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[P]
Why We're Spending Valentine's Weekend at an Anti-War Rally

By RareHeintz in Op-Ed
Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:05:36 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

My wife and I like to take "mini-vacations" - our term for long weekend getaways to nearby cities. This year, since Valentine's Day coincided with President's Day (thus creating a convenient 3-day weekend), we considered a romantic getaway to Portland, Maine or Newport, Rhode Island, but eventually settled on a bed and breakfast in New Haven, Connecticut - which is where we'll catch the commuter train into New York City for an anti-war protest on Saturday.

It's the first time I can ever remember my wife putting politics before romance.


It will also be my first foray, at least since college, into any form of political activisim heavier than writing my elected officials or the occasional opinion essay.

So why are we so moved? For my part, I'm not a pacifist, communist, or anyone with any sort of anti-war religious leanings. In fact, I'm a thirty-one year old, white, male technocrat pulling down six figures a year. I'm the guy you would expect to be gung-ho for the establishment, or at least the guy you'd expect to quietly take his capital gains tax cut and disappear into the political woodwork. So - why?

It's very simple: I don't like it when people lie to me. If someone has to lie to me to convince me to do something, then it logically follows that this thing must not be in my best interests. If it were in my best interests, it would be simple enough to point that out - and at that point, I won't need much convincing.

Extend this principle to the U.S. rhetoric on Iraq. On the matter of Iraq, the Bush administration persistently lies about their reasons for going to war. Not a one of them holds water.

Human Rights

As a human myself, this would be among one of the more convincing arguments for me. Saddam Hussein really is a butcher, and while there are conflicting views about whether or not he actually did use chemical weapons against his own citizens (an anecdote trotted out almost daily by one member or another of the Bush administration), he certainly used them in Iran - with American assistance, of course. By all accounts, he brutally represses political dissent, makes life hell for religious and ethnic minorities, and generally behaves in a manner consistent with all the worst things you hear about Third World dictators.

This is not why the Bush administration wants to go to war in Iraq.

The human rights problem is not new - it's been going on as long as Hussein has been in power. When the U.K. released a dossier on human rights in Iraq late last year as part of their P.R. campaign for the war, Amnesty International - whose press releases were freely cribbed for the dossier - cried foul, noting that some of the information in the document was well known by its publishers to be over a decade old, and they didn't care then.

Neither do they care now. If human rights were the reason, the time to do something was twenty years ago. I don't buy the idea that anyone in the Bush family suddenly grew a heart and decided to go topple Saddam Hussein for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

Of course, it's not actually clear that a war would benefit the Iraqi people. A variety of groups have taken a crack at guessing the likely humanitarian outcome of Gulf War II, and best estimates are consistently that thousands of civilians will die and hundreds of thousands will be made refugees. The Bush administration has been, as far as I've read, completely silent on the matter of dead and displaced (but "liberated") Iraqi citizens.

Terror Links

If you read anything that goes deeper than CNN Headline News, you've seen this debunked already. The BBC has received a leaked British intelligence document that claims there are no current ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. The intelligence agency of France - a country that has long-standing economic and political ties to the region - says likewise. The specific incidents of al Qaeda-Iraq meetings brought up by Rumsfeld and others - such as the infamous meeting in Prague - have been consistently debunked.

And yet, for some reason, the U.S. government wants us to have the impression that the war on Iraq is a natural extension of the failing war on terror. It has succeeded to some extent - a majority of Americans believe one or more of the September 11th hijackers was Iraqi, and a significant number believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the events of September 11th, 2001. (Both statements are false, if there was any doubt in your mind.)

Above and beyond its dishonesty, the tacit racism of this tactic is truly appalling. The U.S. government has largely succeeded in creating a vague connection in the minds of American citizens between two bad, Arab, Muslim men - Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein - despite the fact that there is no credible evidence that the two have ever colluded, and despite the fact that they're ideologically incompatible - one being a religious zealot whose ultimate goal is worldwide Islamic fundamentalist theocracy, and the other is a secular dictator interested mainly in the maintenance of his own power. But still, the Bush administration takes this cheap, racist tug at our September 11th heart-strings for all it's worth.

Not only that, but an attack on Iraq makes terrorist attacks on America and its allies more likely, not less - at least according to documents released by the FBI, CIA, and their foreign counterparts. By pursuing a pre-emptive war in Iraq, Bush and Company will knowingly be radicalizing the Muslim fringe against the U.S.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

So what do you do with an insular, paranoid dictatorship that you believe might have a nuclear warhead or two and the capability to deliver them to some of your major cities, that has threatened a pre-emptive strike on your troops, and that consistently proliferates ballistic missile and WMD technology to unfriendly states?

In the case of North Korea, you go back to the bargaining table. That makes the Bush administration's Iraq policy that much more inscrutable. Except for the part about being an insular, paranoid dictatorship, none of the rest applies to Iraq. They are not believed to have any nuclear bombs, and may not even be able to land a missile in Israel anymore. While they haven't been exactly bending over backwards, positive progress reports from UNMOVIC head Hans Blix and IAEA head Mohammed elBaradei have made clear that Iraq is willing to make significant concessions to avoid war.

There is no credible intelligence that Iraq has developed any new WMD capability. A recent British intelligence report that Colin Powell used to try to make that argument to the U.N. security council turns out to have been plagiarized from multiple publicly available sources, all referring to Iraq's actions before U.N. inspectors were removed in 1998.

To be sure, there are gaps in Iraq's compliance. There exist numerous stocks of biological and chemical agents for which Iraq has still not accounted. However, Blix and elBaradei continue to come back with encouraging reports of progress. Again, this is not to say that Iraq is cooperating completely, or that the threat of force still isn't needed, but while the inspections appear to be making substantial progress, doesn't it make sense to continue them?

Instead, the U.S. not only prefers to commit the lives of American troops to a conflict with no clear exit strategy, but actively hampers inspections by witholding intelligence the inspectors could use - assuming that they even have the intelligence they claim to have. It has occurred to me that the intelligence is being witheld not because it would compromise sources, but because it might not withstand the light of day - or it might not exist at all. If we're going to remove Iraq's government in any event, these precious sources are going to be useless in any secret capacity anyway. Would our allies not be better convinced by a case made in the light of day than one made in secret? Could the current fractious atmosphere in NATO and the U.N. Security Council not be smoothed over by giving the parties involved actual evidence that the course of action we propose is correct? Do we not trust our own allies with this information?

Between the inconsistent stance on North Korea and the lies the Bush administration has to tell to support this case, it's clear that weapons of mass destruction are not the reason either.

Why, then?

I don't know the real reason Bush and Company wants to go to war with Iraq, only that the reasons they claim are flimsy lies. It might well be about oil, as some say, although there exist rational-sounding, data-based arguments against that. Frankly, I hope it is as simple as oil - because the most plausible alternative, in my view, is the furtherance of the power of the executive branch of the American government, already a proven priority of this administration and one at which they continue to work. As if the USA PATRIOT Act wasn't bad enough, the recently and secretly drafted Domestic Security Enhancement Act calls for more secret arrests, creates a prerogative for the Attorney General to declare individual American citizens to be enemy combatants (which leaves them without the right to legal counsel, a speedy trial, etc.), contains still more abrogation of the Fourth and Fifth amendments, and generally dismantles the liberal democracy established on humanist principles over 200 years ago.

I worry that an extended war overseas will help the Bush administration continue that evil work. They know that populations tend to rally around their governments during a war (offering them the freedom to dictate policy with a "blank check" mandate). They know that they are increasing the risk of a terrorist attack on American soil by pursuing this war - but terrorist attacks, as we have seen, are great excuses to impose ever more draconian "security" measures that make nobody more secure from external threats but are great for establishing a police state.

The attitude of the Bush administration is consistent with this goal, as well. John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney call domestic dissent treason. Rumsfeld and Powell assault the character of formerly stalwart allies who take a principled stand against what they see as an unnecessary war of aggression. Bush's State of the Union address trumpeted America's status as the divinely-ordained liberator of the world. These people have an obscene sense of entitlement to power, and don't seem willing to stop at anything - not lying to anyone who will listen, not killing civilians across the globe - to maintain and extend that power.

The people in charge right now want very badly to destroy America as I know it.



We're going to New York on Saturday to exercise our right to free speech while we still have it. For my part, all I wanted from my government was the truth. If they won't give it to me, I will oppose them proudly, knowing that a real American is not afraid of political dissent and that a true servant of the public in America would never seek to deceive and control the American public as this government does.

I'll be the guy in the blue overcoat with the sign that reads "Patriots Against Bush" on one side and "Not Convinced" on the other. Look for me on the news, if anyone besides NPR covers it.

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Poll
This essay:
o Didn't change my mind because I agreed already 78%
o Didn't change my mind, but I see your point 7%
o Didn't change my mind, and I don't see your point 10%
o Changed my mind 2%

Votes: 103
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by RareHeintz


Display: Sort:
Why We're Spending Valentine's Weekend at an Anti-War Rally | 366 comments (341 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
-1 Stupid (3.09 / 32) (#10)
by RyoCokey on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 08:59:45 PM EST

There is no credible intelligence that Iraq has developed any new WMD capability.

Well, thank God, now he's just got those liters of anthrax and chemical bombs.

However, Blix and elBaradei continue to come back with encouraging reports of progress.

Empty chemical shells are a sign of progress? Getting them to agree to the U-2 part of our original conditions is progress? At this rate, Saddam the 8th will be disarmed sometime before the next millenia, after he annexes Canada.

Above and beyond its dishonesty, the tacit racism of this tactic is truly appalling.

Yay, now we play the completely unfounded racism card. Guess we'll have to go find a white dictator to go bash on instead.

Kindly explain how this article is anything other than a poorly written and factually lacking rant about Iraq of which we see around 3 a week of on this site.



Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
-- Francis Schaeffer,
One good thing about the parent comment. (4.00 / 11) (#12)
by gyan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:08:29 PM EST


 A self-referencing subject.

********************************

[ Parent ]
iraq only made wet anthrax (3 yr. shelf life)! (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by sayke on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:56:44 AM EST

it has not made any since 1992 - and the wet stuff it made pales in comparison to the weaponized, powerdered anthrax that the US army perfected, which was released in the US through the mail system.

there is no evidence to suggest that iraq currently has anthrax. they may have other stuff, but the fact that the administration rhetoric touts the threat of iraqi anthrax illustrates the despicable disingenousness of the US's current leadership.

may they fall soon, and may they fall hard.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

Mr Blix seems to feel there is (none / 0) (#191)
by RyoCokey on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:55:05 PM EST

Reference



Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
-- Francis Schaeffer,
[ Parent ]
no, he suspects that more might have been made (5.00 / 1) (#269)
by sayke on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 10:57:30 AM EST

but he has not come across any evidence to suggest that any more has in fact been made.


sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]

You must be... (3.63 / 11) (#11)
by gyan on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:06:58 PM EST

I don't like it when people lie to me.

 a very bitter man then.

********************************

France isn't exactly unbiased (4.60 / 20) (#13)
by Delirium on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:32:17 PM EST

The intelligence agency of France - a country that has long-standing economic and political ties to the region - says likewise.
These economic ties include significant investment by Total-Fina-Elf (one of the world's largest oil companies) in Iraqi oil. You don't think that might have anything to do with France's opposition to an attack on Iraq, do you?

Oddly, people are quick to play the "they're doing it for oil" card when discussing US actions in the Mideast, but not when discussing European actions in the Mideast, which are at least as much driven by oil and other economic considerations as the US's.

So true (4.50 / 8) (#15)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:44:47 PM EST

And not only has Elf significant investment in Iraqi oil, they have made arrangements with Saddam Hussein to develop his oil refineries when/if oil export sanctions are ever lifted. Now, if US ousts Saddam and puts up their puppe... an independent, pro-democratic regime, it would seriously hamper up Elf's plans. In fact, I remember reading about France having talks with the US about them honoring Elf's contracts even in case of a regime change.

The other two companies currently in Iraq after her oil are Russia's Lukoil and China National Petroleum Corporation. And we all know what the stance of those countries is on war in Iraq. Not saying that's the only reason these countries oppose the war, of course.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
So all the US has to do... (4.50 / 6) (#18)
by hugues on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:57:13 PM EST

To get France to shut up, is to guarantee them a piece of the action after the war. Will that happen?

This is geopolitics. Human considerations apart, it's very easy to be extremely cynical about what is going on about Iraq right now, but this is what countries do.

Face it, GWB is not going to war to save the Iraqi women and children from SH, on the contrary. France, Germany and Russia are *not* using what little power they have to avoid a human disaster in Iraq should the war proceed. Everybody's intention are about power, money, influence etc. However I prefer a world where all the decisions are not made by a single country/body, etc.

Put it that way: It's good for GWB to get a bit of opposition, no matter what you think. The case for war or peace can only be strengthened as a result.

[ Parent ]

Ahem? (4.60 / 5) (#21)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:29:44 PM EST

I was merely regurgitating facts and didn't give any opinions. Yet you imply all kinds of (wrong) things of what my opinions, perceptions and thoughts are on the probable war.

--
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell


[ Parent ]
Too late for France to get a piece of the action.. (3.50 / 2) (#112)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:56:35 PM EST

...at this point, the necessary outcomes are:

1. France vetoes further UN resolutions supporting war. The US attacks without formal UN support, but with the support of the remaining security council membership (inclulding Russia, BTW). France earns a moral high ground, loses a shot at the spoils of war, and loses the revenue from contracts with Saddam Hussein. The UN suffers another crisis of authority after its umpteen 'resolutions' are flaunted by Saddam's Iraq and opportunities for meaningful enforcement have been stymied by a voting member of the security council.

OR

2. France eats its words, and capitulates.

It's even money between 1 and 2, really, given France's recent historical performance on the geopolitical stage. Either way, though, France has lost its opportunity to gain from the endeavor. In the end, either France suffers and takes the UN down with it, or only France suffers.
------------------------------------------------

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[ Parent ]

Not France (none / 0) (#114)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:01:04 PM EST

Chirac. Well, France also if it's option 1. If it's option 2 then but butter on him, because Chirac is toast.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
this makes sense (none / 0) (#119)
by bukvich on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:13:28 PM EST

it's all a brilliant plan to undermine Chirac!

[ Parent ]
Cool... (none / 0) (#132)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:48:07 PM EST

...just like Marshal Petain.
------------------------------------------------

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 ]

France.. (4.00 / 2) (#131)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:47:50 PM EST

France capitulate? Never!!!

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

You describe only only the short-term outcome (none / 0) (#348)
by hugues on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:38:28 AM EST

Sorry for the late reply,

France's policy has always been to distinguish themselves from the US position unless such a position really is untenable. This is not news.

They do it for many reasons, some being maybe cultural (I think a lot of French people, and more widely European people, really dislike the gung-ho short-term militaristic solutions of the US, the stance about how the US is `the best country in the world', `God bless America' and the whole US governemnt rethoric that probably works very well at home but doesn't cut the mustard too much with its allies. Yes parts of GWB's speeches are regularly broadcast in Europe and elsewhere to great effects, believe me...), but part of these reasons are also cold-blooded calculations (cheap oil for vote in the UN security council maybe?)

If you go with the flow with the US you get the scraps that the US govt & companies want to leave you. If you don't do that you may stand a better chance. I don't think France has anything to gain financially by going with the US for a war. There is every indication that this new war will cost a pretty penny, for a start.

Sometimes this policy works, sometimes it doesn't.

BTW you left out

3. after much behind-the-scene negotiation, a new improved resolution is put forward to the UN. France does not veto that one. After the war one finds that some French interests are left intact in Iraq, but everyone else is too busy celebrating to notice.

We'll see.

[ Parent ]

The other side... (4.50 / 2) (#181)
by baron samedi on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:21:20 PM EST

Of course, by the same token, you could argue that Chevron and BP, having been cut out of the deal that Elf managed to secure, made a phone call to Dick Cheney. Should Saddam's government fall, the contracts with Elf will be null and void, leaving American and British Oil companies able to secure deals that previously they couldn't get.
Anyone with half a brain has to concede that this whole business has a great deal to do with oil. If Iraq's main export was textiles or vegetables, none of this would be happening. It's probably not totally about oil, but to claim that this has *nothing* to do with oil is just naive.
To claim that France's objections have to do with oil may be true, but the oil argument cuts both ways. The French can be counted on to do whatever is in their best interests, just as it is with the U.S.
I think it's pretty obvious by now that this thing is not going the way the Bush administration thought it would. They no doubt figured that Europe would knuckle under right away, and their shrill frustration is showing. What they weren't expecting was the massive public opposition to stepping up the military activity in Iraq in Europe. No matter what the French government may want, to side with the U.S. is politically deadly to both the French and German governments. No doubt the Bush administration has told them that they need to whip their people in line, which so far they have not been willing to do.
I also believe that there is no conclusion to this that doesn't end with war that the Bush administration is willing to accept. Their movement of forces into the gulf basically seals it. You don't put on a condom unless you're going to fuck. The inspections are not supposed to work. The U.S. is not sharing the intelligence they have with the inspectors because that data is being used to develop air strike target packages.
Why do I have the feeling that there isn't anything UNMOVIC can produce that would cause the Bush government to abandon this path? Why do feel that this all has a certain inevitability?
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
France's opposition to the Iraq war (4.71 / 14) (#28)
by martingale on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:13:23 AM EST

I don't think the French opposition to the war on Iraq has much at all to do with oil. Here are a few reasons I think are more plausible, in no particular order.

1) Unlike the US, France and Europe more generally are close to the action. France has a large Muslim minority, which constrains internal politics. Its historical ties with north Africa and the Middle East aren't simply confined to oil companies. If the Middle East explodes, Europe and France will see waves of refugees attempting to enter Europe (remember borders are being wiped out, they already no longer exist for EU citizens), and lots of internal unrest as recent immigrants will push for both action on the part of France and help for their relatives.

2) The current diplomatic skills of the US administration are subpar. It appears that Washington never means to say anything offensive itself (though fails spectacularly), while taking exception to any similar statement questioning its own motives. The French and German governments who have taken the brunt of the US statements so far have been fairly submissive until recently. However, I don't expect this to continue much longer if diplomatic push comes to diplomatic shove.

3) Related to 2), the war of words is directly questioning France and Germany's ability to lead the EU (that is, essentially, a given - they are currently the biggest movers and shakers). I personally think that when Rumsfeld made his "old Europe" remark, Chirac and Schroeder saw the writing on the wall, and certainly the underhanded way that the eight signatories of the declaration supporting the US went about their business did not help things. Expect them at this point to act in word and deed primarily to check US interference in EU internal politics. Iraq is a convenient rallying point.

Just to explain my thinking a bit more on 3), the EU is about to grow quite a bit, which means that a lot of money is going to end up in Eastern Europe, money that would normally end up with farmers and in the poorer EU countries. Besides, more members means that existing members will have diluted political influence.

Now there are two camps in Europe, so to speak, about where the union should be headed. One camp wants a loose, mainly economic, federation, while the other wants essentially a superstate, with common policies and laws on everything. France and Germany are essentially in the latter camp, and have always been since the founding. If the EU grows too fast, this goal is pretty much impossible to accomplish. Now the US would prefer a loose federation, as countries such as the UK and Denmark do as well. For the US, it makes economic and political sense, since a divided Europe is naturally easier to deal with.

So this is why I think France and Germany are politically especially tuned to those US remarks and actions which emphasize a quick dilution of the EU. Things such as pushing for Turkey's inclusion in the union (as the US was encouraging a few months ago), emphasizing the importance of Eastern Europe, and visibly ordering NATO around. Note on that point that the catalyst for the French/Belgian/German veto was not at all that Turkey wanted help in preparing for war, but that the US was urging NATO members to go help Turkey prepare for war (Turkey, by the way, whose decision to allow the US to use their airbases was surprisingly taken in a closed session, rather than in parliament as expected). Only after the veto did Turkey ask for assistance itself.

4) There are other reasons I haven't touched on. France has a tradition of intellectual accomplishment and a well educated population, which makes the simplistic appeal to fear developed by Washington hard to swallow by the average citizen. Add to that the fact that one of France's passtimes is marching in the streets, especially for a good cause, and it follows that the case for war is much harder to put in that country.



[ Parent ]

you have some good points (5.00 / 2) (#36)
by Delirium on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:24:09 AM EST

I wasn't particularly meaning to imply that oil was France's sole reason for opposing the war, but I do think it's at least as plausible as claiming that it's the US's sole reason for wanting a war (both arguments have some evidence to back them up -- the US does have significant interest in mideast oil, and TotalFinaElf does have significant interest in keeping Hussein in power and having sanctions lifted). I was more wondering why it's brought up in one case and not the other.

As for France's culture, you're correct, but I'd also add that generally complaining about US politics and culture has been one of their national pasttimes for the past few decades as well.

[ Parent ]

Try complaining about everything (4.66 / 3) (#41)
by fraise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:59:32 AM EST

Including Total-Fina-Elf, Chirac, Sarkozy, Corsica, the Algerian War, Afghanistan, respect in schools, crime... the US is only a small (yes, small) part of general complaints and criticism discussed by the French. Americans think the US is a big part only because they're Americans, so they naturally focus on that. In the last year there have been more strikes by employees and medical staff in France than there have been against a possible war in Iraq, probably by a factor of five. None of that is published by the US media though. (I find that understandable - it's not a criticism of the US media.)

[ Parent ]
[correction] strikes = protests (none / 0) (#42)
by fraise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:01:00 AM EST

bleh.

[ Parent ]
thanks (none / 0) (#220)
by martingale on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:32:31 PM EST

As for France's culture, you're correct, but I'd also add that generally complaining about US politics and culture has been one of their national pasttimes for the past few decades as well.
Fair comment. Bitching about other ethnic communities is something France and the US have in common, then, with pretty much every other ethnic community on earth.

I don't have much to add to fraise's reply, so I'll just note that by far the number one national collective passtime in both France and the US is exactly the same: football :-)

[ Parent ]

Minor points (4.00 / 5) (#46)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:49:22 AM EST

France has a large Muslim minority, which constrains internal politics.

The UK and Spain also have large Muslim minorities, so it isn't that simple. I get the impression that British Muslims are generally better integrated, partly because our citizenship laws are different. Plus British Muslims are mostly from the Indian subcontinent, whereas French Muslims are mostly Algerian, which is an unpleasant bit of history that may have an affect.

... the war of words is directly questioning France and Germany's ability to lead the EU (that is, essentially, a given - they are currently the biggest movers and shakers). I personally think that when Rumsfeld made his "old Europe" remark, Chirac and Schroeder saw the writing on the wall, and certainly the underhanded way that the eight signatories of the declaration supporting the US went about their business did not help things.

Yeah, there's an internal battle within the EU going on, of which the Iraq business is only one facet. It was a not very well kept secret that Jospin and Schroeder did not get on. Blair and Aznar took the opportunity to set the agenda (or undermine the agenda - depending whose side you're on) of the EU. Now the centre right is in power in France, the Franco-German axis is back again and trying to throw its collecive weight around.

The peripheral countries are pissed off, and its not just the British on this occasion. The new entrants hate the fact that the French and Germans have successfully forced a kind of second-rate membership on them. The Spanish, Portuguese and Irish hate the vast wodges of cash they'er going to have to give up. The other big countries hate being left out of important decisions - especially the Brits, and everyone hates the draft constitution Valerie "I've got a girl's name" d'Estaing apparently decided to write all by himself without asking anyone else.

Simon

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

yes (none / 0) (#228)
by martingale on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:53:38 PM EST

The makeup of each European nation's Muslim minorities varies from country to country. In Germany, there's a sizeable Turkish minority. This probably makes some countries more susceptible to unrest than others. I'm continually amazed by the UK's success in this, last year's riots notwithstanding.

Your other points about the EU are well accepted. A comprehensive state of politics on that front would be nice to see on this site (well, I can talk, I never write articles ;-). Just one point about the girl's name. His actual name is Valéry, which is a boy's name. But that didn't stop me or any other first graders from laughing about it in school in the early eighties...

[ Parent ]

Funny story about TotalFinaElf (4.33 / 3) (#29)
by RyoCokey on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:48:48 AM EST

...they came to my school to give a pitch for their company. During the presentation, they pointed out one of their prize new rig projects... off the coast of Iraq. I felt like interjecting "Isn't that against UN sanctions?" but I don't exactly need to add to the long list of companies that have me on their "do not hire" list.



Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
-- Francis Schaeffer,
[ Parent ]
Simple answer (none / 0) (#32)
by godix on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:58:56 AM EST

Just claim your name is Rusty Foster and you can get him on their "do not hire" list. Last I heard he wants to work on K5 full time, so he shouldn't mind too much.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]
Actually... (4.50 / 2) (#233)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:19:07 PM EST

Oddly, people are quick to play the "they're doing it for oil" card when discussing US actions in the Mideast, but not when discussing European actions in the Mideast, which are at least as much driven by oil and other economic considerations as the US's.
In fact, I do consider that. I also consider Russia, the UK and China's stakes in the oil market. I also consider Germany's arms sales to Iraq. I also consider all sorts of other things. But I still think this is a war (partly) over oil. I've also found many liberal essays pointing this very thing out as well. What I haven't found yet, is any hawks who point out that France may be in it for the oil who are willing to suggest that the U.S. may be as well.

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

Some points (4.11 / 35) (#14)
by godix on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:39:05 PM EST

I too believe that the true motives for war haven't been announced. To me it seems a simple thing, Bush wants to get out of a decade old situation that hasn't helped anyone. He has two choices, get rid of Saddam or just pull out. For his own reasons he decided getting rid of Saddam is the correct answer (and he may very well be right). That being said, there's a lot in your article that I gotta wonder about:

"into any form of political activisim heavier than writing my elected officials or the occasional opinion essay."

The one thing that is most likely to actually influence policy (not all that likely granted, but a shitload more likely than a bunch of people NOT IN THE CONGRESSMAN'S DISTRICT waving signs around) and you dismiss it offhand.

"This [human rights] is not why the Bush administration wants to go to war in Iraq."

Does it really matter if this is the motive as long as this is a side effect? Look at Afghan, we didn't fight there over 'look what they do to their women', but better treatment of women is a great side effect (granted, women's life still sucks in afghan, but not nearly as bad as before).
Anyway, I think they do care. Foreign policy depends on a lot of factors, and often human rights is the lowest (Bosnia being the exception). However if the factors come into being that our foreign policy might include war with Iraq, I think human rights is definately one of the deciding points.

"A variety of groups have taken a crack at guessing the likely humanitarian outcome of Gulf War II, and best estimates are consistently that thousands of civilians will die and hundreds of thousands will be made refugees."

Compare and contrast to what many groups say the last decade of sanctions has caused. Also keep in mind that the US tends to aid and rebuild it's former enemies.

"The BBC has received a leaked British intelligence document that claims there are no current ties between Iraq and al Qaeda."

There is a qualifier here, it's Al Qaeda. Hussein is still aiding palestinian terrorist to this day. This isn't a case of a leader who has renounced his former terrorist ways, this is a case of a leader who actively supports killing random citizens, just not random American citizens (at the moment).

"he intelligence agency of France - a country that has long-standing economic and political ties to the region - says likewise."

A country that that has economic ties to the current regime in Iraq and is very opposed to war with Iraq says there are no terrorist links and you think BUSH is the one lying to you?

"the tacit racism of this tactic is truly appalling."

Bush is anything but racist. Disregarding his obvious connections to hispanics, consider the quite active role he played right after 9/11 in supporting tolerance towards Muslims. I have no doubt that many Americans are racist, but Bush is not one of them.

"Not only that, but an attack on Iraq makes terrorist attacks on America and its allies more likely,"

No terrorist attacks happened during or shortly after the first Guld war. Bombing Libya in the 80's reduced terrorism quite a bit. There hasn't been an attack on the US since we invaded Afghan. History shows that when America reacts violently to terrorism it tends to stop. When we react weakly, like we did after the first WTC boming or the Cole, then it esculates. Provide proof that more terrorism will happen as a result of Gulf war II please.

"In the case of North Korea, you go back to the bargaining table."

North Korea is right near China, a country we're somewhat cautious of provoking, Iraq isn't. North Korea hasn't attacked our allies in the recent past, Iraq has. North Korea has beaten the US once (with Chinas aid), Iraq hasn't. There are clear reasons North Korea is being treated differently than Iraq and it's very simpleminded to think they should be treated the same. Idealogicially they should, politicially they're two totally different situations.

"There is no credible intelligence that Iraq has developed any new WMD capability."

The resolutions require Iraq to prove they haven't, they don't require America to prove they have. Can you honestly say that Iraq has proved to you that they haven't?

"There exist numerous stocks of biological and chemical agents for which Iraq has still not accounted."

Hmmm, sounds like a pretty strong indication that Iraq does have WMD's......

"I worry that an extended war overseas will help the Bush administration continue that evil work"

Oh come on. Genecide is evil work. Mass rape is an evil work. Developing and using chemical weapons is an evil work. Bush trying to defend America from terrorism, while it is overzelous and in some cases unconstitutional, is not an evil work.

"They know that populations tend to rally around their governments during a war"

Which would make sense, if we were talking about war a year from now. As it is, any boost in popularity for Bush Jr will be about as useful as the first Gulf war boost in popularty for Bush Sr. Remember who won the '92 presidential election?

"Rumsfeld and Powell assault the character of formerly stalwart allies who take a principled stand against what they see as an unnecessary war of aggression."

I have difficultly describing France as a 'stalwart' ally. I also have difficulty describing Frances decission to protect it's investments in Iraq as 'principled stand'.

"The people in charge right now want very badly to destroy America as I know it."

What, you seriously think Bush is sitting in the oval office going 'I'm going to destroy America and institute the first even dictatorship in the US! MWAHAHAHAHA'? Jesus, it's you that's lying not Bush.

"We're going to New York on Saturday to exercise our right to free speech while we still have it."

Point me to the proposed legislation which says you aren't allowed to gather together in peaceful protest. I must have missed that one.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey

Just some questions (4.50 / 6) (#44)
by Argon on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:46:06 AM EST

How easy you think it is to prove a denial?
Do you think that Iraq can prove it's innocence, even if they give up the entire country? Do you think that any answer, any concession that they may give will satisfy the US administration?

Well, answer this questions to yourself and see if its fair, and then perhaps you may have a glimpse of how the Iraqis feel.

What would you do if a Foreign power did to your country what US/UK is doing to Iraq?

And do you really think that you will win the peoples hearts by bombing their cities?


[ Parent ]

answers (3.25 / 8) (#53)
by godix on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:31:03 AM EST

"How easy you think it is to prove a denial?"

Conclusively, almost impossible.

Enough so a reasonable person would believe Iraq doesn't have WMDs, well, that's a lot easier. First off Iraq would have to announce what happened to the WMDs they used to have (and we know they used to have). Next Iraq would.... wait a second, they haven't even managed the first point, why bother listing any others?

"Do you think that any answer, any concession that they may give will satisfy the US administration?"

Yes, a concession of following the terms of their surrender and following UN resolutions without having to be forced into it by US threats would probably satisfy the administration. Not spending the last decade taking pot shots at the winner of the war would also be a pretty good step. It's hard to be sure though, Iraq has yet to try these methods.

"What would you do if a Foreign power did to your country what US/UK is doing to Iraq?"

If a foreign power stepped in to remove a mass murdering dictator for life from the head of the government, I'd thank them. Fortunately, we have never had a mass murdering dictor for life. And before you claim Bush is, tell me the last time you saw the US use chemical warfare against civilian targets and tell me when Bush became dictator for life.

"And do you really think that you will win the peoples hearts by bombing their cities?"

Where exactly in the UN resolutions or the US official policy is it listed that our goal is to 'win the peoples hearts'? When did Americas foreign policy become a game of 'what would be most popular with our enemies'?


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Not good enough answers. (3.63 / 11) (#63)
by Argon on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:22:38 AM EST

Conclusively, almost impossible.

Enough so a reasonable person would believe Iraq doesn't have WMDs, well, that's a lot easier.

Well, it would be easier if we were all reasonable people and the demands wouldn't change. What we have so far:
  - US/UN demands the return of the inspectors, Iraq lets them. US then says that it's not enough.
  - US/UN demands that the inspectors have full access to any site within the country, including Saddams palaces.. After complaining, Iraq agrees. US then says that it's not enough.
  - US/UN demands that Iraq shows where are the chemical weapons that US/UK/?? has sold them. Iraq replies stating that it has destroyed them all. US then says that it's not enough and they must prove that.
  - US/UN demands that Iraq allows the flight of spy planes across their territory. Iraq agrees in spite of having a massive military build up on their borders. US then says that it's not enough, it is just one more stall technique.
  - US/UN demands that Iraq legislates to ban the Chemical and biological weapons. Iraq again agrees. US again says that it is not enough and that time is running out.

Ok, where is the reason on all these demands? Where will it stop? When they ask to make an anal probe on Saddam in order to see if he has any chemical weapons up on his ass?

Let me state that I don't give a fuck about Saddam Husseim. I just think it's fair what US is doing to a foreign country. Bush wanted a regime change, and nothing that Iraq do will ever change his mind. Do you find it reasonable?

Not spending the last decade taking pot shots at the winner of the war would also be a pretty good step. It's hard to be sure though, Iraq has yet to try these methods.

Not spending the last decade being bombed by US/UK troops would also be nice.
And, do you think they didn't comply with the first inspectors? Before US forced the inspectors to spy on Saddam, or after that?
And what about now, aren't they complying? I think the only thing missing is giving the key of Baghdad to the Americans.

If a foreign power stepped in to remove a mass murdering dictator for life from the head of the government, I'd thank them. Fortunately, we have never had a mass murdering dictor for life. And before you claim Bush is, tell me the last time you saw the US use chemical warfare against civilian targets and tell me when Bush became dictator for life.

Would you thank a foreign government that bombed you almost every day for 10 years?
And then would force more sanctions and threatened to attack you, destroy your home with more bombs? Even threat to use nukes?
For your information most people on Iraq loves Saddam husseim. The economic sanctions has put the population extremely dependent on the government. Who do you think they thank the food they get?

And by the way, the US is the only country that used nukes on civilians. Twice. Don't you ever forget it.

