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[P]
"Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right"

By Juppon Gatana in Op-Ed
Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:00:53 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

A new tape, containing the voice of a man believed to be Osama bin Laden, surfaced on February 11th. It received widespread press, including a New York Times article (one of several, free registration required), and, upon the administration's request, it was aired on Fox News. Bin Laden is still alive, we're told, and this latest tape, in which he uses the potential war with Iraq as a rallying cry for terrorists, supposedly confirms his ties with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

Let's go back to September 11th, 2001. I was in high school that day, about a quarter mile away from the World Trade Centers, and I watched Two World Trade Center collapse from the window. Shortly after, we were evacuated (the school is the building in the middle). That was the scariest day of my life, and I wish I could be sure it won't happen again. New York City itself was changed, for the next few weeks at least. The streets that day were full of anxiety and grief, people had their car doors open and the radio turned up so passersby could listen. I live in a busy area of Manhattan, and I didn't hear a single car honk that entire day. That may not sound like a big deal, but believe me, it is.


So here we are, back in the present. Our government tells us bin Laden is still alive, and the fact that he wants to use the war on Iraq to strengthen his cause means that he's in cahoots with Hussein, and that we should therefore attack Iraq. Never mind that bin Laden is the epitome of the dangerous Muslim fundamentalist, and that the secular Hussein both drinks alcohol and smokes. Never mind that bin Laden is evidently still at large, and that for us to preemptively and unilaterally attack Iraq is undoubtedly going to inflame anti-American sentiment among the Arab world. Never mind that the war we "won" in Afghanistan still has left one of its major objectives unaccomplished: the death of Osama bin Laden.

I am furious with my government right now. I am currently attending college in small town Minnesota, so I have little to worry about in terms of my own safety. But I check the news many times a day, fearing more than a little for my family and friends back home. I don't blame terrorism on President Bush and company; religious fundamentalism is not their fault. However, this administration is handling the current terrorist threat in a way that is preposterously ham-handed. If bin Laden is still alive, and it is terrorism that Bush wants to curtail, it makes a lot of sense to focus our efforts in stopping him. Unlike Hussein, bin Laden has successfully orchestrated a catastrophic terrorist attack on our country. Hussein has done no such thing, and the CIA found that he is not likely to do so.

What the CIA did find, however, is that an attack on Iraq is likely to encourage anti-American terrorism. Now, that alone is not reason enough to avoid an attack on Iraq. There are a lot of reasons why attacking Iraq is a good move: preventing Hussein from gaining further control of OPEC and oil production, stopping his brutal, inhumane, dictatorial reign, halting his production of biological, chemical, and nuclear (surely he is working on this) weapons, and to establish a secure and stable democracy in the Middle East. There are just as many (and I think more) reasons not to attack Iraq, setting a precedent for unilateral, preemptive wars being a big one, but that is not the only issue the current administration has to tackle. It is also responsible for protecting Americans as best it can from future terrorist attacks. Telling us to buy plastic and duct tape, and advising us that we are now on "orange" alert is not the kind of protection I'm looking for.

Our government decided it was in our best interest to have bin Laden's latest tape aired. Previously, it had asked news outlets not to present bin Laden's media for fear that it might contain hidden codes to activate terrorist cells. That was when our troops were feverishly hunting bin Laden, however, and each new tape was a reminder of our failure to kill or capture him. Now that we've got a new enemy, Bush has decided that the danger of hidden messages must not be very great after all. And hey, this time the tape might help Bush's politics. This fickle, reckless, and uncaring behavior maddens me so much I can't even express it through words.

So while Bush and the Republicans are trumping up this evidence for a completely nonsensical course of action with regard to terrorism, the Democrats have remained mute. Senator Byrd or no, the Democratic party has failed to establish itself as against Bush's currently proposed course of action. I wish that Paul Wellstone was still around to give the party more backbone, because right now it's got none. The Democrats lost the midterm elections because their party had no message, and criticizing Bush's handling of the economy right now is not enough. As much as I want to see him pay attention to our economy, his handling of terrorism and Iraq is more important to me.

There's not much I can do right now but pray that my family and friends remain alright, and I'm not a religious person, so that disturbs me greatly. I hope to God we get out of this without another September 11th, because having to relive those days and weeks would be far too hard. But it seems I have no recourse. Bush and company are pushing us into war while leaving the bin Laden problem unaddressed, and our other major party has yet to dissent. Sure, I can vote Green, but let's face it, those guys aren't about to make it into office.

I'm reminded of those Stealers Wheel lyrics: "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right." Now I know what they mean.

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Do you approve of Bush's handling of terrorism and war with Iraq?
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o No 86%
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Related Links
o New York Times article
o Fox News
o confirms his ties with Saddam Hussein and Iraq
o September 11th, 2001
o high school
o we were evacuated
o the war we "won" in Afghanistan
o my government
o college
o the CIA found that he is not likely to do so
o future terrorist attacks
o Senator Byrd
o Paul Wellstone
o Stealers Wheel lyrics
o Also by Juppon Gatana


Display: Sort:
"Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right" | 276 comments (255 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
I agree with all but your conclusion. (4.38 / 13) (#4)
by KittyFishnets on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 05:34:05 PM EST

There's not much I can do right now...

Well, how about tomorrow? I for one am going to get off the computer, make a sign, drive into town and add one more voice to the protest. Stop being so self-defeating and go do something.

D

Not Quite (4.66 / 3) (#6)
by Juppon Gatana on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 05:38:22 PM EST

I don't mean that I literally can't do anything. Obviously writing the article itself was an act of protest. I intend to do all I can in the coming days to encourage sensible action from Bush, but what I mean is that I think my efforts will have little effect. i.e. There's not much I can do to change his mind. Should I reword it to illustrate that better?

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
[ Parent ]
Better clowns and jokers than (3.50 / 6) (#8)
by Lochin Rabbar on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 06:16:20 PM EST

Five dead in Ohio.

Are we really heading back to those days?
--

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize", - Tom Lehrer

Four (nt) (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 10:30:54 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I stand corrected (nt) (none / 0) (#37)
by Lochin Rabbar on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 11:09:16 AM EST


--

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize", - Tom Lehrer
[ Parent ]

Those days (none / 0) (#54)
by epepke on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 07:51:37 PM EST

It needs to be pointed out that we don't actually have a land war yet, let alone one that has been going on for a number of years using the draft.


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


[ Parent ]
Those who don't learn from History are destined- (3.64 / 17) (#10)
by minerboy on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 06:24:08 PM EST

Apparently, your highschool failed to teach you the History of Germany's Invasion of Poland. The English and the French thought that Germany could never act together with the Soviet Union, since Communists were sworn enemies of the Nazi's, and in fact the Nazi's had blamed the reichtstag fire on the Communists, as part of their power grab. Imagine their suprise when Germany and The USSR signed a non aggression pact, and split up Poland between them.

In the same way Bin Laden, and Hussein will act together when it is in their interests. Saddam hoping to use religious fanatascism to bolster his forces, and Bin Laden, hoping to ally with Hussein as a wedge to squeeze an Islamic fundamentalist regime into Iraq.

It appears at least Tony Blair has learned from History



As long as you learn the right lesson (5.00 / 7) (#14)
by akp on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 07:08:16 PM EST

I actually made a very similar comparison in another article. I came up with a completely different conclusion. Imagine for a few minutes that the English and French had decided to respond to a clear threat (Germany) by attacking another, ideologically opposite but also possible threat (the Soviet Union), which is pretty much what the U.S. is thinking about doing with bin Laden and Iraq. Imagine if the invasion turned out as poorly as the German invation a few years later (and it probably would have gone much, much worse), and in response a German-Italian-Soviet-Japanese Axis had formed. Just think about that for a while. The world would have been a much darker place if they had decided to follow such a path.

-allen



[ Parent ]
But Iraq is no USSR (3.50 / 4) (#18)
by minerboy on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 09:22:59 PM EST

I see your point, but, you can't carry the analogy too far I think, because the relative power of the Combatants are very dissimilar. You must also pretend that France and the UK could have easily defeated USSR (as the US can do in Iraq). If France and the UK attacked and defeated the USSR, Nazi Germany would have never Invaded Poland, The Nazi's would have been swept from Power, we would have avoided the 40 years of the Cold War, and saved eastern Europe from the years spent behind the Iron curtain, and saved millions of people from the Nazi Gas Chambers.

In my view it is the timid actions of Europe (and basically, France caring more about its own selfish monetary interests) which has a greater chance for creating a Al Queda - Iraq Fascist (and Saddam and the Bath party are in fact Facists) alliance when they see the western world is divided and weak.



[ Parent ]
dude (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by speek on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:34:06 PM EST

I tried to follow your logic, but alas, it surpasses me. Somehow comparing Iraq to Germany is sensible, but comparing Iraq to USSR is not because the relative powers of the combatants is dissimilar. And if France and UK had defeated the USSR, Germany would not have invaded Poland or gassed Jews.

In the words of the immortal Jon Stewart: Waaaaa?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

redux (4.50 / 4) (#22)
by minerboy on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 11:24:04 PM EST

First, History shows that unlikely partners will collaborate when it is in their interests - example Germany and USSR in 1939. Therefore it is not a sound argument to say that Al Qaeda and Iraq will not collaborate because of philosophical differences.

Second, some one else mentioned that attacking the USSR in 1939 would have been a bad Idea, and so attacking Iraq was a similarly bad idea. I was just saying that I disagreed with this analysis, since if The USSR was defeated by France, and the UK in 1939, before WWII started, it would have saved alot of trouble - but your right the argument is getting really convoluted.



[ Parent ]
I'm not sure of this (4.75 / 4) (#23)
by BushidoCoder on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 12:11:35 AM EST

Therefore it is not a sound argument to say that Al Qaeda and Iraq will not collaborate because of philosophical differences.

I'm not sure of this. We're not talking about two nations that are split over opposing political ideologies. This situation is more complicated.

Bin Laden is a religious fanatic. There is no indication that he would be willing to compromise his ideals in order to obtain victory.

Saddam is a smart politician. While he may dislike the US and antagonize us to no end, he is also aware from his own prior experience that we could turn his entire country into a pile of goo within days if we so desired. Unlike the situation with the USSR and Germany, he must further know that his partnership with Bin Laden could not bring him any additional measure of success at being a rich and powerful dictator, and would destroy the only effective defense he has; Diplomatic protection in the UN. I'm sure that he would love to strike a blow against the United States, but he's way to smart to even think about trying it.

If Bin Laden ever showed up in Iraq, I think the next day Saddam's generals would deliver Bin Laden's head to the US on a silver platter.

I was just saying that I disagreed with this analysis, since if The USSR was defeated by France, and the UK in 1939, before WWII started, it would have saved alot of trouble

I think the poster was trying to say if France and the UK had assaulted the USSR in 39, they would have met the same lack of success that the German's did. I personally believe that the allies would have been slaughtered, because Stalin's will to repel invaders would have been much greater than the will of the british population to suffer heavy losses in a pre-emptive strike.

\bc

[ Parent ]

Collaboration (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by Ken Arromdee on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 01:37:36 PM EST

If Bin Laden ever showed up in Iraq, I think the next day Saddam's generals would deliver Bin Laden's head to the US on a silver platter.

I don't think so at all.

If he did that, it would avoid conflict with the US, but it would also be a black mark for him in the eyes of the other Arab countries. He needs to get along with the US, but he also needs to get along in the region, and those two needs are in opposition.

I'd expect he'd try to play the middle ground and help Bin Laden a bit, but not as much as he could, hoping that it's enough help to make him look good to the Arabs, while not enough help to make him look too bad to the US.

[ Parent ]

Not to mention (none / 0) (#63)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 11:50:56 PM EST

That the secular Baath party delivering Mr. bin Laden to the US might just be the event to unite and rouse the majority Shiite population of Iraq to overthrow the secular Baath party in an Islamic revolution.

[ Parent ]
Disagree (none / 0) (#102)
by BushidoCoder on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 01:12:01 PM EST

It would be a black mark against him to the fundamentalist islamic populations, but Saddam wouldn't worry about that because by Bin Laden's own words, that group already wants to topple Saddam. No nation state will overtly criticize Iraq as Bin Laden was handed over, but rather I believe they would be happy that some modicum of peace was being returned to the region. If Saddam did that, our attempts to attack him would be completely derailed, and even Israel would have to give a nod of thanks Iraq's way.

We still have the teeming masses that hate Saddam already but would hate him more. I don't think he cares. The US would not interfere with Saddam's brutal "defense" against those groups, because its the US's own interest, and I don't think Saddam would give a damn against conventional terrorism used against his people.

\bc

[ Parent ]

You forget the two major lessons of history: (4.07 / 14) (#31)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 05:26:05 AM EST

1. History is contingent. 2. Hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, whatever thing you want to say about the present situation, it's likely possible that you will find some past event to serve as an analogy and thus declare on the basis of it that we need to learn the "lesson of history" and do whatever it is you want us to do, the motivations for which you didn't draw from history in the first place.

If that sentence was too long and complex for you, well, here's how it goes: (a) you look at current situation, (b) you experience mindless sheep response, (c) you look for historical example to "show" by analogy that said mindless sheep response is not so, but rather, it is a lesson from history.

--em
[ Parent ]

how many levels of irony (3.33 / 3) (#45)
by Lode Runner on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 03:38:57 PM EST

do you see here?

If you're not sure it's pertinent, then google "peace in our time".

[ Parent ]

You know what? (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 09:08:26 PM EST

I think fisheye lenses are cheesy as hell. So 1960's.

--em
[ Parent ]

wow (none / 0) (#81)
by Delirium on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:17:18 AM EST

That has to be the most idiotic thing I've seen in a long time. The protestor is basically linking the current anti-Iraqi-war peace movement to the 1930s appeasement of Hitler, which is more than even most hawks are doing.

[ Parent ]
Context is everything. (none / 0) (#132)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:18:53 PM EST

The protestor is basically linking the current anti-Iraqi-war peace movement to the 1930s appeasement of Hitler, which is more than even most hawks are doing.

How do you claim to know what this protester is doing, this other than on the basis of an association you drew? Can you read minds?

For all you know it was a very smart point thing in its context, which the picture removes.

--em
[ Parent ]

it's a very loaded phrase (none / 0) (#133)
by Delirium on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:22:15 PM EST

That phrase is very associated with Neville Chamberlain, and one would think that an anti-war protestor would not want to associate themselves with Neville Chamberlain.

[ Parent ]
Warning: I am far from ignorant. (none / 0) (#136)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:47:16 PM EST

Read my message again, but assume that I knew what you though you had informed me of when I wrote it. For I did.

My point is simple: you claim to be able to fully interpret the situation that's on that picture, when you lack all context other than a photograph. I don't claim to know what that protestor means by carrying that sign or why he's doing it. I'm right, and you're wrong, for indeed you don't know, and neither do I.

--em
[ Parent ]

History has no lesson? (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by 0tim0 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:39:38 AM EST

So what you are saying is that you can't learn anything from history? No matter what situation, you can find some example in history to justify the action you already want to take?

I don't agree with you at all. Sure, anybody can make any kind of argument, in general. The idea is to listen to the argument, think about it and decide whether it is compelling. The same goes for historical arguments.

I don't think the 1938 Germany argument is completely compelling, but it does have some bite. I think 1990s North Korea is a better analogy in this case.

Clinton was ready to attack NK to prevent their development of an A-bomb. Carter brokered a 'peace' deal where we'd pay them off to be good. What really happened is that we gave them money and time enough to develope weapons and actually be dangerous. Now we are stuck with a wacky, butal dictator, who demands money so he can keep his people in Hell and as a bargaining chip, he's holding South Korea hostage.

That is exactly what I don't want to happen with Iraq. (And if I had to guess, I think that is exactly what Saddam wants).

--t

[ Parent ]

Bo. (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:11:24 AM EST

So what you are saying is that you can't learn anything from history?

No. What I'm saying is that one of the defining traits of history is that its object of study is contingent. If you think "learning from history" will come down to drawing a simplistic analogy from a current situation to a past situation, you're in deep shit.

--em
[ Parent ]

except (5.00 / 1) (#201)
by Lode Runner on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 01:37:08 PM EST

for when drawing simplistic analogies between European imperial colonization and Israel's present situation, right?

[ Parent ]
Joker (5.00 / 1) (#205)
by 0tim0 on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:01:43 PM EST

Everything you said is a joke. You're basically saying: "All arguments are bad, except the good ones."

I learned that in the first grade. And it's the same thing I said in my last message. Anyone can make any argument about anything, the key is to be smart enough to decide whether the argument has weight. It's no different when talking about historical arguments than it is with platitudes like: "No blood for oil."

Making simplistic arguments about history is no different than making simplistic arguments about anything. That doesn't mean that we don't have a lot to learn from history. And "drawing a simplistic analogy from a current situation to a past situation", is no different than making a simplistic argument about a president's motivation for oil or imperialism.

So, I guess, thanks for the advice. But it really isn't anything new. And it certainly doesn't a priori destroy someone's argument because they analogize with a historical event. You still have to proove they are wrong by making an argument better than: "if you think "learning from history" will come down to drawing a simplistic analogy from a current situation to a past situation, you're in deep shit."

--t

[ Parent ]

When they agree to cooperate... (5.00 / 2) (#115)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:49:19 PM EST

.. then you say they are cooperating.

You don't imagine they are cooperating now (i.e. you don't pull out of precious thin air a ludicrous conclussion) and then you act like if your wishful thinking was a hard fact.

To paint especulation as fact is one of the most shameful ways of deceiving others.

"Stay a while, I'm distraught but juiced on your nearness."- johnny
[ Parent ]

Gimme a break. (3.00 / 2) (#126)
by Fantastic Lad on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:25:53 PM EST

Boy, Ah say, Boy, you've got all your casting and stage direction mixed up there, son! Confused, that is!

Hussain ain't Hitler, and neither is Bin Laden. Heck, Bin Laden ain't probably even alive no more.

Now Ah say, Son, if you're looking for an enemy, if you're looking for somebody to push around, then Bush is your man. Bush is the bad guy! Bush is your new Hitler! Why, I dare say, he's the Anti-Christ himself! Beast, that is.

There. Now run along and try doing the math.

(Good kid, but he's a little slow, up top. Dumb, that is.)

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

How Osama helped Bush (3.90 / 10) (#12)
by nalex on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 06:37:22 PM EST

Bush oked the Osama tape to air with a "it is genuine" stamp from the CIA for very good reasons. Osama agrees that Bush should invade Iraq. To that end they are allied in their views.

Secular Iraq is as much a holy thorn in the side of the fanatic Osama, for the same reason he rails against American forces in the Muslim Holy Land.

Al Q want rid of Bush and Saddam.

It is great to see how one American (you) can see through the terrifying bullshit that the media would have you believe. Attacking Iraq will not make the world a safer place.

Bringing Iraq into the world and criminalising Saddam may require a war, and then again, it may not. But to bring America back into the civilised world after preemptive action of this kind? The very thought is disturbing as it is imminent.

disturningtrends.tk

Agree Partially (none / 0) (#163)
by MutantEnemy on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:43:39 PM EST

I agree in part - I think Bin Laden probably does want a war between Iraq and Bush, hence he claims that he is in league with Iraq so the US can have "proof" that Iraq is associated with terrorism, thus justifying the war.

However, I would suspect the reason is simply because he expects to get more converts to his cause from the angry wave of outrage that is likely to erupt amongst some Muslims.



[ Parent ]

For anyone who read the unedited transcript.. (4.90 / 21) (#20)
by Trollificus on Fri Feb 14, 2003 at 10:01:44 PM EST

..you'll recall that Bin Ladin actually called Saddam a socialist infidel and urged the Muslim community to rise up against him.
Yeah, that's one hell of a link there. *sarcasm*

"The separation of church and state is a fiction. The nation is the kingdom of God, period."
--Bishop Harold Calvin Ray of West Palm Beach, FL

I'm not believing a thing (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by Perianwyr on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 05:34:20 PM EST

First: who knows if it's him on the tape? Even the Americans could be fooled. Second: would you put it beyond Osama to throw some misdirection out there? Conclusion: It's immaterial. Missives from bin Laden are pretty much that way in general, as we don't have the full picture.

[ Parent ]
The tape (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by Trollificus on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 05:49:00 PM EST

If the conspiracy theorists are correct, then this tape was likely faked by US Intelligence in an attempt to get Saddam's people to rise up against him and spare themselves a nasty war. This way, The Bush administration wins on two fronts. 1. Saddam is out of power. 2. The US can avoid the war and without having to back down. This way, they save face. Also, they gain their objectives without lifting a finger.
The tape wasn't made to fool the world into supporting the war, but rather to fool Saddam's people into getting rid of him.

I'm not going to speculate as to who may have made the tape. But it does seem rather convenient at the moment. Not to mention the fact that Mr. Powell announced the tape to the UN before the Al-Jazeera station had even received it. Someone screwed up in their timing. I would say that everything about that tape seems fishy at this point.

Personally, I don't give a flying fuck where the tape came from or who made it. It's just a tape. And like you said, it could have been anyone making that speech.

"The separation of church and state is a fiction. The nation is the kingdom of God, period."
--Bishop Harold Calvin Ray of West Palm Beach, FL
[ Parent ]

Fooling Americans? (none / 0) (#270)
by davincarten on Sat Feb 22, 2003 at 02:57:59 PM EST

"Even the Americans could be fooled."

Yeah, it takes a lot of work to fool us, being the overeducated and worldy bunch we are.



[ Parent ]
Have a reference? (3.00 / 1) (#137)
by maw on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:47:51 PM EST

I'd be curious to see its unedited transcript. Saying "oh, somebody online said this" doesn't win many arguments.
--
I have no idea what you're talking about, but that's ok, since you don't either.
[ Parent ]
reuters (5.00 / 3) (#146)
by ivk on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:53:14 PM EST

The call for overthrowing Saddam was apparently a faulty translation. The "infidel" part was reported by Reuters and quoted widely here in Europe.

A transcript of the tape is here. I guess the relevant part is this:

"This crusade war means, first and foremost, to do with the people of Islam regardless of the survival or the destruction of the socialist party or Saddam. [...] That's with our belief and our disclosure that the socialist are infidels. The socials and those rulers have lost their power a long time ago. The socialists are infidels where ever they are, whether they're in Baghdad or in Aden."

[ Parent ]

Thanks! (none / 0) (#192)
by maw on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 09:42:16 AM EST

The second link is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
--
I have no idea what you're talking about, but that's ok, since you don't either.
[ Parent ]
Where the hell is Osama? (4.60 / 15) (#25)
by shellac on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 12:23:49 AM EST

You know, this story brings up an interesting point that had not really occurred to me before. Since these last two messages from Osama bin Laden have been authenticated, why the hell aren't we going after him? Where is the speculation about his location within the media? I have not read a single story since the statement was released conjecturing about his location. What is the administration doing to catch him? What should be a complete embarassment to the American government has been completely overlooked with this whole Iraq craze. It's almost unbelievable.

For all we know, he is hanging out with his buddies in the western tribal lands in Pakistan. The US needs to quit this whole Iraq business and bring this guy to justice.

I suspect it will be similar after an Iraq war (4.33 / 3) (#26)
by YesNoCancel on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 12:58:26 AM EST

If the British and US troops cannot find any weapons of mass destruction (as the inspectors' results suggest) after successfully invading Iraq, no one will care about it.

Think about it: The goal of the war in Afghanistan was to capture/kill Bin Laden and destroy the Al-Kaida network. Removing the Taliban regime from power was only the secondary objective. Neither of the two primary objectives have been accomplished (Al-Kaida is weakened, but obviously not destroyed). I fear the same will happen in Iraq - there's a good chance there simply will be no weapons of mass destruction, which of course would question whether it was right to invade. But probably no one will care about that when it's come that far, at least not the mainstream American media.

[ Parent ]

My take (4.50 / 2) (#44)
by dublet on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 02:46:40 PM EST

If the US invades Iraq and Iraq has all these dangerous weapons of mass destruction, a lot of people (US soldiers) are going to die. If Iraq doesn't, then the US didn't have any right to invade.
France and Belgium are being wise, I wish my government would join them.

Badger. Badger. ←
[ Parent ]
Dangerous weapons (5.00 / 5) (#50)
by Znork on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 05:01:00 PM EST

Of course, during the previous Gulf War, Saddam did without a doubt have those weapons of mass destruction, as well as missiles able to carry them quite a distance.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that he didnt actually use them. Not even against enemy soldiers or against Israel. Not even when there was a full scale attack against his country.

In fact, as far as I can recall, the only party to use frowned-upon weaponry during the conflict was the US who engaged in napalm bombing of retreating soldiers (the use of napalm is against the 1980 Geneva Convention, altho the US is not a signatory to that part of the convention).

[ Parent ]

And depleted uranium shells n/t (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by Phillip Asheo on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:11:14 AM EST


--
"Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary"
-Earl Long
[ Parent ]

We are still looking for him (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by flarg on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 01:07:16 AM EST

why the hell aren't we going after him?

The US still has thousands of troops in Afghanistan, seeking out Al Quada.

However, Osama shouldn't be the primary objective. He's the leader of the terrorists, yes, but if we did capture or kill him, it's not like the terrorist networks will go poof and suddenly dissappear. It would mostly be a symbolic victory, which is good, but it won't stop the terrorism outright.

Many of these terrorist cells are very autonomous and loosely affiliated with one another. It's how they remain secret. You spend alot of effort finding one cell, capture the members, but none of the members know many details about other cells, so you need to start from scratch again (usually).


[ Parent ]

Thank you White House PR person (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by shellac on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:13:13 PM EST

Yes, I have also heard Bush's speeches and white house press conferences that say these same exact things.

You seem to have missed the point of my post, which is that suddenly Osama is not in the spotlight, and in fact, he is nowhere near it. Wasn't him and his group the whole reason America ousted the Taliban and had a war over there? This war is being painted as part of the war on terror, but ironically the guy who orchestrated the Sept 11th attacks is being completely ignored. They should be looking for Osama and al Qaeda, not Saddam and the 'wannabe-al-Qaeda' Ansar al Islam.

[ Parent ]

My theory (2.71 / 7) (#32)
by salsaman on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 06:16:16 AM EST

He is dead, and this tape was manufactured by the US, for the following reasons:

1) To try to enrage Muslims and get them to attack US targets

2) To give themselves more 'evidence' to go after Iraq.

I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

[ Parent ]

I challenge you to prove you right [n/t] (5.00 / 3) (#33)
by melia on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 07:04:29 AM EST


Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
Of course a variant would be- (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by stfrn on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 04:36:30 PM EST

That the US has already captured, not killed him, to prevent any maytr-ing and to keep him available to turn over the the proper authorities when there is someone to turn him over to- But this is all dependant on a bunch of things we can only specualte on, 'what whould the US really do if they found him' being the foremost.

"Man, I'm going to bed. I can't even insult people properly tonight." - Imperfect
What would you recomend to someone who doesn't like SPAM?
[ Parent ]
MY Theory (5.00 / 5) (#111)
by bjlhct on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:35:23 PM EST

Osama hitched a ride to space on a invisible purple unicorn where he sabotaged the space shuttle and flew off to his secret base deep beneath the surface of Pluto.

