RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - Non-Cycling Discussions


Archive Home >> Non-Cycling Discussions(1 2 3 4 )


WTF..... Iraq...(43 posts)

WTF..... Iraq...jrm
Aug 7, 2002 7:20 PM
Defending a strike by declaring its tied to terrorism and "e-vil". Especially when the real enemy is one that is unknown, unperdictable and irrational. Or is it trying to make daddy and his friends happy by finishing something that daddy couldnt?

We will do no good by attacking Iraq. it will only escalate the situation in the middle east. And in the process put US, the general public in more danger because of personal vedetta of the f*ing Bush family.
you're not the only person to realize thisweiwentg
Aug 7, 2002 7:41 PM
not being privy to the state of George Jr's mind, I won't say whether or not he's trying to finish something dad started. in fact, I would wager that he sincerely believes in the rectitude of his course of action. even if personal vendetta does factor into it, I'm sure he believes in his stated reasons. you underestimate the human capacity for self-deception, jrm. I study psychology, and am somewhat familiar with it.
but yes, your country's invasion could very well make the situation in the Middle East worse. Israel will, I'd wager, take the opportunity to trample on the Palestinians even more. after the US is done smashing Iraq like they did Bosnia, and even if they can keep the country from splintering along ethnic lines, they will probably bungle the nation building bit...

'Worst of all, though, the US has no exit strategy. It has failed to produce an alternative to Saddam Hussein who would command the support of the Iraqi people – and, indeed, of the rest of the Muslim world. Thus a successful attack would probably lead to the disintegration of Iraq as a state, provoking a civil war between Kurds, Sunnis and Shias. This could have a dangerous effect on Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, all of which may be pressed to offer the US bases for an attack on Iraq. As Field Marshal Lord Bramall, formerly Britain's chief of the defence staff, said: "Britain risks being dragged into a very, very messy and long-lasting Middle East war."' - Lord Healey, former Labour Chancellor and Secretary of State for Defence

of course, I know very well that the US government doesn't represent all its people. in fact, it mainly represents the rich, especially the defense companies. but that's another story.
8 Washington lies on Iraqweiwentg
Aug 7, 2002 7:42 PM
http://www.antiwar.com/rep/utley9.html

ONE

IRAQ WAS INVOLVED IN THE 9/11 ATTACK ON AMERICA OR IS CLOSE TO OBTAINING NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

ANSWER: The War Party in Washington has mounted a vast campaign in conservative media to attack Iraq again. See Georgie Anne Geyer column on lobby in Anti-Arab Advocates Risk U.S. Interests. Saddam is an enemy of Islamic Fundamentalists. Iraqi women are among the most emancipated in the Moslem world. You never see Saddam wearing a robe and shouting about Holy War. Iraq has not been a supporter of "global terrorism," although it does support Palestinian terrorists against Israel's UN declared illegal settlements on the West Bank. There is no evidence of Iraqi nuclear ability, nor that it ever provided chemical weapons to other nations or terrorists.

TWO

IF WE DON'T BOMB IRAQ, SADDAM WILL USE HIS WMD AGAINST US OR HIS NEIGHBORS OR ISRAEL

ANSWER: Saddam is rational. He had these weapons during the First Gulf War and didn't use them because he feared our threats of worse consequences even when his nation was being decimated. Israel has some 200 atomic bombs and its own active biological and chemical weapons program. It can well defend itself. Meanwhile Washington arms all Iraq's neighbors (except Iran), and Turkey bombs and invades Iraq at will. Yet the pressure now in Congress to attack Iraq is based upon its unreal threat to Israel. Also, Iraq's neighbors oppose an American attack. If Iraq was such a threat, why do they not fear it?

THREE

IRAQ WOULDN'T LET THE UN--US MONITORS INSPECT POSSIBLE WMD PRODUCTION OR STORAGE SITES. THAT'S WHY AMERICA STARTED BOMBING.

ANSWER: Untrue – Iraq did allow them from 1991 until 1998, but Washington still wouldn't take off the trade blockade, under which thousands of children were dying every week without clean water, electricity, etc. Scott Ritter, the former UNSCOM inspector, told CNN on 2/18/01 "In terms of large-scale weapons of mass destruction programs, these had been fundamentally destroyed or dismantled by the weapons inspectors as early as 1996." Yet Madeleine Albright declared in 1997: "We do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted." Clinton went one step further when he said, "sanctions will be there until the end of time, or as long as he [Saddam] lasts." THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT REPUDIATED THESE STATEMENTS.

