the point.)  nor can the invasion be justified by past aggression and WMD, since the US was well aware that saddam was substantially disarmed and posed no credible threat.

[ Parent ]

No Evidence that Israel is in charge (none / 0) (#269)
by OldCoder on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:28:40 AM EST

Yes, Israel might benefit from and agree with a war against Saddam Hussein. There are lots of things that Israel might want.

You have pasted together a lot of wild libels against Israel, I'm concentrating on the claim that Israel has a lock on US foreign policy in the Mideast.

This sounds like the libel that Israel was going to use Gulf War II news shadow to launch a "Genocide" against the Palestinians. Total hogwash.

You may think you are helping the Palestinians, but you are just encouraging them to bang their heads against a stone wall until they bleed and bleed and bleed.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
[ Parent ]

i wasn't arguing that israel is in charge (none / 0) (#278)
by unsubtle on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 09:24:28 PM EST

most of my last comment was trying to show that the iraq war is very much what the current israeli governmant wants, but is generally against the interests of israelis.

You have pasted together a lot of wild libels against Israel

if you've noticed any facts i got wrong, then identify them, don't just make vague statements.

I'm concentrating on the claim that Israel has a lock on US foreign policy in the Mideast.

fine, and i didn't argue that point because that wasn't my claim, and i don't entirely agree with that claim.  i think the US policymakers have made the strategic decision to support israeli military might in order to bolster US power in the middle east.

This sounds like the libel that Israel was going to use Gulf War II news shadow to launch a "Genocide" against the Palestinians. Total hogwash.

wow, if you replace what i actually said with something obviously wrong that i didn't say, you get hogwash!  next time, please try refuting what i actually said.

You may think you are helping the Palestinians, but you are just encouraging them to bang their heads against a stone wall until they bleed and bleed and bleed.

i didn't give the palestinians any advice.

[ Parent ]

What a bunch of Hogwash (none / 2) (#228)
by lordDogma on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 09:30:45 PM EST

I like how leftists think of everything in terms of a class war. Lets see...

War with Iraq? Its not for national security. Its to make sure Big Oil, Haliburton, and all of Bush's friends can get rich.

Income Tax Cuts? Its not for stimulating the economy. Its all about "giving" money to the rich, while breaking the backs of the poor.

War on Terror? A convenient excuse to "steal" money from the poor and give it to the rich.

These people are so obsessed with their class war that thats all they see in life. I have to admit though its nice having a theory that doesn't require having to think beyond the level of a high school student.

-- Lord Dogma

It seems in your rush to gripe you forgot to argue (none / 2) (#229)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 18, 2003 at 10:09:44 PM EST

I like how leftists think of everything in terms of a class war.

Funny... I classify myself as libertarian. On matters of economics leftists would typically mark me as an enemy. If you're going to resort to baseless ad hominem attacks, at least get your hominems right.

War with Iraq? Its not for national security. Its to make sure Big Oil, Haliburton, and all of Bush's friends can get rich.

No, it's for myriad reasons. This does not change the fact that those in power are in a position to make enormous financial gains from their politicking.

Income Tax Cuts? Its not for stimulating the economy. Its all about "giving" money to the rich, while breaking the backs of the poor.

Go back and read my article. I talk about taxpayers getting exploited. Nowhere to I mention tax brackets, or people of different classes getting differentially screwed. All I say is that taxpayers are getting soaked to fund the war and reconstruction. I don't make any sob stories about the poor.

War on Terror? A convenient excuse to "steal" money from the poor and give it to the rich.

I must be missing something. Can you find one instance of the word "terror" in my piece?

These people are so obsessed with their class war that thats all they see in life.

What people?

I have to admit though its nice having a theory that doesn't require having to think beyond the level of a high school student.

You haven't exactly done a very good job of justifying your brash elitism. All you've done is look foolish and petulant.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I wasn't talking about you, skynight. (none / 0) (#233)
by lordDogma on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 02:11:45 AM EST

You at least made an attempt to acknowledge that there are multiple reasons and motives behind our policies and actions.

My post is in response to all the K5 lefties who seem to think that everything the govt does is for the benefit of Haliburton and Texaco execs, without putting forth one shred of proof (unless you count all the obscure and highly flawed essays they manage to find on the internet).