And I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

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

where have you been the last couple of months? (none / 0) (#236)
by martingale on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 05:53:44 AM EST

It's not up to _us_ to prove you wrong, it's up to _you_ to prove you wrong.

[ Parent ]
November speculation (4.83 / 6) (#35)
by winthrop on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 09:56:02 AM EST

There was some speculation in the British press in November 2001, namely, this column by Robert Fisk, which I found an interesting read.

[ Parent ]
November 2002 (d'Oh!) (none / 0) (#38)
by winthrop on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 11:10:18 AM EST



[ Parent ]
If we found him... (3.66 / 3) (#49)
by kcidx on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 04:50:18 PM EST

We wouldn't be able to play tapes of his and get everyone terrified into a war furor whenever necessary...

So capturing him is just not as good as letting him run loose providing his ex-trainers in the U.S. government to use him as a tool to create fear.

Plus, he may even execute or organize a terror attack once and a while, which is a nice bonus. Since that way it will allow all sorts of dirty legislation to fly through congress curtailing even more civil liberties and giving even more money to defense contractors...

He's just *too* damn useful to our government to kill. After all, Bin Laden is the man responsible for giving Bush his precious "tri-fecta".

[ Parent ]

Uh let me make a wild guess here. (4.00 / 5) (#74)
by tkatchev on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:33:24 AM EST

Because OBL is getting his paycheck from the same CIA fund as GWB?

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

Duh! (none / 0) (#180)
by Michael Moser on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:12:38 AM EST

>Because OBL is getting his paycheck from the ?>same CIA fund as GWB?

Maybe OBL is financed from the same source as Chechen terrorists?
That makes slightly more sense.

[ Parent ]

why should he be a priority? (4.00 / 3) (#80)
by Delirium on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:00:00 AM EST

He's a single person. Most evidence suggests he's not even the most important person we should go after, except from a symbolic standpoint. It's not like he's the lynchpin holding Al Qaeda together, and they'll be powerless if we kill him.

[ Parent ]
Eh? (4.33 / 3) (#113)
by Tezcatlipoca on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:37:28 PM EST

What about because he allegedely organized Sep-11 attacks?

What about the claims that his organization has organized other attacks (Bali, Mombasa, to name only two) and the loads of arrests in Europe claiming to be catching people from his organization?

While this individual allegedely is carrying on his terror campaing against the US and other countries the US, and its sad buddies (these against the majority opinion in their respective countries) are pursuing a country that was contained and that posses  a very minor threat.

Sorry for been so thick, I thought justice and self defense was about fighting real, probed threats, not about fighting the proverbial straw men of this world with the most dubious of "evidence".

"Stay a while, I'm distraught but juiced on your nearness."- johnny
[ Parent ]

he's not the main threat (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by Delirium on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:56:13 PM EST

Evidence seems to suggest he didn't actually organize the Sept 11 attacks -- he's primarily his group's figurehead, not a logistical planner. And even if he did, he's almost certainly had much less to do with the subsequent attacks (Bali, etc.). In short, I agree that his organization is dangerous, but I don't think he's the main driving force behind it. Al Qaeda will continue to exist and carry out attacks with or without Bin Laden, so whether we catch him or not isn't really that big a deal.

[ Parent ]
but then why (4.00 / 1) (#182)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:42:26 AM EST

Evidence seems to suggest he didn't actually organize the Sept 11 attacks -- he's primarily his group's figurehead, not a logistical planner.

was 13 billion dollars worth of heavy explosives dropped on Afghanistan?

In the months directly following September 11 I was repeating this simple fact over and over again, but the hawks were anxious to go to war.

Why?

[ Parent ]

well, other people were there too (4.00 / 1) (#186)
by Delirium on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:54:38 AM EST

It's not like every bomb dropped was intended to kill Bin Laden. There were quite a few of his followers killed, and many others forced to flee in disarray. Training camps dismantled, etc. There'd certainly be no reason to invade Afghanistan solely to kill him, if he was the only person we didn't like in the country.

[ Parent ]
That's even less satisfying. (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 06:32:10 AM EST

It's not like every bomb dropped was intended to kill Bin Laden. There were quite a few of his followers killed, and many others forced to flee in disarray. Training camps dismantled, etc.

Undoubtedly a lot of unpleasant people lived in Afghanistan. But the campaign against Afghanistan, if you will recall, was in direct retaliation for the events of September 11.

If the putative ringleader had very little to do with September 11 (and remember, there is no evidence for any of the 9/11 hijackers ever having been in Afghanistan or the training camps at all, save possibly Atta), let alone his followers in Afghanistan, then I ask again:

Why?

In the story posted by Apuleius about the economic costs of war, the economist cited mentioned that the US has spent 13 billion dollars reducing what was left of Afghanistan to rubble, and 50 million, or roughly three orders of magnitude less, rebuilding what they destroyed. Yes, the Taliban are gone and there's now a puppet government in place.

For what?

[ Parent ]

They want the oil profits. (none / 0) (#268)
by Futurepower on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 08:27:50 AM EST

They want the oil profits. They don't care about anything else. There is a big field inland, and the pipeline must pass through Afghanistan. See What should be the response to violence?

[ Parent ]
I'm sure (none / 0) (#271)
by BCoates on Sat Feb 22, 2003 at 09:04:13 PM EST

they'll start building that pipeline real soon now.

[ Parent ]
Why did we invade n. africa in WWII? (none / 0) (#269)
by BCoates on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 12:06:04 PM EST

We we at war with Germany and Japan, and yet we invade North Africa and fight the French.  Why?

Because it supported the cause of the war.  You decide you're in a war, then you do what you need to win; the big moral decision is the one go to war (or not) in the first place.

Afghanistan had a hostile government that was more or less openly harboring the mortal enemies of Americans (I'm going to try to avoid the content-free T-word for a while).  It was a target of opportunity that was probably going to be attacked sooner or later anyway (Sept. 11 wasn't the first attack by these guys), and could be done quickly to satisfy both demands for action back home and to prove seriousness to the rest of the world.

There is now one less reigon that anti-American forces can act with impunity; that was worth the battle right there.

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

This is a man we attacked a country for! (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by zakalwe on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:05:06 AM EST

Much of the justification for the attack on Afganistan was in retaliation for the Sep 11 attacks. In fact, the very reason they were invaded was for harbouring Bin Laden (They were given an ultimatum to turn him over, or be attacked.) This was done to send the message that the US will retaliate to such an attack on its country by relentlessly tracking down and killing those behind it. It doesn't seem such an effective message if "unless you manage to hide out long enough for us to be distracted by some other target." gets appended to it.

[ Parent ]
not for him (none / 0) (#185)
by Delirium on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:53:24 AM EST

He was part of the reason, but the entire Al Qaeda infrastructure in Afghanistan (training camps, etc.) was the main target. That was pretty successful, on the whole -- there's much less activity there than there was. Whether or not one particular person was killed or not isn't, in my view anyway, particularly important, so long as his organization was substantially damaged.

[ Parent ]
I dunno.. maybe cause.. (none / 0) (#144)
by Kwil on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:42:52 PM EST

Bush said he was.

You know, back before they were having trouble finding him and the whole Axis of Evil thing got started?  Something about "smoking him out of no matter where he might be"?

Seems all the smoke now is directed toward keeping the public from realizing that Bush can't live up to his promises. (Looking at international trade agreements, some might suggest "won't" would be more appropriate than "can't", but we'll go with can't for now.)

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


[ Parent ]
still not really a priority (none / 0) (#174)
by Delirium on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 02:22:02 AM EST

That may be, but regardless of the reasons, I'm glad killing/capturing bin Laden isn't the US's first priority. Would it be nice? Sure. But is it really that big of a deal? No. If we capture or kill him, it's not actually going to solve anything; there will still be terrorism, likely just about as much (if not more due to his followers being bent on revenge).

[ Parent ]
that argument's a dead end (5.00 / 1) (#235)
by martingale on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 05:51:35 AM EST

I don't think it's a particularly constructive argument. So you're saying that there's going to be terrorism in the future, regardless of what the US does here and now (which is, incidentally, a line I personally believe too). Which begs the question, just what is the US doing right now? If it's building a state of permanent war(*) which it is constantly losing, I don't think it's in the best interests of US citizens, nor of affected other nationals. If it's building a state of permanent war which it is constantly winning, why ignore Bin Laden, who keeps sending tapes rallying new recruits? It appears that Osame Bin Laden and Emmanuel Goldstein have more in common than previously thought.

War is a complete misnomer for what should be no more than a police action with international cooperation, probably involving undercover officers but certainly not the military. Terrorism is a flashy, spectacular form of vandalism, not a power which can be conquered militarily.

(*) since terrorism is always going to be there...

[ Parent ]

Enough (3.33 / 9) (#28)
by strlen on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 01:55:53 AM EST

All the people in the left wing.. ROCK
All the people in the right wing.. ROCK

Enough Iraq, enough politics, -1
Nothing personal though.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

This kind of thing is a problem.. (5.00 / 4) (#98)
by NightHwk1 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:21:56 PM EST

Just as something is becoming important in this country, years of mass media has trained a large portion of the population to become bored and apathetic ... to turn the channel and see what else is on.

This is the fucking world you live in, and the outcome of these events could seriously affect your life or liberty, not to mention hundreds of thousands of people living in Iraq.

Do you think anyone actually enjoys being in this situation?



[ Parent ]
Oh, please (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by strlen on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 01:34:59 PM EST

Go claim that anyone disagrees with you is mass media brainwashed. We've had plenty of Iraq stories already though, don't you think? And plenty of discussion. Everything that has been said in any of the comments to this story, or in the story itself, has been said on this site already.

If I wanted to hear about Iraq, I'll turn on the TV. This was originally meant as an editorial comment, but unfortunately I got to choose that optionn. There's no need for any more political stories on this site.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Obviously, (3.00 / 1) (#112)
by bjlhct on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:36:45 PM EST

the majority disagrees.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Anyone else find it odd... (4.27 / 11) (#34)
by The Solitaire on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 09:39:19 AM EST

that Osama's communiques are all on audio tape now, when they all used to be video? I know it's not proof of anything, but it certainly seems fishy.

Has anyone done an audio analysis of the voice in the tape, to try and ascertain whether it is actually Bin Laden? As I recall, the Americans did that for the last tape, determined it was, and someone else (I think the Swiss) did a similar analysis and determined it wasn't.

I need a new sig.

Yes (4.33 / 3) (#62)
by godix on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 11:41:21 PM EST

The CIA did a audio test on this tape, same as the previous tapes. They say it's Bin Laden. If you believe them or not is a totally different question though.

I personally think it really is Bin Laden. I suspect his appearence is so bad he thinks it would be a propaganda victory against him if he were seen by the public. He might have gotten injured and now has scars or missing limbs. Perhaps it's just his kidney problems have worsened and now he's bed ridden. There's a remote chance that he's gone through radical procedures to change his appearence in order to escape American detection, although that doesn't seem to fit to persona he projects. Regardless of what it is, something happened to Bin Laden that he doesn't want us to know, video is too powerful a communication channel to give up without being forced to.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

I don't buy it - look at Hamas (4.00 / 1) (#179)
by fred freedom on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:58:13 AM EST

What about Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the quadriplegic and nearly blind founder of Hamas?

Yassir Arafat has Parkinson's disease.  Not to mention that Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman of the "Islamic Group" terrorists is blind.

I think the Arab terrorist world can deal with some pretty bad physical specimens of leaders.

Face it, OBL is DOA.

[ Parent ]

does not care (none / 0) (#96)
by K65 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:13:55 PM EST

What the hell Bin Laden has to do with Saddam Hussein? Nothing. Totally nothing.

[ Parent ]
Bush & Co. & Fundamentalism (3.22 / 18) (#42)
by Noodle on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 01:56:57 PM EST

"I don't blame terrorism on President Bush and company; religious fundamentalism is not their fault."

Partially, I think, it is, as they are religious fundamentalists themselves.  And while they may not be terrorists themselves, they do seem intent on encouraging terrorism worldwide--you make this case very well in your article.

{The Nefarious Noodle}

Not really (4.00 / 3) (#55)
by epepke on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 07:53:36 PM EST

Much as I dislike Bush Jr., he isn't the religious bigot that his father was. Now, Ashcroft on the other hand...


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


[ Parent ]
Interesting. (4.00 / 2) (#57)
by Noodle on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 09:19:08 PM EST

I never really got the impression that Senior was seriously religious, though I was only six years old when he left office. Could you provide some evidence? Not that I really doubt you...but...

As for W., just take a look at this web site, and then tell me he's not a serious fundamentalist.

It's pretty scary.


{The Nefarious Noodle}
[ Parent ]

Bush Snr. religious moderate? (4.60 / 5) (#59)
by Lochin Rabbar on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 09:41:45 PM EST

http://www20.brinkster.com/atheology/presidential_bigotry.htm
--

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize", - Tom Lehrer
[ Parent ]

Yikes. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by Noodle on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 10:49:48 PM EST

Thanks for enlightening me.

{The Nefarious Noodle}
[ Parent ]

Evidence (5.00 / 4) (#64)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:16:49 AM EST

I don't know whether Bush Sr. was particularly religious, but he was bigoted. From the 1988 interview with Rob Sherman, he said, " I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." Compare that with Bush Jr.'s 2002 Easter address: "Americans practice different faiths in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. And many good people practice no faith at all."

As for W., just take a look at this web site, and then tell me he's not a serious fundamentalist.

Curiously, that's the same site I've referred you to on the second quote. I have no doubt that George W. Bush is a fairly serious religionist. However, to me, there's a big difference between that and saying that people who don't share his religiosity are possibly not citizens and certainly not patriots. Sure, I'd like it if he were to tone down the God-talk and take a chill pill about Wicca, but still, there's a big difference.


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


[ Parent ]
non-citizenship... (4.25 / 4) (#95)
by israfil on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:59:43 AM EST

Hmm...

However, to me, there's a big difference between that and saying that people who don't share his religiosity are possibly not citizens and certainly not patriots.
Isn't the above exactly the effect of the so-called "Patriot Act II"... that is to say, people who are members of organizations that are bad in the eyes of the administration can have their citizenship revoked? It's not about religion, per-se, but can be used in that context as well, if (by some tragedy) it passes congressional and then constitutional test.

One scary thing might be that a man has his citizenship stripped, and then, due to a follow on law that would be not that hard to pass in the new culture, such a non-citizen would not have standing to launch a constitutional challenge against a law that stripped him of his citizenship in the first place.

Yikes


i. - this sig provided by /dev/arandom and an infinite number of monkeys with keyboards.
[ Parent ]
Right. (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:17:34 AM EST

You wouldn't know the difference between a fundamentalist and an unitarian if one was biting you on the ass.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
Personal attacks--that's the way to prove a point! (4.00 / 3) (#110)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:29:27 PM EST

Perhaps Bush, Ashcroft and co. are not fundamentalists themselves—I personally think they are too cynical to believe in anything but power—but they are definitely responsive to the agenda of the Religious Right, which is composed of fundamentalists. This being said I think the poster has a point: as far as fundamentalism and promoting terrorism, they are part of the problem (the only way fundamentalists know how to...uh, solve the foreign policy issues we need to deal with now is to adopt an us-or-them mentality, and this inevitably breeds terrorism, from both sides—because unfortunately 'they' have just as many fundamentalists on 'their' side).



[ Parent ]
And actually, I might be wrong about Ashcroft... (none / 0) (#130)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:58:53 PM EST

Check out this article today in the NYTimes...Ashcroft frightens me.



[ Parent ]
>ahem< (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by Skywise on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:04:57 PM EST

Personal attacks aren't the way to prove a point?  Drink your own kool-aid sometime...

[ Parent ]
Show me one of my posts in response to you... (3.00 / 1) (#150)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:12:53 PM EST

...where I don't respond to points you've made. Sometimes I add on a few choice words expressing my opinion of the quality of said points, because, well, they're always so damn retarded! And at least I don't _just_ mod you down...get a life.



[ Parent ]
After you... (5.00 / 1) (#153)
by Skywise on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:33:20 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/2/11/191228/208?pid=134#158

[ Parent ]
Still without reading comprehension, huh? (3.00 / 1) (#159)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:30:19 PM EST

Read this carefully.

I wrote, and I quote verbatim (but with emphasis on the key phrase so you can find it more easily), "Show me one of my posts in response to you..." That post was not in response to you. Unless you go by 'zzzeek' as well, which might make sense and be heartening because two fools without reading comprehension skills in this world would be reduced to one.

Secondly, I said "...where I don't respond to points you've made." Set aside the fact for a minute that I wasn't even addressing you with the post you gave as an example, the fact is, in that post, I did in fact respond to the point the person brought up: that there was going to be a rally but no march.

I'm really tired of you. I apologize for pointing out your gross inadequacies, and I will leave you alone from now on, would that make you happy? You can go on living in your little dream world, and I can live in the real world, and we'll never communicate again until you get a clue, and we'll both be happy, okay?



[ Parent ]
You're the one without comprehension.. (none / 0) (#216)
by Skywise on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:33:39 PM EST

I never said or IMPLIED that you personally attacked me in an argument.  I said you do it as a general rule.

[ Parent ]
Read all my comments... (none / 0) (#230)
by amarodeeps on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 12:53:24 AM EST

...and you will find that you are wrong. I just happen to think you are a fool, and you are pretty much the only person I've attacked personally on this site (which isn't great, but hey, we're all human).

How about this: if you can find enough of my comments to show, say, 4 different people I've insulted (including yourself is fair enough I think, but only once), I promise I will make a diary entry apologizing directly to you, graciously and without any barbs. And in any case, after this, our future communications will be based upon challenging each other's facts and logic, and that exclusively. A gentle-person's agreement, what say ye? Because this is silly, and I hate to be antagonistic with people, even if they are faceless.

Alright Skywise, I swear this is the last post I will respond to you, so pour your heart out baby. I will leave you alone in this thread after this (unless you don't agree to the terms above, in which case I will continue but in a civil manner).



[ Parent ]
And to clarify: (none / 0) (#231)
by amarodeeps on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 12:56:00 AM EST

I meant insulting a kuro5hin user, in response to their post. I know I've insulted others who don't regularly post to kuro5hin (at least, as far as I know...).



[ Parent ]
War is never fun. (3.50 / 8) (#46)
by thom2 on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 03:39:15 PM EST

It really isn't. Ask any veteran. No one has pleasant memories of being shot at and shelled or of bayonetting enemy soldiers. War is very unpleasant.

Having said that, I feel I must point out that the sad fact of the matter is, with regard to international terrorism, hiding our heads and hoping for the best will only encourage the bullies. Saddam is not our friend. Saddam has set up and operated airliner-hijacking training camps in his country. Saddam did send agents to train the Taliban in developing chemical weapons. Saddam has been in flagrant violation of resolution 1441. There is no low to which this man will not stoop to harm America. The US does have a right to defend her people.

It would be wonderful if we could deal with Saddam using nonviolent means, maybe by organizing a mass protest in Iraq, a general strike which would shame the evil Hueesein into leaving the country, as with Marcos in the Philippines many years ago. Sadly, this does not appear to be a possibility. So we must fight. Sometimes, to have an omelett, you have to break a few eggs.

Never say never (4.66 / 3) (#47)
by Edgy Loner on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 04:26:53 PM EST

Several of the 'Nam guys I've run across seemed to think so. Granted they were pilots. The whole affair was pretty much a big video game to them. There have been plenty of people throughout history who seemed to think war was jolly goos fun. Again they usually didn't do a lot of dieing or getting maimed. I suppose it's pretty much like everything else: it's fun until somebody (that you know and give shit about) gets hurt (and you see it).

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Speaking about civilians, (none / 0) (#196)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:55:26 AM EST

it is fun, if your country usually wins, and if the fights are outside your territory.

This could explain US vs EU different opinions.

[ Parent ]

It is not always about the US (5.00 / 4) (#75)
by bint on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:33:34 AM EST

There is no low to which this man will not stoop to harm America. The US does have a right to defend her people.

Do you really think that this is the motivation for him - harming America? He is a power mad little dictator, but I do not think he is specifically against the US. Don't forget he got lots of support from the US in the 80s. It's just that your country (along with ally Israel) is quite a popular external enemy in the region. I think he would prefer the blind support the saudi dictatorship has (not as bad, but hardly a democratic regime).

[ Parent ]

umm... (5.00 / 2) (#92)
by bobzibub on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 10:26:05 AM EST

"Saddam did send agents to train the Taliban in developing chemical weapons."

Linkz?

Cheers,
-B


[ Parent ]

Oh please (none / 0) (#129)
by thom2 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:51:41 PM EST

"Al Quaeda and Saddam reached a non-aggression agreement in 1993... the relationship deepened further in the mid-1990s when... an unknown number of trainers from an Iraqi secret police force called Unit 999 were dispatched to training camps in Afghanistan to instruct Al-Queada terrorists. (Training in hijacking techniques was also provided to foreign Islamist radicals inside Iraq...)"

"The Unknown" by Jeffrey Goldberg, The New Yorker, February 10, 2003
Sorry, my cite is from (gasp!) a print publication, so it looks like you'll have to get off your lazy butt and hunt down a copy. Really, is it that hard to type search terms into Google, or do you also have someone cut up your food for you?

[ Parent ]
double hmmm.. (none / 0) (#247)
by bobzibub on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:47:52 PM EST

If this claim is true, then why is Powel/Bush/et al not over these "facts" like a dirty shirt?

I remember the CBC broadcasting a spot on this reporter.  In Canada, Hezbollah was placed on the terrorism list based partly on an article that Mr. Goldberg wrote.  In it he quoted Hezbollah leaders as saying evil things which put them on the list.  Thing was, that there is no record of the Hezbollah leaders saying what he claimed.  The reporter travelled to London and asked him to back up his claims, but he could not.

Not saying Hezbollah is not involved in terrorism.  Just saying what this reporter writes (even in print!  My God!) is suspect.

If you're feeling active, here's a link regarding the story, etc. (The server is the Vancouver Israel Action Committee)
http://www.iact.ca/articles.php?category_id=4&article_id=160

Cheers,
-b


[ Parent ]

+1 FP, but (2.80 / 5) (#52)
by medham on Sat Feb 15, 2003 at 05:39:51 PM EST

You would have gotten extra points by closing it out with a song by Charlie Pride.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

The problem with this and every similar article (4.47 / 23) (#66)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 01:20:46 AM EST

Do you agree with how Bush is handling the situation? Yes or no! I want and answer, and I want it now, and it better not take more than one bit to represent, dammit!

There are at least two things in Iraq as a result of what the Bush administration is done: inspectors and U2 planes. Logically, a reaction to this must take one of several forms:

  1. An admission that some of the effects have been good.
  2. A statement that inspectors and U2 planes are, in fact, bad.
  3. A statement that the presence of inspectors and U2 planes has nothing to do with the Bush administration's policies.
  4. A declaration that it doesn't really matter anyway.
  5. Hand-waving and potshots.

There hasn't been much 1, except by people who are immediately told they are war-mongering sheep who have their tongues stuck way down Bush's crack. There has been no 2 or 3 or 4. In fact, just bringing it up gets people haughtily saying, "Who said that? I didn't say that. It's a Straw ManTM." There has, however, been a hell of a lot of 5.

Like the folks who just learned that the U.S. once supplied Iraq with weapons. Likewise those who discovered that the U.S. ambassador to Iraq told Saddam Hussein that the U.S. had no interest in matters between Arab nations. Or those that have recently discovered that there was an incubator baby hoax! All of them are tremendously impressed with what they have just learned and how smart it makes them, compared to how they believe everyone else to be.


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


you missed the secret 6th option (3.75 / 4) (#72)
by toliman on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:08:21 AM EST

6. "we don't know who that is, where that is, or why thats a problem, just hand me my damn beer and fhut the shuck up, barkeep"

a few answers...
most of this fits under 5, potshots and hand-waving are easy when your opponent is on the fence, and easily visible to both sides.

  1. The US has no interest in peace. negotiation. settlement. victory. or any of the possible reasons for bringing military force and the threat of harm and annihilation to the bargaining table. of course, Iraq is not happy to know that the US is coming back after 12 years of complacency, and it is not especially happy to have to dispose of the thousands of weapons of small destruction, medium destruction, large-scale destruction, massive destruction and just plain "phat" weapons of mass distraction, err, destruction.
  2. inspectors and U2 planes, and other notary occupying military forces of the UN, are fine. They might be bad if they happen to be wearing ties and shirts that say "Property of the CIA" on them, but i hear they started using invisible ink for that now.
The threat of non-visible weapons remains a huge point ... if iraq had charleton heston ... there would be unmitigated fear among foreign nations, and the UN would be signing over troops yesterday. i would categorise Mr. NRA as more scary than any other terrorist, and far more likely to be responsible for acts of terror in the future.
  1. The UN, sees nothing, hears nothing, does nothing. a wise policy if nothing happens. if something happens, they can ignore that too, it's the perfect position to be in.
  2. Bush and the leadership of the political parties within the democrat/republican parties like to hear sophistry, it helps them stay elected. the UN for the most part, also likes to hear rhetoric and feigned attempts at national patriotism, loves to know why billions of dollars need to be churned into destroying other nations with no immediate or outlying threat to other member nations. sure they have weapons that could be a threat, but so does everyone else in the UN assembly.
That war on "evildoers who do bad things" is going to be a merciless one ... Maybe the UN recognises the futility of it .... Probably not.

Or, the ever changing "axis of evil" stratagem that "will forever be discussed in history books", as long as they dont use America as one arm of that axis. The difference might be that Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan/North Korea/Winners of the Superbowl Playoffs are not members of the UN, or that they do not believe government would work as a democracy, they could be right. The US has been living with guided democracy for a few decades now, no need to change the balance between a party-led dictatorship and the capitalist-driven political-leadership now... it seems to work as it is.
---------- Toliman ----------- Toliman.org. now defunct after the cripping of .au broadband.
[ Parent ]

Good one! (4.50 / 2) (#143)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:31:56 PM EST

6. "we don't know who that is, where that is, or why thats a problem, just hand me my damn beer and fhut the shuck up, barkeep"

Yes, that's probably the most popular option. But then again, basically by definition, people who are into that option aren't about to write a lot about the subject.


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


[ Parent ]
You must be watching a different channel. (4.81 / 16) (#78)
by StrontiumDog on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:21:48 AM EST

I've been hearing the Bush and Blair adnministrations repeatedly saying that inspections, past and present, have been, and will continue to be "useless", because of Saddams "games of lies and deception". That covers 1 and 2, and unless I'm mistaken, the gentlemen I just named, and their flock, are warmongers.

Point 3: the inspectors are in Iraq because France and Germany insisted that inspections be tried first instead of war. Now you may say "sure, but the credit must go to Bush, because without his war-hollering Saddam would never have let inspectors in". But then you might as well go and give the credit to Saddam, because without his intransigience, Bush would never have gotten down to war-hollering. But then ... but then ... but then ...

Don't it just make you mad, having to stoop to such semantic tricks in order to claim "well, we won anyway"? Now that Bush's war has been shown to be hugely impopular, difficult to justify, and is alienating erstwhile friends and allies of the US, what's a Bush supporter to do, these days?

"Well, we won anyway, if you look at it right ...."