Last but not least, one of the Key phrases that most pro-war people like to use is that you are bringing freedom to them. Served on a destroyed country I don't think that anyone would love freedom that much. And before you say that you would rather live free in a heap of rumble, please take into account that it has been a long time since the US had to face a war on it's "homeland".


[ Parent ]

A Viewpoint (2.50 / 2) (#90)
by jbm on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:40:48 AM EST

"US/UN demands that Iraq shows where are the chemical weapons that US/UK/?? has sold them. Iraq replies stating that it has destroyed them all. US then says that it's not enough and they must prove that."

Yes this is what was commented on by another poster. Iraq needs to document what happens to their weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has not done this. Iraq saying they don't have them, is not enough.

"Where will it stop? When they ask to make an anal probe on Saddam in order to see if he has any chemical weapons up on his ass?"

In reverse order.... No before the anal probe. When Saddam and his gov't are out of power.

"Let me state that I don't give a fuck about Saddam Husseim."

Many people do though.

"Bush wanted a regime change, and nothing that Iraq do will ever change his mind. Do you find it reasonable?"

He is my president. I don't believe he is insane, evil, or of below normal intelligence. Next time around I still won't vote for him. But for right now, I let him do his job. He knows things I do not, and so I must expect him to do the right thing.

This is the same reasoning that Nixon used for the Viet Nam War. Nixon would make the case that the average citizen didn't know what the communists were up to. It is also the same reasoning used by non-minorities when dealing with minorities. In the USA, a white person doesn't know what problems blacks have, nor does not a man know what a woman goes through.

No this is not my preferred way of dealing with my world. However shit happens if one must make the best of it.

"Would you thank a foreign government that bombed you almost every day for 10 years?"

If it ultimately lead to the freedom of one's family, I would believe one would.

"And by the way, the US is the only country that used nukes on civilians. Twice. Don't you ever forget it."

It was this comment that made me decide to rate your comment as a 1. This is a cheap shot. Of course this occurred. No I'm not happy about it. But to talk of the US as if it has not learned from that event is childish. Most of the USA at the time, hated the Japanese because of Pearl Harbor, but seeing how the war ended plus how the japanese were ruled by their leaders... No one should forget it, or use it for propaganda.

"Last but not least, one of the Key phrases that most pro-war people like to use is that you are bringing freedom to them. Served on a destroyed country I don't think that anyone would love freedom that much. And before you say that you would rather live free in a heap of rumble, please take into account that it has been a long time since the US had to face a war on it's 'homeland'."

While we may bring greater freedom for the Iraqi people, I don't believe that is the reason for this.

I have not decided to serve in the USA army. My father did not have to server in the USA army. My grandfathers were exempt from the WWII draft because of their jobs (some NYC workers were exempt). But note that my grandfathers, grand uncles, and many other blood relatives of mine are considers terrorists/war criminals by an ally of the USA. I'm relatively sure that if my freedom was in jeopardy or was taken away, I would fight for it.

[ Parent ]

not quite the same viewpoint (5.00 / 2) (#271)
by Argon on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 12:41:45 PM EST


Yes this is what was commented on by another poster. Iraq needs to document what happens to their weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has not done this. Iraq saying they don't have them, is not enough.

Iraq can not prove an negative. They say that they have destroyed the weapons, US says that they don't... Let the US (or the inspectors) prove that they are wrong.

Quite frankly, If I was Saddam, I would try to build, buy, borrow or steal any weapon I could find. And try make them reach the mainland of my enemies.
So he probably has WMD, and long range missiles to carry them.
But the question is not if he has them or not, the question is that the defendant should not need to prove his own innocence. This rule applies in any court of law, why can't you see that it is also fair to apply it here?


No this is not my preferred way of dealing with my world. However shit happens if one must make the best of it.

If it is not you way o dealing with it, fight back. Send protests to your government. Go out to the streets and say it so. Don't stand still, do something.


It was this comment that made me decide to rate your comment as a 1. This is a cheap shot. Of course this occurred. No I'm not happy about it. But to talk of the US as if it has not learned from that event is childish. Most of the USA at the time, hated the Japanese because of Pearl Harbour, but seeing how the war ended plus how the Japanese were ruled by their leaders... No one should forget it, or use it for propaganda.

hum... I've replied to this on a previous comment,  perhaps not as well as I would wish, since that I didn't convince Godix :/

Anyway, look at way you just said. In the last war there was a great hatred against the Japanese for Pearl Harbour... And now there is a great hatred against Muslims for the 9/11.
And the Japanese were ruled by an expansionist emperor, Saddam is also a dictator and an expansionist, killer of the innocent, destroyer of peace.

No one should forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because it may be possible to happen again. This is not propaganda, I'm just scared of what can happen.


But note that my grandfathers, grand uncles, and many other blood relatives of mine are considers terrorists/war criminals by an ally of the USA.

Would you care to elaborate on this subject?

And I also believe that anyone one the "free" world would fight for freedom. I just don't think that imposing that freedom on others is a viable solution.

[ Parent ]

Re: not quite the same viewpoint (none / 0) (#304)
by jbm on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 11:55:57 PM EST

Iraq can not prove an negative. They say that they have destroyed the weapons, US says that they don't... Let the US (or the inspectors) prove that they are wrong.

I don't trust Saddam. From what I have read, Saddam is very corrupt.

If it is not you way o dealing with it, fight back. Send protests to your government. Go out to the streets and say it so. Don't stand still, do something.

Please re-read my point. You missed the part about Bush knowing more than you or I do. When this happens I have to use my trust. While Bush isn't my favorite person, I believe he is a good person. Because of this, I'll believe what he tells me (as long as it is plausible).

And the Japanese were ruled by an expansionist emperor, Saddam is also a dictator and an expansionist, killer of the innocent, destroyer of peace.

The implied result is that nukes will take a one way ticket to Iraq. There's no way in hell that Bush is going to nuke a country with massive oil resources. And I doubt any of the allies will nuke Iraq.

This is not propaganda, I'm just scared of what can happen.

Sorry I misinterpreted you. But it seems to me, that no sane leader will use nukes against a relatively weak country. There's no reason for Bush to use nukes. Bringing them up during a discussion of chemical warfare, effected my reading. Please excuse me.

Would you care to elaborate on this subject?

I only wanted to bring up the point that while I have always enjoyed freedom, that everyone I know who didn't had fought for it.

Up until the mid-1920's most of the men I'm related to fought for their freedom daily. Language, way of life, etc etc were taken away by a group of people who were ruled by ruthless killers. Many young men were jailed for just being seen by the police. I don't wish to name the regions involved because that'll just start a flame war. :)

I just don't think that imposing that freedom on others is a viable solution.

Again we disagree. We'll see what happens years from now.

[ Parent ]

learned/remember, are you sure? (none / 0) (#278)
by vivelame on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:59:31 PM EST

According to the revised Nuclear Posture Review (google for it, i'm lazy), the US of A are getting ready to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear states.

Maybe it's your president, maybe you remember, but he sure seems to be a bit short on memory..

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]

Check up on Russia (none / 0) (#305)
by jbm on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 12:21:37 AM EST

According to the revised Nuclear Posture Review (google for it, i'm lazy), the US of A are getting ready to use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear states.

I'm aware of it. From reading newspapers though I know of the thought pattern behind it. The old way of thinking about nukes, was USA vs USSR. Each had enough warheads to destroy the other. So they could not even dare to use even one.

Russia recently used nukes to fight terrorists if I remember correctly. But these weren't the massive warheads, but much smaller nukes. They were still deadly and they are a deterrent to terrorists and others who would use guerrilla warfare on citizens. I don't know if any citizens were killed by the Russian nuclear assaults.

But I doubt that Iraq will be nuked (either by massive warheads or the mini-nukes).

Maybe it's your president, maybe you remember, but he sure seems to be a bit short on memory..

Could be. If Bush is a runaway Frankenstein I can't stop him. Years for now, we'll know for sure.

Please note that the discussion was about nuclear warfare directed at citizens. Please re-read the thread.

[ Parent ]

ah, russia.. (5.00 / 2) (#306)
by vivelame on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 03:31:24 AM EST

well, as far as i know, russia hasn't used nukes anywhere.. any link?

it would have caused quite an uproar, be it on "terorists" or whatever.

The revision of nuclear posture by the USA is a dangerous move. It's a departure from "we won't use nukes if they're not used", to, "we're looking to use them on you even if you don't have nukes", and it must feel, on potential targets, very much like cold war's Soviet Russia. It's a move from "the gun is locked in the cabinet" to "i wear it in a holster and i'm ready to use it as soon as there is any kind of trouble". Not quite the same thing..

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]

Correction (5.00 / 1) (#311)
by jbm on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 09:26:20 AM EST

It seems I misremembered what went on. The Russian gov't debated whether to use nuclear weapons on Chechnya. They did not actually use them.

The first link I found about it.

[ Parent ]

1 (4.00 / 3) (#198)
by godix on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:02:07 PM EST

I generally follow the simple policy of not rating (or at least low rating) comments in a thread I'm active on. Going back 60 years ago to pull up use of atomic weapons, in a state of warfare, with advanced notice, with little knowledge of the effects of radiation, and which is totally irrelevent to the discussion at hand calls for me to break that rule.

I realize that it's hard for the anti-us crowd to stay within the same generation as the current conflict, the constant vietnam references point that out, but come on. Nuclear weapons were 3 generations ago. My grandfather was just a little boy when it happened, he can't personally recall it. While you're high on the anti-us kick why don't you throw in the Civil War, the various Indian wars, and the spead of disease by the original settlers too?


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Long memory (5.00 / 3) (#252)
by Argon on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 05:22:03 AM EST

You are right. I do have a long memory... but it's not only for Anti-US purposes.

I refuse to forget the US nukes, especially when there is a declared risk of using them again. I guess that the present generation of Japanese in Nagasaki and Hiroshima would feel the same.

But I also refuse to forget the Nazi Holocaust, and whenever there is racial propaganda I raise my voice against it.

I also refuse to forget the Crusades, and the Holly Inquisition. I do tend to bring them about whenever some Religious guy tries to defend the superiority of his own religion and the right to impose it on others.

And... I do blame the early US for the Indian massacres, the Spanish for the spread of disease and annihilation of one advanced civilization, the UK for Zulu massacre, the Portuguese for the Slave trades....

Yes it was long ago, but they were terrible events and I refuse to forget them, otherwise we may risk doing the same mistakes again. History is only useful to us if it allows us to learn from past mistakes.

Yes, the Nukes were dropped a long time ago, but the excuses that were used then are being used now and it seems that no one learns anything from the past, simply because it was 3 generations ago.

So go ahead and mod me down. I don't care about the ratings. If in end I am able to convince you to rally against the war, or at least against the use of Nukes, I'll consider it a bargain :)


[ Parent ]

History (none / 0) (#258)
by godix on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 08:25:44 AM EST

I'm all for applying the lessons of history to current events, but the nuclear bomb is the wrong lesson for current times. The events are not the same, no one has seriously predicted hundreds of thousands of US soldiers deaths if they invade Iraq. We are more reluctant to use the bomb now because we understand the long term effects of it while we didn't in WWII. We aren't trying to finish the war before Russia invades and controls Japan. No foreign nation, and almost none of the American public, would sit still for anyone using a nuke. And of course, in WWII we weren't worried about what other countries with nuclear weapons might do.

So, I stick by my original decision. Bringing up nuclear weapons is totally irrelevent in this discussion and was done for little point other than 'the US sucks'.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Nukes as tactical weapon (5.00 / 1) (#270)
by Argon on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 11:11:51 AM EST

Ok, please take a look at the following link

The article clearly states that US is increasing its expenditure in nuclear armament. Not only is renewing it's own stock, it is preparing to increase the capacity to produce more war heads.

What disturbs me the most on this article is that it states a study of using Nukes to destroy bunkers and  subterranean targets. Ok, we no longer trust conventional weapons to do the job, when we can use nukes.

I've tried to find a Bush speech where he stated that US would use any weapon to prevent any danger reaching it's homeland. Unfortunately I was unable to find it... Anyway, if you put 2 and 2 together, you can see that they may try again the tactic of "we will save lives if we drop the bomb". Not because it will save anyone, just because it's more economical.

Just one more thing... I Don't waste my time on trivial stuff as US bashing. If I decide to spend time writing this messages is because I do believe that you, as an US citizen, can make a difference and change the US foreign policy thru a public protest. I know, that if I protested in Portugal things would not change a bit, life would go on as usual. But I still have some faith in your system, and that is why I keep on trying.

Hope is the last thing to die.

[ Parent ]

Having is different than using them (5.00 / 1) (#295)
by godix on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 06:49:14 PM EST

The article clearly states that US is increasing its expenditure in nuclear armament.

True enough, how does that relate to Iraq?

What disturbs me the most on this article is that it states a study

At one point the US studied putting LSD in drinking water. At another England studied using attack pigeons. One country, I forget which, studied paint geometric shapes on battleships to confuse incoming bombers. I'm not going to worry about this until it is proposed to be an actual combat ready system, before that what does it matter if they study it?

I've tried to find a Bush speech where he stated that US would use any weapon to prevent any danger reaching it's homeland.

Don't bother, I know what your talking about. IIRC it was Powell, Rice, or Fleischer who said it instead of Bush, but same difference. It doesn't matter and it definately doesn't mean we'll use nukes. All it means is that we won't give Saddam the relief of knowing we'll use 'only' conventional weapons.

Think about this though, if we were planning to use nukes in Iraq would we be massing our own troops near ground zero? Would there be a single country that would agree with our use of the nuke? How quickly do you think Bushs support numbers would fall into the fraction of a %? The United States will only use nuclear weapons in two cases, if we are given a HUGE reason to do it or if we had an insane maniac in office. Bush isn't an insane maniac and almost no countries have the capability to push us far enough that we'd feel justified in using them.

Just one more thing... I Don't waste my time on trivial stuff as US bashing.

It's clear you have more thought behind your opinions than the anti-us crowd. I got fed up with the usual stupidities and took it out on the next post I saw, yours. While I still disagree with you, I apologize for insulting you.

as an US citizen, can make a difference and change the US foreign policy thru a public protest.

An American citizen can make a difference, but protesting isn't the war. Protests are usually directed at Congress, and Congress doesn't care about the public in general as long as their distict is happy. Until very recently, protests were incomprehensible, I still don't know what anti-globalism means other than they don't like McD's or Nike. Protests are often violent, take almost any anti-globalism protest as an example. All those combine together to mean that writing an intelligent and reasoned letter to your congressman will do more good than carrying a sign in the DC.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Having is a step closed to using them. (none / 0) (#361)
by Argon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:11:53 AM EST

I would agree with increased nuclear expenditure from US if it meant a decrease in the number of nuclear warheads. I also know that part of that money will go to secure the Russian warheads and buy the uranium from them. So, not all money is going to produce WMD.
Now, what worried me is that they intend to create new factories to make Nukes. Why should they do that? The number of warheads is more than enough to destroy the entire world.
The only reason to do so is to create a new type of warhead, one that can be used with tactical purposes.
The use of nukes to destroy underground facilities is a reasonable tactical option. The fallout would be minimal, and the American lives saved would make it worth.

What does this have to do with Iraq? They already used uranium enriched shells on the first war, contaminating large portions of territory. They could also use nukes to destroy Saddam's underground facilities without bringing much more radiation into the area.
It's not that I don't see the logic in using such weapons, perhaps that is why I feel that they will be used.
The international support is almost null, at least the public opinion is against the war. So, in using tactical nukes Bush would save American lives and decrease war time. Factor that would improve his home popularity. As for your own troops, they will fight in contaminated ground, an extra rads will not make a difference.

Protesting! Yes, last Saturday was protesting day. :)
I felt my duty to participate, just to show the world that My government is isolated in their pro-war stance. It didn't change a thing, they still maintain the same opinion as we all expected.

Anyway, I've seen a campaign in our news about an organised protest in the US. Some "Virtual" march against the war. It is directed at the senate, so it should ring some bells. I just hope that it's not one more worthless effort.

As for the globalisation issue, I too fail to understand all the fuzz. I haven't seen any article here on K5 about it, and all sites I found so far do not make a lot of sense. Oh well, I guess that there will always be some one unhappy. :)

[ Parent ]

No historian believes your history of Hiroshima (none / 0) (#325)
by felixrayman on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:44:34 PM EST

The idea that the nuclear bombing of Japan was done in order to shorten the war or save American lives is a convenient fraud, as I posted in another story.

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 ]
chemical warfare against civilian targets (4.40 / 5) (#73)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:54:36 AM EST

Viet Nam

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Care to document this? (1.00 / 1) (#76)
by MrAcheson on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:02:03 AM EST

Discounting high explosives which are technically chemicals, when did we use chemical weapons in Vietnam?  We used defoliants, but we did that to <i>our own troops too</i> because we didn't realize they were powerful carcinogens.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Defoiliants (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:52:56 AM EST

Just because we used them on our own troops doesn't mean we didn't use them on civilians.

That's not nearly in the same class as the Iraqi use of nerve agents against Iraqi civilians, but saying the US has never used chemical agents in warfare is untrue.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

Hey now... (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:08:15 PM EST

...didn't everyone in WWI use mustard gas, etc.? I'd like to think that we've come a long way forward since WWI and Vietnam. The problem is that Saddam is going backwards.
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[ Parent ]

Yes (4.00 / 1) (#121)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:20:17 PM EST

Which is a good point.

But too many people are saying "You did THIS (30 years ago, and it was our parents who did it) and you're a hypocrite for opposing it now!" So saying "We never did it" just gives the Saddam's Useful Idiots ammunition.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

No US use (1.00 / 2) (#127)
by plonk on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:36:07 PM EST

US troops did not use chemical weapons during WWI. We hadn't developed the capability before we entered and didn't have time to develop it. Also, by that time everyone was sufficiently good at defending against chemical attack to make it a more or less worthless tactic.

[ Parent ]
Not at all (3.00 / 1) (#128)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:37:19 PM EST

The only chemical weapon used in WW1 is chlorine gas. Not everybody used CWs either, IIRC only Britain did.

[ Parent ]
Wrong on both counts (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by Grognard on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:09:25 PM EST

The only chemical weapon used in WW1 is chlorine gas. Not everybody used CWs either, IIRC only Britain did.

Phosgene and mustard gas to name only two were both used during WWI.

The first use of chemical weapons (which happened to be chlorine gas) was by the Germans at Ypres.



[ Parent ]
I stand corrected. (3.75 / 4) (#180)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:20:16 PM EST

I turns that out the French used it first but you are a lot more correct than I was. http://www.firstworldwar.com/weaponry/gas.htm

I apologize from everybody for posting without checking my facts.

[ Parent ]

Geneva Convention (2.33 / 3) (#129)
by plonk on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:37:35 PM EST

The Geneva Convention bans the use of chemical agents toxic to humans. It does not ban the use of defoliants or tear gas.

[ Parent ]
On removing Saddam.... (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by DonQuote on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:10:06 PM EST

If a foreign power stepped in to remove a mass murdering dictator for life from the head of the government, I'd thank them.

Oh, you mean like the US promised to do during Gulf War I, and then didn't follow through on supporting Iraqis who wanted to oust Saddam? Resulting in said Iraqis demise?

With a history like that, I doubt they have any trust for the US, much less "thanks".

-DQé
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.
[ Parent ]

Yeah...right... (1.50 / 2) (#118)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:11:49 PM EST

...and if we'd kept that war up for a few more days and taken Saddam down, you'd cry foul about that too. Don't forget that the ostensible mandate for the Gulf War was liberation of Kuwait. Plenty of Pentagon guys wanted to finish the job--it was the congressional mandate and the perception that the American people would not tolerate heavy civilian casualties that dictated the end of that conflict. The generals took one look at that highway of death and decided that more war wouldn't play well at home.
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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 ]

You're right, I would... (none / 0) (#279)
by DonQuote on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:02:59 PM EST

...and if we'd kept that war up for a few more days and taken Saddam down, you'd cry foul about that too.

That's right. Because despite your assumption, I do not believe "taking out" Saddam should be a priority for the west, certainly not by military means. My earlier comment meant to highlight the un-trustworthiness of the US to do anything they promise, wether they are promises to Iraqis or their own people.

Although you do bring up an interesting point - going in to take out Saddam now does seem to have some support (in the US at least). Why is that? What is so different now than in 1991, that we'd be willing to sacrifice America's boys (sorry, young men. And women I assume) to go and fight? Oh that's right, Saddam is even less of a threat - his country has been impoverished by over a decade of sanctions, inspectors from 1991-1998 and in the last few months have combed Iraq removing the majority if not all of his WMD, constant bombings have destroyed all of his industrial capacity, and he is being watched by the whole world - if he makes one wrong move, I'm sure we'll all know about it. The US at least would be jump on the chance to use some *REAL* proof of wrongdoing, one would think.

So what has changed? Public opinion, thanks to the massive US propaganda machine, spinning FUD about Iraq. This whole media campaign is just another bastard child of the (completely unrelated) 9/11 attacks, pushed on by Bush et al.'s private vendetta on Saddam.

-DQé
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.
[ Parent ]

Then again... (4.80 / 5) (#74)
by Znork on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:58:27 AM EST

"Look at Afghan, we didn't fight there over 'look what they do to their women', but better treatment of women is a great side effect (granted, women's life still sucks in afghan, but not nearly as bad as before)."

Then again, the time before that in Afghanistan the US helped topple a communist regime. Granted, life probably sucked in Afghanistan before the communists got thrown out but not nearly as bad as when the US suppored warlords had taken over, followed by the Taliban. So that time, worse treatment of women was a 'great side effect'.

What supports your theory that human rights will be a big part of the agenda for the next regime in Iraq? My theory is that the secular dictator will be replaced with a fanatic religious repressive regime (through 'democratic' elections or outright popular revolution), somewhat like the Taliban, that will make the current madman look like a cuddly paragon of sanity.

Human rights may be one of the excuses but it definitely isnt one of the reasons. Not now nor then.

"Hussein is still aiding palestinian terrorist to this day. This isn't a case of a leader who has renounced his former terrorist ways, this is a case of a leader who actively supports killing random citizens, just not random American citizens (at the moment)."

I dont really think we need to go into the support of various 'terrorists' slash 'freedom fighters' done by different countries around the world. The US would look so bad.

As long as there is no cooperation with Al Quaeda, there is no more reason for the US to attack Iraq on that ground than US citizens aiding IRA would be reason for the UK to launch an attack on the US.

"Developing and using chemical weapons is an evil work."

Oh. My. Maybe you should start looking closer to home for things to bomb then.

"Point me to the proposed legislation which says you aren't allowed to gather together in peaceful protest. I must have missed that one."

Quote from related link in this article:

'As a side note, a whole section of new law also allows the government to strip American citizens of their citizenship, on the basis of engaging in any activity, even if it is lawful, if it is in support of a group the U.S. deems to be terrorist.'

Yep, you missed that one. And he did point you to it. It's called the Domestic Security Enhancement Act.

[ Parent ]

What? (1.00 / 1) (#75)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:01:32 AM EST

Tinfoil hat out of adjustment again?
"Developing and using chemical weapons is an evil work."

Oh. My. Maybe you should start looking closer to home for things to bomb then

Are you implying that Canada or Mexico is developing and using chemical weapons? Because the US isn't.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Really? (4.50 / 2) (#80)
by Znork on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:24:14 AM EST

Funny, that's just what Saddam is claiming.

Considering the ease of which a google search reveals current contracting for chemical weapons shells, indications of stockpiles of chemical weapons in the US, as well as the US historic use of chemical weapons there should be more than enough evidence for Colin Powell to be convinced.

[ Parent ]

US Chemical weapons stockpile has been destroyed (3.00 / 2) (#126)
by plonk on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:33:37 PM EST

Pursuant to international treaties, the US destroyed its last stocks of chemical weapons (as defined in the Geneva Convention) in 2000.

[ Parent ]
Hmm.. (3.50 / 2) (#140)
by Wellred on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:01:04 PM EST

Interesting contrast between the United States 'destroying' their weapons under the Geneva Conventions, and the recent Human Rights issues at Guantanamo Bay. What, do they pick and choose what parts of the convention to honor? If they 'follow' one part of it, and have total disregard for another part, how likely is it that they DID dispose of all of their chemical weapons under the convetion.


So comrades, come rally And the last fight let us face The Internationale unites the human race.
[ Parent ]

Geneva Convention (3.66 / 3) (#152)
by plonk on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:52:01 PM EST

First, the Geneva Convention did not require its signatories to destroy chemical weapons (as defined in the treaty), but simply to not use them. The treaty requiring their destruction, the name of which I have forgotten, was signed in the late 1980s. It took over a decade for the US to reach full compliance due to the inherent difficulty of disposing of chemical weapons in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.

Second, the Geneva Convention only offers full POW status to legal combatants, as defined in Article 4:

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

5. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

The relevant text is in section A, subsection 2. The members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda clearly fit the first part of the definition, so this is the relevant subsection. They fail the test on points (b), (c), and (d). They did not wear a distinctive sign, visible at a distance. Members of al-Qaeda do not carry their arms openly, and neither al-Qaeda nor the Taliban makes even the slightest attempt to obey the laws of war.



[ Parent ]
Errr (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by Wellred on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:49:09 AM EST

Either a person is a combatant, which means they have to be handled according to the rules of Prisoners of War, or they're civilians, which means they cannot be taken prisoner. Simply because a country Unilaterally creates a 3rd class, doesn't mean it exists. These people are being treated like dirt.


So comrades, come rally And the last fight let us face The Internationale unites the human race.
[ Parent ]

Evidence. (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by Znork on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:15:44 PM EST

It's not me you have to convince. I'm willing to defer judgement on the issue until a UN inspection team can verify such destruction of stockpiles.

godix (as well as propaganda we repeatedly hear on the news) claimed that developing and using chemical weapons is inherently evil work. I agree it's quite likely that the US has destroyed most of it's stockpiles of sarin gas and the like (altho I find it likely the US is retaining the capacity to produce new such weapons should it be appropriate). However, a quick search reveals that the US military still seems to be engaged in developing chemical weapons contrary to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Even tho this seems mostly to be geared towards developing non-lethal (as in one dead out of a hundred) chemical weapons they're still outlawed by the convention. This casts a cloud of doubt over the US's intentions with regards to the convention.

For less discriminating individuals, such as the US government, I'm sure the evidence would convince them that the US is 'Evil(tm)' and is engaged in hiding prohibited weapons from the world.

But like I said, I'm willing to defer judgement on the issue.

[ Parent ]

US chemical weapons (none / 0) (#176)
by plonk on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:06:04 PM EST

First, any country with a mature chemical industry has the theoretical capability to produce chemical weapons. The knowledge required is not exactly hard to come by either.

Second, destruction of the US's stockpile of chemical weapons has been well-documented and verified, as per the requirements of the Chemical Weapons convention.

Third, I suspect the non-lethal weapons to which you refer are so-called 'stink' bombs. They are engineered to smell so nauseatingly bad as to be incapacitating. They are not lethally toxic as defined by the appropriate conventions, despite the attempts of certain leftists to portray them as such. If you remove one of the victims from the area of effect, they will recover completely.



[ Parent ]
Mustard Gas is stink bomb? (4.00 / 1) (#277)
by vivelame on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:47:57 PM EST

well, as of March 2002, it seems the US of A still have a *huge* stockpile... as for verification, no such thing, i'm sorry... Or did google fumble on me? care to document your case, like i did? or you didn't find anything to back your claims? yeah, that's what i thought..

Side note: as of non-lethal gas weapons, well.. It seems the Us of A plan to use non-lethal gases in iraq, some of them of the familyof the totally innocuous one that was used in Moscow lately. Yup, that sounds harmless to me, all the dead hostages were leftists trying to make a point.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]

A little O/T from this thread... (none / 0) (#283)
by DonQuote on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:22:22 PM EST

First, any country with a mature chemical industry has the theoretical capability to produce chemical weapons. The knowledge required is not exactly hard to come by either.

Yes, that's true. And because any country with a mature manufacturing industry has the theoretical capability to produce conventional/mass destruction weapons, the world (spurred by the US) is imposing sanctions on Iraq preventing them from re-building the country to an Industrial (i.e. post 3rd-world) level. There are serious human rights consequences (e.g. health because of this.

I think that's ridiculous. Kindof like outlawing common household solvents because of Columbine, since some kids could make explosives out of them.



-DQé
... Use tasteful words. You may have to eat them.
[ Parent ]
Google first, talk later. (none / 0) (#197)
by Maurkov on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:23:51 PM EST

You may be surprised to find that the US is way behind schedule.

[ Parent ]
Canada's Secret Agenda (4.50 / 2) (#164)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:38:40 PM EST

Are you implying that Canada or Mexico is developing and using chemical weapons?

Yes. Canada has had you all fooled for decades. We're not wimps -- we're murderous bastards.

We have been actively developing chemical weapons in order to rid ourselves of the that tropical floozy, Mexico.

For too long have we stood by and let Mexico flirt shamelessly with our giant, powerful girlfriend, making goo-goo eyes at the US presidency and calling at all hours of the night. When Canada picks up the phone they just hang up. "Must've been a wrong number," America says innocently, lounging in bed and eating crackers.

No more, I say, no more!

Canada must and will strike back, to salvage the remaining shreds of international honour: the Mexicans will be melted at midnight. (B.Y.O.B.)


"I'm warning you, Mister. I've had about as much of your homelessness as I'm willing to take." -Lt. Twelve-Douze, Parent ]
You justify my low opinions (2.00 / 1) (#217)
by godix on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:13:14 PM EST

I dont really think we need to go into the support of various 'terrorists' slash 'freedom fighters' done by different countries around the world. The US would look so bad.

Isn't it funny that the main defense I see of Iraq is 'well the US sucks too.' Rather than sit down and intelligently discuss Iraq and what should be done about it, you and others can do little more than throw around 'The US did it too' style comments. How far do you think a lawyer would get if he said in court 'Well OJ killed someone and got away with it, so my client should too'? That's about how far justifying Iraqs actions on 'well the US did it so Iraq should too' gets with me.

Oh. My. Maybe you should start looking closer to home for things to bomb then.

If you're going to do nothing but lie, then kindly shut the fuck up. Grown ups are trying to talk here. If you really don't think you're lying, then prove what you say.

Yep, you missed that one. And he did point you to it. It's called the Domestic Security Enhancement Act.

The Domestic Security Enhancement Act allows the government to revoke a person's US citizenship if that are proven to be "providing material support to ... a terrorist organization". Perhaps you, and the original author, should actually read the act before you make claims on what's in it.

Incidently, this is the biggest reason I have almost no respect for the anti-war/anti-US crowd. Despite how I sound in comparison to the anti-war full of shit wackos on this site, I am not really for a second Iraqi war and I'm definately not for most of the homeland security issues. I think there are very serious questions on invading Iraq and the various homeland security acts. Instead of debating, or even hearing, those questions I instead get a constant barrage of idiots lying their fucking ass off because they're too stupid to be able to read and comprehend. After reading an entire article of blatent lies like the author, various posters, and you yourself put forward I'm almost hoping the protest ends in a Kent State style shooting spree. Go home, grow up, and come back once you realize that just because something was done in the past isn't justification for allowing it to go on now.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

that's so wrong it's funny :-) (4.00 / 1) (#273)
by vivelame on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:04:56 PM EST

The US of A still have a stockpile of WoMD.

1) Nukes. More of those than anyone else. Duh, you didn't even knew that? do we live in the same world?.

2) The US of A have reviewed their 'nuclear posture', and they plan now to clear the use of nukes on non-nuclear states, for 1st strike (google for Nuclear Posture Review.).

3) The US of A still have a large stockpile of chemical weapons. They happen to have VX, for instance.

4) The US of A plan to use Chemical Weapons in Irak. (yup, even if Irak doesn't have/use any.). Yeah, those are "non lethal" chemical weapons,k the same kind of "non lethal" that was used in Moscow lately, how comforting!

5) The US of A signed the 1972 treaty baning biological weapons, and is currently violating those this treaty by researching biological weapons. ( this one is quite a good read, with interesting links, and good quote, like, say, "The USA seems to be keen on destroying at least its chemical weapons by 2004, but nonetheless the USA is thought to have the most diverse and lethal stockpile of biological and chemical weapons of any country in the world, most of these weapons concentrated in the Western states of the US." ).

5) The US of A *know* that Irak had biological weapons. Hell, they made those and gave those to Iraq, they sure KNOW it!.

oh, and for the

How far do you think a lawyer would get if he said in court 'Well OJ killed someone and got away with it, so my client should too'? That's about how far justifying Iraqs actions on 'well the US did it so Iraq should too' gets with me.
I guess you're not a lawyer.. it kinda *works* in court. Not exactly this way, but rather: "why should you go after someone because he has something YOU SOLD to him?".. like, "oh my goood, they used it????". They sure used it, and it didn't prevent Rumsfeld at the time to cross half the world to shake Saddam's hand, just at the same time some TVs where broadcasting the death of some Kurds, sarin'ed to death... so, yeah, i vote for peace. I don't believe Bush, i don't believe Rumsfeld, i don't believe Cheney, i don't believe Rice, they're in the same league as Saddam, only better learned and mannered.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Strange (none / 0) (#294)
by godix on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 06:06:01 PM EST

I post about how stupid 'well the US is doing...' or ' The US sucks because...' messages in defense of Iraq is. You reply to me saying 'well the US is doing....' Did you even read my rant?


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]
hypocrisy (none / 0) (#307)
by vivelame on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 03:46:21 AM EST

i was only addressing the
If you're going to do nothing but lie, then kindly shut the fuck up. Grown ups are trying to talk here. If you really don't think you're lying, then prove what you say.
part and backing what he said with links. did you read *your* rant? :-) And, as far as
I post about how stupid 'well the US is doing...' or ' The US sucks because...' messages in defense of Iraq is
goes, well.. can you spell "double standards"? And you wonder why some parts of the world are reluctant to help, or why some others hate the USA? Look no further.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Perhaps it is a good idea (none / 0) (#313)
by Viliam Bur on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:07:51 AM EST

Rather than sit down and intelligently discuss Iraq and what should be done about it, you and others can do little more than throw around 'The US did it too' style comments.