Then in 1998 Washington made new demands, access to all government personnel files, the basis of its power structure. UN weapons inspectors were still roaming Iraq and the country had been found "clean" for 7 years. Iraq saw that U.S. demands were just always escalated with no hope of sanctions being lifted. The Iraqis also complained that most of the UN inspectors were British and American intelligence agents, who were trying to overthrow their government (Scott Ritter on CNN 1/5/02 said he had been working with Israeli intelligence from 1995-98). Clinton then launched a new bombing campaign using information from the "spy UN inspectors" for bombing targets. Iraq now fears, justifiably, that this would happen again.

FOUR

IT'S SADDAM'S FAULT THAT HALF A MILLION CHILDREN DIED SINCE THE ECONOMIC BLOCKADE, SADDAM COULD FEED HIS PEOPLE IF HE CARED INSTEAD OF USING HIS MONEY TO BUY WEAPONS – " More than one million Iraqis have died – 500,000 of them children – as a direct consequence of economic sanctions... As many as 12% of the children surveyed in Baghdad are wasted, 28% stunted and 29% underweight." – UN FAO, December 1995. For details see Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children 1990-98.

ANSWER: Nearly all oil sales money has been controlled through United Nations officials, subject to over 35% reduction for reparations (Iraq is forbidden to contest any claim) and UN expenses, and subject to Washington's veto and foot dragging. Washington allowed food and medicine im
8 Washington lies on Iraqweiwentg
Aug 7, 2002 7:43 PM
ANSWER: Untrue – Iraq did allow them from 1991 until 1998, but Washington still wouldn't take off the trade blockade, under which thousands of children were dying every week without clean water, electricity, etc. Scott Ritter, the former UNSCOM inspector, told CNN on 2/18/01 "In terms of large-scale weapons of mass destruction programs, these had been fundamentally destroyed or dismantled by the weapons inspectors as early as 1996." Yet Madeleine Albright declared in 1997: "We do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted." Clinton went one step further when he said, "sanctions will be there until the end of time, or as long as he [Saddam] lasts." THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT REPUDIATED THESE STATEMENTS.

Then in 1998 Washington made new demands, access to all government personnel files, the basis of its power structure. UN weapons inspectors were still roaming Iraq and the country had been found "clean" for 7 years. Iraq saw that U.S. demands were just always escalated with no hope of sanctions being lifted. The Iraqis also complained that most of the UN inspectors were British and American intelligence agents, who were trying to overthrow their government (Scott Ritter on CNN 1/5/02 said he had been working with Israeli intelligence from 1995-98). Clinton then launched a new bombing campaign using information from the "spy UN inspectors" for bombing targets. Iraq now fears, justifiably, that this would happen again.

FOUR

IT'S SADDAM'S FAULT THAT HALF A MILLION CHILDREN DIED SINCE THE ECONOMIC BLOCKADE, SADDAM COULD FEED HIS PEOPLE IF HE CARED INSTEAD OF USING HIS MONEY TO BUY WEAPONS – " More than one million Iraqis have died – 500,000 of them children – as a direct consequence of economic sanctions... As many as 12% of the children surveyed in Baghdad are wasted, 28% stunted and 29% underweight." – UN FAO, December 1995. For details see Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children 1990-98.

ANSWER: Nearly all oil sales money has been controlled through United Nations officials, subject to over 35% reduction for reparations (Iraq is forbidden to contest any claim) and UN expenses, and subject to Washington's veto and foot dragging. Washington allowed food and medicine imports, but almost nothing else for economic reconstruction. For nearly ten years it blockaded chlorine to sanitize the water and any equipment to rebuild the electricity grid, sanitation and irrigation facilities. Even pencils for school children were prohibited. (A NY Times editorial 2/11/01 reports, "currently American diplomats are holding up billions of dollars of imports needed for civilian transportation, electric power generation...and even medical treatment"). Finally the Europeans rebelled at the cruelty and shamed Washington into allowing such imports, (NY Times 12/6/00). However, as of 12/2/01 about $1 billion of electric and other machinery has been held up for a year by Washington. Until oil prices increased in 2000, sales ran about $4 billion yearly minus about 35% withheld by UN left 2.6 billion divided by 20 million population = $130 per year per person = 36 cents per day per person for food, medicine.

