Let me see if I can bring us together somewhat, in responding to the points of
riddermark and vivelame.
Firstly, on the issue of the
"Irrelevancy" of the UN. I personally never thought this was a good argument for the
administration to make. I just sort of figured there was a reason for it, that
perhaps the administration knew that this issue was very important to some of the other
countries, even if it wasn't as important to the Bushies. Riddermark pointing out the
obvious contradiction in the US
going it alone is, to me, just shifting the blame back on to the US. But the issue isn't
the relevance of the UN, and the administration pushes the blame back the other way. If
you're worried about terrorism and WMDs, blame for tarnishing the prestige of the UN is
Some of the assumptions and underlying beliefs are different between us, so let me go
over that. Saddam Hussein (SH) is a very dangerous man. He uses every weapon he can
hands on, gas, rockets, whatever. Tools that to other nations are bargaining chips to
be used for defense or whatever (like North Korea, asking for a whole basket of things)
are, for Saddam Hussein, weapons to be used. Let me repeat that, weapons to be used, on people.
Much has been made of the fact that SH is
of people are evil. The campaign against SH is not to punish him for his sins, while
leaving other evil dictators unpunished. A small list relevant to our case will help me explain:
The purpose of this list is just to help clarify what we think SH will do with WMDs. It
answers the question, if he has them, will he use them. Or are they just to impress?
- Invading Iran and using poison gas on unprotected, barely armed Iranian "Army".
- War against the Kurds and using poison gas.
- Invading Kuwait.
- Launching missiles against Israel and Saudi Arabia.
- Refusing to destroy chemical and biological weapons.
- An assortment of domestic felonies, including the bloody purge of the Ba'ath
- Encouraging Palestinian terrorism.
On who? The top
choices are Israel, the US,
and Saudi Arabia coming in third. The Iraqi position on Israel is quite clear, in one
TV broadcast in October 2000, he offered, to join the then-new second intifada with
Iraqi troops, saying "Give us a small adjacent piece of land" and we will fight... The
whole quote is on
translation site. Given that he also pays families of suicide bombers, his working
relations with the Palestinian terrorist groups are close. The only thing that has been
holding SH back from further warfare against somebody has been the presence of
the US and UK military and the sanctions. I really don't see how anyone can doubt this.
Would Saddam Hussein Attack the US?
This C-SPAN site has a
video of President Clinton
describing the compelling evidence of the attempt to assassinate George H. W. Bush
(Senior) on his trip to Kuwait. How much closer do you want him to get before we do
something about it?
Does SH have WMDs ?
Well, in 1991 Security Council
says he did. If you want to study the information that the UN Security Council used to
come to this decision, and try to refute it, go ahead. But be aware that even France and
Russia aren't claiming that SH doesn't have WMDs. And we know SH was
working on nuclear
weapons, when he could. This information at the
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
is more thorough. Be aware that the BAS has been an anti governmental organization in
the US for many, many decades.
People ask, what is the issue, is it Human Rights, is it Democracy in the Middle East,
is it the al-Queda connection, is it the Weapons? Well, I think the diplomacy tells
the tale. The issue being negotiated in the Security Council is weapons. Recently, the
Security Council passed
which just re-inforced resolution 687, which talks about nuclear, biological, and
chemical weapons, and the sanctions. No mention of Rights, democracy, or al-Queda.
I think the ideas that SH does not have, or could not have various WMDs has been put to
rest. If you disagree with the me and with the Security Council, be prepared to present
At this point, you may not agree with all of the above case, but it's a good spot to
take a look at it. In particular, the obvious conclusion is that Saddam Hussein must be
disarmed. Even the French agree. Once you accept that Iraq should be disarmed, the
question is how and when.
Diplomacy and Inspections
There were inspections from 1991 until 1996. There was diplomacy from 1991 through
today. Inspections now are a little better, but only because the US Army is perched on
the border of Iraq. If you think there is some other reason for the sudden cooperation
of SH, then I challenge you to show me what it is. This is the crux of the
difference between us. If the antiwar folks cannot come up with a believable plan for
disarming Iraq without war, then they don't have a case! In other words, this is what
you have to argue to win the argument.
But Isn't Iraq Weak
For the time being, and only because of the sanctions and the military forces of the UN
and the UK.
Up until this point, I have pretty much avoided the point-by-point argument style
because I think we had missed the bigger issues between us. But it's hard to resist:
Domestic Popularity is the Reason for the War
I can't prove this is wrong, except to argue that it seems like dumb strategy for Bush.
is wrong. Too much can go wrong. It can screw up the economy. Years of
"Managing" Iraq afterward. All too hairy. I honestly think it takes courage to go out
on a limb like George W Bush is doing and promote a war against Iraq like this. War
certainly did not help his father -- beat that argument!
Saddam was Forced to Keep the WMDs by the Attempts on his Life
The WMDs Saddam had then and has now (chemical and biological) are useless against an
advanced army like the US and the UK, they
are only useful against civilians and simple armies like that of Iran in the 1980's.
Any smart person would have given up the WMDs and eliminated the reason for the threats.
He could have negotiated with the UN for his life and also had the sanctions lifted.
This is not Texas Diplomacy, "Put down the gun so I can shoot you". This is "Put down
that vial of poison or I will shoot you".
We are asking Saddam to Prove a Negative
Read resolution 687, items 7 through 10. SH knew in 1991 that he had to destroy the
weapons under UN supervision.
France has Just as Much Right to Veto as the US
I never intended to argue differently. I was trying to argue that the Irrelevancy
discussion wasn't very helpful to the antiwar movement, even though it is pretty easy
to attack the administration on this issue.
I am sorry if I wasn't clear.
If You Know Where the Stuff is, Tell the Inspectors
Hopefully, I've generated more light than heat.
We know SH has biological and chemical weapons, we know he has been working very hard to
get nukes. Apparently, we do not know exactly where they are. In a post 9/11 world,
where SH has been shown how to use his WMDs, we are afraid to just walk away. The
insinuations of the antiwar movement has been, that if we can't say where they are, they
don't exist. That is not logic.
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
[ Parent ]