And after finishing the discussion about Iraq, is anyone going to write an article about "Preventive war on USA"?

Suggestions for the article:
1) military attacks by USA since the WW2 (no need to go too much back into history),
2) human rights violations in USA,
3) weapons of mass destruction,...

[ Parent ]

Defending (none / 0) (#327)
by Znork on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 07:04:53 AM EST

I think you've gotten our positions confused. I'm neither defending nor justifying Iraq's actions. You, and the Bush administration, are trying to defend and justify a war on Iraq. The natural state of affairs between states should be 'we're not going to war against them', and thus you need to find an acceptable reason to do so.

Now, I'm a citizen of a western democracy, rather right-wing in general, not opposed to military conflict on any ideological grounds, and not opposed to the US (altho I do not trust the current administration), I should be your ideal sell.

However, I will not accept hypocritical arguments so you cannot use as a reason to attack Iraq anything that the US does, or has done in recent years, too. This will only get you a 'the US does that too' reply. If you really dont like those answers, then dont try to convince people by using those arguments. I'm not going to accept them as good reasons to attack Iraq, but look on the bright side, neither am I going to accept them as good reasons for the rest of the world to attack the United States.

There are basically two arguments you can use to convince me that a war is necessary or useful.

The first would be that Saddam is a clear and present danger to his neighbours and the rest of the world. Is he currently preparing to invade anyone? Now, the last Gulf war I supported since he invaded Kuwait. I did not know at the time that he'd been pretty much given a go-ahead by the US, but even if I had known, I'd have supported an attack by the US. He was, after all, engaged in an invasion.

However, this time, knowing about the given go-ahead, it seems Saddam is much less of a random agression threat. I doubt he'll get another 'sure, we dont mind' from Bush.

His WMD capabilities I frankly find irrelevant. He may or may not (and I'm leaning towards not) have chem weapon capabilities, but so does pretty much any more or less developed country. As far as I can recall he didnt even use them last time. And if he didnt use the chem weapons he had against attacking forces or Israel during an all out attack against his country that rather detracts from the picture of him as a madman who cannot for any reason be allowed to have such weapons.

A solid link between Saddam and real terrorism in the US might convince me. Things like 'he doesnt like us, neither does Al Qaeda' arent good enough. By that argumentation you can put on your CIA issue tinfoil hat and link Saddam with pretty much everyone from IRA to Chechnyan extremists or Falun Gong for any reason Saddam has to dislike any country in the world to any group the country likes to label terrorist. I want solid proof that he's behind the terrorism to accept it as a reason to attack Iraq.

The second argument that could convince me a war is necessary or useful would be that kicking Saddam out would make Iraq a better place for the population. Now, considering that Saddam is a secular dictator in a region where secular dictatorships or religious fanatic regimes are the popular forms of government you need to convince me the next government is going to be better. Why is it going to be better? Who did you have in mind? Which ethnic group is going to be in control? What's to stop them from going ballistic and killing everyone else in the country? How are you going to prevent religious fanatics from getting power? (Well, a full scale invasion for the last one I suppose. I cant really see any US government accepting religious fanatics plugging the hole on 11% of the worlds oil production because they suddenly decide that oil is against Allah).

So. Go ahead. Convince me. I'm not impossible to convince. I just want some reasonable arguments I cant rip to shreds myself in a few minutes that I could use to defend an attack on Iraq.

But realize this. If you cannot convince me, if Bush cannot convince me, if Bush cannot convince France, Germany, Russia and the rest of the world, and Bush still goes ahead and attacks Iraq, the political fallout will last for decades. Should this war be seen as an unjustified war of agression against Iraq resulting in further destabilization of the region and a worse situation for the population, the US may very well see its military alliances dissolved and face an increasingly hostile world alone. Without those military alliances, Europe would be forced to, and find the political will to, rearm on a large scale to ensure its defence on its own. Countries with dubious relations to the US would have to pursue nuclear ICBM capabilities to defend themselves against possible US agression. The collapse of non-proliferation treaties as everyone helps themselves will make it far easier. The world will become a far, far unsafer place.

Nobody wins in that case.

[ Parent ]

arguements (none / 0) (#336)
by godix on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:53:37 AM EST

You, and the Bush administration, are trying to defend and justify a war on Iraq.

Actually I'm not. I believe the situation in Iraq should be ended, it's gone on for over 12 years now. In order to end it we either need to pull out entirely or end Saddams reign. I actually support pulling out entirely. Combine this with opening up Anwar for short term oil needs and a REAL push for alternative engery sources. In 5 to 10 years we wouldn't have to care about the middle east and it's many tribal wars anymore.
  I do however understand the pro-war sides reasonings and most of this thread is a result of the fact the article itself is clueless about the real motivations of the pro-war side. The fact that this article has more ad hominem attacks and blatent lies than Bush has ever said doesn't help my opinion of the anti-war group, even though I'm really a part of it.

I will not accept hypocritical arguments so you cannot use as a reason to attack Iraq anything that the US does

Because one country did something is NOT justification for allowing another country to do it. There are some actions that America has done that should be consider atrocities but that doesn't give Saddam, or anyone else (including America again) the right to repeat those actions.
  Also note, many of the times it's claimed 'but America does that' are lies or gross exagerations. For example, it's claimed America uses chemical weapons but can you point to the last time we wiped out a city with them?

The first would be that Saddam is a clear and present danger to his neighbours and the rest of the world

Saddams last action before America started keeping his power in check was to invade another country. During the last twelve years Saddam has refused to abide by UN resolutions and agreements to end the first Gulf War. Saddam has used chemical attacks on civilians in the past. Saddam has done genecidal attacks of Kurds in the past. Saddam has never shown any indication that either he or his government have changed. If the US went away today, do you really think he wouldn't be attacking someone tommorow?
  The only thing that made Saddam withdraw from his neighbors is military force. The only thing that has prevented him from attacking others is military force (and even then he occasionally attacks US aircraft). The only thing that has gotten Saddam to follow UN resolutions and the terms he agreed with 12 years ago is the threat of military force. It seems pretty clear to me what it takes to get an idea through to Saddam, and it isn't diplomacy and inspectors....

He may or may not (and I'm leaning towards not) have chem weapon capabilities, but so does pretty much any more or less developed country.

Pretty much any more or less developed country has sign agreements to not use chem weapons and followed those agreements. Keeping chem weapons out of Saddams hands is the same logic as keeping a gun out of a convicted killers hands, he's proven he can't be trusted with it even if everyone has one.

As far as I can recall he didnt even use them last time

Last time he knew his regime wasn't going to be destroyed. Once he pulled out of Kuwait, the war was over and he was still in power. If he used chemical weapons then the US wouldn't have stopped the war until he was dead or gone. This time his back is against the wall, there is no longer the 'it could be worse' factor to prevent him using whatever chem weapons he may have. Incidently, this is part of the reason I think we should say hell with it and leave, the danger to American troops and civilians of any country around him is vastly greater than last time.

A solid link between Saddam and real terrorism in the US might convince me.

This is one of the few things I agree with the anti-war people about, there isn't any link between Bin Laden and Iraq. Given Bin Ladens goals and mindset it's doubtful there every will be either. As I said earlier though, Saddam does openly support Palestinian terrorism. I'll leave it up to you to decide if the fact he only supports blowing up non-Americans with car bombs is a good thing or not.

you need to convince me the next government is going to be better.

Following that mindset Russians would still be under communist heels saying 'Can you prove glasnost will be better?', Indians would be saying 'Yeah, but what happens after the English leave, Ghandi?', and members of the English Colonies in America would be saying 'Can anyone convince me this democracy thing is better than a King?' You can't predict the future 100%, especially in something as complex as running a country, but does that mean you silently sit by and let the present run you over?

Should this war be seen as an unjustified war of agression against Iraq resulting in further destabilization of the region

Count the countries in that area which don't have their own horror stories involving slavery, mass killings, or inhumane treatment to certain groups. Now ask yourself, would destabilizing the countries you didn't list be all that bad of a thing in the long term?

Countries with dubious relations to the US would have to pursue nuclear ICBM capabilities to defend themselves against possible US agression.

What, China and North Korea aren't doing that already?

The collapse of non-proliferation treaties as everyone helps themselves will make it far easier.

What, China isn't handing out nukes as if they're halloween candy already?



You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Interesting. (none / 0) (#344)
by Znork on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:03:20 PM EST

"Actually I'm not. I believe the situation in Iraq should be ended, it's gone on for over 12 years now. In order to end it we either need to pull out entirely or end Saddams reign. I actually support pulling out entirely. Combine this with opening up Anwar for short term oil needs and a REAL push for alternative engery sources. In 5 to 10 years we wouldn't have to care about the middle east and it's many tribal wars anymore."

That's rather interesting, since it's pretty much exactly my own basic opinion. Democracy didnt evolve over night in the west. I see no reason why it would evolve overnight because we topple a dictator. Especially without the same kind of social pressures that Europe and the US faced, something which the oil in itself works to remove.

As long as we provide a massive cash influx that is easily channeled through a few people, those people have a far easier time maintaining the machine of domination than they would if their power stemmed from the willingness of the populace to support such a form of government.

Remove the cash from the oil and maybe there will be a chance for some change. Not only in Iraq, but also the rest of the mid east.

As to your other points; while Saddam did indeed attack Kuwait (which was why I did support that war), I dont really see the same circumstances arising again. The US is unlikely to be unclear about its intentions through an ambassador again. I doubt Kuwait will try slant-drilling under Iraq again. I doubt Kuwait will go 'neener neener make us stop' about it if they do. I doubt Saddam thinks he'd get away with another attack.

Saddam may not have changed, but his understanding of the world, I think, has. As has the worlds understanding of him.

As far as the Kurds go, to be blunt, bombing them them seems to be a regional pasttime. Pretty much everyone who's had anything to do with them the last hundred years has been doing it. The Kurds want their own country. They're not going to get it. And if the US invades Iraq and refuses (on Turkeys and Irans behalf) to give them one, I'll bet the second Kurdish separatists blow up some US troops then the US will take up the same hobby in the name of stopping Kurdish terrorism.

The Kurds are a separate problem, rife with internal factionalism where Iran, Iraq and Turkey play sides to get them to fight eachother instead of those countries. Whatever happens in Iraq, they will need to be dealt with as a separate issue.

Anyway, we appear to agree on the basic issue. Maybe it's time for the western world to figure out a way to withdraw completely from the mideast and let them evolve some form of civilization on their own.

[ Parent ]

It's ANWR... (none / 0) (#362)
by baron samedi on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:04:15 PM EST

Combine this with opening up Anwar for short term oil needs

Anwar is an Arabic boy's name (ironically enough). The name is an acronym Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR, commonly pronounced "Anwar").

And how short is "short-term"? Because what's under there won't be available for 10-15 years at the earliest.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

OT - italics (none / 0) (#184)
by kraft on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:25:01 PM EST

Just a friendly suggestion: If you use <i>quote</i> in stead of "quote", the quotations becomes so much easier to read. I nearly didn't bother reading your post for this reason alone - which would have been a shame.

--
a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
[ Parent ]
You have a point (none / 0) (#211)
by godix on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:42:32 PM EST

I generally avoid HTML as much as possible, I prefer plain text myself. But when I'm quoting as frequently as I was this time you are right. I'll try and remember that for future reference.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]
Try auto format mode (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:03:14 PM EST

It's all that and a bag of chips!

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Blockquote (1.00 / 1) (#245)
by kerinsky on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:21:56 AM EST

It's best to use the BLOCKQUOTE tag.  That's what it's there for and some people with vision problems may be using a browser without italics.  I learned this the hard way after using italics in a long debate with someone on a previous article.  Only on their last post did they say, oh by the way please use blockquote because I can't read italics...

-=-
A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
Withholding Intelligence (4.25 / 12) (#16)
by khym on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 09:45:07 PM EST

A paranoid-ish theory on why the US is withholding intelligence from the UN: the US has intelligence that would stand up to inspection, and might even get the UN to cooperate, but the US does not want any UN cooperation. Rather, the US wants to go fight and win a war against Iraq with the UN opposed, so as to weaken the UN's standing and power, and set a precedent for unilateral action.

--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Oooo. I like it. (4.50 / 4) (#19)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:20:32 PM EST

We Americans never did like the UN much, did we?


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


[ Parent ]
Only the conservatives (none / 0) (#232)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:14:44 PM EST


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

Up the ante--real paranoia (3.33 / 3) (#20)
by StephenThompson on Tue Feb 11, 2003 at 10:26:06 PM EST

Some people say that the US is doing this in order to be eventually be overruled by the UN, this giving the UN an appearance of authority and power.  Thus, the UN will gain more support in its ultimate goal of world domination.  This is the New World Order.

[ Parent ]
Ha! (3.50 / 2) (#39)
by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:56:41 AM EST

Just the opposite.

If the US were to have another resolution finding Iraq in material breach of UN Resolution 1441, the UN would just prove its irrelevancy as an upscale debating club, worthless in its original role of a guarantor of collective security.

Basically, the United Nations would have simply turned into the League of Nations.

Consider this: the US foreign policy elite, including those in the current administration, have become pretty unified in saying after 9/11 that the US will no longer tolerate any revolutionary threat to the status quo peace and order, whether they be from nonstate actors (al-Qaeda) or from state actors (Iraq and Saddam Hussein).  Does China, France, and Russia really want to use their veto power to turn the US away from the UN for now and the future, or would they abstain or approve in order to confirm the multilateral approach to world problems, thereby causing the US in the future to go through UN mechanisms, UN international consultation and debate, and ultimately UN limitations on the application of US power?

Once you frame the question with the right perspectives, it becomes pretty obvious what's going to happen in the next 2 months.


[ Parent ]

North Korea (4.16 / 6) (#37)
by Delirium on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:28:57 AM EST

The situations may be similar in some ways, but they're completely dissimilar in feasibility. The US may well want to invade North Korea and get rid of their crazed leader if they had the chance, but this is simply not possible, for a number of reasons. Primary among them is that while Saddam has a limited number of inaccurate Scuds, North Korea has lots and lots of short- and medium-range missiles. Thus in the event of war, Saddam can try to destroy his own country, and lob a few missiles at Israel, which has pretty good missile defense these days (assuming the modified long-range Scuds can even successfully hit near an Israeli city in the first place). North Korea, on the other hand, can pretty easily decimate Seoul, and probably do some damage to Japan as well, if they were so inclined.

Deterrence works (none / 0) (#64)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:33:36 AM EST

But don't expect anyone on the left to admit that when they talk about "inconsistencies". Especially when the supposed inconsistencies are driven by the difference in the situations.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Japan? Hah... (none / 0) (#125)
by Kintanon on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:31:16 PM EST

I doubt any military on the planet could succesfully get a missile through Japan's defenses. They have hands down the most advanced defensive military system in the world. They've had US funded technology for decades and they've been pretty much forced to focus completely on defenseive measures. Anything North Korea fired at them would almost certainly be disintegrated before it made it half way.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Are you saying (none / 0) (#166)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:42:09 PM EST

that Japan already has a missile defense "shield"?

(heh, or a buncha giant robots ready to go.  :) )

[ Parent ]

Wouldn't be surprised... (none / 0) (#174)
by Kintanon on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:55:03 PM EST

More likely they just have some really nice targetting systems in place for tracking incoming objects. With sufficiently advanced targetting it's possible to deploy enough defensive missiles to bring down the larger slower moving offensive missile.

Plus, it's easier to build a viable missile defense for the much much smaller island of Japan than it is to do so for the US.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

An excellent position (2.83 / 6) (#38)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:55:59 AM EST

It is quite heartening to me to see an anti-war position not driven by whining, idiocy, or left-liberal / communist ideology.

Thank you, sir.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

You're welcome... (none / 0) (#51)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:04:00 AM EST

...and thank you.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

Ladies and gentlemen... (none / 0) (#148)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:27:46 PM EST

...logrolling, Exhibit A.
------------------------------------------------

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 ]

Hm? (none / 0) (#205)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:50:18 PM EST

We are not legislators or trading votes or anything like that, unless you have another definition of logrolling...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Do you hate the US -THAT- much? (1.52 / 17) (#40)
by bigbtommy on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:28:54 AM EST

Well, do you? :)
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
Clarity clarity! (5.00 / 2) (#240)
by bjlhct on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 12:03:52 AM EST

What leads you to think the author hates the US? And how much is that much?

On a completely unrelated note, should autoformat have a special sarcasm symbol?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

Couldn't agree more (3.50 / 4) (#45)
by Beltza on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:48:12 AM EST

Just like you I have the feeling that things are going the wrong direction. Yesterday wrote something about it in my diary, but I culdn't word it the way you did. I gues I'm not such a good writer as you are.

Be alert!!!
The world needs more lerts...


Good article but main premise is false (3.75 / 4) (#47)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:50:55 AM EST

If someone has to lie to me to convince me to do something, then it logically follows that this thing must not be in my best interests.


Perhaps the proposed course of action is really best for you, however they can't tell you the truth without us overhearing and that is not in your best interests.

Then maybe... (4.00 / 2) (#52)
by Znork on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:24:27 AM EST

Then maybe they should say 'we're gonna attack Iraq, we cant tell you why, except it's in your best interest.'

Of course, one of the reasons that democracies more rarely engage in attacking other states might just be that such a flimsy motivation usually does not get the person proposing it reelected. In fact, it might just get them de-elected.

[ Parent ]

My point was (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:12:30 AM EST

My point was government lying to its citizens doesn't really mean anything. Nothing logically follows from that. Usually, in democracies at least, untruth is more subtle though. The government doesn't lie up front as they are doing in this case. I concur that this is odd.

For example, Iraq was given a go ahead by USA on 25-7-1990, a week before they invaded Kuwait. USA made it clear that they are not planning to intervene if the conflict between Iraq and Kuwait leads to a military action. After the invasion USA acted as if they were really pissed off that Iraq did what he did. I think most US citizens still think first gulf conflict was not a justified trap set for Saddam, who had really good reasons for invasion, but US fighting for freedom of Kuwaiti people in a totally unexpected act of aggression. Even though congress hearings has reports of the events, available to everyone who cares to look for, people still don't get it, because the lie is beautifully constructed and well told. This is the kind of untruth a government is supposed to tell its citizens.

[ Parent ]

Off-topic question (none / 0) (#86)
by gauntlet on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:35:00 AM EST

What were Saddam's good reasons for invading Kuwait. I heard that the US had indicated to the Iraqi ambassador that an invasion of Kuwait would be considered a "border dispute," but I never heard what Iraq's original motivations were.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

because (none / 0) (#94)
by heng on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:54:52 AM EST

Iraq claimed that Kuwait was drilling into Iraqi oil reserves using angled boring techniques. That's one reason.

[ Parent ]
Whether reasons are good is subjective but (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:06:43 PM EST

Basically Iraq never accepted Kuwait as a separate state and Kuwait was mining Iraqian reserves and selling that oil for a lower price.

This link explains the reasons for Iraq's occupation:
http://lexicorient.com/cgi-bin/eo-direct-frame.pl?http://i-cias.com/e.o/gulfwar. htm

And this one has a partial transcript of famous meeting (you misremember it, it was the other way around)
http://zog.to/3/iraq-war/gulf-war.html

April Glaspie later was questioned by the Congress but I couldn't find transcripts of that. Wrong keywords, I guess.


[ Parent ]

Glaspie Boilerplate (none / 0) (#170)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:47:24 PM EST

originally posted here :

The Glaspie transcript is really an interesting demonstration of the role context plays in interpretation. People have determined it to mean all manner of contradictory things. Some important context to keep in mind:

  • Iraq and Kuwait have a longstanding squabble over borders dating back to the creation of both states under the authority of the British Mandate. This nature of this dispute has varied over the years from competing claims as to exactly where the boundary lies up to Iraqi claims that the Kuwaiti state is illegitimate and rightfully part and parcel of Iraqi territory.
  • After the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq attempted to leverage its weight within the Arab world to affect an OPEC production cutback. Kuwait refused to join Iraqi efforts and, by most accounts, was pretty arrogant in negotiations due to its newly strengthened relations with the US.
  • Iraq attempted to strong arm Kuwait by raising a territorial claim. The explicit territorial claim being made by Iraq concerned about 1000 or so yards, which it claimed the Kuwaitis had encroached upon during the Iran-Iraq war.
  • There should have been no question in anyone's mind that the US absolutely supported Kuwaiti sovereignty and independence.
  • US support, both overt and behind the scenes, of Kuwait in its opposition to Iraqi initiatives in OPEC was widely recognized by everyone in the region.
Make of it what you will, but I think it's pretty clear that Glaspie's comment amounted to nothing more than a statement that the US was not going to officially take position on the exact location of the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. The question of Kuwaiti independence was not even on the table at the time.

.................

You add to the standard conspiratorial charge the claim that: "Even though congress hearings has reports of the events, available to everyone who cares to look for, people still don't get it, because the lie is beautifully constructed and well told." So, I must ask, what congessional records contain evidence that Iraq was given the "go ahead" to invade Kuwait?

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


[ Parent ]
Are you denying that (2.50 / 2) (#186)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:35:07 PM EST

The said exchange is recorded in congressional hearings? I'm not saying the congressional records include statements like "You did well to give them go ahead. What a nice trap we set. Congratulations!" They just have records of what April Glaspie told to Saddam. I'm referring to them, because normally diplomatic transcripts between ambassadors and foreign leaders are not available to public eyes, at least not immediately.

If not, we are merely disagreeing on the context of the exchange and what the natural interpretation of Ms. Glaspie's words would be. Saddam amasses troops on Kuwait border, there has been a long disagreement between Kuwait and Iraq, Iraq has demonstrated they are unafraid of going to wars and they tell USA ambassador that they will give one last chance to Kuwait in two days. Ms. Glaspie tells him it is none of their business and USA won't intervene. In this context what I would think after the exchange would be USA telling me "we don't care if you invade Kuwait." You are free to interpret otherwise; in that case you are more intelligent than Saddam and me. I can't help wondering whether 20/20ness of hindsight could explain that better than intelligence though.


[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 0) (#196)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:18:48 PM EST

I'm referring to them, because normally diplomatic transcripts between ambassadors and foreign leaders are not available to public eyes, at least not immediately.

They we're initially released by Iraq and were available in the popular press before any Congressional hearings on the matter.

If not, we are merely disagreeing on the context of the exchange and what the natural interpretation of Ms. Glaspie's words would be.

But it is a mighty big disagreement.

Saddam amasses troops on Kuwait border, there has been a long disagreement between Kuwait and Iraq

No disagreement so far...

Iraq has demonstrated they are unafraid of going to wars

Sure, against Iran, an avowed enemy of the US with tacit US support. Kuwait is another matter entirely. I can't remember, off the top of my head, whether or not Kuwati tankers were still flying the US flag, but it was no secret to anyone at the time that the US was supporting Kuwait's refusal to reduce petroleum production.

they tell USA ambassador that they will give one last chance to Kuwait in two days. Ms. Glaspie tells him it is none of their business and USA won't intervene.

Check.

In this context what I would think after the exchange would be USA telling me "we don't care if you invade Kuwait."

You forget the important fact that official Iraqi complaints, with respect to Kuwait at that time, were limited to a border dispute, involving a very small strip of land, and the exact terms of each's countries drilling rights near that border. Kuwaiti sovereignty was not the issue in dispute. Had Iraq contented itself to pushing the border a mile or so in its favor, the US wouldn't have intervened.

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


[ Parent ]
I can think of two possibilities (none / 0) (#199)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:19:49 PM EST

a) Saddam did interpret that hearing as I do
b) Saddam knew USA would attack Iraq if they invade Kuwait but wasn't afraid of USA

I know Saddam is commonly portrayed as a madman. I am yet to see an proof of that, but even madman doesn't directly confront USA in post cold war world if military action is involved. Do we agree on this?

If we do, I must insist "a" holds. Had Iraq interpreted the exchange as (changing the tense) "if Iraq contents itself to pushing the border a mile or so in its favor, the US won't intervene." they definitely would have done so, at least initially. An invasion of a mile, even a meter, without any response from other countries would lead Kuwait to rethink his(*) position. Iraq had the most powerful army in the middle east at that time. Imagine someone, much more powerful than you, invades part of the country and no one says a word.

Also there are plenty of clues in the exchange that the real matter is not border, but low selling prices of oil. USA ambassador hears and does she respond "well nothing can be done about it, but we won't intervene in a border dispute"? No, Saddam gives more than enough clue that he will try to stop that and the ambassador still doesn't react.

It may be wishful thinking on Saddam's part, it may be a blunder by ambassador, but I think that Saddam did think USA won't care about Kuwait. That position was echoed by some senators, IIRC (No, I don't have any source except 12 year old memories.) I know Americans are not masters of diplomacy and Saddam is not a master of subtlety, but I feel it is a far stretch to assume Saddam was inadvertently mislead to believing he can invade Kuwait without much problem.

As you say, this is a mighty big disagreement. I don't hope to change your position. Internet sometimes work but not if views are deeply incompatible. I merely ask for recognition that my view is not the nutcase conspiracy theory as you seem to believe it is.


[ Parent ]

I forgot the * (none / 0) (#202)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:23:11 PM EST

I can't think of an Arab state as "she." Does English mandate to feminine constructs for state names or is it permissible to use either?

[ Parent ]
Either works, but... (none / 0) (#210)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:38:58 PM EST

the feminine is more conventional (I think). Oh, neither can I ;-).

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


[ Parent ]
Not nutcase... (none / 0) (#209)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:31:36 PM EST

I've known some very intelligent people over the last decade that interpreted the Glaspie transcript much as you do and I don't think it is a nutcase idea, but I don't think it really makes much sense either. I'll give it one more go trying to explain why:

I am yet to see an proof of that, but even madman doesn't directly confront USA in post cold war world if military action is involved. Do we agree on this?

Well, I don't think he is stark raving mad, but I do think he is more than just a little out of touch with reality. I'm of the opinion that he's a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur and this has lead him to make some serious miscalculations in the past.

If we do, I must insist "a" holds. Had Iraq interpreted the exchange as (changing the tense) "if Iraq contents itself to pushing the border a mile or so in its favor, the US won't intervene." they definitely would have done so, at least initially.

Iraq didn't have to believe that the US was ok with an invasion in order to believe that the US wouldn't do anything about it. In this case, I think conventional wisdom is dead on: Saddam didn't believe the US would go so far as to use military force in order to expel him from Kuwait. His being predisposed to believe this may well have caused him to mistake what Glaspie said for a "green light" or even, for that matter, a yellow light. I do agree with you that Saddam definitely didn't believe that US was giving him a red light.

Also there are plenty of clues in the exchange that the real matter is not border, but low selling prices of oil.

Agreed. Iraq only began making noise about the border dispute as a part of its attempt to strongarm Kuwait into cutting back oil production.

USA ambassador hears and does she respond "well nothing can be done about it, but we won't intervene in a border dispute"? No, Saddam gives more than enough clue that he will try to stop that and the ambassador still doesn't react._

But Glaspie wasn't in a position to make definitive statements one way or another. She was a diplomat trying to defuse a tense situation and gain some insight into Iraqi motives and strategies. I don't think she, or the State Department, really believed that the Iraqis were going to invade Kuwait, and so she played soft when, in hindsight, it would have been better to spell out in clear terms that the US would not stand for military action against Kuwait (I still say that had Iraq only occupied the disputed territory, the US would have made a stink, but would not have gone to war).

I think the situation is best summed up as a comedy of errors -- were that it not so tragic, it'd be laughable. Iraq didn't believe that the US would really protect Kuwait and the US didn't really believe Hussein had the balls to invade. Both sides were wrong.

I can't disprove that the US had the intention of misleading Saddam so that they could establish some pretext for an invasion, but that is the nature of a conspiracy theory; they are usually unfalsifiable. That said, the evidence makes it much more reasonable to believe that what happened was an unfortunate miscalculation on both sides.

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


[ Parent ]
Figures, I guess (none / 0) (#219)
by nusuth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:28:05 PM EST

I guess as you are an American citizen, you have no problem accepting USA citizens making grave mistakes,. OTOH I have seen time and again USA successfully and swiftly pulling strings in the region. Although I think US public has its fair share of idiots as the rest of the world, which would be in the high nineties percent wise, its foreign policy branch always manage to do the right thing for USA.

I can identify "this can't be an honest mistake, this must be deliberate" as the usual mindset of a control freak, a conspiracy fan, but my experience, which is indeed limited, tells me this probably isn't an honest mistake.

Ms. Glaspie is supposed to be an expert on Middle East, is she not? Perhaps it is just difference in communication maxims. We Turks don't really share much our culture with Arabs but it is a fair bet that if our approach to something is unlike west, it is probably like Arabs' (inverse doesn't hold.) In this case I can see why Saddam would think he is given a green light; had he asked our prime minister and our prime minister is inclined to tell him "go ahead" he would have used very much the same words as Ms. Glaspie.

I can see why USA might want (during 90ies) Saddam and Iraqian army out of the global scene. I can see how they can raise the tension by supporting Kuwait, a completely junk Middle East dictatorship, and setting up a trap for Iraq. I can also see how natural flow of things spell doom for Iraq. I don't know which is the reality; I'll continue to assume the worst until USA is no more threat to us (and pigs populate the sky.)

(NB: I'm too drunk and too sleepy to continue this discussion today. Take your time if you will reply.)


[ Parent ]

In that case ... (5.00 / 3) (#215)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:07:44 PM EST

... why have a representative government at all, if they know what's best for us and are entitled to lie to convince us of it?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Why indeed? (none / 0) (#253)
by nusuth on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 05:55:31 AM EST

Shouldn't we either go for a dictatorship or a completely open government which announces real reasons for all its actions for whole world to know and always following majority's lead?

Oh, wait! Maybe something in between is both possible and more efficient than either.

I'm not advocating a blind trust in governments for they know what is best for their citizens. As I said in a message below, I just don't think a government's lying to its citizens is neither a good nor a bad sign on its own, nothing "logically follows" from it. If international community weren't a factor in this, that is, the only one to be convinced is the guy lied to, then the original argument is quite a bit more powerful.

[ Parent ]

"I don't like it when people lie to me" (4.00 / 11) (#48)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:09:59 AM EST

I couldn't agree more. I don't think the British and American governments realise the damage they've done to their public standing. If they just said: "Right. We're going to war because this man is a bloody loony. It's been ten years and he's still intent on making trouble, and he's sitting on top of the world's second largest oil reserves. Sorry we didn't do this sooner; we probably should have.", I'd have much more sympathy.

On the other hand, I'm not going on any anti-war protests. That's in part because most of the anti-war arguments I've heard make just about as much sense as a British government dossier. That is, they're second hand and ten years out of date. It's all very well to say Bush hasn't proved his case, but that doesn't actually mean he's wrong. Having gotten into the current wretched mess of sanctions and low-intensity conflict around Iraq, somehow or other we need to get out of it. An entire country living on food handouts and occasionally being bombed is not a situation that can go on forever.

That leaves two options: either the Iraqi regime has to go, or the allies have to stop the sanctions, stop the bombing, take their toys and go home. The latter solution leaves open the possibility that the Iraqi regime will go back to plan A and start building up its millitary again in preparation or another attempt at regional domination. That would be a Bad Thing.

Which leaves us with getting rid of the Iraqi regime. It seems unlikely that a coup or revolution could succeed, given that previous attempts have all failed. Which leaves us where we are now.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate

Well put (4.00 / 6) (#49)
by daragh on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:13:02 AM EST

It's good to see that there are people who think like you inside the US as well.

No work.

Cynicism (4.00 / 5) (#50)
by Phage on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:13:15 AM EST

I agree with your sentiments, in that the public is being kept in the dark by the govts. of the US and the UK. We have no clear idea of why they want to go to war. I do have a cynical idea though...

The US knows that Iraq has WMD's because they gave Iraq the materials capability and now they want them back !

I also considered joining the protest march, but have in the end decided not to attend for the following reasons.

Demos make you feel good, but achieve nothing. Civil unrest, as the most extreme form of protest might, but I don't fancy throwing molotov's at some poor squaddie just yet.

The London protest will have the alternative slogan of Freedom for Palestine, or some such, on all banners. WTF ? How is that even related other than by geography and some vague ethnicity ?

Slightly OT, just how scared is the UK govt. when you can see APC's at Heathrow ? What do they know ? I cannot see that armour would be much use against a few terrorists in such a situation. It did occur to me, however, that these APC's may well have NBC "sniffers" as part of their kit. Anyone know anything about that ?


I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
Canthros
It's to make us think they're doing something. (none / 0) (#111)
by mr strange on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:53:50 PM EST

I can't see how APCs on the streets are going to do anything practically useful. Even if there is someone on the loose with an infantry-launched anti-aircraft missile, he could just drive up to Stanstead or Manchester, where there are no APCs patrolling.

The truth is, it's all about making us worry that "they" are out to get us, and that Blair and his cronies are doing their best to protect us. The timing seems utterly cynical to me.

(I'm not saying there is no threat, just that the APCs are not a useful response to any threat.)

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

The us did supply Iraq for a long time (5.00 / 2) (#139)
by mveloso on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:00:27 PM EST

During the Iran-Iraq war, the US did help Iraq with a lot of things. Maybe the US slipped Iraq a whole bunch of smallpox back in the day. Maybe the USSR did. Heck, maybe France or one of our erstwhile allies did. That's definitely a piece of info our intelligence agencies wouldn't release to the press.

Just think of the PR nightmare. "Oh, by the way, the reason we know Iraq has WMDs is because the CIA under Ronald Reagan gave it to him to use against Iran."

It is kind of interesting that the smallpox threat in the US came out of nowhere. There's a program on now to innoculate all health workers in the US against smallpox. This for a disease that was considered eradicated only a few years ago, and the big debate over smallpox was whether to destroy the remaining stocks of it. Officially, there is one stash of smallpox in the CDC in Atlanta, the other is in Russia somewhere.