-- Lord Dogma

"I've found that ad hominem attacks increase my credibility substantially. That's why I use them. Maybe if you weren't so fat and stupid you would understand that." -- LD

[ Parent ]

Oh, whoops, in that case... (none / 0) (#235)
by skyknight on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 07:39:59 AM EST

I just slapped you down for for making an argument that you didn't make to the effect of my having made an argument that I didn't make. This has been an altogether unsatisfying debate. :-)

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Washing the hog (none / 1) (#250)
by felixrayman on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 10:43:18 PM EST

War with Iraq? Its not for national security. Its to make sure Big Oil, Haliburton, and all of Bush's friends can get rich

You are way behind the program. It has been proven to a degree that far exceeds the degree to which we are certain that the earth is not flat that Iraq was no threat to the national security of the US. The justification in vogue for nationalist apologists such as yourself is that due to US support Saddam Hussein had become a terrible dictator and therefore had to be removed. If you are going to be a slimy doublethinking prole at least be an up-to-date slimy doublethinking prole. Now go to bed without any Oxycontin.

Income Tax Cuts? Its not for stimulating the economy. Its all about "giving" money to the rich, while breaking the backs of the poor.

When there were budget surpluses, the right-wing argued that our country desperately needed tax cuts for the rich to help get rid of the surpluses. When there were budget defecits, the right-wing argued that our country desperately needed tax cuts for the rich to help get rid of the deficits. The entity practicing "class warfare" should be extremely obvious here. And your idiocies are obvious here too - to call the unwillingness to swallow a cheap and obvious lie "class warfare" is simply stupid, and the person apparently unable to think beyond the level of a high school student is obvious as well.

War on Terror? A convenient excuse to "steal" money from the poor and give it to the rich.

Listen to the pitiful bleating of apologists for the party that claims to be capitalist, claims to love free markets as it defends command economy non-market solutions such as the no-bid contracts given to companies for which, coincidentally, the leaders of said party used to work, and by which some of those leaders are still being paid. So sad. So motherfucking sad.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Still at it, are you kid? (none / 1) (#265)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 08:25:24 PM EST

Long on opinions, short on logic and evidence.

Try stepping back from your favorite dogma for a moment. Clear your head, and make an honest attempt to prove, just to yourself, that your beliefs are based on legitimate, unbiased data and thought processes. If your beliefs are truly well founded, then surely, they can stand up to a little examination? (Not that we'd know it in this forum, since you have given nothing but hot air to work with so far.)

Surely you are not afraid of exposing your beliefs to proper examination, are you?

-FL

[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 1) (#234)
by trhurler on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 04:42:01 AM EST

Yeah. How silly of anyone to think that maybe, just maybe, Bush is just like the rest of us. That is, he has his beliefs, and some of them are well founded, and some not, and some are hard to judge, and that he acts on those beliefs.

Bush doesn't have to be a perfect angel. He also doesn't have to be the devil. That's good, because neither of those things exist. It is indubitable that certain interests profit in a war, and certain others suffer, and probably Halliburton has gotten treatment it doesn't deserve, but that hardly means the whole thing is a get rich quick scheme and nothing more.

Personally, I'm still of the opinion I held ten years ago. The only thing I dislike more in a US politician than religious conservatism is every other mainstream opinion, and the only thing I like in a US politician is watching him lose to some outsider or watching him flounder in a debate with a libertarian or an anarchist. That said, as long as nobody I like is electable, I'll more than gladly support the likes of George Bush. If you want to know why, look at Dick Gephardt. If he were president, we'd end up with another attempt to nationalize health care(with NO private sector option allowed,) an attempt to make unions mandatory in most lines of work, and so on. The man is a fucking moron and a communist, which makes him much worse than a mere moron in precisely the same way that being a moron and a Nazi would, except that communists have killed and oppressed something like a hundred times as many people as Nazis ever managed.

At the end, the point is simple. Bush's policies are a result of who he is, who his advisors are, and so on, just as anyone's policies would be, and yes, as with all of us, there are probably some shoddy motives mixed in there, but that doesn't mean we're transforming a country just so Bush and his buddies can buy bigger, greener Range Rovers.

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

How I vote is simple... (none / 0) (#249)
by skyknight on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 07:30:46 PM EST

I vote libertarian where the vote doesn't matter, i.e. it's going to be a run away vote and my vote won't make a difference. I vote preferentially for Republicans over Democrats. Last but not least, I vote for deadlock. By this I mean that I try to vote for whichever of the two parties is apt to be under-represented, because the closer we can come to balancing Republican and Democratic control, the more neutered both will be as they will spend more of their time bickering and consequently less time legislating. This is why in the MA governor race last year I voted for Mitt Romney, even though I would have preferred a protest vote for Carla Howell. Governor is the only position that Republicans can ever win in MA, so were the governorship to go to a Democrat, the whole state would have been Democrat controlled and thus lacked any checks or balances. I'd love to have a libertarian utopia, but for now it seems that pitting fascists (Republicans) and communists (Democrats) against one another, and hoping for a canceling effect, is my best hope.

