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[P]
Appeasement is not the answer

By lightning struck twice in Op-Ed
Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:01:13 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

In the soon to be escalated war of words between Iraq and the United States of America, the argument has been presented that appeasement is not the answer.  There are some people who stubbornly resist both common wisdom and common sense and continue to believe that appeasement will work, but what will be the cost of their actions?

"It is us today. It will be you tomorrow" - Halie Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, to the League of Nations after being attacked by Italy in 1936.


Recently an article appeared on this site that presented an interesting viewpoint, arguing that the appeasement by the UK may have worked out rather well for the Allies had they continued to pursue that strategy instead of standing up to the Nazis.  To summarize in brief, the idea presented by novelist Christopher Priest was that Germany would likely have pursued a strategy of attacking Russia instead of Europe and may not have had the same consequences for the Europeans that appeased him.

However that is a moot point when comparing that situation to the current situation in Iraq -- the real point is that unchecked aggression would quite likely lead to more aggression.  A power-crazed leader eager to use his military to attack won't stop once his bloodlust has been triggered.  It is amazing that the world seems to have lost this valuable lesson in less than 60 years.

What can clearly be learned from history is that the United Kingdom is wrong to appease the United States of America in these final days before war.  Today, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is making the same mistake that former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made in 1930's by thinking that the warmongering will end after "just this one more country."

Some might argue that this is not appeasement, because America will stop after conquering Iraq.  However this is unlikely because the nationalistic urges of the blindingly patriotic American people actually causes the popularity of Mr. Bush to go up when his actions threaten world peace and their own sense of security.  Just as in Israel, America will provoke more terrorism against it leading to more "retaliation", and the cycle continues to the benefit of the elected politicians thanks to nationalistic fervor.

If that is not yet enough proof, consider that Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan are already larger potential threats than Iraq.  Imagine what the White House spin machine could generate to convince his supporters when there is actually a slight degree of non-imaginary risk to the country?  Unfortunately, this "War on Terra" is not going to end with Iraq.

It is a near certainty that these countries are on the chopping block in the near future, and where will the US take their war machine after these have been obliterated?  Would they attack countries that oppose them, or perhaps the soft targets that neighbor them as some right-wing pundits and publications have suggested?  History has shown that is a path that aggressors often take; the only question is how long it will be until it happens.

You might laugh this off as improbable, but it was likewise improbable that Hitler would start a two-front war against Europe and Russia.  The lesson is that we learn from this is that the world cannot let a country to start mass invasions without the expectation that they will take it to the next level in the future.  The strategy of appeasement cannot work and should not be pursued in this case.

My suggestion is to follow the very successful strategy employed by General Colin Powell after the defense of Kuwait in 1991.  Saddam Hussein led an aggressive war against Kuwait and the world united to repel him.  By containing this potential threat to his own country and solidly defeating him, the United Nations showed even a lifetime warmonger like Hussein that he could not continue attacking other countries.  Since then he has not pursued war against his neighbors and even made a degree of peace with longtime foe Iran.

Of course, defending Iraq against the United Sates would be far more costly in both lives and dollars than what it would be worth.  Rather, the world should unite and denounce this new militarism, and cast shame upon the major appeasers like the UK, Spain, and Australia.  Lastly, sanctions or boycotts should be considered along similar lines to the pressure placed on South Africa to end the apartheid.  Peace-loving people around the world can only hope that this is enough to stop the United States of America because it is too late.

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Appeasement is not the answer | 655 comments (613 topical, 42 editorial, 2 hidden)
Woah!! (3.64 / 17) (#4)
by pyramid termite on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 08:16:19 PM EST

What can clearly be learned from history is that the United Kingdom is wrong to appease the United States of America in these final days before war.

Now that took balls to write. Honestly, I wonder at times if this is the road we're headed down - an arrogant, unthinking USA that does not understand the world well enough to control it attempting to control it anyway, and the rest of the world gradually realizing that they have to resist to have their own freedom. We're not there yet - but I fear, as an American, that we could be in 20 years.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Did it? (3.22 / 9) (#8)
by MrLarch on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 08:43:21 PM EST

Now that took balls to write.

Really? I hear it multiple times daily. Habitually, I wonder if he's just repeating what's he's heard elsewhere.

[ Parent ]

Heard elsewhere (3.40 / 5) (#13)
by lightning struck twice on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:07:08 PM EST

No, I have not heard this argument elsewhere, though of course bits and pieces turn up in antiwar commentaries.
^
it very well could.
[ Parent ]
I don't believe it. (nt) (2.33 / 6) (#20)
by MrLarch on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:36:18 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Well, I suppose you all have nothing to say. (none / 0) (#283)
by MrLarch on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:12:03 AM EST

But those nasty looks don't change the fact that I don't believe it.

[ Parent ]
Sure, but I've never seen it (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:42:41 AM EST

Put so elegantly or succinctly, building an anti-war argument using the pro-war camp's rhetoric in such a convincing way that it suckered me in very nearly.

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

Ugh. (3.76 / 13) (#21)
by Demiurge on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:39:04 PM EST

An arrogant, unthinking America unconcerned with world opinion would not have wasted its time getting bogged down in the histrionics and hypocrisy of the UN Security Council, it would already be occupying Iraq.

If you've been following the news, you'll realize that the US is pursuing plans to offer a less belligerent resolution to the UN.

Criticism that the US is unilateralist have very little basis in reality. You can claim that the US threatens to act unilaterally if multilateralism fails to work, but I don't see how that can be considered a fault. To the US, multilateralism is a means to an end. To France and Germany, it's more a matter of saying "Stop, or I shall say stop again."

[ Parent ]
Bush and France (3.70 / 10) (#42)
by demi on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:00:46 PM EST

The US should be more concerned with world opinion, but to the extent that justifying its actions must take higher precedence than responding to reasonable questions with barking, half-intelligible retorts. For instance, after millions of people worldwide demonstrated against war in Iraq, the best Bush could come up with was "democracy is a wonderful thing but I'm going ahead with the war anyway". For fuck's sake, can't this guy take an oratory night class at a DC-area community college or something? The US foreign policy of the past 10 years, and especially the last 2, appears so arbitrary and self-serving because neither Clinton nor Bush has made an effort to sell it to the world on any terms but our own. And that's a big problem.

France is characteristically playing both sides of the fence with Iraq and the developing countries. This is what the French have done in the Middle East since they pulled out of Lebanon: behave as a gadfly when it serves their interests. The only thing that is new is their use of German pacifism as a rear buffer. Just in case it turns out that a coalition force will invade Iraq, France will probably "reluctantly" participate and leave Germany looking like the extremist odd man out.

To France and Germany, it's more a matter of saying "Stop, or I shall say stop again."

No, they aren't interested in seeing people die if it is avoidable. They are very sensitive to being viewed as the aggressors in any kind of action like this. Maybe they also think that if this Saddam problem is solved by the US military despite their protests, they will be spared from future reprisals or criticism for it.

[ Parent ]

You are halfway to the truth (2.00 / 1) (#462)
by duffbeer703 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:46:42 PM EST

The governments of France & Germany hold their current stance in order to advance their political interests in Europe. US "aggression" or the plight of Iraq is a mere back-burner issue. The immediate goal is to damage NATO and remove US troops from Europe.

The real point of interest in Europe is France/Germany vs. Eastern Europe. It looks from here like the old imperial agressors are feeling the itch to dominate their eastern neighbors again.

[ Parent ]

It's more of a representative democracy (none / 0) (#574)
by BLU ICE on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 07:04:42 PM EST

For instance, after millions of people worldwide demonstrated against war in Iraq, the best Bush could come up with was "democracy is a wonderful thing but I'm going ahead with the war anyway".

The American constitution was never crafted for people to rule directly. It was crafted so educated politicians could make the decisions for us. (Yeah, I know, Bush is a total wanker.) Why do you think the Senate was originally appointed?

I don't want a war in Iraq quite at this point, but our democracy isn't about direct representation. Sorry for getting so offtopic.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Quite right (5.00 / 7) (#110)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:49:13 AM EST

I believe that the Bush II adminstration will work extremely hard to get the UN to sanction whatever they're going to go ahead and do anyway.

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

Arrogant, unthinking America unconcerned (2.75 / 4) (#142)
by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:39:17 AM EST

with world opinion that tries get an UN resolution because it needs a justification for one of its allies (Blair is the nearest a prime minister can be from being thrown by his own party) and some (yet not very large, but growing) internal oposition.

However while they do that they threat with 'going with or without the UN' or that if UN fails to support the war it will become 'useless'. And threating against irresponsable vetos. That from the country that has vetoed every single hard resolution against Israel and cares a shit about the few one that get milked down and were able to pass.

BTW your trolling is becoming worst and worst later, you should restrain yourself from being so emotive.



[ Parent ]
Disingenuous (3.75 / 4) (#189)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:17:28 PM EST

You can claim that the US threatens to act unilaterally if multilateralism fails to work, but I don't see how that can be considered a fault.

In other words, "If you don't act multilaterally OUR way, we'll act unilaterally." As implied in my statement, we're not quite there yet, but the direction we're moving towards is obvious.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
not really (none / 0) (#264)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:07:35 PM EST

Imagine you were moving furniture. You might be able to move furniture unilaterally, or you can call up some friends, offer beer and pizza and propose a more multilateral solution. If they say no, and you say, "I'm going to move anyway", would you be disingenuous?

Frankly, I don't like the idea of courting world opinion. I don't even like the idea of courting community opinion. And yet, everybody's answer to bad governance is more governance. That's what the U.N. is, after all. I side with Thoreau when he said that the government is best that governs not at all.

I'd be interested in seeing how many people who protest against U.S. unilateral action also protest against the WTO. There's an element of hypocrisy if you think about it.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Heard the news lately? (3.25 / 4) (#257)
by QuantumG on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:47:37 PM EST

When asked whether Bush would wait for the new resolution authorizing his action in Iraq he said he saw no reason to wait seeing as Saddam didn't pay much heed to the last resolution. The person asking the question just quitely smiled and backed away as the question was not one of whether or not Bush thought the resolution would some how force Saddam to surrender (or whatever the hell Bush was thinking) but was a question of whether or not Bush was going to follow international law and obtain permission from the security council to attack another nation. The answer Bush gave clearly indicated to the person asking the question that not only was he not going to follow procedure, but that he was completely unaware that any procedure existed -- the US need not seek the sanction of the security council, the US is above it -- Bush's message is loud and clear.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
International law? (none / 0) (#293)
by Demiurge on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:34:25 AM EST

Please give me a citation in the UN charter, or a specific UN resolution, or some other binding treaty ratified by the US, that states that the US can only undertake war with the consent of the security council?

If anyone's defying international law, it's Saddam, and his apologists like France and Russia, who are busily undermining UN authority so they can weaken what little control the SC has over Iraq, so they can get back to selling him tanks and jets.

[ Parent ]
OK... (4.83 / 6) (#314)
by DullTrev on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:54:41 AM EST

Article 2. Principles 3 and 4 in that article.

All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Does that help?

UN Charter


--
DullTrev - used to be interesting. Honest.
[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 0) (#616)
by QuantumG on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 11:26:34 PM EST

This is the whole purpose of the security council. By joining the UN the US decided that they wanted to be a part of the international community, and that means being responsible and democratic. I think the US takes from the UN whatever they want (in the case of Iraq it is the removal of weapons so they can more easily attack them) and gives nothing in return.. and don't go spouting off about how many of NATO's troops are from the US. They're present when it is in US interests to be there, and never otherwise, that's not what I call a committment to the UN.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
A couple of years ago... (none / 0) (#466)
by duffbeer703 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:52:09 PM EST

Today's "pacifists" were screaming hysterically about the human-rights situation in the former Yugoslavia and demanding that the US act alone to spare the suffering of Sarejevo as UN footdragging accomplished nothing to avert the crisis.

Diplomacy & politics is like poker. Sometimes, one must raise the stakes to flush out the cowards and fear-mongers.

[ Parent ]

Questions (4.18 / 11) (#44)
by godix on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:03:15 PM EST

an arrogant, unthinking USA that does not understand the world well enough to control it attempting to control it anyway

List me one country that we have troops stationed in where our troops weren't invited in. List me one war in the past century where we fought unilaterally. Hell, list me one war in the last century that was started by America (before you drag it up, Vietnam was started long before America became involved). List me one other country in history that was a clear military superpower of the times but wasn't actively taking over countries and turning them into colonies.

Would England/Spain/France delay invading the new world by a year (and counting) because Italy and other powerless countries didn't like it? Would Rome have allowed a third party weapons inspection team to do it's job in Gaul? Did Alexander the Great try to get an agreement of world leaders before marching over the middle east? Did Gengis Khan play diplomatic games with China for over a decade? Did Russia watch defeated European countries shoot at them for over 12 years without re-invading (hell, did Russia leave after they won an invasion)?

Despite the fact I'm not for Gulf War II and despite some very sad aspects of Americas past, we've proven to be one of the least destructive military superpowers history has ever seen. Don't let your disagreement with current policy delude you into thinking the US is an immoral and violent country.



You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

American military (4.42 / 7) (#58)
by swr on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:51:09 PM EST

List me one country that we have troops stationed in where our troops weren't invited in.

For most definitions of "invited", I believe Yugoslavia and Afghanistan fit the bill.

List me one war in the past century where we fought unilaterally. Hell, list me one war in the last century that was started by America

I think the invasion of Panama was unilateral, and the Bay of Pigs invasion was both unilateral .

Correct me if I'm wrong (I might be, this is from memory).



[ Parent ]
You got some points (4.00 / 3) (#78)
by godix on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:17:56 AM EST

We were invited into Yugoslavia, although it wasn't the Yugoslavian people doing the inviting.

You do have a valid point in Afghanistan, currently we have troops stationed there that were not invited. When I said troops stationed I was thinking on a permanent, or close to permanent, basis. Afghan doesn't fit that definition since we're doing the best we can to hand the entire thing over to England or Canada and get the hell out of there. Let that be a lesson to me in clarity.

Panama was a unilateral action, I had forgotten about that one. Now that I'm thinking over those small over in a week type situations, I believe Grenada was unilateral also (interesting side note: only one of the top 10 google hits on Grenada mentions the invasion, the rest are all tourism. Talk about wars that don't leave an impression....)

I wouldn't clasify Bay of Pigs as an actual American invasion. It was, at best, an American supported insurrection. I personally would describe it, like most of our Cuba policy, as a joke in poor taste though.

I raise my hat to you for coming up with those answers, although I think my main point still stands regardless.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]

Your main point being (3.75 / 4) (#109)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:45:32 AM EST

That as long as it remembers to pick on suitably small countries, or to wait for the "Let's you and him fight" taunt from a third party, then the US is acceptably violent and militaristic?

Sure, I'm not going to argue with that.

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

My main point being (5.00 / 1) (#247)
by godix on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:29:17 PM EST

that the United States hasn't pillaged, burnt, raped, or conquered half the world yet. That in and of itself is a remarkable act of self restraint when compared to previous superpowers.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]
"self restraint" (5.00 / 2) (#304)
by kcbrown on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:09:17 AM EST

the United States hasn't pillaged, burnt, raped, or conquered half the world yet. That in and of itself is a remarkable act of self restraint when compared to previous superpowers.
The United States didn't exercise any "self restraint" during any of the time up until the fall of the Soviet Union because it didn't have to: the USSR was the reason for restraint. Only after that has it had to exercise any real "self restraint".

Give it time. You may yet be surprised at how little "self restraint" the U.S. ultimately shows. The U.S. has been free to do what it wants more or less unopposed for only a little more than 12 years. That's a short time in historical terms.

[ Parent ]

Answers (5.00 / 5) (#103)
by Djinh on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:46:07 AM EST

Maybe this URL will answer your questions.

--
We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
[ Parent ]
I'll investigate it later (2.25 / 4) (#106)
by godix on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:26:14 AM EST

I don't have time to  look at it right now. But I did find the Stop America's war on the world Ring banner being right above the Commie Ring banner as a good sign.


You son of a bitch!
- RyoCokey Parent ]
another source (5.00 / 3) (#181)
by Polverone on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:42:08 PM EST

That page doesn't just include major and declared wars, which is how it got to be so large. It includes violence and implied threats of violence; demonstrations of naval power, for example, make the list. It also includes a significant number of incidents that happened within US borders.

However, Use of U.S. Forces Abroad, hosted by the U.S. Navy, states that

The following list indicates approximately 234 times that the United States has utilized military forces abroad in situations of conflict or potential conflict to protect U.S. citizens or promote U.S. interests. The list does not include covert actions or numerous instances in which U.S. forces have been stationed abroad since World War II in occupation forces or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, or routine military assistance or training operations. Because of differing judgments over the actions to be included, other lists may include more or fewer instances.

That's what the U.S. government's own historians have to say. Of course many of the incidents were minor - tracking down pirates, for example. Some of the incidents do not paint a pretty picture at all. "1854 -- Nicaragua -- July 9 to 15. Naval forces bombarded and burned San Juan del Norte (Greytown) to avenge an insult to the American Minister to Nicaragua."
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
my favorite from the list: (none / 0) (#252)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:41:13 PM EST

1842 -- Mexico. Commodore TA.C. Jones, in command of a squadron long cruising off California, occupied Monterey, Calif., on October 19, believing war had come. He discovered peace, withdrew, and saluted. A similar incident occurred a week later at San Diego.

He was later quoted as saying, "Oops, my bad."

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
The US isn't an immoral and violent country (3.83 / 6) (#107)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:41:25 AM EST

And neither do I believe that USians in general are.  The current (not past, not even 10 years ago, the current) US government might be a different matter.

No?  Then lets see them lift the sanctions against Cuba.  Just that one thing.

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

Answers (5.00 / 4) (#191)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:30:50 PM EST

List me one country that we have troops stationed in where our troops weren't invited in.

Afghanistan. (Not that it was wrong, but they DIDN'T invite us, did they?)

List me one war in the past century where we fought unilaterally.

Greneda. Panama.

Hell, list me one war in the last century that was started by America

See answer to last question.

List me one other country in history that was a clear military superpower of the times but wasn't actively taking over countries and turning them into colonies.

India, right now. That is subject to change. And they're as much as a military "superpower" (love the comic strip description of that), as the Romans were.

Would England/Spain/France etc etc.

In the long term did any of the countries you list survive with their power intact in the court of world opinion - and reality?

Don't let your disagreement with current policy delude you into thinking the US is an immoral and violent country.

The morality of much of what we've done is questionable. The violence of our country, as any look at statistics, history and your local paper will tell you, is beyond doubt.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
India? (none / 0) (#265)
by maniac1860 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:09:58 PM EST

I don't get it. How is India a superpower?

[ Parent ]
Yeah, but... (4.33 / 3) (#202)
by rantweasel on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 06:07:44 PM EST

Hell, list me one war in the last century that was started by America...

There is the Bill Hicks argument about US foreign policy and starting wars.  Surely evicting Noriega from Panama, backing the Contras in Nicaragua, Bolivia's 1980 "Cocaine Coup", and the overthrow of Allende's government in Chile in 1973 all suggest that the US might be a little heavy-handed in terms of foreign policy.  Just because the US isn't sending in troops doesn't mean it isn't arrogant, unthinking, or trying to control a nation.  For all of the wonderful things that the US has done in the last century, it's seriously screwed up a lot of other things.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Cuba, Guiantanamo Bay (none / 0) (#505)
by jlinwood on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:37:56 PM EST

I doubt Castro really wants us there in Cuba.

[ Parent ]
American wars (5.00 / 4) (#530)
by riptalon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 07:34:56 PM EST

List me one country that we have troops stationed in where our troops weren't invited in. List me one war in the past century where we fought unilaterally. Hell, list me one war in the last century that was started by America.

A probably woefully incomplete list of US military interference in other coutries over the past century or so:

1890 Argentina Buenos Aires interests protected.

1891 Chile Marines clash with nationalist rebels.

1891 Haiti Black workers revolt defeated.

1893- Hawaii Independent kingdom overthrown, annexed.

1894 Nicaragua Month-long occupation of Bluefields.

1894-95 China Marines land in Sino-Japanese War.

1894-96 Korea Marines kept in Seoul during war.

1895 Panama Marines land in Colombian province.

1896 Nicaragua Marines land in port of Corinto.

1898-1900 China Boxer Rebellion fought by foreign armies.

1898-1910 Philippines Seized from Spain, killed 600,000 Filipinos.

1898-1902 Cuba Seized from Spain, still hold Navy base.

1898- Puerto Rico Seized from Spain, occupation continues.

1898- Guam Seized from Spain, still use as base.

1898 Nicaragua Marines land at port of San Juan del Sur.

1899- Samoa Battle over succession to throne.

1899 Nicaragua Marines land at port of Bluefields.

1901-14 Panama Broke off from Colombia 1903, annexed Canal Zone 1914-99.

1903 Honduras Marines intervene in revolution.

1903-04 Dominican Rep. U.S. interests protected in Revolution.

1904-05 Korea Marines land in Russo-Japanese War.

1906-09 Cuba Marines land in democratic election.

1907 Nicaragua "Dollar Diplomacy" protectorate set up.

1907 Honduras Marines land during war with Nicaragua.

1908 Panama Marines intervene in election contest.

1910 Nicaragua Marines land in Bluefields and Corinto.

1911 Honduras U.S. interests protected in civil war.

1911-41 China Continuous occupation with flare-ups.

1912 Cuba U.S. interests protected in Havana.

19l2 Panama Marines land during heated election.

19l2 Honduras Marines protect U.S. economic interests.

1912-33 Nicaragua 20-year occupation, fought guerrillas.

19l3 Mexico Americans evacuated during revolution.

1914 Dominican Rep. Fight with rebels over Santo Domingo.

1914-18 Mexico Series of interventions against nationalists.

1914-34 Haiti 19-year occupation after revolts.

1916-24 Dominican Rep. 8-year Marine occupation.

1917-33 Cuba Military occupation, economic protectorate.

19l7-18 World War I Ships sunk, fought Germany

1918-22 Russia Five landings to fight Bolsheviks.

1918-20 Panama "Police duty" during unrest after elections.

1919 Yugoslavia Marines intervene for Italy against Serbs in Dalmatia.

1919 Honduras Marines land during election campaign.

1920 Guatemala 2-week intervention against unionists.

1922 Turkey Fought nationalists in Smyrna (Izmir).

1922-27 China Deployment during nationalist revolt.

1924-25 Honduras Landed twice during election strife.

1925 Panama Marines suppress general strike.

1927-34 China Marines stationed throughout the country.

1932 El Salvador Warships sent during Faribundo Marti revolt.

1941-45 World War II Fought Axis for 3 years; 1st nuclear war.

1946 Iran Soviet troops told to leave north (Iranian Azerbaijan).

1946 Yugoslavia Response to shooting-down of U.S. plane.

1947 Uruguay Bombers deployed as show of strength.

1947-49 Greece U.S. directs extreme-right in civil war.

1948-49 China Marines evacuate Americans before Communist victory.

1948 Germany Atomic-capable bombers guard Berlin Airlift.

1948-54 Philippines CIA directs war against Huk Rebellion.

1950 Puerto Rico Independence rebellion crushed in Ponce.

1950-53 Korea Fight China & North Korea to stalemate. Still has bases.

1953 Iran CIA overthrows democracy, installs Shah.

1954 Vietnam Bombs offered to French to use against siege.

1954 Guatemala CIA directs exile invasion; bombers based in Nicaragua.

1956 Egypt Marines evacuate foreigners.

1958 Lebanon Marine occupation against rebels.

1958 Panama Flag protests erupt into confrontation.

1960-75 Vietnam Fought revolt & North Vietnam; 1-2 million killed.

1961 Cuba CIA-directed exile invasion failed.

1962 Cuba Blockade during missile crisis; near-war with USSR.

1962 Laos Military buildup during guerrilla war.

1964 Panama Panamanians shot for urging canal's return.

1965 Indonesia Million killed in CIA-assisted army coup.

1965-66 Dominican Rep. Marines land during election campaign.

1966-67 Guatemala Green Berets intervene against rebels.

1969-75 Cambodia Up to 2 million killed in decade of bombing.

1970 Oman U.S. directs Iranian marine invasion.

1971-73 Laos U.S. directs invasion; "carpet-bombs" countryside.

1973 Chile CIA-backed coup ousts elected marxist president.

1975 Cambodia Gas captured ship.

1976-92 Angola CIA assists South African-backed rebels.

1980 Iran Raid to rescue Embassy hostages.

1981 Libya Two Libyan jets shot down in maneuvers.

1981-92 El Salvador Advisors, overflights aid anti-rebel war.

1981-90 Nicaragua CIA directs exile (Contra) invasions; plants mines.

1982-84 Lebanon Marines expel PLO and back Phalangists.

1983 Chad Support provided to government against insurgents

1983-89 Honduras Maneuvers help build bases near borders.

1983-84 Grenada Invasion four years after revolution.

1984 Iran Two Iranian jets shot down over Persian Gulf.

1986 Libya Air strikes to topple nationalist gov't.

1986 Bolivia Army assists raids on cocaine region.

1987-88 Iran US intervenes on side of Iraq in war.

1989 Libya Two Libyan jets shot down.

1989 Virgin Is. Black unrest after storm.

1989 Philippines Air cover provided for government against coup.

1989-90 Panama Nationalist government ousted; 2000+ killed.

1990 Liberia Foreigners evacuated during civil war.

1990-91 Saudi Arabia Iraq countered after invading Kuwait.

1990- Iraq Blockade; air strikes; 200,000+ killed in invasion

1991 Kuwait Kuwait royal family returned to throne.

1992-94 Somalia Occupation during civil war.

1992-94 Yugoslavia Nato blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.

1993-95 Bosnia No-fly zone patrolled in civil war; bombed Serbs.

1994-96 Haiti Blockade; troops restore President Aristide.

1995 Croatia Serb airfields attacked before Croatian offensive.

1996-97 Zaire (Congo) Marines at refuge camps, where revolution begins

1997 Liberia Fighting during evacuation of foreigners.

1997 Albania Fighting during evacuation of foreigners.

1998 Sudan Attack on pharmaceutical plant.

1998 Afghanistan Attack on former CIA training camps.

1998- Iraq Four days of intensive air strikes.

1999- Yugoslavia Heavy NATO air strikes on Serbia.

2001 Macedonia NATO troops shift and partially disarm rebels.

2001- Afghanistan Extensive bombing, troops aid rebels.



[ Parent ]

in 20 years (4.16 / 6) (#49)
by demi on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:14:21 PM EST

China and India will have probably reached economic near-parity with the West and then, believe me, North America and Europe will suddenly find that their differences are smaller than what a bunch of intellectuals or pundits from the 2000's believed. When this happens, Europe will have the choice of whether it should align itself with the East or the West, and I imagine that it would choose the latter.

Honestly, I wonder at times if this is the road we're headed down - an arrogant, unthinking USA that does not understand the world well enough to control it attempting to control it anyway, and the rest of the world gradually realizing that they have to resist to have their own freedom.

Hah, that's what Trotsky was saying about the US in the thirties! The US has always wanted to be strategically independent in an increasingly interdependent world. For most countries, this is unimaginable. For the US right now, it's a luxury we have that will not last much longer I think.

[ Parent ]

You get rated up for this simplistic tripe? (2.80 / 5) (#56)
by regeya on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:37:01 PM EST

Honestly, I wonder at times if this is the road we're headed down - an arrogant, unthinking USA that does not understand the world well enough to control it attempting to control it anyway, and the rest of the world gradually realizing that they have to resist to have their own freedom.
Since when is a simplistic president finishing his father's dirty work, surrounded by yes-men out for blood, known as "an arrogant, unthinking USA"?

In case you hadn't been paying attention, "the USA" isn't all that keen on a war, necessary or not. I can see a danger, yes, but we've had people going about it all wrong; look at Rumsfeld's leaked memo using September 11, 2001, as an excuse to invade Iraq, connection or no. Yes, he said that in very nearly those terms. Or Bush talking about invading Iraq during his campaign? Are these things just forgotten?

They are, I suppose, by even my fellow Americans wanting to paint a picture of a nation shouting "USA! USA!! USA!!!" while drooling down their collective chins, mad with bloodlust.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

We have met the enemy and ... (5.00 / 1) (#193)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:38:31 PM EST

Since when is a simplistic president finishing his father's dirty work, surrounded by yes-men out for blood, known as "an arrogant, unthinking USA"?

Just who do you think keeps electing these stupid bastards? Look, I know that there's Americans who don't want our country to do these things, but if you think for a moment that there aren't people, and a LOT of them, who wouldn't think twice about nuking Iraq, then you are wrong. It's pretty damn scary the way some of our fellow citizens think.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
um, actually... (3.00 / 2) (#197)
by radish on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:22:34 PM EST

there is considerable evidence that George Bush was not in fact "elected", either in the ordinary sense of having garnered a majority of votes, or in the sense which requires a "free and fair" election, where access to polls, registration listings, etc have not been interfered with.

whether to blame this on Al Gore, Ralph Nader, or whomever, is left as an exercise for the reader.

[ Parent ]

oops.. (none / 0) (#198)
by radish on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:27:24 PM EST

maybe I should elaborate that I'm not disagreeing about the scaryness - I just don't think there's a LOT of people who, if asked in anything remotely resembling a balanced manner, would want to nuke Iraq.  mere hundreds of thousands perhaps...

[ Parent ]
ah, juste like Nazi Germany? (none / 0) (#205)
by vivelame on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 06:32:53 PM EST

like in, "you know, i didn't vote for hitler, and then he went to war and mass murder all those jews, but he was elected, you know.."
Dunno what's the most scary, GWB, or the fact he was elected at all..

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
I've just got to point out ... (none / 0) (#220)
by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:14:08 PM EST

... that whatever your beliefs on the election of Bush are, the fact remains that enough people voted for him to make it neck and neck. The only real people to blame are those who voted for him, of course. And those who stayed home.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Ya, and those who'll stay home in '04. However, (4.00 / 1) (#231)
by radish on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:09:23 PM EST

(for example) all my girlfriend's brother wanted was a conservative, feel-good president who didn't make him think too hard, which is exactly how Bush presented himself.  that's not at all the same as wanting to nuke Iraq without a second thought.  lazy and greedy and gullible yes, hostile and callous no.

I really do suspect that a lot (>50%) of the people who voted for Bush are having second thoughts now, whether or not it shows up in polls, and at some point it will be like having voted for Nixon.

me, I was expecting economic and environmental rape and really bad judicial consequences - bad enough so that I strangled my conscience and voted for Gore instead of Nader, but not near as bad as it's turned out.  

[ Parent ]

-1, "tripe" is overused. (n/t) (none / 0) (#334)
by amarodeeps on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:01:27 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Approval (3.00 / 6) (#6)
by 90X Double Side on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 08:29:53 PM EST

the nationalistic urges of the blindingly patriotic American people actually causes the popularity of Mr. Bush to go up when his actions threaten world peace and their own sense of security

Really?

“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity”
—Alvy Ray Smith

More recent data suggests otherwise (2.66 / 3) (#7)
by LilDebbie on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 08:42:01 PM EST

which you can find here. Next time you want to show public opinion slipping, don't use last month's numbers.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Different Polls Suggest Different Things (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by 90X Double Side on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:57:29 PM EST

That data is only a week and a half newer than the poll the BBC cited, and it asks different questions; obviously I can't post "this month's data" for a poll conducted at the end of the month. Regardless, the overall trend is one of diminishing support for unilateral action, although people may be warming up to an attack with allies or with the UN. It would be more prudent to wait see what polls look like after all the protests this month.

“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity”
—Alvy Ray Smith
[ Parent ]
The data is similiar... (5.00 / 1) (#221)
by mold on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:22:34 PM EST

On the first poster's "numbers" as you put it, 5 in 10 are for, 4 in 10 are against, with about 1 in 10 unaccounted for.

In yours, "Nearly 6 in 10 Americans said they would endorse military action..."

Simliar results, even with different but related questions. Just that your source put a different spin on it. So saying that not to use old numbers is a moot point in this case. Did you actually read his link?

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]

no shit (3.50 / 16) (#11)
by speek on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 08:51:37 PM EST

I've been scratching my head at all the comparisons of Iraq to 1939 Germany. Comparing the US to '39 Germany makes far more sense. I don't think the US will stop at Iraq - I think Iran would be next. With Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq all conquered, the US would likely stop. No, it's never, ever, going to attack N. Korea pre-emptively, so just forget it. Why? Cause it wouldn't serve to empower the US. Taking Iran, Iraq, and Afghan does, and puts Europe in a really tough position (read: Europe has to kiss the US's ass for economic survival).

So, no, the US won't attack Mexico or Canada or France, but yes, the US conquering Iraq and Iran is already plenty dangerous to France anyway.

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

Knuckle-rings reading [BILL][CASH] (4.50 / 8) (#18)
by Hide The Hamster on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:31:41 PM EST

With the strategic empirical acquisition of Afghanistan's massive dirt mines, the sons and daughters of United States will surely thrive for ages on the spoils of war.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
Yes, bring on the Dirt! (5.00 / 3) (#32)
by michaelp on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:28:27 PM EST

we have paved this place from sea to sea, and our economy is in desperate need of dirt to fill the shrubbery pots!

But fear not, we shall form an alliance with Australia, called DirtPEC, and we will ration our hoard so it will last long. We will even sell dirt to the French so their hedges will not wither, but they will pay dearly for it!


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
I think you meant "Imperial" (3.25 / 4) (#36)
by rusty on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:40:01 PM EST

And also do not forget the piles upon piles of fantastically valuable freezing cold rocky outcroppings, and all the mountain cave real estate with northern exposures and desert views.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
What you don't know (3.66 / 3) (#40)
by KilljoyAZ on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:56:09 PM EST

Is that the war in Afghanistan was completely financed from the riches the US military obtained from it's brazen theft of the Grenadan fruit supply.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Damn! (3.75 / 4) (#52)
by rusty on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:22:35 PM EST

I knew that tied in somewhere. Hmmm... I wonder what we did with all those Bosnian... uh... Bosnian...

I got nothin'.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Another source of loot (1.00 / 1) (#77)
by Edgy Loner on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:16:40 AM EST

My new sedition technique is unstoppable

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
Do I have to spell it out for you? (4.33 / 6) (#82)
by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:37:43 AM EST

The US was obviously there to steal Yugoslavian automotive trade secrets. Christ on a crutch, rusty, the truth is hidden in plain sight.

===
Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
[ Parent ]
Okay, you guys are a bunch of jerks damnit, (none / 0) (#332)
by amarodeeps on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:58:04 AM EST

but it's still funny.

[ Parent ]
You joke (3.60 / 5) (#89)
by lightning struck twice on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:57:57 AM EST

Of course you can joke about the USA not gaining spoils of war from these countries, but obviously this was not the intention of the wars you speak of.

Throughout the recent past, the United States has always had justification for war.  The lar-left liberals have whined and moaned that the US was just going after war for the sake of excercising power and demonstrating war might.  But the USA has usually been able to shrug this off by having justification for their military campaigns -- be it for defense of an ally or humanitarian concerns.

The problem is that in this case they are going to war even without that justification, which casts a whole new light on all of the past uses of militart force.  When you see that the USA is willing to go to war without good reason, the reasons given in the past look a lot more suspect, and this frightens me and the rest of the world.

This is what I fear, and this is the reason for my article.  I know I am responding way too long and much too serious to what was obviously a joke on your part, but I wanted to be clear on my position.
^
it very well could.
[ Parent ]

No justification? (none / 0) (#397)
by bgarcia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:03:18 PM EST

The problem is that in this case they are going to war even without that justification...
It is generally understood that knowing & understanding your opposition's arguments will allow you to better prepare your own thoughts and arguments.

If you believe that U.S. leaders do not have any justification for their actions, then you are either ignorant on the issue, or actively choosing to ignore thier statements.

[ Parent ]

Or possibly, one chooses door number three (5.00 / 1) (#476)
by rantweasel on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:18:04 PM EST

Behind door number three is the idea that the entire Bush argument is a handwave and distraction, where there's a lot of stuff being thrown about but it is all either not relevant, not true, or not applicable.  Which leaves Bush with no actual justification for his actions, just a mess of snake oil that sounds good but falls apart under examination.

Personally, I choose door number four, which is a whole seperate mess.

mathias

[ Parent ]

That is a cop-out (none / 0) (#564)
by bgarcia on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 02:11:31 PM EST

You can say that they are lying, or you can say that they are wrong. But what you are doing is just ignoring their justifications. It makes your arguments less credible to those who have not yet made up their minds.

It is better to know the other side's arguments, list them, and refute them. Your arguments are stronger if they also take into account the other side's arguments.

Just a friendly bit of criticism.

[ Parent ]

Not a cop out (none / 0) (#613)
by rantweasel on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 03:38:19 PM EST

You say:
If you believe that U.S. leaders do not have any justification for their actions, then you are either ignorant on the issue, or actively choosing to ignore thier statements.

My point is that the 3rd option is that one feels that U.S. leaders have justifications composed of falsifications, distractions, and handwaves.  I agree with you in that you need counter-evidence and real refutations, and that it's not a solid argument without it, but I do think it's a distinct 3rd choice that you were ignoring.  I think I should have pointed out what I was disagreeing with in my previous post, since on re-reading it could read as though I was suggesting that the US leadership wasn't claiming humanitarian reasons for invading Iraq.

mathias

[ Parent ]

think opium, not oil (2.66 / 3) (#53)
by speek on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:28:08 PM EST

Then you'll see the grand master plan!

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

Oil (3.66 / 3) (#113)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:59:39 AM EST

pipeline.

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

Allow me to simplify it for you: (3.05 / 17) (#24)
by Demiurge on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:55:27 PM EST

Saddam attacked Kuwait in 1990 not because he thought the world would permit it, but because he thought he could win militarity. The movement of Iraq forces makes it seem that Saddam thought he would simply face the relatively small American force stationed in the region, and that once it was destroyed America and the rest of the world would simply come to an agreement. Even after he was defeated in the Gulf War, Saddam massed forces near the Kuwaiti border in 1994, and there was every indication that he would repeat the invasion, until a massive allied bombing campaign forced him to back off. Ever since the Gulf War, Saddam has continued his acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, to the detriment of his country's economy and conventional forces, in the belief that the possession of WMDs(particularly nuclear) would make him safe from American retaliation if he were to attempt to invade Kuwait or nothern Saudi Arabia again, which he is still fully capable militarily of carrying out.

The situation is likened to Hitler in Europe in the late 1930s. Britain, under Chamberlain, wanting to forego the costs of a war against Hitler, decided to forego conflict by giving in to his demands. This, of course, simply strengthened Hitler, so when war inevitably came years later, it was far bloodier and costlier than it would have been if Hitler had been stopped before.

Nothing in Saddam's character or history indicates that he has decided against an aggressive expansionist policy. He's a tyrannical megalomaniac who obviously sees himself as a new pan-Arab leader, a new Saladin, and is willing to do anything to fulfill his goal of strengthening his position through military conflict. The question is, as it was in 1939, do we give in to Saddam now because we don't want any war, or do we appease him and find ourselves forced to confront him five or ten years later, when he has a nuclear arsenal and has seized the oil fields of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia?

[ Parent ]
if you believe that, then you believe it (3.88 / 9) (#41)
by speek on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:59:39 PM EST

I don't know how we're "appeasing" Iraq by bombing and sanctioning them constantly. One could more easily compare that to Germany and the treaty of Versailles, I'd think. Where's your WWI history lesson? About how the treaty of V. "caused" Germany to turn bad? Everyone loves to use the history lessons to prove their beliefs by analogy. But analogy sucks, and I probably wasn't clear enough in my main post that I don't agree overall with the story. It's a better analogy than Iraq-Germany, but it's still an analogy and therefore sucks.

If Saddam attacks Kuwait, he gets stopped. If he has nuclear weapons, he knows what happens to Iraq and him when he uses them. Either MAD works, or we're going to have a problem eventually, because proliferation is inevitable. Attacking Iraq doesn't fix that. Been keeping an eye on Iran's nuclear program?

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

Nuclear war is your preferred alternative? (3.28 / 7) (#67)
by Demiurge on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:47:00 AM EST

So New York or DC gets wiped off the map, followed by millions of Iraqi citizens, and to you this is a better alternative than disarming Saddam now?

[ Parent ]
OK mister (3.33 / 6) (#114)
by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:02:12 AM EST

Time out in the Troll Cave for you.  You just have a think about what you've been saying and what your father's going to do when he finds out.

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

finally you understand! (4.00 / 4) (#119)
by speek on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:31:03 AM EST

That's exactly what I want.

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

Inspections are working. Why war? (3.28 / 7) (#48)
by Mr Hogan on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:10:52 PM EST

Saddam has never been appeased. Every time he has threatened war, he has been smacked down. There is no reason to invade him twice for something he did over a decade ago. Here's what you need to do.

  • First, find credible evidence for these "WMDs (particularly nuclear)", or at least refute existing strong evidence he has none. If inspectors discover the odd test tube, which is to be expected, defy logic and explain why that's a reason to end inspections and begin bombing.

  • Then cook up a plausible if inverted fable to rationalize invading Iraq and installing a puppet regime Iraqis wouldn't elect in a million years.

    You're a tool. There are better reasons to invade Israel than Iraq, and for all your hollow adjectives for fear and evil, stupid parables and grasping logic, there's more Iraqi blood on your hands than there is on Saddam's.

    Troll.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

  • Inspections, working? (3.40 / 5) (#64)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:41:06 AM EST

    Considering even the inspectors themselves admit Iraq is still not complying with UN resolutions should make it clear that they're not. Colin Powell's presentation to the Security Council should make it painfully clear to any objective observer that the Iraqis are developing WMDs. Inspections didn't work after the Gulf War, they're not working now, why should we think they'll work in the future?

    And that bit about the US installing a puppet regime? Are you a member of the National Security Council or something? You must know something I don't, because the US government's efforts to work with the INC and other Iraqi dissident groups, along with the experience of what happened in Afghanistan, shows pretty clearly that the US is going to do anything but that.

    [ Parent ]
    You're scary. (3.66 / 3) (#72)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:07:20 AM EST

    Powell's "objective evidence for WMD" means something different to the world than it does to a fawning acolyte of the state trolling for the murder of Iraqi children. Likewise, "work" must mean something different to you than it does to Blix, who, you will admit, meant what he said.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Interesting... (3.83 / 6) (#93)
    by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:01:41 AM EST

    Since every European government, including France and Germany, have privately and sometimes in interviews admitted that the Iraqi regime almost certainly has WMD, at least chemical and biological weapons.

    "fawning acolyte of the state trolling for the murder of Iraqi children"

    Actually, I was thinking you were missing the bigger picture. UN sanctions, the "containment" of Iraq that you espouse, has, along with Saddam Hussein's politically motivated neglect, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, through starvation and lack of adequate medical care, at least 200,000 between the years of 1991 and 1998 according to the UN. That's a rate of a little over 20,000 per year. So, assuming that the US invasion kills approximately 2,000-4,000 Iraqi civilians (1991 Gulf War killed 3,200-3,700 Iraqi civilians, Kosovo War killed 500-750 Serbian civilians, Afghanistan War killed 3,000-4,000 Afghans (very rough estimates by international agencies)) in less than a year, if the UN and US bring adequate food and medical supplies for Iraq, the Iraqi people will be better, quantitatively, for it.