[ Parent ]

Iraq may have gotten smallpox from an outbreak (none / 0) (#246)
by shinshin on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:35:08 AM EST

It is kind of interesting that the smallpox threat in the US came out of nowhere.
I believe the current theory is that Iraq may have retained smallpox strains from a natural smallpox outbreak in the 1970's. I agree, though, it does all seem pretty sketchy. Especially all the US companies that were conveniently blacked out in the Iraq weapons delcarations before any other members of the security could could read it.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
I don't like it when people lie to me. (2.33 / 12) (#54)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:31:51 AM EST

So you respond by lying to us. Way to go.

a majority of Americans believe one or more of the September 11th hijackers was Iraqi, and a significant number believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the events of September 11th, 2001.

Bullshit. Utter and complete bullshit. A majority (55%, + or - 3%,8% no opinion) believe Iraq "has provided direct support to the Al Qaeda terrorist group". Which is not the same as "One or more hijackers were Iraqi". It has been well publicized that most were Saudi Arabs, and I know of no one who believes that any were Iraqi, nor has anyone in the government claimed they were. To claim that a majority of Americans believe that some of the hijackers were Iraqi is, quite simply, a lie.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

Where do you get off? (4.10 / 10) (#56)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:51:39 AM EST

The fact that you haven't heard it, the fact that you've heard some other, related statistic, the fact that you're too lazy to look it up, and the fact that you'd rather make a personal attack than a factual one do not make my assertion regarding Americans' beliefs regarding the hijackers false, nor does it make me dishonest.

As it happens, I'm correct, and you're both wrong and an asshole. If you don't believe me, get off your lazy ass and do a Google search to find some actual figures; I just did, and it took me all of thirty seconds. And no, I won't do it for you.


--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

Are you referring (2.71 / 7) (#60)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:16:46 AM EST

to the Knight Ridder push poll that told people that Iraqis participated, and just asked how many Iraqi did it?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
So I owe you an apology (3.00 / 8) (#62)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:21:51 AM EST

You were, in effect, lied to, and uncritically reported it as the truth. My apologies for calling you a liar.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Get off getting off already (2.33 / 6) (#99)
by Calledor on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:06:17 PM EST

It's a lovely thing that you can criticize people for your own problems. Which statistic are you even talking about? The Newsweek poll or the Knight Ridder poll? The Newsweek probably had more votes, but it's Newsweek. The other consisted of 1,200 adult citizens in the U.S. Twenty percent of those thought most of the hijackers were Iraqi, thirty percent thought some were, and the rest said none, unsure/unwilling to respond. Sounds like scientific fact to me, the Bush administration has brainwashed half the population into thinking an Iraqi helped hijack a plane. Never mind that the same people who publicize these polls also were very keen on articles about links between one of the hijackers and an Iraqi official (the link was debunked I believe but it made good press while it lasted).

So does wiredog have a right to call you a liar for using the same sources that the Bush Administration uses for furthering its influence of the American public? Perhaps not but it is a funny bit of irony.

Asshole. Go post more pics of what your pussy did to your wife's face. Stick it to the man.

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

You're right... kinda (4.71 / 7) (#57)
by Rand Race on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:02:06 AM EST

Only 50% (+ or - 3%; last question - second poll on page) believe one or more of the 9/11 hijackers was an Iraqi citizen. 33% didn't know. An impressively unclued majority who did have an opinion thought one or more of the hijackers were Iraqis.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Ahhh, yes (2.14 / 7) (#61)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:20:16 AM EST

the push poll that was run a month ago.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
No, actually (5.00 / 6) (#68)
by Rand Race on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:22:58 AM EST

That wasn't the push poll. The Newsweek/Post poll (which showed 79% answered yes to "were one or more of the hijackers Iraqi citizens") was the push poll. The Knight Ridder poll here clearly gave the option of "none".


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

minor nit: neither were push polls (4.75 / 4) (#113)
by akp on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:01:02 PM EST

At least in the classic, and in South Carolina, legal sense of push poll. A typical push poll against a candidate would be characterized by asking a whole lot of questions about negative aspects of that candidate's record. Push polls are usually designed to change the opinions of the people being polled more than to affect the people who read the results of the poll. In fact, it's common with push polls never to release the results at all. This tactic allows the poller to be even more sleazy; if you were going to release the poll results, then you might be able to get away with showing that 67% of voters would be less likely to vote for Senator Bedfellow if they knew that he had voted to double his own pay, but you would not be able to release that 67% of voters would be less likely to vote for John McCain if they knew that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock. The former might get you a reputation for underhanded tactics, while admitting that you had performed the latter poll might get you charged with slander. In either case, it's usually more important for a push poll to bring up those negative connections in the mind of the person being polled, rather than to show the results to the general public.

That having been said, it has become common recently to tag polls that are considered biased or leading as push polls. I'm not sure why this is. It could just be that push poll is a nice phrase and sticks in people's minds. Or it could be an attempt to confuse the two, and either make real push polls seem as innocuous as poorly phrased polls, or make imperfect polls seem as unethical as push polls. No matter what the reason, though, I think that there is an important enough distinction between a flawed poll and a push poll that the terms should stay separate.

As for the Knight-Ridder poll, I wasn't able to find the full poll (if there were any other parts of it), just the one question. Now, personally, I think that it's really important to keep in mind that 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and that none of them were from Iraq, and so to me the question seems fair. But I can see how it would have been more useful to have some other questions in there, such as doing a split poll and asking the same question ("how many of the September 11 hijackers were x citizens") to different people about Iraqi, Saudi Arabian, Palestinian, Jordanian, etc. citizens. That would have given a better overview of bias against Iraq. But just because the poll was flawed doesn't mean that it was intentionally biased. (Again, I haven't seen the context; if the poll had first asked a whole bunch of questions about evidence that Iraq was involved with al Qaeda, and then asked about how many of the hijackers were Iraqi, then that would indicate that the poll was designed to lead people into giving a specific anwer to that question.)

-allen



[ Parent ]
And just remember (2.81 / 11) (#55)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:40:43 AM EST

Who you are voluntarilt affiliating with.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

ANSWER not in NY (4.50 / 2) (#67)
by winthrop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:12:12 AM EST

Just as a factual note, ANSWER is not one of the organizers for the rally that the author is intending to attend.  The article you linked to is about the San Francisco rally.  

(Not saying that the article you linked to isn't relevant, etc.)

[ Parent ]

Sorry, but the logic isn't there. (5.00 / 3) (#105)
by Wah on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:34:56 PM EST

after all, in Bin Laden's latest video he declares solidarity with the Iraqi people and calls for the removal of the infidel Hussein.

Which sounds like part of the U.S. position.

All of which means that if I decide to protest against the war, that doesn't mean that I agree with everyone else who protests against the war.  Or their personal solutions to the world's problems.

Of course, all of this is inferring quite a bit from your short comment, but I got in a rather annoying discussion about this the other day and am somewhat sensitive to the idea that by voluntarilt [sec] associating with a group of peole with common single agenda, it somehow expresses support for all their other whacky ideas.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Then you need to (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:03:49 PM EST

dissociate yourself from the wacky ideas. When someone gets up onstage and says "It's all the fault of the Jews" then you need to speak up against that view. If they say "The US is the source of Evil, and Milosovic is a humanitarian" then you need to call them on that too. But if you march with them, and keep quiet about your opposition to their wackiness, then are you not tacitly supporting them?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
But that has happened (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by Wah on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:14:37 PM EST

on various sources where this issue has been raised, any number of people have mentioned how the backers of the backers of the ANSWER group do not speak for them.  Yes, the group is that far removed from the WWP and the causal link for most of this inanity is the National Review article that originally made the assertion.  Which is based on ONE person's association with the various groups mentioned.

Regardless, when you have the chance to get across ONE message, that message should be "We are against an invasion of Iraq" with all the force one can muster.  It's not, "We are against an invasion of Iraq and we think some of the people here are whackos."  One of those messages has a chance to make a point, the other one is so diluted as to not be worth the effort.

Also, where on ANSWER's home page does it mention how 200,000 or so people came out to support Stalin-style communism?
--
The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. -- Joseph Joubert. ...
[ Parent ]

I thought the 'causal link' (none / 0) (#161)
by wiredog on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:23:26 PM EST

Was the Salon.com article, or one of the ones in The Nation.

Chris Hitchens has been after ANSWER for a while too.

National Review is a latecomer to the issue.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

o.k. (none / 0) (#195)
by Wah on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:15:53 PM EST

...that was where I heard of it first, and was the reference used in my previous encounters with the meme.  My bad, thanks for the other info.
--
The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. -- Joseph Joubert. ...
[ Parent ]
ANSWER/WWP (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by winthrop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:17:15 PM EST

ANSWER was most definitely established by WWP. In many of the local chapters (and perhaps the national ones), their leadership overlaps greatly with WWP leadership. This is not insane, this is quite true, and it's been a subject of much discussion within left-wing media (and vegan coffee bars, etc.) before it ever made it's way into other circles.

However, as you point out, ANSWER does not act as a "front" for the WWP in many ways. They have many co-sponsors who would drop out if they did. It would be silly to walk away from a protest with a very good message because the same people who put out that good message also put out another message you disagree with in another forum under another banner, and your attendance at the first did not help the second.

[ Parent ]

A few notes (none / 0) (#177)
by winthrop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:12:34 PM EST

If you go to a protest, it is only your responsibility to dissociate yourself from the views you disagree with if, by lending your presence, you appear to support them. It's laughable to imagine that 200,000 (or whatever your figure is) people down in DC were there to support communist revolution. The speakers did not call for communist revolution, nor did they call Milosevic a humanitarian.

As I pointed out, the NYC event is being organized by UJP, which has very different (and often harshly disagreeing) politics from ANSWER or WWP. The San Francisco event is run by a coalition of liberals and radicals, so similarly, it will not be a particularly radical event.

Finally, the protester has specifically dissociated himself from WWP (he says he's not a communist), as well as said he's going to bring his own sign, which means he'll be speaking for himself.

[ Parent ]

Does this mean that Cheney is a biggot? (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by rantweasel on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:22:12 PM EST

I mean, there were people equating Islam (not terrorists, not radicals, but Islam as a whole) with Nazism at the CPAC gathering a few weeks back, and Cheney showed up too...  I'll give you the ANSWER marchers if you give me Cheney's head on a platter for that one.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#229)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:02:52 PM EST

I'm really sick of this "guilt-by-association" trip that the protesters are getting. It seems every pro-war person in the blogosphere is using this argument to try and dissuade us from going to protests. I wonder who does their thinking for them? Where did they all get the same information and logic from? I'm curious to know. At any rate, you're analogy is perfect. And of course it can be extended to just about anything. How about the over racists in the Republican party (worse than Lott)? Are they shouted off the stage whenever they speak at engagements where other Republicans are gathering? No? Then doesn't that mean that by proxy, they are also racist? No? But why not? That's the logic you're using, isn't it? :-\

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

So, let me get this straight (5.00 / 3) (#255)
by twistedfirestarter on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 06:42:42 AM EST

But if you march with them, and keep quiet about your opposition to their wackiness, then are you not tacitly supporting them?

If I join any kind of organization or event and someone in that organization or event has a "wacky" point of view, I am supporting that point of view unless I make a really big point of speaking out about it?

(This is a logical generalisation of your bizarre theory. Why should political demonstrations be different from any other organisation or event; after all, everything is political in some way)

I am employed in a big company, and out of lots of people a couple probably have some politics I don't agree with. I am NOT responsible for their points of view, and I think you are pretty stupid if you think I am.

Typical conservative double standards - all protesters are responsible for what any other protester says, yet the republican party is full of racists. For fuck's sake.

[ Parent ]

While we're at it ... (4.66 / 3) (#216)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:12:29 PM EST

... how about recalling some of the people the US government has voluntarily affiliated with? Saddam Hussein springs to mind ...

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Sacred mother of fuck (4.75 / 4) (#239)
by gbd on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:56:21 PM EST

Yes, kids, let's remember wiredog's important lesson here. If you protest your country's potential involvement in a war with Iraq, you are really advocating the destruction of capitalism, the disintegration of Israel, handing over the reins of power to the New Black Panther Party, and -- oh, let's not forget the trump card! -- terrorism. Yes, by protesting senseless violence against innocent civilians, you are clearly aligning yourself with those who have sworn to use senseless violence against innocent civilians.

I've not seen more flawless logic. It cannot be successfully argued against.

You know, the scary thing is that at some level I think that you might actually believe this.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

Have you considered the idea (3.00 / 5) (#59)
by Craevenwulfe on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:13:36 AM EST

It's very simple: I don't like it when people lie to me. If someone has to lie to me to convince me to do something, then it logically follows that this thing must not be in my best interests. If it were in my best interests, it would be simple enough to point that out - and at that point, I won't need much convincing.

Have you considered the idea that they have lied to you because it's NOT in your best interest but that they feel it is something that MUST be done.

Selfish people are selfish people, if they don't want something that's not in their interests to happen, how do you make it happen?

Just doing my job in showing there are 2 sides to every story.

Cuddly_Tiger

Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:52:25 PM EST

I've considered, I think, almost every possiblity. And I agree with the author of this article. What you're describing is a little something called usurping Democracy. And I don't stand for it.

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

Hold the Hell on. (3.60 / 10) (#66)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:02:00 AM EST

So you tell me that the whole human rights issue does nothing for you at all, simply because you believe Bush & Co. don't have that as their prime reason? What the hell?

Alright, the human rights violations have been going on for the last 20 years or so. You as much as admit it. So what does it MATTER that Bush is going in there for freaking oil, so long as he stops the human rights violations in the meantime.

Get this straight: I'm a Canadian. I greatly dislike Bush and basically his entire administration. But if he wants to go in and clean up Iraq, then let him do it. Someone needs to, and the rest of the world seems too pansified.

I don't really care who has WMDs. That's not what I base a country off. Britain has WMDs, and they don't bother me too much. Russia has WMDs and everyone basically just leaves them the hell alone. It's how a country treats people that decides for me whether they need to be put down for the world's good. And right now, there's three countries high at the top of that list, blandishing human rights violations:
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • and the United States of America.
Of course, the last can wait until the first two are finished, and see if it's reclaimed itself by then. The way things are going however, I doubt it.

Which isn't to say anything directly about the people of any of those countries. I happen to know a good many Americans and even a couple of Iraqis and Koreans (the internet is a strange, strange place) who are fine, fine people. But Bush, Saddam, and Kim Jong Il need to be put somewhere they cannot perpetrate these futher atrocities.

If the world was less anti-war and more anti-a**hole, (and if we had a few more capable "enemy personnel extraction" teams) then a lot more would get done.

Not perfect, not quite.
What will it really do? (4.83 / 6) (#69)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:26:36 AM EST

So you tell me that the whole human rights issue does nothing for you at all, simply because you believe Bush & Co. don't have that as their prime reason? What the hell?
Part of my point, here - and perhaps I should have been more explicit expressing it - is that I don't think that the current U.S. government is going to do anything more for human rights in Iraq than they did for civil governance in Afghanistan.

If they go in to topple Saddam, will they deploy their resources to protect ethnic minorites under attack, or oilfields and corporate assets? Will they set up an interim government that actually offers Iraqi citizens some amount of political self-determination, or one that acts as it is told by Washington? Will the refugee problem be addressed seriously, or left to neighboring states like Turkey and Iran?

Their specific aims matter a great deal when considering the human rights impact of this apparently imminent war. Just getting rid of Saddam doesn't make anyone's life better. It just trades one set of problems for another, unless the new dominant power in Iraq is able and willing to do right by the people of Iraq. I've seen no evidence that the current U.S. government would be. They'll no more "clean up" Iraq than they will corporate accounting practices.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

What exactly... (none / 0) (#175)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:03:44 PM EST

_ Part of my point, here - and perhaps I should have been more explicit expressing it - is that I don't think that the current U.S. government is going to do anything more for human rights in Iraq than they did for civil governance in Afghanistan._

...would you do differently in Afghanistan, if you don't mind my asking?

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


[ Parent ]
what makes you things will be any better after? (4.80 / 5) (#70)
by waxmop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:39:41 AM EST

So what does it MATTER that Bush is going in there for freaking oil, so long as he stops the human rights violations in the meantime.

Do you really believe that the US is going to bring real democracy to Iraq?

I don't think protecting human rights is much of a concern for this administration at all. It certainly hasn't been too much of a concern in the past:

  • Our government isn't willing to restrict trade with China, even though there's plenty of evidence suggesting that we import goods made by workers in conditions that are pretty close to slave labor.
  • We sold military equipment to Indonesia and then looked the other way while Indonesia unlawfully occupied East Timor for 20+ years, using those same US-made weapons.
  • in Afganistan, we ignored the negative reports about the Northern Alliance soldiers that we hired to take out the Taliban.
I could go on with examples about how we just don't care about human rights in our foreign policy all day long. My point, though, isn't just to badmouth the US. That dead horse is flogged down to a pile of bones on this site already. It's to show that protecting human rights is way, way, way down on our list of priorities.

If the new leader of Iraq turns out to be a tyrant that crushes dissent and even gasses his own people, we'll look the other way, on the condition that he keeps the spice oil flowing. We might even sell him military equipment, because he might be an SOB, but at least he's our SOB.


--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]
What the hell is wrong with you people? (2.50 / 2) (#104)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:27:47 PM EST

So your government doesn't care about human rights violations? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Why is everyone rolling over and ignoring (or protesting) the war, simply because it isn't for good causes, when a good cause can come from it?

When you say "It's to show that protecting human rights is way, way, way down on our list of priorities," do you actually mean it, or are do you mean "our" as in "our government?" Either way, how can you support that?

And why do we need to abandon Iraq to it's own devices anyway? Why not instate a US or better UN army to watch over it for a period of x years, instead of trade sanctions that punish the people, not the government?

Not perfect, not quite.
[ Parent ]
bark somewhere else, please. (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by waxmop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:29:54 PM EST

So your government doesn't care about human rights violations? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Please back off with the snap judgement. I'm doing my part. Are you?

It is possible to oppose the war and still want improvements in human rights. The same people that are opposing war were the ones in 90s that argued that sanctions were harming innocent people in Iraq.

Why not instate a US or better UN army to watch over it for a period of x years, instead of trade sanctions that punish the people, not the government?

So are you saying we ought to invade Iraq, rule it with our military, and then turn it loose? Have you really thought this through? How do we decide when to turn it loose? Who's going to pay for it? Won't the people of Iraq resent being ruled by a foreign power?

Finally, I'm tired of reading this argument that demonstrations and protests are meaningless. Demonstrations galvanize future action; they aren't the end in themselves.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]

Woof, damnit. Woof. (none / 0) (#167)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:42:51 PM EST

I am doing my part. I live in Canada however, so writing my MP and other such normally beneficial political actions on my part aren't nearly as useful as an American doing similar ones. Still, I do. I'm just frustrated with the general apathy everyone shows this and other similar issues.

And I never said invade Iraq and rule it, then turn it loose. Invade it, remove the current political system, set up a system by which the people at large have a method of governing themselves, with a UN army to keep watch over the new system, not the people. Police the government, not the civilians. They'll rule themselves and we'll have no reason to interfere, so long as funds aren't suddenly and mysteriously diverted from say - famine relief to the presidential palace. Or so long as people aren't haphazzardly dipped in chemical baths.

Not perfect, not quite.
[ Parent ]
that's fair (none / 0) (#187)
by waxmop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:39:48 PM EST

I think your idea has some merit. It reminds me of the Marshall plan after WW II.

I still don't agree with it though; it would cost a lot of money to do it right, and it would be very tempting to just prop up the first despot willing to swear fealty to the US, and then skip town.


--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]
Yeah wouldn't it be great? (4.66 / 6) (#71)
by JahToasted on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:44:44 AM EST

Wouldn't it be great if the US marched into Iraq removed Saddam and made Iraq a nice peaceful democratic nation?

Please don't be so naive to think this will happen. The US will remove Saddam and install a new dictator. Why? Because democratic nations are difficult to control. Look at Germany, France, and Russia... all democracies and they aren't falling in line with the US's crusade. Now look at Saudi Arabia and Kuwait... Americans are extremely unpopular in these countries and almost none of the population there support the war. But the population has no say.

You think the US will allow Iraq have free elections, knowing that as soon as it does so, Iraq will turn into the next Iran? No they will install a brutal dictator to keep the population under control.

Take a look at the "Axis of Evil." What do these countries have in common? Yes they have human rights problems, but so do many other countries not on the list. What they all have in common is that they aren't subserviant to the US.

When all is said and done, they will put a dictator in power that can be controlled. He will be a bastard, but he will be their bastard.

[ Parent ]

hey - who are we quoting? (none / 0) (#72)
by waxmop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:51:54 AM EST

He will be a bastard, but he will be their bastard.
And I said at the end of my post:
he might be an SOB, but at least he's our SOB.
We're both paraphrasing the same quote. But who said it? I can't remember.


--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]
good question (none / 0) (#109)
by JahToasted on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:49:46 PM EST

I always thought it was LBJ talking about their puppet in South Vietnam.

Checking google, it seems that no one can agree.

Johnson said it about Marcos, FDR said about any one of several different people. I dunno.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#84)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:30:28 AM EST

Saddam Jr.

Let's hope the upgraded model has more sense than the previous one, and knows how to bow down subserviently to its Master.

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

I call bull. (none / 0) (#103)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:23:04 PM EST

Saddam is a dictator they put in control. He was US-funded for a long time. So was Osama Bin Laden. Putting a dictator in place and just leaving is stupid, yes. Holding free elections and just leaving is stupid, yes, as then the "president" of Iraq will just become a dictator again.

Instead, stay. Allow them to govern themselves, but keep US or even better UN troop stationed there on guard for the people. It's idealistic, but a hell of a lot less so than previous proposals towards Iraq.

Not perfect, not quite.
[ Parent ]
Of course (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by JahToasted on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:03:28 PM EST

Saddam is a dictator they put in control.

Of course he is. That is why they have to go after him. They just can't have their puppets taking their weapons and then turn around and use them against their other puppets, now can they?

Allow them to govern themselves, but keep US or even better UN troop stationed there on guard for the people.

UN troops? How will they make lockheed-martin-boeing-general-dynamics any money? Better just put a dictatator in place, sell him some weapons and then drop some smart bombs on him in 10 years when he becomes a problem...

[ Parent ]

As do I (none / 0) (#178)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:12:37 PM EST

Saddam is a dictator they put in control.

False

He was US-funded for a long time.

True

So was Osama Bin Laden

False, well not entirely, but it's rather misleading to state that the US funded Bin Laden. The situation is a lot more complicated than that.

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


[ Parent ]
Oh please (none / 0) (#182)
by PrinceSausage on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:23:01 PM EST

Who funded the coup that put the Baath-party in power? (Three letters? Starts with a C?) Saddam rose to the top in that particular bucket of filth. So yes, the US actually put him in power.

[ Parent ]
Really, where's your evidence of CIA funding??? (none / 0) (#188)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:49:03 PM EST

The only really credible evidence I've ever seen points to the fact that the CIA handed over names  of ICP members to the first Ba'thist regime in 63 to aid in it's campaign of communist purges. As for US money, well it flowed freely at that time to anyone not aligned with either the Soviets or the Nasserite Syrian/Egyptian alliance. This included many groups who were opposed to one another. The Ba'thist who took control after the coup of 68 (the ABSP) were definitely not the the group most favored by the US as they still had strong connection with Aflaq, and through him Syria.

And in any case, even if the CIA did have a hand in the 68, that hardly amounts to putting Saddam in power, as he didn't rise to the top for another 11 years.  

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


[ Parent ]
Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#256)
by twistedfirestarter on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 06:52:10 AM EST

but why do you think that's going to happen?

Occupying a nation is costly, rebuilding nations is costly.  All that will happen is that US will install some other, friendly dictator.

The only differenc is that the country will be mmassively destabilized most likely, and therefore the dictator will require even more force to keep the population in line, leading to even more human rights abuses.

[ Parent ]

give me a break (4.80 / 5) (#151)
by FourDegreez on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:51:21 PM EST

You really think those three countries have the worst human rights violations? You've bought into the propaganda. As bad as Iraq is, countries like Saudi Arabia have appallingly worse human rights violations. Iraq is probably somewhere in the second tier of human rights violators. At least in Iraq women have the right to dress as they please, go to school, and have a job. Non-Muslims can worship freely. Sharia is not in place. Compare that to a place like Pakistan, where women are sentenced to stoning and gang rape. Or Saudi Arabia, where girls are ordered back inside a burning building (where they subsequently died) because they were not wearing a hijab. Or Indonesia, where the East Timorese were systematically murdered by the thousands for the crime of exercising democracy. The US has cozy relationships with all these countries. Neither Iraq nor North Korea is even in their league, in terms of flagrant abuses of human rights.

[ Parent ]
I never said they were the ONLY three. (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:34:49 PM EST

Just because I'm ignorant of other cases doesn't mean I'm wrong of these ones. Fine. So add Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Pakistan to the list. My position still stands.

Not perfect, not quite.
[ Parent ]
On the other hand... (none / 0) (#231)
by cdyer on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:11:57 PM EST

In Pakistan's favor, though, they have had a female prime minister, and are considering another. (The first was democratically elected.) We here in America have no such tradition of equal opportunity. Makes you stop and think.

Cheers,
Cliff



[ Parent ]
um, what? (none / 0) (#276)
by ethereal on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:30:34 PM EST

There are plenty of female mayors, governors, representatives, senators, and even a national security advisor in the U.S. There is a strong tradition of equal opportunity, and definitely no laws preventing a woman from becoming president. The fact that it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean there isn't the opportunity for it to occur, unless you can point out specific U.S. government policies that are designed to discriminate against female presidential candidates.

Heck, I just heard yesterday that Carol Mosely-Braun was going to run for president; apparently she hadn't heard that such an opportunity is denied to her.

When it comes down to it, the most certain factors in being president or prime minister are being well known and coming from a strong power base. Female candidates have used these to gain election to other offices in the U.S.; at some point one will become president as well.

--

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

Binary options (none / 0) (#226)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:50:30 PM EST

You're suggesting that the only options are 1) let Saddam continue his human rights abuses, 2) war. You're leaving out any possibility of other options. Don't you think it's possible that we who don't want war also don't want Saddam to continue the human rights abuses? Come onnnnn, man... Don't use that argument on us.

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

So let me get this straight (none / 0) (#285)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:50:33 PM EST

You don't want war, and you don't want Saddam to continue his abuses. What's your solution?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
I don't do this professionally (4.50 / 2) (#289)
by broken77 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:12:51 PM EST

I don't have the solution to all problems. But, what about a UN-monitored election to ensure its fairness? What about continuing the inspections and the sanctions, but making the sanctions smarter (instead of really horrible the way they are). How about working with groups that are currently trying to bring Democracy to Iraq? How about any number of things that nobody is talking about in the mainstream? That's my whole point though. War is the only thing discussed. How would I know what viable options there are, when only one has ever been mentioned? It's because it's the one they want. They don't want any resolution that doesn't involve war. Let's be creative, eh? Try to solve the human rights problem without bombing and killing tens of (perhaps hundreds of?) thousands of innocent civilians. That's a human rights problem in and of itself. "Killing people to save them", right? The fact is, we don't even know how Saddam is going to act under a different method. We do know for a fact that since the Iraq war, the human rights problem has decreased dramatically. Most of the major problems occurred during the 80s, when he was "on our side", so to speak. How would he conduct himself if he knew he was not "on our side"? No, I don't have a 100% viable answer. Who could? I only know that war doesn't have to be the answer.

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

No solutions (none / 0) (#291)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:29:42 PM EST

UN-monitored elections? And do you think Saddam would hold such elections just because a wimpy EUian asks nicely? And how would you make sanctions smarter? I don't know. Apparently you don't know. Possibly the "profesionnals" don't know either! As for working with groups in Iraq that don't want Saddam, they're not likely to stick their necks out for Saddam to chop them off. War is the only proven way to remove an unstable despot. We've had 12 years to find an alternative with no luck.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 0) (#299)
by broken77 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:18:05 PM EST

We've had 12 years of trying absolutely nothing at all except inspections and horrible, debilitating sanctions. There has been no discussion on the table of alternatives or ideas, except in left-wing publications who are in no position to implement said ideas anyway.

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

Some perspective: the US was against WW2 as well (3.42 / 7) (#77)
by mveloso on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:11:08 AM EST

Just to show you how things work out sometimes, the majority of the US public was against US involvement in WW2. That's why the US had to wait until after the Japanese attacked to provide material support to the Allies.

During the time where the US didn't act, Europe was basically plowed under by the Axis and big chunks of Asia were completely dominated by the Japanese, the latter performing mass executions, slavery, rape, etc on the subject populations.

Granted that the situation is different, but - if someone had tried to stop Hitler or Hirohito before things started getting out of hand, would all that have happened?


and if the indians had sunk the mayflower (4.75 / 4) (#78)
by turmeric on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:15:48 AM EST

.... maybe they would all be happy.

[ Parent ]
well they might have been better off (none / 0) (#135)
by mveloso on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:51:57 PM EST

If maybe they had left those pilgrims to die instead of stuffing them with turkeys.

One things for sure, when the Europeans come things change.

[ Parent ]

Well, to be honest... (none / 0) (#263)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:39:59 AM EST

...it was their own fault that they weren't able to develop decent technology and social organization.

It's not like they weren't given a chance.

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

Clue gratis. (2.00 / 5) (#81)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:28:17 AM EST

The U.S. had no involvement whatsoever in stopping Hitler. (Unless you count bombing concentration camps and giving out lucrative loans to England as "fighting Hitler"...)

The U.S. was involved in divining up the spoils of war and in occupying Western Europe, but only after Hitler was reduced to a completely non-threatening state.


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

=> "dividing up", sorry. (-) (none / 0) (#82)
by tkatchev on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:28:52 AM EST

entey

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

So uh... (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:14:40 PM EST

Just WHO were the US Citizens in US military uniforms that marched into Germany?

If you wanna say that Russia did the bulk of the work and suffered more casualities than ANYBODY in Europe, fine.  But don't say that the US wasn't involved aside from some aeroplanes (with regards to Bugs Bunny) and financial backing...


[ Parent ]

For most of the war it was so... (none / 0) (#107)
by freddie on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:44:25 PM EST

The US involvement was of significance starting around late 1943/ early 1944. At the time of the turnning points in the war, the battle of britain (1940), and the battle of Moscow (1941), the US was not militarily involved in the war.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]
That's a facetious statement. (none / 0) (#251)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:18:26 AM EST

You entered the war when you were already 100% sure that Hitler would lose.

Just like in WWI.

"Undemocratic" people might say that your "involvement" in WWII wasn't so much a "liberation from Hitler" as a dirty land-grab and occupation of war-weakened Western Europe.

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

Huh? (none / 0) (#324)
by aphrael on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 08:45:42 PM EST

Do you have any kind of reference for that allegation? Certainly the public perception in late 1941 was not that it was guaranteed that Hitler would win the war. If anything, it was the opposite.

[ Parent ]
You consistantly demonstrate yourself to be... (3.66 / 3) (#185)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:28:39 PM EST

...one of the most santimonious and ignorant fools here. No mean accomplishment.

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


[ Parent ]
Hello little dude. (1.00 / 1) (#262)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:38:08 AM EST

I think you meant to spell "consistently".

Have a nice day, and buy a dictionary next time.

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

I've carefully considered your application... (1.00 / 1) (#268)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 10:45:58 AM EST

...and while you did correctly identify the misspelled "consistantly," you failed to identify "santimonious." Your secretarial skills are subpar and I've decided not to engage your services as my bitch.

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


[ Parent ]
You are so misguided... (none / 0) (#286)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 03:21:46 PM EST

...if you think that I bothered to read your so-called post past the title.

Have a nice day and try not to kick any more retarded children.

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

a bit overstated (none / 0) (#244)
by Delirium on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:19:25 AM EST

The US wasn't heavily involved in some of the crucial earlier phases of the war, but its involvement even then was more than you credit, and its involvement later was more necessary than you credit. In the early phases of the war it didn't just give loans to England -- it was essentially their arsenal, providing a good portion of the weapons used. In addition, it took responsibility for the shipment of the materiel to the UK, actively engaging German U-boats to do so.

Apart from that, the entire D-day and subsequent invasion wasn't exactly a walk in the park either, and it's questionable whether the UK would've been able to pull it off alone.

[ Parent ]

WTF? (none / 0) (#250)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:16:10 AM EST

"Earlier"?

D-Day was in 1944, when you were already 100% sure that Hitler had lost; D-Day was a simple mop-up operation for areas Hitler had already abandoned.

That it wasn't a "walk in the park" for you only speaks of your military incompetence.

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

counterpoint (5.00 / 1) (#287)
by adequate nathan on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 03:22:13 PM EST

Apart from that, the entire D-day and subsequent invasion wasn't exactly a walk in the park either, and it's questionable whether the UK would've been able to pull it off alone.

While this is true, you are forgetting that 85% of German casualties occured on the Eastern Front. If the Soviet Union hadn't won at Leningrad and Stalingrad, there never could have even been a D-Day in dreams.

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

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

well yes (none / 0) (#293)
by Delirium on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 05:38:38 PM EST

I'm not saying the US could've pulled it off without Russia; Russia's contribution was necessary to the Allied war effort. I was just refuting the claim that the US's contribution was unnecessary, and consisted essentially of a mop-up operation that the rest of the allied powers could've taken care of just as well themselves.

[ Parent ]
ok ok ok . the wwii thing. (4.72 / 11) (#85)
by turmeric on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:34:42 AM EST

alot of people like to talk about WWII, because WWII was a very lucky thing for the US: it was allowed to become a world power, blow the shit out of people, and look like the hero the whole time because it happened to be battling some of the first industrialized mass murder systems in the world.

however.

the entire history of the US military is not WWII. in fact WWII is a drop in the bucket in the 20th century list of atrocities. Lets take the korean war, MILLIONS dead, (50,000 US), the algerian civil war, another million, cambodia, another million, vietnam, another million or two, (60,000 US), and on and on and on. Then we have mobutu, pinochet, and a dozen other dictators that the US installed and/or supported.

conclusion: just because the US is 'fighting evil' doesnt mean its fighting evil. it could in fact be supporting evil for its own economic interests.