Unfortunately for the US, the two major parties have a total lock on the system. Third parties have no chance. This is a result of our electoral process. If we had either a proportional representation system, or an instant runoff style election process, third parties could gradually snowball support. With a simple plurality majority system as we presently have, first past the post and winner take all, there is no way for third parties to muscle their way into the arena. People are afraid to vote libertarian, lest they put a Democrat in office, or vote green party party lest they aid a Republican. To make for a really nice Catch-22, these parties cannot obtain election funding unless they garner at least 5% of the vote, and they can't compete in the present system because they aren't funded (never mind that the electoral process is rigged to be exclusionary).

As for Bush's motivations in his actions, I think it all boils down to one thing: his desire to get re-elected and maintain his power. He doesn't seem to have a bedrock of principle. Rather, he does whatever is politically expedient. To win in 2000, it was advantageous to preach the virtues of free trade. Of course, as soon as he got into office he realized that to win in 2004, swing states such as OH and PA would be crucial, and so he bought the rust belt vote by slapping on steel tariffs. All of his promises have been a bait-and switch, a reverse of the stone soup parable, as it were. He starts out big, winning political acclaim, and then whittles away at his promises, hoping that nobody will notice. Take a look at the reconstruction of Afghanistan, or the AIDS related aid to African countries if you need big examples. Bush is not a man of his word. He is a man interested with being in office because it makes him feel important.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Agree for the most part, though. . . (none / 0) (#264)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 07:49:38 PM EST

At the end, the point is simple. Bush's policies are a result of who he is, who his advisors are, and so on, just as anyone's policies would be, and yes, as with all of us, there are probably some shoddy motives mixed in there, but that doesn't mean we're transforming a country just so Bush and his buddies can buy bigger, greener Range Rovers.

I strongly believe, based on all observational comparisons, that Bush is clinically psychopathic. This is the flaw with the fair-minded and very human thinking you offer. Bush is designed to lie, cheat and destroy, all with a convincing smile and zero guilt or understanding of the negative consequences of his actions. Bush is, very simply, a flesh & blood reaction-machine monster.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Hyperbole, eh? (none / 0) (#279)
by dirk strom on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 09:55:06 PM EST

The Nazis killed 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians and a couple of million French, British and Americans. So communists killed 2.8 billion people - nearly half the current world population? How awful. No wonder they get a bad press.

[ Parent ]
Class war?! (none / 1) (#237)
by wytcld on Sun Oct 19, 2003 at 06:33:12 PM EST

I notice we're getting the standard complaint that any comment about the current administration transferring billions of dollars to its rich friends can only be in the service of "class war." May I remind our classy, complaining friends that in America we're not supposed to have classes. Yet we have an administration that is strongly biased towards establishing a hereditary aristocracy through assuring greater transfer of public wealth to those who already have great wealth, and eliminating any tax on their passing that down to their descendants.

Is it class war to say that we don't want an establishment of a hereditary aristocracy? Or is it class war to try to impose one on us, while squeezing out much of the middle class by moving their jobs overseas and replacing good jobs with Wal-Mart clerkships?

Was the American Revolution class war because we didn't want the British hereditary aristocracy? You can't have class war without social classes. We have no need of social classes - favoring their establishment is profoundly anti-American. The current administration is profoundly anti-American. To oppose their direction is not class war, it's a return to the values of the Founding Fathers. Those who don't share in this opposition to Bush's policies should move to someplace like Saudi Arabia, where a hereditary aristocracy is still in favor (however shakily).

Yes, class war. (none / 2) (#244)
by lordDogma on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 11:43:52 AM EST

May I remind our classy, complaining friends that in America we're not supposed to have classes.

Wrong! You've confused the USA with the USSR. I guess I shouldn't be too suprised though, since you've obviously been brainwashed by Marxist propaganda all your life.

I love how communists like yourself convolute everything to make it seem like black is white and white is black, and up is down and down is up. So now all of a sudden you're saying the Founding Fathers were a bunch of communists and that capitalism goes against everything the country stands for? Wow, I never knew that! Lets go ahead and rewrite the history textbooks one more time...