    And qualitatively, how hard is it to measure the worth of being out from under the thumb of a regime where indirect criticism of Saddam earns you a kidnapping by the secret police and your body parts delivered to your family?

    "Likewise, "work" must mean something different to you than it does to Blix, who, you will admit, meant what he said."

    Despite Iraqi procedural "concessions", such as U-2 flights and free access to inspectors, Blix noted several times that nothing new in terms of actual information or weapons materiel itself was turned over by Iraq. Official documents explaining where known weapons went, officers and enlisted men who oversaw or directly handled the weapons, sites to inspect where weapons were supposedly destroyed and the destroyed weapons themselves should all be easy for a regime to produce if it were actually disarming, instead of stalling for time.

    Inspections, if Iraq were truly disarming, would take a week or two at most. Instead, Blix is on a scavenger hunt, with Iraq altering the rules as it proceeds, and Blix knows it himself.

    From NYTimes:

    Despite Mr. Blix's public statement, administration officials said he and the other inspectors were privately more skeptical of Iraq's motives when they met separately with members of the Security Council on Friday.

    "In private, a lot of people were more appreciative of the situation than they were in public," an administration official said.

    For example, in his public remarks Mr. Blix cited Iraqi willingness to pass laws and set up commissions to cooperate with weapons inspectors, but in private he was said to understand that those were mere gestures, having more to do with "process" than results. The administration official said Mr. Blix had been careful to avoid making judgments about Iraqi conduct, and his approach led to the ambiguous wording of his statements.



    [ Parent ]
    Wow. (2.60 / 5) (#95)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:59:09 AM EST

    I'm sorry, your sanctions are no excuse for you to invade Iraq. I don't know why you think a NY Times editorial is more persuasive than Blix's own words. Why didn't you just quote Powell's spin?

    I don't know if Iraq has the weapons you've already decided it must have. I realize the story in your head requires WMD but there is no evidence Saddam owns any. Powell's evidence, because it is so poor, is evidence he Saddam does NOT have your weapons; the world expects the smartest richest most powerful country in the world to do better, especially when it is trying so hard. There is evidence Iraq likes to assert its independence. There is Blix's evidence the inspections are working. There is evidence Saddam is weaker today than he was a decade and 9/11 ago, which is evidence he should be invaded tomorrow instead of five years ago. OK.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Wow, squared. (4.00 / 5) (#98)
    by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:29:32 AM EST

    "I'm sorry, your sanctions are no excuse for you to invade Iraq."

    Considering a main anti-war argument seems to run along the lines of "containment is working on Saddam Hussein, why kill so many people?", I thought it would be enlightening to point out that military action would kill far fewer innocents than the containment regime over the next few years.

    "I don't know why you think a NY Times editorial is more persuasive than Blix's own words."

    Did you even read the article? 1) It's not an editorial. 2) The point the article was making there was that Blix purposely straddled the fence in his public statement, but in private he knows that Iraq's concessions are all show and no substance.

    "I realize the story in your head requires WMD but there is no evidence Saddam owns any."

    Okay, how about this publicly known knowledge? Saddam Hussein stated in his weapons declaration that Iraq had 13,000 chemical weapons produced, and they were all used or destroyed. The UN weapons inspectors, with intelligence provided by Iraqi defectors, discover in 1998 documents detailing production of 19,000 chemical weapons. Blix has demanded in 2003 either the 6,000 weapons or documents ordering and detailing their destruction and interviews with soldiers who destroyed them, inspection of the sites where they were supposedly destroyed, and materiel evidence of broken and destroyed weapons. None of which Iraq has provided or produced, as though it simply misplaced 6,000 of its most potent weapons.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Understated anthrax and botulinum toxin production, missing VX gas precursors, missing chemical weapons warheads, and UAV and ballistic missile delivery vehicle research are all publicly known knowledge of Iraq's deception.

    But don't take it from me, take it from Jacques Chirac himself:

    But you seem willing to put the onus on inspectors to find arms rather than on Saddam to declare what he's got. Are there nuclear arms in Iraq? I don't think so. Are there other weapons of mass destruction? That's probable. We have to find and destroy them. In its current situation, does Iraq--controlled and inspected as it is--pose a clear and present danger to the region? I don't believe so. Given that, I prefer to continue along the path laid out by the Security Council. Then we'll see.

    What evidence would justify war? It's up to the inspectors to decide. We gave them our confidence. They were given a mission, and we trust them. If we have to give them greater means, we'll do so. It's up to them to come before the Security Council and say, "We won. It's over. There are no more weapons of mass destruction," or "It's impossible for us to fulfill our mission. We're coming up against Iraqi ill will and impediments." At that point, the Security Council would have to discuss this report and decide what to do. In that case, France would naturally exclude no option.

    But without Iraqi cooperation, even 300 inspectors can't do the job. That's correct, no doubt. But it's up to the inspectors to say so. I'm betting that we can get Iraq to cooperate more. If I'm wrong, there will still be time to draw other conclusions. When a regime like Saddam's finds itself caught between certain death and abandoning its arms, I think it will make the right choice. But I can't be certain.



    [ Parent ]
    Lots of WMD on paper. (3.50 / 4) (#99)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:48:06 AM EST

    That's why we send inspectors instead of bombs. I see no reason we shouldn't lift the UN embargo, or at least take the US and UK out of its loop. American and UK meddling in that embargo's bureaucracy is often cited as a crime against humanity. The two previous heads of the UN relief agency in Iraq have said so in their letters of resignation. Obviously the lack of moral equivalence between containment and a crime against humanity scuttles what remains of your invade them or starve them argument. I think Hussein is entitled to all the WMD's he can buy. There is no other bulwark against repeated Zionist aggression in the region.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Nice troll (none / 0) (#219)
    by NaCh0 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:56:08 PM EST

    I think Hussein is entitled to all the WMD's he can buy.

    And thus shows why antiwar nuts are irrelevant.

    --
    K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
    [ Parent ]

    Nice lederhosen. (none / 0) (#459)
    by Mr Hogan on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:40:39 PM EST


    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    My god (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:26:53 AM EST

    Imagine a country with such poor controls over hazardous material suitable for making bombs that it routinely misplaced such material.  How can such barbarism be allowed to continue?

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

    Jaques Chirac (none / 0) (#306)
    by Beltza on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:36:12 AM EST

    Thanks for citing Jaques. Don't you think that he is right?

    The path to follow is clearly described in UN's famous resolution. We have send Hans Blix to Iraq to check whether they have disarmed. There may be three final conclusions from his investigations. If he clearly disarmed, nothing is happening. If they prove that he didn't disarm or if they cannot prove anything because Saddam is not co-operating, the security counsil is going to decide what to do next. And one of those decisions might be a war against Iraq.

    The whole world except for the United States thinks that this is the path to follow. The United States are not waiting for the results of the inspections (they already made up their minds before the UN resolution was formed), they are not helping the inspections when needed (showing some suspicious activities which they call proof months later than needed), but worse, they even aren't waiting for the UN decision after the inspections finish.

    Talking about undermining the UN!

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


    [ Parent ]
    Heh, we had to destroy the village (3.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:08:13 AM EST

    In order to save it from our sanctions.

    Nice.

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

    Simplistic (3.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:14:05 PM EST

    Your comments apply to every single war, whether justified or not, in human history, replacing "sanctions" with whatever convenient term you want to use.

    I mean, hey, if Britain and United States had told Germany and Japan that they could have continental Europe and east Asia, respectively, in 1939, think how many villages would have been saved! Millions of unnecessary deaths would have been averted, if only those two nations had been willing to give peace a chance.

    The sad fact is that so-called "peaceful" methods of coercing dictatorships, such as economic sanctions, have been thoroughly researched to have a macroeffect worse than war, especially the warfare the Western world practices after the information revolution. The only difference is that those participating in "peaceful solutions" can wash their hands of the deaths caused by those solutions, because they can tell themselves that they didn't fire a shot.

    Philip Meilinger writes about it in an article in Foreign Policy titled "A Matter of Precision" (4/2001 issue), stating:

    "Some argue that this kind of suffering is the responsibility of rogue regimes that refuse to give up. But history demonstrates that those under embargo generally accept casualties as the price necessary to achieve their objectives. A wealth of empirical data shows that blockades, embargoes, sanctions, and sieges almost always have a percolating effect: They start killing at the bottom levels of society and work their way up. It is not the dictators and their cronies who go to bed without their supper. Most recently, U.N. studies of the impact of sanctions against Iraq suggest that a half million infants died between 1991 and 1998 as a result of the continuing U.N. embargo. When this staggering number is juxtaposed with the total of 2,300 civilians that Iraq claims were killed during the six-week air campaign in 1991, a glaring disconnect emerges between public endorsement of "humane" coercion and public demands for greater discrimination in air warfare."

    The UN, bottom-line, needs to start acting like the international body for collective security that it was meant for. Hussein has been giving inspectors the run-around for over a decade, letting his people starve, precisely because he doesn't believe the will exists to actually enforce resolutions, and that the UN will continue to use hands-off methods such as sending in inspectors and sanctions that he can deal with.

    What are the other alternatives to sanctions, US invasion, and UN irrelevance? There was a ridiculous plan being floated by the French a couple of weeks ago to send thousands of UN peacekeepers into Iraq to surround and cut-off areas to be inspected. If the inspectors ran into resistance, the peacekeepers were to be given authorization to destroy the area. What's the point? Limited wars don't work (see Vietnam and Soviet Afghanistan), and Saddam will simply stick his weapons in mosques and other heavily populated areas and dare the UN to do something about it. Saddam may choose exile at the last moment, but he certainly won't disarm willingly, so, after giving the inspectors enough time to come to the glaringly obvious conclusions, why prolong the suffering of the Iraqi civilians with more half-assed measures?

    [ Parent ]

    dictators (4.25 / 4) (#97)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:10:44 AM EST

    And qualitatively, how hard is it to measure the worth of being out from under the thumb of a regime where indirect criticism of Saddam earns you a kidnapping by the secret police and your body parts delivered to your family?

    I understand the public life of many people in Iraq is dangerous. Most people lead safe private lives however in Iraq and elsewhere including Israel where the private life of Palestinians is closer to death than it is for Iraqis under Saddam. What percentage of Palestinians do you think support an invasion of Israel? What percentage of Iraqis do you think support an invasion of Iraq. What do you really know about life in Iraq except American politics? I bet you can't even name two streets in Baghdad.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Closer to death? (3.00 / 5) (#100)
    by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:03:21 AM EST

    Read this from Amnesty International.

    "In July, two lawyers, Mohammad 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Hadithi and Karim al-Shammari, were reportedly sentenced to death by a special court for alleged anti-government activities. The two were among a group of lawyers interrogated in June about the distribution of leaflets critical of the lack of independence of the judiciary. It was not known whether the sentences were carried out."

    "Political prisoners and detainees were subjected to systematic torture. The bodies of many of those executed had evident signs of torture. Common methods of physical torture included electric shocks or cigarette burns to various parts of the body, pulling out of fingernails, rape, long periods of suspension by the limbs from either a rotating fan in the ceiling or from a horizontal pole, beating with cables, hosepipe or metal rods, and falaqa (beating on the soles of the feet). In addition, detainees were threatened with rape and subjected to mock execution. They were placed in cells where they could hear the screams of others being tortured and were deliberately deprived of sleep."

    "In March 'Abd al-Wahad al-Rifa'i, a 58-year-old retired teacher, was executed by hanging after he had been held in prison without charge or trial for more than two years. He was suspected of having links with the opposition through his brother who lived abroad. His family in Baghdad collected his body from the Baghdad Security Headquarters. The body reportedly bore clear marks of torture, with the toenails pulled out and the right eye swollen."

    "In July, two men, Zaher al-Zuhairi and Fares Kadhem 'Akla, reportedly had their tongues cut out for slandering the President, by members of Feda'iyye Saddam, a militia created in 1994 by 'Uday Saddam Hussein, the President's eldest son. The amputations took place in a public square in Diwaniya City, south of Baghdad."

    I may be an ignorant, arrogant American, but eyewitness accounts from Iraqis reported to Amnesty International are good enough for me.

    Oh yeah, as for streets, that's easy. Hammurabi, Nebuchadnezzar, Saddam Hussein, and probably Qusay and Uday Hussein streets or avenues. The man is obsessed about Iraq's past civilizational empires and himself, so I'd bet a fair amount of money that there's a street named after himself, streets named after famous Babylonian rulers, and streets named after his sons.

    [ Parent ]

    I read it. (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:38:29 AM EST

    I counted a handful of wrongful deaths and imprisonments. Texas on a bad day. Your dramatic quotes raped me and established, as if further evidence were necessary, that Saddam is at least as evil as the creepy guys in Deliverance. To tell you the truth, I have known my share of people as powerful as the ones in Deliverance; they destroyed many lives but their methods were too banal to titillate. So anyway, I think it would be enlightening if you quoted people who survived an invasion, slept under rubble, ate rats and drank still water, buried the exploded remains of their children in a cardboard box. You know, war, or life in the corridor of tyranny between River Jordan and the sea. Evil is everywhere. That is understood. Thing is people, especially astute dictator people with a keen sense for power and survival, can be persuaded to avert their slaughter by an overwhelming force of arms, so it seems as if there's good reason to believe war if it happens does so unnecessarily either because the Americans were incompetent or bloodthirsty pick the most flattering one.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Iraqis want Saddam gone (3.66 / 3) (#159)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:22:15 PM EST

    After the Gulf War, 15 out of 18 provinces in Iraq rebelled against Saddam, before being violently put down. Unless the US goes out of its way to bomb mosques, the Iraqi populace isn't going to be fighting in the streets to keep Saddam in power.

    [ Parent ]
    That's the way the American people felt (2.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:33:44 PM EST

    about Clinton eight years of peace and a blowjob.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Me too. (3.50 / 2) (#165)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:01:48 PM EST

    Me too I want Saddam in dictator heaven but my religion (reason + facts) tells me a larger number of Iraqis will die this round than did in the first gulf war which incidentally didn't work to disarm Saddam as well as Blix's programme is working today. Better to go with the evil we know than war criminals from the US and UK who will surely be worse if their record is any indication. They have demonstrated the same concern for the welfare of Iraqis as you have demonstrated surgical precision bombing Iraq from a comment box on a web board.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    Here's your government's post war plans. (4.57 / 7) (#79)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:26:49 AM EST

    the US government's efforts to work with the INC and other Iraqi dissident groups, along with the experience of what happened in Afghanistan, shows pretty clearly that

  • A leading figure in Iraq's opposition last night rounded on American plans to install a US military governor in Baghdad to rule post-war Iraq, describing the plans as an 'unmitigated disaster', 'deeply stupid' and a 'mess'.

  • The United States is on the verge of committing itself to a post-Saddam plan for a military government in Baghdad with Americans appointed to head Iraqi ministries, and American soldiers to patrol the streets of Iraqi cities. [Why didn't Bush do that in Afghanistan? Because SUV's run on OIL not imaginary terrorists.]

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

  • I know... (3.50 / 2) (#91)
    by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:14:00 AM EST

    ...I'm busy bashing you in another thread in another story (far, far, away), but thanks for the above links. I hadn't yet seen those stories and they seem to confirm my fear that the political will does not exist to really shake things up in the Middle East. Spineless bums!

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


    [ Parent ]
    Some help that you also seem to need (3.42 / 7) (#138)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:18:46 AM EST

    Saddam attacked Kuwait in 1990 not because he thought the world would permit it, but because he thought he could win militarity.

    There are some sources that say that some US diplomats said 'we don't care' to some Iraq diplomats. That without taking into account that Saddam could be thinking that he (still) was US friend after the Iran favours.

    Even after he was defeated in the Gulf War, Saddam massed forces near the Kuwaiti border in 1994,

    Massed? And with which forces? Iran army? Iraq army after the 1991 war was just a shadow of its pre 1991 army. And we all know how much capable it was at that time. Kuwait has never been underprotected (large amount of US and UK forces around there) since the end of the war. So please tell, who in his even more insane nightmares would be afraid of what Iraq could do 'massing' or 'unmassing' forces somewhere.

    Ever since the Gulf War, Saddam has continued his acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, to the detriment of his country's economy and conventional forces

    Could you please provide some proves, something that isn't US biased or plainly fabricated evidence? Or you are just stating that the US irresponsablely (with support of the UN and other nations) hasn't been following the Iraq embargo since the 1991 war? Something may have been smuggled but I don't think Iraq has adquired a couple of new armored division or air fleets when US wasn't watching or looking to another place. And US has not given enough proves of WMDs or nukes (in the words of the inspectors there are no traces at all of nukes) being buyed or developed after 1991.

    from American retaliation if he were to attempt to invade Kuwait or nothern Saudi Arabia again

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Now I know you are plainly insane or just trolling. So Saddam is planing yet another invasion against Kuwait and even more an invasion against Saudi Arabia that will put against him all the muslims. Sure. Without any doubt. Any day.

    The situation is likened to Hitler in Europe in the late 1930s. Britain, under Chamberlain, wanting to forego the costs of a war against Hitler, decided to forego conflict by giving in to his demands

    Germany in 1930 was an european power (even if they were a bit ruined since the last war) with one of the largest heavy and chemical industries in the world, with the best universities and scientist (most of pre and post WW2 better scientist were germans, every scientist that wanted to know about the latest in science or technology was going to Germany as today travels to US universities). Iraq doesn't even produce its own tanks, those that US destroys as they were mosquitos. And tanks are the simplest modern weapon, better don't talk about planes or anti-air weapons.

    In fact this situation resembles much more to what is described in the article. The military superpower is US not Iraq. The country that has already invaded another country last year is US and not Iraq. The country that is massing troops in the frontier with another country is US not Iraq. The country that hasn't asked his allies or the UN (not that the UN is allowed to allow the invasion of a country, theorically it can just allow attacks to other countries to protect countries being invaded, in the current situation the only one that seems is going to be invaded is Iraq) BEFORE preparing the attack is the US. And the country which leader has said it will attack 'with or without the UN or allies' is the US. Welcome to reality my friend.

    This, of course, simply strengthened Hitler, so when war inevitably came years later, it was far bloodier and costlier than it would have been if Hitler had been stopped before.

    Or let the allies (UK) to have more time to prepare for the war as some people has stated in some comments in another recent K5 article.

    He's a tyrannical megalomaniac who obviously sees himself as a new pan-Arab leader, a new Saladin, and is willing to do anything to fulfill his goal of strengthening his position through military conflict.

    That is just war propaganda as we don't have the report from Saddam psychiatric doctor (that even then you could believe or not). Our enemies are bloodlusted crazy maniacs. Everyone knows that.

    In fact Saddam or Iraq government has been very succesful diplamatically battling the most powerful country in the world until now. Something that is even said by war supporters and Bush administration when they say that 'Saddam is playing with the UN and the inspectors'. So it is not just through conflict that Saddam works and it isn't precisely mad (in the sense of unable to make correct decisions).

    About the Saladdin stuff that I think is said about him or may be that he even said in speeches to the arab world. That is just more propaganda (but from the other side) to get support from the arabs, palestinians and muslims from the world that feel attacked by US or Israel. He presents himself as the only hero that tries to fight against US and Israel (something similar to what says Bin Laden though he theorically is laic, but when there is war any support is helped, don't you think so?). But that doesn't means he believes his own lies (doesn't means either that he doesn't believe it, that is the problem, it proves nothing), just that he wants to gather support from arabs through propaganda.

    The question is, as it was in 1939, do we give in to Saddam now because we don't want any war, or do we appease him and find ourselves forced to confront him five or ten years later, when he has a nuclear arsenal and has seized the oil fields of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia?

    You are just trolling again. If after all those years without inspections he was unable to get a gram of fissible material, if after years of development before first Gulf War he was unable to build them, don't you think it is pretty secure to say that with further surveillance by the UN and US of Iraqi activities and/or AIEA inspections that danger will be very easily avoided without having to kill a single Iraqi civilian? That is the whole point of this mad situation we are now that Bush and company started after 9/11 (even though it was planned long before).

    And please don't talk again about Iraq invading Saudi Arabia because it is just plain crap without any supporting fact. Remember that Iraq had a couple of excuses (even more credible i would say that the ones is using now the US) for a war agains Kuwait. I don't see what excuse would have now to attack Saudi Arabia. Liberation from US troops? Ummm, maybe he has a point here.

    Just a couple of additional comments.

    I'm pretty sure Saddam or Iraq government (with or without Saddam) would be more than happy to forget everything about Kuwait and become again one of those many dictatorship or countries supported or just ignored by the world or the US. But they haven't had the chance. Never ever. US has found a lot of more useful to leave Iraq as a permanently open question (like Israel but in a different way). Why? Here I can only guess, but it is a just too good excuse for keeping a large number of US troops and US bases in the region (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, and all the other). And perhaps even to start new wars as it seems is happening now.

    The last comment is that I haven't even talked about oil ...



    [ Parent ]
    Now I understand (none / 0) (#217)
    by NaCh0 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:33:07 PM EST

    There are some sources that say that some US diplomats said 'we don't care' to some Iraq diplomats.

    So, if the US isn't looking, that's your cue to kill and conquer your neighbors. What a friendly non-threatening guy.

    --
    K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
    [ Parent ]

    That was sad. (5.00 / 1) (#226)
    by KittyFishnets on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:53:10 PM EST

    RoOoBo posted a long and well-written comment and all you can do is respond to one short snippet of it, just to say: "Well, Saddam, he ain't no nice guy!"

    Well, no shit.

    The argument is not over Saddam's character. He is evil. The question is, are we (the US) evil as well? If our reasons for war are shown to be invalid pretensions, then yes, we are1. The pro-invasion camp has put forth the claim that Saddam is a rabid wolf, intent upon devouring the MidEast. Even if that is his desire, RoOoBo is refuting this claim by showing that Saddam does not have the military capability to (successfully) invade any of his neighbors.

    Personally, I see Saddam as a petulant child. He's making life difficult for the UN because he lacks the power to do anything else.

    Dan

    1 Only if we do invade, of course. "Rattling the saber" may be crude diplomacy, but I wouldn't call it evil.

    [ Parent ]

    Responses (4.00 / 2) (#250)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:36:33 PM EST

    There may be sources that say the US didn't care whether Iraq invaded Kuwait, but they're wrong, seeing as the US very obviously did care. You can say that most in the US intelligence and military community didn't realize Saddam would seriously attack Kuwait until too late, but that's a completely different issue.

    Germany in the 1930s was devastated by war, as is Iraq now. Germany by 1942 was an economic and military powerhouse. Iraq was a regional power before the Gulf War, and it will if Saddam can squirm out of inspections again.

    While Saddam may be rational, in that he constructs action-reaction chains, he is in no way sensible, as the last twenty years has shown, especially the disastrous wars. And the claim that Saddam being a bloodthirsty megalomaniac is anything but 'propaganda', it's born out by every action he's taken since seizing power.

    [ Parent ]
    I will repeat (3.50 / 2) (#279)
    by RoOoBo on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:57:57 AM EST

    Germany in the 1930s was devastated by war, as is Iraq now. Germany by 1942 was an economic and military powerhouse. Iraq was a regional power before the Gulf War, and it will if Saddam can squirm out of inspections again.

    Iraq doesn't have the industrial and scientific power to become a military power. They don't even have resources other than oil and they have less than half the population that pre WW2 Germany had (so I don't see how they could get a well trained army of million of soldiers as Germany did), and these population, even if it uses to be a lot of better educated that other people in the region, isn't at the level of a Western country.

    Germany was an european power before WW1, after WW1 (even if it was temporally ruined, they still had the capabilities and resources as they showed in WW2), before WW2 and after WW2. Iraq didn't have before Gulf War 1 (it was unable to defeat a 'weak' Iran at the 80s when its military was at the best) that capability, nor it has now. Most countries in the region are already a lot of better prepared for war than Iraq is, for example Iran.



    [ Parent ]
    who's next (none / 0) (#604)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:40:28 AM EST

    The US won't attack North Korea because of China.

    Who's next is the Philippines and Colombia where the US already has troops on a combat footing.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    Bollocks (2.06 / 15) (#14)
    by Lord Snott on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:12:41 PM EST

    You can't compare Iraq to Nazi Germany.

    Nazi Germany was (as modern Germany is now) an economic power, with a massive military, conducting a war of aggression across continental Europe.

    Modern Iraq is in economic ruins after more than a decade of sanctions, has a depleted and broke military, and isn't even close to declaring war on it's neighbours. It's more worried about being vunerable and an easy target for it's neighbours.

    If you're going to compare Nazi Germany to something, how about the US?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
    registration number 2,347,676.
    Bummer :-(

    US vs. Nazi Germany (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Edward Carter on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:15:03 PM EST

    If you're going to compare Nazi Germany to something, how about the US?

    If you read the article, you'd see that that's what he's doing.

    [ Parent ]

    Ummm, yeah (3.66 / 3) (#16)
    by Lord Snott on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:23:08 PM EST

    I kinda got that the second time I read it. As Mum always told me, "think before you fuck-up".

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
    registration number 2,347,676.
    Bummer :-(

    [ Parent ]
    Sage advice (2.00 / 5) (#43)
    by KilljoyAZ on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:03:15 PM EST

    As Mum always told me, "think before you fuck-up".

    Wish someone would have told that to the author of this article.

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

    uhm... (3.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Work on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:12:49 PM EST

    WWII started because germany's economy was in shambles following the depression and the effects of the versailles treaty.

    There is no reasonable comparison whatsoever between nazi germany and the US, socially, economically or politically. If you believe that, you really, really, really need to go take a history class that spends a good amount of time on germany and its post-WWI environment.

    [ Parent ]

    Well you do have one good point (3.00 / 7) (#17)
    by RyoCokey on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:30:27 PM EST

    Using the whole "Nazi = US" analogy, I see the French being rolled and promptly surrendering.



    Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
    -- Francis Schaeffer,
    When they give you lemons... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:44:33 AM EST

    ...make lemonade.

    And they say we Americans don't have a sense of humor.

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


    [ Parent ]
    I think what you meant to say was (3.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Juppon Gatana on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:15:00 AM EST

    When they give you lemons...

    surrender.

    Then again, I guess that would be the French version.

    - Juppon Gatana
    能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
    (Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
    [ Parent ]
    as opposed to the US version (none / 0) (#108)
    by tichy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:44:10 AM EST

    when they give you lemons... call them chemical weapons and invade.

    [ Parent ]
    Correct! [n/t] (1.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Juppon Gatana on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:12:37 PM EST



    - Juppon Gatana
    能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
    (Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
    [ Parent ]
    You might have a point here... (3.55 / 9) (#19)
    by Demiurge on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:33:14 PM EST

    If the US administration had not been very careful to avoid any show of hostility, official or otherwise, to Iran or North Korea while making preparations for war against Iraq.

    The fact is, there's absolutely no evidence, just groundless hearsay, that the US is planning to launch a military campaign for anyone other than Iraq. This article is simply pointless rhetoric, if you're going to take such a near-indefensible position, your evidence better be strong. And no, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not bigger threats than Iraq. If Saddam Hussein believed that he could ward off American reprisals for invading northern Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, he would, and he obviously thinks weapons of mass destruction would provide that.

    Re: You might have a point here... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by swr on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:46:19 PM EST

    If the US administration had not been very careful to avoid any show of hostility, official or otherwise, to Iran or North Korea while making preparations for war against Iraq.

    "Axis of Evil"? Bush may not be massing forces against Iran and North Korea, but claiming links between these countries and terrorists (as the "axis of evil" label implies) serves no purpose that I can see but to prepare the American people for a future conflict with them.



    [ Parent ]
    Dude, drop the "Axis of Evil" already. (1.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:01:10 AM EST

    If the phrase "Axis of Evil" is your best evidence for a planned attack, consider this:

    Administration officials, including Bush, have privately acknowledged the phrase as a mistake and have never used it again since the State of the Union address before last.

    Bush pointedly said, "Different threats require different strategies" in the last SotU address, referring to the fact that it is believed highly likely that North Korea is solvable by diplomacy and Iran's fundamentalist rulers are liable to collapse from internal pressure by their disillusioned subjects.

    The US doesn't have the military capacity.  It has troops tied up in peacekeeping in the Balkans, in a current low-level war ongoing shooting war in Afghanistan, and in a few months, hundreds of thousands of US troops will be tied up in Iraq keeping the peace, searching for WMD, and rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure.  Even if the US, currently running at a projected deficit of $200-300 billion plus whatever money is needed to invade and rebuild Iraq, could muster the firepower to mount an effective war effort against North Korea, it certainly doesn't have the funds.

    [ Parent ]

    after Iraq (1.00 / 1) (#123)
    by speek on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:01:39 AM EST

    After Iraq is conquered:
    • The troops are there - on both sides of Iran, in fact
    • Terrorist attacks heats up, especially in Iraq, but also elsewhere.
    • Bush continues the "War on Terrorism" rhetoric because:
      • He has to because terrorism has obviously gotten worse, and
      • He has to because if he drops it, he'll certainly lose re-election
    • Having continued the "War on Terrorism" rhetoric, he now has to do something noticeable. Doing something noticeable in war requires a target.
    • Who's developing nuclear weapons right now, but doesn't already have them?
    • Iran!
    • ...
    • Profit!

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

    Privately? (3.00 / 2) (#126)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:10:41 AM EST

    If we are going to talk about rumors and 'private comments' we could find a large number of links to sites that talk about further US 'adventures' already being planned and strange 'patriot' laws being prepared to be passed.

    Or about documents and reports written by Bush government member or ideologic supporters about extending US hegemony for all the next century and plans for 'protecting' US international resources (read oil) and against any new 'threat' like EU or China.



    [ Parent ]
    "Hearsay" is too much (4.40 / 5) (#38)
    by rusty on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:46:48 PM EST

    there's absolutely no evidence, just groundless hearsay

    "Hearsay" is even too much. In fact, there is lots of evidence that there are no further mlitary plans, and merely rabid speculation by idiots to the contrary. "Hearsay" implies that someone at some point actually heard something. There's no hearsay, just hot air.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    However... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Skywise on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:48:21 AM EST

    There was (I believe idle) speculation from the White House a few months back about the US military being able to maintain 2 (even 3) simultaneous war fronts when North Korea started in on the festitivites.


    [ Parent ]
    They have to say that (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by rusty on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:50:18 AM EST

    If you asked Donald Rumsfeld if the US military could fight simultaneous wars against England, Russia, China, the entire Middle East, Korea, and Canada while whistling 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' and composing sonnets on the beauty of a freshly mown alfalfa field, he would have to say it could. I wouldn't take that to mean anyone would actually attempt it, or that anyone believes it to be so. You just can't have the Secretary of Defense up there at the podium saying "Well, actually, if North Korea launched an invasion against the south while we were at war in Iraq, they'd be pretty much screwed."

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    sure, but it would have been even better (none / 0) (#259)
    by mami on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:54:39 PM EST

    if no one would have come to the idea to ask such a question in the first place. And that that was not the case, was a consequence of misjudgement of how N. Korea would be able to abuse the US policies towards Iraq, to create a situation, where people felt compelled to ask the question.

    [ Parent ]
    I disagree (none / 0) (#280)
    by rusty on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:00:46 AM EST

    The mood from DoD and State seems to be that North Korea is rattling sabres it doesn't have, out of a perception that this is an opportune time for it. They're basically dismissing Kim Jong Il as a troll, and saying that this is just a lot of loudmouth bullshit that no serious country has any time for. It's highly mediagenic, though, so the reporters just keep pushing on it, hoping to make some news. I don't think anything will come of any of it.

    My point here is that you can't make good judgements of what is important by reading the news -- only what is at best interesting and at worst titillating. Reporters were compelled to ask the question because of the actions of Pyongyang, not our government. If Italy suddenly started brashly demanding money in exchange for not invading Switzerland, reporters would be all over that too, but it wouldn't be a good reason to speculate on some kind of US intention to invade Italy.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    I didn't get that idea from most analysis and news (none / 0) (#317)
    by mami on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 07:36:08 AM EST

    North Korea is rattling sabres it doesn't have,

    Well, if North Korea didn't have sabres and the DoD decided to consider Kim Jong Il a troll, I think the DoD would be smart enough to ignore a troll. I don't think they do, neither ignoring him, nor believing all he has is a big mouth and nothing else.

    One can have a big mouth AND something to back up with the threats Kim JOng Il spits out. At least that's how I read the news. I guess the fear is mostly about his unpredictability and his military strength.

    If Italy suddenly started brashly demanding money in exchange for not invading Switzerland, reporters would be all over that too, but it wouldn't be a good reason to speculate on some kind of US intention to invade Italy.

    No, but if Italy suddenly started brashly to demand money from the US for the US troops being allowed to use their Italian bases, because they would fear that, after US invades Iraq, the Iraq would attack Italy and they don't want to be a target of Iraq's counter-attacks, you can bet that Italians would start to fear the US.

    Never underestimate how much fear the "only super power of the earth" can generate. Wait til you might experience mass hysteria within the US and you will understand what I am trying to say.

    [ Parent ]

    I guess this article represents best (none / 0) (#342)
    by mami on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:58:41 AM EST

    my feelings about how the administration handled N. Korea. Tell the Truth .

    [ Parent ]
    Excuse me. (none / 0) (#156)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:51:50 PM EST

    Are you talking about Iraq's plans for world domination or the American plans for same? I do not think you appreciate what Demiurge is trying to do here.

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.
    [ Parent ]

    On being a rabidly speculating idiot (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by theantix on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:50:24 PM EST

    Is it totally irrational of me to deduce that once this campaign is through, the Bush administration will apply more pressure to what are already bigger threats than Iraq?  Perhaps I didn't present this argument strongly enough in my article, but if the White House can spin what is not justifiable into a case for war, they can and quite likely will spin what is a slightly more justifiable case in the future.

    Of course you are correct, it is just speculation on my part, but my fears are grounded in what I observe about the reality of the current conflict.  I hope my fears turn out to be incorrect, but I think they go beyond hot air and idiocy.

    ---
    "let it never be said that I didn't get all of my best ideas from theantix's brain" -- rusty

    visit Parent ]

    Oops (none / 0) (#287)
    by CarryTheZero on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:35:02 AM EST

    Wrong account.

    --
    You said I'd wake up dead drunk / alone in the park / I called you a liar / but how right you were
    iTunes users: want to download album artwork automatically? Now you can.
    [ Parent ]
    'Axis of Evil´, anyone? (NT) (2.00 / 2) (#125)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:04:50 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    uh... did I just dream it... (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by radish on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:23:47 PM EST

    or was this administration generating an enormous amount of inflammatory rhetoric mere months ago about how long the "war on terror" was going to take, and how we would be rooting out terrorists all over the world for years to come?  they sure made it sound like a military campaign.

    perhaps you're suggesting that the "war on terror" will only take place on US soil, and only after the posse commitatus has been repealed...  or perhaps you're suggesting that what the press reports as having been said by the president can be dismissed as hearsay...

    [ Parent ]

    Better think twice about this (4.50 / 2) (#195)
    by pyramid termite on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:56:01 PM EST

    Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not bigger threats than Iraq.

    Which country already has the bomb and was the original sponsor of the Taliban, which permitted Al Qaeda to operate in Afghanistan?

    What other country did Osama Bin Laden and most of the 9/11 hijackers come from?

    This is not just a matter of threats - it's a matter of what's actually been done.

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    no evidence (none / 0) (#603)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:36:15 AM EST

    You might want to read about "The Project for a New American Century" before you make any further silly postings.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    Controversial arguments require a large body of (3.33 / 6) (#22)
    by Demiurge on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:46:34 PM EST

    facts to support your position. Linking to some frog-bashing in the National Review does not mean that the US is going to attack Canada or North Korea, especially when all government sources, direct or indirect, say exactly the opposite. And if you think Afghanistan constitutes 'warmongering', you're pretty far off base. Unless you have very strong support for your position, any reasonable, objective observer would conclude that the US campaign in Afghanistan was a defensive war. To claim that it was unjustified aggression is about as sensible as making the same claim about 'Operation Overlord' in World War II.

    You mean (3.50 / 2) (#124)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:03:57 AM EST

    like the large list of 'real' facts that support another war against Iraq?

    If I remember correctly UN Security Council wasn't that much persuaded by the last list of 'facts' nor most of the europeans. If there is a really great problem with this next US war isn't just about 'imperialism' but a lack of 'legal' or 'factual' support for the war that makes this war a very easy target for France, Germany or any half educated and not adoctrinated person.

    In words that you may find more easy to understand: 'the marketing (aka war propaganda) for this war sucks'. That without taking into account what is or isn't really behind the war.

    And about Afghanistan it can be discussed if invading and bombing a country because its government or some of the government supported a terrorist group is morally correct. France didn't pursued ETA terrorists until a few years ago. I don't remember US to be so eager to pursue IRA either. And it will be better we don't talk about Israel or some South American dictatorships.



    [ Parent ]
    Wrong (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by influx on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:12:40 PM EST

    France knows damn well Saddam has biological and chemical weapons. In a recent interview, Chirac said it was "probable" Iraq had chemical or biological weapons.

    How come there are no articles here with information such as:

    IRAQ THREATENS FRENCH OIL INVESTMENTS. If France votes this week in favor of the Anglo-Dutch draft resolution in front of the UN Security Council, "Babil," a newspaper controlled by Saddam Husseyn's son Udayy, threatened Elf Aquitaine and TotalFina, two French companies which are seeking to close deals for Iraqi oil. The paper argued that "logic says that both Elf and Total will have to close their offices in Baghdad and leave. That means that they will lose the huge oil investment opportunities they have been granted."

    "Babil" added that a French vote in favor of the draft resolution "will put an end to the preferential treatment given to French companies." "Babil's" editorial was perhaps also a veiled threat to Russia and China, which also have large investment opportunities in Iraq.

    According to a report in "The New York Times" on 6 December, "the government of Saddam Husseyn apparently senses that it can no longer rely on France--and perhaps not on Russia either--to block the resumption of inspections after a year of indecision by the Security Council and no monitoring in Iraq."

    Guess when that article is from? December 1999. It also mentions the Clinton administration worrying about Iraqi arms buildup and the lack of UN weapons inspections. But I suppose no one here is willing to admit that France, China and Russia are opposing taking action because their oil contracts will be in danger, even though they know Iraq does have weapons of mass destruction.

    I guess no one but the "cowboy Bush" and the "poodle Blair" have the guts to say enough is enough, sanctions didn't work, inspections didn't work, Saddam must comply with the Security Council.

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

    Sure (4.50 / 2) (#169)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:39:51 PM EST

    But that just proves that ALL countries have economical and political hidden, or not so hidden, agendas.

    And if you point french oil interests in Iraq I could point the US and UK oil interest that will not get nothing if the current government remains (there are documents and talks from US oil companies that say so). So applying your logic that could be also a powerful reason for US wanting the war.

    And between a war and or peace for more or less equally valid reasons a vote for peace and permanent inspections. That is my opinion.

    About Clinton, US has been always worring about Iraq arming because it was a 'good reason' to keep sanctions alive and US troops in the region. That is also a 'hidden agenda'.



    [ Parent ]
    that doesn't really address the concerns (none / 0) (#237)
    by Delirium on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:27:19 PM EST

    Pointing out that the "facts" the US uses to support a war on Iraq are suspect doesn't excuse you from having to provide your own facts to back up an assertion that the US is planning to invade a large portion of the world. I'd be willing to accept the assertion that invading Iraq is largely unjustified, but arguing that it's unjustified because it's the beginning of an American imperialism that can be reasonably compared to that of Germany in the 1930s would take a lot more evidence than you've presented.

    [ Parent ]
    afghanistan (none / 0) (#602)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:33:05 AM EST

    Yeah, it was unjustified. If you remember, the Taleban at first refused to extradite bin Laden, and then offered to extradite him to an Islamic country for trial, then finally capitulated and agreed to extradite him to the US, but by that time King George had the scent of blood in his nostrils and a bounce in the polls so he turned them down flat and went to bombing.

    Earlier, after the Cole incident when the US demanded bin Laden be handed over, the Taleban held extradition hearings which the US refused to attend, consquently bin Laden was freed as no evidence was presented supporting extradition.

    It's interesting to note that the Taleban was in Texas talking to the "good ol' boys" about the proposed unocal pipeline in June of 2001. The Taleban turned the deal down and were told their options were "a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs". The rest is history.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    Like the reversal but ... (3.66 / 3) (#23)
    by gumbo on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 09:48:41 PM EST

    Why do you believe Pakistan to be a greater threat than Iraq? If I remember my history right, America backed Pakistan during the Cold War, both as a bulwark against the Soviet supported India and as a conduit of funds to the mujahideen fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. The current Pakistani regime would have to be overthrown by fundamentalists before America would even think of interfering. What's more, the Pakistani government is doing its best to co-operate with America so as not to jeopardise its interests in Kashmir by pushing America closer to India. It is doing so at the risk of alienating its own people. So whatever threat Pakistan poses to America proceeds directly from America's constant demands for public demonstrations of loyalty. I can't help feeling that you have only mentioned Pakistan because rhetorically, the ideal number for a list of examples is three.

    Why Pakistan is a risk (4.66 / 3) (#26)
    by lightning struck twice on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:03:09 PM EST

    Yes, currently they are controlled by a US-backed faction, but their hold on power is tenuous. Since they are a nuclear power, the threat that their nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of Islamic fundamentalist fanatics if there is a civil war, coup, or other transition of power. It's most certainly not a reason for invasion, but at least it's not imaginary how they could pose a threat to the USA and other countries in the future.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]
    Let me get your argument straight. (3.66 / 3) (#28)
    by Demiurge on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:06:45 PM EST

    Since Pakistan may constitute a threat some time in the future, it would be justifiable for the US to take action against it. How is this different from the argument for war against Iraq? Put simply, how can you endorse a proactive military campaign against Pakistan, but not against Iraq?

    [ Parent ]
    Please re-read (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by lightning struck twice on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:34:00 PM EST

    In the post you replied to, I wrote "It's most certainly not a reason ".

    To answer the general thrust of your question, I am positing that Pakistan is more of a threat than Iraq, but that neither shows a pressing need for invasion at the current time.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]
    Absolutely but ... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by gumbo on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:32:35 PM EST

    There is a qualitative difference between nations like North Korea (who are actively spoiling for a confrontation with the US) and Pakistan (that need not be a problem if the US backed off a bit). Also, describing Musharraf's administration as a "US-backed faction" is disingenuous. He seized power in a military coup, granted. But it was both bloodless and widely regarded as popular and stabilising after the embezzling and nepotistic Nawas Sharif bled the country dry. I don't doubt that we need to be concerned about *every* nuclear state, but equating Pakistan with North Korea in this context is simply misleading.