If what you're looking for is general justification that your beliefs are right, and that the moral superiority over all these lefty hippies you've been feeling all these years is wholly justified, then I will give it to you. Listen:

You won, epepke. You were right from the very start. Bush was right about everything, from the very start. Everything you guys ever wanted, has come to pass, exactly how you wanted. You're a champ. Champ, champ, champ! Email me for a medal and certificate.

[ Parent ]

the point is a valid one though (4.20 / 5) (#79)
by Delirium on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:57:29 AM EST

There would not have been inspectors in Iraq if Bush had not threatened to invade Iraq. Without this threat, no amount of European pressure would've convinced Saddam to allow inspectors in; he would've continued basically ignoring whatever the UN said. So the conclusion from this is that threatening war (and being willing to back it up with actual war if necessary) has had some positive effects that could not have been achieved with a European-style "only diplomacy" outlook.

Now you can certainly say that once inspectors were let back in, tne US should've been satisfied with this (at least for a period of time, to see if they'd be successful), but that's a different matter.

[ Parent ]

sort of tricky, though (5.00 / 2) (#234)
by martingale on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 04:31:49 AM EST

Well I'm late for this whole discussion, so I'll keep it short and hope for the best ;-)

It is eminently debatable whether the inspectors should have actually been needed. Clearly (with hindsight), the US, UK and Australian governments have resorted to lies and half-truths to propose an attack on Iraq based on the immediate danger it supposedly poses to the US. If one crosses out these lies, there isn't much left except old UN reports and the present inspectors reports, which strongly suggest that present day Iraq is completely inoffensive to the US.

So the idea that inspectors are still needed to fully disarm Iraq is now itself in question, since [without the now discredited lies] there are no reasonable grounds to suspect Iraq is particularly armed.

Of course, inspections can also be used as a powerful diplomatic hindrance to some of the US administration's more dangerous excesses. It's an interesting reversal.

[ Parent ]

Once again (none / 0) (#249)
by epepke on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:18:27 AM EST

t is eminently debatable whether the inspectors should have actually been needed. Clearly (with hindsight), the US, UK and Australian governments have resorted to lies and half-truths to propose an attack on Iraq based on the immediate danger it supposedly poses to the US. If one crosses out these lies, there isn't much left except old UN reports and the present inspectors reports, which strongly suggest that present day Iraq is completely inoffensive to the US.

At least you're arguing this. If it's so, then, the appropriate step would be for the U.N. to pass or at least to try to pass some resolutions declaring that inspectors aren't needed any more, that the danger has passed, and so on and so forth. But I don't see anybody in the U.N. pushing for this.

Without such an effort, the obvious result is that the U.N. will become a paper tiger and therefore as ineffectual as the League of Nations. Talking about reversals, though, there are some people in the U.S. arguing that the U.N. should become a paper tiger, but they tend to be ultraconservatives of the John Birch stripe.


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


[ Parent ]
hadn't seen this comment before (none / 0) (#252)
by martingale on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:36:24 AM EST

I just answered in the other thread. Anyway, thanks for the reply, I'm just testing the idea so far.

[ Parent ]
Bush Inspectors (5.00 / 1) (#257)
by Wah on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:56:08 PM EST

Now you can certainly say that once inspectors were let back in, tne US should've been satisfied with this (at least for a period of time, to see if they'd be successful), but that's a different matter.

It seems (and I may be naively cynical) that inspections, disarming, etc. have never really been a goal of the Bush administation.

Inspections started at the end of November.  The first day afterwards Bush says they aren't working and can't work.  It just seems that no matter what other tactics are tried we have to fall on the last resort of war.  Although, IIRC, war last time was used as a preamble to force inspections, which then destroyed the vast majority of the Iraqi arsenal.

So it does seem evident that the threat of force was necessary to allow inspections, but now we're there and the real goal of the Bush administration has become less clear.  It seems that the 'crusade' mention might have been a Freudian slip after all, since nothing short of violent regime change seems to be enough. Even though we are now seeing more possible diplomatic solutions.  And have a new problem with our track record of re-building middle-eastern countries we change regimes of in the 21st century.

I think there are many who support the idea of war for the reason stated above, i.e. that is Saddam doesn't think he is under a threat then he won't allow spy planes and inspection teams into  his country.  But now that has worked, and we are in the situation we were in at the END of the last war, but we want to start a new one.

The big problem is that if Saddam takes our lead on national security policy, he can now justifiably attack us since we have publicly threatened him (Since we are being agressive-passive by pre-empting a possible threat, he is more justified in pre-empting an actual, stated threat).

Of course all this justification talk is just that when the whole debate is boiled down to "US = GOOD, Them = EVIL", then justification is implied, but so is 'crusade'.
--
YAR
[
Parent ]

You got it. (none / 0) (#272)
by BCoates on Sat Feb 22, 2003 at 09:38:45 PM EST

It seems (and I may be naively cynical) that inspections, disarming, etc. have never really been a goal of the Bush administation.

Of course not. Bush wants Saddam out. "Regime Change" has been the US policy for some time now, since near the end of the Clinton administration.

Of course all this justification talk is just that when the whole debate is boiled down to "US = GOOD, Them = EVIL"

That is, pretty much, what it all boils down to.

--
Benjamin Coates

[ Parent ]

OK... I'll take a shot at this (4.78 / 28) (#99)
by jpiterak on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:25:43 PM EST

OK... I'll take a crack at this one.

Your answer is: NO

That said, start the explanation...

In my opinion, this administration single-handedly bungled foreign policy on a scale not seen in my lifetime.

That some of Bush's policies might have had some small positive effect is almost irrelevant compared to that.

So far:

  • Every action this administration has taken to date has had the effect of distancing us from our allies, and adding justification to our detractors. We have been unilateral when we should have been acting multilaterally, and acted weakly multilaterally when we should have acted on our own. Not only have our actions been illogical on their face, they have been inconsistent with their own stated goals and justification.
    • We claim to act in the name of International law, then disregard, flaunt and ignore that same law:
      • By ignoring or disbanding our treaty obligations
      • By arguing that the United States not be held liable under any International Court
      • By changing our stated policies with regard to military action to be in direct violation to our agreements with the United Nations.

  • This lack of direction, and apparent hypocrisy has lead our allies and detractors to assume that our stated goals are not our true goals. How else can 70% of Europeans believe that our only interest in Iraq is to garner Iraqui oil?
  • Bush has managed to alienate our European allies, to the point where there is discussion of NATO either becoming irrelevant or disbanding.
  • Bush has managed to alienate the United Nations to the point where a majority of the Security Council breaks into applause when the French Foreign Minister speaks out against overzealous United States actions.
  • Bush has managed to escalate and ignore a mounting North Korean crisis while it focuses on attacking Iraq.
    • Not only has his 'Axis of Evil' speech convinced the North Koreans that they are next in Washington's sights. We appear to be doing our deliberate best to ignore our allies in the region, who are all clamoring for constructive engagement, before this scenario spins hopelessly out of control.
    • Worse, by ignoring the situation before an attack on Iraq, it has all but guarranteed that North Korea take Washington's distraction with a war in Iraq as an 'opportunity' for action.

  • Bush has put into place a policy of preemptive action that sets the stage for untold conflict around the world. His justification is 'the war against terrorism,' which can easily be turned by any regime into a justification for military activity against any nation or group that they find troublesome. Further, he has tongue-tied any dissention against these regimes, simply by giving them the argument that their actions are 'warring against terrorism.' Ask yourself:
    • If the United States is justified in preemptive action, what keeps India from preemptively attacking a nuclear and terrorist threat from Pakistan?
    • What about Israel against the Palistinians?
    • What about Russia against the Chechens?
    • What about China against their Muslim minorities?
  • This policy apparently includes the preemptive use of nuclear weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction. How long before our detractors -- and worse -- our allies, begin to see the correlation that we draw against the rabid, irresponsible use of power... and us.
So, yes... I suppose that the existence of inspectors has been a positive result of this administration's actions. And as we continue to alienate our allies, build alliances against us, manage to turn the massive goodwill that the actions of 9/11 gave to us into bitter ashes of worldwide dissent...

I suppose you can take some comfort in that.

I will not.

--JP

[ Parent ]

Diplomatic disaster (3.75 / 4) (#121)
by shellac on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:33:07 PM EST

I agree with you wholeheartedly. This whole Iraq thing is more of a diplomatic disaster more than anything else. I have a feeling that if a different president were in power, we could have gotten the stagnant UN to agree upon some action.

I mean, why did the world find out about this war planning from the NY Times instead of at the UN? And here we have Rumsfeld, on the other hand, complaining about France and Germany making plans behind the US's back for increasing inspectors and having peacekeepers. Wasn't the US guilty of this first? And just what the hell was Rumsfeld thinking with his 'old' France and Germany comments and such. Even if they find Osama hanging out with Saddam, he expects the US to get backing after that? Bush needs to replace that imbecile.

The real losers in this diplomatic mess are the Iraqi people, who will have to suffer for God knows how long under this regime and under these sanctions if the war does not go forward. I mean, which will cause more Iraq casualties, a brief aerial war with targeted surgical strikes, or dying from treatable disease and infection. Iraq will have to join the ranks of Cuba and North Korea as these poor pariah states.

To those that believe the US is simply after oil, then why has the US pursued this policy of containment for many year? Why didn't Bush Sr. simply press on to Baghdad while he had the opportunity in the original Gulf War?

[ Parent ]

That's a better argument (3.80 / 5) (#149)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:58:12 PM EST

In my opinion, this administration single-handedly bungled foreign policy on a scale not seen in my lifetime. That some of Bush's policies might have had some small positive effect is almost irrelevant compared to that.

At least you are articulating the reasons that you think that the good that has come out of it is insignificant. You are arguing that whatever good may have come from the actions of the Bush administration is significantly outweighed by the cost. That's a reasonable and rational debate stance that involves weighing factors, and in an ideal world, there would be a discussion about it. Also, you may very well be right. At least, I don't know that you're wrong.

What I do know is that there have been umpteen bazillion Iraq stories on K5, a community ostensibly for people who like to think, and the discussion almost never gets above the level of "Bush look like chimp. Bush like oil. Bush want war. War bad. Bush bad." versus "Saddam Hussein gas Kurds. Saddam bad. Blow up Saddam."

Therein lies my frustration, which I am expressing here. Like it or not, this is not a simple issue. Like it or not, it's in the U.N. now. Like it or not, all sorts of things weigh in, including the continued viability of the U.N.

I suppose you can take some comfort in that. I will not.

Oh, dear, back to the mud and the easy world of polarization. It was nice while it lasted.


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


[ Parent ]
What, you were looking for intelligent debate? (4.60 / 5) (#169)
by jpiterak on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 12:29:33 AM EST

Oh, dear, back to the mud and the easy world of polarization. It was nice while it lasted.

Fair enough :-)... Though you did start it off with a somewhat bombastic comment. :-P

Anyway, I am in agreement that the tone and content of most of the discussion I have heard so far (anywhere, not just here), has been less than well thought out. That said, I'll rant some more...

The thing is, I actually agree with the eventual argument for going to war with Iraq. It seems clear that Saddam Hussein has 'weapons of mass destruction' (whatever that means). At some point, it seems clear that the International Community will need to deal with these weapons, and perhaps with Hussein. It is also in our best interest to do this before Hussein has nuclear weapons.

Most of the arguments I've heard so far, however, miss the point - especially when it comes to how the United States handles this. As you say, the situation is complicated. However, I find it terribly disturbing that this administration appears to be incapable of comprehending how complicated it actually is. Back on point...

Yes, Hussein has nasty weapons, but up until now he has also been deterred from using these weapons outside of his own borders since the Gulf War. Further, until we pushed the point, I really don't believe that Hussein was willing to provide WMD's to terrorist organizations.

Hussein's stated goal has been one of creating a (secular) pan-Arabist nationalism, preferably with him as the leader of this movement. Why would he desemenate what he believes to be the basis of his power? Worse, why would he give these weapons to an organization as rabid and anti-secular as al-Qu'eda?

This, I believe, was the predominant argument with regard to Iraqi containment, up until 9/11... An argument that even Condalisa Rice was making up until two years ago.

The thing is, even after 9/11 and Afghanistan, there was nothing that truly shifted this argument. Hussein was contained, and we had every possibility to slowly build a worldwide consensus around disarmament and even 'regime change,' without unravelling our entire foreign policy. The world was ready to sympathize with us, and instead of using this sympathy (I wil be realpolitik), we have squandered the chance in rhetoric of Crusade. This administration may have been right to start movement toward some sort of action against Iraq, but their arrogant, bullying, and bombastic lack of policy is likely to put us at odds with both our detractors and allies.

The thing is... We know that Saddam has these weapons. With the implementation of inspections, we know that we can eventually back him into a corner. He will eventually become so obstructive as to seal his own fate. Look at the Iraqi ambassador's statement last week to see that they have dug in their heels: They will not provide any more information WRT the chemical and biological source material they have purchased. They will become intransigent enough that the world can find an excuse to justify intervention, as long as it doesn't loose it's will.

On the other hand, we have backed ourselves into a corner diplomatically and militarily. We cannot reasonably sustain our troops in the area without action past about May, and the best timing for military engagement is before the end of March. Instead of beginning the process of inspections and allowing the slow dance of diplomacy, growing Iraqi intransigence and increasing levels of saber rattling to bring the world to a grudging acceptance, we have far overplayed our hand.

Worse, Bush's lack of comprehension coupled with Rumsfeld's inane lack of tact, Cheney's overwhelming need to finish old business and Powell's inability to convince any of them that the United States cannot act like a rabid dog - is about to plunge us into situations none of these people appear capable of handling.

Say what you will about him (and no - I don't agree with everything he said), I think Nelson Mandela summed it up quite nicely:

'One power with a president who has no foresight and cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust,'

(Yes, that was a bit of polarization... But it also sticks in my craw that more people are not willing to be [intelligently] opinionated about things that are important.)

[ Parent ]

OK (4.50 / 2) (#171)
by epepke on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 01:11:32 AM EST

Though you did start it off with a somewhat bombastic comment.

Which, it seems to me, is the only thing that works around here. Or, rather, I haven't found anything else that works. I'm not particularly happy about that fact, but I'm a realist of sorts.

The thing is, I actually agree with the eventual argument for going to war with Iraq. It seems clear that Saddam Hussein has 'weapons of mass destruction' (whatever that means). At some point, it seems clear that the International Community will need to deal with these weapons, and perhaps with Hussein. It is also in our best interest to do this before Hussein has nuclear weapons.

This is probably accurate. However, at the present time, it might be more prudent to declare that Iraq is adequately contained. I see what is happening in the U.N. as playing out as a Good Cop/Bad Cop game, although I think currently that there's a bit too much Good Cop, and it may make Saddam Hussein complacent. Personally, I think it would be OK if the current situation, wherein Saddam Hussein feels just threatened enough to allow inspections, would go on for a while.

Yes, Hussein has nasty weapons, but up until now he has also been deterred from using these weapons outside of his own borders since the Gulf War. Further, until we pushed the point, I really don't believe that Hussein was willing to provide WMD's to terrorist organizations.

That's as may be. On the other hand, there were the training camps with the dead 737's in Iraq long before this started.

The thing is, even after 9/11 and Afghanistan, there was nothing that truly shifted this argument. Hussein was contained, and we had every possibility to slowly build a worldwide consensus around disarmament and even 'regime change,' without unravelling our entire foreign policy. The world was ready to sympathize with us, and instead of using this sympathy (I wil be realpolitik), we have squandered the chance in rhetoric of Crusade. This administration may have been right to start movement toward some sort of action against Iraq, but their arrogant, bullying, and bombastic lack of policy is likely to put us at odds with both our detractors and allies.

There is a point to this. However, I don't see that much had happened or was likely to happen without the admittedly bombastic Bush rhetoric. Saddam Hussein has continually been a master of brinkmanship.

The thing is... We know that Saddam has these weapons. With the implementation of inspections, we know that we can eventually back him into a corner. He will eventually become so obstructive as to seal his own fate.

Indeed, and my hopes are that it will eventually come to this. I don't oppose the opposition to the Bush plans; I think that's healthy and necessary. But I do think that without that threat, it would just be business as usual for Saddam Hussein.

On the other hand, we have backed ourselves into a corner diplomatically and militarily. We cannot reasonably sustain our troops in the area without action past about May, and the best timing for military engagement is before the end of March.

Again, that's as may be. Maybe it's possible to sustain troops longer, and maybe not. Maybe it's a valuable thing to make Saddam Hussein think that it can't be sustained beyond the end of April. It's certainly costly, but I don't know at this point that this would be bad.

Instead of beginning the process of inspections and allowing the slow dance of diplomacy, growing Iraqi intransigence and increasing levels of saber rattling to bring the world to a grudging acceptance, we have far overplayed our hand.

We arguably began the process of inspections and the slow dance of diplomacy a decade ago and, arguably, the eight years of the Clinton presidency were a time of not particularly paying attention. (This is not necessarily a slight on Clinton; that may have been a policy that was effective enough.) We may have overplayed our hand now, or maybe not. Stuff seems to be happening which didn't happen for a long time. Every week that the inspectors remain in Iraq is either another week that they may find WMD'd or another week that they don't. Either way, it's more information.

Worse, Bush's lack of comprehension coupled with Rumsfeld's inane lack of tact, Cheney's overwhelming need to finish old business and Powell's inability to convince any of them that the United States cannot act like a rabid dog - is about to plunge us into situations none of these people appear capable of handling.

Is about to. No, I don't disagree with your characterization, but I have to point out that a ground war hasn't happened yet. When and if this happens, we'll all have 20-20 hindsight. I've already gone on record as saying that I don't think there will be a ground war. I may be wrong, or I may be right.


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


[ Parent ]
Me too! (none / 0) (#274)
by DavidTC on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:49:57 PM EST

You managed to state exactly how I feel. The inspections will fail, and Saddam is not a threat to anyone else but, regardless, we should take him down...when the inspections fail.

Instead, we whine about him not keeping to the treaty, but we're about to attacking without internationional consent and possibly in violation of internationional law, because it is illegal to attack other countries without cause. We're saying he's violating the treaty with the UN, which gives us the right to attack, but the UN doesn't agree yet, and it's entirely possible that, duh, the UN is supposed to decide that, not us.

Attacking Iraq now is unnecessary, it's a bad precedent, and it's incredibly fucking stupid when we can the rest of the world can attack him this fall or whenever the inspections fail.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

What treaties? (5.00 / 2) (#168)
by maniac1860 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:49:57 PM EST

By ignoring or disbanding our treaty obligations
Care to give any examples?

[ Parent ]
treaties (4.50 / 2) (#209)
by iba on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:19:53 PM EST

He's probably talking about Kyoto and the ICC, and the US' exit from the ABM treaty. Of course, the President isn't obligated to sign any treaty that comes acrosss his desk, and the ABM treaty had clear exit clause....

[ Parent ]
I'll go for... (4.57 / 7) (#105)
by Znork on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 01:37:53 PM EST

Number 4. Saddam may or may not have chemical weapons, but frankly it's beside the real point. Chemical weapons are easily produced by pretty much any developed country. What would be interesting is if he is planning to use them against other countries. I dont see many indications of that, especially since he didnt even use them during the Gulf War.

The Bush administration suggests that any weapons Saddam has may find their way into terrorist hands. However, as far as I can recall, the anthrax used after 9/11 actually originated in the US. I also have a hard time seeing why terrorists would go to Saddam for their chem weapons when they could just as well make them in the US. If a group of japanese nutcases can brew sarin gas in their basement, I cant see why a group of moslem nutcases couldnt.

So, if we're talking only about the specific instance of disarming Iraq, I will agree that making it easier for the UN weapons inspectors to disarm Saddam is a good thing. A good thing in the fuzzy nebulous 'chemical weapons are bad in the hands of anyone' way. But I hope that you feel that that fuzzy nebulous good is a suitable way to spend your tax money, and good enough reason to alienate most of the US allies, because frankly, it actually doesnt really matter anyway.

[ Parent ]

That's fine (5.00 / 1) (#165)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 10:45:29 PM EST

Saddam may or may not have chemical weapons, but frankly it's beside the real point. Chemical weapons are easily produced by pretty much any developed country.

That's fine, and I agree with it. Any kitchen has chemical weapons.

But, if it really doesn't matter, then logically, the U.N. should at least try to pass a resolution saying that they don't care whether Iraq has chemical weapons.

What would be interesting is if he is planning to use them against other countries. I dont see many indications of that, especially since he didnt even use them during the Gulf War.

This is also fine, and if that's the priority, then state it. However, after the Gulf War in the early 1990's, most of the people I knew who opposed the Gulf War immediatly put bumper stickers that said "What about the Kurds?" on their cars. If the position is that what happens inside the borders of Iraq doesn't matter provided it doesn't get outside Iraq, then that's a defensible position (from a certain perspective). But then again, the however many babies that are supposed to have died because of economic sanctions don't matter, either.

If a group of japanese nutcases can brew sarin gas in their basement, I cant see why a group of moslem nutcases couldnt.

That's a fine argument, too. Notice that the U.S. didn't bomb Japan, even though it is known that they had Sarin.

But I hope that you feel that that fuzzy nebulous good is a suitable way to spend your tax money, and good enough reason to alienate most of the US allies, because frankly, it actually doesnt really matter anyway.

Oh, good, another cheap shot. I'll state this again, for the record, and I'll try to make it easy to understand. The only thing I am calling for is a higher class of debate. That's all. I'm not beating the bongos for the U.S., nor am I beating them for France. I don't know what's going to happen with respect to this crisis. All other things being equal, I'd like not to see a ground war, but all other things being equal, I don't think that European-style talk-about-it-and-do-nothing diplomacy is the answer, either.


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


[ Parent ]
I heard a theory from a prof.... (3.37 / 8) (#67)
by The Amazing Idiot on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:14:13 AM EST

I heard a theory from a very conservative professor. He basically stated that if you're in a recession/inflation, the only REAL way to get out of it is to start a war. Doesnt matter if it's just or not. Just start one and plan to win. He said it's also a great way to speed up weapontry technology (which leaches down to us civilans).

Mighty interesting, that after world war 1, the world went into a massive inflation which ONLY the end of world war 2 brought out... And the first gulf war, and now.

Prof. of which discipline?(nt) (none / 0) (#69)
by MrLarch on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:43:11 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Histrionics? [N/T] (5.00 / 1) (#254)
by archivis on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:00:42 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Full of.. (4.77 / 9) (#76)
by Kwil on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:47:37 AM EST

It's sad that a professor obviously isn't thinking things through.

What does a war gain the citizenry of the populace at home?
Some new territory, maybe? These days, not likely.
Spoils of war? Concessions from foreign states?  Again, not likely. More likely the reverse actually.
So what is it then about "starting a war" that actually affects the home economy?

It's massive government spending.

The government starts investing massive amounts of money in weapons, weapons tech, and the military, giving a lot of people jobs, which gives a lot of people money, which lets them go out and buy things, which creates a need for even more jobs, etc.

So why does this spending need to be in weapons? Why couldn't we have this huge amount of spending go to something like, oh, building homeless shelters, schools, hospitals, or infrastructure?  When you consider that every smart missile fired could have instead been spent on funding somebody's entire post-secondary education - an investment that pays off for the country in the long run - it almost seems criminal.

Want to cure cancer? Cut military funding by 25% and put it into cancer research. You'll either have the cure or the definitive proof that it simply can't be cured within two years. Want to get off foreign oil? Take 10% of the military spending and invest it in alternative energy production companies.

Or here's a fun one, you really want to give the economy a kick in the ass? Eliminate payroll taxes.  Let the working poor keep more of their money so that they can start spending it on "stuff". Suddenly a lot more stuff is needed.

The danger, as you pointed out, is an inflationary spiral. There are two basic ways to combat an inflationary spiral: create enough product to fulfill demand, or reduce demand.  We know a bit about doing the latter using interest rates, but why not work on the former by giving boosts to start-up companies?  This way, competition encourages behavior that most benefits the people. Behavior in terms of service, quality, and price. The more competition, the better all three of these things turn out to be.  Boosting startups is also beneficial because it leads to more American grown business, which means less money to out of country businesses, which in turn means less of a trade deficit -- something America needs more than any war.

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


[ Parent ]
Cured by whom? (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by roystgnr on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:21:28 PM EST

Cut military funding by 25% and put it into cancer research. You'll either have the cure or the definitive proof that it simply can't be cured within two years.

How many biologists bright enough and educated enough to cure cancer are there who aren't currently involved in research that could lead to a cure?  There is a serious problem of diminishing returns in "crash" research programs; eventually you start running out of things to spend money on.  If we were to try to suddenly spend tens of billions of dollars a year more on cancer research, I doubt you'd be able to fill out the first years budget without putting half of it into graduate fellowships and college scholarships (which I wouldn't object to strenuously, but which would bear fruit in just two years).

[ Parent ]

I want a War on... (none / 0) (#273)
by DavidTC on Wed Feb 26, 2003 at 01:39:20 PM EST

...Pollution. Pollution is a broad enough category that you can get all sort of jobs out of fighting it, from people picking up old tires to people developing new chemical compounds to people treating people who have been exposed to it.

If instead of this 'War on Terror', we sunk money into a 'War on Pollution', we'd up the level of government spending and have much the same effect as a real war, with a much better side effect.

I mean, what if, next year, we spent as much money as required to develop pollution free energy sources, requiring power companies to convert to them, but paid them for any extra costs? It would cost tens of billions of dollars...or about the cost of losing a few nuclear submariness or carriers.

If we're going to war just to pump money into the economy, let's pump it into something useful, instead of blowing it all on destroyed tanks and training for dead soldiers, and equipment that's going to laying a warehouse for fifteen years and then thrown away before it's used again.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Priming the pump vs. sustainability (5.00 / 2) (#198)
by DaChesserCat on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:28:09 AM EST

You know, I hated Macroeconomics, when I was in college. I hated it, not because it was difficult, but because it pointed out a few things which really pissed me off.

We've gotten used to the idea of massive growth, year after year. I mean, what's the definition of a recession? Less than 5% growth in the GDP, for two consecutive quarters? Something like that? How do you get massive growth? Encourage spending.

It was pointed out, in that class, that banks are only required to keep a small percentage of the money which is deposited in them. Let's say 10% (I'm pretty sure the actual figure is lower). So, if I deposit $1,000, they can loan out $900. Someone borrows that $900, and spends it. The recipient of that spending deposits it in their bank, which promptly loans out $810 of it. So, let's see, I put $1,000 in the bank, but $1,810 is loaned out as a result. And hell, that's just one cycle; it continues ad infinitum. Consequently, as long as people are borrowing and spending, the money supply keeps growing, and the economy keeps booming.

What happens, though, when everyone gets loaded up on debt, and actually has to start paying it off? The amount of money starts to shrink. We've been playing "on margin" for a long time, and the amount of consumer debt is at record levels. Some people (myself included) are now having to face the music and pay that stuff off (or, at the very least, some of it). The result: when a large number of people do this, the money supply shrinks, spending slows and the economy slows.