Now I agree that the government shouldn't establish social classes. I don't favor artificially created social classes that self-propogate by taking advantage of poor people. But if social classes arise naturally due to our capitalistic system, are you saying there's something wrong with that?

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

Artificial vs. Natural (none / 0) (#277)
by AlgoRhythm on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 09:20:45 PM EST

So "naturally created" social classes that self-propogate by taking advantage of poor people is somehow better then "artificial" social classes that do the same.

Right.

A hereditary aristocracy is opressive no matter if it is a king that claims divine providence, or a greedy capitalist that hoardes their money and passes it to their children, who have done nothing to earn it.

I'm not against capitalism mind you, but I am against the inheiritance of enormous wealth because of a priveledged birth.

And what does the original post have to do with communism? Stop interpreting what you would have liked people to say, and pay attention to what they DO say. A classless society may imply communism, but if you read his post thoroughly, you'll see that he was speaking of inheirited wealth and class priveledge because of birth, not those whose hard work and innovation in a capitialist system has allowed them advantage over others economically in THEIR lifetimes. The USA has not traditionally followed a class model of society, i.e. you are born into a class in which you will stay until you die. The American Dream is that through hard work one can raise one's economic standing, and break down class barriers no matter where you started.

Nicholas.

[ Parent ]
Uh uh. Try this. (none / 1) (#285)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 24, 2003 at 08:50:45 PM EST

So "naturally created" social classes that self-propogate by taking advantage of poor people is somehow better then "artificial" social classes that do the same.

I think you misunderstand me. What I'm saying is that the simple act of being rich and passing that money on to your children is not morally wrong. If you work hard or get lucky (e.g. lottery jackpot), and thereby become rich then that is what I call a natural attainment of wealth. You aren't taking advantage of poor people this way, nor are you taking advantage of them by passing on your money to your children.

By artificially-created, I meant the act of attaining wealth (and power), and then propogating it within your family by force, oppression, and overt exploitation of others (e.g. Kim Sung Il of North Korea, corrupt politicians, mobsters, etc.)

...I am against the inheiritance of enormous wealth because of a priveledged birth.

I totally disagree. This is one of the things that makes America great. I think your idea of the American Dream is only halfway complete - I would say that the American dream is the idea that somehow you can become rich, and then your children will never have to slave away for money like you did. Parents want their children to be better off than themselves - to not have to start from scratch with every generation. Take that motivation away and you've shattered a lot of dreams.

This is not to say that I like filthy rich brats. I met a number of them in college. They live like Van Wilder while mommy and daddy spoil them to death with cars and expensive clothes. Most of them are elitist assholes and not very likeable.

Nevertheless, you can't just lump all rich people together and hate them for the act of having inherited wealth. My complaint against the leftists is that this seems to be their theme today: "Hate the rich! They are only rich because they exploited you, the downtrodden working class! They are only rich out of the privilege of inheritence! They are only rich because they got lucky! They have no right to have more money than you!" Such bigotry against wealthy individuals is uncalled for.

In short, not everyone makes their wealth "artificially" and those that become rich have a right to pass the spoils of their hard work on to their kids.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

One disagreement. (none / 0) (#287)
by AlgoRhythm on Sun Nov 02, 2003 at 10:09:56 AM EST

those that become rich have a right to pass the spoils of their hard work on to their kids.

I agree with alot of what you have to say, but I think the above quote is the crux of our disagreement. Specifically, I think we disagree upon whether this is a right or a priveledge. Of course parents want to improve their children's lot in life over their own, and clearly, while the child is in their care, they have that right. Moreover, this right to help their children extends once they become independent of their parents, however, it becomes a priveledge that is taxed (whether the pay or not is a different story) as income. Inheiritance should at least be taxed as income, but in my opinion, should be taxed at a higher rate (beyond a base minimum) because this person has done nothing to earn this wealth other than be born, and in general this can lead to dynastic families who only propogate their own wealth and power with no regard for promoting economic activity.

I speak in generalities to certain degree because I am not a tax lawyer, nor particularly familiar with the specifics of tax law as they now stand (recently changed). The principal I believe to be sound, and in line with US law for most of the country's history.

[ Parent ]
American Revolution was not a class war (none / 0) (#280)
by BlackStripe on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 10:38:10 PM EST

I don't know if I completely understand your post, but if you're saying that the American Revolution was some kind of social leveling force you are incorrect. The American Revolution was very radical politically, but had no socially (read: economically) radical element. It wasn't even a bourgeois revolution with regard to class, it was simply a non-revolution.