    [ Parent ]
    Agreed (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by lightning struck twice on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:03:38 PM EST

    I used the phrase "US-backed" to indicate that the US is currently backing them to some degree, and not to assert that the USA helped Musharraf gain power.  It's probably not entirely fair to use that phrasing as you rightly point out because the US is slowing backing away from that relationship now that Afghanistan is no longer a priority.  And I equate North Korea and Pakistan only to the degree that they are relatively unstable nuclear powers, claiming more than that would be misleading indeed.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]
    We are at peace! (none / 0) (#55)
    by gumbo on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:30:47 PM EST

    If only international diplomacy was so reasonable

    [ Parent ]
    Al queda (none / 0) (#162)
    by borful on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:42:36 PM EST

    Pakistan is one of al queda's home countries.

    -borful
    Money is how people with no talent keep score.
    [ Parent ]
    I trust ... (none / 0) (#291)
    by gumbo on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:15:34 AM EST

    ... you understand the meaning of the word "international" when used in the phrase "international terrorism". Al Qaeda terrorists have either targetted or been caught in or originated from (listed in no particular order) Spain, Germany, Indonesia, India, Britain, Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and America. I'm not trying to claim there aren't Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan. It is pretty much a given that there are. But we're talking regimes here, and the Taliban were the only government that could have accurately been described as an Al Qaeda regime, or "home" country. The situation in Pakistan is different. The regime is co-operating with the US. It has co-operated with the US for many years, unlike North Korea where ...

    Oh, I give up!

    I really don't know why I bother sometimes. I mean, fuck it, no one's really paying that much attention are they? I'm just sitting here developing repetitive strain injury in a futile attempt to inject some meaningful context into a discussion. Just some useful qualifications amid broad generalisations in the hope that between us all we might render the sitaution a little more clearly unto ourselves ... but really, what's the point?

    Please post back and tell me you were trolling. Please. It would make me feel a lot better, really it would be helpful ... even if it's a lie, I don't care, I'd just like believe there was some kind of point left in all of this ...

    [ Parent ]

    Oh dear. (5.00 / 1) (#531)
    by borful on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 07:37:03 PM EST

    Deponent trolleth not.

    "home country" <> "regime"

    Perhaps I should have said something like: There are several countries where al queda is welcomed and protected by the locals and even the government. They have terrorist training bases in these countries and have cordial relationships with the governments. These countries are Pakistan, Sudan, and until recently, Afghanistan. They are supported financially substantially by Saudi Arabia.

    I have read a few things suggesting that al queda has a presence in Somalia, but there's no real government in Somalia so who knows. I also read some stuff back when we bombed those guys in Yemen that there are bases there but I did not get the impression that al queda is big there. I could be wrong; I'm working from memory here. I'm too lazy to start digging up links...

    The test of the tie between al queda and its host government is when Uncle Sam shows up and asks that the al quedas be rounded up and turned over. The Taliban government in Afghanistan said no. Uncle Sam took the hard road. Musharraf is cooperating as much as he can, but he is not all-powerful in Pakistan. The Taliban (as a religious organization) is big in Pakistan. The hard line fundamentalist muslims are Musharraf's biggest problem in governing. They want power. If there were a free and fair democratic election in Pakistan, they would most likely end up with a muslim theocracy.

    Saudi Arabia is also making a show of arresting some al queda guys, but they're making no promises about funding. (They're saying "Funding? What funding?") AFAIK, Sudan has not even been asked.

    There's probably a good article to be written comparing Iran and Pakistan. Iran has "secular" reformers who have little power but are making some headway. In Pakistan, the secular guy (Musharraf) has the power and it's the fundamentalists who are making the headway.

    Anyway.

    Back to your earlier post. You say: "the Pakistani government is doing its best to co-operate..." and I have to disagree. I would agree with "Musharraf is doing his best..." but he does not have iron control over all the government. There seems to be blind spots in the Pakistani policing of the terrorists . . .

    I would say that (at least as of 9/12/01) Pakistan was a greater threat than Iraq because al queda wants hit us and much of the Pakistani "street" and some of its officialdom would be happy to help. Al queda has lots of suicide bombers are they're not easy to deter. Iraq is led by Hussein and he has been shown to be deterrable. He's had links to terrorists for a long time (Hamas, not al queda) and he's had poison gas for a long time, but no poison gas has been used. Why? Fear of reprisal is one possible reason. (Tactical difficulty might be another.) Hussein is no suicide bomber.

    As of now, however, Iraq may be as much of a threat. If we keep poking at Hussein with a pointy stick, he's likely to get cranky and do something really mean in return. He can't really hit our military guys so he'll take his revenge elsewhere. One of his options is to help out terrorist groups that are willing to hit the US. If we hadn't spent a lot of effort poking at him, he wouldn't be much of a threat to us.

    If you really enjoy the geopolitics, consider this: North Korea is more dangerous to us and to its neighbors than Iraq and Pakistan put together. North Korea's best friend is China. China and India are strategic rivals. India and Pakistan are current enemies, but Pakistan is small potatos to India in the long term. We need China to buy in to any plan to contain North Korea. How will our relationship with India affect China's motivation to negotiate and then enforce an agreement with North Korea? If we cozy up to Pakistan at India's expense, will China like us better because we're dissing their rival? Or, if we slam Pakistan to grab the rest of the terrorists and cozy up to India, will China fear an alliance between India and the US and work extra hard to get on our good side WRT North Korea?

    -borful
    Money is how people with no talent keep score.
    [ Parent ]

    Cool, we have a discussion (none / 0) (#541)
    by gumbo on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 03:35:20 AM EST

    I couldn't tell whether you were simply trying to wind me up owing to the brevity of your initial post. Based on what you say I think we agree more than we disagree on this whole issue:

    Musharraf is cooperating as much as he can, but he is not all-powerful in Pakistan

    Totally agree.

    I would agree with "Musharraf is doing his best..." but he does not have iron control over all the government

    No disagreements here.

    North Korea is more dangerous to us and to its neighbours than Iraq and Pakistan put together

    Absolutley, 100%, agree.

    I think what I was trying to say in my initial post was to do with appropriate response. I am half way through writing an answer to lugumbashi (sub-thread below), but I'll repeat the crux here to spare you going over the ground we've already covered.

    I was prompted to post by the implication in the article that Pakistan and North Korea constituted similar kinds of threat to the US. Whilst there are major causes for concern in Pakistan (which you have outlined above), these concerns don't warrant the same category of response as North Korea. My fear is that if the US gets jittery and starts acting bullishly towards Pakistan, acting in a similar manner as it (more justifiably) will towards North Korea, then they are in danger of provoking the very outcome that they fear. The US needs to support the Pakistani regime, not in the sense of being openly involved, but in giving Musharraf the space in which his regime can operate against terrorism whilst keeping the people with him. I would agree with you that Musharraf is walking a tightrope. But you'd have to concede that, given the potentialities, the diminutive general is (so far) keeping his balance.

    Finally, stepping back for a moment, isn't it ironic how we in the West act on the basis of a conviction that democracy always produces the greatest stability. Then notice how all of our Western governments have stopped calling for the re-introduction of democracy in Pakistan since 9/11, and that this might not be such a bad thing.

    As for that whole India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Tibet, China, North Korea situation ... that's the sting in the tail end of the Cold War and the last great fuck-up of the British Empire all rolled into one. I read somewhere that Kim Jong Il is a film buff. I hope he's seen Dr Strangelove. If Legend of the Overfiend is more his thing then we're all in for a rough ride ;)

    [ Parent ]

    "Whilst" is my new favorite word (none / 0) (#555)
    by borful on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:18:06 AM EST

    Replacing "disingenuous".

    "...we in the West act on the basis of a conviction that democracy always produces the greatest stability..." if by "we" you're talking about the populace and the press. Western governments have not been shy about installing and/or propping up dictators if it suits their convenience.

    My post was answering the question "Why do you believe Pakistan to be a greater threat than Iraq?" (although answering for me rather than the person to whom you addressed the question. Hmmm. That would be rude IRL)

    The question do "...Pakistan and North Korea constituted similar kinds of threat to the US..." is different. They both can mess up our diplomacy; North Korea can involve us in an ugly ground war not of our choosing. The terrorist threat...

    North Korea, AFAIK, is not special buddies with any terrorist group like Saddam is with Hamas or the bulk of Pakistan with al queda. Given that al queda is the only group to hit US soil (since McVeigh) they're probably the greater threat. So: Which is more likely - a Korean ground war or another al queda hit? I'd say al queda.

    If I were in charge, after Afghanistan I'd have gone after Sudan. (because they're weak and will be good example for the others) then used diplomatic leverage on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to kill al queda. I'd leave Saddam alone - use him as the sword hanging over the Saudi's head. I'd let the silly French appeasers have their way in Iraq. The stronger Saddam is, the more the Saudis want to be nice to us. Our military might would be thrown around the Korean peninsula while trying to build a coalition with China, Russia, and Japan about North Korea. I'd want to be ready to fight both in the Middle East and Korea at the same time.

    And I'd go after bin Laden.

    -borful
    Money is how people with no talent keep score.
    [ Parent ]

    Been away for a while ... (none / 0) (#655)
    by gumbo on Wed Mar 12, 2003 at 11:52:00 PM EST

    ... so I only just found your reply.

    I'm not sure you'll find this one but I thought I'd post just to mention the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who's capture was announced whilst (:D) this thread has been languishing. Looks like all that US/Pakistani co-operation is paying off.

    I don't want to milk the point too heavily, but I can't resist quoting this snippet:

    President George W Bush had expressed his deep gratitude to President Pervez Musharraf and the Pakistani Government for their efforts in the war against terror and for "their fine work in this most recent success," Mr Fleischer said.

    My favourite new word is "automaticity".

    [ Parent ]

    Pakistan is a huge threat (none / 0) (#321)
    by lugumbashi on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 08:31:53 AM EST

    Pakistan has somewhere between 20 and 50 nuclear weapons, rising fast. They have been fully weaponised and tested. It has perfected several delivery systems, including missiles with a range of 2500km. It the home of Al Qaeda and until recently an active supporter of the Taliban. They have long history standing contacts with North Korea. 50% of its 150 Million population is under the age of 15. Musharraf looks about as stable as the Shah of Iran in 1979.

    Who would replace him? Think of Osama Bin Laden armed with ICBMs.


    -"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"
    [ Parent ]

    Fair points, some answers (5.00 / 1) (#543)
    by gumbo on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 06:00:00 AM EST

    I'm not suggesting there is no need to be concerned. It was the failure to clearly distinguish between the situations in North Korea and Pakistan that motivated my original post. If you wade through the following argument, I'm sure you'll be dissapointed to find that it is not that controversial. So, from the top ...

    We had already established in this thread that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. The range of Pakistan's nuclear capability is 2000km. Firstly, this does not put the US in range (see map). Secondly, either the number and range of a country's nuclear weapons is the most significant factor in determining whether that country is a threat, or it is not. If you say that it is then you must conclude that Britain is a greater threat to the US than Iraq. I'm sure we'd both agree that's daft. Alternatively, you can argue that it is not so much the scale of a country's nuclear capability that matters as the attitude of it's regime. More on this in a bit.

    In light of the previous argument you might want to take the position that nuclear weapons are relevant to the extent that one should consider a country's motives for acquiring them. Thus Iraq's intention to acquire nuclear weapons is more threatening than Britain's existing nuclear capability. Essentially this brings us back to regime attitudes, but it is worth stopping here to look at the historical reasons behind Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme. Briefly stated, Pakistan developed nuclear weapons to offset India's otherwise massive military superiority, which was becoming increasingly problematic for Pakistan in the context of the ongoing dispute over Kashmir. India has a bigger army, Pakistan and India achieve a nuclear capability at almost exactly the same moment, resulting in a tense stand-off that still exists. India accuses Pakistan of supporting terrorism in the region. Pakistan accuses Indian security forces of human rights violations. The point I'm getting at is that Pakistan did not acquire nuclear weapons so that it could threaten the West. India and Pakistan both sought weapons as part of an arms race that has similarities with Russia and America's during the Cold War. And now they find themselves in a similar situation, each proclaiming that they would only use them defensively. North Korea, on the other hand, acquired nuclear weapons precisely so that it could threaten the US ... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Back to regimes and threats.

    A threat: I have a bomb. Do what I say or I'll use it.

    A problem: I have a bomb. I have no intention of using it and certainly not against you, but other (less reasonable) people might kill me so they can use my bomb against you.

    This is the difference between the North Korean and Pakistani situations. The North Korean regime regards the US as its enemy. The Pakistani regime regards the US as its ally. It is evident in the fact that during the Cold War the US supported Pakistan and went to war against North Korea. Post 9/11, North Korea declares its intention to withdraw from non-proliferation agreements and states that it will regard the imposition of sanctions as an act of war. Pyongyang starts bandying around phrases like "preemptive strike". Post 9/11, Pakistan is forced to choose between its relationship with the Taliban and its relationship with the US, and guess who it chooses? Since 9/11 Pakistan has done everything it can to co-operate with the US.

    The "everything it can" part is the crux of the dilemma that faces both the US and the Pakistani administrations and is, I think, the issue that you are concerned about. There is a streak of fundamentalism within certain sections of the Pakistani population and I'm in no way trying to undermine the significance of that. The question is what to do about it. If the US treats the Pakistani regime as a "threat", demanding compliance and practicing diplomacy at gunpoint, then that in itself will compromise the stability of the country. It will drive a wedge between the people and the government that plays into the hands of the fundamentalists. In other words, it would assist in bringing about the very outcome we are all so keen to avoid (as you put it, OBL with nukes).

    My argument simply amounts to this: North Korea and Pakistan (as they currently stand) constitute problems of a different nature for the US government, and they require entirely different responses. We could spend all day splitting hairs over the semantics of the word "threat", but whatever "threat" each regime represents it is not only of a different kind but also of a different order. If Islamic fundamentalists took control of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal it is not the US that needs to worry in the first case, it is India and Pakistan. So for the sake of both those countries and everyone else I am arguing that the US should be less reactive and more diplomatic in their dealings with Pakistan. They should approach them on the basis of their former alliance and not on the basis of a situation that has not yet come to pass.

    One final postscript. It is interesting that you mention both Iran and the youthfulness of the Pakistani population. 70% of Iranians are under 30. These are the people who elected the more liberal regime and they are pissed off that it isn't liberalising fast enough. I saw a report on Newsnight (BBC) where young Iranians were interviewed wearing T-shirts sporting the names of American bands, saying they were jealous that Afghanistan is no longer dominated by the Mullahs when Iran still is. I don't know what this proves ... just some food for thought.

    [ Parent ]

    How is this appeasement? (3.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Hired Goons on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:00:57 PM EST

    Appeasement would have meant no war back in 1991.
    You calling that feature a bug? THWAK
    I voted sideways on your story ... (3.83 / 6) (#30)
    by joegee on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:19:47 PM EST

    ... I believe your argument is interesting, although my personal feelings lie contrary to yours. To me this reads as one more anti-American rant, but it's more intelligent than the norm. That's why I didn't -1 it.

    Some questions I have for you (or for anyone):

    Assuming all of the sudden the U.S. administration were to change its mind and back down, do you think the U.N. inspectors would still be welcomed in Iraq? Do you believe that an unsupervised Iraq under Saddam Hussein makes the Middle East a safer place? For other Middle Eastern countries? For Europe?

    I have seen some people say "Saddam is not that bad." Do you believe the images of chemical weapons victims from Iraq are faked? Do you believe the chemical weapons found by the first round of inspectors were faked? Do you believe Saddam has changed? If you live in Europe, you're closer to him than USians. Would you bet your life on these beliefs?

    Along that vein, do you think al Qaida would stop attacking western targets with the United States out of the Middle East and an independent Palestine, when they consistently state that their goal is to kill infidels and apostates (non-believers and powerful secular Moslems), and spread Shari'a throughout the world?

    The world doesn't magically become better with the U.S. out of the picture, does it? What's an answer? I do not have one. I am wondering if anyone does, and I am genuinely interested in the answers some of the more thoughtful people on K5 might have to these questions.

    <sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
    no, don't think that, no and no (3.00 / 2) (#35)
    by speek on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:39:53 PM EST

    But, attacking Iraq will generate more support for Al-Quaeda, thus providing them more resources and manpower. Attacking Iraq doesn't make me, in the US, safer - it makes me less safe. Saddam is bad - don't care. Saddam would kick out the inspectors - don't care. Saddam would not use chemical weapons against another country (let me rephrase - against a country the US likes) - because he doesn't want to be obliterated. Same for nuclear.

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

    uh... (none / 0) (#45)
    by jonboy on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:03:22 PM EST

    It's pretty clear that Saddam is going to get "obliterated" if he doesn't fully comply with inspections. Yet he is not fully complying with inspections. If fear of being "obliterated" is not keeping him from complying with inspections, why do you think that this "fear" will keep Saddam from using chemical weapons?
    --
    The above post is overrated.
    [ Parent ]
    Not the same obliteration (1.00 / 1) (#122)
    by speek on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:54:14 AM EST

    He's still playing a game right now where he thinks he can avoid invasion. And, I think it's entirely possible Saddam is never found after the invasion. So, I don't think the two kinds of "obliterations" are equivalent.

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

    Exceptionally long response (4.75 / 4) (#63)
    by lightning struck twice on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:39:46 AM EST

    Your questions are a tad outside the scope of my article, but I'll try to address them anyhow.  Unlike the people you refer to, I would not argue that "Saddam is not that bad."  He most certainly is a bad man, a poor leader, and his dangerous to both his country and his neighbors.  I don't know Iraq still possesses chemical weapons, but I am interested in finding the answer to that question instead of invading them.

    You ask a lot of complicated questions that I feel that much of them can be simplified to "What should the world do about Saddam?"

    To answer that question, you have to posit what the problem is first.  You briefly mention three main problems: the chemical weapons they have had in the past, security in the Middle East and world, and links to terrorism.

    Regarding the problem of international terrorism, the solution is not to invade Iraq.  The link between Iraq and terrorism is so thin that it's ludicrous to imply that is a legitimate problem at present.  And it should be very obvious to even the most casual observer that the invasion and eventual occupation of Iraq will lead to further hatred of the US, worsening the already existing problem with Islamic fundamentalist radicals.

    Regarding the problem of chemical weapons, it is likely that the UN will have to continuously apply pressure to ensure that Iraq does not create and use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.  The cost (again, in both dollars and lives) in maintaining inspections indefinitely is superior to war in my analysis.  Even if the world has to threaten force from time to time, it would make sense to only apply it when required -- playing Saddam's game is cheaper and safer than war.

    Regarding security in the Middle East, again war would make the situation worse and not better.  Notice that the neighbours of Iraq are all against the war (with the obvious exceptions of Kuwait and Israel).  With the dissolution of Iraq, the resulting chaos would most likely lead to either civil war or US occupation.  The threat to other nations involves terrorism, and I already covered that above.

    The rest of your very complicated question seems to ask the very reasonable "What should we do?"

    If I were in the position of Mr. Bush, what would I do?  I would spend tax dollars on tracking down the people that are trying to kill people in the United States.  I would try to remove the reasons that international terrorists target the USA by removing troops from the Middle East, condemning Israel when they kill Palestinians and discontinue the moral support the USA gives them.  

    I would act as a part of the United Nations instead of unilaterally so that the United States would not be singled out as a foe of the Muslim world.  And finally I would try to act in the future so that I did not present myself as bully and enemy of the Muslim faith.  I would hope that by removing the reasons for causing hatred in the region the motivation to single out and kill Americans would be lessened, and the security of America would be greater.

    But all this is less interesting because it does not matter what I would do -- it is a hypothetical scenario that will never come to pass.  I hope it answered your question though.

    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]

    One more question: (none / 0) (#101)
    by Stickerboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:32:56 AM EST

    You propose putting continuous pressure on Saddam Hussein for the foreseeable future AND removing US troops from the Middle East.

    What exactly were you planning on pressuring Hussein with?  More sanctions?  (Is that even possible?)  The denunciation of the international community?

    [ Parent ]

    Good question (none / 0) (#151)
    by lightning struck twice on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:24:23 PM EST

    I tried to imply what I meant at the end of my previous response, but it was already quite wordy at that point.  :-)

    If at some point in the future it is likely that Iraq has highly destructive weapons and the UN inspectors are not permitted access to investigate them, I agree with Dominique de Villepin in that there are scenarios in which the UN would be compelled to use military force to get Iraq to comply.  The difference is that I am suggesting a use of force only when all other recourses have been attempted, and the actions taken being multilateral instead of unilateral.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]

    i agree, but.. (none / 0) (#179)
    by jonboy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:34:59 PM EST

    I definitely agree that any action should be taken by a UN coalition and not just the US. Iraq is an international problem, and should be taken care of by the international community.

    However, Iraq is already in violation of the cease fire agreement signed at the end of the Gulf War. Iraq has been in violation for over ten years, and there seems to be no evidence that they will comply. These latest rounds of inspections have shown that. Where do we draw the line? How many "last chances" should we give Iraq? I think since it's been over ten years, that we should be very near the end of the line.
    --
    The above post is overrated.
    [ Parent ]

    Thank you, very much :) (none / 0) (#140)
    by joegee on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:26:58 AM EST

    I'll possibly write a reply out later, but your thoughtful, serious, and polite response is deeply appreciated. :)

    Peace,

    -Joe G.

    <sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
    [ Parent ]
    I'll bite (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by chu on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:32:31 AM EST

    Do you believe that an unsupervised Iraq under Saddam Hussein makes the Middle East a safer place? For other Middle Eastern countries? For Europe?

    Definitely yes.

    I have seen some people say "Saddam is not that bad." Do you believe the images of chemical weapons victims from Iraq are faked? Do you believe the chemical weapons found by the first round of inspectors were faked?

    I read somewhere(!) that Iran had first used chemical weapons against Iraq and they became widely used during their war - and that Iraq viewed the Kurds as fighting for Iran. I have no idea if it's true but as far as I understand, you can find chemical weapons in most countries now. Personally I couldn't know if he's bad - but as they say you don't need to go to the North Pole to know it's bloody cold. On the other hand, I think that anyone who presides over a first world country and encourages gun sales and executions is in a similar league. It's really like comparing gangster bosses and misses the point somewhat.

    Along that vein, do you think al Qaida would stop attacking western targets with the United States out of the Middle East and an independent Palestine, when they consistently state that their goal is to kill infidels and apostates (non-believers and powerful secular Moslems), and spread Shari'a throughout the world?

    The only goal I've read is that the US stops it's engagement with Saudi, Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Whether they would they disband if they achieved their aims - who knows? I think Saudi is actually the root of the problem for the US as it's apparently on the verge of Islamic revolution.

    [ Parent ]

    answers (none / 0) (#601)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:18:17 AM EST

    Iraq's neighbours are much more antsy about the US's agression then they are about saddam. None of their populations want this war. Many of them see saddam as a hero.

    The CIA analyst for Iraq at that time has stated publicly on several ocassions that the Kurds you refer to were killed by nerve gas and that saddam had none at that time, only nonlethal mustard gas sold to him by the US. They were killed by Iranians he concluded.

    Attacking Iraq will ensure that the al Quaeda recruitment lines will be miles long as he is viewed throughout the middle east as a hero. Remember... the reason that bin Laden claims to have a hard on for the US is that they refused to remove their troops from Saudi after the Gulf War which he had propsed to fight with Mujahadin from Afghanistan. The Koran insists that no infidel troops occupy Muslim land.

    As for the last... you might pose that question to the populations of third world countries who have had their economies ravaged by the IMF and the World Bank and have descended into the starkest kind of poverty as a result.

    Not many would suggest that the world would be better off without the US... but a smaller, less greedy, less powerfull, less violnetly agressive, better educated, more aware with poiticians less obviously corrupt?

    You bet.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    Good answers, thank you! (none / 0) (#614)
    by joegee on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:41:13 PM EST

    Iraq's neighbours are much more antsy about the US's agression then they are about saddam. None of their populations want this war. Many of them see saddam as a hero.

    The most vocal opposition to this war, the huge protests, seem to be coming from allied countries. Maybe I am going to the wrong news sources, but I haven't seen a large Arab demonstration (outside of Iraq) covered in a long time. Personally I wish we'd call Saddam an Arab problem, pull out, and remind the Arab League that it's their problem if Saddam gets overambitious again in the future.
    The CIA analyst for Iraq at that time has stated publicly on several ocassions that the Kurds you refer to were killed by nerve gas and that saddam had none at that time, only nonlethal mustard gas sold to him by the US. They were killed by Iranians he concluded.

    I'll give you the benefit of a doubt. I recall this as well, did the origin of the chemical weapons attacks change after George the First became president?
    Attacking Iraq will ensure that the al Quaeda recruitment lines will be miles long as he is viewed throughout the middle east as a hero. Remember... the reason that bin Laden claims to have a hard on for the US is that they refused to remove their troops from Saudi after the Gulf War which he had propsed to fight with Mujahadin from Afghanistan. The Koran insists that no infidel troops occupy Muslim land.

    Saudi Arabia is suggesting an Arab occupying force. As a neighbor they seem to be less hesitant regarding Iraq than they used to be. The same goes for Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait (of course.) I've read bin Laden calling all non-Islamic people infidels. I also hear him calling for a global Islamic state. To me that bodes ill for stay-at-home Europeans as much as it does for over-ambitious Yanks.
    As for the last... you might pose that question to the populations of third world countries who have had their economies ravaged by the IMF and the World Bank and have descended into the starkest kind of poverty as a result.

    And the only member of the IMF/World Bank with a vote would be the United States?
    Not many would suggest that the world would be better off without the US... but a smaller, less greedy, less powerfull, less violnetly agressive, better educated, more aware with poiticians less obviously corrupt?

    I agree the U.S. needs to be less prominent. Less powerful? I'm not sure how that could happen, unless you somehow suggest that the U.S. economy be targetted for deflation. The U.S. nuclear stockpile is being reduced in step with that of Russia's. After September 11th (which doesn't justifty Iraq, I agree) you'll not see U.S. military spending decreasing for a decade or so. I cannot argue your point regarding corrupt politicians, but we all have those.

    I am not saying that the United States is any better than any other country, but we're not as far beneath Europeans as you might believe. If you had all the solutions Kosovo would have been resolved quicker; the Ivory Coast wouldn't require peacekeepers; all of Africa would love the heck out of Europe regardless of whether they speak Dutch, French, English, Afrikaans, or Swahili; there would be no skinheads anywhere; there'd only be one kind of Irishman (the Irish kind); Basques wouldn't need to be separatists; and Turkish immigrants would feel at home in Germany.

    Assuming this current mayhem is all over in five years, if we get busy, everyone on both sides of the Atlantic should have sufficient problems to solve in our own territories to occupy us for next twenty years or so of the new century. We'll be able to actually get things done by pointing our fingers at ourselves instead of at eachother. :)

    <sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
    [ Parent ]
    Nick Cohen (4.25 / 4) (#31)
    by dmt on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:21:07 PM EST

    Nick Cohen (of the Observer) has written man salient points on this subject.  If anyone fancies reading a non-rabid article or two look here:

    http://www.observer.co.uk/comment/page/0,11915,687449,00.html

    This one is particularly interesting (4.00 / 1) (#133)
    by chu on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:51:29 AM EST

    http://www.observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,896502,00.html

    [ Parent ]
    Yes (none / 0) (#134)
    by dmt on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:54:10 AM EST

    It's rare to see a socialist who is critical toward socialists or a right winger that is critical toward right wingers.  That's why I like Nick Cohen's work.  I don't agree with a lot of it personally ...

    [ Parent ]
    Amazing (4.00 / 14) (#39)
    by KilljoyAZ on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 10:53:51 PM EST

    Attempting to pass off Ann Coulter, known right-wing troll, and the National Review as the American mainstream in order to support your very own left-wing troll. You are to be applauded, sir or madam, for your audacity if not for your rational thought.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    Audacity (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by lightning struck twice on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:07:28 PM EST

    I passed off Ann Coulter and the National Review as examples of "right-wing pundits and publications" which I do believe is an entirely fair assessment.  However, I will take the audacity comment as a compliment.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]
    Mr. Twice (4.33 / 3) (#50)
    by KilljoyAZ on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:17:17 PM EST

    Let's forget the fact that Ms. Coulter is considered too extreme by the most of the right wing punditocracy and was specifically repudiated by Bush post 9/11. I can assure you if pundits as extreme as Ms. Coulter et al ran the country, the US would not even be part of the UN, let alone trying to squeeze a resolution out of the Security Council, and the tanks would already be in Baghdad, and probably Tehran, Damascus, and Riyadh as well.

    Oh and abortion, homosexuality and condoms would be made illegal, Medicare would be gone, and there would be a flat tax to boot. None of those things have happened, so I find your assertion of America as the new Nazi Germany ludicrous as well as a prima facie violation of Godwin's Law.

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

    America as the new Nazi Germany? (4.71 / 7) (#57)
    by lightning struck twice on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:46:47 PM EST

    I made no such assertation -- I compared their aggressiveness, but I did not at any time claim that the USA was the new Nazi Germany.  While many would claim that the USA has particular racist policies, it is most certainly not comparable to the holocaust caused by the Nazis.  There are many other important differences, but it's tiresome to list all of the ways that they are different.  

    Nazi Germany and the USA are not the same, and I did not intend to imply that.  Keep in mind, however, that America can undergo improper actions without being the new Nazi Germany.  This is what I have suggested in my article.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]

    Huh? (3.66 / 3) (#111)
    by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:53:15 AM EST

    "your assertion of America as the new Nazi Germany"

    Gee whiz, that must have been removed in editing, because I sure don't see it in the article body any more.

    We're largely aware of the concept of a strawman here.  Nice try though.

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

    Isn't he? (3.50 / 2) (#130)
    by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:41:46 AM EST

    Let's ignore the fact that he said "It is amazing that the world seems to have lost this valuable lesson in less than 60 years," which draws a direct parallel between today's America and the Germany of the late 1930's. Let's see what he says are the characteristics of America:

    "A power-crazed leader eager to use his military to attack won't stop once his bloodlust has been triggered"
    "nationalistic urges of the blindingly patriotic American people"

    Not to mention thinly veiled accusations of plans to attack bordering nations like Canada.

    He starts off with flawed assertions, ignores the facts that contradict his position, and tries to lead readers by the nose to a point where the only logical conclusion is that America will become a totalitarian dictatorship headed by Dubya who will invade for wealth and power and will have a pliant populace who will support him no matter his plans for world conquest. He is using every rhetorical trick that the Bush Administration uses and that the anti-war camp claim they despise. In short, he is a troll. Just because he didn't explicitly say something "America is killing Jews by the millions" doesn't mean he is not making the assertion.

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

    no such assertion (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by chu on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:48:50 AM EST

    I think you are confusing would and could.

    [ Parent ]
    He trumps up the "threat" (3.50 / 2) (#132)
    by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:51:06 AM EST

    to the point where if he were to be believed, the possiblity that the US doesn't become an expansionist power is slim to none.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    discusses != trumps up (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by chu on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:40:32 AM EST

    um... the US is evidently expansionist, the question is how far would they go - whether they could become a 'totalitarian dictatorship headed by Dubya who will invade for wealth and power'.

    [ Parent ]
    But Americans are (3.00 / 1) (#148)
    by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:54:32 AM EST

    blindly patriotic and whose support for Bush, the bloodlust-crazed leader increases when the US invades other countries, no matter who it is thanks to their nationalistic urges! How could the US not become a totalitarian dictatorship who invades for wealth and power?

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    I think you are misreading it (none / 0) (#312)
    by chu on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:26:35 AM EST

    The article is about assessing the potential risk of the US. A lot of people (maybe most) see some degree of truth in that premise and consequently some degree of risk of that conclusion. The author examined a worst case scenario but so what. The US currently has a monopoly on being a superpower - so from a security point of view it makes sense to apply the utmost scrutiny to it, particularly in matters of military build-up, expansionism, trade and the health of its economy.

    [ Parent ]
    Just because he doesn't say something (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:12:20 AM EST

    Doesn't mean he's not asserting it?

    What definition of assertion are you using?  If you mean insinuating, say that.

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

    If his point was gradual or subtle (3.50 / 2) (#136)
    by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:15:10 AM EST

    I would have.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    OK, you win (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:09:11 PM EST

    Really.  I admit that there is no cause for concern, and that Bush will definitely stop after he has created sufficient breathing space.

    Not that I'm asserting that Bush II is anything like Hitler or Stalin.  No, as I acknowledged, your view prevails, and I'm convinced that vigilance is completely the wrong way to go at this dangerous, scary time.

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

    There's nothing wrong with vigilance (4.00 / 1) (#150)
    by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:20:15 PM EST

    There is something wrong with paranoia, whether it be buying up duct tape and plastic sheets or advocating worldwide economic sanctions against the new American imperium.

    ===
    Creativitiy cannot be SPELT by over 98% of all American troops. - psychologist
    [ Parent ]
    Quite right (5.00 / 8) (#154)
    by Rogerborg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:49:38 PM EST

    Futile too.  The glorious new American imperium will last a thousand years.

    Perhaps this is a matter of perspective, because to an outsider, the US looks like a pretty scary place.

    Children are indoctrinated into swearing fealty to the state from an early age.  The current ruler inherited the throne after a council of the wise decided what the people probably wanted.   Laws are bought by the wealthy, and there is no separation of government and business.  The terms of trade deals are dictated, not negotiated.  The nation is armed for war, and given the demonstrable American aptitude for cooking the books, it's not entirely unreasonable to suppose that it might be bankrupt at home.  It asserts (I use that advisedly) the right to make preemptive strikes against nations that are potential threats to it and "its interests", to kill individuals - its own citizens and others - without trial, and to incarcerate anyone that it so desires without access to legal council, or trial, or even to acknowledge their existence.

    Against all that, we have Bush's word that because Saddam bin Laden is evil (and he is, either of his apsects) that automatically makes Bush the good guy.

    Well, that's kiddie matinee morality.  Being the good guy means more than just killing the bad guy.  It means more than refraining from or minimising the use of force.

    Being the good guy means transparent dealings both at home and abroad, it means fair trade not backup up by the threat of sanctions or force, it means not funding, arming and training the opposition-of-the-moment to regimes that it dislikes.

    Well, I'm not seeing much push towards goodness from Bush II or the cowed Congress.  Instead, I'm seeing his worst urges being restrained - barely.

    I'd sleep a lot better knowing that he was a frustrated philanthropist, not a thwarted Messiah figure.

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

    This article doesn't fit the bill (4.00 / 3) (#209)
    by KilljoyAZ on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:04:16 PM EST

    There are plenty of well thought out points a person could make attacking the American campaign finance system, Bush's preemptive foreign policy, and all the other things you listed. Unfortunately, none were contained in this article.

    This article begins with the premise that Americans have all been made obedient by Bush's all powerful Cult Of Personality, and that his bloodlust will not be stopped by any means. If you find this premise implausable, then none of the rest of the article is worth reading. If you accept this premise, you already believe the conclusion! So what's the point of this article, besides being another extreme left intellectual circle-jerk that makes people already sympathetic to the author's view feel better about themselves? None, really, which is why it's apparently getting voted up.

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

    This article (4.00 / 2) (#212)
    by lightning struck twice on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:20:28 PM EST

    "So what's the point of this article, besides being another extreme left intellectual circle-jerk that makes people already sympathetic to the author's view feel better about themselves?"

    The point of this article is to convince people who live in other countries to not sit on the sidelines by while this is going on.  I agree that trying to convince Americans that the war is bad has degenerated into pointless circle-jerking, because it is inevitable at this point.

    But the rest of the world still has time to not give their moral support, that is not inevitable.  That is the point and sole purpose of this Op-Ed article.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]

    Fair comment (5.00 / 1) (#310)
    by Rogerborg on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:03:54 AM EST

    I voted it up (belatedly) simply because it made me laugh when I realised that the BushBlair administration's own language could be applied as an argument against them.

    The actual political situation; well, that's not so funny, nor so black and white.

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

    Who? (3.75 / 8) (#51)
    by Fuzzwah on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:17:18 PM EST

    A power-crazed leader eager to use his military to attack won't stop once his bloodlust has been triggered.

    Are you talking about Bush or Hussein?

    --
    The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris

    I broke two k5 rules... (5.00 / 5) (#54)
    by Fuzzwah on Tue Feb 18, 2003 at 11:28:13 PM EST

    1. Don't comment until you've read and understood the whole article.
    2. Don't attempt to read k5 while tired and hung over.
    Move along, nothing to see here.

    --
    The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
    [ Parent ]

    You hit the nail on the head (5.00 / 1) (#249)
    by QuantumG on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:35:27 PM EST

    Your post is the example of why this article is so damn good. Three more paragraphs like the line you quoted before he revealed who it was he was talking about would be have been better, but as it stands, this is brilliant work.

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    But you followed the most important one. (none / 0) (#294)
    by Demiurge on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:40:14 AM EST

    America bashing = High ratings, regardless of whether the comment's author has, you know, actually read the story in question.

    [ Parent ]
    Some hints (none / 0) (#210)
    by holdfast on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:14:42 PM EST

    The leader referred to is the one who wants to invade another country and is trying to force others to allow, or even follow, him.

    The leader referred to gained power by non-democratic means. In an election, he received less votes than the other contender but was helped in by having friends and family in the right places.

    The leader referred to abrogated treaty undertakings made by his predescessor and may have endangered world peace, its economy and even its weather.

    The leader referred to has caused thousands of opponents to be held without trial on military bases throughout the world. Many of those held are thought to be citizens of 'allies' but their national leaders are being persuaded to ignore their plight.

    Any guesses yet?



    "Holy war is an oxymoron."
    Lazarus Long
    [ Parent ]
    invasions (none / 0) (#234)
    by Delirium on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:22:46 PM EST

    The leader referred to is the one who wants to invade another country and is trying to force others to allow, or even follow, him.
    Well, considering that Saddam has actually invaded Kuwait, and has repeatedly called for Arab invasions of Israel, this one isn't very decisive.

    [ Parent ]
    Nice but not quite right (5.00 / 1) (#535)
    by OddFox on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 08:23:56 PM EST

    Calling for assistance is one thing, but throwing your weight around (Read: economic power being leveraged to try to force countries to comply with your demands) is exactly what the USofA is doing under the Bush Administration to countries like France, Belgium. and Germany.

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

    "No escape from the mass mind rape
    Play it again jack and then rewind the tape
    " - RATM


    [ Parent ]
    throwing economic weight around (none / 0) (#563)
    by Delirium on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 02:05:53 PM EST

    I seem to recall Iraq trying to organize Arab oil boycotts, and when failing then, temporarily cutting off its own oil producting. Saddam has especially been trying to organize oil boycotts of Israel. Sounds like throwing economic weight around to me (the only difference being that he hasn't been as successful).

    [ Parent ]
    please go back to school (3.43 / 16) (#62)
    by turmeric on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:32:13 AM EST

    your 6th grade gym-coach/history-teacher was not the authority on the history of american foreign policy. I suggest you read some books about what we have done in argentina, the congo, indonesia, etc. Start with www.state.gov and look up their 'foreign policy of the united states' series.

    Peace protestors do not want appeasment of dictators. In fact, if you bothered to get off your conservative ass and quit whining about the 'liberal media' for five minutes you would notice that leftwing nutballs have been the ones always telling you idiots to stop selling guns and missiles to insane third world dictators.

    Who has been against the US sending weapons everywhere? Who was against the taliban when oil companies were invitng taliban leaders to have dinner and talk about the unocal pipeline? who has been against both the democrats and the republicans ramping up their military aid to foreign insane freaks? Who reports on human rights abuses in these toilet bowls, while conservatives like dick cheney are making speeches about how '[we have to make deals with non democratic dictators because thats where the oil is]'.

    And now you come back and act like you have the moral high ground? You people are sad, pathetic, hypocrites, and I pity you for you will be reincarnated as a shitty icon in somebody's systray.



    Why is this article conservative? (none / 0) (#71)
    by shellac on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:00:50 AM EST

    He is advocating preemptive action against the united states. You are calling this conservative? So now I am genuinely confused by your post--this is a conservative stance in which country? I'm not sure if it is conservative, liberal or just plain nutty. If anything I would call it ultra-radical left-wing.

    And he doesn't even mention the liberal media. Are we reading the same article?

    [ Parent ]

    Confused bigtime (none / 0) (#242)
    by Wulfius on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:02:30 PM EST

    Now I am confused by your confusion.

    Its ok for the US to strike pre-emptively but its not ok for anyone else to strike pre-emptively at the US? WTF?

    You recognise a sound argument by its consistency.

    ---

    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    [ Parent ]

    Umm... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by jaymz168 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:39:08 AM EST

    He's not talking about appeasement of dictators by the peace movement, he's talking about Britain appeasing the US government in their imperial efforts throughout the world. I really wanted to rate up your comment, since I agree with just about everything you said, but it sprouts from an assumption that I think might be based on reading the title of the story and not the content, a no-no. BTW, I've never had a sig before, I've been waiting for something good to come along, and I really love 'I pity you for you will be reincarnated as a shitty icon in somebody's systray.' May I?

    [ Parent ]
    good point (3.00 / 2) (#146)
    by turmeric on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:47:29 AM EST

    mayube i should read the articles on k5 instead of just the title. but its SO BORING and so predictable.

    [ Parent ]
    But.... (4.00 / 1) (#204)
    by OAB on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 06:23:26 PM EST

    So are you

    [ Parent ]
    dear sir (none / 0) (#230)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:02:33 PM EST

    I think it's awesome that articles are going to the front page for the express purpose of trolling you.

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

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

    yesssss (none / 0) (#600)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:59:06 AM EST

    yesssss

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    +1, Other Side (3.16 / 6) (#70)
    by egg troll on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:55:45 AM EST

    I'm voting this up because I think this is a very mainstream, conservative concept. I'd like to see it debated here. +1 from me.

    He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
    Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

    Well, You Know What They Say... (3.75 / 4) (#81)
    by Juppon Gatana on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:35:01 AM EST

    You can't spell "Appeasement" without "Pea[c]e."

    Sorry. I couldn't resist.

    - Juppon Gatana
    能ある鷹は爪を隠す。
    (Nou aru taka wa tsume wo kakusu.)
    or "semen" for what it's worth (5.00 / 16) (#86)
    by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:44:10 AM EST


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


    [ Parent ]
    I agree on the major point of.... (3.20 / 5) (#94)
    by Sairon on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:31:18 AM EST

    "the argument has been presented that appeasement is not the answer."

    Such an argument has been presented, and it is truly not the answer, furthermore;

    "the real point is that unchecked aggression would quite likely lead to more aggression."

    This follows as true, with the qualifcation of 'unchecked.' It is implicit in your argument that agression does not lead to more agression, so long as that agression is 'checked'. The current process of utilizing the United Nations is one such check. We can see that agression in this case is not 'unchecked', and therefore will not lead to more 'unchecked' agression. Although, as you state:

    "Some might argue that this is not appeasement, because America will stop after conquering Iraq."