Now they say , well, the japanese and germans were alot worse and everything. Well, why was the USA in hawaii in the first place? Hell, the US invaded a bunch of islands in the pacific during the spanish-american war, do you think in Spain they go around talking about 'the day of infamy'when the US attacked it? hell no. now people say the US is a better imperialist than other people..... hey thats just what the japanese were saying. i wonder how many native Hawaiians are left on Hawaii? Or did they get largely shoved around and replaced by white people? I dont suppose there was any murder or rape invovled in that was there?

Not to mention the whole rest of the US.

Face it, Japan was not onto anything new, it was just copying what the US had done. Japan had its own idea of 'manifest destiny', but sine the US won the US writes the history books about how they were evil imperialists.

As for Iraq, comparing Saddam to germany or japan, well, MAYBE.... if the US had 1. supported a coup in germany in the late 1800s that created a dictatorial fascist state, 2. made a shitload of money off german resources (oil) 3. given a lot of weapons/support to germany in the 1910s to invade france and kill a few million people 4. given a lot of weapons/money/support to insane german fundamentalists in , i dont know, austria, or something to drive out the communists 5. bombed the shit out of germany when it tried to annex czechoslovakia 6. after it bombed the shit out of germany and promised the rebel groups in germany it would help them overthrow the leader, completely failing to do so and actually helping the leader put them down 7. banned all medical/food supplies etc from entering germany for 10 years, etc....

then you might have an appropriate analogy. but as it happened, it didnt happen. Henry Ford, IBM, GM, Texaaco, etc, are not pouring money into Iraq building up its industrial/military base like they did with hitler/franco, because there is no cold war anymore and the industrial leaders of america do not have a gigantic red menace trying to invade iraq and destroy global capitalism. In fact there is no other superpower sitting on the edge of Iraq that we need to use iraq to pummel, nor do we need to fight over the land in order to put missle bases/buffer-zones/etc.

in short, your analogy is not convincing. if we took it to the logical conclusion, then the US should be involved in every human-rights atrocity by any country anywhere, and respond to it by invading the perpetrating country and killing its leader.... and yet more often than not we have actually done the opposite, and given weapons to that leader since they were against communism. suharto, pinochet, mobutu, etc.

and frankly even if we did invade every wrong-doing country and kill their leader, that would set a pretty bad precedent: what if WE commit atrocities, and someone decides to invade us and kill our leader? maybe we should just support civil/human-rights type of organizations, because they seem to have stopped the brutality in our own nation, for example, the terrorist KKK network in the old south.

[ Parent ]

Re: (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by dogwalker on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:33:47 PM EST

The Saddam/Hiter comparison is specious to the point of insanity. Hitler's Germany was a world superpower that could take on the armies of other countries. Saddam has old technology, no popular support, and doesn't even have his entire country under control. We don't need to wonder what would happen if Saddam tried to invade another country, because it already did.
--
share and enjoy

[ Parent ]
In the Afterlife... (4.00 / 2) (#237)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:13:31 PM EST

...Hitler will break his foot off in Saddam's ass.


"I'm warning you, Mister. I've had about as much of your homelessness as I'm willing to take." -Lt. Twelve-Douze, Parent ]
It's not entirely specious. (none / 0) (#284)
by rodgerd on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:24:59 PM EST

In the 1930s, a number of nations threatened the viability of the League of Nations by undermining it when it was reticient to let them wage wars in Asia and Africa. Those nations waged wars of aggression, in China with flimsy evidence of "agression" against their interests, and in Ethiopia, to save people from their terrible regime. Australia, America, and England: The new Italy, Germany, and Japan.



[ Parent ]
Granted that the situation is different (4.00 / 1) (#224)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:47:05 PM EST

Well, you said it. You can't honestly be comparing Saddam to Hitler or Nazi Germany to modern day Iraq. "the situation is different". Very much so.

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

Why? (3.50 / 14) (#79)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:18:16 AM EST

I think I've just figured out what the disconnect is...

(non-USians go to the next thread, I doubt this will interest you)

It strikes me as interesting that the BEST you think you can do is drag yourself to a protest march and hold up a sign so that NPR can broadcast your opinion to the world.  As if that will a> validate it, b> change opinion, or c> stop any pending action.

That's not to disuade you from doing it, or from voicing your opinion... by all means, go...

But this is still a country of the people and by the people.  "But Bush and his cronies have all the power, and they're squashing our rights".  What, and you think you're powerless?  Do you honestly think that's what the conservatives thought when Clinton was in office for 8 years and  came within a few signatures of enacting a full blown socialized health care system?  Clinton also signed the Kyoto protocol. The "million mom march" successfully ran a full blown campaign that got nearly 2 weeks of constant coverage to get guns banned throughout the country.  Conservatives and the NRA worked through the government to check the legislation.

Do you honestly think that Vietnam War stopped because of the peace protests?  Here's a hint:  protests started in '65... the war stopped in '73.

See how well they've worked to change policy with the WTO?

Protests do have power, don't get me wrong, they raise public awareness to an issue and can get others to join their cause.. but they do NOT affect change.

You do realize that the senate is only controlled by Republicans by ONE vote.  The Democrats can easily... EASILY muster the votes and power to shut this whole thing down.  (Call Bush to account for funding of the troops and use of force.  Bush controls the troops, but Congress declares war.  Bush cannot run an action for more than 60 days if the senate won't let him.)  The democrats need ONE  republican to vote with them.  That's John McCain...

But the Democrats don't have any leadership.  They need people to come in and run with the ball... to carry the torch of leadership so to speak...  Someone like... Oh I dunno... YOU?

But the BEST you can do... is write a missive on here and drag your butt off the couch to hold up a sign (you said yourself that you're reluctant about doing it), and complain about how bad the US Government is.

Well the US Government isn't THEM... the US government is US.  And last I checked, Senators are still responsible to US.  You wanna stop the war?  Start targetting senators and collecting votes.  Get a senator to sponsor a bill to force Bush to account for the war and then do the legwork to get other senators to support him.  THEN HIT with the mass protests to pick up the swing senators. You'd be suprised at how easily it works.

WTF are you talking about? (3.16 / 6) (#124)
by amarodeeps on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:30:38 PM EST

You contradict yourself so easily, you must practice at it:

Do you honestly think that Vietnam War stopped because of the peace protests? Here's a hint: protests started in '65... the war stopped in '73.

...and then...

Protests do have power, don't get me wrong, they raise public awareness to an issue and can get others to join their cause...

Well, which is it? Figure it out. And then you go on to directly contradict the same exact statement with:

...but they do NOT affect change.

So wait...convincing people of a certain cause's validity is a powerful thing to do, but somehow that is not the same as affecting change?

If WE are the government as you so sagely note, then isn't protesting and changing people's minds so they vote differently next time around or send letters to their congress people, or, say, demonstrating to the politicians themselves that people are pissed off enough to actually get in the street en masse and thusly changing directly how a politican acts...well, that isn't affecting change?

I've got news for you: politicans DO pay attention to protests. Just because protests didn't immediately shut down Vietnam doesn't mean that they didn't have an effect. And you are also conveniently forgot the ENTIRE FUCKING CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT in the U.S.

Damn. How did this get any modding up? It's incoherent, inconsistent, and doesn't even seem to have a real point besides. So, you think it's okay that he protest, but it won't have any effect, even though it has an effect, but it won't have an effect? So he should send a letter, and then protest, because then he'll have an effect with the letter, but protesting still doesn't really work? I got to hand it to you Skywise, you are consistently idiotic.



[ Parent ]
Civil Rights movement (2.00 / 1) (#143)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:08:04 PM EST

If you think the entire Civil Rights movement was nothing but protest marches, you're the idiot.

People DIED to get civil rights changed in this country.  I'm talking people that volunteered to go into the south to sign minorities up to vote.  I'm talking Martin Luther King who *not only* protested, but worked diligently with political leaders and government officials to resolve these differences and get the legislation turned around.  The KKK was not a buncha guys in white robes, but a full on, entrenched, political organization that had to be ripped from government offices by other people in government offices.  NOT protestors.

Protesting IN TANDEM with political movement in a democracy can lead to change.  But protesting alone is easily dismissed.  IE... the WTO protests...  IE ... The Million Man March... IE... The Million Mom March...

[ Parent ]

Still clueless. (3.33 / 3) (#156)
by amarodeeps on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:12:31 PM EST

I didn't say that the Civil Rights movement was nothing but protest marches (re-read my post, and try really hard this time). But boy, in the Civil Rights movement, there sure were a lot of protest marches and rallies involved with swaying the public perspective and changing the minds of the politicians, and that contradicts your initial point about the (non)effectiveness of protesting. You do realize that that was what you were saying, right? No? Well, it's not really a surprising revelation that your writing skills are worse than your reading comprehension skills, although I suppose they could both be equally for shit.

Why don't you try again, and be more coherent and to the point this time. I'm giving this effort a D-. At least your spelling is passable.



[ Parent ]
your view of the vietnam protests (5.00 / 3) (#130)
by bukvich on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:47:07 PM EST

is quite unusual. They started getting big in January '68. Johnson did not run for re-election because of them. Both major candidates that year claimed they were for peace, because of the protests. Humphrey got the bombing stopped and Nixon had a "secret plan" to end the war. Nixon ended, effectively, American participation in the war before November of '72, only because otherwise he would not have been re-elected.

Given his druthers, he would have been happy to continue the slaughter.

The energy of the Vietnam protesters is one of the few good things you can learn about in the history section of your library.

[ Parent ]

Yeah... reading... (5.00 / 1) (#149)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:29:17 PM EST

in 1965, students at the University of Michigan held the first teach-ins about war atrocities and actions which led to other college campuses doing the same thing, coinciding with Johnson's escalation of the war.

But Johnson was under severe political pressure.  Senator Fulbright was holding congressional hearings on the Vietnamese War (looking at possibly impeachment) because Johnson was inflating enemy aggression numbers. (Ooh, what did I say we should do with Bush if you want to stop the war?)

McNamara (defense secretary) resigned in 1968 publically stating that Johnson's military campaign was a failure.

Meanwhile, a young and VERY POPULAR Bobby Kennedy was running for election on an anti-war ticket.

Now why do YOU think Johnson resigned?

Protestors were used in tandem with political leveraging to garner political power.  The change still has to come from within the system.

And you'll still note that the war didn't END under Nixon.  He cut back on troop usage but INCREASED the bombing... and he got re-elected to a second term, and THEN got the peace treaty signed...  Where were the protestors then?  Nixon got re-elected while ESCALATING the war!

[ Parent ]

no no no (none / 0) (#153)
by bukvich on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:52:49 PM EST

Prior to the '72 election the troop totals were reducing. Nixon held monthly press conferences at which the basic message was "another 15 000 fewer American groundtroops in Vietnam this month. . .", or whatever the number was. The policy was called _Vietnamization_ which meant a complete transition to Vietnamese ground forces.

This was equivalent to eventually capitulating to Ho Chi Minh, as everybody understood it. Only Nixon and his lackeys would not come out and say that.

The 1968 Democratic convention was a riot. Not figuratively, literally a riot. The country was coming apart at the seams.

[ Parent ]

Clinton didn't sign the kyoto protocol (4.50 / 2) (#133)
by mveloso on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:50:07 PM EST

Just a fact check there - the US never signed the Kyoto protocol. The US took part in the drafting during the Clinton administration, but the US never signed.

[ Parent ]
Clarification... (none / 0) (#136)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:54:50 PM EST

Clinton signed us up as signatories... (in effect, we pledged to sign, pending our congress' approval, which Bush vowed to veto if congress did.)

[ Parent ]
i think good idea (5.00 / 2) (#145)
by wiremind on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:20:55 PM EST

Protests do have power, don't get me wrong, they raise public awareness to an issue and can get others to join their cause.. but they do NOT affect change.
By the author going to the protest, he&she will meet other like minded people, and, then if he&she did decide to do something more political, they would have a large circle of friends who would support them. and just as imporant, if they meet someone who IS going to be doing something more political , that person knows that they have one more person standing behind them.

I think going to the protest is a very intelligent start.

Kyle

[ Parent ]
Thank you. (5.00 / 2) (#150)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:31:02 PM EST

I think going to the protest is a very intelligent start.
It's kind of you to say so.

I also continue to speak out, write my elected reps, etc. on the issue. I try to stay active in as many ways as possible.

And of course, I don't agree with the posters who claim that going to a protest does nothing. They can be excellent for raising awareness, getting people to ask questions they haven't before, and improving the media profile of under-represented points of view.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

The obvious question (5.00 / 1) (#218)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:23:46 PM EST

The Democrats can easily... EASILY muster the votes and power to shut this whole thing down.

So why the hell haven't they? Where is the loyal opposition in our government today? Where are the elected officials who are willing to stand and be counted as being against this war? There's a few, but it's not even close to enough votes to overcome the others who have chosen to vote with the Republicans. Four of the Democratic contenders for 2004, and probably the most prominent ones, have put themselves on the President's side.

So, who does speak for the anti-war populace? All I can tell you is that I'm sure as hell glad I voted for Nader. The Democrats will never get my vote again until they make up their minds to be a true oppostition party.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Goddamn Democrats (none / 0) (#335)
by fenix down on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:40:13 AM EST

Really though, they might have a winning strategy here.  It's like vampires.  Republicans need to feed on somebody, and without any Democrats to prosecute or question the sexuality of on talk radio, they'll have to start sucking on the Christians, their metaphorical Renfield.  And let's face it, without them, they're just a bunch of pasty white guys who enjoy low-risk investments.  Where is zee passion?  Zee excitemont?  Zee crazy ravings about zee Harry Potter?

In any case, I'm voting Commie until either the Democrats or the Republicans turn liberal.

[ Parent ]

John McCain (none / 0) (#320)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 11:04:40 AM EST

You're right on nearly every point, but I hate to break it to you, John McCain is strongly pro-war.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
Thanks... But (none / 0) (#321)
by Skywise on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 11:26:24 AM EST

You don't think he'd sign on with a moderate Democrat plan that would allow him to tweak Bush?

I know he supports the war, but I got the impression that it was a reluctant sort of thing.

[ Parent ]

20 years ago.... (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by kimpton on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:30:12 AM EST

If human rights were the reason, the time to do something was twenty years ago.

Bit of a non-argument that one. The evidence has clearly been gaining momentum over that time and the political arena has changed. There have been successful interventions in Kosovo and Afghanistan where similar situations have been resolved with some success.

There may well have been some evidence 20 years ago of Saddam's evil doing, but now there is stronger evidence coupled with the confidence that the situation can be resolved successfully.

What? (5.00 / 4) (#89)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:40:36 AM EST

Right. Because the Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo are now asshole buddies, and the rule of law has been established in Afghanistan.

Or not. It is reasonable to say that life has improved in these places, but looking closely, the difference is largely marginal. Tensions are still high and violence still occurs in Kosovo, and much of Afghanistan outside Kabul is still in the same state of warlord-infested near-anarchy it was before the U.S. arrived. Calling these interventions unqualified success stories is simply warped.

The current U.S. government won't improve human rights in Iraq any more than they've restored civil order to Afghanistan. It simply isn't among their priorities.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

To be fair... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:52:32 AM EST

I don't think the US did any sort of "maintenance" action in Kosovo did they?  The US basically was the main force for a NATO action, and then the UN actually was supposed to be doing the maintenance?  (And running the very strange world court action on Milosevic)

[ Parent ]
Please note: (none / 0) (#93)
by kimpton on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:54:35 AM EST

I said 'some success' and 'confidence' not 'unqualified success stories'.



[ Parent ]
LoL (2.50 / 2) (#200)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:20:52 PM EST

That argument's a favorite of mine. We screwed up 20 years ago, therefore it's wrong to try to help now.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
Work on your reading comprehension (5.00 / 2) (#207)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:23:02 PM EST

I never said it was wrong to try to help now. I said that that is clearly not why the U.S. government wants to go in there now, and that I don't believe their action will have a significant positive effect on human rights in Iraq.

If you think this war is somehow a good idea, you have a right to that opinion, but don't deliberately and dishonestly mischaracterize my position.


--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

So your argument is actually (1.00 / 1) (#212)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:44:11 PM EST

that it doesn't matter whether or not a war with Iraq would help the Iraqi people, because that's not the real reason we're going to war?

So, basically, you're devaluing the suffering of those people because you don't like Bush's politics.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
And again... (5.00 / 3) (#213)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:48:57 PM EST

You just can't give up intellectual dishonesty in an argument, can you?

The argument is: The imminent war on Iraq has nothing to do with human rights, and will not improve the situation in Iraq. If it were, I would (conditionally, probably) support it.

As I've said elsewhere, Bush & Co. are likely to do for human rights in Iraq what they did for civil governance in Afghanistan - which is to say little enough to claim to have made a difference, but not enough that the vast majority of people over there will notice.

Have I stated it simply enough for you?


--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

And what, exactly have they failed to do (none / 0) (#265)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 10:32:01 AM EST

in Afghanistan? Should they have set up their own government and enforced US laws?


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
"Intellectual dishonesty" (none / 0) (#267)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 10:37:03 AM EST

And again, you refuse to realize the hypocrisy of your own position, and call me "intellectually dishonest" to avoid looking at your own biases.

Your solution to the world's problems is, apparently, ignore them and hope they go away. Did we contribute to the problems in Iraq today? Almost certainly. That increases our duty to correct the problem, not decreases it.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
And your response is a favorite of mine (5.00 / 1) (#223)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:40:02 PM EST

Suggesting that those who don't support the war believe that we have no right to "clean up our own messes", as you say.

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

Well, isn't that what they are arguing? [nt] (1.00 / 1) (#266)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 10:33:32 AM EST


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
Nope, and I shouldn't have to explain it [nt] (none / 0) (#274)
by broken77 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:17:29 PM EST


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

Maybe if you took that banana out of your ear [nt] (none / 0) (#275)
by broken77 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:18:16 PM EST


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

Inconsistency (2.16 / 6) (#87)
by CymruAmByth on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:38:41 AM EST

The U.S. government has largely succeeded in creating a vague connection in the minds of American citizens between two bad, Arab, Muslim men - Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein

vs
one being a religious zealot whose ultimate goal is worldwide Islamic fundamentalist theocracy, and the other is a secular dictator interested mainly in the maintenance of his own power

How, exactly, can both be Muslim, but one a secular dictator ?

Saddam - Muslim (none / 0) (#95)
by equus707 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:55:23 AM EST

A documentary by the BBC's World Affairs Editor (IIRC), John Simpson was shown on BBC2 last night. He mentions that Saddam fairly recently took a greater interest in matters religious, being seen to go to Mosque, etc.

[ Parent ]
The exact same way... (4.66 / 3) (#96)
by PhillipW on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:55:31 AM EST

...That George W. Bush is a Christian man, but a secular president.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Bush? A secular president? I don't think so... (4.50 / 2) (#144)
by amike on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:20:01 PM EST

Declaration of God in the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't violate rights. As a matter of fact, it's a confirmation of the fact that we received our rights from God, as proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence[...]we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. And those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.

Taken from Bush's comments on the 9th US District Court ruling that "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at Bush's moves on abortion and cloning. He is very much a president who bases his decisions on tough choices on religion.

----------
In a mad world, only the mad are sane. -Akira Kurosawa
[ Parent ]

Okay (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by PhillipW on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:56:28 PM EST

George W. Bush may indeed be a religious person, and base many of his decisions on that, but he wasn't appointed by the Christian Coalition.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
And what else is the republican party? (none / 0) (#206)
by aralin on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:22:08 PM EST

You need to think again. There is 65+ % of christians in the united states and most of them are the core of the republican party. GWB is pretty much a result of that.

[ Parent ]
Another answer. (none / 0) (#234)
by cdyer on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:29:50 PM EST

Then would you accept as an answer, "The exact same way Jimmy Carter was?"

Cheers,
Cliff

[ Parent ]

Well, well... (2.37 / 8) (#88)
by t v on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:39:09 AM EST

If you really think that anti-war protests get things done then maybe you should go be one of those human shielders in Iraq.  I hear Iraq is granting visa's for all that want them for this reason.

Put yourself on the line for real.  You sound bright enough to know that someone holding a sign outside of some federal building is about as useful as sunscreen in the rain.

Vietnam (4.00 / 5) (#120)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:17:01 PM EST

Although it didn't have an immediate effect, public opinion against the war was a major factor in the decision to pull out of Vietnam in 1975. The massive anti-war movement of the late 60s directly influenced public opinion. This saved thousands of lives from a war with no end in sight.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Right... (2.09 / 11) (#147)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:22:42 PM EST

...and it also shit on the graves of the men that fought and died, and it also treated the survivors of that war like criminals, and it also made a lot of upper middle class shitheads into minor megalomaniacal personalities that presently drive SUVs to their kids' soccer games and get in fights with the referees. Fucking nonsense.
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[ Parent ]

Fuck you (4.11 / 9) (#173)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:50:38 PM EST

I'm sorry, I can't be any nicer. My parents protested against that war, and I can tell you they felt no animosity towards the soldiers, many of whom were draftees and had no choice in the matter. You have made a sweeping generalization about who the protesters were and what their intentions were, and you're dead wrong.

Veterans fought and died for the right to free speech. If you are suggesting that exercising that right is hostile to veterans, you need to get the fuck out of this country. You obviously don't agree with its constitution, so why are you still here?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Don't take that tone with me... (1.00 / 5) (#235)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:06:32 PM EST

...all of the things that I mentioned *happened* whether you like it or not. I provide a little counterpoint to the flower-in-gunbarrel fantasy, and you can't handle it.

Where are all the Vietnam protesters today? In half-million dollar houses, sitting on Shabby Chic sofas, drinking expensive wine and shouting at the talking heads on CNN. Fuck you, too.
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[ Parent ]

An accurate portrayal (5.00 / 2) (#238)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:23:06 PM EST

Where are all the Vietnam protesters today? In half-million dollar houses, sitting on Shabby Chic sofas, drinking expensive wine and shouting at the talking heads on CNN.

Right. And all the vets are broke, missing all four limbs, and sleeping in a gutter, all because of peaceful protesters. Let's not make any generalizations here.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Hi... (none / 0) (#272)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 12:50:47 PM EST

...if you can't admit that the so-called 'peace' movement was disrespectful and damaging to returning vets (not all of whom were Born on the Fourth of July, BTW), then you are a fool and an embarassment.
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[ Parent ]

Sigh (5.00 / 1) (#281)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:13:47 PM EST

not all of whom were Born on the Fourth of July, BTW

And not all former protesters are arrogant yuppies, you prick.

It sounds like you have a lot of misplaced anger. Who do you blame more, peaceful protesters or the warmongers who sent 18 year old draftees halfway around the world to drop fire on people, slaughter villages, and get killed in the process? What about My Lai? Have you read Senator Bob Kerrey's description of how his unit executed a village of women, children, and older men? Who the fuck do you think you are to accuse the protesters of disrespecting anyone?

I have absolutely nothing against veterans. I do have something against the war criminals who perpetrated the Vietnam war.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Does my anger at protesters... (none / 0) (#302)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 11:12:56 PM EST

...necessarily imply that I think the war was a just cause?

Get back on point.

I can dislike the methodology and still agree with the principle. As a matter of fact, it is the impotence of anti-war rallies that makes the collateral effects (e.g., the disrespectful treatment of footsoldiers) so much more unseemly and pathetic.
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[ Parent ]

Sometimes I wish I cursed people out (5.00 / 4) (#222)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:37:29 PM EST

But I tend not to (thanks CaptainSuperBoy). Mr. Spy. I assume you have no knowledge that many of the protesters were, in fact, Vietnam vets who had recently been relieved of duty? Thousands of them gathered and threw their medals on the steps of the nation's capital steps in a sign of protest over the war.

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

I respectfully disagree. (4.00 / 9) (#97)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 11:55:54 AM EST

The Iraqi's government's power does not extend very far beyond the borders of the big cities.

The rural areas of Iraq, particularly the Kurdish north is basically an ungoverned "bandit country"  with all sorts of religous extremists, terrorists, and criminals make this area their base.

Al Queda is not an ally of Iraq, in fact Bin Laden's tape of 2/11/03 charactized Saddam as a "socialist infidel" who chooses Socialist/Western ways over Islamic fundamentalism.

The true danger in Iraq is that a government without the power to suppress extremist dissent will become yet another fundamentalist state. Ironically, Iraq is the most westernized of Mideastern states. A disarmed Iraqi government is a government that will collapse into another Iran.

So the US is stuck between a rock and a hard place:

-Allow Saddam to have and use chemical or even nuclear weapons against insurgents and stay in power.

-Disarm Iraq, only to have the government collapse in an Islamic revolution -- and have all the major mideast oil states dominated by fundamentalists.

-Invade and install an acceptable government.

It is not in the world's interest to advance the cause of Islamic fundamentalism. I will not join you in your protest, because a Westernized Iraq is critical to containing the fundamentalists and ultimately keeping the peace.

Well, I'll have to disagree right back... (4.33 / 3) (#142)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:08:03 PM EST

...but I'll also have to thank you for expressing your disagreement respectfully.

If, by calling Iraq's government "westernized", you mean relatively secular and pro-technology, then yes, I suppose it is. If by "westernized", you mean offering the people of that country any kind of political self-determination, I'd have to call you factually wrong.

If I had to pick a "westernized" nation in the region, I'd have to say Turkey. The government is relatively secular and democratic, it's technologically and economically relatively modern, and it's not run by a dictatorial nut bent on expansion of his territorial power.

As for your characterization of the Kurdish-dominated north of Iraq, it's only partially correct. There are pockets of prosperity and civil governance there of the sort that have never been seen under Hussein's rule. Of course, they're in a pretty fragile state, vulnerable to local bandits/warlords, Iraqi aggression, or collapse of Western support.

I do see your argument that the international community is left with a number of distasteful options regarding Iraq. I'm not convinced that bombing the hell out of the place and installing a Washington-backed puppet government is the best of all possible options, though.

OK,
- B
--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

Best option for who? (2.00 / 1) (#165)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:41:48 PM EST

Secular probaly would have been a better word to use than westernized. Turkey is also a secular nation, but Turks are Turks, not Arabs.

While toppling a standing government and installing a new one, puppet or otherwise is a distasteful option, I don't see any clear-cut "right" decisions here.

I think we need to act in our own interest. Regional stability and keeping Islamic Fundamentalists at bay directly affect the well-being of America and her citizens.

I can respect being against war. But pacifism in the face of a threat serves noone well.

[ Parent ]

The problem is that... (4.00 / 1) (#172)
by Skywise on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:50:29 PM EST

Saddam is definitely anti-Muslim.  The US has already determined that democratic elections immediately following a power switch would be "bad". (The muslims will almost assuredly vote in a theocracy)  That means the US is going to have to install a "provisional" government with dictatorship-esque styling.  The currently displaced Iraqi leaders who would then want to return to re-form the government as a Democracy are worried, because the only contenders in that scenario are people under Saddam who, while not loyal to Saddam, are in some cases more violent than him.  (From yesterdays newspaper)

In this case, the "right" thing to do might be to do nothing, rather than create the power vacuum and randomness that would entail.

[ Parent ]

Not so sure... (none / 0) (#225)
by duffbeer703 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:47:50 PM EST

I thought that between Sunnis, Shites, and Kurds Iraq was split enough religously that a compromise candidate could be elected.

But I fear that you are correct and postwar Iraq will be a US puppet dictatorship like South Korea in the 60's.

[ Parent ]

Who's best interests? (4.00 / 1) (#230)
by Innocent Bystander on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 09:10:05 PM EST

"I think we need to act in our own interest. Regional stability and keeping Islamic Fundamentalists at bay directly affect the well-being of America and her citizens."

This is why the US is losing support for its actions. Who the FUCK are you to KILL innocent civilians for YOUR best interests?

What if invading europe becomes necessary for your best interests?

What if conquering the world becomes necessary for your best interests?

How is the US any better than Iraq? Where's your moral high-ground?


[ Parent ]

US interests are Western Interests... (none / 0) (#259)
by duffbeer703 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:17:04 AM EST

Who am I? I'm a free citizen of a civilized society. Keeping a pack of savages who cloak their sadism is the robes of religion out of positions of power is our responsibility as members of that society.

Pan-European nationalists think that 2003 Europe is as important as 1903 Europe. The positions of Belgium, France and Germany have nothing to do with pacifism and everything to do with removing US influence in European politics (ie NATO).

War is between nations, not people. Western societies in Middle Eastern nations are one of the few hopes that Arabs in general can throw off the hoods of religous fundamentalism and join the rest of the planet.

[ Parent ]

The U.S. is not a "Western" nation. (none / 0) (#261)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:32:25 AM EST

The U.S. is in no way a "Western" nation.

Culturally, historically and economically, you are a part of East Asia, for all intents and purposes.

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

Funny, but... (none / 0) (#282)
by rodgerd on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:18:53 PM EST

"Keeping a pack of savages who cloak their sadism is the robes of religion out of positions of power is our responsibility"

Kindly start at home then. The most powerful fundamentalist regime in the world is the United States, whose position in international affairs has been somewhere to the "fairies in the garden" end of the spectrum even further than Iran when it comes to reproductive issues.

And what people do in their own countries is none of America's fucking business.



[ Parent ]
Good point. (5.00 / 1) (#260)
by tkatchev on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:31:00 AM EST

Actually, I am 96% sure that what the real reason the U.S. wants to invade Iraq is to install a fundamentalist Muslim government.

For some reason, the U.S. dislikes secular MidEastern governments.

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

Of course, (none / 0) (#315)
by Viliam Bur on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:13:17 AM EST

there must be someone to fight in the next decade, too.

It's a neverending war, similar to '1984'.

[ Parent ]

Intelligence Info (4.50 / 4) (#98)
by spells on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:03:25 PM EST

The reason I believe the government is not releasing their intelligence is not because of what it will reveal about Iraq, which should not be a concern if you are about to destroy the current regime, but what it may reveal about its intelligence gathering in other parts of the world, including its allies.

I'll be at the London one (4.55 / 9) (#108)
by danmermel on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:46:09 PM EST

I feel exactly the same as you. I did not protest against the Gulf War, or the bombing of Kosovo. But this one really stinks even though I can't quite put my finger on why it stinks so much. In Spanish I would say I feel "manoseado"... which is like being sullied by the shameless propaganda that is being cobbled together to support this war. Perhaps the most shameless part of it is how they're trying to make a link between Sadam (far away, remote threat) and international terrorism (close to home, we are scared) to get us to feel this as personal, which is the only way in which you can mobilise a nation for war. Whatever.... I will be there on Saturday in London. I'll be the one with 3-year old and a 6-month old daughters (that's how strongly I feel about this).

NK vs. Iraq (2.20 / 5) (#110)
by karb on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 12:52:06 PM EST

First off, NK is a little easier to deal with than Saddam. Saddam is crazy. I don't think NK is great, but not quite too crazy.

Secondly, even if NK was crazier, we would still deal with them. There's little evidence of massive anti-government feelings within the country. They have a massive (2 million strong) army, a few nukes (we think), and artillery pieces that can hit Seoul. Plus we don't know what China would do if we attacked south korea.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

what what what? (4.50 / 2) (#168)
by derek3000 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:45:13 PM EST

First off, NK is a little easier to deal with than Saddam. Saddam is crazy. I don't think NK is great, but not quite too crazy.

Um, do you understand that their elected leader has been dead for about 8 years or so? They elected him a couple of years after his death.

Secondly, even if NK was crazier, we would still deal with them. There's little evidence of massive anti-government feelings within the country. They have a massive (2 million strong) army, a few nukes (we think), and artillery pieces that can hit Seoul. Plus we don't know what China would do if we attacked south korea.

These are all excellent reasons to believe we'll get our asses kicked (relatively). Also, they have nukes that, while not flight-tested, have the possibility of reaching at least Alaska or Hawaii and maybe most parts of N. America.

-----------
Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
[ Parent ]

north korea is worse (none / 0) (#169)
by bolthole on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:45:36 PM EST

North Korea is more dangerous to deal with in at least one sense: They have long-range nuclear missiles capable of nuking the west coast.

[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#183)
by karb on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:24:35 PM EST

Since that tidbit just came out today, possibly after I wrote the comment, I think I should get the benefit of the doubt :)

Also, there is some fear of retribution with north korea ... they don't want their country dismantled, which is what we would do if they attacked us.

Saddam Hussein does not seem to have a healthy fear of retaliation, which is why he is so dangerous.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

NK can fight back (4.40 / 5) (#193)
by baron samedi on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:03:24 PM EST

Iraq can't really fight back. NK could give the U.S. a bloody nose (and possibly more). Iraq is basically defenseless. The have no air force, and their army may put up a fight, but their equipment is not in good repair. The U.S. likes easy marks like Afghanistan and Iraq for it's military exploits. When things get heavy (Somalia), we bail. We just don't have the stomach for actual war.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Situation was far different in Somalia (3.00 / 1) (#204)
by karb on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 06:43:15 PM EST

We were there on a humanitarian mission ... when we suffer our worse military loss in 30 years trying to keep people from starving, it's pretty demoralizing. If we were actually out to 'invade' somalia, things would have been much different. I don't think the US will try to get in a situation like that again unless it has a mandate to also install a new government.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
But that's what they want to do.. (none / 0) (#292)
by baron samedi on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:49:02 PM EST

But one of their express reasons for wanting to escalate the Iraq situation is 'regime change'. It really depends on how the Iraqi civilians regard the U.S. occupation. If they regard us as liberators, it may not be like Somalia. If they view us as invaders, we could have a Somalia-like situation. The Somalis were tremendously resentful of the U.N. presence there, and the Iraqis might as well. It's tough to be able to predict how they will view foreign troops policing their country.
I'm often reminded of what happened in Northern Ireland when the British finally put troops in after the civil rights movement there turned violent. At first, the Catholics regarded the British army as liberators, and offered them tea and sandwiches. After it became clear that the soldiers were there to bolster the loyalist government, they served them tea and sandwiches again, except the sandwiches were loaded with broken glass.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Curel maybe, but no crazy (5.00 / 1) (#254)
by Betcour on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 06:23:22 AM EST

Quite the opposite - I think he is a rather sane dictator (at least compared to Hitler, Stalin, Pol-pot, and yes, Kim Jong "I'm a God" Il). Everything he does seems strictly calculated and follows some logic. He can certainly be considered cruel, insensitive, evil etc. but crazy ? I don't think so.