During the Roosevelt years, a great deal was done to "prime the pump" (for those who don't get the reference, if you have a pump, pulling water from a well, you sometimes have to put some water backwards into the pump, before you can get it to pull water from the well). That is, massive government spending on various projects. That got the money flowing. That got people working. That got people spending. That got the economy moving. That seemed to help. Then, we got involved in WWII, and the government spent considerably more. That REALLY got people working. Which REALLY got people spending. Which REALLY got the economy moving. If you look closely, though, it was yet another (more extreme) form of "priming the pump." The race to the moon? Yet another example. Cold War spending during the '80's? Yet another example.

This policy of repeatedly "priming the pump" is NOT SUSTAINABLE. Considerably more people are having to stop spending and start paying off. Consequently, the money is going to be flowing in the wrong direction for a while. Sure, a war will "prime the pump" some more, but the well is just about out of water, and priming it more will give diminishing returns.

Does war cure depression and recession? Well, only in the fact that it puts more money into circulation. Unfortunately, if people have to take their income and use it to pay the piper, a war won't cure anything. If we succeed in some grand fashion, it might raise morale, getting people to spend again, but it won't last long, because the hard reality of having to pay off all that spending will come back to haunt, and it won't wait long to do so. Whether it is individual consumers needing to pay off their credit card debt, or the government needing to pay for their deficit spending, paying off does NOT help the economy grow. Since there has been relatively little saving, lately, that's about all anyone can do at this point.

Why did the economy slow during the end of the Clinton era? Well, let's see, that was the first time in decades that we were actually balancing the budget, and starting to pay off some of the massive deficits (the deficit was a major issue during Clinton's original campaign, and it actually shrank during his administration). The money, however, was flowing the wrong direction, so the economy slowed. One of Gore's tenets in his campaign was "sustainability." Depending on who you ask, the voters didn't want to hear it (or they did, but somebody cheated; my references to GWB as "the Shrub" should make my bias abundantly clear). Whether we want to face it or not, sustainability is something we need to be focusing on. Wars are not "sustainable" economic tactics; just ask someone who was trying to make a living during Vietnam. Our foreign affairs policies are not "sustainable," either; 9/11 is a result of our "non-sustainable" foreign policies coming back to haunt us. Our massive consumption (in the U.S., at least) of fossil-based energy is not "sustainable;" the Shrub would rather ignore that fact and "just say no" to the Kyoto protocol (he complains that it would hurt us economically; No S--t! We produce more greenhouse gasses, per capita, than any other nation on earth, and we've become economically dependent on doing so; naturally, we're supposed to cut our emissions more than anyone else).

We've been spiraling for some time. It's time to pay the piper, and get ourselves (and our country) back on track.

Trains stop at train stations Busses stop at bus stations A windows workstation . . .
[ Parent ]
musta missed this one... (none / 0) (#82)
by maevelite on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:02:17 AM EST

stickerboy touched on this last friday...

[ Parent ]
kinda makes me wish I believed in God. (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by mikelist on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:31:51 AM EST

When someone "learned" makes statements that profess such a major lack of respect for human life and social convention. Notwithstanding, he probably is correct.

[ Parent ]
War is only an economic boon on a grand scale (4.00 / 1) (#101)
by legLess on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:57:20 PM EST

This is a meme that needs to be killed. What some say got the U.S. out of the Depression was government spending at a truly stunning level (although others disagree), orders of magnitude greater than what is being proposed for the current war.

Forgive my lack of figures, but the facts that drive the numbers are readily available. During WWII, government war-related spending reached about 45% of GNP. The government, by fiat, expanded the economy by nearly 200%. In contrast, our current administration's proposal for war in the Middle East is less than .5% GNP. This is not enough to make much of a dent in the economy.
--
FuzzyMan45: Stupidity as a weapon of mass destruction. Great idea, but how would you weaponize it? KWillets: Television
[ Parent ]
Same professor. . ? (5.00 / 7) (#124)
by Fantastic Lad on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:54:47 PM EST

I heard a theory from a very conservative professor. He basically stated that if you're in a recession/inflation, the only REAL way to get out of it is to start a war.

I must have had your professor in High School. He was an idiot back then as well.

The old line, "Wars Make Money" has been said many times by many people. And it's certainly true. For some.

The full text of the argument goes something like this. . .

Lots and lots of weapons, tanks, airplanes get bought. This employs lots of people in gun, tank and airplane factories, plus all of the supporting industries, (steel fabrication, housing, transport, etc.) Look at all those employed people! Wow. The argument is airtight! Let's all go to war and be employed!

Except. . .

They leave out a few parts. . .

The part about who pays for the whole charade. --Where does all the cash come from, (which is, essentially, converted into arms and sent over seas to be blown up? Great investment!)

Well, that'd be you and me, pardner! 'Income tax' was invented in the West as a war measures act, (at least in Canada). Before WWII, personal incomes were not taxed. Hmm. . .

Mighty interesting, that after world war 1, the world went into a massive inflation which ONLY the end of world war 2 brought out...

True, but that was a very different circumstance. America didn't start WWII, and it certainly didn't fight most of it. It sat on the side-lines for a few years selling weapons and technology to those who did fight, (including Germany!). Then, only in the final moments, did America get involved. So, sure, the West profited from this war, but so what? It certainly isn't proof positive that a war today will end a recession!

The fact of the matter is that sending money anywhere to be blown up rather than putting it into something which will offer a return on investment is completely insane! An idea on par with the average pyramid scheme. --Lots of money moving without any being properly invested, and when the roots go dry, the few at the top who collected move on and leave the whole system to collapse. It's the same kind of thinking that fish-dynamiters use. Fast wealth to a few at huge expense to the many.

Now, investment. . . That's how it should be done! Sure, it takes more work, (and we know how the greedy shudder at the thought of actual work; better to get some slaves for that dirty stuff!), but investment. That's the way sane and responsible people go about it!

For instance. . .

Going to the Moon; that was an economic bonanza! America was investing all of those billions in new inventions and new technology, most of which would be used over the next four decades to increase the wealth and well-being of everybody. Millions were employed, millions were excited and positive, and best of all, nobody came home in a body bag. It was a MUCH better investment than a war. --All of the effort wasn't being shipped overseas in the form of already-developed weaponry, (Read that again, please: ALREADY DEVELOPED!), in order to be blown up.

--Building a hydro electric project, like the Hoover Dam. That was an economic boon. That stimulated the economy, providing clean power for further growth. --And while many people died during its construction, it was because of poor worker safety standards, not flying grenades.

Make no mistake, this war will make some people very, very rich. But those seats are taken. And who but a complete asshole or simpleton would want to sit in one of those seats anyway? The rest of us aren't going to benefit at all! We're going to be drafted, over-taxed, over-worked and under-paid, (It's your patriotic duty to stuff bullets for chump-change, citizen! Are you criticizing America?). Hoo-freekin'-Ray. May I see your papers, please?

Peace time is great for normal business. People produce and travel and explore their lives without hinderance just fine, thank you very much.

There is no need for staggering individual wealth, but those who desire it are often attracted to the quick-gain scams like War. Heck, even economic depressions are make-money-quick scams for banks. (When the value of your bank-owned debts sky-rocket, you end up either having your property/holdings confiscated or you become a wage-slave for the rest of your days.

Any 'teacher' who professes that war is good for the economy is either daft or is holding stocks in some aero-space company. A powerful economy means nothing if it doesn't make life better, healthier and more free for the population it is supposed to SERVE.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Osama is dead (2.80 / 5) (#68)
by sticky on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:38:31 AM EST

Get over it already.


Don't eat the shrimp.---God
No he isn't... (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by Danse on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:07:15 AM EST

He was spotted at a Qwik-E-Mart in east Texas just last week!






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
For a dead guy... (none / 0) (#256)
by Kintanon on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:47:53 PM EST

He puts out a lot of videos....

He might be catching up to Tupac for the most media releases from a dead guy if this keeps up.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

I love not being an american (2.47 / 23) (#70)
by toliman on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:29:31 AM EST

After reading through what seems like 17 months of sudden, dawning realisation that America is not the epicentre of the world, Americans are realising that they are struggling to find their place in a world where they find themselves the shameless players in a contest they have never learned the rules to play before. The game of International Politics.

What the world has been trying to convince the ignorant, is they lost the game many decades ago and they have been playing with themselves for a few years now.

two truths: 1) The UN is a union of the worst possible forces to comtemplate war, it highlights impotence and arrogance in politics, more than any other democratic arrangement of leaders. The strength of the UN comes from the unified views of so many nations, it can unilaterally make decisions that would never work in a true democratic government, the strongarming of smaller contingent nations is part of what makes the UN such a force to be reckoned with.

a case in point, the kyoto agreement on pollution and clean air is flatly refused by the US, and agreed to by every other nation in the UN. Kyoto protocol is dropped. But, talk on UN military policy, the US flouts their tacit and unconditional support for any and all action, as long as it serves a common purpose. or their own purpose, whichever seems to be "abundantly clear"(er) at the time.

2) the UN is an impossible method to declare war with, or make non-unfied decisions. So many governments struggling with their own agendas... who have no outstanding problems with the Middle East, and would prefer if neither the US or the Middle East were around to interfere in their adequately budgeted government. THe UN nations have no time to declare war, no budget to prepare military force with, and no political support to stay in office if a country decides to support a country outside of the UN. The odds of staying in power after you declare and engage in war on another country ... are poor, unless you happen to be in a dictatorship ... which the US doesn't understand or tolerate either, possibly because they dont want to appease other nations by belonging to the UN, or the tyrranical leadership is not exactly the fairest, honest, trustworthy, or non-sociopathic person on the list of candidates for the job.

on top of the UN, you have an american public who could be mistaken as the dumbest populace on the face of the entire planet through design. as the saying goes, an american knows just enough to be dangerous, constantly believing they know enough to make the right decisions, is patriotic enough to be downright mentally unstable, and fed enough fear and propaganda for a majority to become mentally unstable.

strangely enough, 9-11 was a sharp relief to the fact that America is a slave to its "western" society, one that emphasises education and awareness from the media over social education from family and peers, that values expenditure and commodities over the value of life or liberty or freedom, and the defense of a country that has distanced itself from every other country around the world to highlight it's own dominance and arrogance.

What makes this article stagnant is that the author is writing his own views on a war that cannot be won, by ridiculing the people who support the action and blockade the action equally, and THEN calls the ineffectual US military in the previous government-led action as evidence that it will be a very successful government-led disaster ... well. gee.

we need another vietnam like the world needs another sequel to legally blonde. or... the other 27 sequels to be made this year ...

The greater problem is not foreign leaders, not foreign religious leaders, terrorists, tourists, local religious leaders, it is undiluted, 100% american-made ignorance. born in the USA.

You have a nation bred to fear things it cannot control or understand, a military force used to settle disputes locally and internationally, a nation that strongarms other nations into peaceful settlement and military action.

The US has probably killed off more of it's own population through sheer ignorance, of things ranging from asbestos, drinking, prescription medications, addictive drugs, compulsory vaccinations, death by vending machines, cancer, rewiring the kitchen toaster with a knife, trying to install illegal cable tv and severing electrical conduits, or just plain bad driving. out of all those things that could possibly kill you via the ostensibly freaky nature of the universe ... it is far more likely to be killed by another american in a non-combat situation living in the US.

In a combat situation, it appears you are even more likely to die due to friendly fire than enemy fire, unless you happen to be travelling above-ground in afghanistan, in which case, your life is forfeit, terrorist, civillian or american equally. To give a fine resolution on the OBL drama ... The odds of Osama Bin-Laden giving up, dying, or even more plausible, converting more members to the cause is beyond the ability of the US to reveal or effect, it is simply above and beyond the reach of US intelligence or action.

Unless you would like to travel to Afghanistan and the outlying provinces of India, Pakistan the Middle East, etc. and mount a successfull probaganda campaign that can eliminate OBL and re-establish faith in an american foreign policy not to kill every civillian and combatant in the Middle East, then you have no effect at all in your condemnation, You may as well start trying to rock that vending machine now to become another statistic.

while we all love the big-brother approach of the US government, it's tiresome and ultimately annoying, most times, lethal to those who do not subscribe to the US demarcation of policy and ideals.
---------- Toliman ----------- Toliman.org. now defunct after the cripping of .au broadband.

You'd be surprised how little Americans care (4.55 / 9) (#83)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:10:53 AM EST

about being the epicenter of the world or not.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
It's my impression ... (4.20 / 5) (#85)
by pyramid termite on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:22:35 AM EST

... they pretty much take it for granted that they are.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Not quite. (4.66 / 3) (#87)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:01:04 AM EST

Indifference of what you think of me often appears to be arrogance.


--
I can't hear you, there's a banana in my ear.


[ Parent ]
If you were indifferent (3.75 / 4) (#93)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 10:52:13 AM EST

You wouldn't have responded

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
The indifference (5.00 / 2) (#170)
by Bill Melater on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 01:06:18 AM EST

describes how Americans regard how they are perceived from other countries. I'm sure the original poster cares passionately about your particular opinion ;}

Really, we don't actually give a rats' ass how people in other countries think about us. We just don't. Probably because our ancestors found those countries to be such vile, pestilential hellholes that they took any route possible to get here. The best and brightest of the world find their way to America. They don't look back.



[ Parent ]

Ah, I see. (none / 0) (#218)
by DominantParadigm on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:38:00 PM EST

Same in my country. What's especially joyous is when people cluck their tongues and say "Your country doesn't do anything on the world stage, how could it possibly matter?" Well shit,life is good, who gives a fuck? I understand perfectly.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Well, the world should consider itself lucky (3.44 / 9) (#97)
by mveloso on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:18:13 PM EST

If the US was anything like the UK, France, Germany, or Japan back in the old days, the whole world would be complete and total vassals of Washington DC. In other words, the reason the US is not the epicenter of the world is the US doesn't want to be the epicenter of the world.

It should be enlightening to everyone that when the USSR collapsed, the concern of the US was to stabilize and grow the ex-republics, not to politcally dominate and/or annex them. Indeed, the main concern today seems to be turning Russia et al into consumer societie, with a relatively stable judicial and social system.

And just for the protesters, Russia has about a little under half as much oil as Iraq.

[ Parent ]

Domination under another name. (4.33 / 6) (#147)
by Kwil on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:54:10 PM EST

It should be enlightening to everyone that when the USSR collapsed, the concern of the US was ...  not to politcally dominate and/or annex them. Indeed, the main concern today seems to be turning Russia et al into consumer societie

And what makes you think that "turning Russia et all into consumer societies" isn't just a different form of domination? We use economic means rather than military to dominate the world now. Take a look at Mexico and most of South America for a nice example of this. Look at what the IMF and WTO can do to foreign countries.

Just because we're not officially ruling and don't have tanks in the street doesn't mean that the country isn't dominated. When we can effectively control what laws they make or remove, or what treaties they enter into or don't by using economic power against them, they're just as dominated as if a tank were sitting on the steps of their legislatures.

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


[ Parent ]
I love that your not American too (4.66 / 12) (#106)
by Yanks Rule on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:01:03 PM EST

Frankly I find this kind of condescending attitude similar to if you had just said "black people are the dumbest people on the face of the planet." It's amazing how many non-US citizens always refer to Americans in the same way a racist refers to minorities. I mean, are there no stupid people where you live? Or do you in fact no next to nothing about real Americans? I'm sure that all the anti-war Americans on K5 people would have to disagree with you about being ignorant and force fed propaganda. But then, you were only refering to those who disagree with you right?

So I'm glad you're not American too, because we already have enough people like you here, and that's NOT a good thing.

"I do think we live in dangerous times, and anybody who looks at the world and says this is the time to be a wuss--I can't buy that anymore. " -- Dennis Miller
[ Parent ]

Pretty good troll you've written! (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by groove10 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:44:07 PM EST

I'm gonna call you out on this one and say that this post is clearly a troll. It's increasing vehemance without any reconcilliation is a clear give-a-way in my opinion. In particular the segent on the U.S. "killed off more of it's own population through sheer ignorance..." is a classic.

I'm no lover of all things america, but this is simply too much. 90% of what he/she says can be applied to every other western country in the world. Therefore this is a Tr011.
Do you like D&D? How bout text-based MMORPGs? You need to try Everwars. It's better than shooting smack!
[ Parent ]
Why Democrats lack Backbone (2.70 / 17) (#73)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:25:48 AM EST

It isn't an accident that an old-style "Southern Democrat" with links to the KKK is the voice of reason in opposition to the upcoming war. About 50% of individual donations to the Democratic National Committee come from Jewish donors vs. 20% for the GOP. Anyone that hopes to go _anywhere_ in the Democratic party knows you can't offend the folks that pay for the party. Israel wants heavy US involvement in the Middle East. Too many US Jewish voters/donors want to support Israel-even if it means a LOT of dead Arabs. The GOP is a top-down type organization. It is simply impossible for anyone in the GOP that wants to go anywhere to defy a sitting GOP US president even if he's an ex-drunk, ex-cokehead with a mean streak and a rep for stiffing his dealers-and the probable winner of his election via vote fraud.

The question here: who are the real bigots here-folks like Byrd(or for that matter Buchanan and Duke) that may genuinely feel uncomfortable around folks that don't look like them-but sincerely want to stay out of foreign wars--or folks itching to kill a few millions-maybe even tends of millions of Arabs? Why is it that it is PC to support mass murderers like Stalin/Mao/Marx/Engels/Lenin--but folks like Byrd are just beyond the Pale?

I would suggest that the US system is so intellectually corrupt at this point that these questions can't be critically examined-and that it is so bad that at this point millions of lives are seriously at risk.

Marx a murderer? (4.66 / 3) (#90)
by FlipFlop on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:57:13 AM EST

Why is it that it is PC to support mass murderers like Stalin/Mao/Marx/Engels/Lenin

Who exactly did Marx and Engels kill?

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

Hegel (nt). (5.00 / 5) (#91)
by Lochin Rabbar on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 10:23:15 AM EST


--

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize", - Tom Lehrer
[ Parent ]

Marx's Contributions to Mass Murder (3.00 / 4) (#117)
by nomoreh1b on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:59:08 PM EST

Marx/Engels/Lenin/Stalin/Mao lead the greatest mass murder in recorded history. It is currently PC to disassociate Marx and Engels from the mass murder. However, contemporaries of Marx and Engels, notably Henry George, predicted that if their ideas were ever put into place the inevitable result would be a centralize dictorship that would quite likely get out of control. Lenin and Stalin both ordered murders of other people and in some recorded situations participated quite directly on those murders-I suspect the latter is also true of Mao.

The early major Marxist parties included the Communist party of Russia and the SPD/KPD in Germany(basically the original party split down lines of whether it supported the Marxist revolution). Clearly before the split, there was a tendency of the German Marxist parties to be involved in a degree of street violence and intimidation. The KPD was quite active in that respect and would I suspect have been more active had the KPD not-been routed by the rise of the murderous Nazi party.

Any political ideology will to some degree be involved in violence. Government is after all at a certian level _organized use of forced_. Still, we can judge political ideologies by the _degree_ of violence they require to rule. Marxism has a rather consistent legacy of violence. Sure, there are less violent legacies(i.e. Allende), but on the whole, Marxist regimes have killed more people than any other ideology--including Nazism and Royalism--particularly when you take into account the number of people ruled and the time these ideologies have been in place.

In 1870, the facts were not in 2003, the facts are clear. Marxism is a murderous ideology.

[ Parent ]

Indeed (4.00 / 3) (#173)
by strlen on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 01:49:18 AM EST

People say Marx "misjudged the human nature". In relaity he knew it all too well.. hence the concentration camps Mao and Stalin built. The Marxian goal is to destroy, within human nature, any urge to benefit yourself or keep yourself out of destitution.. that's an integral part of Marxism, and to see how that doesn't involve mass murder, doesn't matter.

Also don't forget that Nazis too were socialist, even Nazism ows parts of to Marxism.

5 for your comment.. despite the fact you're a xenophobe and anti-semite (though not as overtly as your buddy Baldsrom or our resident neo-nazi snowcold), you're very right.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Question (none / 0) (#203)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 02:25:07 PM EST

What you think is the justice in the fact that in contemporary America, it is quite possible that someone with overt, Marxist leaning(i.e. Angela Davis) can teach at the university level, while it is quite likely that someone with Baldrson's viewpoints would have quite a bit of problems-even if they were in a technical discipline.

Thank you for the 5 star rating. To first order, what I think is necessary here is consistency of principles and accuracy in representation. I may by your standards be a "xenophobe" and "anti-semite"(though it might actually surprise you who some of my friends are as well as my sources of inspiration). I'm not a big-government socialist or even a centralist.

IMHO the important distinction isn't between those that are overtly "racist" and those that aren't, but those that are morally restrained in how they pursue their racial agenda and those that aren't. The worse atrocities committed by one race against another were not the result of a conscious plan to exterminate another race. You can always find _someone_ that liked what was happening or spurred it along. Still, the worse atrocities involved more inaction and indifference by a large number of people rather concentrated action on the part of a smaller number of people. Case in point is the genocide of Native Americans. Only a small portion of the spread of diseases like smallpox and measles was intentional. What was much more commmon was that folks simply refused to think that actions that had little consequence in Europe would greatly harm their new hosts in North America.

I consider Marxism a "social disease". Folks don't adopt Marxism with the intent of removing folks that don't look like them from the population. So,in the big picture, who are the worse "racists", Nazis that killed X% of their population in a given period or Marxists that killed Y% in a given period _and_ stayed around longer? I _tend_ to think at this point, that despite the lack of conscious intent, Marxism is a more "racist" ideology in its effects.

[ Parent ]

Reply (5.00 / 1) (#206)
by strlen on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:11:50 PM EST

What you think is the justice in the fact that in contemporary America, it is quite possible that someone with overt, Marxist leaning(i.e. Angela Davis) can teach at the university level, while it is quite likely that someone with Baldrson's viewpoints would have quite a bit of problems-even if they were in a technical discipline.

Because many parts of marxist theory are now the status quo in America: big intrusive government, and the fact we haven't had a true free market system for many decades. In the 60's and 50's it was the other way around: anyone who could remotely be argued as leftist was hounded (even though many of those abandoned their views), while a politician could easily stand and scream "I will not be out niggered" and be loved for that.

In addition there's the fact that nowadays Marxism is also the status quoe in the academia, so they're very likely to not be offended by their ideological brethren and not criticise them.

As for Baldrson, understanding what the fuck he's talking about, might help.. as most of the time, his posts are cryptic and combine references to being fucked in the ass [yes I'm all against prison rape], to something out of the sci-fi, to some biological theory. But xenophobe demagogues are still tolerated in the mainstream and viewed as "leaders" (Buchanan) as are open racists and anti-semites (Farakhan).

Honestly, I believe that both Marxists and Nazist, should have freedom of speech. But it's also a voluntary duty upon society (you can't be forced into it, but it's just a good thing to do), to criticise and argue against both viewpoints.

I tend to view Nazism and Marxism as different sides of the same coin. Both of them use the same logic that Marx uses: X is a greater social need, and the way we achieve is by whiping out Y. In Nazism it's Jews, Gypsies in addition to your normal political opponents.. in Marxism, it's anyone who desires something for themselves or doesn't allow themselves to be enslaved by the socialist state to their maximum capacity, again in addition to your normal political oponents.

Both of them utilize high degree of centralized control of economy: socialism. Remmeber, nazism is national socialism. Nazis would have no power to do whatever they wanted, if they didn't enjoy such control of the economy. And in Germany's case they already had it when they came to power: I tend to think that the path to nazism started with Bismark's social security plans and the like, which created a powerful, centralized German government, which can easily pull of killion of 10 million individuals.

I tend to think that both of them have concious intent, just Marxism's concious intent doesn't necesserily envision the means, but already accepts them, but they do have very concious intend what they'd like to rid the society of. I don't really see Marxism is racist though, but that doesn't matter much, since I don't really see how killing a huge percentage of your own population, all of them guilty of no wrongs, is more acceptable if they don't kill them because of the color of the skin but instead because of their previous economic condition/economic desires, or as the case often was with Stalin, just because you could (being a full-blown communist and stalin sycophant didn't always save you from being purged).

Also, you have to remember, that Marxism had a much longer time to take root in the American society.. as the time between its conception (1870's), and the time between the full extent of its attrocities came out (1960 with Khruschev's speech simply exposing what only Stalin did, with greater deal of information not emerging untill 1991 when USSR fell apart). With Nazism, with its rise in 1932 and fall in 1945, there wasn't much time for a large following of useful idiots to form in prominent places: although that element certainly was there.. You can't say there wasn't great deal of nazi sympathizers in power in the U.S.

Right now, I hope the public will finally realize, what's happening, as the two are now coming out to be very close together, both under the banner of "anti-Zionism" and anti-Americanism it seems. In Russia, "Red and Brown" are already a common factor in politics, as the communist party there is now openly anti-semitic (with Makashev being the best example). I tend to think that both Nazism and Marxism belong on the left.. but tell that to the masses of useful idiots.

One place where the two are coming together here, is probably the academia, where all sorts of anti-semitism is now excused as anti-zionism and added to the additional presence of moronic marxism. If you don't believe me, visit Berkeley (or lacking that, any other college campus, just it won't be as hillarious in some cases) and you'll see exactly that.

And at the end, here's cliffnotes for you: people adopt Marxism with the concious desire to eliminate the "economic animal" part of human nature. That's a part of Marxist theory. People adopt Nazism with the concious desire to eliminate "the jews". Some of the early adopters may not have realized that eliminate means concentration camps, yet there were still instrumental in getting that whole system operational- lenin had a term for that, "useful idiots". So yes, the two are in fact the same, yet the scapegoat they choose is different-- likelyt because of different societys they have to deal with.. yet the two seem to be joining together.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Next Question (5.00 / 1) (#225)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 09:47:48 PM EST

I tend to think that both Nazism and Marxism belong on the left.. but tell that to the masses of useful idiots.

I would suggest that Nazism is actually a centrist ideology that arose in a highly polarized society. In Germany after WW I, the society was divided between folks that originally had strong Royalist sympathies-and various varieties of Socialists. The predecessor of the Nazi party was called "The Kaiser's Socialists"-folks that supported both the monarchy and strong social programs. The point here, the Nazi's gave both sides something of what they wanted, but not enough to really satisfy either side-which ment that Nazi rule had to be pretty dang heavy handed.

The next question here:
If you are in favor of decentralization, do you think that anything like existing racial attitudes can persist if things like prohibition of things like having companies or churches that admit to racial/ethic bias? Right now, a church can loose tax exempt status for such practices-and companies can have all kinds of problems.

I just see a lot of folks of all races that won't associate much with others of unless they are actively forced to.

[ Parent ]

Answer (5.00 / 1) (#227)
by strlen on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:54:08 PM EST

If you are in favor of decentralization, do you think that anything like existing racial attitudes can persist if things like prohibition of things like having companies or churches that admit to racial/ethic bias? Right now, a church can loose tax exempt status for such practices-and companies can have all kinds of problems.

As long the company isn't on a government contract then yes. If it's on a government contract, it can be argued to be an extension of government policy. However, if it were up to me, the amount of companies having government contracts would be scaled down significanty.. but in any case, I don't see a reason that anti-discrimination laws for companies exist anyway.. if a company willing denies able workers or paying customers, they're idiots and will lose profits anyway, but it should be their choice.