    At which point we agree that America is not likely to desire to stop this 'checked' agression. The record to this point shows that, while America has designs and preparations for war, said war has not yet occured without the consent of the United Nations, or the international community in general. Based on this behavior, it is likely that future 'desired' and/or 'prepared-for' agression will be 'checked' as it is in this case. You consistently mention history, as a matter of fact.

    "History has shown that is a path that aggressors often take; the only question is how long it will be until it happens."

    Unfortunately, your historic agressors did not even seek the consent of the other nations of the world, as the current agressor is. Therefore the paralell is broken. I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that this war will continue beyond Iraq. Every indication from American leadership is that this is a war that will last a very long time, and it will be fought in many different places. I'm willing to bet there are quotes to that effect from President Bush himself.

    The striking point here, as you made, is that the agression is under 'check' and has been from the beginning. The war will end when the 'check' of international pressure says, "Enough is enough". Appeasement, therefore, is not the answer because America will continue to wage and prepare for war until forced to stop. No amount of loss of support will stop that. America will wage war on its own, if need be. The involvement of nations such as the UK only make it easier. The UK is not where the crux of the matter lies, it is Germany and France. They are the check, and if they increase the amount of their support, the war will end. Therefore, appeasement is again noted as not being the answer. Appeasement,in fact, has no affect, good or bad.


    A couple of minor nits... (4.00 / 12) (#116)
    by DingBat1 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:12:12 AM EST


    1) Couldn't you argue that, if Iraq is in breach of it's end of the treaty, the war never really ended and therefore the U.S. isn't showing any new agression but simply cleaning up the mess left over from a decade ago?

    2) As a Canadian, I agree that we need a good invading. Personally, I think we've behaved rather stupidly. A strong, sufficient military is not an option, especially for a country with our delusions about our role in the world.

    Currently, we ARE a threat to U.S. security and they are right to be concerned. We dodge the issue by saying we will only participate in a war on Iraq with U.N. sanctioning, but the reality is we have nothing to offer anyway. Even if you disagree with the idea of attacking Iraq, this should be of concern to all Canadians.

    Still, even if I had the ability to pick Canada's neighbours, I still wouldn't pick anyone other than the U.S. Certainly, not Iraq, or France, or Germany.

    Still, it's an interesting spin.


    I agree with what you're talking a boot! (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by jabber on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:36:09 PM EST

    I think you need a good invading as well, and it's not just because of your beady eyes, or your floppy head. Your government has made its own people listen to Brian Adams! That's easily as bad as gassing. ;)

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    Actually, (4.85 / 7) (#182)
    by DingBat1 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:45:58 PM EST


    Brian Adams is quite clearly stamped "for export only". Some of us just didn't get the memo.

    Btw, we're still laughing our asses off about Celine Dion.

    [ Parent ]

    Why you?! (none / 0) (#185)
    by jabber on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:50:02 PM EST

    You're all a bunch of evil doers up there, aren't you? Beware our new-cue-lar capabilities!

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    And (5.00 / 1) (#520)
    by Rogerborg on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:06:51 PM EST

    that bitch Anne Murray too.

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

    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#550)
    by DodgyGeezer on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 09:37:53 AM EST

    As a Briton who's lived in the US and is now become a naturalised Canadian, I disagree.

    I put it to you that the U.S. is the greatest threat to Canadian security.  You seemed to be a little confused about the relationship here.  I have to say I don't like the way the Canadian goverment spends so much time quivering in it's boots about the thought of pissing off the Americans.  So, they represent 80% of our export market, but why does that mean we have to be so weak willed and put up with so much coercion?  Personally, I would rather cut off my nose despite my face than give up my principles and give in to greed.  I'm a free person in a free country, and I don't like the current situation.  If you want to be more like the Americans, vote for the Alliance, or move south of the border.

    What is it about the U.S. that makes them so special that they can abuse their friends they way they do?  We don't have to agree with them on everything - we're a sovereign nation.  They certainly don't feel the need to agree with us on everything.  Where's your pride?  The US might have nine times the population, but they are the smaller country.  Not that size makes any difference as like I already said, we are a sovereign nation.

    Don't forget, the WTC pilots were allowed in to the country by the Americans.  The INS knew about them and even had visas for them.  The terrorists followed proper procedures, so it makes no difference what our policies are, nor whether the border is open or an iron curtain.  I will not take responsibility for the failures of the worst department in the US Justice Department, and will argue with anyone who has swallowed the rhetoric of US politicians trying to divert the blame and manipulate things for their own personal agendas.

    You could claim that the Canada-US relationship is similar to the UK-Eire relationship.  That's 60 million vs. 4 million.  For 30 years Irish terrorists ran campaigns in the UK (my dad was in the Air Force, and I grew up having to do things like looking under the car for bombs everytime we wanted to use it).  Did the UK try to coerce Irish policies in the same way the Americans do to Canada?  No - they tried to work with them.  When those terrorists were attacking British troops in Germany in the '90s, did Britain try to tell the rest of Europe how to run their security?  Ha!  Imagine how the French and Germans would react to that!

    So where is Canada's national pride and self belief?  Even little countries like Denmark don't put up with this shit.  They told the rest of Europe where to go over the single currency.  They're fiercely proud.  Yet do they feel the need for large armed forces?  They sent half their navy to the last Gulf War (two ships I believe).  Other modern western countries feel little need for armed forces: New Zealand is scrapping their air force.  So what if don't have any forces to send to these wars?  What we do need are stronger better principled politicians who aren't afraid to state their opinions, even if it jibes with those of others.  It all starts in the home - people need to stop worrying and obsessing about the Americans, because they certainly don't do that about us.


    [ Parent ]

    canada (none / 0) (#599)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:55:43 AM EST

    fucking quisling

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    I don't want to sound like a broken record (3.57 / 7) (#117)
    by dmt on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:12:59 AM EST

    But, it seems a shame to boil the impedus for any war into the US vs. the World.  It sould be argued that countries opposed to the war do not care about the Iraqi people either and may have substantial vested interests.  In Pakistan for instance; the Islamic extremists represent a large number of the population and together with the ISI (the Pakistani Security Service) are dead against an Iraq conflict.  In Germany electoral issues made the elected rulers dead set against war, but now the wind is changing they've softened their stance. The bulk of these countries, moreover these countries administrations do not care about Iraq, they care about:
    1. Economic security
    2. Votes [1]
    3. Public security
    Note: the people of Iraq really don't fit into this. Despite what they're now saying.

    If you look at most significant conflicts (bar notable exceptions) #1 has been very important.  

    [1] If you exclude Tony Blair, whose populace are apparently against any war.  But hey: the elections in a few years time anyway.

    u say this (4.00 / 1) (#200)
    by vivelame on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:45:53 PM EST

    like you think the US care about the fate of the iraqi, when they couldn't care less.
    Do you really think having nuclear weapons dropped on them will benefit the iraqi people?
    Oh, or maybe Chemical weapons will help them have a longer life.
    To oust saddam without excessive 'colateral damages' (read: dead civilians, i hate PC applied to war..), the US may very well have to fight an urban war.
    GW1 was a piece of cake, with most iraqi troops in plain view in the desert. To get to saddam, you'll have to fight to bagdad, and then, u'll have to fight house by house, block by block. It will probably prove a lot nastier for US troops. As soon as the body count goes up, there will be heavy temptations for radical solutions, like nuking the lot.
    As days go by, i have more and more an itch to watch again "Dr Strangelove", i wonder why...

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    Strange love (3.00 / 1) (#203)
    by dmt on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 06:14:38 PM EST

    I suggested that the US allies don't.  I didn't make any comment as to my position toward America in this matter.  As it happens I'm against war on principle, however I'm a realist and think that often things are very complicated. I do not think that the minds of our (collective allies in the war on terror) focus on any of the points other than the ones I listed in my previous message.

    You may be interested in these:

    http://www.observer.co.uk/comment/page/0,11915,687449,00.html

    They provide interesting counter argument against not invading Iraq.  Before I get accused of been pro-war please note that reading something you disagree with is not a crime ;-).  Yet.

    BTW I don't think they'll use nukes in Iraq.  It's an option but cleaner alternatives are available:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0251/smith.php

    [ Parent ]

    pro/anti war (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by vivelame on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 06:53:34 PM EST

    i'm not pro-war (i think it's obvious from my other comments..), but i can read an intelligent pro-war paper without my eyes burning.
    I already read this (i think you posted the link, btw).
    There are some good points, especially about kurds.
    Who happen to be terrorists, according to the turks, a US ally.. Nothing's ever simple, is it? :-)
    So, shall we go to war to help the Kurds obtain freedom?
    I could agree (and more than agree, commit my body and mind) if after that, the US weren't planning to install another dictature, and if they would agree to force Israel to obey UN resolutions, just like Iraq.
    Fact is, i *hate* double-standards... It reminds me too much of racism and apartheid.
    As of anti-war, have you tried this one? It was on the submission queue, dunno if it still is..


    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    Thanks (none / 0) (#208)
    by dmt on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:01:17 PM EST

    Yes I've looked at the history repeating page and I agree.  I posted a comment here that may interest you. Cheers.

    [ Parent ]
    Appeasament didn't worked (1.33 / 3) (#120)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:34:18 AM EST

    Remember Afganisthan.



    WRONG (4.50 / 2) (#174)
    by artsygeek on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:06:19 PM EST

    To even use "appeasement" in the same sentence as Afghanistan is ludicrous. The US didn't appease Aghanistan....we hailed them as great examples of virtue for clamping down on drugs...Hell...we gave the Taliban MONEY for controlling poppies. The Taliban was practically John Ashcroft's wet dream. Afghanistan was WORSE than appeasement, it was embracement!

    [ Parent ]
    You don't understand (3.00 / 3) (#177)
    by RoOoBo on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:26:14 PM EST

    US wasn't apeased by letting them invade Afghanistan ... not the other way.



    [ Parent ]
    U M W (5.00 / 2) (#241)
    by Wulfius on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:56:02 PM EST

    Perhaps in the next message, facilitate
    the understanding by the use of more than
    two words.

    The people here are smart (largely) but I think
    their skills stop at mind reading :)


    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    [ Parent ]

    smart? (none / 0) (#584)
    by LobsterGun on Sun Feb 23, 2003 at 10:57:30 AM EST

    The people here are smart (largely)...
    Not really. And I'm not limiting that to any groups in particular either (Liberal/Conservative, Hawk/Dove. etc). Damn near all of posts here consists of fallacious arguments thick with generous portions of rightious indignation.

    I don't think I've ever seen a place so full of people that take such joy in cheerleading and hearing themselves speak and I'm including slashdot in this comparision too. (Note to the would be smarties out there: That's not an argument, thats an observation).

    ...but I think their skills stop at mind reading :)
    I think most of the people here would disagree with you. They all seem to know the motives of everyone involved in this conflict.

    [ Parent ]
    No it didn't (1.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Anatta on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:56:41 PM EST

    It gave the money to the UN to distribute in Afghanistan. Get your facts straight before you start making accusations.


    My Music
    [ Parent ]

    to those Godwin impaired ones (3.60 / 5) (#127)
    by fhotg on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:20:52 AM EST

    It is _not_ generally ok to compare a nazi personality like Hitler with a little criminal like Bush.

    Gasp. (none / 0) (#186)
    by tkatchev on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:50:22 PM EST

    But actually thought that Saddam was like a meaner, leaner, newer, meaner Hitler.


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

    Flawed comparison (3.66 / 3) (#215)
    by localroger on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:24:53 PM EST

    You're right, Bush isn't like Hitler. Hitler won his election fair and square.

    I can haz blog!
    [ Parent ]

    in all seriousness (4.00 / 3) (#228)
    by adequate nathan on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:58:22 PM EST

    Hitler didn't win his election fair and square.

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

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

    He was also a decent public speaker... (4.00 / 1) (#229)
    by skyknight on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:59:38 PM EST

    As opposed to Bush, whose most memorable quotation for me is:

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool you, er, I... uh... you can't fool me!



    It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
    [ Parent ]
    My favorite... (none / 0) (#271)
    by thecitruskid on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:53:06 PM EST

    The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.

    [ Parent ]
    mmh i love it (none / 0) (#308)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:44:47 AM EST

    and my french co-workers had a good laugh.
    Thanks for enlightening my day! ;-)

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    Hitler butchered over 6 million human beings. (none / 0) (#295)
    by Demiurge on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:42:57 AM EST

    and that's the Holocaust alone, not counting the tens of millions killed in World War 2.

    President Bush has had a weak foreign policy and an incoherent domestic policy on many issues.

    Any comparisons between the two go beyond hyperbole to idiocy.

    [ Parent ]
    well that's not entirely true (5.00 / 1) (#318)
    by fhotg on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 07:57:37 AM EST

    The arson-attack on the parliament-building "Reichstagsbrand" (02/27/33) was used as a cause to pass the "Act for the protection of people and state", which put basic civil rights out of order. Particularly, political opponents could be arrested and held without accusation, trial or any court-control. So it came that the opposition memebers of parliament were "absent" when the "Ermächtigungsgesetz", the law that basically abolished democracy and gave Hitler dictator-power, was passed. That all might have been according to the letter of the law, it sure was against it's spirit though.

    Modern American politicians never would be that ballsy. I don't even want to get started about the lack of style these days, does nobody today know how a dictator-uniform has to look ?

    [ Parent ]

    All I can say is.. (1.61 / 18) (#155)
    by skerlick on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 12:50:22 PM EST

    can we have all of our money back?

    Can you Europeans who went around the globe dividing it into arbitrary countries clean up your own mess? It is Europe's fault that we don't have a World Trade Center any more. You can figure it out I'm sure: Jew exiling, Arab conquering, random country partitioning, and leave it all for the United States to fix and get blamed for.

    Appeasement? I say we aim our weapons at Europe and put them out of our misery. War-mongering? I sure wish we hadn't joined the second European War but then we would just be shelling out more money in aid and trade deficits to you ungrateful weasels. The real axis of evil: France, Germany, UK

    Tell me... (2.16 / 6) (#163)
    by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 01:52:58 PM EST

    ...did you have your brains surgically grafted up your colon, or were you born that way?

    You know, more and more I grow appalled at the complete disregard of logic, evidence and reality that Bush displays.

    I know fully understand why he was elected, and by who, and exactly what calibre of idiot backs him up.

    I could argue atrocities, history and idiocy for a long time, but you most likely are just a pimply teenager looking to flame someone while your Buffy porn downloads. Have I satisfied you?

    ----

    Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


    [ Parent ]
    So you understand WHY he was elected... (3.33 / 3) (#238)
    by Eater on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:37:05 PM EST

    But do you understand how? Because I sure as hell don't...

    Eater.

    [ Parent ]
    Don't forget... (2.75 / 4) (#172)
    by faustus on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:51:16 PM EST

    ...the slavery of blacks either. Even though it was a racist institution of the United States, we must realize that back then the USians were really just Euro-Trash.

    [ Parent ]
    really.. (2.00 / 2) (#201)
    by vivelame on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 05:49:59 PM EST

    do we have to clean the USA too? maybe redraw some borders? Protect the Native Americans? There's a bloody mess to clean there too, it seems..

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    I'm ungrateful (none / 0) (#325)
    by MutantEnemy on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:01:27 AM EST

    you ungrateful weasels

    Dude. Most Americans weren't even born when World War 2 was going on. I bet you weren't. So we have nothing to be grateful to you for. You didn't fight in the war, I wager.

    Honestly, this whole "Europeans should be grateful to the US" nonsense has got to stop.

    [ Parent ]

    As I said .. (none / 0) (#345)
    by skerlick on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:14:59 AM EST

    we really should have stayed out of the second European war.

    It was Roosevelt who thought we should do something about Europe first (instead of Japan as one would normally assume.) Any idea why?

    That is not what I was discussing. I am thinking more about the huge trade deficits and other cash paid directly to you "ungrateful" French, German, and British. Again I ask, can we have it back?

    The other countries of Eurasia have had much more to deal with and a lot less help from the USA and thus don't have this evident inferiority complex as you three do.

    [ Parent ]
    money back (none / 0) (#598)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:52:34 AM EST

    Think of your joining ww2 as an investment. The power of Eropean industry in the hands of the Russian bear would have ensured that you fuckers would be back to chopping cotton and picking your own grapes.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    The U.S. should (2.64 / 14) (#164)
    by medham on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:00:16 PM EST

    Declare war on Europe. A consideration of present trends seems to indicate that we are headed towards major conflict with the EU, and it's not just because of the current imbroglio regarding French and German industrial contracts with Iraq. Rather, it's the fact that the EU's combined economic power will rival--if not exceed--the U.S.'s in a matter of years.

    So what? Well, I'll tell you: the economic success of the free market model in the U.S. has inspired nothing but hate, envy, and fear in the European socialist countries since the U.S. rebuilt them in 1950s. Due to the oppressive welfare systems of socialist states such as Germany and Belgium, they have to import workers from poorer countries (often Islamic ones) to perform the tasks that the liberal-minded population feels is beneath them. And I don't think that nanotech is going to solve this problem anytime soon.

    The U.S. doesn't have an extensive welfare system, and it is moving rapidly away from what feeble one it has. And the workers who come to perform our menial tasks do so for the opportunity. They know that one can rise from migrant farm worker to CEO in just a few short years here, whereas the racist aristocracies of the E.U. socialist states will never allow this.

    Thus, the E.U. must try to undermine the U.S.'s market power. Since the U.S. cannot allow that to happen, we must crush them--but not through diplomacy or economic maneuvering. War is the only answer. Once we control the strategic reserves of oil in the Middle East and South America, we'll be primed for the "center-out" invasion of the continent.

    So, don't be fooled by the CIA want-ads which all ask for Central Asian languages. That battle is won. The real one is just beginning.

    Freep!

    The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

    Freeping these days? (4.20 / 5) (#170)
    by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:45:27 PM EST

    I have to give you credit, where the traditional playing both sides against the middle variety trolls operate under multiple accounts, you've gone with the more risky schizophrenic single persona. My hats off to ya!

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


    [ Parent ]
    I don't follow (2.25 / 4) (#175)
    by medham on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:11:04 PM EST

    I've always been freepin' along the lonely road of life, and I always will. Some of my opinions are unorthodox, yes, but that does mean I just pretend to hold them? No.

    It does mean, however, that I'm willing to risk life and limb for what I believe in. Find me a Euro who'll do the same.

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

    Of course not... (3.00 / 1) (#178)
    by cr8dle2grave on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:32:19 PM EST

    ...that would require breaking character.

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


    [ Parent ]
    In the name of Dubya... (4.50 / 4) (#184)
    by TurboThy on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:49:24 PM EST

    I'm willing to risk life and limb for what I believe in. Find me a Euro who'll do the same.
    That should be easy. Problem is, unlike most Americans, we frequently don't believe in our country. Makes war quite unpopular.
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Three words... (none / 0) (#192)
    by Run4YourLives on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:34:43 PM EST

    Ha.

    Ha.

    Ha.


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

    Free Market ??? (none / 0) (#236)
    by MaheshM on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:24:55 PM EST

    the economic success of the free market model in the U.S How does this fit in with the tariffs to protect the steel industry?

    [ Parent ]
    Maybe More True Than You Guess (3.66 / 9) (#173)
    by stoothman on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 02:54:01 PM EST

    I read with alarm the esteemed Mr Bush's comments from a press conference Tuesday(02/18/2003). He said that he would not be swayed from his course by the protests over the weekend. The basic statement he made was that democracy was nice and all, but it really was not necessary. And that he would do what ever he thought was right for the security of this country. Or as a good friend put it "democracy would be nice to have but he could live without it."

    Looking at the massive erosion of civil liberties and increased secret domestic survelliance, "Mein Fuhrer Bush" may be close than you think.

    Q Thank you, Mr. President. What do you make of the fact that millions of people across the globe have taken to the streets to protest your approach to Iraq? And if you decide to go to war, how do you wage a campaign in the face of such stiff opposition?

    THE PRESIDENT: Two points, one is that democracy is a beautiful thing, and that people are allowed to express their opinion. I welcome people's right to say what they believe. Secondly, evidently some of the world don't view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace. I respectfully disagree. Saddam Hussein has gassed his own people. Saddam Hussein has got weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein has made -- defied the United Nations. Saddam Hussein is providing links to terrorists. Saddam Hussein is a threat to America. And we will deal with him.

    You know, I -- war is my last choice. But the risk of doing nothing is even a worst option as far as I'm concerned. I owe it to the American people to secure this country. I will do so.

    Full Transcript of the Press Conference

    I have not had a chance to check the audio against this transcript, but I think the transcript does not match the audio. But then I just heard bits and pieces of the press conference yesterday on the radio.

    Trolling, trolling at Kuro5hin
    For many a blustery remark
    Is made for me to grin

    Bush's statement (4.42 / 7) (#176)
    by jabber on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:26:04 PM EST

    Bush seems to have a very interesting interpretation of the meaning of "democracy". Democracy, even a Representative one like that of the US, does not end with "We the People" being able to make our opinions known to the government - that is where it begins. It ends with those opinions being enacted by a popularly elected government. So, the way to make democracy work, a popularly elected government is needed. Lets get one of those next year.

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    see the wheel go round and round... (5.00 / 2) (#243)
    by SocratesGhost on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:06:21 PM EST

    round and round. round and round. /popular children's tune.

    Whaaaa. We need more leaders in our country, that are decisive and take a stand.

    (time passes and we get one)

    Whaaaa. We need a leader who only follows what the poll numbers tell him.

    (time passes and we get one)

    Whaaaa. We need more leaders in our country, that are decisive and take a stand.

    wash. rinse. repeat.

    -Soc
    I drank what?


    [ Parent ]
    That horrible monster! (4.00 / 3) (#254)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:44:50 PM EST

    Two points, one is that democracy is a beautiful thing, and that people are allowed to express their opinion. I welcome people's right to say what they believe. Secondly, evidently some of the world don't view Saddam Hussein as a risk to peace. I respectfully disagree

    Sieg heil! Listen to what he said! It's obvious that he's worse than Hitler.

    [ Parent ]
    transcript (none / 0) (#597)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:45:07 AM EST

    One thing the transcript doesn't have is the demented little fuck you smirk he had on the front of his face throughout.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    Huh? (2.00 / 6) (#183)
    by Icehouseman on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 03:49:03 PM EST

    Hussein is a life time warmonger? I don't think so; the United States gave him weapons to fight Iran and he then used those same weapons to fight the US in the Gulf War. Also the United States told Iraq before they attacked Kuwait that the US wouldn't interfere with such an attack. So they start to attack and the US makes up stories about Iraq getting ready to attack Saudi Arabia so then the US goes in and starts a war against Iraq. The United States and UN had no business starting the Gulf War and this new one is going to be even worse.
    ----------------
    Bush's $3 trillion state is allegedly a mark of "anti-government bias" on the right. -- Anthony Gregory
    Excuse me? (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by Myxx on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:49:40 PM EST

    I would suspect the million or so dead of his own people might differ with you on that.

    [ Parent ]
    Actually, he IS (5.00 / 2) (#232)
    by z84976 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:12:26 PM EST

    Without commenting on whether I think this war is right or wrong, I really think you need to take a close look at Hussein. He actually HAS been a pretty much lifetime warmonger. So has Ariel Sharon. Bush seems to want to be one now too. Life is never a black-n-white situation, it's just not that simple; just because one "side" in a conflict is wrong, doesn't make the other side right. But again, my point... Saddam Hussein HAS been a VERY evil person most of his life. Much as you like to characterize Bush as murderous (due to ordering military killings) it's really doubtful he's put pistols to people's heads and done the deed himself. It takes some serious warpage to do that.

    [ Parent ]
    Missed the point maybe? (3.00 / 1) (#251)
    by broken77 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:40:14 PM EST

    We all know of Saddam's anfal campaign, his torture camps, the other atrocities committed by his secret police and army, and the wars he has fought with his neighbors... What he was saying is that as far as the military attacks and gassing goes, everything he did, he did knowing that we knew he was doing it or going to do it. We have no way of knowing how he's going to act now that he knows we don't allow him free reign anymore. That's the point here...

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

    Automatic -1 from me... (1.28 / 14) (#188)
    by gordonjcp on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 04:09:11 PM EST

    No previous comments, and only two comment ratings (both for posts on this story). Participate a little before posting ranty nonsense like this.

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


    Dear Gordon, (5.00 / 1) (#274)
    by it certainly is on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:13:34 AM EST

    not every K5 username is used as a day-to-day account by its owner. I could give you a few examples but the K5 cabal would have to kill me if I told you who owned them.

    Anyway, it says in spiralx's k5 troll how-to that any troll account on k5 should use past comments and diary entries to look 'lived in' to the kurobots, so I guess you're just doing your job.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    I do my best... (none / 0) (#448)
    by gordonjcp on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:19:02 PM EST

    I really enjoy reading kuro5hin. I also enjoy a good troll as much as the next reader. You know one when you spot one, so you may as well make a cup of coffee and enjoy the troll, and of course the follow-up posts to it. Now these people are posting poor-quality articles, neither trolls nor serious posts. They should learn to troll properly or post properly, or preferably both.
    For God's sake, people... Get some subtlety!

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


    [ Parent ]
    Am I wrong... (3.00 / 2) (#211)
    by faustus on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:18:15 PM EST

    ...or am I seeing more and more controversial articles posted to the front page than ever before?

    how controversial? (4.50 / 2) (#235)
    by Delirium on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:24:25 PM EST

    Posting an article criticizing US foreign policy on a site where most of the people disagree with US foreign policy isn't very controversial or daring. Posting an article defending war on Iraq would be, and I haven't seen any of those.

    [ Parent ]
    Controversy (4.00 / 1) (#261)
    by localroger on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:02:18 PM EST

    K5 is a pretty international site and unless you time it critically and get vast support in a short time, anything that gets posted here has to run a gauntlet that includes other countries. And if you read the international news, you will realize the US is very, very alone in this stupid endeavour. Of course the articles are against. The world is against. The people are against. You don't get 400,000+ people in Manhattan gridlocking the city in the middle of winter because there is broad popular support for the President's plan.

    If someone did run a story up the flagpole praising the Dubya stance, it would have to run that international gauntlet. Only a true idiot (like our prezuhdint hisself) would even try.

    I can haz blog!
    [ Parent ]

    that's why I said it wasn't controversial (none / 0) (#263)
    by Delirium on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:05:57 PM EST

    This article, and the other anti-Iraqi-war ones, are exactly in keeping with prevailing world opinion and with prevailing opinion on this site. I don't see how it's controversial to post an article that most of your readers agree with.

    [ Parent ]
    More like 100,000 (4.00 / 1) (#419)
    by cdyer on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:37:34 PM EST

    The figure stating that 400,000 people were in the streets of New York were put out by the organizers. Never trust the organizer's figures. NYPD, who has no particular reason to lie about the protest said it was closer to 100,000. Having been on the streets that weekend, it didn't *FEEL* like 400,000. Not that I'm an expert, but it was much much less than New Year's 2000, which has been estimated at half a million. Cheers, Cliff

    [ Parent ]
    That's because it would get voted down... (4.00 / 1) (#297)
    by Demiurge on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:58:48 AM EST

    because people disagree with the conclusions it draws.

    The k5 rating system is now about as accurate and useful as slashdot's.

    [ Parent ]
    I meant... (4.00 / 1) (#523)
    by faustus on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:20:59 PM EST

    ...there is less group-agreement on articles. I think it's a good thing.

    [ Parent ]
    Abso-fucking-lutely brilliant. (3.70 / 10) (#213)
    by localroger on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:21:51 PM EST

    Steam was coming out of my ears before I reached the sucker punch. Perfectly executed, fine-tuned to offend everybody -- and maybe teach them something in the bargain.

    I can haz blog!

    Thank you very much (3.00 / 2) (#216)
    by lightning struck twice on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:30:20 PM EST

    Coming from you, that makes my day.  Really.
    ^
    it very well could.
    [ Parent ]
    Well... (none / 0) (#253)
    by localroger on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:43:01 PM EST

    Coming from someone who posted something so perfectly executed, that makes my day :-)

    It's not about who you are, it's about what you write. I sincerely believe that. Some of the work I I've posted here has actually been *cough* mediocre *cough*. I think this story is as good as the best I've done. Better in some respects. That sucker punch -- just. fucking. brilliant. must. have. another. beer. and. contemplate.

    I can haz blog!
    [ Parent ]

    Deflation. (none / 0) (#262)
    by it certainly is on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:03:32 PM EST

    I actually liked another sucker-punch article on k5 better - the one where it turned out right at the end that the scandanavian held illegally hostage against his will was at camp x-ray.

    But this one's good too, no mistake.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Agreed (3.00 / 3) (#218)
    by gethane on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 07:43:09 PM EST

    I also think this was a brilliant way to get people to think about this issue in a different way. The punchline was so unexpected that I had to read the "zinger" paragraph three times to believe what I was seeing. For those of you confused: The article is NOT comparing Iraq to Nazi Germany. It's comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany. For those of you modding this down as a rant, shame on you. New ways of thinking about an issue, whether you agree or not, are helpful in an evaluation of the issue. Sigh, people really should read the article before posting.

    [ Parent ]
    What He Said (3.00 / 2) (#223)
    by gidds on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:48:19 PM EST

    Agreed - brilliant. I'll be linking to this story.

    It doesn't happen often enough these days, but it's really good when someone posts an intelligent story, one that makes people think a bit. More please!

    Andy/
    [ Parent ]

    Witless tripe (2.77 / 9) (#233)
    by Demiurge on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:18:45 PM EST

    The author's contentions are so far from the truth they would fail to even make good fiction. He fails to support any of his bitter, spiteful rhetoric with the barest of facts, and K5's resident America-hating fringe eats it all up. It's not original or interesting, just more of the same unsupported US-bashing, just more brazen and stupid than most.

    [ Parent ]
    America-Hating Fringe? (4.18 / 11) (#248)
    by localroger on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:32:29 PM EST

    Buddy, I AM an American. I am sitting right here on American soil in Mandeville, LA, seething with contempt for all the ignorant fucktards like you who think you're being patriotic as you run around smashing the virtual windowpanes of our own Kristallnacht. I hope you get run over by a Frenchman who is too busy getting a blowjob from his glamorous American movie-star girlfriend to notice you are in his way. I hope you are used for target practice when the Germans develop their next-generation flechette weapon. I hope the Spanish put you in a bullfight without a cape after they overthrow their idiot du jour. I hope you contract with the Russians for a ride to the ISS and they "forget" to put a critical valve in your capsule. I hope Tony Blair talks you into going over there in the place of a good British kid who would rather stay home and I hope that if there is only one casualty on "our" side in this sordid immoral farce it is you.

    Thank you for volunteering.

    I can haz blog!
    [ Parent ]

    that's rage cajun style :-) (nt) (4.50 / 2) (#255)
    by mami on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:44:53 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    +5 for the quality of the vitriol... (5.00 / 3) (#324)
    by seb on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:00:27 AM EST

    ...regardless of personal opinions on the subject, everyone should study this post as an example of the perfect flame.  Yowza.

    [ Parent ]
    Wrong about Europe and Hitler... (4.23 / 13) (#222)
    by dj28 on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:34:17 PM EST

    Specifically France. Hitler was going to attack Western Europe no matter how much the Europeans appeased him. I think Hitler said it best: Therefore, there must be "a final reckoning with France... a last decisive struggle... only then will we be able to end the eternal and essentially so fruitless struggle between ourselves and France; presupposing, of course, that Germany actually regards the destruction of France as only a means which will afterward enable her finally to give our people the expansion made possible elsewhere." Hitler viewed France as a roadblock in the way of Germany expanding eastward into Russia. Even before he came to power, he had his mind set on invading Western Europe.

    You can ponder the question to yourself all you want. The fact is, Hitler made up his mind well before he came to power that he was going to invade Western Europe, specifically France. Appeasement will always fail in situations like that simply due to the fact that people already have their mind made up. That's the fundamental flaw with appeasement: You always assume the person you are trying to appease is open minded and willing to be flexible. People like Hitler simply do not fit that mold, and people like him are fundamentally dishonest. You can't *possibly* say that appeasement works in that situation.


    Rumsfelds Comments. (4.33 / 6) (#240)
    by Wulfius on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:47:08 PM EST

    How very like Hitler.

    Dissing France as gutless cowards.
    How it is incumbent on us to push Frances push
    for peace aside. How the french are the 'Old europe' that are irrelevant
    in the new world.

    The more we paint the french as our enemy
    the more they will become one.

    When do we invade france?

    ---

    ---
    "We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
    http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
    [ Parent ]

    For the record... (1.00 / 1) (#352)
    by SPYvSPY on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:56:21 AM EST

    ...the French soldiers holding the Maginot Line against the German invasion were gutless cowards. There's really no other interpretation. France fell to Germany in one month. Hitler toured the great monuments of Paris and laughed all the way to victory. One of history's most pathetic moments, and one that might be forgiven, but should not be forgotten.
    ------------------------------------------------

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

    On the contrary... (5.00 / 2) (#460)
    by qster on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:45:38 PM EST

    The French soldiers on the Maginot Line held long after the rest of France was falling apart. Even attacking the Maginot Line from the rear proved quite a task to the Germans. The two failures of the Maginot Line were its immense cost and imcomplete nature, in that it did not cover the entire border of France.

    [ Parent ]
    Also for the Record... (none / 0) (#524)
    by baron samedi on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:28:47 PM EST

    100,000 French soldiers died defending France when Germany invaded. The French were simply outclassed militarily. The Maginot Line was ineffective because its design was based on the incorrect belief that should Germany attack France again, they would do it in the same way and from the same direction. The Germans went around it, and the soldiers defending it fought valiantly, although to no avail.

    The French Underground was tremendously illustrative of the point that the French are not as cowardly as you'd like to think...
    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]

    Lies, damn lies!! (1.00 / 2) (#526)
    by SPYvSPY on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:37:40 PM EST

    Your revisionist history is just one step lower than the cowardice that actually transpired. Please educate yourself by viewing The Sorrow and the Pity, a film that France banned because it undermined their arrogant revision of their cowardly and sycophantic fall to Germany.
    ------------------------------------------------

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

    Had to rate this one down... (none / 0) (#578)
    by davincarten on Sat Feb 22, 2003 at 02:51:41 PM EST

    If you are going to reference an obscure film, at least paraphrase the content. "LIES LIES LIES! Go watch XXX and all will be revealed to you" is hardly effective debating.

    [ Parent ]
    I guess... (none / 0) (#607)
    by SPYvSPY on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 12:09:24 PM EST

    ...I assumed that everyone knows about this film. It is immortalized in Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall', which I understand to be quite a popular film.\

    Anyway, it's an accounting of France's betrayal of the Allies in WWII from the perspective of the common man, as well as the political movers and shakers. It also debunks the myth of the French Underground, and cast serious doubt on the whole revision French people have perpetrated on that moment in history.
    ------------------------------------------------

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

    Ahh (none / 0) (#615)
    by davincarten on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 08:50:55 PM EST

    That very well may be true, but in WW1 and WW2 there were a lot of betrayals. You could say that both were the result of Zionists wanting to claim Palestine, or that it was about banking interests, or point the finger many different directions. Noone was innocent in those wars, and everyone did the best they could in confusing and ugly times.

    Don't forget that Bush's family was working with the Nazis. Once you start waving the finger around, it eventually points at everyone.



    [ Parent ]
    Let me just remind you... (1.00 / 1) (#621)
    by SPYvSPY on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 10:41:31 AM EST

    ... that this thread started out with someone comparing Rumsfeld to Hitler, which is absurd, especially when it is made by the same nationality that kow towed to Hitler.
    ------------------------------------------------

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

    Are you implying.... (none / 0) (#633)
    by davincarten on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 06:52:48 PM EST

    Comparing Rumsfeld to Hitler is not absurd. You can compare anyone to anyone, thats how humans construct our versions of reality. While no two people are ever exactly alike, they are nonetheless comparible. While Rumsfeld is not Hilter (he lacks the charisma), he is taking some plays out of the fascist playbook.

    I'm not sure what you mean by kowtowed, but I assume you are implying that the French worshipped and respected Hitler. I think those who died in the resistance would find that statement offensive, and those died in the trenches trying to fight the Germans who were attacking them from both front and rear would also.

    The French opinion is just as biased by money and politics as all of the leaders of the west. Noone in the UN is concerned with the lives of Iraqis beyond the PR ramifications. France has interests in Iraq it is afraid it will lose, and I suspect that is the root of their objection. The US and UK have oil and Israeli interests behind them.

    In the end we all can be compared to Hitler. He was just a man who found himself in a position of great power, and who lacked the character to control his darker side. Everyone has that same potential, and saying "the comparison is absurd" discredits the self-reflection needed to make sure one never actually does become such a monster



    [ Parent ]
    I was under the impression (4.66 / 3) (#266)
    by The Central Committee on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:21:00 PM EST

    That when Germany invaded Rhineland the orders for the German army were to retreat if the French offered any resistance. Though, that doesn't rule out the Germans retreating and coming back later with more force.

    You personaly are the reason I cannot believe in a compassionate god, a creature of ineffable itelligence would surely know better than to let someone like you exist. - dorc
    [ Parent ]

    that is the problem with diplomatic processes (1.00 / 1) (#286)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:26:29 AM EST

    with Irational leaders in general.....do you realy think Saddam cares that he is lieing to the inspectors and can be prooven to be doing so?

    do you realy think that Kim Jung Il will relent, through discussions, to his zeal for making and selling missiles and nukes?

    these men are about as negotiable as Usama Bin Laden. should we begin talks with Al-Quaeda?

    [ Parent ]

    At the very least... (3.25 / 4) (#227)
    by the on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 08:55:37 PM EST

    This story will serve as a nice little Shibboleth to separate out those who actually read the story and those you just skim the title and first sentence.

    Thanks! You made me smile!

    --
    The Definite Article

    Black Humor (3.75 / 4) (#239)
    by mayor on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 09:38:29 PM EST

    You say that the million Iraqis killed in battle is proof that Sadam is more evil than Bush. HELLO! Half of them were killed by papa Bush himself.

    (I am pro-war because I think it is in the economic interest of the United States. Period. The morality of our bombs I leave to the moralists -- thank God, our country has plenty of those.)

    Economic interest? (4.00 / 2) (#276)
    by jpmorgan on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:25:26 AM EST

    I can't see how this war will be in the best economic interest of the US.

    It seems to me that a far more sensible course of action would be to impeach bush, and put someone in charge who knows what they're doing.

    [ Parent ]

    Which segment of the US Economy. (none / 0) (#411)
    by expro on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:25:48 PM EST

    I can't see how this war will be in the best economic interest of the US.

    As in any war, the winners and losers may belong to the same country. For example many Iraqi citizens may consider themselves winners, financially and otherwise, of a conflict which the Iraqi military loses. I could go on and on with less-extreme more-recent examples. Bottom line: oil interests in the US could be big winners, while much of the rest of the economy loses.

    No president truly represents all the people. Who does Bush represent best?



    [ Parent ]
    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#299)
    by Demiurge on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:09:05 AM EST

    Considering Iraqi casualties from the Gulf War were most likely under 20,000(probably far under it, but it's hard to get a good estimate), how do you support that?

    [ Parent ]
    Brilliant, but not entirely original (3.60 / 5) (#244)
    by nicebear on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:16:27 PM EST

    I think the first (and best) description of the modern appeasement was in "Never Again", a Ted Rall piece from December. His syndicated column is printed on quite a few sites (including Yahoo News, though its archives only go back a month, so it's not there now).

    Attacking More Than Iraq (3.60 / 10) (#245)
    by Lagged2Death on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:19:47 PM EST

    There's one thing I think we can put to rest:

    Some might argue that this is not appeasement, because America will stop after conquering Iraq ... consider that Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan are already larger potential threats than Iraq.

    I think that's exactly why the US won't go after these countries. I think the US is gunning for Iraq because:

    1) We want more oil, cheaper
    2) Iraq is a 98-pound weakling, and we know it
    3) Some people will actually believe that beating up a hapless, underfed army - again - has something to do with fighting terrorism

    I don't think there are any "weapons of mass destruction." We've been spying on Iraq for 12 years, and during many of them, we've had weapons inspectors in there too. We found zip. BushCo has spent considerable time and effort selling this war to the American public. BushCo knows darn well that the public won't tolerate even minor annoyances in the name of playing global cop, and certainly not significant US casualties. If BushCo really believed that Iraq really had chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons in a useful, deliverable form, it would be politically infeasible to play the aggressor.

    There's no way we could go after Pakistan, for example, because (War On Terror partner and all that aside) they've got nukes. I don't think Bush wants to be "the president that got US troops nuked."

    Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
    Put down the crack pipe. (3.16 / 6) (#256)
    by sonovel on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:46:36 PM EST

    When the inspectors were there previously, they found (actually were mostly clued in by defectors) programs for nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons.

    I doubt that Iraq is telling the truth today, but even if it is, your claims of nothing found previously is a egregious revision of history.

    [ Parent ]

    Definition Of Nothing? (4.00 / 5) (#268)
    by Lagged2Death on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:41:46 PM EST

    Evidence that Iraq has been trying to create WMD is not the same as finding the weapons themselves. It's not even as compelling as finding evidence that the programs were successful and the weapons probably exist - somewhere. That's what I meant by "zip." As you may have seen reported elsewhere, there is no smoking gun, sir.

    No one believes that Iraq has no weapons programs, but it may not matter much. Iraq hasn't earned itself an international reputation as a model of efficiency and competence. It wouldn't be too hard to believe that they tried, and failed, to build all this scary hardware that we can't find. It's certainly all we've got evidence for so far.

    For example, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the recent revelation that Iraq has been trying to obtain parts to create a uranium-purifying centerfuge cascade is evidence that their nuclear program is at least a decade behind earlier estimates, and that they're not even close to producing a warhead, let alone a delivery system. So we're safer from the Iraqi "nuclear threat" than we've been in years! What does BushCo do? Spin the good news into bad, of course, and spam us with FUD. Use the news to buy support for his war.

    Crack pipe, indeed.

    Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
    [ Parent ]
    Seriously, put down the crack pipe. (2.25 / 4) (#273)
    by sonovel on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:02:42 AM EST

    Iraq admitted to having chemical and biological weapons but claimed that they destroyed.

    How close was Iraq to a nuclear device? Scott Ritter claimed that they very likely had at least one completed device and parts for more.

    So Iraq certainly had chemical and biological weapons. They certainly had nuclear programs in violation of treaties and the cease-fire agreement. Hardly "zip".


    [ Parent ]

    Huh. (5.00 / 3) (#277)
    by Lagged2Death on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:28:53 AM EST

    If Ritter did indeed say that, he seems to have changed his mind.

    You should take the "crack pipe" crap to Slashdot or some such, it's just uncalled for.

    Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
    [ Parent ]
    Ritter, etc. (none / 0) (#337)
    by sonovel on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:14:44 AM EST

    I was just providing a source that was in Iraq that claimed that Iraq was a bit further along than the Bulletin claims.