If you'd like an excellent book to argue the contrary (to support yourself, I mean) you can read Gordon S. Wood's The Radicalism of the American Revolution, but it's crap. The Revolution was very radical politically, but to pretend it was socially/economically radical is just absurd. One need look no further than the true social revolutions of France and St. Domingue (modern Haiti) to see what real social revolutions looked like in that time period.

Another interesting, if anecdotal argument for some social change to emerge from the revolution (and it's more cultural than social) can be found in Al Young's The Shoemaker and the Tea Party, which talks about how one Boston cobbler felt his life was transformed by his role in the Revolution, but his social status didn't change any and his economic situation was actually made worse by the Revolution, not better.

[ Parent ]

Wasn't it a rhetorical question? (none / 0) (#288)
by onemorechip on Fri Nov 14, 2003 at 02:20:28 AM EST

I don't think grandparent was stating that the Revolution was a class war. It was a rhetorical question. One possible point of that question is that if it wasn't a class war, then (perhaps) neither do the social changes pursued by the left qualify as class war.

IANAH, but I think what made the Revolution happen was that the colonies had become more productive economically than the mother country, and that England had a parasitic relationship to the colonies. If so, it is not absurd to say that there was an economic component to the revolution.

Whether that qualifies the Revolution as class warfare is a matter of opinion, since "class warfare" could have different meanings to different people.
--------------------------------------------------

I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
[ Parent ]

Strategic Interest. (none / 1) (#241)
by brain in a jar on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 09:11:33 AM EST

I just read an article at the UK Guardian newspaper explaining how the oil resources of the Caspian sea reagion are becoming increasingly important. Including how the US plans to export the region's oil through pipelines crossing Afganistan and Turkey.

The article can be found here.

Though there were direct national security interests in Afganistan and some (albeit fairly minor) direct security interests in Iraq; the main issue was clearly energy security . It is not really fair to suggest that the US started the war to make friends of the administration rich. It is however entirely fair to suggest that the war was started to ensure that the US could not be held to ransom in the future by OPEC and potentially unstable regimes in the middle east (Iraq) or regimes which secretly dislike the US (Saudi Arabia).

Of course that is not to say that war in Iraq and Afganistan was the whole solution the US's energy problems, or the only one possible. Energy efficiency measures, plus a huge expansion of renewables and/or nuclear power would also be an option. This is where the fact that there is an oil-man in the white house matters. The present administration was always going to insist on continued oil dependence and with that as a starting point, and most of the oil in the hands of unfriendly nations, war was almost a geopolitical inevitability.

Also, the war brought one potential side benefit for the government. At the start of the war the economy was clearly heading for recession. A common economic policy of governments faced with recession is for government to borrow money and spend it, thus pumping money into the economy and (in theory) lessening the severity of the recession. These are often referred to as Keynesian measures after John Maynard Keynes who first proposed them. A war is polictally one of the easier ways of justifying huge public spending, in a country where big government projects (apart from the military) often get a bad press. others have suggested that this is probably a side issue since military expenditure amounts to only a few percent of GDP. I would agree with this, with one qualificaton. The difference between a recession and steady growth of the economy is also only a few percent of GDP, differences at the margin are important, especially given the importance of confidence for the economy.

All the same, energy security was probably the main reason for the war. This was never going to be a reason that was acceptable to the public, forcing UK and US politicians to exaggerate the direct security risks of the situation. Where it will go from here, who knows.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

Laughably bad argument! (none / 0) (#245)
by crunchycookies on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 11:45:05 AM EST

I cannot fault you for repeating their argument because so many do it. This is one of those arguments that is provably false. Not many policy arguments are provable but this is one of those. Lets get started.

The argument that energy security requires that we control the oil supplying countries is wrong. The converse; that unfriendly countries are unreliable suppliers is also wrong. We do have many years of history on these issues to look to.

We do not control Iran and yet they have supplied oil to the west both before their revolution and after. Iran is no friend of the US and may well be the next target for invasion and yet they continue to sell oil.

Iraq has desperately wanted to sell oil for the years after the first Gulf War, it is the US that stopped them. One might ask who is the guilty party in blocking oil flow in this case?

Consider the worst case scenario; an actual stoppage of the oil flow from the Middle East. Here too we have an example from history, the two oil embargoes. They were disruptive, I remember the long lines at the gas stations. While disruptive, they did not cause the western world to collapse. They even had some beneficial effects, increased energy efficiency being the most important. Another point is that the Middle East provides a smaller percentage of the world's oil than they did in the 1970's.