As for churches, if there's going to be any tax exempt churches, then yes, the ones that do discriminate should still keep their tax exempt. Regulating what churches get tax exempt status and what don't, is a dangerous road to go down.

As for Kaiser and the nazis, the Kaiser actually rejected Hitler, and especially despised Hoering. He rejected an offer to return to Germany, and his only communication with Hitler was sending him a telegram congradulating him, when he defeated the French.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
More Questions (none / 0) (#241)
by nomoreh1b on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 02:33:28 PM EST

Just so you understand my personal position here, IMHO the top priorities for those concerned about the more pioneering cultures in the US need to be
eliminating cruel and inhuman punishment as mandated in the US constitution-as is now grossly violated by systemic and epidemic rape in US prisons(see the Human Rights Watch report "No Escape" for more details on that).

Obtaining rights of free association-in churches, schools and businesses-freedom from active coercion, intrusive investigation and such of organizations that may use some racial or genetic criteria for membership.

Now, I don't think that either of these are going to come any time soon-and probably won't come through political action at all-but just as a thought excercise:
Do you honestly think the government as it now exists in the United States could continue to exist if it were forced by some combination of Judicial integrity and popular outrage to abolish the present practice of prisoner rape?

What do you think would be the social and political ramifications of ending the widespread practice of prisoner rape/torture in the US?

We now have a situation where public officials pretty openly use threat of rape to intimidate political dissidents or other troublesome folks. A friend of mine had a adopted brother that committed suicide after a California threatened him with something like "I'll send you to prison where you'll have a big black boyfriend"(he had committed a misdomenor-minor vandalism). Another case of this happened recently when a US prosecuting attorney on a Canadian talk show threatened suspects with prisoner rape something like "you better come back now and plead guilty-otherwise you'll wind up in prison with a VERY bad man".

Now, you have said you are against these kinds of tactics as am I. One important question here: what happens when a government is forced to abandon such tactics? I personally tend to think it will been the destablization of the existing political regime-and I willing to deal with that it need be.

As long the company isn't on a government contract then yes. If it's on a government contract, it can be argued to be an extension of government policy. However, if it were up to me, the amount of companies having government contracts would be scaled down significanty.. but in any case, I don't see a reason that anti-discrimination laws for companies exist anyway.. if a company willing denies able workers or paying customers, they're idiots and will lose profits anyway, but it should be their choice.

Well, that is an interesting theory. Do you think that anti-discimination laws haven't changed the makeup of US corporations/companies at all? I would suggest these laws were necessary simply because mult-cultural companies couldn't compete in the original situation without such laws.

As for churches, if there's going to be any tax exempt churches, then yes, the ones that do discriminate should still keep their tax exempt. Regulating what churches get tax exempt status and what don't, is a dangerous road to go down.

Are you aware of the present situation then where places like Bob Jone's University and the Mormon Church were actively threatened with pulling their tax exempt status if they didn't submit to Federal anti-discimination policies?

As for Kaiser and the nazis, the Kaiser actually rejected Hitler, and especially despised Hoering. He rejected an offer to return to Germany, and his only communication with Hitler was sending him a telegram congradulating him, when he defeated the French.

Well, it went both ways. Part of the Nazi critique of the "Old Nobility" was that portions of the Old Nobility had been weakened by intermarriage with Jews. That is pretty dang threatening to a serious Royalist. Now, I'm no particular fan of the Nazi's(I don't think they were the ultimate devils portrayed in mass media today or the saviors of the white race and civiliation-just another failed political ideology). At the same time, I think there is a good case to be made that there was substantial intermarriage on the part of the European Nobility with Jews(i.e. the problem of Victoria's descendents with hemophilia is pretty good evidence) and that the fact of that intermarriage strongly disinclined portions of the constituency of those noble groups to continue to support privileges previously accorded to the old nobility to their hybrid offspring.

The point here: the Nazi's had a critique of the old Nobility that appealed to some of the folks that had been rather strong supporters of the old nobility and felt betrayed by them.

[ Parent ]

Answers.. (none / 0) (#242)
by strlen on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 05:09:03 PM EST

On the topic of corporations.. may be the laws are responsible, for the multi-ethic make up for SOME corporations.. in SOME parts of the US, where previously, segreation by the means of law (which I'm opposed to) was the rule. But, I'd argue if given same immigration patterns before and after passing of the law, and same political background of the area.. than yes, the multi-ethnic make up hasn't changed. I totally can't see how these laws made it easier for corporations to compete.. perhaps they've made it HARDER as some corporations began hiring unqualified workers on the merit of 'different race' alone, but I completely can't see how hiring more skilled workers can't help.

And having worked, in computer industry, I don't seen an influx of minorities except of course asians and asian indians.. and having known many of such, I don't see how a company would willing make hiring practice which would deny employment to them (note, this doesn't mention H1B workers.. since I'm with you in ending the H1B program, but for entirely different reasons [I'd prefer an permanent immigration (if the immigrants wish) program for truly qualified specialists.. not just a program that keeps underpaid employees from leaving due to the threat of being deported if they lose their jobs].).

Can you please explain me what economic incentive, would, say, Microsoft say, if they decided to deny jobs to all non-white workers over.. say Sun, if Sun decided to accept workers on the basis of merit alone?

That being said, again, I'm opposed to any laws that limit private association, except when it comes to goverment contracts (when there's tax money being GIVEN involved, it's no longer a part of private assocation, but rather public policy) -- and government contracts, should be very limited, to such cases as natural monopolies (when there can't be a creative free-market solution reached), and defense contracts.

As for ending prisoner rape.. I don't know, if that can or can't be done. What CAN be done, is severly cutting down the amount of sentences which will send people to jail, thus reducing prison population, by a great deal. Removing offenders whose crimes consist of merely drug possesion/transactions would be a great start. I don't necesserily think it's a black on white thing.. it's more of a violent offender on non-violent offender, or a less-violent offender. However, with th ecurrent situations, some of the most hardened criminals are blacks and latinos.. hence I can see why they'd be the largest perpetrators of prison rape.

But prison rape doesn't rise from the multi-racial factor. It was fairly common in rather homogenous parts of Russia, and there's record of prisoner rape going back to British penal colonies in Australia. I think it's disgusting and a gross misjustice.. and if any member of police who threatens a prisoner in public with prisoner rape, should be relieved of his duties. Another possible solution would be me more protection inside washrooms and the like, and more monitoring of cells.. which would be possible, if those in prison for victimless crimes were released.

Are you aware of the present situation then where places like Bob Jone's University and the Mormon Church were actively threatened with pulling their tax exempt status if they didn't submit to Federal anti-discimination policies?

Haven't studied those cases.. but in those cases, the federal government shouldn't pull the tax exempt status ''just because''. But they shouldn't receive tax monies either (though very likely nobody should).

. At the same time, I think there is a good case to be made that there was substantial intermarriage on the part of the European Nobility with Jews(i.e. the problem of Victoria's descendents with hemophilia is pretty good evidence) and that the fact of that intermarriage strongly disinclined portions of the constituency of those noble groups to continue to support privileges previously accorded to the old nobility to their hybrid offspring.

That I have to doubt a great deal.. the reason for hemophilia in Russian/German/British royal families was inbreeding.. I've seen no evidence whatsoever of any Jewish presence in any royal family, either.. in fact, the Russian royal family, which traced their line to Queen Victoria, was very anti-semitic.. they've originated the pogroms and created the "protocols of elders of zion". I also, never hear of hemophilia as some sort of a jewish decease.. it could be true, however, with some of the more closely nit jewish communities.. where inbreeding would be considered preffered to marying outside the race.. which simply isn't true right now, as there's a 60-80% intermariage rate amongst the jews.. there's a good chance, that within a few centuries, "jews", outside of Israel may cease to exist, period.

A friend our of family, however, was a doctor,w ho practiced medicine in New York with many jewish families and said he did notice, amongst very ghetto-ized jewish communities some genetic disorders which were generally textbook cases of results of inbreeding between cousins and the like.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Comments (none / 0) (#260)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:24:33 PM EST

Can you please explain me what economic incentive, would, say, Microsoft say, if they decided to deny jobs to all non-white workers over.. say Sun, if Sun decided to accept workers on the basis of merit alone?

People typically don't work at companies just for money. One of the central challenges of corporate managment is creates esprit de corp-to get people to really work as a team. In the present situation we can't even see or assess the relative advantages of mono-ethnic vs. multi-ethnic corporations. Just FYI, I don't think that in an really level playing field, mono-ethnic corps would necessarily dominate, but they would have some naturally occuring niches.

The simple empirical fact is that the US is self-segregating regionally. A large chunk of the white population of California has moved out the last 10 years--I would suggest because of the enormous discrimination whites receive in California. Likewise,a portion whites will leave professions where they are required to work for non-whites--even if it means accepting lower wages. Companies that are realistic about what people want-in the complete package, not just money-will ultimately do better than those trying to force-feed a failed ideology backed by a small elite.

As for ending prisoner rape.. I don't know, if that can or can't be done.

Prison rape could be reduced 80-90% by simply introducing the San Francisco protocols nationwide. The current authorities in the US are addicted to the practice of prisoner abuse and rape. They are sadists that like things the way they are.

But prison rape doesn't rise from the multi-racial factor. It was fairly common in rather homogenous parts of Russia, and there's record of prisoner rape going back to British penal colonies in Australia.

I would suggest you read No Escape. Prison rape in the US is basically a black(and to a lessor degree hispanic) on white phenomena. I'm not saying that prison rape doesn't happen other places-or along different ethnic lines(when prisons were segregated by race in the US there appears to have been a lessor Northern vs. Southern European problem). The other key texts here are "You are going to Prison" by James Hogshire and "A million Jockers Punks and Queens" by Donny Donaldson.

That I have to doubt a great deal.. the reason for hemophilia in Russian/German/British royal families was inbreeding.. Bullshit. Hemophilia is a recessive gene that occurs on the X chromosome. Females can be hemophiliacs if they get the gene from both parents--but that is VERY rare. All a male needs is to get the gene from his mother because the mismatch of the X and Y chromosome.

Hemophilia is one of those things that until fairly recently was restricted to one, specific community in the Europe-the Jewish population --just like other problems were only found among the Amish or Scots.

A friend our of family, however, was a doctor,w ho practiced medicine in New York with many jewish families and said he did notice, amongst very ghetto-ized jewish communities some genetic disorders which were generally textbook cases of results of inbreeding between cousins and the like.

Your doctor friend is correct in that you can escape a problem like hemophilia in the first generation by marrying someone very unrelated. However, inbreeding is the practice livestock breeders use to _spot_ genetic problems. Basically, if you take a stud and breed him to his sister and see no problems, then you have a pretty good indication he doesn't have problems. Inbreeding doesn't cause problems, it _exposes_ problems. likewise, hybridization doesn't genetic lessen problems in a population-it just puts off dealing with them. I personally see populations like the most homogenous Jewish communities, the Amish, the San, Rainforest Indians as genetic treasures--enough so that I think such populations deserve special consideration that they be preserved.

There are other genetic problems(i.e. Rh incompatibility) there are specifically diseases of diversity. You only see Rh incompatibility when an Rh+ man has a child with an Rh- woman. The problem simply doesn't happen with an Rh- man and Rh- woman. Of course, your doctor friend probably doesn't want to talk about that issue.

[ Parent ]

San Francisco protocols (none / 0) (#261)
by strlen on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:57:10 PM EST

Prison rape could be reduced 80-90% by simply introducing the San Francisco protocols nationwide. The current authorities in the US are addicted to the practice of prisoner abuse and rape. They are sadists that like things the way they are.

Hmm, haven't heard of them. Any information that? I'll do a google search, but if you got a particularly good link, please post it. Indeed, there's more than enough people in power right now who are interested in seeing prison rape continue.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
RE: San Francisco (5.00 / 1) (#262)
by strlen on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:08:59 PM EST

Hmm, just found this:

[ http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ED020501.cfm ]

Seems to be a fairly straight forward solution, it's disgusting that it hasn't been implemented, despite the great ease of its implementation.
I personally thought that this has already occured at many levels and simply wasn't enough, but I guess, I judged the prison official too highly.


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

It isn't just prison officials (4.00 / 1) (#263)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:20:39 AM EST

State Legislatures, Congress, Judges,DA's,major political donors, the financial elites that own government paper--all are complicit in this system of organized torture and rape. Anyone in power who has stood by and let this situation develop without denouncing it has blood on their hands. I'm ashamed to be a citizen of a country in which a DA can threaten a suspect with rape on a talk show and keep his job. I have in fact been actively looking for a way to leave the United States, that is just how disgusted I am at this point.

Just FYI, I don't think the SF protocols are an _adequate_ solution. The problem is so dang big at this point that even after an 85% reduction in Prisoner rape, the US prison system would _still_ compose a major public health risk(i.e. can you say hepatitis, AIDS)? Still the SF protocols could be implemented in a few months nationwide.

James Halperin, in his novel, The Truth Machine proposed placing cameras in every square inch of US prisons. Other proposals have included legalization of drugs and prostitution(most US prisoners are involved in one of those two crimes)-or increasing reliance on corporal punishment(as is done in Singapore).

The only major public figures I've seen speak out on this issue are Rush Limbaugh(no I'm not a particular fan-but he did show courage on this issue) and Jesse Jackson. Jackson's comment was something like "Capital punishment makes the state into a murderer, the prison system makes the state into a gay dungeon master". While I appreciate Jackson's comments, there is still needed a frank, open public debate of the racial/ethnic aspects of what is going on here.

[ Parent ]

We are all Frenchies now. (1.83 / 6) (#77)
by chimera on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:47:55 AM EST

[nt]

War is bad. (4.22 / 9) (#94)
by wpidalamar on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:31:36 AM EST

No matter how you look at it, war is bad.  It is always bad.  People suffer, people die.  Our soliders will die in an Iraq invasion. Iraqi civilians will die.  

That means the deck's already stacked against any argument that would have us go to war.  In my mind, there has to be a very clear, and obvious danger to go to war.  Currently both sides have really good points, so in the absence of a winning side, I believe we must always choose the non war option.
Geek4.com... news by anyone.

Stopping the Jews's war (1.37 / 27) (#100)
by snowcold on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 12:44:48 PM EST

The United States government seems to be in a kind of death-spiral. It has adopted the attitude of the Zionists. Just like the State of Israel, the more problems it faces, the more unjust it becomes, and in turn, the more unjust it becomes, the more problems it will face because in this vicious cycle it increasingly isolates itself, alienating its friends and embittering its enemies. The Jews have a collective reckoning coming for all the harm that they have done. They have postponed that reckoning again and again by falling back on the United States, but over time, this has required the United States to become more and more deeply immersed in the same kinds of troubles. Because of Jewish influence the U.S. Government has been propping up Israel. But who will bail out the United States government when it is trusted by no one, when it is hated by all the world, when it can no longer pay its own bills, when it is under siege by terrorists? There will be nobody in a position to do for the United States what the Government of United States has done all these years for the Jews, and that will be the end of the State of Israel as well.

The obvious answer if we want to be free of terrorism is that we rid ourselves of Jewish domination. We should recognize the folly of a multiracial society with open borders and attend to our own affairs. This is a lot simpler and a lot more humane than going around the world killing everybody who might someday be able to attack us.

See Cannon Fodder, To American Youth on the Eve of War as well as The war on Iraq: Conceived in Israel

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Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

Way too biased: realize what history has bred (3.00 / 3) (#103)
by Shovas on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 01:27:18 PM EST

Israel was allotted their land after World War II by the victorious nations, for the Israelites part in the war. They were given their own land to form their own nation.

But, the west failed to realize just what that would mean for the existing populations of that area. Now that Palestine was encroached and losing valuable coast line, the Palestinians took the vigilantee route and took justice into their own hands. And they took it in such a way that was sure to be looked upon with disdain by the world and bitterness by Israel.

Israel, for their part, secured their area and necessarily secured portions of Palestine in order to protect themselves from the Palestinians. This is where it becomes debateable. To adequately secure your nation, do you further encroach on other land in order to lessen the danger imposed by the offending nation? How do you try to force the other nation into submission? You were rightfully given your land and are rightfully defending it.

Granted, at this point, we bring in the principles of Judaistic and Islamic faiths vs the principles of, say, Christinianty. Wherein Judiasm and Islamic teachings may in fact be able to justify their violent actions, you can't do that with Christianity. This is just an aside, but if Israel was a Christian nation, they might have a different course of action.

However: Israel has defended and attempted to secure peace in its region. That they were given land in a volatile region, the west disregarding the intricacies of the region and its peoples, is not Israel's fault. Realize that while Israel does some heavy handed things, there are far, far deeper issues at play than just Israel encroaching Palestinian land and using heavy handed tactics. It goes far deeper and you need to realize everything that has been at play, here, for the past fifty years.
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Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
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Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
What the Jews's have bred (1.80 / 5) (#118)
by snowcold on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:12:08 PM EST

Which authority had "the victorious nations" over Palestine?, why on earth you think they had the right to allot someones else's land on behalf of the Jews?

Are you aware of how much the Jews struggled to con the world into giving them Palestine?, Are you acquainted with the history of the Zionist movement?, your statement that it "is not Israel's fault" is completely at odds with the facts. Serious plans once existed to resettle the Jews in Australia, Madagascar and several other places, but the stubborn Jews insisted in Palestine.

I don't think that conquering Palestine is the best route to form a State for the Jewish nation, but If they want to do it it's their business. I'd be more than glad to get rid of this vermin by putting them all there (horizontally if possible).

What is really disgusting is see them manipulating nation after nation to fight their wars. These sick freakos cheat, lie, buy, manipulate and trick the U.S. into a war that will cost many lives, and lots of American money, that will make the U.S. a target for violent retaliations and which will continue to alienate America's allies.

To quote ADV again:

America has been going down the wrong path in the Middle East for a very long time. We have been risking the life-blood of our economy by needlessly antagonizing the oil-rich states through our support of Israel. And while Jews in the United States and Europe promoted an ideology of multiracialism and open borders in order to weaken the West and consolidate their control here, in Israel they brazenly erected a Jewish racial state complete with torture, execution without trial, concentration camps, curfews, summary murder by death squads, and the development of genocidal weapons of mass destruction. By supporting Israel's expansionist policies and Jewish supremacism, we have made ourselves the target of the hatred of the oppressed and the poor, who are our victims as surely as they are the victims of the Jews.


---
Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

[ Parent ]
Once Again You Fail to Understand... (4.33 / 6) (#122)
by Juppon Gatana on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:47:19 PM EST

...that "the Jews" and "some Jews" are two entirely different groups. I, a Jew, wrote this anti-war-with-Iraq article. Approximately 80% of the Jews I know, if not more, are against the war in Iraq. Despite the "massive" Jewish influence on the government you allude to, there is nothing of the sort. Approximately 92% of American Jews voted for Gore in the 2000 Presidential elections, and now Bush is in power. Oh yeah, the decidedly-not-Jewish-Republican party controls both houses of Congress, too. That aside, the great influence that Jews are able to exert on the government must be pretty disproportionate indeed, since we make up 2% of the US population.

As long as you keep blaming the woes of your society on an easy scapegoat that clearly has no logical link to the problems you associate with it, you'll keep reminding me why the state of Israel should exist. But just for the record, I favor the immediate and complete desettlement of the West Bank and the concession of it to Palestinians.

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
[ Parent ]
Don't bother (none / 0) (#208)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:56:06 PM EST

snowcold is not just your typical quasi-antisemite who's frustrated with Israeli politics. He's an out an out neo-Nazi. The site he links to, natvan.org, is the page for the National Alliance, which supports, among other disgusting things, starting a race war in America in order to kill off all non-Aryans. Do the Nat Turner Diaries ring a bell?

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


[ Parent ]
As Juppon Gantanna implied, (none / 0) (#162)
by Shovas on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:42:10 PM EST

You come off as very, very prejudice in the stereotypical anti-semitic way. I would be much more confident in your rhetoric if you gave as evidence more than op-eds from, what to me are, unknown sources.
---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
Jewish does not equal pro-everything-Israel. (4.20 / 5) (#107)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:14:57 PM EST

Get it straight. There are plenty of Jews who abhor Sharon, the United States' relationship with Israel, etc. Being Jewish doesn't mean automatic acceptance of everything about Israel. Your post would be a lot less offensive if you'd understand this.



[ Parent ]
True, but there's a point there (3.00 / 2) (#151)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:13:36 PM EST

Of course, plenty of Jews, especially in the United States, can't stand Sharon and many can't stand Isreal at all. Possibly even a majority.

But there's still a point there. I've been modded down in the past for pointing out that when Osama bin Laden released his recruiting videotape, it talked about Jews. Not Israel; Jews. Of course, a lot of high-placed academics said to themselves, homina homina, no it's about the policies of Israel toward the Palestinians. No, it isn't. It's about Jews.

In Europe, too, you hear a lot of stuff about Israel. More than a little of it, though, is by people who just don't like Jews at all but aren't willing to admit it.


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


[ Parent ]
huh? (4.50 / 2) (#152)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:20:10 PM EST

But there's still a point there. I've been modded down in the past for pointing out that when Osama bin Laden released his recruiting videotape, it talked about Jews. Not Israel; Jews. Of course, a lot of high-placed academics said to themselves, homina homina, no it's about the policies of Israel toward the Palestinians. No, it isn't. It's about Jews.

In Europe, too, you hear a lot of stuff about Israel. More than a little of it, though, is by people who just don't like Jews at all but aren't willing to admit it.

Well, I can see how you'd get modded down if you tried to convince people that, because Osama bin Laden thinks there is a Jewish conspiracy, that we should all be anti-Semites. What is your point, that there are a lot of anti-Semites that believe in some sort of Jewish conspiracy? That we should treat this as a "Jewish problem" rather than an "Israeli hawk problem" because the leading nut-cases do? I don't get it.



[ Parent ]
No I don't think that's what he's saying (3.50 / 2) (#155)
by strlen on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:50:38 PM EST

What he's saying is that anti-semites mask their true intentions by pretending to be anti-Israeli or anti-Zionists. And honestly, I can't disagree. While, in the US most anti-war-anti-Israel lefties aren't anti-semitic, there's a very strong anti-semitic undercurrent brewing among them, and is being increasingly tolerated. In addition, far too many of their sources and authorities are anti-semitic.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Bingo! [n/t] (none / 0) (#157)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:54:08 PM EST


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


[ Parent ]
Thxs for the clarification epepke & strlen n/t (none / 0) (#158)
by amarodeeps on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 08:17:48 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Let's try it again (3.50 / 2) (#156)
by epepke on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:51:26 PM EST

Well, I can see how you'd get modded down if you tried to convince people that, because Osama bin Laden thinks there is a Jewish conspiracy, that we should all be anti-Semites.

Which I didn't do.

What is your point, that there are a lot of anti-Semites that believe in some sort of Jewish conspiracy?

Yes, and furthermore, that a lot of it gets dressed up.

That we should treat this as a "Jewish problem" rather than an "Israeli hawk problem" because the leading nut-cases do?

It depends on what "the problem" is, doesn't it? What if the problem is knee-jerk Anti-Semitism? Is that an "Israeli Hawk Problem"? Or do people get fooled into thinking that by anti-Semites?


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


[ Parent ]
Jews != Israel (3.00 / 3) (#123)
by muddd on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:52:00 PM EST

Once again, a stupid, uninformed idiot broadcasts his/her ignorance across the internet.  You're the same kind of Nazi who might suggest that a person's beliefs someone allow you to infer other qualities about them.  I see you are a member of an Aryan renewal party, therefore I infer you are an uneducated redneck who is doubtlessly the product of an incestuous relationship, likely two morons as morally bankrupt as you.  Your parents probably dropped you a few times, Bubba Rae.  

People like you make me embarrassed to be an American.  

check out this douche's home page: http://natall.com/

It's a hate site no better than the KKK.  
muddd
[ Parent ]

9/11 (none / 0) (#138)
by BadmanX on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:57:40 PM EST

So, do you believe that the Israelis were behind 9/11? 'Cause you know, if it weren't for that we probably wouldn't be going to war with Iraq.

[ Parent ]
Politicians are whores... (3.60 / 10) (#108)
by skyknight on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:16:43 PM EST

There is no sense in lamenting either Republicans or Democrats specifically. The party to which any particular politician belongs is moot. Fundamentally, the problem is that they are politicians, and as such, their decisions lie not in making choices that are in humanity's long term best interests, but rather are based upon one simple heuristic: political expediency.

In the course of history, this has not always been the case, and in the future, it will not always be the case. Over time, however, periodic political prostitution is the norm. In the nascent days of American democracy, political leaders were willing to make hard, unpopular choices, based upon immutable principles that were in the long term best interests of the country. Now, with the advent of career politicians, the modus operandi is to do whatever it takes to get re-elected.

Politicians garner votes with promises to confer benefits on one group, attainable only by wresting freedoms and wealth from another group. America is not a free society, but rather a tyranny of the majority. Founded as a constitutional republic, America has gradually eroded into a pure democracy. Formerly inalienable rights have been relegated to the status of privileges conferred by the beneficence of the tyrannical majority.

How can this mess be fixed? The short answer is that it can't. Government operates as a ratchet; one can only ratchet it up, never down. Historically, only three methods have been capable of performing the reset that is necessary to correct the wrongs of oppressive government: internal armed rebellion, external conquest, or collapse from within under the weight of the government's own sheer massiveness.

As for internal armed rebellion, it's mostly impossible. The Second Amendment, created for this purpose, has been de facto repealed. I say de facto because while the tyrannical majority has left us the privilege of owning small arms, they are irrelevant in most contexts involving combatting a government. The government has a complete monopoly on all modern weaponry, and thus is no longer kept in check by an armed civilian population.

As for external conquest, this is not likely to happen. On the list of ranks of military expenditures, the US is at the top, and has a budget that exceeds the sum of the next six closest competitors. I forget the exact numbers, but I think the US has a budget that is equal to 60 Iraqs and 30 North Koreas all added up. The only things that the US has to fear are the pin pricks of terrorist attacks, and those too shall cease as civil liberties are curtailed, and the openness of American society comes to an end.

This leaves internal collapse as the only course for a return to liberty. There is a reasonably good chance that this could occur, as the government continues to grow without bound, and taxes become ever more crushing. With the Civil War, federal government took a turn for the worse, though it looked like things were smoothing out for a while. It would seem, however, that World War I brought US government across a critical point, and ever since then the government has been growing uncontrollably in both scope and cost. As a natural corollary, taxes have come along for the ride.

Will America sober up, face the hard facts, and make the corrections and hard choices that are necessary for long term viability? Maybe, but my guess is that it won't.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
I'd also add. . . (3.00 / 2) (#114)
by Fantastic Lad on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 02:41:23 PM EST

Natural disaster. (And boy, I just spent ten seconds moving the cursor from the beginning to the end to the beginning again of the first word there, 'Natural', trying to decide whether or not to erase it.

Reality reflects itself on all levels. Chaos in the Human spere is reflected in the, um, 'Natural' world.

That is, we've been having an awful lot of earth quakes and floods recently, don't you think. . ?