    Of course, Ritter is less than totally credible given his amazing flip-flops, monetary ties to Iraq and not to mention his personal troubles.

    But the Bulletin is great for analysis of public data, but much poorer as a source of non-public data. Their coverage of North Korea before the recent revelations seems much more the product of wishful thinking rather than good intelligence info.

    Bashing slashdot is tired tired tired. It has no place here, perhaps you should take it too somewhere else.

    I stand by the titles.  Claiming that Iraq had "zip" is way beyond absurd. Iraq  admitted to having anthrax, alfatoxin, and botulism poison bioweapons. They admitted to mustard, sarin, and VX chemical weapons, and they had an active nuclear program. This is so far from "zip" that it must be either a transparent lie or a product of total ignorance.

    [ Parent ]

    Nuclear weapons. (2.50 / 2) (#302)
    by WhiteBandit on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:41:36 AM EST

    Perhaps I'm really just generalizing this whole issue, but if Iraq has any weapons of mass destruction, who cares? I mean they possibly could have almost maybe developed a nuclear weapon during the time the country has existed. I guess we should bomb them then right?

    Well what about Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, possibly Israel, Russia and the United States? Should we bomb them too?*

    Just because you have them doesn't mean you are likely to use them. Granted there are those unstable countries out there who dislike us, but perhaps we should stop meddling in other people's affairs. That might go a long way.

    Oh well. I'm glad my nation is building a missle defense system to protect us from cars bombs, suicide bombers, poisoned water systems, hijacked airplanes and anthrax. God bless America.

    [*] In looking up the nations that had nuclear weapons I was extremely suprised to find that only those nations are listed. I really thought it would be a lot more than that

    [ Parent ]
    Some facts seem to be missing (3.40 / 5) (#284)
    by DDS3 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:14:00 AM EST

    1. Inspectors were never meant to disarm an unwilling country.  Previously, inspectors in Iraq went to the UN to state that their mission was done.  Thankfully, some Iraqies stepped forward to show TONS of NBC materials which the inspectors missed and would of never found otherwise.  Now, look at North Korea.  With inspectors present, they created nuclear materials, warheads and delivery mechanisms.  Long story short, inspectors will never find the material in question unless Iraq hands it over.  Oddly enough, this is exactly why they were never meant to function in this role.  Their sole purpose is to verify willful disarmament.  Period.  Their role was never intended to search a country for things they will never be allowed find.  There is nothing willful about Iraq or North Korea except their desire to create NBC materials and to hold the world hostage.
    2. This is a creation of the UN's own making.  They agreed this needed to happen.  Resolution 1441 was Iraq's last, last chance to come into compliance with the 17-resolutions that they are currently in material breach of.  The EU agrees with this.  The majority of the UN agrees with this.  The only hang up is that three coutries do not want to stand behind the words which they voted for (unanimously).  The seriousness of this is that they are risking turning the UN into the next League of Nations.  Which is to say, making them impotent and irrelavant in the eyes of the world.  This has very serious considerations for the next rogue state.  Think real hard about North Korea.  How many of those idiots do you think the world needs?
    3. Should Iraq be allowed to continue on it's path and the UN not enforce what it is obligated to do so, they will quickly change the world order of rogue states.  Furthermore, we run the risk of a greatly more complicated picture in the future.  Imagine trying to contain Saddam after he rebuilds his army and he has a nuclear weapon or superior delivery systems for existing NBC materials.
    4. The sole reason any so-called cooperation has come from Iraq is to placate the the UN in an effort to make the US look like the bully.  Furthermore, these token offerings only appear with a giant massing just over the horizon.  The feeble-minded around the world have seemingly been lulled.  Saddam is happily laughing at their ignorance.  They are Saddam's latest pawns.
    5. North Korea is not currently a significant world threat.  Nor are they currently a significant threat to the US and it's allies.  Should North Korea attack, the world would storm them like angry giants.  Futhermore, should they use a nuclear attack, their country would soon cease to exist on the face of the earth.  Period.  North Korea knows this.  The US knows this.  NATO knows this.  The world knows this.  To top it off with, current thoughts are that while significant civian and military deaths are likely, North Korea can be contained and defeated with sole use of American troops.  Toss in NATO, they haven't got a prayer.  Now then, look at North Korea's historical record.  They have a very long record of being long winded and loud mouth.  To say that school yard rhetoric is common from North Korea is a grand understatement.  Long story short, North Korea's bluff was rewarded by Clinton.  This administration isn't falling for it.  Also, some interesting facts.  North Korea is thought to have a missile which can hit the US.  It has never beed tested.  North Korea is thought to have ~3-war heads.  None have been detonated which verifies their capabilities.
    6. Iraq is known to have NBC materials in the past and, to date, have not been able to prove the materials in questions have been destroyed.  Furthermore, they have been caught actively obtaining expertise and materials (from France, Germany and Russia) to further their NBC weapons program.  Intelligence reports from multiple nations verify that Saddam does have mobile NBC production facilities and research stations.  In other words, there is zero proof that Saddam has ever gotten rid of his known NBC materials and even additional proof that he has continued to expand his capabilities.  To say that he does not have NBC capabilities is VERY naive at best.  If the materials in question were actually destroyed, why wouldn't there be proof?  Proof that not only they had been destroyed, but why not invite the world to show what a swell guy he is.  Again, to even think he does not have NBC capabilities is just plain foolish.
    7. Iraq loves PR stunts.  Just prior to Blix addressing the UN, the Iraqi government passed a law making it illegal to own or creation NBC materials.  Here's the catch.  It only applies to private companies or individuals.  It seemingly does not apply to the military, nor the government, nor government run companies.  Such an odd oversight for a country that doesn't have NBC materials.  Blix was kind enough to offer this fact up to the UN even though it has nothing to do with his charge.  Accordingly, Blix was kind enough to not mention the fact that the law is meaningless and has zero value aside from the obvious PR-value.
    Long story short, we're at the verge of war.  What options do we have?


    [ Parent ]
    Myths and Propaganda (3.66 / 3) (#307)
    by Argon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:38:57 AM EST

    I don't know I bother to answer this... It seems pretty obvious that you have your mind made up, and you will block any information that may shatter it as irrelevant or false. Anyway, let's try.

    1 . The first round of inspections did find lots of stuff, I guess they wanted them to find it. Now, ten years after, they don't find it because Iraq is playing hard to get. Hunm... Well, it sounds wrong, doesn't it? Well, it means that they wanted to show things on the first inspections and now they don't want to. Well, we just assume that they have all that US is saying they have, without proof.
    Now, view it from the other perspective. Assume that they really don't have anything, and they don't have the records of the destroyed material, because the inspectors did it and because they came out of a war. Now, assume also that US as more interests in the process than it says to the public and that it wants Saddam out at all costs. Would the inspectors be able to fulfil the US expectations?

    2 . Resolution was forced upon the Security Council by the US, with the exact same rhetoric speech that it is using now. "Act or be irrelevant".
    This type of speech is very damaging and it shouldn't ever come of a "Free" country. Why? Simply because the SC now faces 2 grim choices:
      - Accept the demand of US and prove to the world that it cannot hold the power of the US.
      - Refuse the demand and see the US attack Iraq and again prove the world that it cannot prevent the US of doing what it wants.

    The third and only choice left to the council is refuse and hope that the US keeps to the international treaties.

    1. - You must be joking right? Iraq is a good example to any rogue country. It proves that if you invade the world will kick you, and keep kicking you for 10 years. What more do you want from them?
    2. - So, what you say is that Iraq has cooperated only to make US look bad? Yes , bad Saddam, bad Saddam. :)
    But I agree, they wouldn't let the Inspectors in again if the US and UK didn't push it so far. But, then again... What did the inspectors find that really made it worth?
    Was it worth it to force Iraq to give access to the Saddam Palaces? They didn't find anything there.
    Was it worth it to force Iraq to give access to the Ministry of defence? They didn't find anything there either.
    So in the end, it looks that the First inspections did some work, and the second inspections are there for US appeasement.

    5 - Now this is completely against what you were defending. NK is a nuclear power, kicked out the Inspectors, defied the US and the world openly... And is not a threat?
    Well, Iraq is not an nuclear power, allowed the inspectors in to do whatever they wanted, are being bombarded by the US / UK almost everyday. Does this make them a world threat?

    6 - It is very difficult almost impossible to prove a denial. Why do you think that the burden of proof lies with the accusation?
    Do you think that the defendant should prove his innocence in a court of law?

    7 - The law was passed according to a direct request from the Inspectors. They allowed a foreign power to dictate Laws into their country. Is this an act of defiance?
    Iraq likes PR stunts because it's the only option left for them. They don't have the military power to keep the meanies out of their country, so they ask help from outside.

    After so many lines, did I convince you to change your view?
    I don't think I did, you won't change mine. At least not with that type of arguments. So, why do we bother?

    [ Parent ]

    LOL (2.50 / 2) (#336)
    by DDS3 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:07:18 AM EST

    Now, ten years after, they don't find it because Iraq is playing hard to get. Hunm... Well, it sounds wrong, doesn't it?

    No.  It doesn't sound wrong.  It sounds historically accurate.  It even is logical.  You seem to be missing the fact that time and time again when we previously found weapon stores, we'd been tipped off by the Iraqies themselves.

    Well, it means that they wanted to show things on the first inspections and now they don't want to.

    That's insane and makes no sense.  No one is making that argument except you.

    Well, we just assume that they have all that US is saying they have, without proof.

    I gave a very reasonable arguement.  You refused it with some odd logic and even less proof.  Go figure.

    Now, view it from the other perspective. Assume that they really don't have anything, and they don't have the records of the destroyed material, because the inspectors did it and because they came out of a war.

    That makes ZERO sense and is almost impossible.  The inspectors wake up and go to sleep in a sea of paper work.  Had the inspectors destroyed the goods, the world would know about it.  Furthermore, this point would of been hammered home by the UN if it were ever plausible.  Fact is, it has zero possibility.  Had they destroyed it without paper work, it would of been the height of ignorance.  Saddam is not ignorant of the world stage.  So your claim is easily dismissed solely on the grounds of it being illogical and certainly not grounded in reality nor supported by any fact.

    Would the inspectors be able to fulfil the US expectations?

    Not without Saddam attempting in good faith to disarm.  Since he in not, we are in the stand off that we are now.  A stand off that was walked hand and hand with the rest of the world (UN).  The US didn't create this mess alone nor did it create the situation where the UN is risking becoming irrelavant.  The US said, enough is a enough.  The ENTIRE UN agreed.  Iraq has not complied.

    It's only three coutries, with financial ties to Iraq, that are now saying, "you know the last several times we said enough is enough, we didn't really mean it."  Now then, who is really making the UN irrelavant?

    The third and only choice left to the council is refuse and hope that the US keeps to the international treaties.

    Resolution 1441 already enabled the US to go after Iraq.  All of the UN agrees that Iraq is in noncompliance, save only three countries.  Not only are treaties not in question here, they are doing so with support of the majority of NATO, the UN and the UE.  The US is not acting alone nor is it being a rogue.  They have UN authorization from 1441.

    What more do you want from them?

    Disarmament.  The exact same thing that the rest of the entire world wants.

    Was it worth it to force Iraq to give access to the Saddam Palaces? They didn't find anything there.

    Huge LOL.  Perhaps you've heard of this semi-modern thing known as trucks.  They can be usd to move items from one place to another.

    Was it worth it to force Iraq to give access to the Ministry of defence? They didn't find anything there either.

    Huge LOL.  Perhaps you've heard of this semi-modern thing known as trucks.  They can be usd to move items from one place to another.

    So in the end, it looks that the First inspections did some work, and the second inspections are there for US appeasement.

    Yes, thankfully, previously when the inspectors were there, some Iraqies where willing to help.  This time around Saddam has made it clear that anyone helping will be shot along with their family.  You don't think Saddam cleaned house and put things in order in ten years?  Get real.

    The sat photos that Blix dismissed were a smoking gun more or less.  My brother and several friends were NBC in the Army.  Hazmat teams are not called on site unless NBC materials are local on site.  Blix dismissed this.  Not only was it not his job to dismiss this but he was in error.  If there are not NBC materials, the hazmat truck would of not been present.  The fact that it was is significant evidence to support the claim that Saddam is moving materials.  Oddly enough, Saddam has a 10-year track record of doing this.

    If you don't reasonly expect injurry or fire at an event, why would you have firemen standing by?  You wouldn't would you.

    Again, we come full circle.  If you don't think Iraq has NBC materials, you're being very foolish.

    Now this is completely against what you were defending. NK is a nuclear power, kicked out the Inspectors, defied the US and the world openly... And is not a threat?

    Very illogical question.  You seem to desire the US use a cookie-cutter to relate to the entire world.  Fact is, N.K. is full of BS. Iraq isn't.  They are being treated accordingly.  To argue otherwise would be VERY dangerous and stupid on behalf of the US.  The US has allies there (S. Korea) and a sizable military presence already.  N.K. is openly the blackmailing aggressor.  The world is acting to keep N.K. in check.  If N.K. goes nuts, who can they attack?  China or the US (S.K.).  In both cases, they will be mopped up or thrown away glowing in the dark.  The middle east is a completely different picture.  So, saying or implying they should be treated the same is insane.  Regardless, N.K. is not currently a significant threat.

    are being bombarded by the US / UK almost everyday. Does this make them a world threat?

    ...the US and UK are shot at almost daily.  They return fire after being challenged.

    It is very difficult almost impossible to prove a denial. Why do you think that the burden of proof lies with the accusation?
    Do you think that the defendant should prove his innocence in a court of law?

    People are put to death for less in very modern courts.  To think that Saddam does not still have NBC materials is foolishness at it's best.

    The law was passed according to a direct request from the Inspectors.

    Law was passed in direct relation to comments made from the UN.  It is not the job of the inspectors, nor should it be, to dictate world policy.  Regardless, the law that was passed had no meaning.  It was worthless.  If they were serious about it, why wouldn't they of passed a law that would of actually meant something?

    After so many lines, did I convince you to change your view?

    Of course not.  Your comments seemed illogical at best and had no evidence to support it other than wishful thinking on your part.

    [ Parent ]

    RE: LOL (none / 0) (#468)
    by Argon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:03:09 PM EST

    I knew it wouldn't make a difference :)

    Ok, I'm dumb. Lets try again.


    That makes ZERO sense and is almost impossible.  The inspectors wake up and go to sleep in a sea of paper work.  Had the inspectors destroyed the goods, the world would know about it.  Furthermore, this point would of been hammered home by the UN if it were ever plausible.  Fact is, it has zero possibility.  Had they destroyed it without paper work, it would of been the height of ignorance.  Saddam is not ignorant of the world stage.  So your claim is easily dismissed solely on the grounds of it being illogical and certainly not grounded in reality nor supported by any fact.

    OK, My fault, I wasn't explicit enough.
    On the first inspections (one of them, there we several), the inspectors found and destroyed lots of material. They were tipped by the locals and by intelligence work provided by the allies. We seem to agree on this.
    Now, they don't find anything. You say that it's because Saddam is bad and blocks the information, and I say that it's because there isn't any information to provide.
    Why was it different from the first inspection? Because Saddam cleaned up the house. Ok, I can buy that. He could have cleaned on the first inspection though, but we assume that he didn't had the time to do it.

    Nevertheless, the inspectors cannot know for sure if they still have WMD, since Saddam may be lying when he says that he has destroyed everything. They cannot prove that he has, nor Iraq can prove that they have destroyed. Neither can anything.

    Sure, Iraq can provide documents... But that is not the issue. The inspectors must verify and analyse the place where the weapons were destroyed. On the last meetings Iraq proposed the inspectors to dig the ground and analyse the results. This could prove that some material was dumped or destroyed at a place.
    Somehow, I don't think this would be enough evidence or proof for the US. Somehow I feel that anything that Iraq may offer won't suffice to appease the US.

    Anyway, it's almost impossible to prove a denial. Try it, I say that you have a bomb, and I won't believe in nothing you might say. What can you do?


    It's only three countries, with financial ties to Iraq, that are now saying, "you know the last several times we said enough is enough, we didn't really mean it."  Now then, who is really making the UN irrelevant?

    :D You are kidding right?
    It's only 3 (Russia, France, China) countries in the security council, which have 5 members. Yes, US have them isolated, with a 2 to 3 vote :D

    The remaining members of the SC have divided opinions. The only that are sure is Spain and Germany, each on opposing fields. Take a look a this article on BBC.


    Huge LOL.  Perhaps you've heard of this semi-modern thing known as trucks.  They can be used to move items from one place to another.

    I don't think anyone really believes that! Come on! moving labs in trucks? And erasing all the marks on the ground?
    And if you consider the images that Powell presented to the SC then you should be more than satisfied with the evidences that Iraq has provided, since they have been more credible than those pictures. :)


    Very illogical question.  You seem to desire the US use a cookie-cutter to relate to the entire world.  Fact is, N.K. is full of BS. Iraq isn't.  They are being treated accordingly.  To argue otherwise would be VERY dangerous and stupid on behalf of the US.  The US has allies there (S. Korea) and a sizable military presence already.  N.K. is openly the blackmailing aggressor.  The world is acting to keep N.K. in check.  If N.K. goes nuts, who can they attack?  China or the US (S.K.).  In both cases, they will be mopped up or thrown away glowing in the dark.  The middle east is a completely different picture.  So, saying or implying they should be treated the same is insane.  Regardless, N.K. is not currently a significant threat.

    Ok, here we disagree totally. I can't even understand the logic you are using.
    I agree that NK is not a suitable target for the US. They would be much more dangerous and they don't have any resources (oil) that US may want. So there is no reason to go there.
    Anyway, I do not defend that US should declare war on NK. It has proven disastrous on the first try, it would prove even more disastrous now.

    But it shouldn't pursue Iraq because is an easy target! That means that the powerful nations can chase the weaker ones at their pleasure. That is not a message that a Free country should pass to the rest of the world.

    If they want to solve the Middle East problems, they should start with Israel. Instead of blocking every attempt to solve the problem, as they did recently, delaying once more the Road Map to peace defined by US/Russia/EU/UN.


    are being bombarded by the US / UK almost everyday. Does this make them a world threat?

    ...the US and UK are shot at almost daily.  They return fire after being challenged.

    They go in with specific targets in mind. Take a look here.
    I guess that you are confusing with raids in Afghanistan, where US bombed a wedding because they were shooting at the air... :)
    Ok, The Afghans didn't thought it was funny.


    People are put to death for less in very modern courts.  To think that Saddam does not still have NBC materials is foolishness at it's best.

    You are from Texas, right? Just kidding :)

    I never said that he doesn't have WMD, I just said that they cannot prove that they haven't. Even if they didn't have.

    I hope I did a better job convincing you this time. Perhaps enough to convince you to rally against the war? :)

    [ Parent ]

    Cool...making progress (none / 0) (#561)
    by DDS3 on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:47:47 AM EST

    Nevertheless, the inspectors cannot know for sure if they still have WMD, since Saddam may be lying when he says that he has destroyed everything. They cannot prove that he has, nor Iraq can prove that they have destroyed. Neither can anything.

    That statement assumes that Saddam is an absolute idiot.  The world seemingly disagrees with that assumption.  Furthermore, Saddam, just as any half intelligent leader with world attention knows, you capitalize on the positive when they you are in the dog house.  Odd, this never happened.  Obviously this is because it never happened.  Now, look at what history says.  History tells us that a lie is being spoken when Iraq flaps it's lips.  They constantly deny they have NBC materials yet time and time again, they are uncovered.  So, we are left with Iraq have zero credibility and zero proof.  Now, on the flip side, we have intelligence, sat photos (show history repeating it self), additional history of them continue to purchase expertise and equipment.  Basically we have zero proof that they don't and tons of proof and evidence which HIGHLY suggests that they do.  Common sense and logic dictates that anyone that thinks Iraq does not have NBC materials or that the burden of proof need suddenly shift to the UN or US is simply not facing facts and ignoring a long track record of history.

    I don't think anyone really believes that! Come on! moving labs in trucks?

    Actually, I was referring to simple cargo trucks which Iraq has historically used to move NBC materials from site to site to keep them hidden.

    Since you bring them back up, I see no reason not to believe such capabilities exist.  It's not like we're talking about rocket science here.  From what I understand, it's rather simple to produce yet dangerous.  To dismiss it out of hand is simply silly.  If you think about it, the only limitation of such an implementation is going to be the quantity that can be produced.  Simple fact is, it doesn't take a large quantity to be effective.

    And if you consider the images that Powell presented to the SC then you should be more than satisfied with the evidences that Iraq has provided, since they have been more credible than those pictures.

    I'm seriously perplexed.  In what way is the evidence non-credible?  A picture is worth a thousand words is the expression and yet you refuse to even look at it.  I think I'm starting to understand why so many people refuse to see the obvious.  I guess it's easier to close your eyes than it is to face the facts.

    I agree that NK is not a suitable target for the US.

    In a nutshell, NK is surrounded by two reasonably stable countries.  NK is the only significant wild card there.  Them getting their ass spanked is very unlikley to endanger the world, a signifncant energy supply, or risk war by significant destablizations or the area (China isn't about to take on NATO).  On top of that, NK has only started the clock for politics to begin to work.  Iraq is now on what, 10, 11, 12 years.  People have had enough of their BS.  People are ready to kick him in the nuts and move on.  Even his own people want him to have a serious nut-kick'n.  ;)

    That means that the powerful nations can chase the weaker ones at their pleasure.

    Which is exactly the war the other powers in the region see Iraq.  No one wants Iraq to destabilize the region even further because it is a significant source of the world's fuel.

    they should start with Israel.

    Step forward and offer up the solution.  I think the world is ready.  Sadly, it's not that simple and really doesn't have anything to do with Iraq.

    They go in with specific targets in mind.

    For the most part, they do not.  They are actively engaged by the ground while on patrol.  As such, retaliation strikes are scheduled to help ensure their presence in the no-fly zone is as painful as possible.  Not to mention the simple act of sending a message that the no-fly zone is there to stay for the duration.  Period.  If they stopped their BS, the air strikes would stop too (air patrols would continue).

    I never said that he doesn't have WMD.

    I never said we should go to war.  I did want to make the facts known as seemingly, most people don't seem to even a clue as to what the real facts are.  Sadly, these clueless people seem to be the most verbose.

    [ Parent ]

    Curious about your conclusion. (5.00 / 2) (#514)
    by Wah on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:16:26 PM EST

    I understand your argument, but I have another question for you.   At what point does it become the duty of the world to overthrow a dictator?  

    I ask because that seems to be a major sticking point in this debate.  Given that Iraq has some NBC materials (although I think that should just be BC), how is a forced regime change the correct solution?  What should be the protocol for such action as we move forward in the 21st century?

    This will surely happen again, so what is the argument for the 'rightness' of pre-emptive regime change?   And who gets to decide?

    I think the U.S. has made a number of major missteps in this process, basically starting from the "He's guilty and needs to die" point and then continually asking "Do you agree, yet?" as opposed to building some framework where we can get a more objective look at what would have to considered "international justice" and which can be applied more evenly throughout the world (and into the future).   As it stands we have the powerful guy screaming, "He needs to die", and the rest of the world going, "Umm, for what, exactly?"  And, in what seems to me a ridiculous tone of voice, we go "He's about to kill us!!!".  Which I don't think follows at all, especially from the evidence presented at the U.N. by Powell (which I felt was long on 'fear' and short on 'facts') and the fact that a fully armed Iraq killed less U.S. soldiers than did the U.S. soldiers themselves.  Which says to me that a fully armed Iraq was less of a threat than 'accidents'.  But I guess that depends on how you measure a 'threat'.

    I'm curious about how you address these questions, mainly because you do seem coherent enough to argue about this (Which, unfortunately, is not true of a great many supporters of pre-emptive military action.)

    Also, the 'serious consequences' doesn't necessarily mean a death sentence, IMHO.  
    --
    YAR
    [
    Parent ]

    Wow...someone reasonable... (none / 0) (#557)
    by DDS3 on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:35:40 AM EST

    Well, I invite you to look at all of my postings.  I honestly don't have many answers.  I do feel like I have a reasonable grasp of the facts.  That being said, it seems to be far beyond what the typical person seems to have.  Even here.  As such, I'm trying to get people to understand the basic facts (as I understand them) so that productive debate can ensue.

    Make no mistake about it, I certainly do not think I have all the answers.  Nonetheless, it does irk me when I see people pointing a finger at the US saying it's evil (not mentioning the completely irrational conspiricy theories abound) without even understanding the most basic of facts or how we got where we are.  Want to say the US is evil.  Fine.  But atleast base the opinion on something sane and rational rather than emotionally charged, half complete thoughts without even the slightest of fact to support the position.

    If you notice in many of my postings, I'm constantly asking what options do we have.  Is it the UN's job to overthrow a nation's leader?  Have no idea.  I could probably argue both sides of the fence.  In the case of Iraq, I think would could reasonable argue the means justisfies the end so long as the people are being liberated and not "occupied."  The people themselves are begging for this.  What are the chances it would be screwed up?  Probably fairly high.  After all, there is a fine line between liberation and occupation.  What are the odds of reasonable long-term success, I have no idea.  While things can certainly get worse for the people of Iraq, I can't imagine it could get much worse (war lords?).  On the other hand, the hope that things can get much better, given enough time in a post-Saddam world is a powerful argument.  Not to mention the possible positive effect it could have on the region in the long term.

    I think the U.S. has made a number of major missteps in this process,

    No doubt about that.  He came off strong post-9/11, however, he seemingly bought into his own rhetoric and it became the party line.  To say he's tactless when it comes to international affairs is an understatement.  Just the same, good politians are supposed to be able to work with such difficult people.  After all, it's their job to do so.  So in that regard, France still needs a kick in the crotch.  They are historically unreasonable and extra so now.  Worse yet, they have openly admitted they are playing poltics.  Which in turn, is leaving the US (pissed) and the UN (risking it becoming irrelavant) blowing in the breeze.  That's what ticks me off.  They want to hold stead-fast.  Fine.  But do so because they believe it the right thing to do and not because it meets his political agenda.  Last, do so before you tell everyone that we're walking down this path together, when, come to find out, they never intended do so.  That's just bad and dangerous politics.  Long story short, the US isn't the only nation (France, Germany and Russia) that's screwing up.  Which is only making more friction and things much worse than they need to be.

    Which says to me that a fully armed Iraq was less of a threat than 'accidents'.  But I guess that depends on how you measure a 'threat'.

    Well, it's sometimes hard to get past the rhetoric.  My take on that is it's not a fully armed conventional force that has people worried.  It's his open ties to terrorist organizations (which extends beyond ObL).  NBC and open ties to terrorists is bad for the region and all of the governments denounced enemies.  The fact that ObL's boys have free reign in the country should be of concern to any reasonable person.  Does that mean there is some hidden conspircy there?  Of course it doesn't have to mean that but it should be cause for serious alarm.  Any impression given beyond that is simply the spin given by western press.  Which, of course, only serves to confuse the issue.

    Long story short, I do feel like I have an open mind and am happy to learn/debate more.  I'm not sure I answered all your insightful questions but hopefully I helped you understand where I'm coming from.

    Feel free to offer up your position.


    [ Parent ]

    Sorry I didn't get back to you (none / 0) (#624)
    by Wah on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:20:10 PM EST

    sometimes it takes a while.

    I wrote a longer response, but left it at home, where I won't be for another week or two.

    Two points real quick.

    1) the America is 'evil' meme.

    I think most of this is a response to Bush's attempt to put the war on moral terms.  Many people see this as a joke since the U.S. has taken many evil actions in the past.  Just because one does evil does not mean that one is evil, but this distinction is difficult to make in a short text comment when making the above point.  Most of the things that Saddam has done, the U.S. has done, albeit on a different time scale and often in varying degree (see Manifest Destiny, Agent Orange, Atom Bomb).  It is the meme that the U.S. is somehow totally morally pure that people are reacting to.  

    2) The threat of Iraq.  

    You have shown our divergence on the threat posed by Iraq with this comment.

    The fact that ObL's boys have free reign in the country should be of concern to any reasonable person.

    One, Bin Laden has been after Hussein for longer than we have.  Two, not all terrorists are the same flavor.  I think that saying "OBL's boys have free reign" is a serious mischaracterization of the state of affairs as I understand it.  The one guy they keep mentioning is closer to Iran than Iraq and seems to operate in the part of Iraq that Hussein doesn't control.   Also, I think the real threat of NBC, in the amounts that terrrorist could use them, is overstated.  We've already weathered an attack using military anthrax and it was far from overwhelming.  We are well prepared to deal with most biological agents, chemical agents are chancey, and I think the best defense against nuclear arms are good intelligence and inspections.

    Also, I think the chaos of war is much more likely to land NBC weapons in the hands of terrorist than an established state.  The leader of a country has something to lose and will realize that a direct assault is suicide.  Cavorting with terrorists who want your head is only a choice of last resort.  If Saddam is the only one who knows where the weapons are hiding, it is a tough call to say that we will find the weapons caches before the terrorists.  If we already know where they are, why not call Hans with the 411?

    Anyway, we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.  And we'll find out what really happened in a generation or so.  

    BTW, I don't have all the answers either, and I apologize if I've made that impression.  I do have some, of varying quality, enumerated here.  And the reasoning for using the propaganda in the previous link here.
    --
    YAR
    [
    Parent ]

    I'll wait for your longer posting... (5.00 / 1) (#649)
    by DDS3 on Thu Feb 27, 2003 at 01:53:32 PM EST

    ...before I really get into this...

    At any rate, I did want to comment on the anthrax issue.  To say that America has weathered military grade bio attack is a fairly accurate statement.  Needless to say, there's more under the surface.  Most significantly, the medium of attack for this specific case was one of the least effective means to kills people.  The fact that will still had a number of people die from one of the least effective bio-weapons (in terms of how bad bio can get), which was further reduced in capability because of how it was released, should serve as a serious wake-up call to how bad, bad can get.  Imagine a plane releasing this over a national sports event. Imagine some other bio or chemical weapon in use?  Imagine one that is highly contagious and leathal to boot.  Anthrax, while fairly contagious, is not normally lethal unless taken directly into the lungs, which is not, normally, how person-to-person contamination occurs.

    It's also worth noting the the scope of these attacks where absolutely minimal in nature and they completely overwhelmed the system.  Imagine a nasty attack on any significant scale.  Make no mistake about it, doom and gloom would be horrid reality.

    [ Parent ]

    For the Nth, time, the war isn't about oil. (3.14 / 7) (#296)
    by Demiurge on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:45:22 AM EST

    Every single analyst who has made any predictions about the effect on global oil prices has said that they will increase. If the US wanted access to Iraqi oil, it would have supported the lifting of sanctions. If the US had wanted cheap Iraqi oil, it would have given in to bribes of cheap Iraqi oil in support for lifting sanctions, just as France has done.

    One of the reasons I'm cautiously pro-war is because of the complete lack of coherent anti-war stances. If you fail to understand why there's going to be a war, why should I listen to anything else you have to say about it?

    [ Parent ]
    Yes but (5.00 / 2) (#313)
    by lugumbashi on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:46:23 AM EST

    It is not specifically about oil now, but oil is the principle reason the US is interested in the Middle East at all. Otherwise the place would be left rot, like Sub-Saharan Africa. Oil is relevant to WMD in the sense that if Saddam did not have oil, he would not be able to pay for WMD development.

    Try this on for a coherent anti-war stance.

    Iraq does not have to be tackled right now. The risks far outweigh the benefits. To defeat Islamic fundamentalist terrorism it is crucial for the US to be seen to act as an honest broker in the Muslim world. When Israel/Palestine is relatively peaceful, defusing the rest of the middle east including Iraq will be much safer and much less bloody.

    That Iraq is not an immediate threat ought to be clear enough to anyone. Worse, the risks of attacking Iraq now are huge. Iraq is a big poor Yugoslavia with oil. Oil is important because it is a resource worth fighting over, unlike land or even water as some people have suggested. All factions within Iraq are going to fight for it. Kurd, Shia, Sunni, Turkoman. Turkey, Iran & Syia all have a large Kurdish minorities looking for a state of their own. Saudi, Iran and Egypt are big ticking demographic time-bombs. Right now all those kids are starting to wake up and realise they are living poverty under corrupt super-rich despots. Do you really want to see a revolution now in Iran/Saudi/Egypt? Whatever way you look at it an invasion of Iraq risks turning the entire Middle East region into a conflict similar to Israel/Palestine. I just don't think it is worth it.

    So what do you do instead? Well I would suggest you fix the one running sore that causes more heartache than everything else - Israel & the Occupied Territories. It can be fixed, the solution has been known for years just getting to it is hard. The US is the only entity capable of knocking heads together. With that underway, overthrowing Saddam would be easy. Whilst doing this you actively promote free-speech & democracy, especially in the coutries you have most influence over, Saudi, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey. They sorely need it. Carefully lift sanctions on Iran and Cuba and help them transition to a full democracy, you will be suprised at how popular the US will become in both those countries. Iranians have got used to voting, so it should be easy enough. Saddam will be much easier to contain/overthrow when you have some friends in the region. Then everyone will believe Bush and Blair when they say it is about democracy.

    Sending troops into Iraq now is courting terrorism and providing lots of terrorist targets to boot. Expect to see a short conventional (mostly bloodless) war followed by a long pointless terror campaign from various factions against the US and against each other. Rather like Afghanistan. The US military excels at overthrowing states but less good at building them back up.

    The US is even losing support of moderate muslims. Yousef Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric based in Qatar, has denounced terrorism in the name of Islam. Yet, in a recent interview, Mr Qaradawi declared that anyone killed while fighting to expel American forces from the Gulf would die a martyr.

    I like the US, I think it is misunderstood, but unlike Bush, I think this matters. Bush believes he is doing the right thing. He doesn't care about public opinion in Muslim countries. They are simply wrong about it being about oil, there is no "linkage" with Israel. He is making the same mistake that conservatives always do. They believe that terrorism is down to a few bad apples, remove them and it will go away. Public opinion matters, even when it is wrong, because it is from the public that terrorism derives its support. The September 11 hijackers were nearly all Saudi - what does that tell you about public opinion in that country?
    -"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"
    [ Parent ]

    saudi (none / 0) (#346)
    by Burning Straw Man on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:27:26 AM EST

    The September 11 hijackers were nearly all Saudi - what does that tell you about public opinion in that country?

    Well, that tells me it could be as much as 100% anti-US, or as much as 99.99999% pro-US.

    That is, it doesn't tell me much of anything. How about: Almost all rapes are committed by men. What does that tell you?

    Perhaps you would have done better to state: The September 11 hijackings were celebrated by mass crowds in Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries - what does that tell you about about public opinion in those countries?
    --
    your straw man is on fire...
    [ Parent ]

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#362)
    by lugumbashi on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:11:57 PM EST

    The post was getting too long. I just wanted to make the point that Saudi Arabia has greater relevance in the "War on Terror" than Iraq.

    The Arab reaction to Sept 11 is interesting. I don't know about Saudi but in Cairo there were definitely some celebrations. Egypt is a major foreign aid recipient. Contrast this with "Axis of Evil" Tehran, where they held candle-lit vigils. Sometimes I think the US doesn't know who their friends are.


    -"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"
    [ Parent ]

    Oil / Not Oil Etc. (5.00 / 3) (#330)
    by Lagged2Death on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:55:58 AM EST

    Every single analyst who has made any predictions about the effect on global oil prices has said that they will increase.

    In the short term, this makes sense. I think this is a longer term strategy, though, and in the longer term, how could this be?

    If the US wanted access to Iraqi oil, it would have supported the lifting of sanctions. If the US had wanted cheap Iraqi oil, it would have given in to bribes of cheap Iraqi oil in support for lifting sanctions, just as France has done.

    The sanctions don't apply to the purchase, by US-based corporations, of Iraqi oil, do they? If I'm reading the DOE figures correctly, the US imported 11 million barrels of oil from Iraq in 2002, which is around 18% of the OPEC oil we imported that year. The US not only wants access to Iraqi oil, it's got it. Installing a US-friendly government in Hussein's place could pave the way for further US exploitation of Iraq oil reserves, leading to a larger, stabler supply and prices to match. Again, long term - 5 to 10 years down the line.

    One of the reasons I'm cautiously pro-war is because of the complete lack of coherent anti-war stances.

    So we should go to war just for the hell of it? I hope that's not what you mean.

    If you fail to understand why there's going to be a war, why should I listen to anything else you have to say about it?

    Who else would you listen to, the people who think exactly the way you do? Why bother?

    If a large percentage of the teeming masses can't understand why there's going to be a war, maybe the pro-war case isn't very coherent, compelling, and clear-cut, either.

    Starfish automatically creates colorful abstract art for your PC desktop!
    [ Parent ]
    Cheaper oil for someone... (5.00 / 2) (#331)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:57:40 AM EST

    but not the consumer.
    Oil prices will rise during the war, but that's good for the oil companies that have reserves that were purchased at much lower prices. And then after the war prices will drop again, oil companies will get much cheap oil and stockpile it for 10 years or so, and then war will happen again and oil prices will go up.
    This isn't about cheaper oil for the CONSUMER. It's about cheaper oil for the companies. Lifting sanctions would be BAD for Oil companies because it would lower the price of oil to the consumer.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    If oil is not the issue (4.50 / 2) (#443)
    by wumpus on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:09:07 PM EST

    Then why isn't the US pushing for a "regime change" in Saudi Arabia?

    US oil interests would certainly prefer that Iraq stop pumping oil, and eternal sanctions are a means to that end. On the other hand, to simply pretend that oil interests are not an overwhelming concern is pure folly.

    Oil tends to be a reason for war. You may have heard of Pearl Harbor, that was directly about oil. So was Stalingrad.

    Wumpus

    [ Parent ]

    Oil (4.00 / 2) (#456)
    by trackerbri on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:37:45 PM EST

    Didn't Bush run a Texas oil and gas company? Wouldn't an increase in oil prices help pretty much everyone he ever met in Texas?

    [ Parent ]
    Well done! (3.00 / 1) (#246)
    by QuantumG on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:22:30 PM EST

    Although three more paragraphs of "history" before the "what can be clearly learned from history" paragraph would have made it so much better.

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    Appeasement is not the answer (2.00 / 1) (#260)
    by mami on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 10:59:46 PM EST

    that's why I don't answer to this article.

    The Policy Is To Dominate, Not Lebensraum (4.00 / 7) (#267)
    by cmholm on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:36:56 PM EST

    The twist of the author's story is very cute, and s/he has made a correct analysis. The US$64K question is: do you know the goal of US policy, and why it was arrived at?

    At the end of the Cold War, academics and policy makers reviewed the history they had just lived through and they came to a couple of conclusions: 1) wow, we didn't know how lucky we were to survive it, and 2) a bipolar or multipolar global power structure really sucks, let's not do that again, ok?

    Hence, the policy was born, the US will do what it takes to remain the preeminent military world power. As a practical matter, this takes several forms. Russia is helped so far as to prevent total collapse, but not so much as to prevent the decay of it's military-industrial complex. China is to be contained. Our NATO allies will have their say, but will not be allowed to veto US action beyond the territory of members. Empire-builders will be isolated and attacked if need be. The DoD will maintain forces sufficient to deal with the existing and foreseen threat, and a large ongoing R&D effort to keep a large qualitative lead. Non-proliferation has failed, and active defensive measures will be deployed when feasible.

    The point of a Pax Americana is to avoid being held at ransom by any real threat to the nation. Unfortunately, G.W. Bush is not an effective speaker or salesman, and so doesn't do a good job of softening the impact of this policy on the leaders or public of other nations, not to the least of which is that they can't currently do much about it. However, unless we get a national leader who *is* facile with the English language and diplomacy, eventually blocks will be formed to counter us, and sooner rather than later will be successful.

    The comparison with the former Deutsches Reich certainly provocative, but not completely valid. The most obvious difference is that there is copious evidence that A. Hitler had every intention of going to war with the goal to expand the physical boundries of the Reich, to build a traditional Empire. The US, on the other hand, meerly seeks the freedom to maintain commercial interests without significant constrants.

    As an aside, the containment of China has a good chance of success from a demographic and ecological standpoint. The family policies of the PRC vs. the population growth of the US will leave the US with a continuing advantage maintaining a pool of workers (and military age youth), particularly if China doesn't manage to overcome the enormous gap in worker productivity and military infrastructure. Imagine 2050, with a half billion younger Americans, vs. "only" 900 aging Chinese. Finally, sadly, if current treads continue, China is much closer to ecological crisis or collapse than the US.

    I love the doublespeak. (4.00 / 4) (#270)
    by it certainly is on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:48:21 PM EST

    A. Hitler had every intention of going to war with the goal to expand the physical boundries of the Reich, to build a traditional Empire. The US, on the other hand, meerly seeks the freedom to maintain commercial interests without significant constrants.

    ... but you repeat yourself.

    There's nothing like a gun to the head that gets you good prices. One day, American tanks will roll into Beijing to crush the pirated Mickey Mouse t-shirts.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    What-ever. (none / 0) (#333)
    by derek3000 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:59:47 AM EST

    I'm sure the Brits are pissed about all the bootlegged Burberry scarfs on Canal Street too. On a related note: do you know where I can get a Gucci Russki? Or are they just a myth?

    -----------
    Not too political, nothing too clever!--Liars
    [ Parent ]

    The bipolar power structure saved us all. (5.00 / 4) (#309)
    by sunbeam60 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:56:00 AM EST

    Although somewhat in a hurry, I just can't let this one slip me by.

    I would argue that the bipolar structure seen around the cold-war actually prevented a number of serious conflicts. Although the stakes were higher (more or less the doom of the entire world), the risk of this doom happening was very, very low. Yes, Cuban-missile crisis and all, but I am talking about when the cold war was really cold (ie. when the relationship between the Sovjet empire and the US were normalizing).

    What we see today is instead a world where the stakes have diminished (now, nuclear exchange could take place without the risk of the entire world collapsing into radioactive sludge), but the risk of it happening have increased a thousandfold.

    Only history can tell whether the cold war period was less deadly than the period we are in now (wait 50 years and do a body-count), but my gut feeling is that you will see a marked difference in favor of the cold war.

    On a similar note, I would also argue that the rise in terrorism and the focus on it is also due to the cold war being here no more. Before, terrorists were funded by suspect states who were ultimately funded by either the US or the Sovjet empire. Now these small sponsor-states have lost their big-brother (at least the ones clinging to the USSR) and there are no one to keep their actions checked.

    [ Parent ]

    One other issue. (none / 0) (#434)
    by wumpus on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:58:28 PM EST

    There are many who believe that Bush simply wants Saddam's head for personal reasons. As such, any appeasment (from Iraq) would be impossible.

    Obviously there are others who started the drums for war who don't have such a close interest, and appeasment would only goad them on, but many of them can be expected to leave with Bush in 2004.