[ Parent ]
Kim Jong Il is dangerous (none / 0) (#318)
by Highlandr on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:53:48 AM EST

NK has a Dangerous Demented Leader.

He has nothing to lose. And Everything to gain.

[ Parent ]

Yes and no (3.27 / 11) (#122)
by bsdbigot on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:24:44 PM EST

I respect your right to protest the war, and as a Gulf War veteran, that's a difficult thing for me to say. I do believe that you are either misguided or misinformed in several of your points - but you do not appear to be on the fence, and I will not even try to convince you otherwise. This post is not for you, it's for others that may be on the fence. I'll proceed on a point-by-point basis.
Human Rights - well, I can't really argue too much with you here. All I can say to the contrary is do you really think that this man has changed? If he was so bad to his people before, what makes you think he doesn't act the same way now? Personally I'm not of a mind that HR issues are reason for war - I had a difficult time serving under Clinton, indeed why I did not reenlist was because I refused to continue to serve under him. Everything he did appeared to be about protecting some poor oppressed people from their dictatorial regime. I did not sign up to be a global policeman handling domestic disturbances. One other thing I take minor issue with: you say that in a war with Iraq "thousands of civilians will die..." I argue that this is true of any war, regardless of who is right or wrong. I also feel a strange need to point out this act of aggression, which leads right into the next section.
Terror Links - sure, there are no open, public, proven ties between Saddam Hussein and (O|U)sama b(i|e)n Lad(i|e)n (well, maybe one or two). bin Laden himself says thinks that there is a strong ideological rift between his cause and that of Saddam. Note that in the same breath he is calling for Iraq and others to take up arms against us. This is very telling in two ways. First is the enemy of my enemy argument, which should be self-evident. Second is that bin Laden appears to believe that the supporters of militant Islam and the supporters of Saddam Hussein are the same people. Troubling. Especially when you consider that Iran, Iraq, and North Korea appear to be loose allies against us (funny, life imitating art if you read those sequentially). I wish I could find the story - I remember reading something that said that the North Korean SCUDs that we detained then released were later found in Iraq. Not surprising, given DPRK's history of proliferation.
WMD - Need I say anything on this point? Yes, I think so. The main difference, IMHO, between DPRK and Iraq is their apparent goals. I don't believe at this point Kim Jong-Il is trying to conquer the world. I believe, rather, that he's trying to be a big player. Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, has expressed intent both in taking over the world and in using his weapons to do so. Ask yourself this: how can a man claim to not have the weapons and threaten to use them? Seems a little fishy, to me. And yes, Saddam already believes he is the king.
Why - A lot is at stake here. With North Korea, Iran, and other places heating up, Iraq is a mere fly on the wall. Yes, but a famous and troublesome fly, too. We have to send a clear message to others (sovereign or not) that would try to attack us that we will not stand for it, that we are not afraid to use force. So, we will use force in Iraq. As for your power grab, well, the American way of government still works. Rather than go to the war protest, why not go to a civil rights protest in D.C. Organize one if there isn't one already. I know of a couple of organizations that may be able to help in this manner. If you're thinking that protesting the war is going to stop Big Brother from messing with you, you're dead wrong.
<:) L
Pahh (4.00 / 1) (#154)
by tonyenkiducx on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:01:50 PM EST

I will not argue with you as you obviously have strong opinions, but I'll give you this brilliant bit of info from your own source.

9:37 a.m., February 12, 2003

"U.S. planes attacked a ballistic missile system in southern Iraq, the Pentagon said. It was the first operation against Iraqi weapons that are meant to hit ground targets instead of aircraft or ships."

Correct me if Im wrong, but I thought you werent suppose to just attack other countries for absolutely no reason? Or are defense weapons now also classed as WMD's?

Tony.
I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
[ Parent ]
Some points. (5.00 / 7) (#171)
by Znork on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:49:09 PM EST

"First is the enemy of my enemy argument, which should be self-evident."

And by that logic Osama bin Laden would be a friend of the US. You do know that bin Laden offered to kick Saddam out of Kuwait back before the US got involved in the Gulf War?

bin Laden is opposed to the US in general and opposed to the bombing of Muslims in particular. He's also opposed to Saddam, and would like nothing better than a fanatic religious dictatorship to take over from Saddam. Considering that in my opinion that's quite likely what will eventually ensue (as it is, besides military/'royal' dicatorships the popular form of government in the area) if Saddam is thrown out I guess your argument may be right in a way. Osama would probably regard it as a friendly act if the US kicks Saddam out and Iraq eventually gets a Taliban class religious regime.

"Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, has expressed intent both in taking over the world and in using his weapons to do so."

I used to believe that. Then I discovered he hasnt been doing any taking over or invading without the express permission of the President of the United States. With that in mind, Saddam seems much less likely to engage in any invasions of the surrounding area.

[ Parent ]

Yes, EXACTLY! (4.50 / 2) (#221)
by broken77 on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 08:33:04 PM EST

I used to believe that. Then I discovered he hasnt been doing any taking over or invading without the express permission of the President of the United States. With that in mind, Saddam seems much less likely to engage in any invasions of the surrounding area.
This is a point that is all too often overlooked. People make the claim that he's hell-bent on taking over everyone. But we don't know what he would do without our known support. The opportunity has never been there. Hell, even the Kuwait thing was a trap. We made it seem like we had no intention at all in intervening in that conflict.

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

bin Laden wants the US to attack Iraq (4.33 / 3) (#190)
by jbuck on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 04:55:00 PM EST

bin Laden wants the US to attack Iraq, knock off Saddam (who bin Laden has called a socialist infidel), and then get pinned down in a low-intensity guerilla war, with large parts of Iraqi territory under the effective control of al Qaeda and allies.

He's a smart man. Why would he issue a statement that Colin Powell could instantly use? Because his whole fantasy is to launch a massive war that pits a billion Muslims against the west, which he imagines can lead to a new Islamic golden age with bin Laden as caliph.



[ Parent ]

Bush wants the US to attack Iraq (5.00 / 1) (#208)
by Verteiron on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 07:28:16 PM EST

Powell had the transcript before al Jazeera(sp.) broadcast the tape. In fact, when he first began to wave it around as "proof" of Iraq/al Quaeda ties, al Jazeera's first reaction was that the tape broadcast was merely a "persistent rumor". Mostly likely the tape has been faked in order to provide evidence of Iraq/al Quaeda ties that don't actually exist.
--
Prisoners! Seize each other!
[ Parent ]
Therefore, Bush is bin Laden -nt (5.00 / 1) (#243)
by KnightStalker on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:15:00 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Great Article, Great Comment (none / 0) (#280)
by nklatt on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 02:08:55 PM EST

This is what I love about this place!

I don't fully agree with either of you, but the post and the comment are both high quality.

[ Parent ]

North Korean SCUDs (none / 0) (#290)
by Amesha Spentas on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 04:22:48 PM EST

"I wish I could find the story - I remember reading something that said that the North Korean SCUDs that we detained then released were later found in Iraq. Not surprising, given DPRK's history of proliferation"

On this and several other points you are mistaken. The arms from North Korean SCUDs that were seized were for Americas ally Yemen.

Second is that bin Laden appears to believe that the supporters of militant Islam and the supporters of Saddam Hussein are the same people

Actually (O|U)sama b(i|e)n Lad(i|e)n is hoping that he can recruit the Islamic people of Iraq by saying effectively "Look I don't support Iraq's government but I support it's people who should support me because I oppose the people who are making your lives hell." He is telling the people of the Middle East that America is the cause of all of their problems and that he is the only one who is fighting Americans.
If America attacks it will be followed by a wave of recruits to Bin Ladins cause.

Registered to die for the government at 18, and had to pay postage on the registration form - AnalogBoy
[ Parent ]

hate to spoil your plans but... (3.00 / 4) (#134)
by zzzeek on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:50:30 PM EST

the new york city protest was shut down by the NYPD this week

hate to expose your ignorance, but... (5.00 / 3) (#137)
by RareHeintz on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:55:56 PM EST

The protest is going on. There's a rally at 49th and 1st. The permit was denied for a march past the UN, but one was issued for the rally.

Funny thing is, that specific fact was mentioned in the article you linked to. I can only assume that either you didn't read carefully, or you're deliberately trying to muddle the facts.


--
http://www.bradheintz.com/ - updated kind of daily
[ Parent ]

but nobody is showing (none / 0) (#141)
by zzzeek on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:06:54 PM EST

the word on the street is that it was cancelled.   I wish you luck that you arent just standing in a little crowd of 100 people (and I hope I am wrong).

[ Parent ]
NY protest (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by Beltza on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 01:58:31 PM EST

As far as I understand they are only not allowed to come near the UN.

Be alert!!!
The world needs more lerts...


[ Parent ]
Dumbass, it is still going on--a rally, no march. (1.00 / 2) (#158)
by amarodeeps on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:15:12 PM EST

*sigh*

So many reactionary numbskulls, so little time.



[ Parent ]
anti-war letter (2.20 / 5) (#146)
by svSHiFT on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 02:20:57 PM EST

dear kuro-citizens. As probably some of you noticed, that there is an anti-war letter is circulating in the net, that asks you to sign it, and then forward it to your friends, and direct it to usa@un.int after 500 signatures are collected. i have already recieved several copies from it from different people. Can i ask you to send me each of its copy that you might recieve to shift@newmail.ru, it will be usefull to analize the forwarding-chains, thus, evaluating relationships of the internet society. Since it contains only names, cities and countries, and no E-mails, i promise, i wont use in any commecial way, and promise to publish results here. thank you in advance.

A Request (3.00 / 1) (#160)
by medham on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:17:39 PM EST

At the next anti-war rally, start up a chorus of Boz Scagg's "Lido Shuffle", and replace "Lido" with "NATO."

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Useless. (1.00 / 3) (#162)
by Imperfect on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 03:32:28 PM EST

See, it's this kind of 'witty irony' that's making this conversation completely useless, and it is this kind of comment that I rail against. No-one learns anything from this. No discussion is generated You do not prove how smart you are; you are merely regurgitating everything everyone else has said.

Come up with a better idea, instead of lampooning mine with sarcasm and ideas I've already shot down.

Not perfect, not quite.
who are you talking to? [nt] (none / 0) (#194)
by waxmop on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 05:05:27 PM EST


--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar
[ Parent ]
I hope it's about oil (2.50 / 2) (#236)
by opendna on Wed Feb 12, 2003 at 10:08:17 PM EST

Because at least then I can believe the invasion will stave off the collapse of western civilization until we can get the hydrogen economy rolling.

Any other reason, imho, is less than credible (or worse, abominable).

Oh yeah: My sources say "5 more days".



roflmao (3.66 / 3) (#241)
by bjlhct on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 12:08:16 AM EST

the hydrogen economy will......<gasp>....save us......pfffbttttt....

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
If you knew... (none / 0) (#288)
by opendna on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 03:34:24 PM EST

...your history you wouldn't have to ask who the hell do I think I am.

I suppose you think oil grows on trees?



[ Parent ]

I suppose you think (none / 0) (#300)
by bjlhct on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:22:39 PM EST

hydrogen grows on trees?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Making Hydrogen (none / 0) (#308)
by opendna on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 04:35:44 AM EST

Hydrogen is made by electrolysis of water - a terribly complicated process that can be demonstrated with a glass of water, two pencils, two test tubes, a couple of wires and a battery.

Go down the list of National Hydrogen Association members and you just might find them to be... respectable.



[ Parent ]

Electricity grow on trees then (none / 0) (#309)
by nusuth on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 07:47:23 AM EST

How are you supposed to produce the electricity required for the simple electrolysis process?

Hydrogen can only transfer energy from place A to place B and it is not terribly efficient at that either. Much less efficient than traditional batteries in terms of {energy spent at A} per {energy consumable at B} if hydrogen is produced by electrolysis at A and converted using fuel cells to electricity at B, infact (if you burn it instead of using fuel cells, it is even worse.) It beats traditional batteries for ease of transport, while batteries beat hydrogen on ease of storage. Batteries are less complicated, but hydrogen+fuel cells can carry more energy per mass. You can compare hydrogen+fuel cells to battery technologies and the comparison is always valid. So one can as well talk about battery economy instead of hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen can reduce urban pollution at the cost of increasing pollution elsewhere. That is all hydrogen (and batteries) can do.

[ Parent ]

what else (none / 0) (#249)
by tsk1979 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 03:18:19 AM EST

Of course its about iol. Right now west dosent want oil to be others hands only. How does it matter that thousands of children will die in such a war as long as americans can get enough cheap fuel for their hot-rods.

[ Parent ]
Shameless control of the oil companies (5.00 / 1) (#297)
by mmuskratt on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 07:32:36 PM EST

If we control the oil fields (presuming scorched earth doesn't happen), it will benefit the oil companies. If the oil companies get the contracts to build hydrogen fuel cells, they can rely on the profits from both new and old fuel means. Controlling the flow of oil from and through Iraq enables an oil monopoly, and a smoother transition into dominance of both new forms of fuel and the old. Even if the oil companies do not get the contracts to build the hydrogen fuel cells, they control the distribution of fuel, and subsequently will control the distribution of the new fuel cells. This war concerns nothing else. The Russian General that stated that the US planned to attack in mid-February anyway, and that the goal was to control the oil supply was probably speaking truth. Bush won the presidency illegally, he has taken shameless measures to weaken the constitution, his administration has blatantly pursued actions that are in direct conflict with patriotism, and the country has sat on its hands either in blind faith or utter disbelief of his current methods.

[ Parent ]
The rally in NY is still definitely on (4.00 / 2) (#242)
by redcountess on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 12:16:12 AM EST

http://unitedforpeace.org/article.php?list=sub&sub=30 Dis-information is rife. The powers that be would not love anything more than people not showing up. Wormtongue lives!

The corporate media (none / 0) (#257)
by Puzzle on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 07:37:57 AM EST

I think it's stupid that almost all news-sources in the USA are controlled by the corporate media, and that they can tell people whatever they want them to believe.

In Norway (which is where I live), most of the media is also controlled by corporations (albeit they are not as large as the media-companies in USA). However, they have written about the upcoming anti-war rally, and they are not saying "it's not happening".

It will be interesting to see what the media will write after the event, both in Norway and elsewhere.



[ Parent ]
Center for Cooperative Research (4.65 / 20) (#248)
by shinshin on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 01:51:49 AM EST

No discussion of the current deluge of pro-war propaganda would be complete without at least mentioning the excellent research that has been done by the Center for Cooperative Research. Check it out for a plethora of credible links and references to the myriad inconsistencies, deceptions, and outright lies that have been put forth by the Bush administration in their rush to war.

Shamelessly ripped from their FAQ:

It is not in America's interest to invade Iraq.

  •       An unprovoked invasion of Iraq and the removal of its leader by force would only sow more seeds of anti-American sentiment among the populations of the Middle East and inspire more acts of terrorism against innocent Americans.  This view was most recently voiced by experts who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late July and early August.

  •       The American economy is steadily deteriorating:  The trade deficit and the budget deficit are both increasing, the tax base is declining, personal and corporate bankruptcies are on the rise at a staggering rate, consumer confidence is plummeting, investor confidence has all but disappeared, the stock market just recently hit new lows not seen since 1998, millions of Americans are without health insurance, unemployment is rising, affordable housing is almost nonexistent, the U.S. dollar is losing value (which could eventually result in inflation and rising interest rates), state governments - with California in the lead - are under severe financial duress, and the very existence of Social Security and Medicare is at peril.  An expensive war will only exacerbate these problems.  Is this the time to spend billions of dollars to invade a third world country clear across the globe?

  •       The proposed war against Iraq has nothing to do with the government's purported objective of ridding the world of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.  Rather the real motive behind removing Saddam Hussein from power and imposing a U.S.-friendly government is, as Henry Kissinger admitted in an op-ed piece published by The Washington Post, `essentially geopolitical.'  By this he meant that Saddam Hussein is not a threat to American citizens, but rather a threat to the profits of American oil corporations who are covetous of the huge amounts of oil that are inconveniently located in a country ruled by a leader who is not pro-American.   It also means that establishing American hegemony in that oil-rich country is fundamental to the long term strategic -interests of multinational corporations (you know, the ones that have cheated investors out of billions of dollars) who want to increase their influence elsewhere in the world in order to hedge against the possibility of a total economic collapse in the U.S.

    The U.S. currently has no credible evidence to substantiate its claims that Iraq is a threat to America.

  •      Outgoing Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, informed incoming President George Bush in January of 2000: "Iraq no longer poses a military threat to its neighbors."

  •      The administration has admitted that it has no evidence.  Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Atherton, recently told reporters that in closed sessions in Sept. 2002, administration officials had been asked several times whether they had evidence of an imminent threat from Hussein against U.S. citizens.  "They said `no,' " she said, "Not `no, but' or `maybe,' but `no.' I was stunned. Not shocked. Not surprised. Stunned."

    There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein supports militant Islamist groups.

  •       The February 6 edition of the New York Times stated, "The Central Intelligence Agency has no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the agency is convinced that Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaeda or related terrorist groups."  The NYT reiterated this view in a recent editorial that was published on August 3 2002.

  •       The 2002 annual state department report on state-sponsored terrorism admitted that Saddam Hussein's regime has few links with Islamic fundamentalists.

  •      On August 15 2002, Brent Scowcroft, one of the Republican Party's most respected foreign policy `experts' wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he stated, "[T]here is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks. Indeed Saddam's goals have little in common with the terrorists who threaten us, and there is little incentive for him to make common cause with them.  He is unlikely to risk his investment in weapons of mass destruction, much less his country, by handing such weapons to terrorists who would use them for their own purposes and leave Baghdad as the return address."

    There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein represents a nuclear threat.

  •       In January of 2002, the International Atomic Energy agency sent inspectors into Iraq and found no evidence of nuclear weapons.

  •       In 1999, a committee under the UN Security Council concluded that Iraq's primary biological weapons facility "had been destroyed and rendered harmless."

  •       Hans von Sponneck, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq from 1998-2000, wrote in 2001, "Iraq today is no longer a military threat to anyone. Intelligence agencies know this. All the conjectures about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq lack evidence."

  •       In late Aug. 2002, MSNBC reported, "Military officials have told NBC News that there is no evidence that Iraq has produced or obtained any nuclear fuel, clashing with the Bush administration's official statements that Saddam Hussein is close to developing a nuclear weapon."  Numerous other U.S. military, intelligence and administration officials have made similar statements to CNN, Knight Ridder, and the Washington Post.

  •       David Albright, a physicist who investigated Iraq's nuclear weapons program following the 1991 Persian Gulf War as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency's inspection team told The Washington Post that "government experts on nuclear technology who dissented from the Bush administration's view told him they were expected to remain silent. Several Energy Department officials familiar with the aluminum shipments declined to comment."  This strongly suggests the Bush administration is lying to the American people.

  •       A report published by The Institute for Science and International Security in September 2002, challenged the Bush administration's recent assertion that Iraq's alleged importing of aluminum tubes was proof that Iraq is an imminent `nuclear threat.' The Washington Post, summarizing the document, reported that the administration did not "provide evidence that Iraq has an operating centrifuge plant or when such a plant could be operational" The report further noted, according to the WP, that "the seized tubes were made of a kind of aluminum that is ill-suited for welding. Other specifications of the imported metal are at odds with what is known about Iraq's previous attempts to build centrifuges. In fact, the report said, Iraq had largely abandoned aluminum for other materials, such as specialized steel and carbon fiber, in its centrifuges at the time its nuclear program was destroyed by allied bombers in the Gulf War."

  •       Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector who describes himself as a staunch Republican recently stated, "The manufacture of nuclear weapons emits gamma rays that would have been detected by now if they existed. We have been watching, via satellite and other means, and we have seen none of this."

    There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein is developing and planning to use biological and chemical weapons.

  •       Numerous experts have challenged the so-called `evidence' that has recently been released by the Bush administration asserting that Iraq is developing biological and chemical weapons.  Experts who have spoken out include: Scott Ritter, a former UNCOM chief weapons inspector; Hans Blix, current UNMOVIC chief weapons inspector; Count Hans von Sponeck, former UN under-secretary general; Meir Stieglitz, an Israeli military analyst, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and numerous other experts quoted by reputable mainstream presses, including the conservative Washington Times.

  •       Western journalists have made recent visits to several of the purported weapons facilities and have found no evidence suggesting that they are being used to produce chemical or biological weapons.

    War in Iraq would be disastrous.

  •       An attack on Iraq could provoke Saddam Hussein into invading Israel thus drawing the region's most resented state into the conflict.  A joint U.S./Israeli war against Muslim Iraq would likely inspire uncontrollable popular uprisings in neighboring Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.

  •       A U.S. attack on Iraq would be viewed upon by many in the Arab world as an unprovoked act by Western imperialists.  Many fear that the pro-Western governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordon, which are already breaking at the seams, would experience massive social unrest as a result of a U.S. invasion of Iraq.

  •       Saddam Hussein's military is much stronger and loyal than the former Taliban's rag tag army of hungry conscripts.  The Iraqi dictator commands an army consisting of 350,000 men, 2,700 tanks, 90 jets, 100 helicopters, and 300 mobile anti-aircraft missile launchers.  Experts agree that his extremely loyal and well-trained elite republican guard would present a considerable challenge to American troops fighting on the ground. Even Colin Powell admitted, "The Taliban neither consolidated its hold nor built regular armed forces. Iraq, on the other hand, has a strong state apparatus and a sizeable professional military."

  •       A U.S. ground invasion of Iraq would require a large commitment of American soldiers because unlike in Afghanistan, where the U.S. relied heavily on the Northern Alliance as a proxy army, there are no Iraqi opposition groups powerful enough to confront Saddam's military forces.  U.S. military strategists believe a ground force of up to 250,000 American soldiers would be necessary to defeat Saddam Hussein's army.  They concede that a large number American casualties would be inevitable.

  •       Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, is densely populated.  Civilian casualties would consequently be much worse

  •       An attack on Iraq would likely provoke Saddam Hussein into using whatever destructive weapons he actually has.  The Observer (London) reported, "The planners [in the Pentagon] have decided they will have 48 hours to find and kill or capture Saddam before he tries to deploy any nuclear, biological or major conventional weapons he may have."  And former Iraqi intelligence officer Wafiq al-Samarrai similarly stated: "The US should know that Saddam will not hesitate to use weapons of mass destruction on American military groupings. Diplomacy is the only choice for the United States."

  •       Even if the proposed military operation were to succeed in ousting Saddam Hussein from power, who would replace him?   The U.S. currently has no clear plan for a post-Saddam government.  The various departments within the U.S. government are at odds with one another over who would be a suitable leader. And even if the U.S. could decide on a successor to Saddam Hussein, it's certain that the Iraqis themselves, representing several different ethnic groups, would not readily accept a leader imposed upon them by a foreign power.  Experts almost unanimously agree that U.S. plans to invade Iraq lack considerable foresight and hold the potential to make an already bad situation in the Middle East even worse.  As Philip Gordon of the Brookings Institution said, "Removing Saddam will be opening a Pandora's box, and there might not be any easy way to close it back up."

    Almost no one supports the United States' plan to invade Iraq.

  •       The Joint Chiefs of Staff (comprised of high ranking military officers) have stated their opposition to invading Iraq.  On July 22, Electronic Intelligence Weekly reported that according to a "senior retired U.S. military official" whom the intelligence newsletter interviewed on July 15, "there is total unity among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the regional Commanders-in-Chief, in opposition to an Iraq invasion."  The source named the new Commander of the Pacific Command as one of the more vocal critics of Washington's war plans, "noting that the Pacific Command is the key support for all U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Persian Gulf."  On July 29 The Washington Post published a similar article in which it was reported: "Despite President Bush's repeated bellicose statements about Iraq, many senior U.S. military officers contend that President Saddam Hussein poses no immediate threat."  The Post quoted one officer who actually questioned the president's motives, saying, "I'm not aware of any linkage to al Qaeda or terrorism, so I have to wonder if this has something to do with his father being targeted by Saddam."

  •       Most of the international community opposes the U.S. plan to illegally invade Iraq and forcefully dispose of Saddam Hussein.  Countries that have expressed serious concerns over the Bush administration's ambitions include: Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

  •       Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, told David Corn (11-30-2002), Washington editor for The Nation, "They [the hawks] have no reasonable plan, no magic button to push. They want to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but the only way to do that is put U.S. ground forces in Iraq. That would be a bloody mess and we would have no support whatsoever from other countries."

  •       Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponneck, former UN humanitarian coordinators for Iraq, have authored numerous op-ed pieces in major newspapers denouncing U.S. plans for war against Iraq. The two men had resigned from their positions in the U.N. in protest of the U.N. sanctions on Iraq which they argue are genocidal because of the more than one million innocent people that have died as a direct result of the policy.

  •       Several former government officials have spoken against the Bush administration's current war plans, including Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state; Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor; James Baker, former secretary of state; Jack Kemp; Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former secretary of state; Jack Binns, former ambassador to Honduras; Madeline Albright, former secretary of State; former President Jimmy Carter; and James Webb, former assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the Navy.

  •       Even the Iraqi "opposition" groups are against U.S. plans to forcibly remove Saddam Hussein.  Ayatollah Mohammad Bakr al-Hakkim of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq told one reporter, "There is no need to send troops from outside to Iraq.  It could be seen as an invasion and could create new problems.   . . . . The best thing the US can do is force the regime not to use its heavy weapons against the people, like they did in Kosovo. Then the Iraqi people can bring change--it must be done by the Iraqis themselves."  Massoud Barzani of the Kurdish Democratic Party stated back in February, "We will not be ordered by America or any others. We will not be a bargaining chip or tool of pressure to be used against Iraq." And Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan declared on August 7, "We are not for blindly participating in any attack or in any plan.  . . .  We are not in favor of having a new dictatorship replacing the old one."

    ____
    We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
  • ooh, selective facts (2.00 / 3) (#310)
    by ceejayoz on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 09:09:21 AM EST

    The site you've quoted does a good job of selecting a few facts for each category... but for those of us not already 100% convinced of their point, it's easy to see counterpoints.

    I don't really like the idea of going to war - I think there are better ways of doing it - but quoting biased or wrong facts is hardly the way to change things.

    The American economy is steadily deteriorating

    Actually, that's a reason to go to war - war always helps the economy. Why's this listed in reasons not to go to war?

    administration officials had been asked several times whether they had evidence of an imminent threat from Hussein against U.S. citizens. "They said `no,'

    I'd imagine they would have said the same thing on Sept 10, 2001 about Bin Laden. The US Government is hardly all-knowing...

    There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein is developing and planning to use biological and chemical weapons.

    Just like there's no evidence that a convicted child rapist is going to reoffend.

    An attack on Iraq could provoke Saddam Hussein into invading Israel

    What, through Syria or Jordan? Neither country likes Hussein all that much, they're not going to let him roll his tanks through their lands.

    Experts agree that his extremely loyal and well-trained elite republican guard would present a considerable challenge to American troops fighting on the ground.

    Like they did in the First Gulf War? Come on - they're using outdated equipment, and most of their good outdated equipment was destroyed the first time! The Allies lost more troops to friendly fire than to enemy fire, and Saddam was better equipped back then.

    They concede that a large number American casualties would be inevitable.

    I'd love to see where they got that particular quote. Hussein's military is in a worse-off state than it was in 1991 - why would US military strategists suddenly think he's more dangerous?

    There is no evidence that Saddam Hussein supports militant Islamist groups.

    You mean other than the fact that he provides generous financial compensation to suicide bombers in Israel?

    [ Parent ]
    Not a reason to go to war (5.00 / 1) (#314)
    by twickham on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:11:31 AM EST

    Actually, that's a reason to go to war - war always helps the economy. Why's this listed in reasons not to go to war?

    Thats a vey naive point of view. War helps the economy of a country only in the short term. Witness Pre WWII Germany as a classic example. Basically war will decrease inflaction, decrease unemployment in the short term. War is like a Kenysian capital injection but without the constructive benifits of something like the FDR New Deal programs of the post depression era.

    [ Parent ]
    Republican guard (4.00 / 1) (#316)
    by Beltza on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:38:57 AM EST

    Hussein's military is in a worse-off state than it was in 1991 - why would US military strategists suddenly think he's more dangerous?

    This time the US is not going to fight the republican guard in Kuwait or the plains of Iraq. A lot of Sadams troups are preparing themselves in the cities. The US will have to fight them house by house, street by street, block by block. And unless you decide to blow away half of the population of Iraq, this will cause severe losses on both sides.

    So don't make the mistake that things will be easier than the first time. They have learned from their losses, are trained only for this war and fanatically loyal to their country.

    Be alert!!!
    The world needs more lerts...


    [ Parent ]
    Ummm... Why would we expect the guard (4.00 / 1) (#319)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:53:59 AM EST

    to fight to the death, when last time they were spraining their ankles in their rush to surrender?


    --
    I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


    [ Parent ]
    According to who? (4.00 / 2) (#322)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 03:29:42 PM EST

    According to a senior U.S. millitary advisor to Kuwait who was with USLOK and actualy in Kuwait City when the Iraqi's invaded during the Gulf War
    in his estimation the Republican Guard was  4th rate and  " reflected the characteristics of a motley force without orders and a total lack of basic tactical tenants and discipline".

    I think I'll take his evaluation on this over whereever you got your spin.

    Urban warfare is very ugly, but the Iraqi forces are of pathetic quality.

    By the way, the advisors story is very illuminating if you'd like to check it out here is the url:

    http://www.military.com/Content/MoreContent?file=hart01

    [ Parent ]

    Good story (5.00 / 1) (#334)
    by fenix down on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 11:31:19 PM EST

    That guy kinda says everybody sucks though, no matter who's side they're on.  Kuwaitis suck, Iraqis suck, the Guard sucks...

    Anyway, the republican guard doesn't have to be good, really.  The first time around they were fighting for a better oil market and a few ports, and were only prepared for the crappy, resigned-to-defeat Kuwaiti forces.  It doesn't take a lot to make that unprofitable, which is all you need to stop that kind of invasion.  Now they're fighting against an invading and occupying force, and only trying to defend a city.  That's just about the easiest tactical position you can have.

    What we're going to be up against is miles and miles of buildings full of booby traps, snipers and rocket launchers with plenty of easy retreat routes and months of prep time.  We can either kill a few million babies by missiling the bajesus out of Baghdad or we can have casualties on our side while picking through this minefield.  

    Either way, if the war lasts more than a few months it'll be impossible for the Prez to keep it up.  I'm sure they know that, and with this guard --who I'm sure (maybe rightly) think we'll try them for war crimes and/or shoot them if they surrender-- menacing the rest of the army into trying, they might have a shot.  

    Albeit a small one.  In theory that sounds good, but I'm sure in practice that we'll convince them that we're either hellbeasts or not such bad guys, and stuff will start falling apart.

    [ Parent ]

    War and the economy (none / 0) (#343)
    by revscat on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:11:19 AM EST

    Actually, that's a reason to go to war - war always helps the economy. Why's this listed in reasons not to go to war?

    War more certainly does not always help the economy, even for the victor. After the Gulf War the United States went into a recession for two years. Further, the primary means for stimulating an economy through war is by increased government spending to the point that it affects unemployment rates (usually through widespread conscription) and GDP. Neither of these will be the case here: no military planner has stated a need for more troops in this conflict, nor will there be a large injection of resources into the economy from government spending.

    It is a common belief among many that war is beneficial for the economy. Unfortunatately it simply isn't true. It happend after World War II, but singular event does not predict future economic behavior.



    - Rev.
    Libertarianism is like communism: both look great on paper.
    [ Parent ]
    Haha, do you know who CCR is? (none / 0) (#339)
    by RyoCokey on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:50:45 AM EST

    It's not a research group, it's one guy who likes to post his opinions online. Go to the "Support CCR" section for references to this. Also observe how the "Members" link is not clickable. Explain to me how this site is any more credible than Joe Average's random blog?



    Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
    -- Francis Schaeffer,
    [ Parent ]
    Agreed (none / 0) (#340)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:51:03 AM EST

    This CCR is about as respectable as WhatReallyHappened or TimeCube.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    The Truth About War (4.33 / 3) (#296)
    by palance75 on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 07:08:27 PM EST

    Visit http://www.truthaboutwar.org

    That is all.

    A Partial List of your Errors (4.00 / 7) (#298)
    by OldCoder on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 08:57:11 PM EST

    Why you chose to base your argument about Iraq on your reactions to having been "Lied to", I don't know. It does not "Logically follow" that someone who is telling a lie is not in your best interests. He might be lying to somebody else, like Saddam Hussein, or Osama bin Laden. Then, to cap it all off, you don't find any lies!

    Human Rights
    First you say none of the administration arguments holds water, then you turn around and say that Human Rights is a good reason.

    You are of course right that Human Rights for Iraqis is not the primary reason for war. Bush uses this to convince some people who would otherwise not be convinced. That's just politics -- use all the arguments that might work, once you've made up your own mind. You'll see the same thing at your anti-war rally, I guarantee. Watch for it. Bush hasn't lied to you -- did you ever really believe that Iraqi Human Rights was the reason, and now you're disappointed? Bush never claimed to grow a heart for the Iraqis. It could be that the human rights issue leans against the war. In this case, a lot of people think it leans for the war, so Bush uses it. It's really hard to get elected without being a politician.

    Still, there is a valid argument that Gulf War II might indeed improve the HR for Iraqis. Even counting the loss of life, there is still an argument -- people have died for the right to be free, frequently. You don't have to be George Washington to be better than Saddam.

    Your argument is that you would support toppling Saddam for his Human Rights Violations, but care more about your sensitivity about being insulted (lied to) than your concern for Iraqis. Read your words again.

    Terror Links
    Bush might be telling the truth, you have no way of knowing. You might not trust him, but that's not the same as showing him to be a liar. Bush fears a coalition (not love) between Saddam and Osama. The US vigorously supported both the USSR and communist Vietnamese during WWII -- we all know politics make strange bedfellows. It would serve both their goals for Saddam to give nerve gas or anthrax to al-Quida, to be used on the US. The risk is genuine. The CIA says otherwise -- why should we believe them? Do you believe the other things they say? Why would you believe George Tenet over George W Bush? Can you stand up and defend your choice?