And comets are the really big one. It's a bit hard to hold a fascist government together when it's raining boulders. People get fidgety and forget their lines.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

One Disagreement (4.00 / 4) (#120)
by Juppon Gatana on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 03:23:35 PM EST

You make a lot of good points, but the US is not a tyranny of the majority. The very fact that politicians need to get reelected and therefore pander to interest groups illustrates how small factions can gain enough power to prevent the unorganized majority from trampling over them.

The American government has not changed enough to allow for the majority to take control. Remember that a law can be stopped in a tremendous number of ways before it even reaches the President for a signature. This process is still in existence, and it allows small interest groups to prevent the passage of a law simply by stopping it early on in the process. The chairman of a congressional committee alone can easily prevent a law from ever reaching the floor. And if that doesn't work, there are a plethora of other ways in which a law can be killed or delayed indefinitely.

The problem with this method is that it prevents unfair and unjust laws from being modified or nixed, but it certainly does prevent America from "eroding" into a society with laws that trample small groups' rights. Obviously there are going to be some dissatisfied customers, so to speak, but this is an inevitability decidedly not due to a tyranny of the majority.

- Juppon Gatana
能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
(Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
[ Parent ]
Disagreement with your disagreement... (2.00 / 1) (#127)
by skyknight on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:36:45 PM EST

You are right that special interests groups play a big role in American politics, but in fact that is even worse. In this case, tyranny of the majority is subverted and replaced by tyranny of the few. The special interest groups that have the most effect are the ones with huge bankrolls, and are controlled by a very small number of people. This is not liberty for the general public, but rather "The Aristocracy of Pull", to borrow the words of Ayn Rand. The success of special interests groups is not determined by the nobility of their quests, but rather by their ability to consistently put politicians in office.

Ultimately, it is votes that put politicians in office, not dollars, but it is the dollars that massage the minds of the population, and lull them into the belief that it is government's role to seize and reallocate wealth. When limits on governance are effectively abolished, competition moves out of the industrial arena, and into the political one. Instead of competing to produce the best product at the best price, men compete to win the biggest favors from government, and to minimize the burden on themselves.

Votes are purchased by politicians making promises to a controlling majority of people, with the funding for the promises coming from the non-controlling people through taxation. If it were not for arbitrary, limitless taxation, government corruption and vote purchasing would not be possible. It is only made possible by the all purpose, centralized slush fund from which any government program that is voted into existance may draw a budget. Rich and powerful special interest groups simply manage to bend the will of the majority in subtle ways that are to their advantage. Worst of all, the centralized fund breeds the attitude of "give me the best you've got and spare no cost since I'm not paying for it!" In this scenario, every rational individual does the best he can to spend like a reckless maniac, leading to wholesale fiscal disaster at the taxpayer's expense.

The end result is the trampling of liberties that are important to me, but not the majority. Over a third of my income is seized by the government, but apart from military, police, courts, and roads, I receive little if any services in return as I am a hard working, responsible, cautious, self-sufficient individual that plans for the future and asks for nothing but to be left alone. People like me (namely, those with good, middle-class level salaries) shoulder the entire tax burden, as the poor aren't expected to pay any income tax, and the rich hide all of their income in loopholes. Civil liberties such as those delineated in the Bill of Rights are largely ignored, as the general population is too ignorant to know how good they have it. I, for one, can find very little cause for happiness upon examination of our government. "Love it or leave it!" so many obnoxious twits would say. Well, I'm thinking about Switzerland...

Incidentally, I love the picture on your website of "Sunday morning cleaning" that shows a waste basket full of soda cans. Is this some kind of P.R. stunt to convince your parents that you only have soda at your college parties? :)



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
The best politics / Iraq is no saint (4.14 / 7) (#125)
by Silent Chris on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:17:47 PM EST

One argument I heard from a more intelligent news source is that "military action" is more about coercian and politics.  They argued that Saddam won't buckle without the threat of troops at his door, and that war is not necessarily the reason they are there.  I

t's hard to imagine, but let's put it this way: how many preemptive strikes has Bush done since coming into office?.  Clinton many times bombed villiages and led (relatively unsuccessful) military expeditions against smaller groups of rebels (remember Somalia)?  Bush, despite his supposedly "ham-handed" stance, has done little offense militarily.  The whole Afghanistan war (which can be argued happened at an opportune time for the administration to wedge itself into the Middle East) was still, at its core, a defensive strike.

Do I think Bush is "correct" in his want to go to war?  Not really.  But I think a lot of K5'ers miss the point.  The "other side", their side, engages in politics as well.  And let's not forget that Iraq is no saint.  Yes, they are being picked on, but it's not like the US is threatening to take over a neutral.

The best politics involves force.  Bush may be an idiot, but he's surrounded himself with an administration that knows completely how to sway people.  More than half the country still thinks war is necessary, despite what myself, and other K5'ers, may think.  The "right" argument is the one that combines both sides.

Half YOUR country (2.50 / 4) (#139)
by hex11a on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:59:34 PM EST

Not mine or most people on this planet. It's our world, and if you believe in democracy, on a global scale the pro-war movement would be voted down faster than a bad fiction article. Why is the fact that the US has advanced weaponry the used as a reason that they should be trusted to do the right thing with it? Does might make right? If there were some other more powerful state of 100 super powerful army men, would their democracy be the only one allowed to vote on whether their country invaded somewhere?

Hex

[ Parent ]

Exactly (5.00 / 3) (#145)
by zyzzyva on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:49:14 PM EST

This is more an anti-U.S. stance than an anti-war stance in general. I mean, when Ethiopia invades Eritrea, who gives a shit?

It's becoming more and more obvious that we need more nuclear proliferation, no less. If you have nukes the U.S. won't invade you, and I'd prefer an nuclear-armed Iraq and a George Bush-armed U.S. any day of the week.

[ Parent ]
Right (2.66 / 3) (#148)
by hex11a on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:56:32 PM EST

Perhaps around now it would be a good time to bring up the world government / UN having some power of its own question, as it's supposed to be involved in all of this: Should the UN have the power to enforce its own sanctions without having to let other countries do the enforcing. Should it have the right to impose sanctions, invade countries etc?

Hex

[ Parent ]

Without Bush, there would be NO INSPECTIONS (4.75 / 4) (#178)
by fred freedom on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:43:47 AM EST

The first poster got one thing right, without the military threat from George Bush, there would have been no more U.N. inspections.  

It is only the threat of military force that is making Hussein comply.

I think your democratic idea is a good idea.  It would be interesting to see a democratic election in Iraq (including the Kurds and Shiites) to see whether there should be a "regime change."  Some US Marines will be landing with ballot boxes shortly...

[ Parent ]

You didn't address a single comment (2.00 / 2) (#210)
by hex11a on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:30:20 PM EST

The UN inspectors originally pulled out of Iraq because bombing was about to start again. It is the threat of military force that makes Hussein comply, but complying he is. My question mainly is does the fact that you can threaten someone with military force give you the right to do so? What if the situation were changed - if Saddam gets nukes, can he use the threat of force on other nations nearby to let his inspectors come and check that they are disarmed?

Also, do we trust the US to handle an election in Iraq given the balls-up they made of their last home election?

Hex

[ Parent ]

here's a thought (none / 0) (#237)
by martingale on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 06:06:26 AM EST

What makes you think that more inspections are _needed_ in the first place? From where I stand, the US has pushed for action (which turned out to be inspections) by outright lies and discredited "facts" and speculations. Why should I believe that Iraq actually somehow needs to be inspected? The UN so far isn't turning up anything remotely justifying their presence and the continued sanctions. Just a thought.

[ Parent ]
Simple (none / 0) (#245)
by epepke on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 07:46:36 PM EST

If you think that inspections aren't needed or are even a bad idea, then just say so. But then be prepared for one of two things. Either the U.N. will have to pass a resolution saying that inspections aren't needed, or the U.N. will become a nugatory and ineffectual body just like the League of Nations. The latter should be an easy thing to argue if you're a John Bircher or another kind of American ultraconservative, because that's what they've been calling for all these years. If you're not, well, you choose your bedfellows.


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


[ Parent ]
I'll think some more about it (none / 0) (#251)
by martingale on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:33:55 AM EST

This question is, as I explained in the comment, prompted as part of a reassessment on the Iraq question, in light of recent information. I'm not sure myself what I think the answer is, but it's been opened up by my throwing out those basic assumptions which have now been proved wrong. As I said, just a thought right now.

[ Parent ]
strange allies... (3.66 / 3) (#128)
by K65 on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 04:43:51 PM EST

anti-german communists against 'old europe':

NO PEACE FOR SADDAM! FIGHT OLD EUROPE!

I know that one web-page means nothing, (3.00 / 1) (#195)
by Viliam Bur on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:34:51 AM EST

but it was nice to see anyway.

In my country people are media brainwashed that everyone who is against the war is communist. It is so calming to know the opposite.
;-)

[ Parent ]

I agree that one web-page means nothing, (none / 0) (#276)
by K65 on Sun Mar 09, 2003 at 03:08:11 PM EST

But it's funny, isn't it? ;-)

[ Parent ]
Mandate-less (4.05 / 17) (#131)
by limekiller on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:17:19 PM EST

What amuses me the most is that the entire planet, this weekend, gave George Bush a huge middle finger.  He has tried, pitifully, to paint those opposed to war as Saddam sympathizers but this isn't 1942, this is 2003, and divide and conquer is much harder when you have the ability to communicate.  The truth is pretty much everyone consideres Saddam to be scum, this just isn't the way to go about removing him.

So back to George and this weekend's protest...

Did anyone notice that Condoleeza said Shrub "won't back down" the protest of citizens not only here but around the planet?

Well ...what exactly does that mean in real-world terms?  It means not only does he not represent us but he has dropped all pretense of representing us.  He is saying, "I don't care what you want."  Lest he forget, it is OUR country, not HIS !@#$ing scotch-and-cocaine kegger frat party and after the last 10 years and what has passed for "demonstrations," I'm glad to see we still know how to tell our so-called leaders to piss off.

I bet he spent this entire weekend calling up his buddies trying to organize a pro-war protest.  I bet he got hung up on a lot this weekend.  Speaking of which, where are the cries for war, anyway?

But maybe George figures that since he didn't need a mandate from the people to get into the office in the first place, he doesn't need one now.

I'd like to thank every single one of you -- whether you're pro-war or anti-war -- for utilizing your voice.  To your friends, relatives, spouses, elected leaders, whatever.  This has renewed my faith that democracy is in the hands of the people, not money, or at least it has the potential to be that way.

Regards,
Jason

If this was Bill Clinton... (none / 0) (#177)
by fred freedom on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:35:44 AM EST

If this was Bill Clinton, he'd be able to get the whole world to come along with the USA.  "I Feel the pain of the oppressed Iraqi people <insert crocodile tears here>".  

That's the problem with having a President who isn't telegenic enough.  In a global world, we need a world-class actor in the White House.

[ Parent ]

RTFS. (2.71 / 7) (#134)
by broody on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 05:35:06 PM EST

In September of 2002 the method to the madness was laid out for everyone to see. This document, more than the pundits or arm chair analysts, can tell you what they were thinking in that particular snapshot in time. The even more revealing counter-terrorism strategy was recently published as well. If you agree with it or not, a lot of thought went into these documents.

The last ten years of "containing" Iraq has been expensive, draining on limited American and British resources, and ineffective at reducing the conventional, chemical, and nuclear threat. Hell Iraq brags about supporting terrorists. Sanctions, enforcing no fly zones, stationing troops, and all the rest cannot continue indefinitely. The Bush administration has come to the conclusion that it is more effective to preemptively invade than continue to up the ante to contain Iraq.

Iraq is only the beginning, take a look at the laundry list of states and terrorist organizations the US is targeting. Barring shifts in the US electorate and some credible opposition, you patchouli wearing hippies might want to grab some antacids. Just kidding, well sort of...


~~ Whatever it takes
Quote from National Security Strategy (none / 0) (#176)
by fred freedom on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:32:20 AM EST

"We will defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants."

Well, that's nice. I just wish that the US government didn't have to lie about the whole WMD and terrorist link thing. If we are really going to take out tyrants, we should just say so. And maybe start with someone easier like Fidel Castro or Robert Mugabe...

Personally, I support the vaporization of dictators from airborne laser. If "another one pops up," fry them as well. Don't do it in secret, announce it. Much better than bombing children.

[ Parent ]

Airborne lasers (none / 0) (#189)
by Znork on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 07:02:14 AM EST

Actually, laser technology is maybe the one weapons technology I cannot understand why the US develops. Considering that proliferation, combined with the civil applications and the relative simplicity, ease of testing and lack of danger in developing it will pretty much guarantee the availability of these weapons.

Now fast forward 30 years when 'everyone' has them, and imagine launching an attack on Afghanistan or Iraq when the opposing forces have access to weapons with unlimited ammo that can easily vaporize missiles, helicopters and planes. With good enough targetting systems they might even be able to wipe out AWACS and maybe even satellites.

Laser weapons risk turning the devastating advantage of the US air superiority into no advantage at all. Even having airborne laser weapons to use against ground laser batteries would be pointless; a ground installation would be so much easier to shield, power and protect that the airborne weapons would be no more than target practice.

Of course, being exceptionally good as a defensive weapon I can understand why there would be interest to develop them. I just cant understand why the US would be interested in speeding the development up.

[ Parent ]

which is why the US researches stealth and drones (none / 0) (#253)
by archivis on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:34:00 AM EST

To counter your cheap defensive laser batteries, the US military will simply swarm your skies with thousands of mass-produced armed drones - complete with the radar/heat/etc profiles of juice helicopters, transports, etc. After you blow up a bunch, the 30+ year advanced US military satellite system will pinpoint your batteries, and then a combination of drones and other smart munitions will have a field day. And if need be, H-Bombs detonated in a 32 mile ring at the horizon to foil your scanners and cloud your lasers - which are limited to line of sight - to shut down enough defensive fire to drop whatever munitions are required straight down your throat. All of this of course is assuming 30+ years from now satellite-based weaponry is not available - if it already isn't. If it is, then offensive laser/particle/kinetic weapons will return fire from orbit.

[ Parent ]
Satellites (none / 0) (#265)
by Znork on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:31:20 PM EST

The problem of aircraft is only multiplied for satellites. You're not going to launch a several-thousand tonnes nuclear plant to power those satellites, nor are you going to have several meters of armouring on them; you're gonna have itty bitty solar arrays or at best a miniscule nuclear plant and enough armour to keep structural integrity.

Taking them out from ground powered lasers will be trivial. It's a question of gravity. It's a problem in the air, it's not on ground. Current and future satellites become harmless targets to wipe out in the first few seconds of combat.

Launching several thousands of armed drones is an improvement in tactics, but not close to enough. A laser system will have close to instant retargetting, response times in milliseconds. Taking out a thousand lightly armed, lightly armoured drones could be done in a few seconds. With lasers you dont run out of ammo.

As far as H-Bombs go... Using them is impossible. The first to do it will get nukes back by the rest of the world, cold war over or not. A nation using nukes simply is not acceptable, no matter who it is.

Lasers, while a great defensive weapon, will reduce combat to pre-20th century ground combat again.

[ Parent ]

New Moon (2.50 / 6) (#140)
by zyzzyva on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:03:35 PM EST

This is all utterly academic. The bottom line is we're giving Saddam a couple of week's time to save his sorry ass before we go in (this according to today's New York Times.)

And guess what? There's a new moon between March 2nd and 3rd. You can bet on the war starting that week.

A month from today, Saddam is going to be a smoking pile of ashes buried under 50 tons of rebar and concrete and the rebuilding of Iraq will be on in ernest.

Everyone on earth will hate the U.S. (probably including most people in Iraq) especially G.W.B., but so what? The hate his guts anyway. Of course, the Iraqi people will be expressing all this in freely published newpapers without fear of jack-booted thugs from Saddam's security force hauling them off in the middle of the night. Five years from now we'll be long gone and the Iraqi people will be prospering.

If France hadn't been lobbying to end the sanctions we probably would have trusted them enough to put together a real plan to force out Saddam. But that coupled with 9/11 means we're not going fuck around with their politics anymore.

regime change (5.00 / 7) (#154)
by John Thompson on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 07:36:44 PM EST

zyzzyva wrote:

A month from today, Saddam is going to be a smoking pile of ashes buried under 50 tons of rebar and concrete and the rebuilding of Iraq will be on in ernest.

Everyone on earth will hate the U.S. (probably including most people in Iraq) especially G.W.B., but so what? The hate his guts anyway. Of course, the Iraqi people will be expressing all this in freely published newpapers without fear of jack-booted thugs from Saddam's security force hauling them off in the middle of the night. Five years from now we'll be long gone and the Iraqi people will be prospering.

That sounds really sweet, but the US doesn't have a very good track record with the types of governments we leave behind after we impose "regime changes."

Go back a hundred years to the Spanish-American war. Cuba and the Phillipines were "liberated" from their Spanish opressors and got decades of Marcos and Batista as a result -- and with our direct financial and military support to keep them in power. We saved Nicaragua, Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador from various threats to capitalism and left behind despotic military govenments with hideous human rights records. We saved Chile from their democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende and left behind mass slaughter and Augusto Pinochet. We saved American oil interests in Iran from nationalistic threats by putting the Shah in power, who was eventually violently overthrown by followers of the Ayatolah Kholmeni with an extremist Islamic government, American diplomats were taken hostage, etc. We had to go so far as to put Saddam Huissein in power as a secular leader in Iraq and give him millions of dollars worth of military aid so he keep Iran off-balance for us. We knew he was using some of that military aid against his own citizens, but that didn't matter because he was our friend. And after all, using our foreign aid against civilians was never an issue with any of the other despots we put in power and supported over the decades -- why should we treat Saddam any differently?

That's sarcasm... I have no great fondness for Saddam or his regime, but I don't think it is our place to depose him. History shows that such efforts, however well-intetioned generally go wrong. The CIA themselves only a year ago reported that Saddam was unlikely to use whatever WMDs he may have unless provoked, so why are we so insistant on provoking him?



[ Parent ]
Duh.............. (none / 0) (#219)
by hughk on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:52:42 PM EST

A month from today, Saddam is going to be a smoking pile of ashes buried under 50 tons of rebar and concrete and the rebuilding of Iraq will be on in ernest.

Um, no. the former Yuglosavia is still being reconstructed, they haven't started properly in Afghanistan, so I guess we will have to wait another ten years for reconstruction in Iraq.

Except, of course, at the Oil facilities.

[ Parent ]

Ding Dong, you lose (none / 0) (#275)
by limekiller on Tue Mar 04, 2003 at 08:54:23 AM EST

zyzzyva writes:
"This is all utterly academic. The bottom line is we're giving Saddam a couple of week's time to save his sorry ass before we go in (this according to today's New York Times.)  And guess what? There's a new moon between March 2nd and 3rd. You can bet on the war starting that week. "

Here it is, March 4th, no war.  So much for "academic."

This is what you get for being an armchair analyst.

Regards,
Limekiller

[ Parent ]

I finally read it (3.71 / 7) (#142)
by levesque on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:11:07 PM EST

Resolution 1441

Main points:

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

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

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

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

The US government should, in the mean time, push for an equitable mechanism to enforce all UN resolutions rather than whatever it's doing now.

So, (5.00 / 2) (#166)
by Kinthelt on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:40:30 PM EST

It looks like the US *and* Iraq are in violation of the UN resolution. Not much of a surprise, coming from the largest debtor to the UN.

[ Parent ]
Read more, chatter less, forget the lying media (1.54 / 24) (#160)
by guyd on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:03:04 PM EST

Seems to me like even many of the denizens of
Kuro5hin could benefit from spending less time
watching the TV news and chattering among
themselves, and a bit more time reading widely
on the web. Here's a huge chunk of MLP to assist.

=== TURN OFF THE TV === Alternative NEWS sources ===

http://www.hermes-press.com/nonews.htm    On the failure of the press. Lists alternatives.
http://www.crisispapers.org/internet.htm  List of alt. news & views sites.
http://WhatReallyHappened.com  .../quotes.html  [66.250.38.106] Also: 'Bush at the School' video
http://www.rense.com/     [216.89.24.16]  Great news site, but exercise your bs filters.
http://rense.com/general34/orwell.htm     On Newspeak, Orwell style.
http://www.buzzflash.com/                 Just as good, minus the kooks.
http://cooperativeresearch.org/completetimeline/
http://www.voxnyc.com    (Taken down by US govt. Use wayback machine & google)
http://www.linkcrusader.com/
http://www.rense.com/general17/werestanddown.htm
http://www.rumormillnews.com/
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0208/S00068.htm  They Let it happen
http://www.globalism.com.au/conspiracy.html   Moved to:
http://www.globalism-news.com
http://www.freeworldalliance.com/newsflash1100.htm
http://www.cyberspaceorbit.com/WTCspiracy.htm
http://www.davidduke.com/writings/howisraeliterror.shtml
http://www.johnpilger.com/
http://www.takebackthemedia.com/index.shtml
http://www.totse.com/en/conspiracy/mind_control/disinfor.html
http://www.thepalmerpress.com/
http://vialls.homestead.com/            (Great info, really bad html)
http://geocities.com/vialls/index.html  (ditto)
  Bali bombing: Oz gets suckered into The War Against Terror (TWAT):
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/steveseymour/nuke/bali_micro_nuke.htm
http://geocities.com/torturevictim/cuba.html
http://software.design.tripod.com/mirror/whitehouse/9.htm (Vialls mirror)
http://www.politechbot.com/   (Mailing list for tech/politics)
http://serendipity.magnet.ch/wtc.html
http://www.copvcia.com  (especially http://www.copvcia.com/stories/nov_2001/lucy_print.html
                    plus the later correction)
           Mirror: www.bighula.com/copvcia/
http://www.rotten.com/news/
http://www.jimmarrs.com/
http://www.nexusmagazine.com/
http://www.AlMartinRaw.com/
http://www.almartinraw.com/column34.html
http://emperors-clothes.com/indict/andrewsmap.htm
      Alias: http://www.tenc.net
http://www.larouchepub.com
http://www.norfed.org/articles/nazi.asp  (incl list of links)
http://www.skolnicksreport.com/pkem.html
http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/        Lots of other stuff too.
http://www.konformist.com
http://www.realityzone.com/granddeception.html
http://www.fpp.co.uk/docs/Irving/RadDi/RadDi170901.html
http://www.joelskousen.com/hotissues.html
http://September11.archive.org     A collaboration of:
   Library of Congress   www.loc.gov
   Internet Archive      www.archive.org   (Wayback Machine -*GREAT*)
   webArchivist.org      www.webarchivist.org
   although, bear this in mind: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/gaps.gif
http://www.dailyreckoning.com     Gary North's REALITY CHECK
       www.dailyreckoning.com/GetReality.cfm   to subscribe
http://www.AntiWar.com/   http://www.antiwar.com/justin/justincol.html
http://www.khilafah.com/1421/index.php
http://home.earthlink.net/~whm/     Individualist Research Foundation
http://www.givemeliberty.org/  On the US tax system illegality.
http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk
http://www.sovereignsociety.com/
http://www.counterpunch.org/bahourcrack.html
http://www.inin.net/binladentape
http://www.lizmichael.com/fatherla.htm
http://www.hereinreality.com/funeralgate.htm
http://gregpalast.com
http://HarryBrowne.org      American Liberty Foundation
http://www.worldnetdaily.com
http://www.blackvault.com "The Black Vault"
http://reportersnotebook.com/newforum/indexforum.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,1284,676269,00.html
http://www.fas.org  Federation of American Scientists
http://afrocubaweb.com/news/israelispying.htm
http://www.electronicintifada.org/diaries/index.html
http://www.thefinalphase.com/DouglassBehavior.htm    <===Whole site: *****
http://quicksitebuilder.cnet.com/sartrejp/WRACK/id46.html  Israel/palest maps
http://pages.zdnet.com/sartre/RULES/id1.html
http://www.geocities.com/rb_ham/babs.html
http://www.whtt.org/  We Hold These Truths
http://YellowTimes.org/    Alternative news & views. Good!
http://www.flight93crash.com
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/duboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=23798&forum=DCForumID35
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0202/S00079.htm
http://www.monbiot.com
http://baltech.org/lederman/
http://www.propagandamatrix.com/
http://www.propagandamatrix.com/thepropagandamatrix.html
http://www.UnansweredQuestions.org
http://www.centrexnews.com/  (slow loader)
http://www.cursor.org/
http://www.lewrockwell.com/elkins/elkins69.html
http://www.rense.com/general26/videoofbushinclass.htm Bush school video
   also: http://WhatReallyHappened.com  - a commentary - proof of guilt.
http://michaelmoore.com/
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KUP206A.html   O'Neil: propaganda prep.
http://RedHerring.com
http://debka.com   Pro-Israeli slant (mossad?), but interesting world intel.
http://www.copydesk.org/911.htm  List of 911 related info sites.
http://www.unabombers.com  <-- EXTRAORDINARY! Note Freeh's involvement.
http://www.bosankoe.btinternet.co.uk/ Flight 77 Pentagon Fraud
   See also http://rense.com/general26/penta.htm
   http://www.asile.org/citoyens/numero13/pentagone/erreurs_en.htm
     French page "Spot the Boeing" - the strange anti-conspiracy.
   http://criticalthrash.com/terror/identification.html
http://www.gordonthomas.ie/153.html    Mind control article
http://www.lebensaspekte.de/   (OurDNA.org)
http://www.lebensaspekte.de/groundzero/boardfiles/media/911_chronology.htm
http://www.moveon.org/moveonbulletin/bulletin1.html
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0208/S00085.htm
http://www.madcowprod.com/
http://americanfreepress.net
http://FriendsOfLiberty.com
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/camps.html
http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/veliz-bombs.htm
http://www.jihadunspun.net/intheatre_internal.php?article=25112&list=/home.php
http://www.truthout.com   http://truthout.com/docs_02/05.17A.WRP.Bush.NU.p.htm
http://consortiumnews.com/   The Consortium for Independent Journalism
http://www.visualjournalism.com/Files/reviews/bush911/page.shtml
http://www.itszone.co.uk/
http://www.911-strike.com/remote.htm   http://www.911-strike.com/about.htm
http://www.newswithviews.com/patriot/patriotism5.htm
http://www.sgh.com/expertise/hazardsconsulting/meridian/meridian.htm
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0206/S00071.htm
http://www.gooff.com/news/read.asp?ID=1353  Chomsky on media
http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=94&contentid=603
http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd1101.html
http://www.libertyforum.org
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/oct2002/icc-o12.shtml
http://www.the-movement.com/Hijackers/Agents.htm
http://proliberty.com/observer/
http://www.voxnyc.com/archives/00000043.htm    polling fraud
http://www.freedom-force.org/  Fighting the bastards
http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/firefighter-tape-excerpts.htm
http://www.the-movement.com/
  http://www.the-movement.com/Hijackers/fakepilots.htm
http://www.newswithviews.com/iserbyt/iserbyt3.htm   Kissinger's past
http://www.hermes-press.com/profilesCD.htm    Courageous Dissenters
http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/12/1547356.php  WTC demolition
http://www.usread.com/flight587/OpenLtrReDebris/default.html
http://www.worldnewsstand.net/today/articles/fedprivatelyowned.htm FED reserve
http://www.peterwerbe.com/
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0211/S00182.htm   vaccine to kill
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0211/S00155.htm
http://www.crisispapers.org    The Crisis Papers
http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20021210162547398
http://www.voxnyc.com/archives/senator-assassination.html
http://www.raisethefist.com
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/monahan1.html  What are we becoming?
http://www.apfn.org/apfn/flag.htm               The gold fringed flag
http://www.merip.org/newspaper_opeds/IU_broadcast_ruse.html  Disinfo Co
http://www.alternet.org/index.html
http://www.peace2000.org/
http://www.oilwars.com/
http://www.prisonplanet.com/   http://www.prisonplanet.com/archives_fema.html
http://members.cox.net/informationclearinghouse/index3.htm
http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=2937
http://www.hoffman-info.com/wire.html
http://www.timebomb2000.com
http://www.michaelparenti.org/IRAQGeorge2.htm
http://64.176.94.191/article1247.htm  Information clearing house
http://www.ruminatethis.com/
http://www.bop2004.org/dtaweb/home.asp   Buying of the President
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=2986
http://www.stratiawire.com/article.asp?id=899
http://www.americanfreepress.net/09_26_01/Sharon_Trip_to_New_York_Cancel/sharon_trip_to_new_york_cancel.html
http://www.sierratimes.com/03/02/10/robinson.htm   Jury nullification
http://www.idleworm.com/nws/2002/11/iraq2.shtml   Simulation of Gulf War. Funny/scary
http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0302/S00095.htm  US vote fraud
http://www.infotrad.clara.co.uk/antiwar/fatefultri.html  Chomsky on Israel-Lebanon
http://www.hermes-press.com/brainwash1.htm   Brainwashing america (and Australia)
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12638677&method=full&siteid=50143
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1416.htm