    Wumpus

    [ Parent ]

    policy makers (none / 0) (#596)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:38:24 AM EST

    By policy makers I assume you are referring to The Project for a New American Century which included Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Cheney and Jeb Bush amongst others equally unsavoury and/or demented.

    Unfortunately for the legitimacy of the poilcy, the rest of the several billions of folks in the world had no input.

    Fuck their policy

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    Who's being appeased? (3.53 / 15) (#269)
    by merkri on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:47:51 PM EST

    I really hate Bush. An arrogant ass if I ever saw one. As an American, to non-Americans reading this, I have to say: (1) Please remember not all Americans support Bush. Many of us loathe him. Some of us even don't even really consider him an elected president, just appointed by a republican Supreme Court. Remeber, he lost the popular vote. (2) In fact, recent polls suggest a majority of Americans find problems with his foreign policy. The last New York Times poll, if I recall, found that a slight majority of Americans disapproved of his foreign policy overall, and around 60% of Americans favored letting UN inspections have more time. (3) Please remember what Americans have been through. That's no excuse for the Bush administration's manipulation of American's anxieties and concerns, but just something to keep in mind. Anyway, now that I'm done trying to apologize out of humiliation for our incompetant "president", I have another comment to make: Every time I try to think about parallels between Iraq and pre-WWII appeasement, I get confused. Why? Because I can't figure out who's being appeased. This article is presented as if the US is being appeased. What's striking to me about it is that I could make a similar argument that the UN is trying to appease Iraq. Parallels? (1) (a) The world body before WWII largely favored appeasement of the Italian facist and Nazi governments, out of fear of being embroiled in another WWI. Britain and the US did not. (b) Here, the world body is trying to appease Iraq, and the US and Britain are arguing otherwise. (2) (a) Germany prior to WWII was rather poor and sort of isolated, justly or unjustly, by economic practices in place at the time. Poor socioeconomic conditions were at least somewhat responsible for ideological appeals to terrorist activity. (b) Iraq, and the middle east more generally, is sort of isolated economically by various political scenarios in place currently (part of which is US policy, part of which is not). This socioeconomic isolation has at least partially led to ideological appeals to terrorist activities. Now, I'm really not in favor of the Bush administration, and have felt their approach to Iraq has been completely irresponsible. But I think this whole situation is more complex than both sides are admitting. Terrorism, whether state sanctioned or not, is a problem in the middle east (and everywhere, really) and needs to be dealt with. On the other hand, "unilateral preemption" is not the way to address this.

    I wish things were text formatted by default... (5.00 / 1) (#272)
    by merkri on Wed Feb 19, 2003 at 11:54:02 PM EST

    I really hate Bush. An arrogant ass if I ever saw one.

    As an American, to non-Americans reading this, I have to say:

    (1) Please remember not all Americans support Bush. Many of us loathe him. Some of us even don't even really consider him an elected president, just appointed by a republican Supreme Court. Remeber, he lost the popular vote.

    (2) In fact, recent polls suggest a majority of Americans find problems with his foreign policy. The last New York Times poll, if I recall, found that a slight majority of Americans disapproved of his foreign policy overall, and around 60% of Americans favored letting UN inspections have more time.

    (3) Please remember what Americans have been through. That's no excuse for the Bush administration's manipulation of American's anxieties and concerns, but just something to keep in mind.

    Anyway, now that I'm done trying to apologize out of humiliation for our incompetant "president", I have another comment to make:

    Every time I try to think about parallels between Iraq and pre-WWII appeasement, I get confused. Why? Because I can't figure out who's being appeased.

    This article is presented as if the US is being appeased. What's striking to me about it is that I could make a similar argument that the UN is trying to appease Iraq.

    Parallels?

    (1) (a) The world body before WWII largely favored appeasement of the Italian facist and Nazi governments, out of fear of being embroiled in another WWI. Britain and the US did not. (b) Here, the world body is trying to appease Iraq, and the US and Britain are arguing otherwise.

    (2) (a) Germany prior to WWII was rather poor and sort of isolated, justly or unjustly, by economic practices in place at the time. Poor socioeconomic conditions were at least somewhat responsible for ideological appeals to terrorist activity. (b) Iraq, and the middle east more generally, is sort of isolated economically by various political scenarios in place currently (part of which is US policy, part of which is not). This socioeconomic isolation has at least partially led to ideological appeals to terrorist activities.

    Now, I'm really not in favor of the Bush administration, and have felt their approach to Iraq has been completely irresponsible. I understand the perspective that the US is the one being appeased.

    Ultimately, I think this whole situation is more complex than both sides are admitting. Terrorism, whether state sanctioned or not, is a problem in the middle east (and everywhere, really) and needs to be dealt with. On the other hand, "unilateral preemption" is not the way to address this.

    [ Parent ]

    More paralells. (2.66 / 3) (#298)
    by Funk Soul Hacker on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:00:24 AM EST

    1) Hitler had a mustash, saddam did not
    2) Iraq is a few miles away from the mediteranian sea, so is Germany.
    3) Iraq has been in a war with its neighbors, so has Germany.
    4) English is not commonly spoken in either Iraq or Germany.
    5) both Bathast and Nazi parties were, theoreticaly, sort-of socialist. But not actualy.

    Of course, none of these things matter, and neither do your points.

    The key, important diffrence is that Iraq is not threatening anyone at all, while Germany had actualy invaded people.


    --- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
    [ Parent ]
    Hmmm (3.00 / 1) (#326)
    by Kal on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:05:32 AM EST

    The key, important diffrence is that Iraq is not threatening anyone at all, while Germany had actualy invaded people.

    Iran and Kuwait might disagree with you there.

    Iraq has been at war for 9 out of the last 23 years. That's something to conside when talking about the poor, peaceful Iraquis.

    [ Parent ]
    Which 9? (4.33 / 3) (#328)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:39:31 AM EST

    It makes a difference which 9 years you are talking about. As I recall Iraq hasn't so much as spit at a neighbor since the royal asskicking they received last time. I don't see them making trouble any time in the near or medium future.

    And if we're just measuring #years involved in conflict as a way to determine the danger of a country the US has been involved in military action somewhere in the word for 23 of the last 23 years. So it looks like that's a meaningless statistic.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    How much (none / 0) (#349)
    by Kal on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:41:28 AM EST

    1980-1988 Iraq launched a war against Iran.
    1990-1991 Iraq launched a war against Kuwait.

    The only reason they haven't done more is because of the sanctions and military forces that were still watching them. If your army got it's ass kicked in 4 days of ground combat, wouldn't you become a little more circumspect?


    Keep in mind that I haven't advocated for or against war yet. I'm just pointing out that Iraq isn't as lily white as some folks like to pretend.

    [ Parent ]
    Agreed... (none / 0) (#391)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:53:00 PM EST

    Of course they attacked people in the early nineties. Then they got their entire military devestated and were told to play nice "Or else" well, they've been playing nice for the last 10 years, and we're still bringing out the "Or else" and we're about to start smacking them with it.
    Iraq has not, in the last 10 years, made ANY threatening actions that I've heard about.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Kurds? (none / 0) (#554)
    by Kal on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:00:38 AM EST

    Didn't they do the whole Kurdish thing after the Gulf War? Granted it isn't terribly threatening to their neighbors, but it's still not very nice.

    [ Parent ]
    use autoformat - and preview ;) [n/t] (none / 0) (#335)
    by kraft on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:03:31 AM EST



    --
    a signature has the format "dash-dash-newline-text". dammit.
    [ Parent ]
    Worth noting (2.33 / 3) (#285)
    by DDS3 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:18:04 AM EST

    Remeber, he lost the popular vote.

    Hopefully you realize that the popular vote isn't what elects a president in the US.  It's electorial votes that do that.  Furthermore, this was not the first election, nor will it be the last, where the electorial votes differ than the popular vote.  IIRC, this is the third or fourth time such an event in US history has occurred.

    In most states, the popular vote is nothing but a huge waste of tax payer's money.


    [ Parent ]

    I'm looking forward to war.. (1.00 / 2) (#275)
    by bearclaw on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:23:17 AM EST

    ..it will give me something to watch between episodes of 24 and before March Madness begins. That outta outrage some people here. Hehe. I love adding fuel to the fire.

    -- bearclaw
    References (3.75 / 4) (#278)
    by hndrcks on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:30:01 AM EST

    For the most part, I agree. However, citing Ann Coulter and the National Review - and inferring them as somehow representative of the US populace - is ridiculous.

    I believe I am more-or-less representative of the middle ground of American politics - and I wouldn't wipe my ass with the National Review.

    (Unfortunately, NR is probably quite representative of the current administration's views. How many people voted against Hitler in his first 'election'? I wonder if it was a majority of the popular vote...)

    umm, (2.00 / 1) (#282)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:10:04 AM EST

    hitler was appointed by Hindinburg and then when the fat old man died, hittler steped in and began frothing at the mouth about hoiw the Jews were at fault blah blah blah. and then he just took power.

    [ Parent ]
    what a hook!!! (2.71 / 7) (#281)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:08:09 AM EST

    oh man, I was reading thinking that it was a support for war against Iraq, then BAM the loony comments begin.

    hears the deal.

    if the US was just acting out of blind agression (you know Saddam is a nice guy and is realy credible) then why even think about the UN?

    and if it was just about oil, why not support the French position on lifting sanctions and just buy the damn oil?

    and if it was about controling water in the middle east...why?

    easy (4.25 / 4) (#305)
    by mreardon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:30:32 AM EST

    if the US was just acting out of blind agression (you know Saddam is a nice guy and is realy credible) then why even think about the UN?
    To "legitimise" their war. Otherwise they can be tried in the Hague for war crimes. No one is saying Saddam

    and if it was just about oil, why not support the French position on lifting sanctions and just buy the damn oil?
    Becuase they want to control the supply of oil. See Venezuela.

    [ Parent ]

    why? (none / 0) (#595)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:30:49 AM EST

    Perhaps the UN route was taken because it is against International Law to simply invade another state because you feel like it... and regardless whether the US signed the paper which empowered the International Criminal Court or not, it's citizens are still subject to its prosecutions.

    It also seems that Iraqis would be very unlikely to look favourably upon the US's desire to buy their oil after US enforced sanctions have left 500,000 dead Iraqi kids. Not to mention the illegal bombing that has been carried out for the last 12 years.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    I take issue (3.16 / 6) (#288)
    by doormat on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:52:05 AM EST

    With one statement in this...

    However this is unlikely because the nationalistic urges of the blindingly patriotic American people actually causes the popularity of Mr. Bush to go up when his actions threaten world peace and their own sense of security.

    I agree with the first part, americans are blindly patriotic. But I've talked to many people, including a few moderate republicans, who figure that when bush goes to war, he is signing himself out of office in the 2004 election. I for one, agree. Unless this is a two-week war and not one american dies from enemy fire (very unlikely), the war will become more than most americans bargained for. Two or three months, more people will be against the war than at the start.

    Bush it seems, wants to get it over and done with. Why? Because a strong enconomy in the beginning to middle of 2004 will help him build re-election momentum. Americans care most about their perceived saftey, then about their pocketbooks.

    I dont think this will be continued ad nauseam once we're through with Iraq. Maybe we'll deal with north korea, or iran if hussien goes there to escape. But once january 2005 rolls around, I think it will end there with the innaguration of a democrat president (despite how weak the party seems now).

    I just hope I'm right...

    |\
    |/oormat

    hahahaha (5.00 / 2) (#292)
    by Funk Soul Hacker on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:24:42 AM EST

    Wow, you're really versed in Middle East history. Maybe we'll deal with north korea, or iran if hussien goes there to escape.

    That would be like Osama Bin Laden trying to hide out in the US. Saddam started a war with Iran that cost millions of lives. Why do you think we gave him all those chemical weapons to begin with?


    --- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
    [ Parent ]
    Aye. (5.00 / 2) (#301)
    by WhiteBandit on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:26:32 AM EST

    I had an a professor who was Iranian and told us that he despises Saddam more than anyone in the United States could. Apparently he lost quite a few family members during that war. :-/

    He also said, "You all look at me and naturally think I must be a terrorist. Don't worry, I leave my AK-47 at home. Besides, the last terrorist I remember was Timmothy Mcveigh, and he was a white guy. So to me, all of you look like terrorists."

    Quite a character.

    [ Parent ]

    simple (none / 0) (#300)
    by TheLogician on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:49:45 AM EST

    Bush is planning on hitting Iraq with more smart bombs in the first day of war than were launched the entire duration of the last one, and that's not counting the fact that Iraq's defenses are pitiful compared to the first Gulf war. I don't see a war with Iraq taking very much time.

    [ Parent ]
    Well.. (none / 0) (#380)
    by Kwil on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:40:01 PM EST

    ..unless he's planning on using those smart-bombs to level the cities, the fighting this time will probably be much more intense, bloody, and take a heck of a lot longer than a nice open desert combat field.

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


    [ Parent ]
    Not quite so simple. (none / 0) (#569)
    by Hillgiant on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 03:49:30 PM EST

    When was the last time we used overwhelming air power on a technologically inferior opponent? Operation Rolling Thunder, iirc. We all know how well that turned out.

    -----
    "It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
    [ Parent ]

    China should handle North Korea... (none / 0) (#303)
    by taiwanjohn on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:44:29 AM EST

    Why the HELL isn't China doing something about their old pal, the DPRK??

    Considering all their bluster and fume about being "denied" a greater role in international affairs... well, here's your chance to show your true colors, Beijing.

    Oh wait... I guess they're already doing exactly that.

    --jrd

    [ Parent ]

    They'd prefer Taiwan. (none / 0) (#322)
    by it certainly is on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 08:51:07 AM EST

    After all, it's weaker than they are and has a much better economy to stealinherit.

    Sadly, Taiwan isn't a credible threat to world peace, but it's not stopping the Americans, so why should that stop China from annexing Taiwan?

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    hussain to iran? (4.00 / 1) (#316)
    by karolo on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 07:34:42 AM EST

    Sorry, but it just shows huge ignorance of the situation thinking that iran might give refuge to sadam hussain, is like expecting the us to give refuge to fidel castro.

    [ Parent ]
    Hussein to Iran (none / 0) (#455)
    by trackerbri on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:32:38 PM EST

    Well, they did give the Iraqi Air Force safe harbour during the Gulf War. Of course they never did give the planes back from what I read. :-)

    [ Parent ]
    neutrality (none / 0) (#547)
    by karolo on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 08:56:23 AM EST

    as fas as I know Iran was neutral during the gulf war, and they did the same for "allied" pilots and planes

    [ Parent ]
    Don't underestimate Shock and Awe (none / 0) (#445)
    by FourDegreez on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:11:39 PM EST

    Bush wants to drop twice as many bombs on Iraq in the first two days of attack as were dropped in the entire 1991 war. He's aware of what you're talking about, and is going to execute a brutal, absolutely crushing attack that will leave Iraq reeling from the shear devastation. Bush knows that most Americans don't give a second thought to brown-skinned collateral damage in distant lands, so if he wipes out "the enemy" quickly it will be a political success at home. Still a gamble, but mark my words, this will be the plan.

    [ Parent ]
    hope (none / 0) (#594)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:23:35 AM EST

    I hope you're right too, but I'm not very optimistic. He promised the moon to the Afghanis and he has left it looking like the moon. After Iraq I suspect it will be a bunch of small wars like the Philippines and Colombia. Both of these countries have the capacity to escalate into Vietnam type conflicts however.

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    what the hell? (3.00 / 9) (#289)
    by Funk Soul Hacker on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:56:27 AM EST

    Where exactly is the aggression from saddam that anti-war people are apeasing?

    The US is the agressor here, not Iraq. You can argue about wether or not they have a good reason to do so, if you want. But Iraq is being pretty passive here.


    --- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
    oops (5.00 / 2) (#290)
    by Funk Soul Hacker on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:00:51 AM EST

    I guess I should have read more then the first paragraph before commenting. But on second glance I was apparently vague and lazy enough that my comment applies to this story, in favor, as it would have if the story had been anti-iraq.


    --- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
    [ Parent ]
    Violation of cease-fire terms. (2.00 / 1) (#384)
    by sonovel on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:46:49 PM EST

    Just Iraq's violation of the 1991 cease-fire terms for the last 12 years.

    But for that to be a serious issue, one must consider the UN to be a serious organization.

    If the UN's words mean anything, then the cease-fire violations are important.

    If the UN is just bluffing about "serious consequences" (diplo-speak for war), then of course, Iraq's years of violations are unimportant.

    Strange, but those who most claim to support the UN are the very ones that are working hard to assure that it is a paper tiger.

    [ Parent ]

    Appeasement is not the answer - you are right! (3.54 / 11) (#311)
    by chbm on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:14:50 AM EST

    Westerns powers should not continue to indulge and support middle eastern states that maintain attrition wars and occupy foreign land. Specially if they have UN resolutions pending against them and deny free access to EU and UN observers. Particularly when those states have WMD. stop israel now.

    Oh, wasn't that what you meant ?

    -- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --

    why? (none / 0) (#366)
    by Lenny on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:20:00 PM EST

    stop israel now
    Why, do you suppose, has Israel not been stopped? And what exactly do you mean by "stop"?


    "Hate the USA? Boycott everything American. Particularly its websites..."
    -Me
    [ Parent ]
    Israel and UN resolutions (5.00 / 1) (#440)
    by FourDegreez on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:07:02 PM EST

    Out of any country, Israel is in violation of the most UN resolutions (Turkey is a not-to-distant second). Here is the list. For Israel to be "stopped" it must be forced into compliance with the resolutions against it. It's occupation of and settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are in violation of international law.

    Before someone cries, "But, the terrorists!" realize that the current situation is what perpetuates continued terrorism.

    [ Parent ]
    The UN and Israel (5.00 / 3) (#534)
    by OldCoder on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 08:18:12 PM EST

    Security Council resolutions come in two types, one that is self-enforcing, the other, just a resolution. We'd have to go through the list and see which is what.

    Israel is not going to loose weapons of mass destruction on the world. Iraq is much more likely to. And from a US point of view, of course, Iraq is more of a threat.

    The UN created Israel as a Jewish State. Great. But when 5 Arab armies attacked to destroy the country and annhilate its people, Israel was on it's own, and really hasn't been very trusting of the UN since.

    The UN could have stopped the attacks on Israel from south Lebanon, but chose not to. Eventually, Israel itself blundered in to take care of the problem and has, in fact, stopped the attacks. They also made a complete mess of things. I don't believe the UN deliberately pushed Israel into a long, drawn out disaster, the UN isn't that smart, but the result is UN inaction followed by trouble after trouble.

    The UN, in effect, gives the Arabs carte blanche to attack and destroy Israel, offering no help in 1967 or 1973, and in fact, declares Judaism to be an outcast religion with the "Zionism is Racism" slander. This is not a way to build trust.

    Obviously, one can't argue that Israel has done no wrong, or that the Palestinians have no case. But calling for enforcement against Israel while ignoring all the aggressions of the Arabs against Israel has to raise the question of the integrity of the person calling for enforcement.

    Go ahead, read this signature

    [ Parent ]
    Also... (4.00 / 1) (#575)
    by puppet10 on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 08:49:02 PM EST

    showing the UN is a toothless ineffective international body isnt exaclty the way to win converts to the idea that they can effectively disarm a country which actively doesnt want to be disarmed.

    Or on the other hand to stop a US invasion of Iraq, because what is the UN going to do, pass a resolution of equal force of all their other resolutions (ie. none) against the country launching the invasion.

    The UN passing resolutions it doesn't intend to back up is one of the reasons its not taken very seriously by Israel or Iraq.

    [ Parent ]

    aren't there some Palestinian meanies too? (none / 0) (#497)
    by Michael Moser on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:55:07 PM EST

    why don't you want to stop the Palestinian authority? Don't they support terror against civilians ?
    ( i forgot, it's not terror against you in person, so it is not that important)

    - and the PA is financed by the European union, to a large extend (well, and by Israel, via taxation agreements)


    [ Parent ]

    stop israel (none / 0) (#593)
    by kpeerless on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 07:17:35 AM EST

    eactly right

    kp

    www.newsfromtheedge.org

    [ Parent ]

    There are less pretty names for what you are doing (3.00 / 8) (#315)
    by RiotNrrd on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:56:43 AM EST

    What can clearly be learned from history is that the United Kingdom is wrong to appease the United States of America in these final days before war.

    For a far better response than I could write, and bearing in mind that a picture is worth 10.000 words, please see the animation at the top of http://www.xanga.com/home.asp?user=dissidentfrogman.

    One point I will make here is: what are you thinking, saying the UK is "appeasing" the US while you are carrying out Saddam's every wish? The "peace" demonstrations are making war more likely, not less, as they progressively embolden Saddam.

    The US has no interest in conquering Iraq. What can they possibly get out of it that is worth more than having a second functioning democracy in the Middle East?

    If you were about to mention the tired "it's all about OOOOIIIIILLLL" meme, please bear in mind the following while composing your response:

    • how come Chirac gets a free pass, despite the fact that a single French company (TotalFinaElf) stands to gain something on the order of 60 billion Euros from the Saddam regime?
    • why do the US oil companies care who the government in Iraq is? Assuming they have all this purported reach in the US, what is to stop them from simply buying the new independent Iraq government and having a far more amenable puppet?

    In conclusion, your arguments are stale, and surprising only in your intransigence and seeming convinction.


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.

    Huh? (4.25 / 4) (#320)
    by TurboThy on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 08:21:53 AM EST

    ...a second functioning democracy in the Middle East?
    Pray tell, what's the first one?
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Probably a waste of time... (2.60 / 5) (#338)
    by RiotNrrd on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:42:52 AM EST

    ...but the (blatantly obvious) answer is Israel.


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    Wrong [n/t] (2.66 / 3) (#348)
    by TurboThy on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:33:07 AM EST


    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    your brilliant dialectic stuns me (4.50 / 2) (#538)
    by RiotNrrd on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 02:55:44 AM EST

    How could I rebut such a well-reasoned and expounded answer?


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    Brazil (n/t) (none / 0) (#339)
    by Captain Segfault on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:44:02 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Interesting animation, (4.50 / 2) (#327)
    by Shovas on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:34:26 AM EST

    But I think it misses the boat. People aren't marching for peace per se, they're protesting against war. The people of the world want the means to an end to be be non-violent. War is a waste. War is a complete waste. It will, in fact, breed more anti-American sentiment in the middle east and within Muslims than I the Bush administration is bargaining for. That be as it may, people are marching for a peaceful solution to Saddam, they are not marching for peace. Note that the acceptance rates for demilitarizing Saddam, when under UN control, are much higher than for a unilateral US movement or simply by-passing the UN altogether.

    The animation sends its message well. It confuses the reasons for attacking Iraq. The US line is that it wants to disarm Iraq to protect everyone from its weapons of mass destruction. The animation linked says we should disarm Iraq because of human rights violations. The war isn't even being billed as freeing Iraqis from Saddam's brutal grip.

    Furthermore, what's interesting is watching university students in Baghdad, the other night. You would think they knew nothing and cared nothing for the atrocities depicted in the animation and well-known to have happened in the past. It seems to me that if the Iraqi people wish to be, perhaps, ignorant or have a varying perspective on the human rights violations of Saddam, then they will deal with what comes next. We can not, in good conscience, free Iraqis from something they don't want to be freed from.

    Anyway, it just seemed to me that animation was a little off. It wanted to do depose Saddam because of human rights violations. Bush wants to depose Saddam to protect the US. The Iraqis don't even seem to care for reason one, and Bush does not have satisfactory evidence for reason two.
    ---
    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    ---
    Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
    [ Parent ]
    Disingenuous reply (4.00 / 2) (#340)
    by RiotNrrd on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:55:07 AM EST

    Claiming that a people suffering large-scale human rights abuses don't care about those abuses because they're not marching in the streets by millions just shows the extent to which your view is blinkered.

    If you could be shot in the back of the head after being forced to watch your female relatives being raped in front of your eyes for so much as being less than 100% supportive of the regime, you would NOT be having a sit-in or chanting "Give peace a chance".

    You would be spending all your time cowering at home wondering what's keeping those Americans who are supposed to be freeing you any day now.

    A 100% vote for one candidate, who happens to be the incumbent dictator with the full resources of the secret police at his disposal, is one BIG sign that all is not well. I would have thought this would be obvious to a movement which considers not having "no smoking" areas to be a human rights violation... (apologies for gratuitous generalisation of an opinion to which even most marchers do not subscribe)

    Many Iraqis who previously supported the UN will have cooled on that body since it handed over a defector to the Iraqi authorities.

    My personal stance on the war is that it is 12 years late in coming. Iraq should have been freed the first time around. To be honest I can't believe anyone needs reasons for freeing people from totalitarian regimes to be spelled out to them. A lot of the people who were marching on Saturday also marched to free East Timor. Do you want me to think that situation was different only because the US was not involved? Because that is what it looks like from here...


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    You know what? I'm positive we would support that (4.00 / 1) (#548)
    by Shovas on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 09:19:27 AM EST

    There are two issues here: One is the disarming of Iraq because they "may" have weapons of mass destruction, and they "might", at "some" point in the future, use said weapons to "possibly" commit terror attacks.

    But you're playing from the other side: We should despose of Saddam because he certainly deserves no less than incarceration for the brutal and violent regime he has operated for the past three decades.

    And I would wholeheartedly agree with your perspective. Personally, I'd love to talk to Iraqis in complete secrecy and safety and get their real, pure thoughts out of them. It seems, however, that any Iraqis we do talk to on the outside, and who are safe, seem to talk only about weapons, military and technological topics. We don't seem to hear that the Iraqi people want to be free of Saddam. This is exactly how the Bush Administration is _not_ selling the war. They are selling the war completely on weapons of possible weapons of mass destruction, possible future terrorist activities and possible terror organization links. None of which hold out.

    Show me the Iraqi people want freedom from their regime and I'll support the freedom fighters.

    Of course that type of tactic would seem ludicrous to a world power like the United States. It would be an even more controversial issue, in that it has been done before(Korea, Vietnam, Columbia, etc.) and has always come out with a bad reputation. What really needs to be done is for the UN to send in a peace keeping regiment to forcefully occupy and patrol Iraq and/or provide protection for anyone wanting to leave Iraq. We need to show the world that a deposing Saddam is what the Iraqi people want.

    If we want to remove Saddam because of human rights violations, we're going about it in a completely wrong way. The first step is convincing the world that Iraqis want out and/or want Saddam removed. Then we could support them.
    ---
    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    ---
    Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
    [ Parent ]
    Iraqi National Congress (5.00 / 1) (#556)
    by RiotNrrd on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:31:24 AM EST

    http://www.inc.org.uk


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    About the oil (5.00 / 1) (#383)
    by ea on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:44:42 PM EST

    I'm not one to say that this is "all about oil". But I would say that the oil does come in to it.

    > I have always wondered at the argument: "look at the French! They are trading oil with Iraqis!"

    Well, that's the point isn't it?

    Here's my view:

    Preconditions:

    • France wants oil.
    • USA wants oil.
    Means to get it:
    • France comes up with a great deal and buys their oil cheap from Saddam.
    • USA pulls out the bombs and takes the oil from Saddam.
    Of course many of the stances towards the war are purely political ones. That's why I usually try to put humanitarian arguments foremost when trying to decide what to think about the war. In that debate USA are loosing convincingly.

    [ Parent ]
    Over-simplification (3.00 / 2) (#540)
    by RiotNrrd on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 03:06:49 AM EST

    A more accurate statement would be:

    • France wants oil
    • USA want oil
    • France comes up with a deal violating several UN sanctions in both letter and spirit that will make it a truckload of at least dark grey money, and then fails to declare this vested interest in its political grandstanding.
    • The USA work within the UN framework for the benefit of the Iraqi people, exhibiting huge and - to me - unexpected restraint, and are accused by world+dog of being unilateral cowboys for their pains.

    Let's have a little gedankexperiment, shall we? Assume for the sake of my argument that the war is just and fully accepted as such by all parties. In return I will assume that the USA really are only motivated by desire for more OOOOIIIILLLL.

    Who should pay for a just war of liberation? Should the liberators not be entitled to get something back? This is a colossally expensive effort, and will probably affect the global economy for years whatever happens. If the USA negotiate themselves some sweetheart deals afterwards, what is wrong with that?


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    A democratic Iraq? That's a joke (none / 0) (#425)
    by Richey on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:46:26 PM EST

    Where's the democracy in "free" Afghanistan? Or how about after Kuwait got "liberated"? Yes, the US has an excellent record in creating and supporting fledgling democracies.

    Is Iraq going to be different? Read Tony Blair's comprehensive and open plan for democracy after the war.

    The only way we'll get a democratic Iraq is after at least 5-10 years, when the big US oil companies all own bits of it.

    [ Parent ]

    Afghan democracy (5.00 / 1) (#539)
    by RiotNrrd on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 02:57:45 AM EST

    Ask that question to the girls who can go to school openly once again, or to their mothers who can have their jobs back.


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    What are you gibbering about now? (none / 0) (#546)
    by Richey on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 08:40:45 AM EST

    If I asked them "is there democracy in Afghanistan, or do you expect it in the near future?" the answer could only be "no".

    [ Parent ]
    Sophistry (5.00 / 1) (#559)
    by RiotNrrd on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:37:09 AM EST

    What is your point?

    Given that women could not go to school under the previous regime, could not aspire to have a job, could not determine their own life in any way whatsoever down to what clothes to wear, and now have the ability to do all of that and more, I would take it as a given that there has been a net increase of democracy, and that they would tell you so.

    Once you have a statement from the (no doubt numerous) Afghan women who preferred risking beatings and executions for going to the hairdresser, then you can get back to me - not before.


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    You seriously need a dictionary (none / 0) (#605)
    by Richey on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 09:56:56 AM EST

    Democracy has precisely nothing to do with job choices or clothes. Democracy is simply the rule of the majority.

    There has not been a "net increase in democracy" because Afghanistan is not a democratic country. Facts don't change just because you may want them to. You can't have a country that is slightly democratic; it's an either-or situation. Afghanistan has a dictator. Freedom does not end at the choice to have a haircut.

    [ Parent ]

    You seriously need to WUASTC (none / 0) (#620)
    by RiotNrrd on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 08:24:37 AM EST

    Having studied classical Greek, I am fully aware of the meaning of the word "democracy", thankyouverymuch.

    I take issue with your claim that

    democracy has nothing to do with job choices or clothes

    While you may be correct from a narrowly etymological point of view, you are wrong in a wider sense. That is, democracy requires freedom as one of its preconditions. In Afghanistan, there is more freedom, therefore the situation has moved closer to democracy.

    In addition, I might remind you that Hamid Karzai is not a dictator; he was elected. Granted, it was not by universal suffrage, but that he was elected at all rather than using the time-honoured Afghan method of seizing power by force is a huge step forward.

    Therefore, I stand on my claim that your arguments constitute sophistry, pure and simple. Look it up in a dictionary.


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#506)
    by epepke on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:42:40 PM EST

    The "peace" demonstrations are making war more likely, not less, as they progressively embolden Saddam.

    Absolutely correct. There is a balance where, while Bush may not want war, it will still not be politically viable and will be prevented from happening. However, this requires that Saddam Hussein continue to pop out concessions. If he becomes emboldened enough to stop doing this, then a war will become more likely.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Correction (none / 0) (#508)
    by epepke on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:44:06 PM EST

    "while Bush may want war" Somebody call Freud, quick!


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


    [ Parent ]
    Counterintuitive (4.00 / 1) (#553)
    by Robb on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 10:55:13 AM EST

    The "peace" demonstrations are making war more likely, not less, as they progressively embolden Saddam.

    I agree partially with this statement. The peace demonstrations make Saddam less likely to conform to any UN resolutions. Saddam lives in an information bubble where he is told what he wants to hear because otherwise you will be shot. (only a slight exageration) I'm sure that the people around him are telling him that millions of people in the West love and support him. However, I suspect that western politicians have a more objective understanding of what the demonstrations were about.

    Another counterintuitive possibility is that a war with Iraq would lead to an increase in terrorism against the US and our allies. If the US invades Iraq then the US is clearly the agressor and this will create even more resentment and anger. Since Iraq is not a source of terrorism against the US it is very unlikely that terrorism against the US will decrease. Afterwards the US will be in control of a fractured county (20% Kurd, 60% Sunni and 20% Shia) and many of them, although glad to be rid of Saddam, will only view the US to be marginally better. A situation fraught with danger.

    This could be a huge windfall for Al-Qaeda as increased resentement and anger can be converted into recruits and money. The only thing better for Al-Qaeda would be if Israel put the palistinians in concentration camps and started gassing them.

    My point is that good intentions don't count for anything; ultimately you will be judged on the consequences of your actions. Saddam is a major league asshole but it is possible that it is not in the best interests of the US to deal with him right now.

    [ Parent ]

    If you're using indrect effects... (5.00 / 1) (#560)
    by Ken Arromdee on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 11:40:11 AM EST

    If the US invades Iraq then the US is clearly the agressor and this will create even more resentment and anger. Since Iraq is not a source of terrorism against the US it is very unlikely that terrorism against the US will decrease.

    It may also make it clear that if you piss off the USA, you get flattened. Terrorists may then realize that it's probably not just one kind of pissing off that does this. They may believe that if we're more likely to flatten our enemies for something else, we're also more likely to flatten them for terrorism, resulting in a reduction in terrorism regardless of our actual reason for fighting Iraq.

    This is a pretty indirect method of discouraging terrorism, and not really a reason to invade Iraq all by itself--but it's no more indirect than yours.

    [ Parent ]

    Sending a Message or Vicious Circle (none / 0) (#562)
    by Robb on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 12:50:15 PM EST

    I suspect the message that many americans think we would be sending to terrorists by invading Iraq is not the message that the terrorists would understand if we invade Iraq.

    I consider it more likely that terrorists would see an invasion of Iraq as proof of American arrogance, indifference to human suffering and love of money over love of humanity. Think this is far fetched? President Bush told us how the perpetrators of 9/11 did it because they "hate freedom". Yeah, right. I'm sure the message the terrorists were trying to send was: "We hate freedom". Not.

    The message that you send is not necessarily the one that is understood.

    [ Parent ]

    So are you going to fight (die)? (none / 0) (#577)
    by samjam on Sat Feb 22, 2003 at 05:48:31 AM EST

    For a far better response than I could write, and bearing in mind that a picture is worth 10.000 words, please see the animation at the top of http://www.xanga.com/home.asp?user=dissidentfrogman

    So... if thats your view, are you going to fight for the freedom of the Iraqi's?
    Or perhaps you are just going to support your contry men who will do that?

    I'm not convinced that barbarism in another country is enough to justify war between two countries

    And I'm not convinced that you will be one risking your life for this cause

    I'm not convinced this war is a good cause

    Are you sure it won't kill more innocent people than Sadam did



    [ Parent ]
    I will not be participating directly (none / 0) (#651)
    by RiotNrrd on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 11:39:11 AM EST

    But I will be supporting fully those who do so, as I am convinced that this is a good cause. I am also convinced that the liberation will not kill very many innocent people at all, unless Saddam places them in harm's way himself, and in any case will certainly kill fewer innocents than Saddam has killed directly - to say nothing of those he has killed indirectly.


    -- There is a rational explanation for everything. Unfortunately there is also an irrational one.
    [ Parent ]

    Some questions (1.66 / 3) (#319)
    by da of cog on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 07:59:39 AM EST

    Hmm... just curious, but how many people here would be objecting to the war if, say, France, Germany, & co. were all in favor of it and with us were forming a coalition to fight it?

    If you would object to the war whether the US had a broad coalition, support of the UN Security Council, etc. or not, then you have a consistent anti-war viewpoint and although it is one I do not share I can symphathize with some arguments in favor of it.  (Many arguments against the war are dumb, just as there are many dumb arguments for the war.)

    If you would only object to the war if there were a broad coalition in favor of it, then you are unusual and I would enjoy hearing why you think that way.  :-)

    Finally, if you are against the war now, when it seems like the US will be fighting it alone, but would not be against it if France, Germany, etc. thought it was a good idea too, then I ask:  why?  If the war's a bad idea, then it's a bad idea regardless of who's fighting and what various countries might think of it.  Likewise, if it's a good idea, then it's good regardless of what others have to say.

    So based on the anti-US sentiment that I seem to be generally seeing here, I can only conclude that people are against the United States fighting this war solely because the war is wrong, and would feel NO different if the "rest of the world" felt the same way of the US--that is to say, if the United Nations fully supported this war, than those who are against the US fighting in Iraq now would instead be ranting against the United Nations.  Is this accurate?  If not, then why?

    Oh, and as a bonus question:  why do people seem to be taking the US's support of this war as evidence that it is acting as an "evil empire"?  (This is not exactly what was said but I believe that I am accurately capturing its spirit.)  There are good reasons for going to war with Iraq -- namely, to get rid of Saddam, who actively oppresses his people, to enforce UN resolutions requiring full and active complaince with inspections and disarmarment, to kill the Iraqi WMD program before the threat multiplies, etc.  There are also many reasons for not going to war -- bringing instability into the region, possible backlash against Israel, encouraging Saddam to actually use his weapons while he still can, making terrorists even angrier, etc.  Reasonable people can weigh the reasons for and against the war and come to different conclusions, so why do many people here seem to be holding the opinion that people who support a war with Iraq (i.e. the current administration, many though definitely not all Americans, etc) are evil?

    Partial answer (5.00 / 1) (#344)
    by Ken Arromdee on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:12:58 AM EST

    Finally, if you are against the war now, when it seems like the US will be fighting it alone, but would not be against it if France, Germany, etc. thought it was a good idea too, then I ask: why? If the war's a bad idea, then it's a bad idea regardless of who's fighting and what various countries might think of it.

    I think the implication is that a certain amount of the reason for the war is because of matters of opinion and judgment and that if other countries agree, it makes the US's judgment more trustworthy.

    (Not that I believe this for a moment myself; we all know that the main reason other countries oppose it is not that they think the US is BSing them. It's oil.)

    [ Parent ]

    Your post is replete with mischaracterizations. (4.00 / 3) (#367)
    by expro on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:20:48 PM EST

    I was clearly against an offensive action in Iraq long before it was clear the French were so solidly set against war or the Germans had had their narrow election which effectively decided the "position" of Germany, which is not shared by a significant number Germans.

    As an aside here, France has little credibility on the issue. Shuldn't they be speaking German? Germany's position is at least more understandable since after the second world war we have insisted on significant indocrination of several generations about all the wrongs and crimes of wars and holocausts, and hence there are many sincere pacifists, who have less love for uniforms and troops.

    It is wrong for you to characterize posters here as being anti-US, just for opposing war.

    I am American and voted for Bush (unlike a majority of US citizens) but disagree with him on this and certain other policies.

    It feels too much like an agressive action at this stage. Bush's father should have just kept going in Desert Storm if he didn't want to hand things over to the UN. Now that the issues were handed over to the UN, it is difficult to extricate ourselves from inspections after all that time without significantly opposing the UN and the nations that respect it. It now feels very much like agression on the part of the US. It feels too much like we are not hearing the real reasons that Bush wants regime change.

    At this point, we made our bed, and should lie in it. We should be able to do things short of declaring regime change to see that the inspectors are successful. That is the worst possible thing George Bush could have done: announcing so far in advance that his real goals were regime change. Now that he has, it is much harder to convince people that elimination of WMD or successful UN inspections was ever a real goal for him.

    If we want a war, we never handed over to the UN responsibility for policing the no-fly zones. When they fire on aircraft there, that feels very much like an act of war by Iraq against the US, and plenty of justification, assuming we can still make the case for the no-fly zones, and if done carefully, could probably be easily escalated into occupation in those areas firing on the planes, which would either go unchallenged or give rise to additional aggressions, responded to by further actions and reinforcements. It might be possible to figure out how to lend support from these ocupied areas to the inspections process.

    But the pretext being given by George Bush today, that we somehow know that they are hiding weapons, but we have no idea or great proof where, does not fly with me, and we get back to trying to understand his real reasons for wanting to march in and institute a regime change -- a back-to-the 60's reaction.

    And as for the relationship to September 11th, there are still plenty of causes of death in the US that are more worrysome to me than terrorist attacks. I do not give special status to these 3000 people just because they happened to be from rich-but-often-fraudulent financial institutions. It seems to me that much of what Bush has done has increased, rather than decreased the likelyhood of further terrorist attacks, and lent much more credibility to the missions of the terrorists. I travel internationally alot, and my worst fear is that other countries will start treating US citizens the way the US is treating their citizens now.

    I am no expert in most of these areas, and I am sure there are flaws in my logic, but your overgeneralizations help no one, in my opinion.



    [ Parent ]
    My response (5.00 / 1) (#423)
    by Kwil on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:43:07 PM EST

    In my most rational thinking, I am against the war effort now simply because I feel it's stated goals (reduction of terrorism, prevent of future threat) will not be met, and may even be worsened by its action.

    If the entire UN were for the war, these misgivings would be somewhat lifted, as part of the reason I see there being a danger in this action is simply because it can be viewed as a unilateral action by the US.. that is, it singles the US out for retribution by terrorist acts later.  A unilateral action gives a handy place to point a finger at for those who want to commit terrorist acts. It provides a place to blame, and a rallying cry to be used. "Strike back against the nation that attacks us!" is a lot more potent and effective than "Strike back against the world that attacks us!"

    When we go into more emotional territory, I am against the war because I believe, like the article says, that this is a precursor to global domination by  America.  The stated policy of the US to pre-emptively strike at any country that seeks military equivalence with America simply frightens me. The idea that America will use its military might to back-up its policies of economic dominance frighten me. Seeing how little corporate America actually cares about not only its own citizenry, but especially the citizens of other countries it has established footholds in is distubring to say the least.

    These fears also would be lessened were a war accepted as necessary by the whole of the UN. It would not then be so easy to see it as further evidence of America seeking global domination, no matter who or what might stand in her way.

    The idea of "America Leads" does not bother me nearly as much as the idea that "America Leads, All Others Must Follow"

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


    [ Parent ]
    Agression, by any other name (2.33 / 3) (#323)
    by DingBat1 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:00:02 AM EST


    I wonder what die-hard anti-war activists think about Chirac's recent diatribe against those euro nations who came out in support of the U.S./U.K?

    I mean, Chirac basically implied that, if they continued to cross France that they could be denied full E.U. membership, didn't he? Doesn't this imply the French are pursuing hegemony over the E.U? Do what we say or else. Sure, weapons aren't involved, but it's still muscle flexing.

    I'm actually not expecting consistency here. I'm not one of those that believes that all nations have to be treated equally. However, this does seem to be a frequent anti-war argument: we didn't attack <insert bad guy here> so why Iraq? Given that anti-war activists feel this is a valid line of reasoning, where is the anti-French-hegemony movement?

    Re: Agression, by any other name (4.00 / 4) (#341)
    by thunderbee on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 10:56:40 AM EST

    Actually, it just meant that it would have been polite to confer with EU before supporting the US/uk.
    That's the point about "Union".
    They can do whatever they please (as the uk does) but at least can pretend to discuss it with the others. It's called Diplomacy.