The big picture is that we buy a lot of raw materials from some of the unstable spots of the world and yet business goes on. We can live with it. From the Arabs point of view, selling oil is more important to them than buying Arab oil is to us. They have no other product to sell on the world market. It is the sole source of their income. This hard fact applies to US backed Arab stooge governments as much as it applies to radical hard-line anti-US Arab governments.

The US policy in the Middle East is to have pliable stooge governments in most Arab countries and to marganilize those governments that we cannot control. This is the policy that we have followed for a good part of a century. This policy is starting to crumble. The stable Arab governments are the most anti-US. The stooge governments look like they are heading for a fall.

This has grave implications for the US government. The best course would be to manage the transition from stooge governments to truly representative ones. In this way America will not be the sworn enemy of the coming new order in the Middle East.

We can resolve the crisis with Israel by forcing them to give the Palestinians their rights. They will not do this willingly but, as with Apartheid South Africa, an embargo will serve to focus their minds. With this incentive, even Israel can be made to do the right thing.

All is not lost in the Middle east unless we continue our current policy. It is a transition that can be managed such that we do not become the enemy of change even if we are not entirely happy with the outcome.



[ Parent ]

But what is your alternative? (none / 0) (#254)
by brain in a jar on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 04:43:27 AM EST

You claim that my explanation of why the US went to war is wrong, and then totally fail to provide an alternative explanation.

You make some sensible sugesstions about what might be done in the region (eg. economic pressure on Israel to come to some kind of agreement), but you don't really explain what actually was done.

Finally, although you are correct to suggest that at present the oil exporters need their western customers more than we need them. The US is faced with a declining domestic capacity for oil production and increasing oil demand. The middle east is host to a large amount of the worlds proven reserves and will become more important over time. If and when OPEC's market share returns to 1970's levels we do risk another oil crisis. Something which you were far to quick to dismiss as a minor problem. True, it isn't the end of civilisation as we know it, but the economic and political costs of such a crisis would be high, and the US gov. would certainly go a long way, including a war or two to avoid another crisis.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

The answer to why is: Israel. (none / 0) (#256)
by crunchycookies on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 11:41:13 AM EST

I did go into great detail in another reply to this article. I will make just a few points here.

There are two reasons that the Middle east is of concern to us, Israel and oil. In that order.

First Israel; The solution to the problems in Israel is actually quite simple. Give the Palestinians their rights. It was the solution to the rebellion in Apartheid South Africa. It was the solution to our own civil rights struggles. Imagine if we treated our minorities the way Israel treats it's minorities. We would have bombs going off all over the place. We would be just like Israel. The fact that "give the Palestinians their rights" is not the first thing that Americans think of when considering solutions to this war is a great shame on America.

Now oil; The Middle East has a lot of oil. However other large sources of oil are coming on the world market, Russia being the biggest. China is largely unexplored but promises to be huge. The Middle East no longer occupies the unique position that it once did.

The Middle East is unstable, it is going through a region wide era of reform. Old governments will be swept away and new ones will be formed. Iran did it 25 years ago, Saudi Arabia is in the process now. This reform will continue with or without US involvement. US involvement will make things worse if we continue current policies. We become the enemy of all sides in the various conflicts. Given that there is instability in the region, we can continue to do business there. We buy commodities from a lot of unstable places around the world. Everyone understands business, from leftist insurgents to right wing generals, it is the universal language. Business man calculate risks and factor them into the deal and the deal is done.

You talk of the shock of another oil crisis similar to the ones of the 1970's. I suggest that the shock to America of the Viet Nam war was far worse than the oil shock. We survived the oil shock by improving efficiency, not a bad thing. The Viet Nam war produced a near rebellion in the streets of America with police shooting protestors. I will take an oil shock over a rebellion any day. Current policy will produce a rebellion in the streets if continued. The morale of the American troops is low and dropping. Less than half will opt to re-enlist. If continued, we will have to return to the draft.

Consider what will happen as Israel continues to crumble, and we get into a position where it can only be held up with American military? This will be a war that will probably go nuclear. We complain about Moslem fanatics. They are nothing compared to Zionist fanatics. Zionist fanatics with nukes is something too scary to think about, but there they are.

If viewed in this way, oil is not a problem, it is only a matter of price. We don't have to be friends with the Arabs to do deals. If we approach things in this way we will not have enemies. The world will be a friendlier place for us. We may even have friends!