    You argue that an attack on Saddam will make future anti-American terrorism more likely. Then how can you argue there is no connection between Saddam and terrorism? Are you wiling to bet your life and those of your family that they won't cooperate? Are you sure? Are you responsible for the lives of 280 million Americans?

    I think the difference between you and George W Bush is that he is more afraid of terrorism than you are. Really. He could lose his life and his job. Also, his self-esteem is on the line; Who wants to be known as the President that stood by while LA was nuked?

    Tacit racism? Are you mad? The connection is not racial, it's the enemy of my enemy is my friend (sometimes).

    Weapons of Mass Destruction
    The history of the last 40 years shows Saddam to be much much more aggressive and warlike than Kim Jong Il. A few US submarines and Aegis cruisers should be able to handle any long ballistic missles he might launch. Saddam has a much shorter throw distance to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, or Kuwait. Seoul is very close to NK, but still, the North has a history of responding to deterrent. Saddam, on the other hand, is an active military aggressor who has even tried to assassinate a US President. North Korea has done nothing but bluster (and sell arms) for 50 years. Even if Bush is wrong to treat them differently, that's not dishonesty or maliciousness, it's a judgement call. I have a feeling that if the Bushies were emphasizing North Korea, you'd be out there yelling "What about Iraq?".

    Saddam doesn't need any new capabilities. His old, "missing" stuff is enough to kill millions. What's changed is the US perception of the threat, the realization that Saddam now has another conduit for delivery. Let me spell it out: We now know there are large numbers of organized, funded, suicide bombers who would be willing to take a WMD and attack a US city. All Saddam has to do is pass off the weapons and ensure deniability. Meanwhile, Americans are dead. Do you have any family in an American city? Are you sure they'll all survive?

    Encouraging Reports of Progress
    This is not what the UN inspectors are saying. Not at all. The whole point that there is virtually no progress, and what microscopic progress we've seen only came after perching our army on his border, rattling sabers loudly.

    Intelligence
    The UN inspectors admit to being penetrated by Iraqi intelligence. We've seen Iraqis hiding stuff in preparation for the arrival of UN inspectors. And getting ones intelligence sources compromised is NOT something to do in the middle of a crisis, possibly on the eve of war. And why would France be more convinced by US intelligence made public than by US intelligence kept away from Iraq? How does that work? Did you type what you meant?

    You have completely failed to show any Bush lies on the issue of WMD. Completely. In fact, you acknowledge that Saddam has WMD.

    Why Then?
    Expanding the power of the executive, but only after the September 11 attacks? Bush W was practically isolationist before the attacks. And protesting the war isn't going to lead to less paranoia on the part of the Bush administration, only more. So if you're worried about the expansion of power, protests about the WAR aren't the way to go. Now the Bushies are going to feel they have to check you out, just in case. Are you completely sure that all the people organizing and attending the rallies don't have an al-Quida or an Iraqi agenda? Wouldn't you like to know for sure? Wouldn't large anti-WAR demonstrations make the administration more intrusive, more paranoid, and more interested? If you want civil liberties, just protest about that, separately. Otherwise it's self defeating.

    You are completely out of your mind if you think the Bushies want to destroy America. They like it here! The real truth is that the Bushies are scared to death of getting caught with their pants down. One more big attack and the Democrats will have a field day blaming Bush for not stopping it. Just in time for the next Presidential election, I'm sure. To stay in power Bush has to prevent the next big attack. It's that simple. Hence the extraordinary measures, which get a lot less attention than if LA was nuked. This stuff isn't rocket surgery, it's ordinary politics.

    Your whole argument falls apart into pieces when you say you can't figure out why Bush wants a war, except for expanding the power of the executive. The best way to expand domestic power is to concentrate on anti-Terrorism. Saddam is not in Peoria. Terrorists might be. Bushs' reasons for war are obvious:

    • Fear of death.
    • Fear of losing an election after another big attack.
    • Fear of humiliation for losing millions (of people) to a third rate power.
    • Doesn't want to go to a lot of funerals.
    The Oil Connection
    Firstly, Saudi Arabia is just as Arab, even more Muslim, and has more oil than Iraq, so if Bush wanted to grab oil, or hated Muslims, why not start with Saudi Arabia? Secondly, it's Saddam who wants to put all of his oil on the market and Bush who wants to maintain sanctions. The difference between the two countries, as far as the US is concerned, is the way they spend their money. Saddam buys and uses weapons, and tries to use the weapons to get more oil, so he can use the money to buy more weapons, and turn around and conquer even more oil. The Saudis buy cars and fund religious schools.

    LIES
    In your entire rant, I found no lies by Bush. Propaganda yes, but no lies. In order for your "Lie" argument to win, you have to find enough lies so that your outrage overweighs the fear of foreign attack, and these lies have to be more important than attempts to prevent such an attack from killing you and your family. Get real.

    Go ahead, read this signature

    Head (4.50 / 4) (#301)
    by A Trickster Imp on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 09:35:41 PM EST

    > It's the first time I can ever remember my wife
    > putting politics before romance.

    She's never given you head, huh?

    Antiwar rallies (3.75 / 4) (#303)
    by blastedtokyo on Thu Feb 13, 2003 at 11:15:08 PM EST

    I'm relatively new to civil unrest, being less than 30. But, it really makes me wonder whether a protest like this really helps communicate truths, or just stirs up enough emotion and groupthink into something with little impact? Being electronically organized, doesn't seem to help.

    I was living in Seattle during with WTO protests and violence there. What stuck me was that when I was walking through downtown, was how truly uninformed the protesters came about. I would have to say that 90% of those there were there only because they thought protesting was a cool thing to do. There was no basic understanding of what the WTO was, how it operated or what it's goals were. There was no econ101 knowledge, no thought of consequences, no rational analysis of what the WTO has done,but rather just a pathetically violent, emotionally charged group of people who protested for the sake of protesting. The mob fed off of misinformation, hyperbole, and rumor. Guess what, they did stop global dialog. And in the process they shut down a city, cost lives, small businesses, jobs, etc. Sounds like war doesn't it?

    Even many of the well written posts here echo the sentiment that "I don't know why this war is so bad, but..." But joining a mob is exactly the wrong response. Learning, teaching, debating, getting in the faces of those you think are influential, giving money to those you trust, that's the way you influence an action if you seek the least war-like consequences.

    Uninformed mobs are bad, (none / 0) (#312)
    by Viliam Bur on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 09:49:55 AM EST

    but those people who did not join the mob are usually equally uninformed.

    "Learning, teaching, debating,..." -- well, if this is what USA will do with people of Iraq, then I will gladly join the dialog instead of going to streets.

    But tomorrow, I will join the "mob". And I do not think that it is any worse than dropping bombs on other country's population.

    [ Parent ]

    Having seen any number of protests from the 80s on (none / 0) (#317)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:48:34 AM EST

    I can't comment on the allegedly effective Vietnam anti-war rallies; but all the rallys of the 80's did was annoy people trying to get to work, letting people feel good about themselves while doing absolutely nothing to change either public opinion or government policy.


    --
    I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


    [ Parent ]
    Vietnam protests were better (5.00 / 1) (#337)
    by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:55:35 AM EST

    Seriously, they were, but that's when the whole thing started to go downhill.

    Even better were the civil rights protests of the early 1960's. Consider one of them: a single-file line of black men, immaculately attired in a suit and a hat, each wearing a sandwich sign that simply stated, "I AM A MAN." Now, that's style and a statement. No bong hits, bad poetry, or oh-so-clever put-downs, wonderfully understated, and impossible to ignore.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Which mob? (none / 0) (#333)
    by composer777 on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 10:14:11 PM EST

    Which mob are you talking about?  

    Are you talking about the uninformed mob that is happily going along with government policy?

    Or, are you talking about the "uninformed" "mob" that is portesting the government's actions?

    (Yes, those are rhetorical questions).

    [ Parent ]

    A Clue for You (3.83 / 6) (#323)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 05:33:38 PM EST

    First of all the URL to a Timeline for Iraq so you have some grounding in history:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/737483.stm#top

    Now some facts:

    Human Rights - No arguements with you there. Iraq IS a horrible human rights offender but it's not the reason we're getting ready for war.

    Terror Links - You're dead wrong on this. Iraq IS a sponsor of terrorism. Publicly they pay the families of suicide bombers in Israel... that's no secret, they publicly admit it.

                   Privately they provide training and logistical support for Islamic terrorists. Powell presented evidence for that in front of the U.N Security Council.

                    You don't think that 737 they've got parked in a camp in NE Iraq is a training tool for Iraqi flight attendents do you?

                   - British Intellegence. I have no idea what the British Intellegence agencies report on Iraq is but I wouldn't put too much stock by it. During the Cold War, the head of Britains Anti-KGB Operations unit was himself a KGB spy. That gives you some indication of the quality of British Intellegence. Contrary to what the moves would have you believe Her Majesties Secret Service is a joke. The U.S. used to routienly feed them disinformation because we knew it would find it's way back to the Soviets.

                    - French Intellegence. Not only does French Intellegence know that there are links between Iraq and terrorism... they have evidence. French Intellegence recently intercepted a shipment of Ricine which origionated in Iraq to an Algerian terror cell located inside France which has links to al Qaeda.
    They've chosen not to make this public because of thier interests in preventing an attack on Iraq. Our intellegence knows about this. Fox News did a report on this... I don't know if it's available on thier internet site ( you could do a search) but it was broadcast.

                     - bin Laden and Hussien are bitter idealogical enemies.... true. So were Stalin and Hitler... might want to ask the Poles how that worked out. The fact is after bin Laden got kicked out of the Sudan he cut a deal with Hussien. Bin Laden agreed to stop agitating against Hussien and support the Iraqi regieme... in return Iraq would provide logistical aid and training. Saddam get's bin Laden off his back and a nice convenient distraction from being the #1 target of the West..... bin Laden gets some badly needed expertiese and equipment to further his goals. I'm not saying al Qaeda gets thier marching order from Baghdad or that Iraq even knew about 9/11 but thier definately is a relationship there. Pay carefull attention to how much interest Hussien has given to making public show of his faith recently... and styling himself "The Lion of Islam" . It's propaganda of course... but it's a significant development from a leader who used to be a staunch proponent of secularism.

                      - U.S. action against Iraq will spur even more anti-american sentiment among radical Islam. Excuse me but how much "more" could it possibly get? It's like trying to become a virgin again.... or saying that we shouldn't make any moves that would provoke Japan right AFTER Pearl Harbor. Sorry to burst your bubble but that boat has sailed already.

     Weapons of Mass Destruction -

                     - Comparison with North Korea. Yes, North Korea may act like Iraq. They may look like Iraq... and Kim Il certainly makes even Hussien look stable and reasonable. However, North Korea isn't ARMED like Iraq... and that's the key difference. I'm sure we would love to be able to treat North Korea like Iraq.... but if we did Seoul would be sitting under a mushroom cloud right now. In fact you could say that the whole point behind what's going on with Iraq today is so we don't face another situation like North Korea 5 years from now. If Clinton had acted on North Korea 5 years ago we wouldn't be in such a bind with them today. But we are and GWB is right to treat the two situations differently... because they ARE.

                      - Evidence. Which part of the satilite photo's, movies of Iraqi jets testing biological weapons dispensors and tape recordings of Iraqi Army officers discussing hiding evidence and deleting reference to nerve gas before the U.N. Inspectors could arrive did you not catch?
    If that's not enough, what about all the weapons that Iraq reported it had at the end of the Gulf War that it has refused to supply an accounting of what happaned to?

                     - U.N. Inspectors are making progress. They say they are. They also say Iraq is clearly NOT cooperating fully. Frankly the U.N. Inspections team has been penetrated more times then a cheap hooker during Fleet Week. The way they have to operate it's not surprising they haven't found anything. Not to mention that some of the U.N. Inspectors come from nations who have a vested interest in not finding evidence against Iraq.

    Why Then?

                Rather then focus on conjecture about why Bush wants to attak Iraq (because I happen to believe his reasons are exactly what he publicly states) I'll focus on the reasons why certian powers DON'T want Iraq to be attacked. Specificly I'll focus on France who you mentioned in your article.

    1) Iraq is France's leading supplier of oil.

    2) Iraq sells France oil at a huge discount.

    3) A French Company designed Iraq's Nuclear Breeder reactor that Israel destroyed in 1981.

    4) A French Company designed Iraq's CURRENT Air Defence System, to replace the one that was destroyed during the Gulf War.

    5) France is Iraq's #2 arms supplier behind the (former) Soviet Union.

    6)Between 1981-1985 Frances arms exports to Iraq were estimated at 5.1 billion dollars (40% of Frances total arms exports)

    7) As late as 1987 Iraq owed France over 3 billion dollars in arms related debts.

    8) France "loaned" Iraq  SuperEtendard attack aircraft, equipped with Exocet AM39 air-to- surface missiles, from its own naval inventory.

    9) As part of an arms deal France gave Iraq a share in developing the Mirage 2000 fighter.

    Are you beggining to see a pattern here? While you are so busy scrutinizing Bush's motives you might want to check out some of the motives of the people on the other side of the issue, eh?


    Let me wipe the tears from my eyes. (none / 0) (#328)
    by obyteme on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 07:05:05 AM EST

    Beautiful, just beautiful. (Golf clap)

    ---------------------------------------:-p
    To err is human, or I could be wrong.
    If you can't poke fun at it, get a sharper wit.


    [ Parent ]
    Great line (none / 0) (#338)
    by godix on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 01:34:27 AM EST

    Frankly the U.N. Inspections team has been penetrated more times then a cheap hooker during Fleet Week.

    This line alone deserves a 5. I wish you were a political speech writer, I can just imagine the reaction if Powell said this in the UN.


    You son of a bitch!
    - RyoCokey Parent ]

    pot/kettle/black, yes (none / 0) (#352)
    by farlukar on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:03:54 PM EST

    Doesn't make the pot look nice.
    But does it make the kettle less black because he's told so by a pot?
    ______________________
    $ make install not war

    [ Parent ]
    Valentine's Weekend (2.00 / 2) (#326)
    by null terminator on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 03:03:21 AM EST

    Sorry, I lost all respect for you and couldn't read the article when you called it Valentine's weekend. Get a RL.

    Consider it done! (2.50 / 2) (#329)
    by resync on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 09:53:00 AM EST

    Nothing will never ever stop Bush & Co from the masacre they plan in Iraq. They won't listen to any of you unless you are some head guy in one of the "American" oil giants.

    It's not about nuclear or chemical warfare thread or anything. The only drive for the US government is MONEY and the desire to control economics throu bruteforce (read war).

    Ever wondered why they havent caught Bin Laden yet? And while you think for an answer, just for the sake of it, skip the fact the US Army has had no real land war success to date in the last few decades.

    But then again what do I know? Just that one of the officers in the Incirlik AirBase said that "There will be war no matter what, so be prepared".

    You keep dreaming and Ill be glad to be proven wrong but that just won't be the case. Unless we see pink elephants fly.

    resync

    IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not, in any way, involved with any of the mentioned ones in my comment above. I am just someone who will be affected a big deal by this Hitler like act of the US, again.

    If 1000 jumped off a bridge, would you follow? (4.00 / 1) (#332)
    by composer777 on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 10:01:07 PM EST

    That was always one of those questions that annoyed me when I was growing up.  I think it annoyed me because the people who asked me this question were assuming that I was merely following the flock, without any thoughts of my own.  Don't worry, I'm not going to put you in that category.

    However, I hear arguements similar to yours all the time.  I've talked to alot of people about it.  The answers of those who do nothing are similar, "what difference does it make?".  Well, the answers are clear.  For one person, it's not going to make a huge difference.  If millions join in, then it does make a difference.  The thing to remember is that you can't simply base your actions on what others are doing.  If you enter into that kind of thinking, then you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It's as big as you want it to be.  It's as important as you want it to be.  Most important of all, people are as ethical as you want them to be, and I've seen that the less ethical one is, the less hope he has in the ethics of others.  If you want to restore your faith in others, then you need to start living up to your own standards, and strangely enough, your faith in the character of others will follow.  

    It's somewhat ironic, but you can often tell something about the moral character of someone by how they describe other people.  What's also somewhat ironic, is that when people describe the fact that people just don't care, and therefore it's of no use to go out and protest, they are actually describing themselves.  They then are justifying their apathy by saying that because others are behaving this way, it also justifies their own behavior.  That's where the title of this post comes from.  

    I would say that getting out of the house and showing solidarity with those who are protesting the war makes a huge difference.  We are becoming more and more connected, and what we have witnessed today is but a small sampling of the kind of impact that we can all make if we, as one world, get off the couch and show our support for causes we believe in.  I think that your stereotypes are out-dated, and if you talked to the people protesting this war, you would find that it is exactly as the news reports it(but I suppose you haven't been paying attention), that is, they come from all walks of life and have a multitude of reasons for opposing the war.  I think your concern that it's a bunch of drugged up neo-hippies are somewhat unfounded, and would be quickly dispelled by stepping out into the real world and talking to them.  

    [ Parent ]

    Re: If 1000 jumped off a bridge, would you follow? (none / 0) (#350)
    by resync on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:50:16 AM EST

    First of all I agree with your point of view on the whole 'get out and make a difference' thing. Although I have to say the things you came to mention about my attitude is a bit far fetched.

    Yes, I have somewhat lost my faith in others but not completely. No, I did not make any harsh assumptions as far as the protesters profile goes.

    You sure made some of the things up in your reply but thats ok since they were meant in a positive way (not towards me but the whole argument so it still is ok).

    I said I would be glad to be proven wrong but tried to make a point that the systems is abused by power obsessed people (who really don't have to be the elected ones) in a way that takes advantage, less prone to this kind of civil action.

    They get it done and if you don't like it you (they) elect another representer for your (their) interests.

    Well I guess I desire another beating with this one ;)

    resync

    [ Parent ]

    Yes and no -- what needs to be done (3.00 / 2) (#330)
    by Silent Chris on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 12:27:55 PM EST

    Yes, I agree with some of your points.  No, I don't agree with others.  No, I'm not attending New York's rally (even though it is essentially "down the street").  Yes, I think Bush is a jerk.

    Part of the problem, and has always been the problem with these activist protests, is that "the issues" and "debate" tend to take a backseat to puppetry, dancing to tribal music, and lighting up.  I can assure the last thing the Bush administration is going to listen some drugged-out "hippie" touting not-violent solutions against Iraq while lighting his bong.  

    What will work, however, is measured debate and numbers.  Bush won't listen to every wackjob in NY (or elsewhere) that screams "war is bad".  He will listen to editorials and -- to a much greater extent -- numbers.  Numbers of people who attended the rallies (not what they said).  Numbers of the polls for and against war.  His ever-fluctuating approval rating.

    I'm not attending the protest because, to me, it's not worth attending.  The world's voice is obvious on this one, and Bush -- like it or not -- is going to act primarily on his own initiative.  He's shown time and time again that he is not easily swayed by the public.  The result: a president that sticks to his guns and his party's agenda.  As much as you may hate that (I hate it) you've got to admire his brass balls.  Also, in my view, there isn't much that can be changed about it.  He's going to go war if he feels like it -- whether we like it or not.

    In the meantime, do the anti-war regime a favor: if you're going to attend the protests, don't attend them drugged out.  Keep the screaming and "art" (puppets and "plays") to a bare minimum.  No violence.  Pickets with clear large lettering are great -- they show up nicely on the front page of newspapers.  Ditto on calm and rational debate (the media still loves sound bites).  Don't ruin the movement by your actions.

    As of why (4.00 / 3) (#331)
    by farlukar on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 07:03:25 PM EST

    I heard this one today:
    The US has a large weapons industry. They got to show it ten years ago, and now they've got to show the new models.
    Sounds a bit too farfetched as a main reason, but anyway, with the current state of the aviation business Boeing and Lockheed-Martin do have to make a buck somehow, innit?
    ______________________
    $ make install not war

    A question or two... (4.50 / 2) (#341)
    by jubal3 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:18:46 AM EST

    I just have a couple of questions...

    You don't like being lied to? I suppose you think that governments anywhere by and large tell the truth? What planet have you been living on? Politicians lie constantly. Even when their lips aren't moving they write something that's a lie. Get over it!
    The real problem here, is that you, and the rest of the sissified world have become so damned passive, that short of a Sept. 11 attack, nothing could move you off your collective dead asses to act, anywhere, except when someone convinces you its for "humanitarian reasons." (and usually that's a tough sell.) Somehow I bet you were all for Kosovo, and Somalia eh?
    How about on July 3, 1991 When Assist Scty of State Lawrence Eagleberger came out of talks with the Serbs and Slovenians and said (essentially) that if the rest of the world didn't take overwhelming and immediate military action, Yugoslavia was going to explode and become the worst European conflict since WW2?
    Now I, for one, was all for sending the 6th fleet and about 150,000 U.S. Marines to Yugo, with a large "Don't fuck around with us or we'll make you look like Baghdad on a bad day" sign. Sounded like a good thing to say to Slobo at the time. Hardly anyone else was. To the United States' Eternal shame! Look what happened: UN? Ooh boy, that sure worked well. Like the job the UN did in srebrenica. We had to send in troops later anyway (after how many hundreds of thousands had died?)
    Should we let the UN handle this too?
    The UN couldn't find its collective security ass with a 10 man working party. About the only thing it does well is the WHO.
    How about thisfor a little injection of reality into your (probably very bright, though in a kind of twisted way) head; The USA is the big boy in the world today. That's the way it is. You should be saying thank you God, not simpering over it. As such, it has interests. Political and yes, (feigned horror) economic. Why are you so surprised and shocked that the biggest power the world has ever seen might actually do something to protect its interests? Have you ever bothered to open a history book?
    The USA, even in its worst moments as a great power (and it's had plenty) has acted more benignly, tolerantly and with more attention to the suffering of the rest of the world than any great world power ever has.
    Them's the facts. Look them up yourself, its well documented. And don't tell me about % of GNP. While Germany and France and the Japanese were donating (insert whiny tone) "a larger percentage of their GNP" than we were, we were saving their collective asses from a Russian invasion and stillsupplying more net foreign aid per year with our GNP. And meanwhile, we have done one or two noteworthy good things. To wit: Wilson's 14 points, The Lend Lease Act, WW2 and our conduct therein, The Nuremberg Trials, The Marshall Plan, The Berlin Airlift, The Cold War including: the Korean War, the UN, Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace Program, The Apollo Program...I'm not even gonna bother, I'm missing too much as it is...
    Do you think the French and Germans and Brits and Japanese don't protect their interests? You bet your ass they do. The French have been selling Iraq weapons and oil drilling equipment for a long time and let me remind you, they were all for removing the sanctions without condition prior to Sept. 11, 2001. Why? to pump the friggin oil! They already have the contracts genius!
    The Germans? Hah! their "pacifist" government turned a blind eye to weapons and technology exports to Iraq even well after the gulf war. Hussein got half his nuclear weapons program from the French, the other half from the "peace loving" Germans.
    (And no doubt a bit from shady US businessmen, but not with a sly wink from the U.S. government.)

    What are our (US) interests? (I spelled it out in case you forgot just why you have that 6 figure income you mentioned. You live here buddy, you hit the lotto of childbirth.)
    A: Hussein is a power mad dictator sitting on top of 40% of the juice that drives the world economy which isn't flowing and hasn't in some time. In case you haven't figured it out, that's not a good thing.
    B: He's developed and used WMD in the recent past, in pursuit of wars of conquest.
    C: He's invaded other big oil countries twice in recent history.
    D: He'll probably do it again given the option. (i.e. clean bill of health from the UN inspectors and no more sanctions)

    Options: a: Do nothing
    Do you want Hussein, armed with a few nukes and a few tons of bio agents to invade Saudi in 5-7 years? Think that won't happen? Let me risk repeating myself: What planet are you living on?

    b: Continue the sanctions and inspections You're the big humanitarian? The sanctions kill probably 50,000 Iraqis a year. If you were a humanitarian, you should have been calling to invade 8 years ago when became obvious that Hussein wasn't going to be toppled from within. I was, where were your great humanitarian concerns then?

    c: Invade, kill a bunch of (mainly innocent) Iraqi troops who are unfortunate enough not to be able to surrender and probably a bunch of civilians (by any rational estimates I've heard, a hell of a lot less than 1 more year of sanctions will produce)Install a puppet government that doesn't rape its people daily (that makes us look bad) and get the oil flowing again. Btw, do you think Afghanistan was better off in Taliban hands, or now?

    Now I'm looking for the fourth option, and the only ones I've heard are about as sensible as people thinking governments tell the truth. (I can hear you whine "but they ought to" um...grow up!)

    Option C looks pretty reasonable to me on a whole host of fronts, and I for one, am not apologizing for thinking that my country should probably defend it's and by proxy my interests wherever its feasible to do so. Notice I said feasible to do so.
    Why haven't we treated the Koreans this way? OMG you IDIOT they have 1000 artillery pieces locked and cocked and trained on downtown Seoul! That's why!
    You're worried about a few thousand Iraqi deaths by we might cause by accident, how about 1 million dead from a Korean conflict, mostly on purpose? Take a smart pill or something please!

    If I read another simpering, whiny article by another simpering, cowardly American who's too ignorant and or foolish to think his own country might have national interests and might ought to defend them, I'm gonna scream.
    (deep breath)
    Ok, I'm done ranting. thanks, have a nice day at your silly protest.....


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    Some answers... (5.00 / 1) (#342)
    by norbert on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 10:06:18 AM EST

    Ok, first of all: yes Hussein attacked 2 other countries in the last 20 years (1991 Kuwait was the last). The first one was pretty much backed by the US, because they felt Iran was more evil. So Rumsfeld in person brought some WMD to Hussein). The Kuwait attack was backed by Bush: he said that if the Iraq would do the attack they would not care, because it is not in their business. Iraq did the attack and we all know the result. This war was the best way for the US to get into Kuwait. (You blame Germany and France for sending parts of a nuclear weapons program to the US: first of all: Germany has nothing like it for themself - so it is a lie (like nearly everything you hear if W. Bush opens his mouth). They send parts of normal weapons though. I don't know what France did: but the fact is Iraq has no nuclear weapons and the would need at least 5 to 10 years to be half as dangerous as North Korea is right now. Germany and France didn't opt to do nothing by the way. I don't what kind of lies they tell you in the US. But the US would just support terrorism by attacking the Iraq and do another terrible mistake like the Vietnam (started with lie and apart from a destroyed country (which still got no money for the WMD the US used) nothing was achieved), like the british fight in Egypt (51-54),... Hussein has to be stopped. So if you want to help the people why don't you help them in Egypt, Kuba, North Kora, Syria, Congo, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Columbia, Venezuela, Morocco (Sahara part),... The people in the Iraq suffer more because of the embargo than because of Hussein. A war would cause millions of death. Ok, if I were from the US I would also say: I don't care I feel great, they are far away. If you think war is the right war: take a gun, go to the Iraq and fight and kill innocent people. Go ahead, with the risk of being killed. If you wouldn't want to do that, don't ask others (e.g. your soldiers). Many american soldiers of the Kuwait war have still health problems - almost without any help from your government. So go on, destroy the life of 150.000 other american soldiers for oil and control over the world. I am no Anti-American. And I support the war against terrorism. But this war has really nothing to do with it. You can't say we should be thankful for the things you did for us in WW2. We are, but this doesn't enter into it. If the french didn't help you some more years earlier you were still british slaves. The americans did so many mistakes in the last 50 years. Many wars and cruel attacks (did I already mentioned Venezuela and what happened with the opposition 1991 and the role the US played)... The US troops left Afganistan. They are back in civil war again. The Taliban were evil but they had some kind of peace. Now they have war everywhere but in Kabul, where soldiers from Germany and the Netherland still fighting Al-Quaida and Talibans. They are not better off now. The would be if somebody would stop the war. But the US is not interested, now that they got their pipeline. The Iraq is more attractive. The cleanups can be done by Europe again. The americans are our friends. And they are about to make a big mistake. And you should be able to tell that a friend without hearing: oh, we have a great embargo right here for you. Do you really believe the fairy tales of uncle Powell. The people in Europe learned their lesson from WW2. You still have to learn yours. Even in Spain and Italy where the goverment backs Bush way of treating the Iraq about 80% of the people are against the war - more than in Germany (75%) and France( the same). Bush is a bigger risk to the world today than Hussein would be in 10 years. Clinton wanted to attack the Iraq, too. But he even found less reasons and less vassals. So it pretty much looks like a bad revenge for something "[Hussein] was the guy who tried to killed my father" (G.W.Bush) - any ways to sink deeper? A 4 years old child would also have argumentents like that. I'm glad to hear that there are people in the US who have not stopped thinking.

    [ Parent ]
    Get your facts at least a little straight (none / 0) (#345)
    by jubal3 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:21:56 PM EST

    Gee. Your reply is so filled with mis-information, for which you provide ZERO references (in fairness, I provided precious few, so I will correct this error in this reply) that I hardly know where to begin. Being as I prefer not to spend the next 3 hours doing research for specific factual citations which you SHOULD have done before your posting this hysterical reply, forgive me if those references are not a point-by point answer, but I'll give a couple of pointers. Do yourself a favor and try reading a NON-leftist-anti-American point of view. I'll actually provide some references that are quite critical of US policy, because I think they're accurate in large measure. (unlike some, I actually DO listen to the opposition before I open my yap.)
    ...Hussein attacked 2 other countries in the last 20 years...The first one was pretty much backed by the US...The Kuwait attack was backed by Bush...

    Say What?

    1. The US did not even have an ambassador in Iraq when the Iran/Iraq war started. Sure we supported Iraq later (post 83). Lots of good reasons for us to do so.

    2. April Glasby's unconscienable screw-up in her comments to Iraq, were not US Policy. You have to give a lot more credit for Machiavellian maneuvering and political foresight to the US Government than is warranted to make your claim stick. No one thought this was official US policy (barring nutcases), Everyone thought it was an incredible diplomatic fuck-up. It's funny how many people on one hand want to accuse the CIA, et al with being bunglers, and with the next breath accuse them of maeuvering and foresight that would have made Machiavelli look like a piker. You can't have it both ways

    On suppliers to Hussein:

    ...Germany has nothing like it for themself - so it is a lie ...
    I didn't say Germany sent nukes. Try READING my post before you reply. I said they sent technology. This is so well documented, that your disputing it immediately told me you weren't well informed beyond reading Anti-American leftist rags. Before you say I am Lying (as opposed to being an idiot, which would actually be LESS insulting) try reading this and this and this.

    Ok, that was 4 well-documented examples of why your reply is poorly thought out and not well researched. Those links took me all of 3 minutes to find. Seeing as I generally get paid for doing research and supplying you with HREFs takes a lot of time, (I'm a lousy typist) I'm not doing any more free research for you. My post was based on well-acknowledged facts, intermingled with my opinions. I didn't make any outrageous claims, therefore it is not incumbent upon me to supply references to back them up.

    You, however, make a number of them. Where are your facts coming from? You say France was not opting for nothing? wrong AGAIN AGAIN and yet AGAIN

    France has been for watering down or removing the sanctions altogether on so many occasions in the UN security council that your claim is simply laughable.

    Hmmm.. why am I even bothering with this? Your whole reply is laughably inaccurate. You make numerous outrageous claims and don't supply references. Just a point, the more outrageous your claim, the more important you document it. For instance:

    1.US used WMD in Viet-Nam. Are you refering to agent orange? Try gathering up some facts on agent orange.

    2. Rumsfeld supplied "personally" WMD to Iraq. Well thats interesting news, considering at the time, Rumsfeld wasn't even working for the US Govt. Where did you get THAT claptrap? I don't even LIKE Bush et al, and I wouldn't make THAT claim.

    *Takes deep breath*

    I'm not going to go on. Supply some verifiable, generally agreed upon facts or shut up. I don't blame you for not liking US Imperialist policies. If I wasn't a "USian" (couldn't resist:)myself, I probably wouldn't either. My post wasn't to justify to the rest of the world why they should back the US. It was to an American with whom I stridently disagree. I was arguing to an American, in favor of US Imperialism, which I'll write about specifically another time. The parent of this was an argument by an American, against US Imperialism.




    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]

    typical answer (none / 0) (#349)
    by norbert on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 06:51:20 AM EST

    You are answering as any typical american: affronts (see Rumsfeld and more lies). 1. Vietnam: okay you say everything was alright. You don't seem to know how many civilians died, how much of the nature you destroyed. Fine with me. I think Hiroshima was also alright, "necessary" and no WMD. 2. Rumsfeld was working for US government as a negotiator: (together with Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, Robert Zoellick and John Bolton all belonging the US goverment (some in lower position) http://www.weltwoche.ch/ressort_bericht.asp?asset_id=3292&category_id=60 (unfortunatley from Switzerland - in german, but maybe the babelfish helps). Other link http://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_watson_020703_iraq.html And just read the first two paragraphs of this text http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-528574,00.html. You innocent Rumsfeld looks a little bit different. You can't give them WMD and then accuse them to have them. (Well the US can, we all know.) France said they would do everything to protect Turkey. But currently there is nobody threatening them. They are right - well this is resolved anyway. Even your propaganda papers say that: "The three didn't say they would refuse to help protect Turkey if it was actually attacked..." http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E417%257E1173149%257E,00.html Do you want fench links for their view of the point (I think you don't speak french, right?) In french papers it looks different. They say they would do everything to defend Turkey if somebody attacks them. Unfortunately you don't have independant media in the US anymore. I know that Germany sent technology. I said that. And many went to jail for that. Prescott Bush not when he was trading with Hitler (see link below). Maybe Hussein is worse than Hitler - who knows. I know you think that the US plays just a very small part. Have you seen this http://www.bushwatch.com/bushmoney.htm before? Not the link between Bin Laden and Hussein but between Bush and Bin Laden. A link between Hitler and Bush? Here you are: http://knowthetruth.b0x.com/Bush_Family/Bush_-_Hitler/bush_-_hitler.html I don't want to accuse you (or somebody else). I just want to show you, that the US do not play the part of the innocent. If the US just cared for the people, why don't they do what they can to make Afghanistan a peaceful country? They stopped looking for Bin Laden and sent their troops to Kuwait/Quatar. There is no peace over there: http://www.worldpress.org/Asia/746.cfm BTW: you say something like the "peace loving" Germans: this is not true: they are against the war against Iraq now, but they were fighting in Kosovo, Macedonia (more than 8500 soldiers are still there) and Afghanistan http://www.germany-info.org/relaunch/politics/new/pol_afgmil4.html. Maybe you press doesn't talk about achievement of others I don't know. I was in the US more than once last year (I'm working in an american company) for business tripps. I love the company and have good friends in California and New Jersey. Nobody here hates americans (if I talk about "americans" I mean people in the US, since the rest of the continent is not discovered yet), but less than 20% like Bush & Co and how they treat all the other countries. They do not treat anybody as real partners - or do you think they do? For results of older polls: here More about polls of many european countries: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/2289772.stm (Just in case you don't believe me.) What else do you want me to prove: I have references to all of it.