    [ Parent ]
    Apparently I missed... (none / 0) (#347)
    by DingBat1 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:30:08 AM EST


    that meeting where France confered with Rumania before they announced their anti-war stance.

    I suppose it's possible that France pretended to discuss it with them. That would have made it all right.

    Or perhaps these eight countries felt that no one had been "polite to confer" with them prior to trying to set a course for all of europe and felt the need to express a differing opinion???


    [ Parent ]

    adhesion is subject to vote. (5.00 / 2) (#412)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:27:25 PM EST

    In several EU countries, the acceptation of new countries in EU is conditional to a mass consultation of citizen.
    Chirac didn't say "we won't vote for you", he said:"You were quite stupid, you risk getting on the bad side of some public opinions, and you could very well pay that when the vote comes.".

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    PotAYto-PotAHto (none / 0) (#500)
    by DingBat1 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:04:14 PM EST


    I don't know what you call it on your side of the pond but, over here, we call that a threat.

    Whose public opinion, exactly? I mean, I have to give those countries the benefit of the doubt and believe that they're listening to their own citizens. That would tend to let me believe the only "bad side" of public opinion they were going to get on was French public opinion.

    What's the lesson here? Suck up to the French until you gain membership to the EU? If the French are going to strong arm me before I belong to the EU, I highly doubt they're going to stop after I've joined.

    Again, I'm not looking for consistency here. If that's the way it's supposed to work, hey, knock yourselves out.

    [ Parent ]

    French Arrogance (4.50 / 2) (#551)
    by Robb on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 10:03:27 AM EST

    Whose public opinion, exactly? I mean, I have to give those countries the benefit of the doubt and believe that they're listening to their own citizens.

    Actually, they are not. Public opinion is not as strong against a war in Iraq as it is in the UK, Spain and Italy (all countries where the overnment went against public opinion) but there still is a clear majority against a war in Iraq in most (if not all) of those eastern European countries.

    Admittedly, the French have some credibility problems because they have been benefiting enormously from trade with Iraq. However, their actions are not as arrogant and self-serving as has been widely reported in the US.

    For example, France, Germany and Belgium did not say they would not defend Turkey if it were attacked by Iraq. They did say that Iraq is not a threat to Turkey (unless the US attacks Iraq) so there is no need for NATO to plan anything until diplomatic solutions have all failed. All three countries made it quite clear that they would defend Turkey if it were attacked and were clearly upset that they were being portrayed as betraying a fellow NATO country.

    Interestingly enough Turkey doesn't think Iraq poses a threat to them either so it makes you wonder why the US was so hot to defend Turkey in the lack of any credible threat.

    [ Parent ]

    they wanted to (none / 0) (#567)
    by vivelame on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 03:03:17 PM EST

    have troops ready to open a second front, obviously.
    They didn't give a shit about defending Turkey, they just wanted to be in position..
    As of public opinion, france's doesn't count for admission in europe.. there will be no public consultation about this... Although there may be: There will be a public consultation about the new european constitution, and the govn'ment fears that the french might say "no way" to make them pay for the acceptance of the eastern europe countries.


    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    So Chirac pulled a Bush, eh? [nt] (none / 0) (#435)
    by FourDegreez on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:00:02 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    European politics (none / 0) (#494)
    by Michael Moser on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:48:45 PM EST

    i am not a anti war activist, but i do have an opinion;-) Maybe thats what Europe will get after Nato goes to pieces? France + Germany one block Britain + other countries the other block (i.e. all smaller countries are afraid of German economic hegemony, so they gang up against the dominant axis. Smaller countries are afraid , so this is a card in British-US hand). (Britain can't pull out of Europe, very much unlike the US)

    [ Parent ]
    STOP: Read the story. Then post. Thank you. (nt) (4.75 / 8) (#329)
    by amarodeeps on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:54:04 AM EST



    Terrorism (2.69 / 23) (#343)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:06:24 AM EST

    What is your response to September 11th?

    Here is the line in the sand for the Europeans: you can make peace with the idea of terrorism, or you can do something about it.

    Everyone misses September 11th in their depictions of warmongering America. You are all smart and noble and wise: tell Americans why they should make peace with the idea of September 11th and DO NOTHING.

    It is obvious to me the "infinitely wise" here consider this idea to be naive: terrorism can be stopped. It is not a naive idea to say that terrorism can be stopped. It is jaded and cynical of YOU to think we should make peace with the idea of terrorism as "just one of those things we have to get used to."

    The socioeconomic situations that lead to a regular crop of international terrorists can be altered so the crop is smaller.

    That is what the US is trying to do.

    Does anyone deny this? Or are y'all stuck on America as after Iraqi oil, and that is all? Why can you not possibly conceive of September 11th as being the motivating factor behind the situation we find ourselves in today? WHY does this completely escape your reasoning abilities?

    Some of you, obviously, consider lovely pointless effforts such as pumping cash here and there and international good will as the road to less terrorism, while American warmongering will only INCREASE the conditions that lead to terrorism.

    So here is the big evil, unpopular idea for y'all America-haters: America is fed up with terrorism, it is sick of weak pointless efforts, and it is going to bring its war machine to bear on geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions and whack them around until those conditions are less favorable to terrorist creation. And it will keep whacking until there is less conditions that lead to the creation of people like the September 11th terrorists.

    Are you telling me that these attempts will only INCREASE the conditions that lead to terrorism? September 11th brings to bear one simple lesson for you then: the status quo sucks.

    Do you hear me? The status quo in the world SUCKS. I will not accept the status quo in the world! Do you understand that?

    If America is going to use its war machine to whack the status quo to high hell, then FINE. I am 100% comfortable with that because I am NOT comfortable with a world that creates the 19 evil men of September 11th.

    And after warmonger America begins to spread its counterproductive warmongering efforts, if there is nothing but an increase in terrorism upon Americans, then fine, I am 100% fine with that. Why? Because September 11th proves that there is no such thing as an acceptable level of terrorism.

    I would rather go THROUGH an increase in world instability to arrive at a different place in the balance of power in the world such that there is less terrorism in the world, rather than make peace with the status quo and ridiculous weak-spirited appeasement efforts at decreasing international terrorism.

    Repeat: you decrease the fires that create terrorists by going THROUGH the fire rather than AVOIDING the fire. The world needs to change. It needs a violent change. Because the nonviolent efforts further the status quo and the status quo SUCKS. I am not comfortable with the current world. The current world needs to be cleansed in fire, the current world needs to reborn like a phoenix, and the US is going to do it, even at the loss of all of its international friends and its lessening upon the world stage and I am 100% fine with that!

    So America is going to empty it economic coffers, destroy its international good will, and drive its war machine into the ground in search of an impossible goal: less terrorism in the world. Fine. And I will salute America for TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT rather than sitting in jaded and cynical acceptance of international terrorism.

    This mentality of mine that you see before you? It is American willpower, American resolve, and American pain about September 11th. I don't see any of America's "friends" caring one iota about that. Think of me as you will: a puppet, an idiot, a waylaid propaganda victim. Whatever. Here I am before you: pissed off at terrorism and 100% resolved to whack the hell out of the Middle East until it stops spewing its regular crop of terrorists upon the world. Whack the hell out of that region of the world. Please!

    This mentality that disgusts you presented before you? That's what you must tackle before you alter America's current path. You can sit in disgust reading my words or you can LEARN from them and LEARN that what YOU say is the road to peace in the world does NOT SATISFY ME. And if you consider me to be part of the problem, not part of the solution, part of the cycle of violence, not the way out, then you fail to see that human nature needs to be purged of violence THROUGH violence. Otherwise, you just bottle it up, and it gets spewed out upon the world, as if from the subconcious, in the form of terrorism.

    This is not the end of this problem. Whether I get my way, or you get your way. Progress is made in this world. It is a meandering, two steps forward, one step back sort of path, but progress really is made in this world. If you do not believe that, if you look at human history and see nothing but an endless cycle of violence, then you are forever lost to the world. Not to me and my POV, no matter what you think of me and my POV, but forever lost to human history. Because human history is a struggle, often a violent struggle, and it is violent because it is fueled by passions.

    And if you are only disgusted by those violent passions then you have nothing but a lack of passion in you, and so you are irrelevant to the debate.

    You are a cold ember next to the real fire. You cease to have meaning. Do not despise the human being in the struggle because they are struggling. That is patronizing and cold of you. Your ivory tower judgment means nothing to them, and only seals your irrelevancy to the real struggle under way.

    Fuck Europe and its weak appeasement. To war we go. You don't have any answers. The Middle East doesn't have any answers. We will make our own answers.

    All you guys have is appeasement with the idea of terrorism and acceptance of the status quo. No acceptance of the status quo! To hell with the socioeconomic and geopolitical present. We will alter it to suit our needs. And we will do it with or without your help. September 11th, that is what this is all about, and if you deny that, you are not speaking to me, you are not speaking to the pain I feel.

    Disregard September 11th, and you disregard me. So do not be surprised if I disregard you and your arguments. You cease to matter to me if you have a mentality that tells me that September 11th doesn't matter.


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

    Sorry (4.73 / 15) (#350)
    by spakka on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:48:10 AM EST

    What is your response to September 11th?

    Response: it's a shame about your fucking towers. It does not follow that we should unthinkingly support a war against an unrelated 3rd party.

    Fuck Europe and its weak appeasement. To war we go. You don't have any answers. The Middle East doesn't have any answers. We will make our own answers.

    <snip more of same>

    You can sit in disgust reading my words or you can LEARN from them and LEARN that what YOU say is the road to peace in the world does NOT SATISFY ME.

    I want decisions affecting the lives of millions to be taken based on reason rather than the religious mission of your president or the emotional bleatings of his citizens. You seem to think that your anger over Sep 11 means that the rest of the world is expected to tolerate an arbitrarily stupid US response, like it's some schoolyard bully who needs our sympathy because he's been fucked up the arse by a wicked stepfather.

    I would rather go THROUGH an increase in world instability to arrive at a different place in the balance of power in the world such that there is less terrorism in the world

    What about a permanent and intractable increase in instability and terrorism?

    Disregard September 11th, and you disregard me. So do not be surprised if I disregard you and your arguments. You cease to matter to me if you have a mentality that tells me that September 11th doesn't matter.

    Noted. Now leave the argument to those who can present a case.



    [ Parent ]
    You I have already addressed in my post (1.33 / 3) (#356)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:05:34 PM EST

    Read my post again, see what I have said already about what you have written:

    You are disgusted by me.

    And so you disregard me.

    The result? You fail to see how I still matter. You completely disregard my mentality, and you completely fail to see how my mentality still matters.

    And when you do that, you do it to your folly, not mine.

    Because I do matter. My mentality does matter. For you to disregard that proves your lack of understanding, not mine.

    If you fail to take my pain over September 11th into account, you fail to have an answer to the problems in the world. You do not solve the problem of my pain by disregarding it.

    Now you have some insight into the mentality of those who disregard the pain that created the September 11th terrorists.

    Look in the mirror my friend, and know your own folly and blindness and how it perpetuates pain in the world. You cannot brush my pain away. You cannot brush away the pain that created the September 11th terrorists. Thus, you do more to perpetuate the cycle of violence than I do.

    Suppressing violence does not make it go away. It festers in the subconscious and pops out like September 11th. The way out of violence is THROUGH violence. Then it gets used up, consumed. Suppressing it leads to its eternal existence, subconsciously festering under the surface, ready to spring forth again and again in disgusting displays like September 11th.

    Look for an enemy to peace, and find it in yourself, not in me. Know how your arrorgant disregard of my pain leads to more pain. I do not disregard the pain of the September 11th terrorists. They created my pain. So I have an answer for their pain. And it is not more pain, it is destruction of the socioeconomic and geopolitical status quo that created them. I end the cycle of violence. You suppress pain and violence, and thereby give it eternal life. You allow it to be recreated in the status quo through subconscious expression indefinitely.

    You have no answers, you only have blindness to reality and censorship of human passions.


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

    [ Parent ]

    Using your logic (5.00 / 2) (#437)
    by localman on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:01:12 PM EST

    I understand your passion and I don't disregard you.  However, your logic indicates that I would be justified in killing you to appease my anger over 9/11, since I see your embrace of violence as a cause.  The fact that you unknowingly harbor such self-destructive beliefs scares me.  Especially someone of your obvious intelligence.

    You mention that the cycle of violence should be stopped with violence.  Think about the definition of cycle before you make this assumption.  There are examples of this working and examples of this failing.  You should not have confidence that a violent solution is going to put an end to anyone's anger.

    The fact is that neither violence nor peace will solve the problem.  These are both simplistic views.  The real solution is to understand the motivations for 9/11 and eliminate them.  And while we're working on that, I prefer we stay at peace.  We may even avoid strengthening our enemies resolve, to paraphrase GW's eloquence.

    Oh - and 9/11 is unrelated to Iraq.  But you must know that.  Lashing out randomly, regardless of the validity of the anger, isn't very smart.

    [ Parent ]

    9/11 is relevant (1.50 / 2) (#451)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:28:25 PM EST

    9/11 has its root causes in the socioeconomic and geopolitical forces at work in the middle east. attacking iraq addresses those forces.

    hello?

    you demonstrate so much understanding for philosophy and psychology, and the underpinnings of the reasons behind september 11th and the terrorists who instigated that event.

    and not one iota of understanding for the vicitms of september 11th.

    interesting.

    I understand your passion and I don't disregard you.  

    you don't understand me and you do disregard me. that makes you irrelevant, not me. you work in abstract notions. i work in human pain. you are irrelevant, i matter.

    nothing you have said addresses the problems in the world today. so it is driven my washington dc and al qaeda. deal with that, adjust your views to understand that. the fringes are driving events today. not the uncaring, unaffected middle such as yourself.


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

    [ Parent ]

    Double standards (4.75 / 4) (#501)
    by localman on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:08:36 PM EST

    you don't understand me and you do disregard me. that makes you irrelevant, not me. you work in abstract notions. i work in human pain. you are irrelevant, i matter.

    I hate to belabor the point, but this paragraph illustrates that you are not aware of double standards in your reasoning: I am irrelevant because I (allegedly) disregard you - but you matter even though you disregard me. Double standards are the root cause of much anger in the world, including yours.

    The fact that I responded to you (twice now) indicates that I don't dismiss you. Far from dismissing you, I fear you. I fear that your boiling blood is very much an indicator of human nature and the popular mindset in general. But boiling blood has done little to improve the world by itself. That passion must be directed properly for any good to come of it.

    You claim that I am irrelevent. I don't think I am any more or less irrelevent than any other human. I think anyone who claims otherwise is blind (but not irrelevent).

    You claim that I deal in abstracts while you deal in human pain. You have no knowledge of my pain, and in claiming otherwise you reveal the shallow appraisal you devote to these serious and affecting topics.

    You claim that the world is run by the extremists. I agree they get they spotlight and make the loudest decisions. However if you look at the lives of most people in this country, they are guided by the people around them more than anything else, and most people are not surrounded by extremists.

    [ Parent ]

    Amen (none / 0) (#536)
    by aralin on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 09:55:59 PM EST

    I would like to say just two words in support of your response: Sicily, Vendeta

    [ Parent ]
    Ok, how about this? (4.50 / 2) (#368)
    by DingBat1 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:23:33 PM EST


    *****
    What is your response to September 11th?

    Response: it's a shame about your fucking towers. It does not follow that we should unthinkingly support a war against an unrelated 3rd party.
    *****

    Fair enough, though I would argue with your use of the word unrelated, since that is basically the point of the whole argument in the U.N.

    The original post is full of anger but the point is still valid: there is another tack that europe could have taken but chose not to:

    1) The U.S. was attacked. We recognize this as a legitimate source of concern for them. Hey, we wouldn't want it to happen to us.

    2) We don't totally agree with you that Iraq is the source of this problem.

    3) However, we do agree that the current situation with regards to Iraq is unsatisfactory. Clearly the U.N. has not been able to fullfill it's mission here and it doesn't look like it will in the near future.

    4) In light of that, here are a few suggestions...

    And this is where the resounding silence begins.

    Where are the suggestions, plans, strategies from those who don't want war with Iraq? All I've heard so far is a reliance on a program that hasn't worked for a decade and likely won't work now.

    I'm a bit of an anomaly in my country: a Canadian who's lost faith in the U.N. For me, it was Rwanda. Perhaps I've been a bit too empathetic with the U.S. but I now see the U.N. as a source of problems, not a source of solutions.

    Whatever, the point is, you are not going to convince Americans that the U.N. inspections are going to resolve their issues with Iraq, especially when the prime proponents of a U.N. sourced solution have made out like bandits under the "oil for stuff" program.

    You may dismiss this, but that is not helpful. If the rest of the world really doesn't want war, then the rest of the world should perhaps try to come up with some new ideas, otherwise the Americans will solve it themselves. And I wouldn't blame them.

    [ Parent ]

    How about what? (5.00 / 1) (#382)
    by spakka on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:42:00 PM EST

    Fair enough, though I would argue with your use of the word unrelated, since that is basically the point of the whole argument in the U.N.

    The argument in the UN is whether Iraq's alleged WMDs (a) exist (b) pose a threat. No evidence linking Iraq to 9/11 has withstood scrutiny.

    However, we do agree that the current situation with regards to Iraq is unsatisfactory.

    This is not conceded by everyone. Some would argue that Iraq has been successfully contained for 12 years. George Tenet claims that Iraq poses no threat at all to the US (unless, perhaps, it is attacked...).

    In light of that, here are a few suggestions... And this is where the resounding silence begins.

    And why not? It is incumbent upon the aggressors to justify the war. When did the burden of proof get shifted?



    [ Parent ]
    Who asked for proof? (3.00 / 1) (#400)
    by DingBat1 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:09:10 PM EST


    I asked for alternatives and suggestions.

    *****
    However, we do agree that the current situation with regards to Iraq is unsatisfactory.

    This is not conceded by everyone. Some would argue that Iraq has been successfully contained for 12 years. George Tenet claims that Iraq poses no threat at all to the US (unless, perhaps, it is attacked...).
    *****

    Well, no doubt the current situation is more than satisfactory to some european countries given their profitable business with Iraq, but would you really characterize the situation this way? What about all the "millions and millions" of dead Iraqi babies we keep hearing about?

    [ Parent ]

    The goalposts moved again (4.75 / 4) (#414)
    by spakka on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:29:09 PM EST

    Well, no doubt the current situation is more than satisfactory to some european countries given their profitable business with Iraq, but would you really characterize the situation this way? What about all the "millions and millions" of dead Iraqi babies we keep hearing about?

    Today's ostensible justification for attacking Iraq is alleged WMDs, but a flippant answer your question is that the dead Iraqi babies are unlikely to be resurrected by a war.

    The position of 'old' Europe is that they require some justification for starting a preemptive war. No reasonable evidence has been submitted. Certain alleged evidence has been shown to be cynically fabricated. They are right to be sceptical. This position is not undermined by observing that France has interests in the region.



    [ Parent ]
    Iraq and the War on Terror (5.00 / 1) (#549)
    by Robb on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 09:23:06 AM EST

    Part of the problem is that many American are confused what the relationship is between Iraq and the War on Terror. The administration encourages this because without 9/11 I don't think we would be talking about a war with Iraq. It is this deception on the part of the Bush administration that disturbs me.

    I think there is a strong case for regime change in Iraq. The embargo against Iraq has caused hundreds of thousands of victims because Saddam is only too willing to sacrifice them in an attempt to gain world sympathy and to help maintain and stengthen his hold on Iraq.

    However, in the context of the War on Terror, now might not be the best time to kick Saddam's ass. If we were to spend the 80 billion a war with Iraq would cost on rebuilding Afganistan I suspect it would do far more to improve the security of Americans both at home and abroad than a war with Iraq.

    Don't get me wrong; Saddam is not going to follow any UN resolution unless the threat of force is used to back it up. Saddam is dangerous and eventually we will have to do something. But right now we still have unfinished business that, in my opinion, is more important than getting rid of Saddam.

    [ Parent ]

    Poor people with no hope... (4.00 / 2) (#351)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:49:25 AM EST

    Are far more likely to get pissed off and blow themselves up in an america city if asked to than middle class people with a future to look forward to. How many poor people with no hope and no prospects will we be creating by bombing Iraq? How many have we already created in Afghanistan? The US METHOD of dealing with this issue will create more of the conditions which foster victims of terrorist groups. And I'm calling the people who are  convinced to suicide victims as well as the people the kill. The people who are willing to blow themselves up are often people who have been harmed by the US in one way or another and see no hope of ever improving their situation. They decide to inflict some damage on their enemy before they die.
    The answer to this is not to attack the citizenry of Iraq. If we need to curtain the actions of Saddam Hussein then we can certainly strategicly bomb his palaces and send squads after him personally without carpet bombing the entire country of Iraq and killing their civillians.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Don't understand your logic (5.00 / 1) (#358)
    by DingBat1 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:07:54 PM EST


    If suffering Iraqis are more of a threat than happy ones, then why has the U.N. allowed this silly treaty compliance issue to continue for a decade? Why do you want this to continue?

    Wouldn't a better solution be to go in, oust Saddam, and try to establish a government that actually has a chance of turning suffering Iraqis into happy ones?

    Btw, who said anything about "carpet bombing" the entire country? It didn't happen in DS, why would it happen now?

    I've also read articles that seem to indicate that real estate prices are rising in Bagdad. Given the general view amongst Iraqis that war is inevitable, wouldn't this tend to indicat that the citizenry itself is looking forward to a change in regimes?

    [ Parent ]

    We sort of agree (none / 0) (#388)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:49:26 PM EST

    I already said that Saddam should be removed, but war is not the best choice. Yes we should affect regime change if we are interested in the happiness of the Iraqi people, but are we going to stay and rebuild this time? Are we going to finish the job? Or are we going to kill a bunch of Iraqi people, leave a bunch of orphaned kids that grow up hateing us, and get read for the next round of suicide bombers?

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    citizenry of iraq (2.00 / 1) (#389)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:50:52 PM EST

    the citizenry of iraq

    would benefit and grow rich by saddams' departure.

    duh!

    oh wait, i forgot, i am a bloodthirsty american hooting and hollering in my cowboy hat ready to kill iraqi women and children for the sheer joy of it. sorry, i fell out of your prejudiced one-dimensional understanding of me and my motivations. sorry, i will resume my bloodthirsty ways again for you.

    hey, where is my oil! kill some more children! ;-P


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

    [ Parent ]

    LOL (4.00 / 1) (#401)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:11:38 PM EST

    Heh, thanks, that was hilarious.
    I'm not saying American's are bloodthirsty, or that they aren't doing the right thing. I'm saying that our government is taking a bit of an extreme approach to this situation. There are better ways to remove Saddam, there are less destructive wasy, there are less deadly ways. I also don't believe the motives of our leaders are pure even if the motives of the citizenry are. Of course, poor motives don't mean the actions are completely wrong.
    My position is that there are better ways to accomplish the goal of deposing Saddam and rebuilding Iraq than our current proposed method.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    interesting (none / 0) (#407)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:20:19 PM EST

    i find it very interesting that you criticize current attempts to solve a problem, but offer no solutions yourself. where is this "better way." there is none.

    all real-world solutions to real-world problems are imperfect. you are never going to get your perfect solution. none exists. the world is messy. the solutions are messy.

    america's approach is not extreme at all. how is it extreme? the world is not one where everyone holds hands and sings campfire songs. bad people do bad things to do good people and get away with it. that is not gwbush i am describing. that is saddam hussein. why do you think letting him to continue to exist is good for the world? gwbush will be gone in 2004, the next american election. how long are you willing to tolerate saddam hussein's continued existence?


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

    [ Parent ]

    I already proposed one... (5.00 / 1) (#420)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:38:07 PM EST

    I've proposed quite a few better sollutions. Most of them involved smaller amounts of military action. My suggestion involves assassinating Saddam and, should one of his generals setup up to take his place, that guy, and so on. Just keep killing them until the population can rise up and take control. If they truly want their freedom they can take it. They don't NEED for us to roll in with a massive military campaign, ground troops, and an occupation force.
    I think War is overkill in this situation because Saddam is ONLY a threat to his own people.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    war is overkill (none / 0) (#424)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:45:37 PM EST

    all we want to do is get rid of saddam. remember the first gulf war? it was easy because the people were not fighting for iraq, they were fighting for saddam. so no one really fought the coalition.

    the problem with your solution is that we have to invade to set up the trappings of democracy. knocking off various despots one by one doesn't help. the infrastructure of terror remains. the iraqi people are still trapped under it. they cannot rise up, they will get mowed down tiananmen square style.

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

    [ Parent ]

    By what? (none / 0) (#454)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:29:21 PM EST

    Iraq has approximately the level of military prowess in comparison to its people that Englad had to the US during the American Revolution. The people of Iraq, should they truly wish for freed CAN rise up, as can all truly free people, and fight their tyrants. If they are not willing to die to free themselves, why should we be willing to die to free them?

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    why? (none / 0) (#458)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:40:34 PM EST

    why?

    because of september 11th

    sept 11th proves suffering in kandahar equals suffering in downtown manhattan.

    if your level of care ends at the borders of your country, we are all doomed.

    care about the world, not just your own stupid country, whatever that is.

    the us does not matter, europe does not matter, iraq does not matter.

    only democracy matters, everywhere.

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

    [ Parent ]

    You can not free willing slaves. (none / 0) (#484)
    by Kintanon on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:33:49 PM EST

    No matter how many times we go in, remove a regime, and install a puppet democracy, if the PEOPLE aren't willing to die to be free then they won't stay free for long. We're beginning to see the same situation in our own country now. People no longer are willing to die for freedom, so our government is taking it from us as fast as possible.
    If the Iraqi people wished to be free they would be fighting for it every second of the day with everything they had.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    One difference (none / 0) (#625)
    by Cro Magnon on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:37:39 PM EST

    In the Revolution, we never BEAT England! All we did, all we COULD do, is give them enough trouble that they decided it wasn't worth it to cross the whole Atlantic Ocean to slap us down. It IS worth it to Saddam to squash any opposition. I agree that the Iraqi people have to do their part in their own defense, but it's unrealistic to say that they can overthrow Saddam on their own.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    This is weak (none / 0) (#515)
    by epepke on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:16:57 PM EST

    re far more likely to get pissed off and blow themselves up in an america city if asked to than middle class people with a future to look forward to.

    Considering that by all accounts the 9/11 attackers were all pretty solidly middle class (even upper middle class) and quite well bankrolled, this doesn't come across as very compelling.


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


    [ Parent ]
    They were at the time... (none / 0) (#581)
    by Kintanon on Sun Feb 23, 2003 at 06:01:20 AM EST

    But do you have any idea what their lives were like before they joined up with Osama and Pals? I'd guess they'd all lost loved ones, were quite possibly impoverished at the time, and desperately wanted to strike back at something. They were promised money and comfortable life while they prepared and a place in heaven afterwards, who wouldn't accept under the circumstances?

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Um, no. (none / 0) (#582)
    by epepke on Sun Feb 23, 2003 at 06:25:48 AM EST

    But do you have any idea what their lives were like before they joined up with Osama and Pals? I'd guess they'd all lost loved ones, were quite possibly impoverished at the time, and desperately wanted to strike back at something.

    No, I don't have any idea what their lives were like at the time, except for Mohammad Atta, who I know had a wife and children. But then, on the other hand, neither do you. You're just guessing, and the guesses are motivated by a standard desire to believe that vicious, violent behavior derives directly from poverty and suffering. It's a standard liberal belief, and it probably has some merit at the level of mugging people for money, but that doesn't make it compelling for an action of this magnitude.

    I have personally, in recent years, lost loved ones and all my hope for life and have been impoverished to the point of homelessness, so I have some personal experience. Do you?

    As for being promised a place in heaven afterwards, well, psychosis and extreme stupidity are not the exclusive province of the oppressed and downtrodden.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Yes. (none / 0) (#610)
    by Kintanon on Mon Feb 24, 2003 at 02:24:01 PM EST

    Just so you know, I've actually been homeless within the last few years. I know what it's like to be so poor you can't even buy pasta.
    And if things hadn't turned around for me I would have started stealing if I couldn't eat any other way. Poverty breeds desperation. That doesn't mean that all poor people will become thieves or anything, nor does it mean all criminals are poor. But the situation which creates large numbers of poor people will also create large numbers of desperate people.
    People simply are less likely to throw their lives away if they are materially well off. It doesn't mean they won't, but it reduces that likelyhood.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    Glad to hear it (none / 0) (#617)
    by epepke on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 12:26:38 AM EST

    Just so you know, I've actually been homeless within the last few years.

    Glad to hear it. I found it quite a useful experience.

    And if things hadn't turned around for me I would have started stealing if I couldn't eat any other way. Poverty breeds desperation. That doesn't mean that all poor people will become thieves or anything, nor does it mean all criminals are poor. But the situation which creates large numbers of poor people will also create large numbers of desperate people. People simply are less likely to throw their lives away if they are materially well off. It doesn't mean they won't, but it reduces that likelyhood.

    These are all general principles, and I'm not saying that I disagree with them. But in these particular cases, you simply do not know. I have known plenty of suicides and violent people who were not poor. It is too complex a situation to decide upon a simple answer, however it seems to be supported by general principles.

    You might as well argue that people in the U.S. military are more likely to go to war against Iraq because the economy is bad (though people in the military aren't going to starve any time soon). But in reality, there's much more to it. There's loyalty. There's fear of other consequences (were some of the 9/11 hijackers threatened with an ignoble death?) There's ignorance and simple not-thinking-about-it (some evidence suggests that only one 9/11 hijacker per plane knew that it was a suicide mission before boarding). There's simple sociopathy and psychosis.

    Do poor people steal because they're hungry and desperate? Sometimes. Do CEOs steal because they're hungry and desperate? Hardly, but they steal anyway.

    I don't see any problem with, all other things being equal, trying to reduce the amount of poverty and desperation in the world with the goal of trying to reduce the amount of acting out. But other things aren't necessarily equal. You can read Hobbes all you want, but Nietzsche had some good points, too.


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


    [ Parent ]
    Agreed. (none / 0) (#627)
    by Kintanon on Tue Feb 25, 2003 at 01:54:26 PM EST

    I concede that point.
    Reduced suffering and poverty will reduce the available pool of terrorist candidates, but only to a limited degree.

    Kintanon

    [ Parent ]

    From a generally pro-war viewpoint... (4.00 / 2) (#353)
    by offline on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:58:44 AM EST

    I, sadly, have to agree with the comment by spakka...

    It's not that i'm anti-war.  Believe me, i'm pretty solidly on the side of the hawks here.  However, i do believe in attacking the right targets for the right reasons.  Iraq, although a bad pile of business over there, is not the right target.  Unfortunately, the right targets are largely US allies, as i see it - ie: Saudi Arabia.

    Irrelevant, though.  My opinion isn't going to change anything.  There aren't any rallies for "War with the right country!" for me to attend, only dumbasses who insist that peace is the only answer, as if we can somehow make these people put away their guns by being nice to them...

    As if they're too stupid to notice that it was their guns that forced us to be nice!

    Where, then, is their motivation to disarm?

    (Sorry, rambled a bit in this one.)

    Chris Rose
    -----
    Fly, you fools!


    [ Parent ]
    Why not Iraq? (1.00 / 2) (#360)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:11:09 PM EST

    Why not Iraq? Do you not see the bigger picture?

    The Middle East is in a socioeconomic and geopolitical orbit that continually recreates terrorists like some sort of regular gruesome cash crop.

    If you put a democracy on the flanks of the disgusting theocratic regime to the right and the disgusting conservative kingdom to the left, how is this not a good start?

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

    [ Parent ]

    "Democracy" (4.00 / 1) (#372)
    by offline on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:28:02 PM EST

    Don't you see something wrong with the image of 'putting' democracy?

    Anyway, that aside...

    I think that Iraq is a problem that would be greatly diminished if the real trouble was taken care of - ie: the crazy fundamentalist muslims who actually incite terrorism.  Hit those nations, not secular ones who suffer from the state-level equivalent of "Little Big Man Syndrome"

    My .03, at any rate.

    Chris Rose
    -----
    Fly, you fools!


    [ Parent ]
    japan germany (none / 0) (#377)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:33:57 PM EST

    we put democracy in japan and germany.

    things worked out fine there.

    i think if it were 1945 you would doubt the wisdom of putting democracy in these places as well.

    but that would not be out of informed criticism, but out of general negativity. like you are domonstrating on the idea of putting democracy in iraq right now.

    it is possible. demonstrate hope and optimism. pessimism is a poor excuse for informed criticism.


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

    [ Parent ]

    But you failed in many other countries... [n/t] (none / 0) (#386)
    by Beltza on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:47:48 PM EST


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


    [ Parent ]
    yes we did (none / 0) (#393)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:56:14 PM EST

    vietnam, somalia, etc.

    so, by your pessimism then, we should stop trying?

    the baseline of the peace and security of the world is the proportion of democracies to nondemocracies. nothing should dissuade us from the promotion of democracy everywhere in the world. nothing else matters to peace and security more than that. iraq is ripe for promotion. iran and saudi arabia should be next. by force, if necessary.

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

    [ Parent ]

    Pessimism or realism (5.00 / 2) (#525)
    by Znork on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 06:31:42 PM EST

    And Iraq has most in common with already-democratic Germany and culturally primed Japan or with Vietnam, Somalia, etc?

    We should not stop trying but we should learn from the past. Trying does not mean repeating the same old mistakes over and over again.

    Try something else this time.

    [ Parent ]

    You mistake my point. (4.00 / 1) (#513)
    by offline on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 05:16:02 PM EST

    Believe me, i'm not against toppling dicatorial regimes.  Nor am i againts placing democratic governments in place.  The main thrust of my reply was to suggest that knocking Saddam out of power is not, in my opinion, the best way to go about acheiving a more stable world political situation.

    Chris Rose
    -----
    Fly, you fools!


    [ Parent ]
    Oops (none / 0) (#387)
    by spakka on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:49:18 PM EST

    Think a comment of mine here just got zeroed. It was supposed to be sarcastic. Apologies for any offence caused.

    [ Parent ]
    huh? (none / 0) (#405)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:15:02 PM EST

    what is zeroing a comment? what does that mean? i must be n00b.

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

    [ Parent ]
    It gets moderated out of existence (nt) (none / 0) (#415)
    by spakka on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:32:29 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    really? (none / 0) (#426)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:47:46 PM EST

    i just noticed, i have a zero rating... i never noticed it before, how did i get it?

    you mean i have the power to completely knock out comments??!! that's not fair... i'm totally mystified. what is the point? how do i use my zero rating? how many do i have? thanks! ;-P

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

    [ Parent ]

    Duly disregarded. (3.33 / 3) (#354)
    by ph0rk on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 11:59:01 AM EST

    Disregard September 11th, and you disregard me. So do not be surprised if I disregard you and your arguments. You cease to matter to me if you have a mentality that tells me that September 11th doesn't matter.

    It doesn't, when discussing Iraq.  

    Next!
    [ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
    [ Parent ]

    You do not understand the big picture (none / 0) (#357)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:07:42 PM EST

    You do not understand the big picture.

    You think if you knock down Al Qaeda, the problem goes away.

    The Middle East exists in a state of socioeconomic and geopolitical influence that continually recreates terrorists.

    You must address that, or the problem will never go away.


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

    [ Parent ]

    You're making no sense (5.00 / 1) (#369)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:24:47 PM EST

    So by your logic we should invade any country that might produce terrorists? Does that mean we invade every middle-eastern country?

    It seems to me that the key problem in the Middle East is the Israel-Palestine problem. Sure, Iraq doesn't help the stability of the area, but I can't see any evidence that it's a big source of terrorism. The number one source of terrorism is the west's handling of the Israeli/Palestinian problem.

    [ Parent ]

    good (2.00 / 1) (#378)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:36:36 PM EST

    you make sense. you are 100% right.

    but how do you go about making the middle east a more peaceful place? iraq is a good start. it puts pressure on the disgusting theocracy and disgusting conservative monarchy on either side. leaving the disgusting autocracy there in iraq alone does no good except let current problems fester worse.

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

    [ Parent ]

    Peaceful? (4.00 / 1) (#394)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:58:31 PM EST

    I find it interesting that the biggest problems you see in the area are the 'disgusting theocracy' and 'disgusting monarchy'... Personally I think the biggest problem is the disgusting opression of the Palestinians and the disgusting attacks on Israeli civillians that that provokes. I don't see how the theocracies and monarchies of the surrounding countries are making the area un-peaceful. Currently the only violence in area seems to be in Israel and the occupied territories.

    Seems to me you want war just to force them to move over to a system of leadership that you prefer ;-)

    [ Parent ]

    saudi arabia iran (none / 0) (#403)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:12:06 PM EST

    palestine and israel are proxy wars. where do you think the palestinians get their $ and weapons?

    Seems to me you want war just to force them to move over to a system of leadership that you prefer ;-)

    yes. you are 100% correct. i prefer democracy over ultraconservative monarchy and theocracy.

    and i point out again: you criticize very well. and you offer no solutions of your own. i find that very interesting.

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

    [ Parent ]

    $ for weapons (5.00 / 1) (#406)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:18:54 PM EST

    where do you think the palestinians get their $ and weapons?

    And the Israelis theirs?

    i prefer democracy over ultraconservative monarchy and theocracy.

    I don't doubt that you prefer democracy, but is that an excuse to force democracy on them?

    you offer no solutions of your own

    *ahem* I suppose that's true, but I think it certainly starts with the creation of a Palestinian state. It seems the west (or parts of it anyway) is prepared to nation-build in some areas, but so far has been unable to do so where it is needed most.

    [ Parent ]

    groan (none / 0) (#413)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:28:37 PM EST

    And the Israelis theirs?

    france. russia. germany. interesting, huh? the world is interconnected. or do you see it as a conspiracy? i hope not, paranoid schizophrenia is for weak minds.

    I don't doubt that you prefer democracy, but is that an excuse to force democracy on them?

    germany

    japan

    serbia

    afghanistan

    etc.

    were those bad ideas?

    ahem I suppose that's true, but I think it certainly starts with the creation of a Palestinian state. It seems the west (or parts of it anyway) is prepared to nation-build in some areas, but so far has been unable to do so where it is needed most.

    how do you solve a complicated problem? no one is against a palestinian state. do you not remember clinton and arafat and (whoever the israel guy was at the time) at the white house?

    people have been working on a palestinian state for decades. to no fruition. maybe the solution to a complicated problem lies in a better understanding of the middle east as a whole, and pan-arabian interests, of which iraq has been manipulating for its own gains for years.

    who pays the families of palestinian terrorists? who attacked israel with scud missiles when the us attacked iraq in the first gulf war?

    do you understand now?

    it is not so simple as you think. it is complicated. there is a big picture. working on the big picture gets you closer to a palestinian state than just focusing on a palestinian statehood and nothing else, waiting decades, getting nowhere.

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

    [ Parent ]

    'Line in the sand', Iraq, and terrorism. (4.00 / 1) (#359)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:09:38 PM EST

    Here is the line in the sand for the Europeans: you can make peace with the idea of terrorism, or you can do something about it.

    Oh please. As if the US is the only place to have experienced Terrorism. Here in the UK we spent years being bombed by the IRA - an organisation, by the way, that got quite a lot of funding from the US...

    Anyway, you don't seem to understand why we may be going to war with Iraq in the first place. War with Iraq isn't about Terrorism - it's about a dangerous man with dangerous weapons who has been told by the internation community to get rid of them, and is now dragging his feet over the matter.

    For all your big words, you display a staggering and worrying level of ignorance about the reasons for this war. I can only hope you are not in anyway representative of the rest of the population.


    [ Parent ]

    Oh but I do (none / 0) (#364)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:15:51 PM EST

    I do represent the rest of the population: the rest of the world population. I am sick of terrorism everywhere in the world. My outlook is global, not US-centric. I am glad you have made peace with terrorism. I can not do that.

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

    [ Parent ]
    I've not made peace (5.00 / 2) (#374)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:29:16 PM EST

    The hell I've made peace with Terrorism! I live in London, which probably equals Washington and New York as #1 Terror target in the world, and I can't say I'm pleased at the idea of a Sarin attack on the underground (which I travel on every day) or ricin in my drinking water or all the other nasty things that might happen.

    All I'm saying is that trying to rally people around for a war against Iraq on terrorism grounds isn't going to get you very far, because there isn't really any evidence linking Iraq with international terrorism.

    There's lots of other reasons to go ahead with a war on Iraq - try backing one of them instead.

    [ Parent ]

    here's one (none / 0) (#381)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:40:58 PM EST

    the middle east is in an orbit of geopolitical and socioeconomic forces which lead to a regluar cash crop of terrorists. those forces must be altered.

    how's that?


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

    [ Parent ]

    Needs more info. (none / 0) (#390)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:50:53 PM EST

    You could do with explaining how invading Iraq will help the situation, to be honest, especially when the current situation in Iraq doesn't seem to be the primary motivation for terrorism.

    [ Parent ]
    big picture (none / 0) (#392)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:53:31 PM EST

    look at the whole of the middle east.

    do you disagree with me that the entire region is troubled?

    the ultraconservative monarchy in saudi arabia, the theocracy in iran, the autocracy in iraq: are not all of these countries a problem?

    to the world and their own citizens?

    is not a good first step placing a democracy in between the monarchy and the theocracy where the autocracy used to be?

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

    [ Parent ]

    The Middle East's problems (3.50 / 2) (#396)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:02:46 PM EST

    I say again, the biggest problem in the Middle East is the Isreali/Palestinian problem. Saddam is certainly a problem, but one largely unrelated to terrorism. Just because Iran and Saudi Arabia don't have a US-style democracy doesn't mean that they are bad - sure, I think they have their problems, but I also think you can't go around forcing democracy onto people - they need to grow it themselves. And if you look at Saudi and especially Iran, they are making moves in the right direction. To put pressure on them now would be the worst thing to do.

    [ Parent ]
    groan (5.00 / 1) (#399)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:08:53 PM EST

    I also think you can't go around forcing democracy onto people - they need to grow it themselves.

    japan germany yugoslavia

    And if you look at Saudi and especially Iran, they are making moves in the right direction.

    ok, that funny. i'm glad you like the 2 inches they have moved on the 2000 mile trek they must take.

    To put pressure on them now would be the worst thing to do.

    no, to do nothing would be the worst thing to do.

    you are very good at criticizing other people's attempts to solve problems, but i notice you have no solutions to offer yourself. don't you find that interesting?

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

    [ Parent ]

    Forcing Democracy (none / 0) (#410)
    by PrettyBoyTim on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:22:43 PM EST

    Japan and Germany were aggressors that were then defeated - quite a different thing from Iraq, which has attacked no-one since the last gulf war.

    As for two inches - I think you underestimate the progressive forces at work in Iran.