But we do have to solve the problem with Israel, there is no one else!



[ Parent ]

Bush plunges US into decline (none / 0) (#242)
by gr00vey on Mon Oct 20, 2003 at 10:44:24 AM EST

http://www.blackcommentator.com/60/60_cover_iraq.html In all fairness, it isn't just Dubya's agenda.... But certainly oil is a big issue...

If it were just about OIL (none / 2) (#252)
by OldCoder on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 02:35:10 AM EST

If it were just about the oil then the US would have invaded Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. Saudi Arabia has more oil and is more Islamic.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
Saudi Arabia... (none / 1) (#257)
by skyknight on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 12:27:09 PM EST

We already have Saudi Arabia's oil. Saudi Arabia is a bitch, but it is our bitch. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia (none / 0) (#270)
by OldCoder on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 02:39:42 AM EST

Both Saddam and the Saudi Royal Family were equally willing and able to sell their oil on the world market at market prices. Period.

Clearly, the history of Saudi Arabia and the Mideast shows that the West in general and the US in particular is perfectly willing to let the Muslims in charge get insanely wealthy and spend their money on almost anything they want.

The difference between Saudi Arabia and Saddam's Iraq was that Saddam clearly had a multi-decade history of spending his oil billions on building WMD's and of using them in situations where other nations would not consider such use.

By the way, if Saudi Arabia were a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States, they would have recognized Israel in the 1970's and would be giving us the oil for free. They also would not be insisting that the US military stop using Saudi military bases. Get real.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
[ Parent ]

the difference between Iraq and Saudi Arabia (none / 0) (#271)
by sesh on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 03:00:47 AM EST

The difference is that Iraq is a defenceless hole in the ground that had already been blasted 'to the stoneage' before this war even began.

Also, Saudi Arabia is a strong US ally, for many [economic and oil related] reasons.

[ Parent ]

Saudi Arabia... (none / 0) (#276)
by skyknight on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 08:00:44 PM EST

has to balance things. It has the US that wants it to behave in a certain way economically. It also has raging citizens that want it to behave in other ways. It does the best it can to placate both. This means playing games, trying to curry favor with both factions. Despite being subservient to the US, Saudi Arabia also has to throw its citizens the occasional bone to keep them in check.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Keeping them in check (none / 0) (#286)
by error 404 on Mon Oct 27, 2003 at 10:43:51 AM EST

over there is most often done by removing a few heads. Literaly.

The House of Saud doesn't waste a lot of time worrying about approval ratings. It isn't a democracy, and there is too much money flowing around and too much approval of open brutality on the part of the govornment for a mass revolution to go anywhere. The only credible threats are palace coup and US invasion. Or a serious drop in oil revenue.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Game Theory (none / 1) (#272)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 06:01:31 AM EST

It is possible that Saudi Arabia will not fall in direct combat with the U.S., but I suspect that in order to avoid this, it will have to be very much whipped in every other regard.

Assuming, as I do, that the lunatics driving the U.S. are playing in a game for world domination, then the mandates of Game Theory, which was formulated in the U.S. by some of the minds collected during Project Paperclip type programs, come into play.

Game Theory essentially boils down to the following formula: "Cooperate with other players until it is no longer to your advantage, then back-stab and take all of their monopoly money. Repeat until you are king of the mountain." --Which incidentally, is how that 'Survivor' reality show was set up. It is also one of the ways in which the Psychopath operates.

The way this can be applied to U.S. foriegn policy is as follows. . .

The U.S. is playing friendly with Israel in order to better maneauver the Jews into a position of great peril, where they will then be abandoned/back-stabbed at the last moment. That is, Israel will instigate war with the Arab nations under the belief that it controls the U.S. well enough to get American soldiers to fight and die on behalf of the Zionist agenda. This will sort of happen, but in the long run, will only put Israel into the dire position of having the thunder of the Arab world plunge down upon it.

This action will justify U.S. aggression toward the Arab peoples, as well as ultimately remove the Jews from the game board.

I've been waiting and watching as this pattern unfolds ever since 9-11, and every week, the picture becomes increasingly clear. Most recently, the events in Syria and policy towards Iran, as well as the 'Right-On-Schedule' dulling of American attention over Iraq serve to convince me further.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Been there, done that (none / 0) (#273)
by Grognard on Wed Oct 22, 2003 at 09:24:58 AM EST

but in the long run, will only put Israel into the dire position of having the thunder of the Arab world plunge down upon it.