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks for the links but... (none / 0) (#351)
    by jubal3 on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 12:35:44 PM EST

    I stand corrected! You actually gave me some new information, so thanks for that. I wasn't aware of the Rumsfeld Iraq visit in 1983. I knew the US was working with Iraq, but not of Rumsfeld's status, since he was also President of a pharmaceutical company at the time.
    But...
    You still didn't back up what you said. Even in the LEFTIST sources you cite (PrisonPlanet), no one is accusing Rumsfeld with "personally delivering WMD to Iraq" (Though you can find these rumours all over the web) He visited and negotiated arms deals,. I never disputed that the US sold Sadaam weapons, and the CDC/Iraq link has been widely reported in US newspapers and even on Television. The sources YOU cite refer to the transfers as "legal under US export law..." And say that there were any number of legitmate, peaceful research uses for these transfers. (Btw, My aunt mabel could have got some anthrax for medical research from the CDC at the time.)
    No one with an ounce of sense, not even the US Government has tried to defend the CDCs policies as smart. (Yet another US screw up). But also, no one but anti-US activists are accusing the US government of deliberately helping a middle east dictator develop bio-weapons.
    "The US isn't lilly white, therefore has no legitimate point vis-a-vis Iraq" seems to be your point. But it's a point devoid of logic. Even the Bushies, of whom I am no fan, can get somethng right, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.
    I asked you to provide "verifiable, generally accepted facts." I made this statement specifically because (and you have confirmed) you seem to be getting your info primarily from leftist and/or anti-american sources.
    One can find anything they want on the WWW, that doesn't mean it's accurate.
    As to the rest of the rant, how about sticking to the point? Turkey? Bush's GRANDFATHER and Hitler? What the Hell does that have to do with either the original post, OR my reply to you? Apparantly you think that if you blather enough anti-american vitriol, it makes your point stronger. FYI: It DOESN'T. It's a long standing leftist tradition: I have no logic for my arguments, therefore I shall spray out as many different items as possible and hopefully something will stick. I've seen it before, and it doesn't make your point stronger. It makes it weaker.
    "Supply some verifiable, generally agreed upon facts or shut up." -The statement stands.



    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]
    You are right (5.00 / 1) (#354)
    by norbert on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:40:47 AM EST

    "The US isn't lilly white, therefore has no legitimate point vis-a-vis Iraq" - no it is not my point. I mentioned the things about Hitler, Bin Laden only because I had the feeling you wasn't aware of the facts that the US goverment are not innocent people and also play their part in the game of money. And they work with cruel people if it makes them richer.
    In Germany e.g it's harder. Somebody last summer said something like "The Israelis won't be able to stop their war if they go on like this." The reaction was that he is now irrelvant in every way. People blame him to be Nazi. You have to be really careful what you say. And companies won't last long if they do - I haven't seen any company in the US being sued for trading with the devil.
    I don't thing the Times are anti-american, also the Denver Post and the NYTimes. Well to be honest I read more news written in french or german, but hey: you also don't look into germans newspaper and see how people are feeling if they get named as "Hitlers children" here or compared with Kuba (by Rumsfeld few weeks ago). But in german or french newspaper they also reserve a lot of space for the things Rumsfeld & Co. say. I rarely see any real german/french argument in an american news paper translated correctly or mentioned correctly or mentioned at all (look at the link above: it was no pro-Hussein or anti-US not at all. Nobody burned a US flag, but they said "No War" or "Stop Hussein peacefully" - and just 2500 people. Even in a small town like Washington (compared with Munich) were much more.
    Oh, and btw: here are some US companies that sold the same stuff as some german companies to Iraq. (You blamed them to have played the biggest part)

    You blamed France to have their own interests. What a shame! Why has everybody to follow the interests of the US? (It's not only that's what we feel the whole thing is about - that's why many people went out on the street last weekend and in Rome (I saw it in TV) they burned a US flag). Please answer that! Why do you think YOU are better than everybody else on the world. Why do you think everybody has to follow the US? I know you are the Good and everybody else is evil if they don't follow Bush "If they are not with us they are against us" That's the same words Hussein uses, Hitler used, Bin Laden used,... They all say they are the elected ones "Gods own country". You should be better! There is not just good and evil.
    One reason for the war is that Hussein lied. Yes, I'm sure he did. But again: take a look at the picture behind the link above: You are lying too. Again: you should be better.
    More lies: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2003/01/fallows.htm: multiracal policies started 1948 not earlier. Civil rights movement started with Rosa Parks when she was put to jail. And also: you haven't won every war. The longest of all was Vietnam. In a (german - sorry) book I read that the US dropped more bombs on Vietnam, Laos or Kambodscha than all other countries together in WW2. These are facts that don't seem to fit in this "good/evil" view of the world.
    Since the end of the "Cold War" the US seem to be fighting what they braught up in that time (Bin Laden is just on example, Iraq the other). What I want to say: if you accuse others to be lying you must be better. And you should learn: Iraq was good enough when it was about war against Iran, Bin Laden was good enough for fighting Russia. Who knows what countries will be doing in 10 years you now support so strongly. Israel has WMD. What if they get a crazy man who thinks the world belongs to him? You'll never know. You should fight the results of all mistakes while making the same again?! Don't you think the same?
    And if somebody has a different opinion: boycott here and here Do you think that's the way to treat partners? Are these the arguments? Is that friendship? Is this about democracy? When Jemen voted for "no" in the first Iraq war the US dropped the financial help for this country. ("The most expensive No you ever said") here Can't nobody else have a slightly different opinion. They were not pro-Saddam. The germans and french are also not pro-Saddam, but the results are the same. You don't make yourself good friends if you treat countries like that. The main reason why Spain, Bulgaria and England support you so strongly (goverment only) is because they are afraid that this could happen to them. And it's about money. There own interests would be to do what the people in their country want them to do. Blair will run into trouble because of that since there are election in may.
    You should be better than other countries: if you start wars how can you tell e.g. India for not doing the same. In Chechenya the people fighting Russia were fighters for freedom. Thanks to Bushs rhetoric now they are terrorists
    You change the world. If you do something, others will do the same. They will have some good reasons to do so. How can you blame them?
    Look at this: here If US soldiers cannot be judged for crimes they might do. How can you sue other?
    If you think somebody might commit a crime he can be put to jail without letting anybody else know. http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14563
    Look at this: http://www.gvnews.net/html/DailyNews/alert3594.html: is this the mother of democracy?
    Instead of blaming others for not following you, maybe you should ask yourself: how could it come so far? Boycotts (link see above) is not a real answers if somebody has concerns. So how can you blame people in other countries for thinking "With friends like that, who needs enemies"? Think about this and tell me if I'm wrong.
    If you say you would use nuclear weapons. How can you tell Pakistan or India that THEY must not do it.


    But thanks to Rumsfeld the Germans and Frenchs stand together like never before in history. Thanks for that. Maybe he did more for our friendship than Adenauer and de Gaulles.

    Don't you think that everything Bush does is about war? Do you know the "Patriot Act"? Do you know the book "Stupid white man" written by Michael Moore (an american). Read it and you'll also get more references and facts than you'll ever want to know! "Supply some verifiable, generally agreed upon facts or shut up." - same for me... And I asked you to specify what you want me to prove. I don't know what you don't/can't know.

    [ Parent ]
    Let me take a swing at it. (none / 0) (#355)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:43:39 PM EST

    Firstly, The main thing he is trying to get you to realize is that the U.S. is NOT the only country that has an agenda of self-interest regarding this issue. Countries on the other side of the table ALSO have reasons of self-interest for speaking out against millitary intervention in Iraq. The rhetoric from the other side would have you believe thier objections are all about "humanitarian concerns" for the poor suffering Iraqi people. That is utter bull. All we are asking is that while you go searching around for ulterior motives for U.S. action in Iraq take a cold hard look at the ulterior motives that some of the nations (France and Germany) which object to intervention in Iraq are doing so. When you put those cards on the table, the issue becomes alot clearer. By the way, no one in the U.S. believes that other nations don't have a legitimate right to act in thier own best interests. We just maintain that (like every other nation) we have no obligation to support other nations financialy when they act directly against our best interests. The issue with Iraq is really pretty simple and it all boils down to 2 main points: 1) If left to his own devices, is Saddam Hussien likely to rebuild his millitary (especialy his nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal) and if he achieves that is he likely to use this millitary to wage wars of conquest against other nations in the region and potential destabilize it? - I think if you look at past behavior of Iraq, there IS legitimate reason to believe the answer to this question is yes. 2) Is Iraq likely to be prevented from the course of action outlined in #1 without the use of force or imminent threat of the use of force? That really is the crux of the matter. Most americans who support intervention in Iraq and (I believe the U.S. government) believe the answer to that question is NO. Powell presented evidence before the U.N. security council that inicated that Iraq was attempting to obstruct the disarmament process. I happen to believe that evidence was factual and I haven't yet seen any solid evidence presented that would refute the authenticty of Powells evidence. Believe me most Americans would be overjoyed if Iraq willingly disarmed and we did not HAVE to intervene... even with Saddam remaining in power. No one WANTS to go in with guns blazing.... it's just that most of us don't see that there is ANY practical alternative that will work. If you can get Iraq to disarm without intervention...great, PLEASE DO IT! We've been waiting for 12 years now. Now for some unrelated facts: 1) It is commonly accepted by the majority of Americans that the press in general and NY Times in particular does have a leftist (anti-American) slant. If you want to read a good book on the subject I suggest you check out "Bias" written by a veteran CBS reporter of 30 years. 2) The U.S. is actualy one of the few nations to have put it's own soldiers on trial when they commit War Crimes. The problem most people have with things like the World Court is that no nation wants to surrender soveriegnty over it's own citizens and particulary to a body that does not assure it's accused of what most Americans happen to believe are inalienable human right (i.e. The Bill of Rights) and whom we believe might have political reasons to be biased against them (You do know that 70% of the Nations in the U.N. do not hold free elections). What is happening with the 9/11 lawsuit is CIVIL court not criminal court. It is routiene for suits to be brought in civil courts against individuals which the courts have no legitimate jurisdiction over. Look at the LIBEL suits brought in Australian courts against U.S. citizens. What is important to know about these suits is that they are NOT ENFORCABLE outside that courts jurisdiction. The only way any verdict could be enforced is if that defendent had assets within the courts jurisdiction or a local court in the defendents native nation choose to order the verdict to be enforced. This sort of suit is routiene in civil courts all around the world. That is not to say that the U.S. has not been hypocritical about jurisdiction in the past. We have. What happaned to Noriega is an example of that. Not that he wasn't a real bastard but we really didn't have legitimate jurisdiction over him. You won't get any arguements from me when you speak out against us when we try to subject people to our criminal justice system that we have no legitimate jurisdiction over. The prisoners in Xray are a different matter. They are millitary combatants who were taken under arms. When the fighting is over in Afghanistan they should be released and repatriated back to thier native countries (or perhaps be subject to a Nurenberg style tribunal) but as thier comrades in arms are still active in the field against us... I have no problem with thier being held for now. 3) Alot of Americans (including conservatives like me) have problems with some of the provisions in the Patriot Act... and similar measures the government has tried to enact post 9/11. In case you missed it there has been alot of criticism of these measures by U.S. citizens and alot of them have already been shot down. I'm sure the remainder will be struck down in the courts when the hysteria and finger pointing begin to cool down. Not for a second however do I believe that this is some sort of Orwellian scheme. It's a typical political knee jerk reaction to the government getting caught with it's pants down. Please don't try to tie this to Iraq however, as the 2 issues are completely seperate. 3) Afghanistan, in case you missed it the U.S. government supplies over 80% of ALL the foriegn aid that goes into Afghanistan. There are still plenty of U.S. millitary there too. Yes we did pretty much abandon them (to themselves) after the Russians pulled out. I don't think we'll be making that mistake again. Yes, the country pretty much in anarchy outside of Kabul... you didn't expect a country that was in that bad shape to have all it's problems solved in the space of a year or two, did you? 4) Yes we did supply Iraq with some weapons AFTER the Iran/Iraq war started and Iraq started having some millitary problems. These were mostly Bell ASW helicopters and early T.O.W. anti-tank missles (i.e. not very significant weapon systems). This was designed to try and insure a stalemate in that war... as NEITHER side looked particularly attrictive to us. 5) We DID support some very unpleasant characters during the Cold War. No one is proud of that. However, we felt we were in a war of survival with the U.S.S.R. and you don't always have the luxury of choosing your allies based upon their morals under those conditions. If you take a long, hard look at Stalin.... I think you'll understand why we were so nervous. With todays geopolitical situation being different.... hopefully we can try to live upto our ideals as a "beacon of democracy" for the world. I don't know if we'll be able to achieve that but that is honestly what most americans would like to see. You don't think people volunteer for the armed services in the U.S. in order to "go over seas and oppress people" do you? 6) I don't know what you'd call going into a theater in Moscow and holding 800 people hostage.... but it sure sounds like terrorism to me. 7) Finaly you actualy DID teach me something I didn't know. I didn't know Germany had combat troops stationed in Kosovo or Afghanistan. I thought that the German Constitution forbade Germany from deploying combat troops outside it's national borders? To be fair to France, I do know that they supplied a division of troops in the Gulf War. So they aren't ALWAYS thorough wankers.

    [ Parent ]
    Reposted with proper formating (none / 0) (#356)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:45:27 PM EST

    Firstly,

             The main thing he is trying to get you to realize is that the U.S. is NOT the only country that has an agenda of self-interest regarding this issue. Countries on the other side of the table ALSO have reasons of self-interest for speaking out against millitary intervention in Iraq.

             The rhetoric from the other side would have you believe thier objections are all about "humanitarian concerns" for the poor suffering Iraqi people. That is utter bull. All we are asking is that while you go searching around for ulterior motives for U.S. action in Iraq take a cold hard look at the ulterior motives that some of the nations (France and Germany) which object to intervention in Iraq are doing so. When you put those cards on the table, the issue becomes alot clearer.

             By the way, no one in the U.S. believes that other nations don't have a legitimate right to act in thier own best interests. We just maintain that (like every other nation) we have no obligation to support other nations financialy when they act directly against our best interests.

            The issue with Iraq is really pretty simple and it all boils down to 2 main points:

     1) If left to his own devices, is Saddam Hussien likely to rebuild his millitary (especialy his nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal) and if he achieves that is he likely to use this millitary to wage wars of conquest against other nations in the region and potential destabilize it?

      - I think if you look at past behavior of Iraq, there IS legitimate reason to believe the answer to this question is yes.

     2) Is Iraq likely to be prevented from the course of action outlined in #1 without the use of force or imminent threat of the use of force?
    That really is the crux of the matter. Most americans who support intervention in Iraq and (I believe the U.S. government) believe the answer to that question is NO. Powell presented evidence before the U.N. security council that inicated that Iraq was attempting to obstruct the disarmament process. I happen to believe that evidence was factual and I haven't yet seen any solid evidence presented that would refute the authenticty of Powells evidence. Believe me most Americans would be overjoyed if Iraq willingly disarmed and we did not HAVE to intervene... even with Saddam remaining in power. No one WANTS to go in with guns blazing.... it's just that most of us don't see that there is ANY practical alternative that will work. If you can get Iraq to disarm without intervention...great, PLEASE DO IT! We've been waiting for 12 years now.

    Now for some unrelated facts:

    1) It is commonly accepted by the majority of Americans that the press in general and NY Times in particular does have a leftist (anti-American) slant. If you want to read a good book on the subject I suggest you check out "Bias" written by a veteran CBS reporter of 30 years.

    2) The U.S. is actualy one of the few nations to have put it's own soldiers on trial when they commit War Crimes. The problem most people have with things like the World Court is that no nation wants to surrender soveriegnty over it's own citizens and particulary to a body that does not assure it's accused of what most Americans happen to believe are inalienable human right (i.e. The Bill of Rights) and whom we believe might have political reasons to be biased against them (You do know that 70% of the Nations in the U.N. do not hold free elections).

    What is happening with the 9/11 lawsuit is CIVIL court not criminal court. It is routiene for suits to be brought in civil courts against individuals which the courts have no legitimate jurisdiction over. Look at the LIBEL suits brought in Australian courts against U.S. citizens. What is important to know about these suits is that they are NOT ENFORCABLE outside that courts jurisdiction. The only way any verdict could be enforced is if that defendent had assets within the courts jurisdiction or a local court in the defendents native nation choose to order the verdict to be enforced. This sort of suit is routiene in civil courts all around the world.

    That is not to say that the U.S. has not been hypocritical about jurisdiction in the past. We have. What happaned to Noriega is an example of that. Not that he wasn't a real bastard but we really didn't have legitimate jurisdiction over him. You won't get any arguements from me when you speak out against us when we try to subject people to our criminal justice system that we have no legitimate jurisdiction over.

    The prisoners in Xray are a different matter. They are millitary combatants who were taken under arms. When the fighting is over in Afghanistan they should be released and repatriated back to thier native countries (or perhaps be subject to a Nurenberg style tribunal) but as thier comrades in arms are still active in the field against us... I have no problem with thier being held for now.

    3) Alot of Americans (including conservatives like me) have problems with some of the provisions in the Patriot Act... and similar measures the government has tried to enact post 9/11. In case you missed it there has been alot of criticism of these measures by U.S. citizens and alot of them have already been shot down.
    I'm sure the remainder will be struck down in the courts when the hysteria and finger pointing begin to cool down.

      Not for a second however do I believe that this is some sort of Orwellian scheme. It's a typical political knee jerk reaction to the government getting caught with it's pants down. Please don't try to tie this to Iraq however, as the 2 issues are completely seperate.

    3) Afghanistan, in case you missed it the U.S. government supplies over 80% of ALL the foriegn aid that goes into Afghanistan. There are still plenty of U.S. millitary there too. Yes we did pretty much abandon them (to themselves) after the Russians pulled out. I don't think we'll be making that mistake again. Yes, the country pretty much in anarchy outside of Kabul... you didn't expect a country that was in that bad shape to have all it's problems solved in the space of a year or two, did you?

    4) Yes we did supply Iraq with some weapons AFTER the Iran/Iraq war started and Iraq started having some millitary problems. These were mostly Bell ASW helicopters and early T.O.W. anti-tank missles (i.e. not very significant weapon systems). This was designed to try and insure a stalemate in that war... as NEITHER side looked particularly attrictive to us.

    5) We DID support some very unpleasant characters during the Cold War. No one is proud of that. However, we felt we were in a war of survival with the U.S.S.R. and you don't always have the luxury of choosing your allies based upon their morals under those conditions. If you take a long, hard look at Stalin.... I think you'll understand why we were so nervous. With todays geopolitical situation being different.... hopefully we can try to live upto our ideals as a "beacon of democracy" for the world. I don't know if we'll be able to achieve that but that is honestly what most americans would like to see. You don't think people volunteer for the armed services in the U.S. in order to "go over seas and
    oppress people" do you?

    6) I don't know what you'd call going into a theater in Moscow and holding 800 people hostage.... but it sure sounds like terrorism to me.

    7) Finaly you actualy DID teach me something I didn't know. I didn't know Germany had combat troops stationed in Kosovo or Afghanistan. I thought that the German Constitution forbade Germany from deploying combat troops outside it's national borders?

       To be fair to France, I do know that they supplied a division of troops in the Gulf War. So they aren't ALWAYS thorough wankers.

    [ Parent ]

    Something else (none / 0) (#358)
    by norbert on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:34:46 PM EST

    I don't think Germany has interests in anything in Iraq like France or the US has. E.g. they don't have any oil companies and weapons can be sold anyway:-(. I don't know what their interest are. Maybe just show the US that there is another point of view and that there could be a chance for peace if you try.

    No other country had suffered more from beginning a war than Germany. So they learned their lesson and the people didn't have a great time in WW2 (if you look at number of civilians killed and in number of houses destroyed).
    So maybe they have right to say: peace has to be the first choice.
    It wasn't about following France because Germany raised their opinion first. I don't know.

    France has interests in the oil and I'm sure they will attend the war if it doesn't start within the next month.

    BTW: the german chancellor has to promote peace because he used this as an argument to win the last election (stupid idiot) and most of the people are sceptical about the role of the USA.

    [ Parent ]
    WOw, fast answer (none / 0) (#357)
    by norbert on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:27:33 PM EST

    Hey, thanks for the answer. I'm really happy you are telling me this and what you are saying makes a lot of sense to me.
    Let me make some comments to a few of you points:
    7.) You are right: Germany is ( or was ?) not allowed to have soldiers outside it's own borders. But in fact in the Kuwait war they had soldiers in the AWACS planes and for getting rid of mines in the gulf (it was hidden from the habiitants and not passed the parliament). And to be fair: AWACS are not a defense weapon if they tell bombers where to drop their bombs. Kosovo: they took part in bombing and put troops there, but it was a NATO operation (strange anyhow, because no country was attacked). Afghanistan? I don't know. Maybe the role of Germany changed and most of the people are glad about that. Normally the Germans are seen as friends in Afghanistan, Mazedonia - don't know why, but this is what was in our newspaper.

    6.) Fully agree with you that's terrorism. But in the beginning it sound differently - and well they didn't do things like that (in such an obvious way?). I don't know and don't want to judge about that.

    1.) I will check out this book. I'm always interested in things like that. I would like to give you an example for what I said: when people were demonstrating a small german paper said, that the police tried to prevent that people could attend. Nothing like that was said in the NYT. I can't say if it is true - it is just different. Well, today I've found a story about the policemen being not very nice.
    3) 80%? I would believe you, but I'm not sure about that. Normally Germany pays the most (like in Kosovo). Don't know about France.

    How do you define anti-american? Sometimes I think this is like for us or against us. If somebody critizes Bush for what he is doing, is it anti-american?

    Otherwise I agree with the points you mentioned. I have another reason why not to attack Iraq now and try to go on with the current way (more inspectors, using planes...): North Korea is really dangerous ALREADY. The Iraq might have more dangerous weapons in 5 years. In half a year North Korea will have missiles for attacking San Francisco and that area (Some say they have already untested ones).
    On the other hand: I have no real opinion on how to go on here.

    Another thing: my english is not really good, so just to make sure: for all I said, I didn't and I don't want to blame you as an individual for anything. Clinton was more clever in treating other countries and Bush and Rumsfeld are trying their best to anger people in other countries.
    In the beginning I liked Powell but now I thing he says what others want him to say.

    But also my other problem is how the media reports (like the link to the picture here): "Hitlers children" is probably the worst thing you can say to a German. And the fact that this was an empty article containing just this picture is like a whole story. I don't need to tell how angry people got about this. This is something that stays in mind for a long, long time.
    I feel that Bush & Co. really damage the relationship to other countries more than vice versa (although I would like to add, that the german goverment was really everything but clever: about 27% would vote for them now, more than 45 did last september - but still 75% are against the war, but - that's what you said - is also about how you say something.

    In the end it is not anymore about war or not war, but when is it going to start. There is no way back for Bush - I'd say.

    Still I prefer what France said: more inspectors, more rights and the last choice: war. While I strongly support disarming Iraq, I think it is strange that he has to prove he has no WMD: normally (in a law-suit) the other one has to prove that he has something. If I went to you and said prove that you don't have ... whatever. It would be really difficult, wouldn't it?
    In this case however...

    Today in Germany somebody was sued for supporting the terrorist (giving money and a place to live in Hamburg) of the 9/11 got the highest possible penalty of 15 years. (Well in the US it would have been a few hundreds(?))

    Well also to be fair: in the Gulf War France had a BIG division there, they helped in Afghanistan see here and also in Kosovo and more see here. And they also said they would participate in the upcoming war against Iraq see here. A german media (www.spiegel.de) said France already sent soldiers on the way to Iraq.
    Many americans also support France german link only. Try this: translation. Don't know how good babelfish is.
    Whatever that means. In the end this story (released today) shows me that there ARE still Americans who think differently - which is generally positive, because other opinions (should) make you think about yours.
    Thanks for all your answers so far - I learned something and helps to understand your position a little bit better (and prevents kind of prejudices).

    [ Parent ]
    One Small Point (5.00 / 1) (#359)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:47:55 PM EST

    "Still I prefer what France said: more inspectors, more rights and the last choice: war. While I strongly support disarming Iraq, I think it is strange that he has to prove he has no WMD: normally (in a law-suit) the other one has to prove that he has something. If I went to you and said prove that you don't have ... whatever. It would be really difficult, wouldn't it?
    In this case however..."

    Normaly in a law suit in U.S. courts it would work like that. However in this case Iraq is REQUIRED to do this as part of the Cease Fire Agreement they signed to end the Gulf War. If they hadn't agreed to do this we wouldn't have pulled our troops out.

    We kept our end of that agreement... We pulled our troops out of Iraq's territoy and released thier P.O.W's . They haven't lived upto thier end of the agreement. So in essence,  we are saying to Iraq if they don't fulfill the obligations that caused us to agree to pull our troops out in the first place... the troops are going back in.

    In CAN be hard to prove a negative but I really think there is evidence that Iraq is deliberately attempting to hinder the inspections process.

    At the end of the Gulf War, Iraq was required to submit a report of all the weapons in it's arsenal. So far it has refused to produce evidence to account for what happaned to a large number of the restricted weapons that it reported it had at the end of the Gulf War. At the very least it needs to do that.... and I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't if it had actualy destroyed those weapons as it was required to.

    About the "Hitlers Children" headline. I actualy read and like that newsite myself. However the headline was pretty insensitive. I think what we are seeing here is an escalation of media rhetoric. I'm absolutely certain we hear the worst and most extreme of what Europeans have to say about the U.S., it gets people over here frustrated and angry (just like I'm sure the "Hitlers Children" comment got people over there frustrated and angry) and then we turn around and fire back our own nasty rhetoric. It ends up being an ugly cycle.

    I do understand why Germans are very reluctant to see war start. Germans did suffer a huge amount of loss from the kind of millitarism that started WW II. I can understand why they are very sensitive about percieved millitarism in the U.S. today.

    One thing to understand about the U.S. however. Alot of Americans see the Isolationism and Pacifism which we engaged in before the war(i.e. unwillingness to intervene in the rest of the worlds affairs) as a big part of the reason why World War II was allowed to become such a devastating problem as it was. A problem which cost the lives of 600,000 American Servicemen. Americans are just as sensitive about allowing that pattern repeat as Germans are sensitive about millitarism.

    Rightly or wrongly we percieve alot of parralels with the European stance on Iraq today to the kind of appeasement that took place with Hitler in the 1930's (i.e. reoccupation of the Rhineland, Surrender of the Studatenland, etc).

    I think my opinion is not so far off from most Americans. We'd love for the European approach to work..... we just don't think it's going to. It has been 12 years that we've been attempting this approach now.

    North Korea IS a much more dangerous situation then Iraq. A big part of the reason why we want to deal with Iraq today while it's weak is that we don't want to see Iraq turn into another North Korea 5-10 years from now.

    By the way, BOTH my parents came to the U.S. from Poland. BOTH of them were living in Poland in 1939. So I do realize the suffering war can cause.
    I don't think the "Hitlers Children" crack was called for (You can tell your freinds that).

    However Germans need to realize that it is equaly unfair to consider all americans who favor intervention in Iraq "warmongers". There ARE legitimate reasons to be concerned that failing to intervene, failing to act now will make the situation worse not better. Try to understand that viewpoint.

    [ Parent ]

    The oil (none / 0) (#365)
    by norbert on Sat Feb 22, 2003 at 07:23:55 AM EST

    Funny isn't it: the Iraq selled oil during the last year illegally most of it: to the US! here That's what I'd call double standards...

    So there are still open questions to me:
    1.) If you/we are allowed to attack the Iraq because he might be dangerous to us in a few years. How can we tell other countries that they are not allowed to do so?
    Maybe Hussein had the same reason for attacking Iran?

    2.) How do we want to go back to peace again after the war? Most people there won't love you/us. You cannot make peace by war, just by understanding.

    3.) If it were about the people living there, why don't we help e.g. in Columbia?

    4.) Wouldn't it be less expensive to double the number of inspectors, send soldiers there for help instead of doing a war that will damage the weak economy even more.

    5.) How do we want to go on, if terrorism raises. A war will most certainly send people directly in the arms of terrorists.

    6.) You said it is alright if other countries have their own interests. But you also said that it must be the same as yours (see you statement about France - "they are not always bad, because they helped in the last Iraq war")

    7.) If you want us to help why don't we get the respect for partners (do you remember how often Baker, Clinton, Albright were in Europe and how often Powell and W. Bush were?)
    Saying follow us and shut up is not an option.
    I think the US has to learn something: how to treat other people and countries better. Many people outside the US look at the what Bush & Co. do very suspiciously. And Bush and Rumsfeld produce more distrust and hate than anybody else (ever could?).

    8.) If they attack the Iraq because of not following the rules made by the UN, what about other countries with WMD like Israel? These weapons are ALWAYS dangerous and the goverment of countries may change. Remember: it was okay for the Iraq to have WMD, but later on he turned to be our enemy.

    9.) you tried for 12 years? Wrong: nobody cared when Hussein banished the inspectors about 5 years ago. We should have acted on this 5 years before now!

    10.) my girl friend is from Poland (Kattowitz), too. And I know many things her parent and grandparents told me...

    11.) I don't want to blame all americans for anything. But newpapers etc. and politicans should be careful about what they say (or write) -> this applies to every country on this world.

    12.) I understand you viewpoint. But sorry: I think if there were no oil the US wouldn't care that much (applies to us as well - I'm afraid). And I understand that nobody really wants any war anytime and that it might be necessary sometimes. But this one is going to cause a lot of problems (see points above).

    I'm sure this war will begin in a few weeks, because there is no turning back for Bush. Hussein won't leave the Iraq (and even if: I believe the people who will take his place won't be better unless everybody that belongs to goverment leaves) 'cause there is no safe place for him on earth. He has nothing to lose.


    Just for your information: there are also german soldiers in Jemen and Somalia to search for terrorists (together with soldiers from the US, Spain and Italy) and ABC defense tanks with soldiers in Kuwait.


    [ Parent ]
    Forgot one comment (none / 0) (#360)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:18:02 PM EST

    "If you say you would use nuclear weapons. How can you tell Pakistan or India that THEY must not do it."

    I don't think we've ever told a nation that they can't use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear or biological attack against them.
    That was how the whole theory of Mutual Assured Destruction was supposed to work.

    The problem we had with India/Pakistan is that Pakistan threatened to launch a PREMPTIVE nuclear strike against India should a conventional war break out.

    That is a very scarry threat. No one should threaten to use nuclear or biological weapons FIRST.


    [ Parent ]

    I'm just wondering who the coward is. (none / 0) (#363)
    by mguercio on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:57:01 PM EST

    It seems to me that someone who can stand up for another human life without any thoughts of what race they are or what religion they believe in, are the true heroes not the "pacifist". Only a coward will make selfish decisions that imply "besting" another person(s) for reasons of vanity. Wake-up! No wonder the majority of the human race lacks the maturity to sustain itself. Read "The Constitution of the United States of America". You do the math. You'll find that the people in power are the "real" ones commiting treason. A man is judged by his actions not by who he says he is.
    The definition of "high achievment" is not the wisdom that you have attained yourself, but the wisdom you can share with others.
    [ Parent ]
    Could you BE more incoherent? (none / 0) (#366)
    by jubal3 on Sun Mar 02, 2003 at 07:35:21 PM EST

    Hmm, is there a language barrier, or were you just stoned when you wrote this incoherent mess?


    ***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
    [ Parent ]
    OK (none / 0) (#346)
    by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:09:01 PM EST

    So now the protest is over, and you went. How was it?


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


    Were you one fo the 250? (none / 0) (#347)
    by t v on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:20:24 PM EST

    Well, were you in this group?

    More than 250 People Arrested During New York City Anti-War Protests

    Saddam sends his thanks (none / 0) (#353)
    by lonemarauder on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 08:38:49 AM EST

    For real. He actually thanks the protesters. How does it feel to receive the acclaim and appreciation of someone like that?

    My favorite comment so far - It's easy to tolerate a dictator when he's dictating over someone else's life and not you.



    Anti-War protest makes war even more likely (none / 0) (#364)
    by lkang on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:41:43 AM EST

    I admire what the protesters are trying to do. I don't feel war is necessary at this time. There are alternative solutions that are working. Like most everyone I'd like to see Iraq peacefully disarm. HOWEVER, I feel that their protests only make war even more likely. Saddam will be emboldened to hold out longer and view the U.S. threats as without full merit - and he survived the last war. I'm sure he thinks he can do it again (at his country's expense). And I don't think Bush and Co. will back down either. Everyone is playing this political game very well and advancing their agendas EXCEPT for the anti-war crowd.

    From Salon.com Feb 20, 2003 "Today's bad news from UNMOVIC has to be taken seriously by principled opponents of the impending war: According to this report in the Washington Post, Iraqi officials believe that last weekend's demonstrations expressed support for their regime -- and as a result have stalled their cooperation with inspections. (The Guardian also reports renewed frustration among the U.N. inspectors.)

    That is precisely the opposite of what the peace movement should want."



    Why We're Spending Valentine's Weekend at an Anti-War Rally | 366 comments (341 topical, 25 editorial, 0 hidden)
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