    As for my solution - see my other post ;-)

    [ Parent ]

    exactly the same (none / 0) (#422)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:42:48 PM EST

    japan and germany are exactly parallel to iraq. dangerous autocrat goes on expansionist adventures. and the solution is the same.

    and you can watch progress in iran. i like to watch glaciers move myself. i'm glad you think we have centuries to wait for iran to heal itself, and should not help.

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

    [ Parent ]

    other post? (none / 0) (#428)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:49:03 PM EST

    where? no seriously, i can't find it ;-P

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

    [ Parent ]
    Um..... (none / 0) (#450)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:23:47 PM EST

    While I agree with you that our primary reason for intervention in Iraq is (and should be) that it's really not a good idea to let Saddam Hussien have control of NBC weapons..... I think you've pretty much got your head stuck in the sand about Iraq's links with terrorism.

    Even if you disregard all the evidence Powell presented to the U.N. Security council.... how about the simple fact that Iraq offers a bounty to the families of foolish young men in Palestine who walk onto Israeli school busses and blow themselves up along with as many Israeli children as they are able? If that's not a "link" to terrorism then I don't know what is.

    [ Parent ]

    Underwear -> ? -> Profit! (4.60 / 5) (#361)
    by cisenburg on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:11:10 PM EST

    I missed something in your reasoning. You are very upset about September 11th. As an American, so am I. I think we should use all of the power available to us - not just military, but economic and political - to find those responsible and bring the to American Justice. That has nothing to do with invading a country that we cut off at the knees years and years ago. Perhaps Saddam is aiding terrorists. I haven't seen any evidence of it, but I would not be surprised. So, we go get him and bring him to an American court and put him on trial. Remeber Panama and Noriega? A full-fledged invasion isn't necessary. My point is that there are right ways and wrong ways to handle the situation. Stomping on Iraq doesn't help or change the fact that 19 people - mostly Saudis - performed a terrorist act. Therefore your conclusions are invalid.

    [ Parent ]
    history (1.00 / 1) (#371)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:25:40 PM EST

    history can inform wise decisions. it can also confuse. if we are going to drag in historical nitpicking examples he said she said back and forth... not much ground is gained on either side of the equation.

    i can say the french owe us for wwii, and they can say that was a different place, long ago. i can call germans hypocrits for being pacifists because of their history. the french can also point to their support of us during our independence, etc., ad nauseum into history, and none of us are enlightened, just old struggles are revisited.

    those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. but that's the whole point. the lessons of history are subject to interpretation. for every lesson which seems to indicate one thing, something else indicates another.

    all you are left with is with the here and now, and what you feel is right, and what you feel is wrong.

    putting a democracy between a disgusting theocracy and a disgusting conservative monarchy is a good start. or we could leavew the autocracy there and watch more festering crops of terrorists go around the world.

    nothing you have offered stops that status quo. and the status quo sucks, and it must be changed, at the risk of making things worse, because they are bad enough as it is.

    that is the lesson of september 11th.

    and that is my interpretation of history. ;-)

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

    [ Parent ]

    You again! (3.00 / 6) (#363)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:15:00 PM EST

    So here is the big evil, unpopular idea for y'all America-haters: America is fed up with terrorism, it is sick of weak pointless efforts, and it is going to bring its war machine to bear on geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions and whack them around until those conditions are less favorable to terrorist creation. And it will keep whacking until there is less conditions that lead to the creation of people like the September 11th terrorists.

    "Fed up with terrorism." Ha! The arrogance of youth.

    You really don't get it, do you? You can keep cutting off the heads of the Hydra, you can keep treating superstrains with the latest antibiotics, you can keep shutting down file sharing services. But if you don't seek to find equilibrium with everything and everyone around you, you will have your time, but you will fall.

    Just as you escaped from the strongest empire in the world to become the strongest empire in the world, just remember that people are already calling the US government terrorists, and with good reason.


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    oh shit, not again (3.00 / 2) (#365)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:19:21 PM EST

    is this the beginning of a new head butting session between us? lol ;-P

    here how about this: i agree with you on antibiotics, file sharing, prohibition, etc.

    but what of pedophilia?

    see my point? some things keep cropping up in society, and you make peace with them because going to war with them is more costly than making peace with them. like marijuana: make it legal already!

    but pedophilia? the price of making peace with that is more costly than fighting it forever.

    we will be fighting pedophilia forever, but this should not depress us, that is just the unfortunate reality. same with terrorism. you cannot make peace with it, you must fight it forever, in all ways.


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

    [ Parent ]

    Distinction (2.50 / 2) (#436)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:00:14 PM EST

    When you lock up a paedophile, he gets raped in jail.

    When you kill one man's terrorist, another man's freedom fighter is created.

    There is a world of difference.

    The rest of the world has learned this world of difference. America, in its infancy, has not yet had to pay this price.

    You can fight terrorism by addressing discontent. In fact, a good way of addressing discontent might be to eradicate all disease in the world. Out with the antibiotics! Wait, we can't do that. Not that we wouldn't love to; disease kills orders of magnitude more people than terrorists (even in America). We just can't do it. Because we live in a closed system: Mother Nature. Similarly, America lives within a closed system: Humankind. When your current high is over, you will be forced to realise that, just as we in Britain were before you.


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    understanding (5.00 / 1) (#449)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:22:11 PM EST

    you demonstrate understanding. you demonstrate an appreciation for the complexity of life, you demonstrate that cause leads to effect. you demonstrate that some people's terrorists are another person's freedom fighters. you demonstrate an understanding that america is a memeber of the world.

    now demonstrate some compassion for the victims of september 11th, please. and understand what that attack means and the repercussions that will be felt for it.

    because if you don't understand that, you really don't understand. you will not suppress an american response to september 11th, because that is all your "understanding" seems to lead to: suppressing and subjugating pain.

    and i do not know why you demonstrate so much understanding for so many things, and none for that.


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

    [ Parent ]

    I understand one thing very well... (1.00 / 1) (#463)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:48:59 PM EST

    ...Violence begets violence. Pretty much all moral philosophies that I would align myself with advocate turning the other cheek.

    There is no guarantee of future peace, but history tells us that there is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing future terrorism, and that is creating martyrs. You want me to demonstrate compassion for the victims of September 11th? So you would show compassion for the families and allies of the Iraqi citizens America will kill when they come to American soil seeking revenge?

    and i do not know why you demonstrate so much understanding for so many things, and none for that.

    And I do not know why you demonstrate so much compassion for American citizens, and none for Iraqi citizens. Not to mention the many more Americans who will be killed if this conflict escalates.

    How, exactly, are you planning to fight the War On Terrorism? The same way America fights the War On Some Drugs? Best of luck!!!


    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    actually yes (5.00 / 1) (#498)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:58:48 PM EST

    fight terrorism like the war on drugs, yes.

    what else would you have us do?

    although, i would abstain from calling me pro-us. i don't care about america, or being an american. i care about democracy. i've made that very clear in all of my posts. if oyu read my past comments, you will see i've called myself a citizen of the world and that i care about the plight of iraqis. i often do this because i run into this alot: "why should i care about what happens outside my country's borders?" this thinking is from the peaceniks, not me. i can point to real posts that say pretty much exaclty what i have put in quotes. interesting, isn't it?

    invading iraq elevates the average iraqi's plight, not depress it. depressing it is the status quo. supporting peace on the quesiton of iraq continues the average iraqis' suffering under saddam hussein. democracy and the spread of it is all i care about, i could care less about america, only its ideals.

    i have always judged myself by the baseline of world democracy. nothing else really matters.

    september 11th proves what happens in kandahar matters in downtown manhattan.

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

    [ Parent ]

    Where do you get this idea? (1.00 / 1) (#507)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:42:40 PM EST

    what else would you have us do?

    Whatever the equivalent is of changing people's social circumstances so that they take drugs for fun, not to escape. Global democracy would be great, but it's got nothing to do with this war on Iraq.

    invading iraq elevates the average iraqi's plight, not depress it

    Where do you get this idea? It didn't happen last time a George Bush attacked, it hasn't happened in Afghanistan, in fact, can you point me to a US unilateral intervention where it's ever happened?

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    i was kinda pissed (5.00 / 1) (#510)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:49:19 PM EST

    i was kinda pissed we called off the attack last time. we should have finished the job and toppled saddam hussein. but there was no political backbone. september 11th gave us our backbone back. it would have made the last 10 years on iraq unnecessary. instead, we are stuck. the only way forward in history is through, not around, iraq.

    and why is it, so many people are so down on afghanistan? do you not know how easy it is to lose your argument on afghanistan?

    1. how much time has passed? months? and you are ready to judge already? geez.
    2. is the situation in afghanistan worse or better than before un intervention? exactly. bringing up afghanistan only supports my predilection for invading iraq. but you guys, peaceniks, just keep bringing it up. weird shortsightedness. mass delusion. choking on your own propaganda i guess.
    you want examples?

    yugoslavia

    japan

    germany

    duh

    ;-P


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

    [ Parent ]

    None of those are examples. (2.50 / 2) (#572)
    by synaesthesia on Fri Feb 21, 2003 at 05:06:00 PM EST

    Go and look up 'unilateral'.

    How is the situation better in Afghanistan now? Because people are allowed to have Playstations? You're right, it's too soon to judge, but last time, it looked like the Taliban were going to be an improvement.

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    stopped? only if you look at root cause (4.42 / 7) (#370)
    by tealeaf on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:25:25 PM EST

    Want to stop a fire?  Look at root cause.  Remove oxygen and/or heat and fire stops.

    Want to stop a flood?  Then ask yourself why doesn't the water drain fast enough?

    Want to stop terrorism?  Then ask why do people commit terrorist acts?

    Is it because of lack of security?  Lack of inteligence?  No.  These considerations only mitigate after individual(s) have already decided they want to terrorize.

    If you really want to stop terrorism, then make it highly unlikely that anyone would want to decide on an act of terror.

    So, should fear of retribution be used?  What do we know about positive vs negative motivation from psychology?  How would someone willing to die be deterred by a thought of some punishment?  What about people who enjoy making other people suffer?

    We must stop treating the symptoms and look at the root cause of the disease now.  A greedy or crooked doctor may treat the symptoms forever to make more money (as opposed to offering a permanent cure).  I don't know enough about the forces at play here to judge.  Media is known to lie on all sides.  But one must doubt everything, everything.

    I think, by addressing the root cause we can reduce the amount of terrorism.  It will never, completely, 100%, go away, simply because there are people who naturally enjoy seeing other people suffer, but I believe out of terrorists, those are a tiny minority.  Of course, looking at root cause and adressing it (there may be many different causes too) is hard, and takes time, hard work, scientific approach, patience, open mind, etc.  On the other hand, dropping bombs is fast and expedient.


    [ Parent ]

    bounce (2.20 / 5) (#375)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:29:34 PM EST

    Want to stop a fire?  Look at root cause.  Remove oxygen and/or heat and fire stops.

    Want to stop a flood?  Then ask yourself why doesn't the water drain fast enough?

    Want to stop american warmongering?  Then ask why do americans wage war?

    Is it because of lack of security?  Lack of inteligence?  No.  These considerations only mitigate after individual(s) have already decided they want to wage war.

    If you really want to stop us aggression, then make it highly unlikely that anyone would want to decide on an act of war.

    So, should fear of retribution be used?  What do we know about positive vs negative motivation from psychology?  How would someone willing to bomb be deterred by a thought of some punishment?  What about people who enjoy making other people suffer?

    We must stop treating the symptoms and look at the root cause of the disease now.  A greedy or crooked doctor may treat the symptoms forever to make more money (as opposed to offering a permanent cure).  I don't know enough about the forces at play here to judge.  Media is known to lie on all sides.  But one must doubt everything, everything.

    I think, by addressing the root cause we can reduce the amount of warmongering.  It will never, completely, 100%, go away, simply because there are people who naturally enjoy seeing other people suffer, but I believe out of war hawks, those are a tiny minority.  Of course, looking at root cause and adressing it (there may be many different causes too) is hard, and takes time, hard work, scientific approach, patience, open mind, etc.  On the other hand, driving airplanes into buildings is fast and expedient.

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

    [ Parent ]

    Thank you for that glimmer of sanity (none / 0) (#433)
    by FourDegreez on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:58:22 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    truedat (none / 0) (#444)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:09:36 PM EST

    it is sanity he is alluding to.

    notice my reply?

    does it make you think?

    sanity is in short supply here, apparently, on both sides of the debate.

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

    [ Parent ]

    indeed it does make me think... (none / 0) (#492)
    by tealeaf on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:44:21 PM EST

    What you posted is a perfect message addressing terrorists.  It's the same point addressing the side of terror, and it's the same, equally reasonable request.

    Clearly, patience is in short supply on all sides.  However, if we are to put ourselves in a good position, we should volunterily choose the right action and not wait for the other side to come to their senses.

    The right action is to study the cause of violence and to address it.  Period.

    This of course requires that people on at least one side have ears and use them.  Does anyone in Congress actually read any letters?  Does our, USA, government listen?  I know all my letters ever got was a form bullshit response...if lucky, or ignored.  If our politicians decided to stop listening and started catering to a select minority of powerful interests, well, then...perhaps I'm talking to a wall here and there is no hope.  In that case, sanity may return after we all bathe in blood and there are 5 ppl left alive on earth...maybe then those 5 ppl will want to listen to each other?  Or maybe not.

    The problem is this.  History is about to repeat itself.  Is USA government doing anything innovative with terrorism?  No.  It's the same bullshit response that all the other countries (like France, England, etc.) gave to terror in the past and it didn't work for them (France, etc.).

    USA govt...INNOVATE NOW!!  Use eyes first, ears next, brain third, AND THEN, maybe, fists.  Think first.  If you do the same thing every other country did in the past, why do you think you will succeed where the others have failed?  It is insane to repeat the same process many times expecting a different result each time.  Force doesn't always work.  History tells us that.  Innovate please.

    [ Parent ]

    thank you (none / 0) (#495)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:51:50 PM EST

    thank you

    no really, you thought about what i wrote, and admitted it made you think. i thank you for that. intellectual honesty is in short supply here. ;-)

    points:

    isn't invading iraq innovative?

    also, can't someone, or something, like a country, suffer from "overthink." in other words, action and thought are always required, but isn't thinking without ever acting just as dangerous as acting without ever thinking?

    both are dangerous i think. no pun intended. ;-)

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

    [ Parent ]

    how France and England lost their colonies in... (none / 0) (#652)
    by tealeaf on Fri Feb 28, 2003 at 04:42:31 PM EST

    Arfica.  Locals used terorrism.  First France and England responded with overwhelming force.  Then they pulled out and colonies became independent states while terrorists were freedom fighters (not necessarily a wrong description either).

    This clash is about culture.  It needs a cultural responce.  If USA really wants to win, they need to make the extreme sects of Islam to become unpopular.  This isn't achieved by dropping bombs.

    If USA wants to attack, they should attack with culture and information.  But even better is to educate locals to the diversity of religions and to show them that the world is big and that their truths aren't the only truths.  It's the same thing that Christian religion had to (grudgingly) accept before inquisition stopped.  And even now there are some Christians who would love to burn all the non-Christians, but their voice is weak and unimportant right now because Christian religion was integrated into the world at large, and so now you can be a Christian and practice yoga and/or Zen meditation.

    On the other hand, Islam contains pockets of extreme ignorance in middle east.  Those people are brainwashed 100%.  They know no truths other than what local sheikhs taught them.  Narrow education or lack of education entirely is what's causing this wave of hatred, together with some justifiable grudges against the USA.

    There is a common expression that goes, "In every joke there is a grain of truth."  I think we could say that "In every terrorist there is a grain of freedom fighter."  That means terrorists are not freedom fighters, and yet there is a tiny bit of truth on their side.  And we should look at that truth.  They chose a nasty way to get heard.  And perhaps their opinions are 99% misguided.  But it is 1% truth that firmly cements 99% of lies and hatred.  We should be affraid of that 1% of truth.

    [ Parent ]

    9/11 (4.00 / 1) (#373)
    by Beltza on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:28:51 PM EST

    Fine, but what has 9/11 to do with Iraq? Maybe nobody mentions 9/11 here because it isn't related to the subject of this article???

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


    [ Parent ]
    big picture (1.00 / 2) (#376)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:31:02 PM EST

    the middle east is in an orbit of geopolitical and socioeconomic forces which regularly create a cash crop of terrorists.

    if you do not see that, you cannot possibly understand the situation or be able to offer up a solution to the crisis we find ourselves in today.


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

    [ Parent ]

    Big picture (none / 0) (#395)
    by Beltza on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:00:34 PM EST

    You seem to like that sentence, since you've posted it a lot.

    After looking at the big picture, I always like to zoom into the details of the picture, before I draw my conclusions. There are a lot of small details that cannot be seen on a big picture...

    First of all, you are not doing right to the very nature of the middle east by stating that the whole middle east is responsable for terorism. Of course, there are some bad spots like Iraq, but in general there is nothing wrong with the middle east. In my opinion, all anger that causes this terrorism can be deduced to one single conflict: Israel/Palestine So if you want to take away the source of terrorism, you will have to solve this problem. Attacking other countries in the middle east before solving this problem will make this problem only bigger, since some countries will definately turn themselves against you. Therefore, even if I look at the bigger picture, I still feel that attacking Iraq will bring us farther away from solving the terrorism problem.

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


    [ Parent ]
    details (1.00 / 1) (#398)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:05:52 PM EST

    ok, more details:

    Attacking other countries in the middle east before solving this problem will make this problem only bigger, since some countries will definately turn themselves against you.

    september 11th proves the status quo sucks. it can not get worse. it is bad enough right now.

    Therefore, even if I look at the bigger picture, I still feel that attacking Iraq will bring us farther away from solving the terrorism problem.

    so, we can move further away than the million mile distance we are at now?

    there is no solution that does not move us forward. because there can be no more backwards than what we find ourselves in now.

    tell me how things can get worse than the geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions that lead to something like september 11th.

    i fail to understand how you can defend the status quo.

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

    [ Parent ]

    details (none / 0) (#402)
    by Beltza on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:12:06 PM EST

    I wan't showing you the way to the status quo. I was only showing you that the way you want to handle your problem is the wrong way. I didn't tell you that you should stay at home and wait - that would indeed be a status quo.

    I was telling that if you want to solve the problems in the middle east, you will have to start in Israel/Palestina, since there lies the root of the problem. This is what I call moving forward. If you are going to attack Iraq first, you will only be circling around the real problem!

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


    [ Parent ]
    proxy problem (1.00 / 2) (#404)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:13:46 PM EST

    palestine/ israel is a proxy war. where do you think the palestinians get their $ and weapons?

    and i notice you are very good at criticizing attempts to solve problems. yet you offer no solutions yourself. i find that very interesting.

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

    [ Parent ]

    proxy war (none / 0) (#416)
    by Beltza on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:32:41 PM EST

    Why do you think that palestine/israel is a proxy war? Let's continue reasoning in yourline, and it will be clear that it is not a proxy war:

    The Palestines are not fighting for themselves, because they receive $ and weapons. That means that the same is valid for the Isrealians, because they receive even more & and weapons, mainly from the U.S. In other words, this war is the American solution to solve the problems in this region? Sounds really rediculous to me, don't you think?

    To me it sounds more logical to assume that the Palestine/Israel conflict is the source itself. This conflict is so important that a lot of countries decide to support one of the sides with $ and weapons.

    As to giving options for solving the problem: for the moment I am too busy keeping people like you from making things worse.

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


    [ Parent ]
    good lord (1.00 / 1) (#421)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:40:29 PM EST

    As to giving options for solving the problem: for the moment I am too busy keeping people like you from making things worse.

    who pays the families of palestinian terrorists? who attacked iraq with scuds in the first gulf war?

    keeping people from me making it worse indeed. you make excuses for others to make it worse instead. some understanding you demonstrate.

    you tell me to stop looking at the big problem, look at the details. you analyze the details, and completely fail to assemble a larger picture.

    the solution to the middle east lies in an understanidng of its complextiy as a whole, not nitpicking the small stuff. the palestinian israeli conflict very much is about pan-arab interests, and is very much wrapped up in the problems of the whole region. you utterly fail to see the big picture. so cannot hope to offer valid solutions. i do.

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

    [ Parent ]

    i notice that (5.00 / 1) (#432)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:54:51 PM EST

    you have nothing to add about the proxy war. If it's a proxy war, then both sides are proxy: Israel for the US (who gives Israel all that money to buy the bullet that'll end in the skull of a 5 year old, those apache to blow houses, and so on, i can be emotional too), and palestine for (mainly) Saudia.
    Then, the continu'd stationning of US troups in the area takes another meaning, it's war-time occupation..
    Does that mean that ben laden was right in his assesment that he was at war with the US? Look at the big picture, man!

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    israel (1.00 / 2) (#442)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:08:17 PM EST

    gets its weapons from russia, france, germany...

    the same "pro-peace" powers right now... or should i say, the powers with vested oil interests in iraq not being attacked by the us?

    interesting isn't it? the world is complex. it is not a conspiracy.

    paranoid schizophrenia is for the weak minded. if you insist on portraying the us as the evil bad guy everywhere, and controlling the whole world with giant puppet strings, then your intellectual laziness begins to reveal itself.

    less cynicism and more optimism for democracy my friend, it will serve you well. your arguments are old and tired.

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

    [ Parent ]

    proxy war (none / 0) (#473)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:12:37 PM EST

    Did you drop the proxy war thingie? :-) as of arms sales to israel, lies, lies lies. Israel don't buy from russia, for exemple. Then, can you pinpoint on this UN report on french weapons sales (for 2001), where Israel is? (here for some other datas.).
    Oh, and Germany stopped shipping weapons to israel at the start of 2002: they were sick of seing those used on civilians..)
    BTW, USA is the world leader in Arms Sales, but i fail to see how this is supposed to end the cycle of violence. And, i might add, MOST of Israel's money to buy or make military hardware comes from the US. So, Saudia pays for the suicide bombers, USA pays for the Apache Helicopters (did you know that Israel is the ONLY country in the world the US accepted to export the Apache to? interesting, isn't it? ), it's a proxy war between Saudia and the USA.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    columbia leads the world in drug production (1.00 / 2) (#493)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:48:28 PM EST

    columbia leads the world in drug production

    so drug use must be columbia's problem. lol ;-P

    oh my god!? could it be!? CAUSE AND EFFECT?? what mysterious phenomenon is that??? supply and demand!!?? supply and demand!!??? i don't understand the concept! lol ;-P

    i love you guys. blame the us for every problem in the world. the whole world revolves around the evil us. we have puppet strings everywhere. and as an american, i have control over those puppet strings as well. watch...

    blap!

    did you see that!? your finger moved! i pulled your string! lol

    all hail the us! center of all evil in the world! the rest of the world are sweet innocent victims of us evil betrayal! everything that goes wrong in the world is america's fault!

    muahahahahahahahahaha.

    lol

    you

    suffer

    from

    paranoid

    fucking

    schizophrenia

    doh! i'm sorry master for questioning you! please don't hit! lol ;-P

    oh i forgot (waves hand) "thread closed"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

    dude, you are the best comic relief i've had in awhile.

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

    [ Parent ]

    Definitely Oil (3.66 / 3) (#379)
    by Nucleus on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:39:47 PM EST

    Does anyone deny this? Or are y'all stuck on America as after Iraqi oil, and that is all? Why can you not possibly conceive of September 11th as being the motivating factor behind the situation we find ourselves in today? WHY does this completely escape your reasoning abilities?

    For starters, if 9/11 never happened I seriously doubt the US would be attacking Iraq today. Secondly, 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq, it was terrorists from Saudi Arabia training in Afganistan.

    9/11 provides an excuse to pounce on Iraq that they didn't have before. What Iraq has lots of and the US has none of is Oil. The simple fact is if the US lets Saddam remain in power they will have to pay him billions of dollars for oil and they don't want to give him money...This is not a justification for war.

    There are other more dangerous regimes around that deserve the attention of the US military but luckily for them, they have no oil. Politics is a dirty game, your government has played dirty in the past, there is no reason to believe they are not doing so now.

    Socialism for needs, capitalism for wants
    [ Parent ]

    oil and cynicism (2.00 / 2) (#385)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 12:47:25 PM EST

    the oil card is an old and cynical one. it has been repeatedly pointed out that french oil interests are promoted by opposing a us war. how does that hat fit you?

    plus, there are plenty of other sources of oil in the world. nigeria, venezuela, alaska, siberia, etc. and even if we left iraq alone and lifted sanctions, us oil interests would probably benefit. so what do you say to that?

    in short, the oil card is an old, stale, tired card to play.

    so, in the interest of informed debate, i say that we can view oil as one of the motivating factors in iraq. fine.

    happy now?

    i admit to its existence. i admit to the existence of an evil dick cheney smacking his lips getting his hands on iraqi oil.

    now i ask you: admit to the other motivating factors besides oil in the interest of intellectual honesty with me. if you do not, you fall victim to eternal pessimism.

    and pessimism is a poor replacement for informed criticism.

    so can we PLEASE move beyond this tired old oil argument? there really are other forces at play in the world. REALLY.

    can you possibly conceive of that?

    you sing a one note song that needs no more singing. we all get it. really.


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

    [ Parent ]

    grrr... as has already been pointed out (none / 0) (#457)
    by radish on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:39:02 PM EST

    the value of the Iraqi oil reserves to the US are less economic than strategic.  (otherwise it would make more sense to simply remove the sanctions)

    the argument you describe as tired and old is a straw man with little merit, whereas the argument that this is a long term strategic move to prevent other entities (like those dirty frogs) from using the availability of Iraqi oil to build economic and military strength in the long run is quite reasonable.

    also, this administration has effectively stated that they intend to pursue a policy of Pax Americana at all costs, which is what the fucking article is about in the first place.  other forces indeed...

    [ Parent ]

    good lord (none / 0) (#488)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:38:18 PM EST

    don't have a cow man.

    there are "principles" at work here, not just cynical posturing.

    that is my point.

    if i admit there is cynicism at work, well then intellectual honestly dictates that those who are against war on iraq must admit to me that principles are at work as well.

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

    [ Parent ]

    whack the hell out of middle east (3.50 / 2) (#408)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:20:39 PM EST

    to prevent terrorism.
    Yep, that should work, threathen to kill them, and they won't want to do suicide runs in US airplanes anymore, obviously.
    i can see it now..
    "-if you suicide, i'll kill you!!"
    Should work.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    cycle of violence and nothing else (1.00 / 1) (#418)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:36:06 PM EST

    you look at history and see nothing but a cycle of violence.

    you see no progress.

    i pity you.

    you are drowning in pessimism and cynicism.

    you see no progress in the human struggle that is life.

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

    [ Parent ]

    i look in history (4.75 / 4) (#427)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:48:03 PM EST

    And see lots of fools and a few great men.
    Bush is *certainly not* a part of the 2nd group.
    A cycle of violence can be broken, but *not* by violence. See, you said it, it's a cycle, like, in circular. If you put more violence into it, more violence come from it.. Try nuking the rest of the world, and see the nukes fly back at you, this was well understood during the cold war.
    For a more actual look, try Israel/Palestine, for a cycle of violence, and see how increasing the level of violence is doing so much good to both.
    Gandhi understood that violence isn't a solution, as did Martin Luther King.
    Try learning from those, instead of listening to your aching balls.


    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    red herrings (1.00 / 1) (#438)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:01:15 PM EST

    gw bush is a red herring.

    he will be gone in 2004, the next american election.

    america is a red herring too. the real issue is democracy building versus autocratic rot. america can disappear tomorrow into a giant ocean... do you think the underlying problems in the middle east will go away too?

    my balls don't ache. i understand gandhi and martin luther king. why don't you try growing some balls?

    i forget the exact quote, but try this one on size for you: a man is a pacifist until he watches his wife getting raped. i won't stand for september 11th. and that is your problem. not gw bush. not america, but victims of terrorism. your highminded "understanding" does nothing for my pain. you have no answers. you are not gandhi. you are an arrogant ivory tower type, disgusted at those in the human struggle, disavowing your own human compassion.

    want to solve the problem? address terrorism, not us warmongering. then you will arrive at your gandhiesque world. do you remember how gandhi was killed? a militant fundamentalist terrorist shot him. interesting, isn't it?

    terrorism killed gandhi, not only in the figurative, but the literal sense as well.

    until then, until you address terrorism instead of us warmongering, you fail to solve the real problem before you. terrorism INCREASES the cycle of violence. the us is attempting to DECREASE the cycle.

    and you? you don't see that. you are no gandhi my friend. you merely disregard my pain at the threat of your own irrelevance. because my pain does matter on the issue. your ivory tower attitude does not. you remove yourself from the argument over the problem before us, i drive myself deeper into it. i suffer, i have pain, i have emotion on the issue. you have nothing but high and haughty disgust for me. judgment and scorn for me.

    fine. be disgusted by me. i know you are irrelevant in your lack of compassion.

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

    [ Parent ]

    i do have an answer for you pain (5.00 / 1) (#461)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:45:52 PM EST

    it's called "Prozac", it's wildly used in the US, why don't you try?
    Let's address some of your points. First, you speak a lot about "my pain", "you can't understand", and in the end, your pain is used to justify going to war. So, let's go down this road together, and see where it leads, ok?
    Well, guess what, Ben Laden is in pain too. He has seen his "brothers" and "sisters", his friends, brutally murdered, humiliated on a daily basis, denied of basic rights, every day, by a country who heavily depends on US help. If you have trouble figuring out which one it is, try Israel.
    He was in so much pain that he decided he'd go on war, on the backers of Israel. So that, maybe, by increasing the level of violence, violence would stop? We don't know, but it seems to me like he could be thinking exactly the way you do.
    He doesn't have a big army, through, but he's smart, the rest is history.
    So, your way of saying "my suffering justifies everything" leads us right to ben laden. Interesting don't u think?
    Back to the cycle of violence: yes, gandhi was murdered. I find funny, through, that you don't remember how Martin Luther King died, and what the US did to find the shooter tells a lot of things, but not as much as the fact you couldn't remember how he died.
    Gandhi died, in the hands of a "terrorist", if every murderer must be called like that (does that make the US troops at my lai terrorists as well? interesting, interesting..).
    He died, but he managed before that to break the cycle of violence and achieve what violence hadn't: he freed his country from the UK and turned it into a democracy. So you can't come and tell me that non-violence doesn't work, when i have such an obvious exemple. now,, i'd like you to explain to me how war *decrease* the level of violence, it's a bit counter-intuitive, you see.. I heard what you said about "putting a democracy there", but it seems to me that you're seriously mislead about Bush's plans for iraq. And then, that's only if iraq hasn't been nuked and gased.
    But maybe it's what you need to "stop the pain"? How many bodies do you need? 100? 200? 1000? 10000? 100000? 1 billion?

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    you don't understand (2.00 / 1) (#470)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:11:24 PM EST

    you don't understand

    so you cease to be relevant to history

    the us will invade iraq, and instill a democracy there, and the world will improve

    and all of your cranky words will mean nothing

    dust in the wind

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

    [ Parent ]

    i do understand (none / 0) (#474)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:16:34 PM EST

    that you can't think clearly enough to explain, and that you fear to think clearly because you would see you're wrong.
    As of relevancy, well, i'm alive and kicking, and as such, as much relevant as you are, and probably more than you, since i can think clearly and see the big picture, something you obviously can't do.
    Thread closed, you have nothing interesing to contribute.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    thread closed? (1.00 / 1) (#485)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:34:17 PM EST

    apparently you are right! if you can wave your magic hand and close a thread, you must be more relevant than me! lol

    but wait... what is this post doing here!!!

    lol

    you just sound arrogant and egomaniacal when you write "Thread closed, you have nothing interesing to contribute."

    do you not see that?

    some people's shit smells sweeter than others i suppose lol ;-P

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

    [ Parent ]

    To be fair (3.75 / 4) (#409)
    by epepke on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:21:11 PM EST

    Europeans may respond that they have had to make some kind of peace with the Battle of Britain, the Holocaust, the firebombing of Dresden, the IRA, the killings at the Berlin Olympics, and so on and so forth. Terrorism is commonplace even in the U.K., where the London underground doesn't have any wastebaskets in it so that nobody can slip a bomb into one. What was unique about 9/11 was that it was the first instance ever where a commercial plane that left from U.S. airspace was brought down by a terrorist, and also the audacity of the targets on U.S. soil.

    Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the European reaction is correct; it may be a matter of shell-shock and a paranoid unwillingness to do anything. It is also worth pointing out that this attitude has had its problems, such as in Srebrenica. But the disregard of 9/11 has more to do with a feeling of "now the U.S. is getting some of what we have had for years."

    Furthermore, of course even that attitude is not likely to make friends of too many Americans, because that kind of satisfaction is a direct attack not on the implemtation of the U.S. but on the very idea, which is that it should be possible to build a place that is relatively free from European-style nationalism and backbiting. So it belies the common statement that what bothers Europeans is how the U.S. fails to live up to its ideals by the simple expedient of flinging mud on the ideals themselves.


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


    [ Parent ]
    nationbuilding (2.00 / 1) (#417)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:34:26 PM EST

    you are being fair and balance in your criticism of the us and europe. thank you for that.

    but forcing iraq into democracy works.

    germany

    japan

    yugoslavia

    afghanistan

    why all of the european doubt on our ability to do the same in iraq? does anyone doubt that iraq is ripe for the conversion?

    So it belies the common statement that what bothers Europeans is how the U.S. fails to live up to its ideals by the simple expedient of flinging mud on the ideals themselves.

    huh? what ideals are the us flinging mud on? explain, i don't understand what ideals you are alluding to. spreading democracy by force works. it is good for the world.

    like this: unstable region gets more dangerous. the us and its allies go into that part of the world and knock down the insane regime and instill democracy. end of story. where is the problem? this has been done again and again and it has worked. why all of the doubt now?

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

    [ Parent ]

    Afghanistan? (4.50 / 2) (#429)
    by RoOoBo on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 01:49:14 PM EST

    Already worked?

    Last news are bombings, attacks to UN troops, and stolen UN depots. And Mr. Karzai (who is not democratically elected yet) is just hidding in Kandahar protected by US elite troops. Outside Kandahar warlords rule again the country, the different fanctions are being armed again by Pakistan, China and Rusia and I'm sure the opioum is again becoming the first export from Afghanistan.

    So what is working in Afghanistan?



    [ Parent ]
    afghanistan (none / 0) (#439)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:04:50 PM EST

    is still in a pickle

    but it is better off than before.

    do you deny that?

    so we are in the struggle for progress in afghanistan, and you are ready already to throw in the towel, only months out of un intervention, and call it a failure.

    so we have your pessimism and cynicism versus my hope and optimism. the contrast is clear.

    progress is always a struggle, and an ugly one, but i am not ready to abandon progress because of that. apparently, you are.

    pessimism is no replacement for informed criticism. learn the difference.

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

    [ Parent ]

    Ha ha ha (1.00 / 1) (#464)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:49:11 PM EST

    so we have your pessimism and cynicism versus my hope and optimism. the contrast is clear.

    Oh, the irony.

    You seem to be forgetting that the last time the US overthrew a regime in Afghanistan, the CIA installed a certain bearded gentleman called bin Laden.



    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]
    yes (none / 0) (#469)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:06:16 PM EST

    yes, i am capable of free thought. surprised that my opinions can vary on DIFFERENT SUBJECTS ENTIRELY???

    hello??

    and then you feed me paranoid schizophrenia on bin laden and the cia.

    paranoid conspiracy thinking is a sign of a weak mind... to further your allusion to our previous debate: don't ask me what substance i think weakened your mind. lol ;-)

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

    [ Parent ]

    Once again... (1.00 / 1) (#472)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:12:17 PM EST

    ...we find you attempting to avoid addressing the main point of the reply by dismissing it as 'paranoid schizophrenia' (do you even know what that is?) and concentrating on a flippant comment I made elsewhere in the comment.

    Do you, or do you not, admit that bin Laden was trained and financially aided by America to overthrow a previous government of Afghanistan?

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    bin laden (5.00 / 1) (#479)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:23:32 PM EST

    was financed by the american cia.

    exaclty as you said.

    and your point? i am not avoiding you, you just don't understand wehre your line of reaosning leads.

    that is history. if the us is bound by its historical actions, well then what does that say about france's historical obligations to the us? or gemrnay? or anyone to everyone?

    historical oneupmanship is a losing game dude, argue on your principles, not on historical recriminations.

    if the us were an evil blood thirsty monster, at which point is the us allowed to do something everyone agrees upon is a good thing, without being called an evil monster? invading iraq and instilling democracy is a good thing the us can do, whether the us personally financed saddam husseins rise or if the gw bush had anal sex with bin laden in 1988.

    who cares about history! what is the RIGHT THING TO DO TO RIGHT NOW.

    historical recriminations is a game you do not want to play... are you british? are you sure you want to play that game? should i argue for 90 pages about how every problem in the world is great britains fault with 2000 footnotes pointing to historical events? i didn't think so.

    and besides, i would never do that because i am not a hypocrit, despite your accusations. i don't believe it advances the debate. argue on principle. the cold war is over. we are in a new world now.


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

    [ Parent ]

    the right thing to do now (3.00 / 2) (#481)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:27:36 PM EST

    for you is get back home and take a Prozac.
    As of paranoid schyzophrenia, you keep using that word, i don't think it means what you think.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    prozac (5.00 / 1) (#482)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:31:54 PM EST

    hmm... i am a victim of what? sounding like a cranky old man on kuro5hin?

    by that judgment, i need prozac?

    and you sound like what? a breath of fresh air?

    look in the mirror my friend, you area as big a crank as me.

    i'll pass the bottle of prozac over to you when i get it back from the pharmacist, how's that?

    next.

    oh wait, i forgot to receive divine wisdom from you on the meaning of "paranoid schizoprenia."

    ok, i am here waiting for your golden words of instruction for me. tell me, my friend, what is this strange phenomenon of "paranoid schizophrenia" i keep hearing about?

    perhaps you do have more experience on the matter than i do. lol ;-P


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

    [ Parent ]

    nope (1.00 / 1) (#487)
    by vivelame on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:36:31 PM EST

    i answered to some of your arguments, and all you could come up with is ad hominem attacks.
    you showed your inability to have a meaningful and rational debate, you're the fool.
    Case closed.

    --
    Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
    [ Parent ]
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (3.00 / 2) (#490)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:41:10 PM EST

    what?!

    you!?

    talking about ad hominem attacks from me???

    that is hilarious!!!

    dude, read the thread... are you blind to your owwn venom?

    dude, you are as hypocritical and blind as you are egomaniacal. please write back. you have become comic relief for me now. ;-P

    oh wait, i'm sorry, you waved your magic hand and wrote "case closed."

    please forgive me, great man, for speaking out of place, please i humble myself before you.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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

    [ Parent ]

    There's that irony again. (2.50 / 2) (#504)
    by synaesthesia on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:33:28 PM EST

    You say, history does not matter. Most people disagree with you.

    The US will not install democracy. That is the lesson of history. Her stated foreign policy is the advancement of American economic interests. If it were in American economic interests to install a democracy in Iraq, she would do it. But it's not. You wouldn't expect a corporation to behave altruistically at the expense of its shareholders. Why expect the US to behave any differently?

    Yes, I'm British. I'm not proud of Britain's history, but I doubt that every problem in the world is our fault. But we are learning. Blair does not speak for the majority.

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    Well... (3.00 / 1) (#453)
    by epepke on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 02:29:17 PM EST

    I don't know that Europeans are fixated on rebuilding. I get the impression that they just don't like the idea of war or even talking about war. The rebuilding process would be much more important. However, I have some doubts about the U.S. rebuilding. We certainly haven't done anywhere near enough in Afghanistan, and Bush himself said that he had no interest in nation-building, which could be interpreted as just relating to Afghanistan but came out as a general argument. Personally, I think a land invasion of Iraq would take two weeks. It's the problem of what happens afterward that's the proof of the pudding.

    What the U.S. did with Germany and Japan was exactly correct. Notice that there isn't much love lost there. Them's the breaks. However, I really doubt that there's enough will in the U.S. to do the correct thing with respect to Iraq. You have to be willing to piss people off in order to do the right thing, because people don't like it. It's a basic finding of cognitive psychology that people hate their creditors far more than they hate their enemies. This is a big part of the hatred for the U.S. in some Arab countries. I think people in those countries are smart enough to figure out that without the U.S. "support" of Israel, Israel would have "solved" the Palestinian "problem" many years ago, hardly breaking a sweat. People don't hate the bullies; they may fear them or be angry toward them, but they save their hatred for the bully's father, who pulls the bully off them in the playground, because it robs them of their pride and dignity, their sense that they might just prevail if only they had a chance.

    Similarly, Europeans cannot possibly ever forgive the U.S. for intervening in World War II, because the intervention largely worked.

    what ideals are the us flinging mud on? explain, i don't understand what ideals you are alluding to.

    You've got it backward. The ideals that the U.S. should be a place where massive terrorist attacks should not happen, that the U.S. should not be like Europe with its nationalism, classism, pervasive and largely unexamined racism, and millennia-old hatreds and grudges for people who live a couple of blocks away and talk funny, are the U.S. ideals that Europeans are slinging mud on. They claim that what they object to are the U.S. failures to live up to its ideals, such as e.g. internal racism, support of some pretty nasty governments, etc., but what really burns their ass is that the U.S. at least aspires to get away from the kind of crap that Europeans take for granted, that is, that there are some ideals in the first place. It's satisfying for a European to see a terrorist attack in the U.S. because it resolves the cognitive dissonance. The European can say, "Hah! They're fucked, too! Arrogant bastards. Down in the mud like us. Serves them bloody well right."

    These ideas are deeply offensive to most people, and I'm sure I'll be modded down to oblivion. But they are consistent with what we know from cognitive psychology and, when you look at events this way, they make an awful lot more sense than they do when you take statements at face value.


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


    [ Parent ]
    i don't care about america (none / 0) (#475)
    by circletimessquare on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 03:17:10 PM EST

    i don't care about america. america is a red herring in the debate. i care about dmeocracy. i am a citizen of the world, not the us. america has plenty of problems. it is the ideals it inspires to that impress me. and driving democracy in iraq is an improvement that i i care for, not matter who is pushing the case: america, russia, china, who cares.

    democracy is the baseline against which everything is measured. our safety everywhere is in direct proportion to the amount of democracies everywhere. democracies channel the wills of the people into an internal struggle for self-improvement. terrorists drive airplanes into buildings in foreign lands over their frustration at what goes on at home. hand them the keys to their own car. kill and burn the saudi monarchy, and make it a democracy.


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

    [ Parent ]

    What debate? (none / 0) (#499)
    by epepke on Thu Feb 20, 2003 at 04:00:21 PM EST

    don't care about america. america is a red herring in the debate

    What debate? You asked questions, and I answered them from my point of view. If you don't care about the questions or the answers, it would save a lot of bother if you were just not to ask them.

    i care about dmeocracy. i am a citizen of the world, not the us. america has plenty of problems. it is the ideals it inspires to that impress me. and driving democracy in iraq is an improvement that i i care for, not m