Anti-War Articles
-----------------
http://rense.com/general34/blair.htm
http://rense.com/general34/hid.htm

From 'dollar bill' artworks, at
http://www.sigacanada.com/frontpage/politicalart/deceptiondollar/deceptiondollarwithsites.htm
----------------------------------
questionsquestions.net
911-strike.com
pi911.org
ratical.org/ratville/CAH
unansweredqyestions.org
cooperativeresearch.org
whatreallyhappened.com
communitycurrency.org/9-11.html
copvcia.com
americanfreepress.net
legitgov.org
gnn.tv
sigacanada.com
globalresearch.com
thewaronfreedom.com
falloutshelternews.com
tenc.net
onlinejournal.com

General news/commentary sites
-----------------------------
http://www.cryptome.org/
http://kuro5hin.org
http://indymedia.org
http://www.theregister.co.uk
http://www.slashdot.org
http://www.reuters.com

Australian sites
----------------
http://www.indymedia.org.au/
http://www.blatantpropaganda.com
http://www.teknet.net.au/~eye/propaganda/articles/australia_terror_laws_index.html
http://www.greens.org.au/bobbrown/terror1.htm
http://www.topica.com/lists/TerrorLaws/read
http://www.crikey.com.au
http://www.onevoiceforpeace.org/info.html

Russian News Sites
------------------
http://english.pravda.ru     Former organ of the former...
http://www.tmtmetropolis.ru  The Moscow Times
http://www.interfax.ru/index.html?lang=EN

About Israeli massacre in Jenin
-------------------------------
http://rense.com/general24/gris.htm
http://rense.com/general24/jenin.htm
http://rense.com/general24/900.htm
http://rense.com/general24/imm.htm
http://rense.com/general24/hole.htm

Jihad on the Internet
---------------------
Kavkaz.org
Jihadunspun.net
Taliban-news.com
Khurasaan.com
Alneda.com
Jehad.net
Qassam.org
Qoqaz.com

----------------------------------------
From http://www.lebensaspekte.de/ another list:
Ground Zero Links  (Some duplicates with above)

911-Scepticism Ring:

http://www.ourDNA.org (GROUND ZERO Forum NYC)
http://www.petitiononline.com/11601TFS/petition-sign.html
http://www.ceiberweiber.at/
http://www.copvcia.com/
http://www.corpwatch.org/
http://www.drudgereport.com
http://www.eff.org
http://www.emperors-clothes.com/
http://www.eyespymag.com
http://www.freespeech.org/
http://www.guerrillanews.com
http://www.hardtruth.topcities.com/wake_up_america.htm
http://www.indymedia.org/
http://www.intelligenceonline.com/p_index.asp
http://www.joelskousen.com/
http://www.masternewmedia.com/archive/mastermind11.htm
http://www.proparanoid.com
http://www.public-action.com/
http://www.rense.com/
http://www.saag.org/papers4/paper323.html
http://serendipity.magnet.ch
http://www.skolnicksreport.com
http://www.spiescafe.com
http://www.sweetliberty.org/index.html
http://www.telepolis.de
http://www.tenc.net/
http://www.theeunderground.com
http://www.truthout.org   (Same as truthout.com)
http://www.warnews.it/
http://www.whatareweswallowing.com
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com
http://www.wsws.org/
http://www.buzzflash.com/
http://www.bartcop.com/
http://www.democraticunderground.com/
http://www.willpitt.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFalloutShelter
http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/anthrax/anthrax_espionage.html
http://computerbytesman.com/anthrax/conspiracy.htm
http://plaza.powersurfr.com/freedomfiles/war/war.htm
http://11september.netfirms.com/
http://www.flight93crash.com
http://www.infowars.com/HR_3162.html
http://www.jimhightower.com/air/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sept11info
http://www.michaelmoore.com
http://www.bushnews.com/attack.htm
http://www.larouchepub.com
http://www.MyCountryRightOrWrong.net
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/
http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0201a/default.html
http://www.counterpunch.org
http://www.keystonereport.com/
http://www.communitycurrency.org/9-11.html
http://www.makethemaccountable.com
http://www.patriotsaints.com/News/911/Conspiracy/
http://www.publiceye.org/
http://www.cypherwar.com
----------------------------------------

US Government sites
-------------------
http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/

Misc-Alternate
--------------
http://www.greenleft.org.au

TOPICS
------
BinLaden illness
http://www0.mercurycenter.com/local/center/ladenill1228.htm
           New videotape shows bin Laden may be seriously ill
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RIC111B.html

Other stuff
-----------
http://www.nidsci.org/        UFO, etc
http://www.multipull.com/twacasefile/default.htm        TWA800 Casefiles

The Gold Cabal/Swindle
----------------------
http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/le_menu.cfm
Book: 'The Creature from Jekyll Island' - from realityzone.com
http://moneyfiles.org

Search strings
--------------
wtc conspiracy 911 9-11

Beware: Altavista and associated search engines (eg HotBot) have been
        'sanitized', and return few links to sites honestly covering
        the ongoing S11 coverup. Google still seems trustworthy on that
        topic, but I read elsewhere that Google has its own biases.
        For eg, they expunged a whole bunch of anti-Scientology links.
        Also some reports they remove 'anarchist/bomb' type links.

Emphirical Philosophy Labs

Sheesh (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by carbon on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:16:29 PM EST

Post a story for something this long, or just don't post it at all! You're wasting massive amounts of screen space with this comment, and you couldn't even be bothered to make the URLs into anchor links, or to clean out multiple links to the same site, or provide more than the most minimal descriptions. Plus, you're linking back to kuro5hin; this has the smell of a cross-posting. Not to mention that you only have two comments so far, and the other one also seem very much like a mindless cross-posting.

K5ers can use Google on our own, they don't need your help.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Hey! (none / 0) (#164)
by djotto on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 09:46:41 PM EST

If you have to dump your bookmarks somewhere, do it in a diary.

[ Parent ]
Thanks man! (none / 0) (#207)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:13:10 PM EST

Wow! You sure created a lot of piss-off here! I guess that's what you get for not standing on the right side of the velvet ropes like the programmed sheep-chump the system tried to bring you up to be. As if anything is going to get done in this world by playing according to the rules which have been handed down to us.

Thanks for the links, dude! There was a ton among them I'd never seen before. Your shared research is most appreciated.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

On the 2004 election.... (3.75 / 16) (#167)
by divinus on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 11:47:28 PM EST

A taped recording of Osama bin Laden has been found, in which he says he disapproves of George W. Bush's leadership, last Wednesday.

This proves incontrovertibly, Bush declared, that he [bin Laden] is in league with whomever runs against him in the 2004 presidential election.

Furthermore, President Bush has authorised himself the use of military force to tackle the terrorist organisation that will be running against him in 2004 which has been proven, already, to be 'in bed' with terrorist mongol Osama bin Laden.

"I'm saying, that the Democratic candidate is in material breech of my resolve and time is running out. I will act against the Democratic terrorists unilaterally, and without the support of the American people. The Democratic needs a regime change, and once we topple it, we will place one of our high ranking generals in gubernatorial control over the party" Bush was quoted as saying last Thursday.

And in related news.. (none / 0) (#211)
by VivianC on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:31:39 PM EST

Democrats jump on the flag-waving, anti-terror bandwagon until someone tells them that it requires that they shoot themselves somewhere worse than their foot.

[ Parent ]
Osama Bin Laden is fueling the war (4.33 / 9) (#172)
by hugues on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 01:39:23 AM EST

OBL wants the war. His speech was designed to hint at a collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda. I don't think there is any such collaboration, but OBL stands to benefit from the war in Iraq:
  • OBL hates SH (a non-fundamentalist)
  • If SH really possesses WMDs, and is cornered in a war in such a position that he cannot use them, maybe in desperation he will give them to terrorist groups (I'm convinced this has not happenned yet)
  • The war may kill many Americans and Israelis, may drag for longer than the US would wish, may weaken the US economy further.
  • While SH is the ennemy, OBL fades further in the background.
  • After the war, the US is unlikely to spend much time and effort rebuilding the country. On the countrary Iraq will be a wasteland of poverty and desperation, an excellent breeding group for new terrorist recruits.
To me all of the above is the best reason why we shouldn't have a war in Iraq just yet.

Data Point from a Kurd (4.66 / 6) (#175)
by fred freedom on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 03:25:58 AM EST

A Kurdish acquaintance of mine says that he and his family in Iraq support the US invasion and regime change.  He also says that the Kurdish resistance is already getting ready to help out.

Mind you, his family doesn't live in Baghdad... and he has already fought against the Iraqi army.

I'm curious (none / 0) (#255)
by Wah on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:13:24 PM EST

what he and his family think of the deals we are making with Turkey in this regard. They were discussing this on NPR and the BBC this weekend and that seemed to be the big sticking point in the population there, even to the point of open rebellion if they are put under Turkish rule in a post-Saddam Iraq.
--
Parent ]
OBL guilty? (1.60 / 5) (#181)
by chu on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:17:51 AM EST

One thing to note is that there has been absolutely zilch hard evidence linking OBL to 9/11 - just an awful lot of assertions. The one audio tape that contained what came close to an admission turned out to be a fake.  

War Now Politically Impossible But Threat Remains (3.33 / 3) (#187)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 06:13:13 AM EST

In my view, the combination of the UN Inspectors' report on Friday; the Security Council's reaction to that report, particularly the warm support for the French; together with the weekend's (biggest ever) world-wide mass demonstrations against War; has ensured that it is now politically impossible for US-UK to go to war against Iraq.

This is good news. There was never a case for killing 200,000 in order to remove the thousand or so guilty parties who comprise the Iraqi regime.

However, the very real threat continues and the existing policy of containment cannot deal with it. Just one litre of VX smuggled out of Iraq and released under optimum circumstances from the top observation platform of the Eiffel Tower will kill up to 50,000 Parisiennes. From the top of a Manhattan skyscraper, a similar number of New Yorkers would be killed.

There is no conceivable inspection or containment process which could guarantee not to allow that litre to cross the borders of an essentially hostile country. That remains the strongest case for regime change. We MUST HAVE a co-operative regime who are genuinely just as concerned as we are to ensure the discovery and destruction of all lethal chemical and biological toxins. Even that won't guarantee that we find every trace of the poison, but it certainly improves the odds.

Without War, how are we going to effect that regime change?

Option 1 - Bribery.
First, list the thousand or so names who form the top tier of the regime and who share some of the guilt for what Iraq has been doing and how it has treated its own people and neighbours.

Second, offer each name on the list, a million dollars to go into exile in a country of their choosing. (If they can find a country to accept them) They are not permitted to take anything out of the country other than the clothes they stand up in. The million dollars will re-equip them and provide a reasonable lifestyle.

Option 2 - Targeted Assassination
For any on the list who do not take up the offer of a million dollars to leave the country, the money is instead offered to anyone who can pinpoint their whereabouts with sufficient accuracy for either a sniper or a laser guided missile to be used against them. We will provide laser targeting devices, gps receivers and secure communications equipment, on request, to any brave Iraqi dissident who is prepared to take the risk of being found with them.

My guess is that none would budge until the targeted assassination began to be applied. After the first 20 or so deaths among the elite, their enthusiasm for the million dollar bribe would be greatly increased and the entire regime will be removed, one way or the other, in less than 3 months.

Much more humane than a full frontal invasion. Far fewer innocent victims.

With a co-operative regime in place, we have a far greater chance of locating and destroying all lethal agents. My fear is that it is already too late to be 100% effective because some VX or anthrax has already been dispersed into terrorist hands. (Some, among the warmongers, claim it already has) One thing I am certain of: every day that passes without regime change increases the risk that some of these materials will indeed get through to Al Qaeda or their sympathisers.

The fact that such a policy will also play into the hands of the Oil profiteers etc is regrettable but should not distract us from the need to eliminate, as far as is humanly possible, all traces of these dangerous poisons.



Mostly harmless
Chemical weapons (3.00 / 1) (#190)
by Znork on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 07:42:13 AM EST

"One thing I am certain of: every day that passes without regime change increases the risk that some of these materials will indeed get through to Al Qaeda or their sympathisers."

Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. If Saddam was the most likely way that terrorists could obtain chemical or biowarfare weapons I might agree with you. However, chemical weapons are fairly simple to produce. The Japanese crazies of the Tokyo subway gassings brewed up their own sarin gas. I see no reason why enterprising islamic nutcases wouldnt do the same thing. And as far as I can recall, the anthrax used in the US also originated in the US. Why pass all those borders, smuggle it all that way, with such a high risk of interception when it's apparently not that complicated to make it or obtain it locally? I think it's far more likely they'd try to obtain the chemicals they need to make the stuff through fraud, theft or sympathisers in the country they want to attack.

The risk of poison gas used for terrorism is something we will have to live with. Making sure that Saddam doesnt have it wont even make a dent in the likelyhood it will fall into the wrong hands.

[ Parent ]

Iraq is Biggest Risk for VX (5.00 / 1) (#191)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 08:22:07 AM EST

VX is much more dangerous than Sarin and, I understand, considerably more difficult to manufacture (although I can't find a supporting reference for that). While you can make Sarin in a well equipped school laboratory, you need serious containment facilities to work with VX. Iraq is alleged to have manufactured not just litres but tons of the stuff. This makes them a risk well in excess of all other potential sources.

Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
The difference (none / 0) (#194)
by Znork on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:33:30 AM EST

VX is indeed more dangerous than Sarin, especially for tactical and strategic military purposes.

However, for terrorism, the bodycount is not the primary purpose. Sarin would serve just as well as VX, if not better. Just the idea that it can be made pretty much anywhere makes it a lot more scary than something which can be more easily contained.

This makes me doubtful that terrorists would find it worth the added risk to obtain such a small benefit to the actual desired effect; terror.

[ Parent ]

Give the Panic and Deaths we've just seen... (none / 0) (#221)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 06:12:23 PM EST

in Chicago.

You may have a point. If just the "thought" of a prospective attack can have that effect, why bother with the real (and dangerous to handle) thing?



Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
Absolute FUD - no evidence (none / 0) (#267)
by mmuskratt on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:37:47 PM EST

There's no evidence that anyone, Bush, the UN, anyone, has released that proves Iraq has weapons of this sort. There is absolutely no evidence that, should he be inclined to use them, that he would do so. A war on Iraq guarantees that he will use them on us, it does not prevent him from using them. He will have little recourse but to shoot his wad on this one before we nuke them. "The Defense Department claims 12 nations with nuclear weapons programs, 13 with biological weapons, 16 with chemical weapons, and 28 with ballistic missiles as existing and emerging threats to the United States. But only one of those countries sits atop the second largest oil reserves in the world." Charles Peña, Senior Defense Policy Fellow of the Cato Institute, for The Chicago Tribune

[ Parent ]
Targeted Assasination. (5.00 / 2) (#193)
by sonovel on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:22:14 AM EST

Is war. If such a mission were discovered, how would Iraq respond? Wouldn't this be very very likely to lead to a war?

And isn't easy. In a very police state like Iraq, it is almost impossible.

Threat of war was the only thing that made inspections happen. If these protests have had the effect you think, then they in practice where protests against inspections as well as war.


[ Parent ]

War? How? (none / 0) (#212)
by VivianC on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:48:12 PM EST

If such a mission were discovered, how would Iraq respond? Wouldn't this be very very likely to lead to a war?

War with Iraq? What would they do? Send their navy over to New York or DC and launch missles? Stage a D-Day landing in Florida?

Iraq can declare war all they want. It's not like they can do anything other than what they are currently doing: kill their internal enemies and give aid to people who hate the US. Tell me how that would be a change from yesterday?

[ Parent ]
They can throw inspectors out for one thing. (5.00 / 1) (#222)
by sonovel on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 06:30:23 PM EST

If the UN gives wet work the go ahead, forget about inspections.

I would expect this would lead to the same level of crap that some expect given a conventional war, ie. terrorist attacks in response.

Iraq could continue to work on nukes in that case. Heck, in a few months they could likely just buy them from North Korea. Then Saddam says "call off your dogs or Israel/US/Europe/etc gets it".

So assasination is unlikely to be successful and could lead to far worse consequences later.

[ Parent ]

Not likely... (none / 0) (#228)
by VivianC on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:04:59 PM EST

If the UN gives wet work the go ahead, forget about inspections.

Kick out the inspectors? Like it did back a few years ago? That wasn't so bad.

Iraq could continue to work on nukes in that case. Heck, in a few months they could likely just buy them from North Korea. Then Saddam says "call off your dogs or Israel/US/Europe/etc gets it".

So then that sounds like Europe's problem. North Korea is a lot closer and still unable to hit us until they get that third stage problem worked out. Let the mighty French and German armies worry about getting rid of the nukes in a couple years. I'm sure they will have lots of nearby countries willing to risk a mushroom cloud to allow them to stop Iraq.

So assasination is unlikely to be successful and could lead to far worse consequences later.

Worse consequences for Europe. And they don't want to do anything right now. Screw 'em. Let the EU solve the problem. They all think they know better anyway.

[ Parent ]
There's always the smuggled nuke thing too. (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by sonovel on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:26:19 PM EST

If someone launches a missle, it is likely that it will be known who dunnit.

But what about a smuggled nuke?

That could certainly effect any nation on earth, including the US.

Here's a scenario. Saddam remains in power, eventually gets some nukes. Revolution occurs and these nukes get loose and some terrorist group gets them. Does that seem so unlikely? Are you so sure that there will be a Iraqi De Klerk in power before the revolution?


[ Parent ]

Yes, it invites retaliation, but... (none / 0) (#217)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:37:17 PM EST

I'm not suggesting anything subversive or hidden. I'm advocating a very "up front" approach.

As to the potential for retaliation, they are welcome to try, but I don't rate their chances very highly. Do you?

Don't forget that America has been using this kind of strategy - albeit hidden in a cloak of "plausible deniability" - for the past few decades, particularly against various South American regimes of whom they disapprove. I'm simply suggesting that they carry out some of their previously hidden tactics with the full approval of the UN. (Whether we'd get that approval is of course a different question).

Above all, what I'm trying to get people to realise is that the options aren't just perpetual inspection/appeasement on the one hand and ballistic obliteration on the other. There are more intelligent and humane responses in between, which will probably be more effective, less expensive and cause much less hostility on the "Arab Street"

 



Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
Except that this is not the aim (4.00 / 1) (#197)
by chu on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:17:28 AM EST

It may seem like a solution but Bush+co's aim is a redrawing of the map in the Middle East, starting with Iraq. Iraqi WMD are just a red herring to frighten people and distract attention from the power grab. I'd be more worried about the advanced WMD program that we _know_ the US has. Bush and Rumsfeld are starting to look at least as detached from reality as Saddam and they actually are threatening to invade other countries.

[ Parent ]
I accept their aims are not the same as mine... (none / 0) (#215)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:23:49 PM EST

and they will benefit as outlined in the 1998 letter to Clinton from the "Project for the New American Century" (Rumsfeld, Wolfofitz, Armitage etc - the guys currently running the asylum)

not to mention holding back the potential flood of PetroDollars into PetroEuros which I suspect is their deepest fear

but regardless of the fact that that Regime Change will fulfill their self-serving ambitions, we, the people, do still need someone to find and destroy the VX, anthrax etc and to do it quickly and as near completely as possible.

 



Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
assassination (none / 0) (#200)
by ibbie on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 01:15:12 PM EST

one reason that i believe we haven't done this, is because if our government orders an assassination, it would give other nations dangerous ideas. who would be the next world leader to be knocked off?

i'm willing to bet that bush doesn't want the answer to be "george w."

--
george washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but he also admitted doing it. now, do you know why his father didn't punish him? because george still had the axe in his hand.
[ Parent ]
You're quite right (none / 0) (#214)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 05:04:09 PM EST

but why should that worry us?

Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
You're probably right (4.00 / 1) (#202)
by epepke on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 02:23:45 PM EST

In my view, the combination of the UN Inspectors' report on Friday; the Security Council's reaction to that report, particularly the warm support for the French; together with the weekend's (biggest ever) world-wide mass demonstrations against War; has ensured that it is now politically impossible for US-UK to go to war against Iraq.

Your estimate is probably correct. The trouble is whether France/Russia/Germany have overdone it. The trick to a successful game of Good Cop/Bad Cop is that there must be some balance to the game. The threat of Bad Cop has to be credible. If F/R/G have overdone it, then Saddam Hussein will start feeling safe and will no longer make concessions to the U.N. and everything will go to hell in a hat.

One big problem is that Saddam Hussein is extremely intelligent, probably more intelligent than any other world leader at the present time. He's a master of brinkmanship.

Now, if this thing be orchestrated, which as a supposition probably stretches estimates of the intelligence of the players involved, then the correct next move would be for Germany to back off on its opposition, not enough to make an actual war happen, but enough so that it still seems a credible threat, leaving essentially the SECAM nations as Good Cop. Neither France nor Russia are going to do this, partially because of their custom for Iraqi oil, but mostly because I don't think they're bright enough. But there's still the possibility that Germany is bright enough to figure it out. Even though Hans Blix was born in Sweden, the name still conjures images of Germany to many people, which might be useful.

If it isn't orchestrated, which is probably more likely, expect some behind-the-scenes dealing between the U.S. and Germany and possibly some Clinton-style lobbing of cruise missiles into Iraq.

First, list the thousand or so names who form the top tier of the regime and who share some of the guilt for what Iraq has been doing and how it has treated its own people and neighbours.

That's a good idea, but it would probably be much more effective to offer safe passage and money to Iraqi scientists and their families and also tenure at major U.S. universities to the scientists themselves. This wouldn't so much as dissove the current regime but rather eat away at its ability to produce and maintain weapons.


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


[ Parent ]
It all hangs on Blix and El Baradei (none / 0) (#220)
by harrystottle on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 06:00:55 PM EST

Your estimate is probably correct. The trouble is whether France/Russia/Germany have overdone it. The trick to a successful game of Good Cop/Bad Cop is that there must be some balance to the game. The threat of Bad Cop has to be credible. If F/R/G have overdone it, then SaddamHussein will start feeling safe and will no longer make concessions to the U.N. and everything will go to hell in a hat.

I think it all hangs on the Blix/Baradei reports. As long as they continue to say that they are not wasting their time and are demonstrably locating and destroying (or credibly accounting for) substantial quantities of lethal chemical and/or biological weapons, then they will be given whatever time they consider they need. If, on the other hand they just once come back to the Security Council and confirm Powell's verdict, that the Iraqis are only doing as little as they can get away with, I think even the French will support military action.

What I'm trying to do is to suggest that there is a much lower level of military action available, which because it threatens far less "collateral damage" makes it much easier to support; and which would certainly be more cost effective and result in much less hostility from the rest of the world at large and the "Arab Street" in particular. It would minimise the risk of creating a new generation of suicide bombers targeted at the "coalition of the willing". As a citizen of that coalition, that risk reduction appeals.

>>First, list the thousand or so names who form the top tier of the regime and who share some of the guilt for what Iraq has been doing and how it has treated its own people and neighbours.

That's a good idea, but it would probably be much more effective to offer safe passage and money to Iraqi scientists and their families and also tenure at major U.S. universities to the scientists themselves. This wouldn't so much as dissove the current regime but rather eat away at its ability to produce and maintain weapons.

I like that idea but why not do that "as well" rather than "instead"

 



Mostly harmless
[ Parent ]
Blix and el Baradei (none / 0) (#232)
by epepke on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 01:20:47 AM EST

I think it all hangs on the Blix/Baradei reports. As long as they continue to say that they are not wasting their time and are demonstrably locating and destroying (or credibly accounting for) substantial quantities of lethal chemical and/or biological weapons, then they will be given whatever time they consider they need.

This is true, I think. However, their reports are highly contingent upon what they are able to accomplish. There is a big danger that Saddam Hussein will become emboldened enough by opposition to a possible land war enough to start playing some serious games with the inspectors and thereby increase the chances of a land war. This, if it happens, will be rather darkly ironic.


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


[ Parent ]
Bush can't afford NOT to go to war... (none / 0) (#266)
by mmuskratt on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:33:12 PM EST

"I respectfully disagree." There's no way this immature, bungling, illegal president is going to back off, he's spent way too much money to just be posturing. Here we have billions of dollars going to waste while whole cities worth of people are out of work, there's no way he is going to pull out. That's like asking him to stop screwing us all because he didn't put a condom on yet...trust me, he'll finish off, and we'll all pay for it in the long run.

[ Parent ]
Iraq and a hard place. (4.66 / 3) (#199)
by Jaritsu on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 11:41:17 AM EST

What I get outa this (both article and comments) is the thought that nobody is handling this situation correctly. US, UN, France... whoever. Anyone and everyone who has touched on this subject has gone about it completely wrong.

US takes a stance, and leans HARD on it, unwavering, perhaps in an attempt to get their point across. And counterpoints are handled the same way. But UN member nations (yes, including the US) need to realize that yelling louder doesn't make your point more profound.

This is no surprise, modern politicians have gotten to where they are through uses of smear campaigns, not on their own merits. it's easier to discredit someone than it is to add credit to yourself. Once a habit is learned it takes a while to overcome, especially if it involves either A. admitting you were wrong to others, or B. admitting you may be wrong to yourself and thus listening to some counterpoints.

What needs to happen will never happen. This has already become a political fiasco of "who's collective dick is bigger", and people are having to side with 1 of the 2 "wrong ways" of handling this. This makes it EASY for the opposition to point out how wrong the opposing sides train of thought is. And guess what? They're right!