That happened in 48, the thunder turned out to not be very loud.

[ Parent ]

Thunder. . . (none / 0) (#281)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 07:34:29 AM EST

That happened in 48, the thunder turned out to not be very loud.

The difference is that in 1948 the entire world wasn't disgusted with Israel, and the Arab world wasn't feeling nearly so cornered. Israel has been building up a helluva lot of bad karma lately.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. There isn't a single dominating power in history where it all hasn't come home to roost in the end.

-FL

[ Parent ]

re: Karma (none / 0) (#282)
by Grognard on Thu Oct 23, 2003 at 09:34:39 AM EST

Neither Israel's "karma" nor world opinion threw back the armies of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, et al in 1948.  That was accomplished by the Israelis.  

You state that the Arab world is feeling cornered now, how hilarious.  Israel poses no threat to any neighboring country nor, for that matter, the PA (which, in spite of Israeli military incursions in response to terror attacks is still allowed to exist).  

On the other hand, there is still plenty of rhetoric in the Arab world about pushing the Jews into the sea.  Just last week Muslim leaders were agreeing with the Indonesian PM who talked about Jews ruling the world by proxy.  Who's feeling cornered now?

Your "live by the sword..." platitude sounds very nice, but it's wrong.  How has Britain's colonial past "come home to roost"?  It has only a fraction of its former power, but it's hardly gone the way of the Roman empire.

On the other hand, appeasement has a proven track record.  While it may annoy the usual suspects that Israel won't just roll over and "take it" (after all, that worked so well for Czechoslovakia), the wonderful thing about it is that the same cowardice that prompts them to try to throw others to the wolves prevents them from doing anything about it when the intended sacrificial lambs refuse.

[ Parent ]

Wow. (none / 0) (#283)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Oct 24, 2003 at 12:12:21 AM EST

You state that the Arab world is feeling cornered now, how hilarious. Israel poses no threat to any neighboring country nor, for that matter, the PA (which, in spite of Israeli military incursions in response to terror attacks is still allowed to exist).

Wow. To even start to counter such a statment would, I suspect, require an overhaul of many of your current beliefs. Would I be correct in assuming that you do not accept the following tenets. . .

-Zionists hold powerful and deep controls over the U.S. government.

-Zionists hold powerful and deep controls over the media.

-Zionists believe that Jews are the master race.

-Zionists have repeatedly acted in poor faith regarding all aspects of the Palestinian question and international law as prescribed by the UN.

If you don't find yourself in alignment with any of these points, and if you are not open to looking at alternate ideas and adjusting your views according to available evidence, then I really don't think that there is any point in our engaging in further discussion.

-FL

[ Parent ]

To answer your questions (none / 0) (#284)
by Grognard on Fri Oct 24, 2003 at 08:57:50 AM EST

Correct on most:

-Zionists hold powerful and deep controls over the U.S. government.

If that were the case, why would the US government be blocking some of the more hard-line Israeli proposals?  The Bush administration has taken a definite stand against killing/exiling Arafat and isn't a fan of the fence either.  Is it your position that this is a diabolical smoke screen on their part?

-Zionists hold powerful and deep controls over the media.

Here's a big secret - the media has no "side" other than their own - ie. to sell papers/ad time/etc.  The same media outlet that you think is a tool of the establishment today will be tearing into it tomorrow if that will draw eyeballs.

-Zionists believe that Jews are the master race.

Don't know, don't care.  Ascribing absolutes like this to large groups is generally counter-productive.  Groups of people aren't monolithic in belief or action.

-Zionists have repeatedly acted in poor faith regarding all aspects of the Palestinian question and international law as prescribed by the UN.

Poor faith?  Hardly.  Bear in mind that one side of the conflict openly admits to a goal of the extermination of the other (and it ain't the Israelis).  While the Israelis could move faster on certain aspects (dismantling settlements), other activities that so annoy the usual suspects (targeted killings, military incursions in response to terror attacks) are well within any nation's right to self defense.  

As far as UN resolutions, it has been pointed out many times that those which Israel is in "violation" of are of the non-binding type.

In regard to whether it makes sense to continue the discussion, that's your call.  I base my opinions on an objective assessment of reality.


[ Parent ]

Whatever it is about (none / 2) (#255)
by daragh on Tue Oct 21, 2003 at 11:30:17 AM EST

It's disgusting, and I don't like it.

No work.

All about what? | 288 comments (246 topical, 42 editorial, 1 hidden)
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