The only good I see coming from this is perhaps when it comes time to shut NK up the UN will go into it with somewhat of a semblance of agreement on what they want the perceived outcome to be. And the only arguments will be who's missiles to use, not whether or not to use them.


"Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon

Self-defeating attitudes (4.00 / 2) (#204)
by krek on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 02:54:36 PM EST

"Sure, I can vote Green, but let's face it, those guys aren't about to make it into office."

You do realise, of course, that the only reason that the Green party "aren't about to make it into office" is because all of the people who would vote for the Greens, tell themselves that there is no way that the Greens will ever get into office, and end up voting for someone else, or not voting at all.

Voting with your conscience is the only way to make democracy work.

Ahh... (none / 0) (#226)
by onemorechip on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 10:32:49 PM EST

Things would be so much better under approval voting.
--------------------------------------------------

I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
[ Parent ]

Sure it will (none / 0) (#233)
by LilDebbie on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 03:02:00 AM EST

Do you think we'll stop voting Republican. The Left lost in the last election because they were divided. Hopefully, they'll make the same mistake in the next one.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Who's we? (none / 0) (#243)
by Mr Hogan on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 06:56:31 PM EST

Do you speak for all smarmy idiots or only the ones who vote for The One True Party?

--
Life is food and rape, then tilt.
[ Parent ]

Well, the Libertarians aren't bad, (none / 0) (#244)
by LilDebbie on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 07:11:01 PM EST

but primarily those supporters of the OTP. There is little love for the uber-conservatives, a la Pat Buchanan, as they provide the liberals with plenty of crap to use against us.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Mistake... (5.00 / 2) (#213)
by VivianC on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 04:50:18 PM EST

upon the administration's request, it was aired on Fox News

You seem to have a small factual error. All the networks aired parts of this tape. Fox aired the entire tape AGAINST the administrations request that parts be edited because it may contain hidden messages.

I'm worried (3.50 / 2) (#223)
by kenr on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 07:48:57 PM EST

Hi, I'm really concerned about the Irak situation.

The Norwegian state TV channel sent Wag The Dog this afternoon (URL: http://www.wag-the-dog.com/), I believe as a political input to the Irak situation. A film that is very appropriate at the time perhaps ?

What concerns me the most is that the US push all their alliances so hard that major partners refuse to cooperate. And that the US is using World War 2 to collect favours in this situation.

I can understand that the Twin Towers attack was very humiliating and tragic, but does it defend breaking european alliances and appearing as very selfish ?

When you look at the situation could it be a product of american politics from the 1970->198x ?

I recently visited Sweden, where a radio broadcast said that the US wanted to attack Saddam Hussein, and that they were importing 10% of their oil from that same country...

Last year I visitied China in connection with my job (software engineering) and saw that the chinese people really look up to the US. I visited Mount Taishan (the most religious mountain in China) and two guys came to me and wanted to have a picture taken with me in it. When the company interpretor told them that we were from Norway they became disappointed, they thought that I was an american. I do not believe that this is the situation now.

A-men. (1.75 / 20) (#224)
by fenix down on Mon Feb 17, 2003 at 08:39:52 PM EST

I am in complete and total agreement with everything you said.  You deserve a pie, man.  Don't be afraid to vote Green though.  Sure, they won't win, but I like to think that every vote for Nader is a vote for a Democratic backbone.

All I have to add is GET MOTHERFUCKING BIN LADEN YOU FUCKING MORONIC COWARDLY FUCKING FUCKHOLE SONS OF BITCHES with your FUCKING rainbow alerts AND YOUR FUCKING SAM missile launchers all the hell over YOUR FUCKING CITY while NYC is just about as bankrupt as you can FUCKING WELL GET without going back in time end ending up in fucking debtor's prison.  There's FUCKING CONGRESSMEN on the fucking TV saying STATES need to take some MOTHERFUCKING GODDAMN "responsibility" or SOMESHIT for DEFENDING themselves from FUCKING ATTACKS FROM FOREIGN FUCKING THREATS FROM FUCKING PEOPLE WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING AT FUCKING WAR WITH?  WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU YOU MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE in your FUCKING anthrax-proof dick of an office.  You're giving FUCKING TAX CUTS while fighting FUCKING WARS?  And while basically EVERY GODDAMN STATE out there is FUCKING POOR AS SHIT from FIGHTING THE FUCKING WAR on their FUCKING OWN?  MOTHERFUCKERS.  You devoted BILLIONS in AID to FUCKING NEW YORK FUCKING CITY WHERE THE FUCKING 3000 PEOPLE GOT FUCKING BLOWN UP?  WHY THE FUCK HAS the city not seen a MOTHERFUCKING DIME in federal fucking aid?  WHY THE FUCK ARE PLANES STILL FLYING OVER GODDAMN MANHATTAN?  Is it just too FUCKING BIG to MAYBE FLY THE FUCK AROUND?  FUCK!  I'm PRETTY DAMN SURE nobody's flying over the GODDAMN CAPITAL or the GODDAMN Pentagon or the GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING WHITE HOUSE.  FUCKERS.  How about a NEW MOTHERFUCKING ORANGE ALERT where you go and maybe CATCH SOME FUCKING TERRORISTS instead of DIVERTING YOUR ENTIRE MOTHERFUCKING INTELLIGENCE AGENCY to blowing up FUCKING COMMUNISTS who kept YOUR DEAR MOTHERFUCKING DADDY from getting FUCKING reelected.  Thanks, fuckface.  Sure would be FUCKING NICE if maybe I had a FUCKING DAD and maybe the power to go FUCK UP THE MOTHERFUCKING COCKMUNCHING FUCKING MOTHERFUCKING CUNTWANKING FUGKFUCKERFUCKFUCKSHITFUCKERS who maybe INCONFUCKINVENIENCED him a few MOTHERFUCKERSHITFUCKGODDAMN times.  I bet this counts as a fucking threat or some shit, doesn't it?  FUCKING ASSMUNCHERS and your MOTHERFUCKING SHITHOLE agendas and your MOTHERFUCKING lack of ANY KIND OF FUCKING BRAINS IN YOUR FUCKING FAT ASS-RESEMBLING HEADS!  FUCKERS!  Now you're going to FUCKING kill of FUCKING NATO AND THE GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING UN and EVERYTHING that might keep you from BLOWING THE SHIT OUT OF A FEW DOZEN OTHER MOTHERFUCKING COUNTRIES before all that INCONVENIENT FUCKING ELECTION BULLSHIT kicks your MOTHERFUCKING INFLAMED COKED-UP ASS out of that FUCKING house you FUCKING STOLE!  FUCKER.  Was it too much MOTHERFUCKING work to maybe GO to some of your FUCKING ALLIES A WEEK OR TWO AHEAD OF TIME and maybe ASK them before ANNOUNCING TO THE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD THAT YOU WANT TO BE FUCKING KING OF THE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD LIKE LEONARDO FUCKING DICAPRIO!  Too much for you to FUCKING PRETEND FOR A FUCKING SECOND THAT YOU WERE A FUCKING WORLD LEDER, huh?  HUH, YOU FUCKING CUNT?  This isn't even a fucking political disagreement anymore guys.  This is MOTHERFUCKING PERSONAL.  You sure as HELL SEEM TO WANT IT TO BE, DON'T YOU?  You fucking send my fucking friends off to the FUCKING HELLHOLES OF THE WORLD to make your FUCKING DICKS LOOK FUCKING LONGER THAN 2 FUCKING INCHES?  FUCKEDUPFUCKINGCOKEFIENDS!  I just wanna know WHO THE FUCK ELSE YOU WANNA KILL before you FEEL FUCKING SATISFIED WITH YOUR FUCKING COCKHOLE BALLSACKS.  How about you just GIVE US THE FUCKING COMMON HUMAN MOTHERFUCKING DECENCY not to act like we're FUCKING CHILDREN and maybe THROW US A MOTHERFUCKING BONE ABOUT WHAT THE FUCK IT IS YOU WANT!  You just wanna kill Sadam because you, personally, do?  Cool.  You don't need to tell me if it's because of your dad, or your ego, or whatever.  Just say it's personal.  You want to kill him for oil, just say so.  You want to kill him 'cause you're afraid he'll cause trouble in a few years, or because it puts you in a better diplomatic situation, JUST MOTHERFUCKING SAY SO YOU GODDAM PARANOID MOTHERFUCKER!  Just DON'T be pushing this MOTHERFUCKING BULLSHIT about UN MOTHERFUCKING RESOLUTIONS NOBODY FUCKING EVER GAVE A MOTHERFUCKING SHIT ABOUT or THIS ABSOLUTE FUCKING IDIOCY ABOUT YOUR MOTHERFUCKING "links" WITH MOTHERFUCKING GODDAMN OSAMA BIN MOTHERFUCKINGCOCKHOLE LADEN!  I AM NOT A FUCKING MORON and I feel PRETTY DAMN WELL MOTHERFUCKING INSULTED when you are SO MOTHERFUCKING STUPID to try and PUSH THIS GODDAMN SHIT THAT NO ONE FUCKING BELIEVES and then just FUCKING REPEAT IT LOUDER AND FUCKING LOUDER AS IF THAT MADE IT LESS OF A FUCKING BULLSHIT STORY THAT YOU FUCKING CAME UP WITH IN THE FUCKING BATHROOM SHITTING OUT A FEW CONDOMS FULL OF MOTHERFUCKING CRACK YOU SUCKED SOME MOTHERFUCKING INTERN'S FUCKING FITHY FUCKING COCK TO GO PICK UP FOR YOU YOU FUCKING HIGH FUCKING FUCK!

I'm upset.  Can you tell I'm upset?  'Cause I am.  Adrenaline is a great thing for typing speed, ain't it?  That wasn't directed at anybody, unless you maybe work for that MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE COKEHEAD MOTHERFUCKER GEORGE MOTHERFUCKING WALKER TEXAS FUCKING CRACKHEAD MORON SIDEWALK WHORE RANGER FUCKING BUSH.  If not, I'm just venting.  Carry on, and feel free to mod this down, at best it's unreadable, at worst it creates bad mental images.

Have a nice day, unless, again, you work for that motherfucking, asshole-spreading, gerbil-inserting, limp-dicked, fatassed, coked-up son-of-a-bitch-named-Martha who currently lives in our nation's White House when he's not too scared for the safety of his $5 asshole to run and hide at Camp David.

when....? (none / 0) (#238)
by Jaritsu on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:17:38 AM EST

when did Leonardo Dicaprio become king of the world?

"Jaritsu, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" - Kintanon
[ Parent ]
Wow. (5.00 / 1) (#239)
by ckaminski on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 01:42:19 PM EST

What a powerful message of hatred. Or something. I'm not sure exactly what I just read, but George Carlin would be proud. Fuck is such a useful word... -Chris

[ Parent ]
chill (none / 0) (#246)
by tweetsygalore on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 07:52:29 PM EST

who are you? and why is your vocabulary so limited?
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
Hey, maybe you should (none / 0) (#250)
by speedfreak2K2 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:36:01 AM EST

Go over that again, use the word fuck MUCH less (your overuse of the word made it lose it's effect after about the end of the first sentence), make paragraphs and you'll be set. It seems like you have something you really want to say.
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
[ Parent ]
Mostly harmless (none / 0) (#259)
by IPFreely on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:05:02 PM EST

Don't be afraid to vote Green though. Sure, they won't win, but I like to think that every vote for Nader is a vote for a Democratic backbone.

I appreciate the sentiment. I'd like to see some Democratic spine as much as the next decent person, but voting green is what got us into this Bush mess in the first place. Please promote good practice, good ideals, but Please Vote Democrat.

Spend Words on Idealism. Spend votes on Victory.

[ Parent ]

Does Bush REALLY want Saddam out? (3.00 / 2) (#240)
by Wood Owl on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 02:30:59 PM EST

I get the feeling that, despite what Bush says, the administration might not really want Saddam out of action. For one, he makes an excellent boogie-man to keep everyone scared - and keep everyones attention away from the situation here at home. Also, during the gulf war, we had an excellent opportunity to remove Saddam. US troops were 24 hours from being in Bagdad, and were told to STOP, because Iraq resistance forces were rising and threatening to overthrow the government there. Stopping the US troops gave Saddam a chance to put down the rebellion.
- "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
Article In London's Daily Mirror (4.50 / 2) (#248)
by Enlightened1 on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:51:39 PM EST

Perhaps this should be its own post, but it was relevant to this topic. Hussein has created many atrocities, a few are listed below.

Article from London's Daily Mirror Surprise! Surprise! When one of the world's most liberal left -wing newspapers writes a great article like this, there is hope for everyone. A thoughtfully written piece in one of the most left wing newspapers in the UK. Just a word of background for those of you who aren't familiar with the UK's Daily Mirror. This is one of the most notorious Left wing, anti-American dailies in the UK. Hard to believe that the Daily Mirror actually published it, but it did.

Begin article: ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting -- the mass murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's Mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps. An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing -- nobody deserves this fate. Surely there could be consensus: the victims were truly innocent, the perpetrators truly evil. But to the world's eternal shame, 9/11 is increasingly seen as America's comeuppance. Incredibly, anti-Americanism has increased over the last year. There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country -- too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than Europeans - but it has become an epidemic. And it seems incredible to me. More than that, it turns my stomach. America is this country's greatest friend and our staunchest ally. We are bonded to the US by culture, language and blood. A little over half a century ago, around half a million Americans died for our freedoms, as well as their own. Have we forgotten so soon? And exactly a year ago, thousands of ordinary men, women and children --not just Americans, but from dozens of countries -- were butchered by a small group of religious fanatics. Are we so quick to betray them? What touched the heart about those who died in the twin towers and on the planes was that we recognized them. Young fathers and mothers, somebody's son and somebody's daughter, husbands and wives. And children. Some unborn. And these people brought it on themselves? And their nation is to blame for their meticulously planned slaughter? These days you don't have to be some dust-encrusted nut job in Kabul or Karachi or Finsbury Park to see America as the Great Satan. The anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission. The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September 11. Remember, remember! Remember the gut-wrenching tapes of weeping men phoning their wives to say, "I love you," before they were burned alive. Remember those people leaping o their deaths from the top of burning skyscrapers. Remember the hundreds of firemen buried alive. Remember the smiling face of that beautiful little girl who was on one of the planes with her mum. Remember, remember -- and realize that America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like the way it could have. So, a few al-Qaeda tourists got locked up without a trial in Camp X-ray? Pass the Kleenex. So, some Afghan wedding receptions were shot up after they merrily fired their semiautomatics in a sky full of American planes? A shame, but maybe next time they should stick to confetti. AMERICA could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot. That it didn't is a sign of strength. American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq - that's what a democracy is for. How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's silence for the slaughtered innocents of 9/11? How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination? When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving Palestinians were dancing in the street. America watched all of that -- and didn't push the button. We should thank the stars that America is the most powerful nation in the world. I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not provoke all-out war. Not a "war on terrorism." A real war. The fundamentalist dudes are talking about "opening the gates of hell" if America attacks Iraq. Well, America could have opened the gates of hell like you wouldn't believe. The US is the most militarily powerful nation that ever strode the face of the earth. The campaign in Afghanistan may have been less than perfect and the planned war on Iraq may be misconceived. But don't blame America for not bringing peace and light to these wretched countries. How many democracies are there in the Middle East, or in the Muslim world? You can count them on the fingers of one hand -- assuming you haven't had any chopped off for minor shoplifting. I love America, yet America is hated. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle. But I would rather be a dog in New York City than a Prince in Riyadh. Above all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be -- rich, free, strong, open, optimistic. Not ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system. America is the best friend this country ever had and we should start remembering that. Or do you really think the USA is the root of all evil? Tell it to the loved ones of the men and women who leaped to their death from the burning towers. Tell it to the nursing mothers whose husbands died on one of the hijacked planes, or were ripped apart in a collapsing skyscraper. And tell it to the hundreds of young widows whose husbands worked for the New York Fire Department. To our shame, George Bush gets a worse press than Saddam Hussein. Once we were told that Saddam gassed the Kurds, tortured his own people and set up rape-camps in Kuwait. Now we are told he likes Quality Street. Save me the orange center, oh mighty one! Remember, remember, September 11. One of the greatest atrocities in human history was committed against America. No, do more than remember. Never, never forget!

I worked at Ground Zero for several weeks, not just around it, but actually in the pit. I was fortunate not to have lost anyone but many (most) of my friends did. The fact that we can just forget this is disgusting. Track the bastards down wherever they may be hiding and lock them up for the rest of their natural lives in solitary confinement.
Never Forgive, Never Forget.
IDIOCY. Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups.

The Mirror also said.. (3.66 / 3) (#258)
by imperium on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:58:08 PM EST

This was front page last month. For what it's worth, in case anyone is still confused by this, it still makes sense to think that killing thousands of innocent Iraqis is bad even when you think that killing thousands of innocent Americans.

BLAIR IS A COWARD

Jan 29 2003

John Pilger: His most damning verdict on Tony Blair

William Russell, the great correspondent who reported the carnage of imperial wars, may have first used the expression "blood on his hands" to describe impeccable politicians who, at a safe distance, order the mass killing of ordinary people.

In my experience "on his hands" applies especially to those modern political leaders who have had no personal experience of war, like George W Bush, who managed not to serve in Vietnam, and the effete Tony Blair.

There is about them the essential cowardice of the man who causes death and suffering not by his own hand but through a chain of command that affirms his "authority".

In 1946 the judges at Nuremberg who tried the Nazi leaders for war crimes left no doubt about what they regarded as the gravest crimes against humanity.

The most serious was unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state that offered no threat to one's homeland. Then there was the murder of civilians, for which responsibility rested with the "highest authority".

Blair is about to commit both these crimes, for which he is being denied even the flimsiest United Nations cover now that the weapons inspectors have found, as one put it, "zilch".

Like those in the dock at Nuremberg, he has no democratic cover.

Using the archaic "royal prerogative" he did not consult parliament or the people when he dispatched 35,000 troops and ships and aircraft to the Gulf; he consulted a foreign power, the Washington regime.

Unelected in 2000, the Washington regime of George W Bush is now totalitarian, captured by a clique whose fanaticism and ambitions of "endless war" and "full spectrum dominance" are a matter of record.

All the world knows their names: Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Cheney and Perle, and Powell, the false liberal. Bush's State of the Union speech last night was reminiscent of that other great moment in 1938 when Hitler called his generals together and told them: "I must have war." He then had it.

To call Blair a mere "poodle" is to allow him distance from the killing of innocent Iraqi men, women and children for which he will share responsibility.

He is the embodiment of the most dangerous appeasement humanity has known since the 1930s. The current American elite is the Third Reich of our times, although this distinction ought not to let us forget that they have merely accelerated more than half a century of unrelenting American state terrorism: from the atomic bombs dropped cynically on Japan as a signal of their new power to the dozens of countries invaded, directly or by proxy, to destroy democracy wherever it collided with American "interests", such as a voracious appetite for the world's resources, like oil.

When you next hear Blair or Straw or Bush talk about "bringing democracy to the people of Iraq", remember that it was the CIA that installed the Ba'ath Party in Baghdad from which emerged Saddam Hussein.

"That was my favourite coup," said the CIA man responsible. When you next hear Blair and Bush talking about a "smoking gun" in Iraq, ask why the US government last December confiscated the 12,000 pages of Iraq's weapons declaration, saying they contained "sensitive information" which needed "a little editing".

Sensitive indeed. The original Iraqi documents listed 150 American, British and other foreign companies that supplied Iraq with its nuclear, chemical and missile technology, many of them in illegal transactions. In 2000 Peter Hain, then a Foreign Office Minister, blocked a parliamentary request to publish the full list of lawbreaking British companies. He has never explained why.

As a reporter of many wars I am constantly aware that words on the page like these can seem almost abstract, part of a great chess game unconnected to people's lives.

The most vivid images I carry make that connection. They are the end result of orders given far away by the likes of Bush and Blair, who never see, or would have the courage to see, the effect of their actions on ordinary lives: the blood on their hands.

Let me give a couple of examples. Waves of B52 bombers will be used in the attack on Iraq. In Vietnam, where more than a million people were killed in the American invasion of the 1960s, I once watched three ladders of bombs curve in the sky, falling from B52s flying in formation, unseen above the clouds.

They dropped about 70 tons of explosives that day in what was known as the "long box" pattern, the military term for carpet bombing. Everything inside a "box" was presumed destroyed.

When I reached a village within the "box", the street had been replaced by a crater.

I slipped on the severed shank of a buffalo and fell hard into a ditch filled with pieces of limbs and the intact bodies of children thrown into the air by the blast.

The children's skin had folded back, like parchment, revealing veins and burnt flesh that seeped blood, while the eyes, intact, stared straight ahead. A small leg had been so contorted by the blast that the foot seemed to be growing from a shoulder. I vomited.

I am being purposely graphic. This is what I saw, and often; yet even in that "media war" I never saw images of these grotesque sights on television or in the pages of a newspaper.

I saw them only pinned on the wall of news agency offices in Saigon as a kind of freaks' gallery.

Some years later I often came upon terribly deformed Vietnamese children in villages where American aircraft had sprayed a herbicide called Agent Orange.

It was banned in the United States, not surprisingly for it contained Dioxin, the deadliest known poison.

This terrible chemical weapon, which the cliche-mongers would now call a weapon of mass destruction, was dumped on almost half of South Vietnam.

Today, as the poison continues to move through water and soil and food, children continue to be born without palates and chins and scrotums or are stillborn. Many have leukaemia.

You never saw these children on the TV news then; they were too hideous for their pictures, the evidence of a great crime, even to be pinned up on a wall and they are old news now.

That is the true face of war. Will you be shown it by satellite when Iraq is attacked? I doubt it.

I was starkly reminded of the children of Vietnam when I travelled in Iraq two years ago. A paediatrician showed me hospital wards of children similarly deformed: a phenomenon unheard of prior to the Gulf war in 1991.

She kept a photo album of those who had died, their smiles undimmed on grey little faces. Now and then she would turn away and wipe her eyes.

More than 300 tons of depleted uranium, another weapon of mass destruction, were fired by American aircraft and tanks and possibly by the British.

Many of the rounds were solid uranium which, inhaled or ingested, causes cancer. In a country where dust carries everything, swirling through markets and playgrounds, children are especially vulnerable.

For 12 years Iraq has been denied specialist equipment that would allow its engineers to decontaminate its southern battlefields.

It has also been denied equipment and drugs that would identify and treat the cancer which, it is estimated, will affect almost half the population in the south.

Last November Jeremy Corbyn MP asked the Junior Defence Minister Adam Ingram what stocks of weapons containing depleted uranium were held by British forces operating in Iraq.

His robotic reply was: "I am withholding details in accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information."

Let us be clear about what the Bush-Blair attack will do to our fellow human beings in a country already stricken by an embargo run by America and Britain and aimed not at Saddam Hussein but at the civilian population, who are denied even vaccines for the children. Last week the Pentagon in Washington announced matter of factly that it intended to shatter Iraq "physically, emotionally and psychologically" by raining down on its people 800 cruise missiles in two days.

This will be more than twice the number of missiles launched during the entire 40 days of the 1991 Gulf War.

A military strategist named Harlan Ullman told American television: "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad. The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before."

The strategy is known as Shock and Awe and Ullman is apparently its proud inventor. He said: "You have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but minutes."

What will his "Hiroshima effect" actually do to a population of whom almost half are children under the age of 14?

The answer is to be found in a "confidential" UN document, based on World Health Organisation estimates, which says that "as many as 500,000 people could require treatment as a result of direct and indirect injuries".

A Bush-Blair attack will destroy "a functioning primary health care system" and deny clean water to 39 per cent of the population. There is "likely [to be] an outbreak of diseases in epidemic if not pandemic proportions".

It is Washington's utter disregard for humanity, I believe, together with Blair's lies that have turned most people in this country against them, including people who have not protested before.

Last weekend Blair said there was no need for the UN weapons inspectors to find a "smoking gun" for Iraq to be attacked.

Compare that with his reassurance in October 2001 that there would be no "wider war" against Iraq unless there was "absolute evidence" of Iraqi complicity in September 11. And there has been no evidence.

Blair's deceptions are too numerous to list here. He has lied about the nature and effect of the embargo on Iraq by covering up the fact that Washington, with Britain's support, is withholding more than $5billion worth of humanitarian supplies approved by the Security Council.

He has lied about Iraq buying aluminium tubes, which he told Parliament were "needed to enrich uranium". The International Atomic Energy Agency has denied this outright.

He has lied about an Iraqi "threat", which he discovered only following September 11 2001 when Bush made Iraq a gratuitous target of his "war on terror". Blair's "Iraq dossier" has been mocked by human rights groups.

However, what is wonderful is that across the world the sheer force of public opinion isolates Bush and Blair and their lemming, John Howard in Australia.

So few people believe them and support them that The Guardian this week went in search of the few who do - "the hawks". The paper published a list of celebrity warmongers, some apparently shy at describing their contortion of intellect and morality. It is a small list.

In contrast the majority of people in the West, including the United States, are now against this gruesome adventure and the numbers grow every day.

It is time MPs joined their constituents and reclaimed the true authority of parliament. MPs like Tam Dalyell, Alice Mahon, Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway have stood alone for too long on this issue and there have been too many sham debates manipulated by Downing Street.

If, as Galloway says, a majority of Labour backbenchers are against an attack, let them speak up now.

Blair's figleaf of a "coalition" is very important to Bush and only the moral power of the British people can bring the troops home without them firing a shot.

The consequences of not speaking out go well beyond an attack on Iraq. Washington will effectively take over the Middle East, ensuring an age of terrorism other than their own.

The next American attack is likely to be Iran - the Israelis want this - and their aircraft are already in place in Turkey. Then it may be China's turn.

"Endless war" is Vice-President Cheney's contribution to our understanding.

Bush has said he will use nuclear weapons "if necessary". On March 26 last Geoffrey Hoon said that other countries "can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use our nuclear weapons".

Such madness is the true enemy. What's more, it is right here at home and you, the British people, can stop it.

x.
imperium
[ Parent ]

is there a connection? (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by John Thompson on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:14:05 PM EST

Enlightened1 wrote:

Hussein has created many atrocities, a few are listed below.

Article from London's Daily Mirror Surprise! Surprise! When one of the world's most liberal left -wing newspapers writes a great article like this, there is hope for everyone. A thoughtfully written piece in one of the most left wing newspapers in the UK. Just a word of background for those of you who aren't familiar with the UK's Daily Mirror. This is one of the most notorious Left wing, anti-American dailies in the UK. Hard to believe that the Daily Mirror actually published it, but it did.

Begin article: ONE year ago, the world witnessed a unique kind of broadcasting -- the mass murder of thousands, live on television. As a lesson in the pitiless cruelty of the human race, September 11 was up there with Pol Pot's Mountain of skulls in Cambodia, or the skeletal bodies stacked like garbage in the Nazi concentration camps. An unspeakable act so cruel, so calculated and so utterly merciless that surely the world could agree on one thing -- nobody deserves this fate. [...]

I must have missed something. I thought Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11, not Saddam. So why aren't we devoting all this time/money/effort into that instead of this ridiculous war with Iraq? Maybe Saddam's just an easier target?



[ Parent ]
"Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right" | 276 comments (255 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
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