Iraq is now also getting substantial monies through sales of smuggled oil, especially since the price of oil went up and the rest of the world tires of the American blockade. No doubt some of this goes for weapons purchases.

FIVE

IF IRAQ ALLOWED INSPECTIONS FOR WMD (WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION), WASHINGTON WOULD REMOVE THE BLOCKADE. IRAQ MUST PROVE THAT IT HAS NO WMD AND THAT IT WON'T MANUFACTURE ANY IN THE FUTURE.

ANSWER: There's No Connection Between Inspections and Sanctions on Iraq. Equally no Nation can "prove" a negative, that it's not doing something. Biological and chemical weapons can be made, "in a large closet which is all the space you need to mix deadly chemical weapons... Chemical and bio
8 Washington lies on Iraqweiwentg
Aug 7, 2002 7:43 PM
FIVE

IF IRAQ ALLOWED INSPECTIONS FOR WMD (WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION), WASHINGTON WOULD REMOVE THE BLOCKADE. IRAQ MUST PROVE THAT IT HAS NO WMD AND THAT IT WON'T MANUFACTURE ANY IN THE FUTURE.

ANSWER: There's No Connection Between Inspections and Sanctions on Iraq. Equally no Nation can "prove" a negative, that it's not doing something. Biological and chemical weapons can be made, "in a large closet which is all the space you need to mix deadly chemical weapons... Chemical and biological weapons are the great equalizers against our atomic weapons." (Time "Everyman a Superpower", 11/24/97).

Re inspections, Reuters reported, 12/13/99, "The (European) aim was to prevent the United States and Britain from imposing arms requirements that Iraq could not meet and thus keeping the sanctions in place for years to come." And Agence France Presse 12/13/99, "French diplomats retorted that by insisting on full cooperation, the council would give the United States an excuse to refuse to suspend sanctions on the flimsiest grounds."

Scott Ritter, former head of the U.N. arms inspection team in Iraq, on the NBC Today Show, 12/17/98, explained, "Washington perverted the U.N. weapons process by using it as a tool to justify military actions... The U.S. was using the inspection process as a trigger for war." For details on how Iraq complied, e.g. 700 inspections by UN/US officials, and grew to realize that Washington would prevent the sanctions from ever being lifted see Le Monde-Diplomatique . Note also that Iraq did not expel the inspectors. The U.N. withdrew them in anticipation of the extensive American bombing attacks.

SIX

IT'S IRAQ'S FAULT THAT THE BLOCKADE CONTINUES. AMERICA HAS NOTHING AGAINST IRAQ'S PEOPLE, ONLY AGAINST ITS GOVERNMENT.

ANSWER: Britain and Washington have introduced a "peace plan"demanding that Iraq must allow inspections, but would still be under the trade blockade indefinitely.

Russia and France have introduced a plan (vetoed by Washington) allowing for immediate lifting of sanctions in return for continued, ongoing WMD inspections and blockade of military supplies. Washington's policy (also followed in Serbia) is to tell local dictators to get themselves killed or thrown out of power (and then tried for "war crimes") or otherwise have their citizenry starve while their country's devastated economy is kept in ruins. The policy was denounced by former Pres. Jimmy Carter . (For detailed discussion of UN resolutions see CASI from Cambridge and IAC detailed analysis of UN Resolution)

Most nations in the world want trade sanctions lifted for non-military goods. It is the U.S. veto that prevents lifting of sanctions (United Press, 11/1/00). Imposed in 1990 many nations argue that they were never intended to last for years and are one of the most brutal sanction regimes in modern history. The crippling trade embargo is incompatible with the UN charter as well as UN conventions on human rights and the rights of the child (BBC News Online, 9/30/00).

SEVEN

SADDAM GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE

ANSWER: Atrocities are often the key substance of propaganda to get Americans to go to war. Didn't our government also do that at Waco? The C2 gas used by the FBI killed children who couldn't fit into gas masks and then created an explosive mixture which triggered fire and immolation, (see super documentary, Waco, nominated for an Academy Award).

To see how good natured Americans are lied to by our own government see, How Hill and Knowlton Public Relations "sold" the Iraq War). For the First World War, it was stories that German soldiers ate Belgian babies. For the Iraq war it was lies about babies being thrown out of incubators, "testified" to a Congressional Committee, with massive media coverage, by a "mystery" witness who later turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti sheik's ruling family who is Ambassador in Washington. It was all lies. Then we were told there were aeri
8 Washington lies on Iraqweiwentg
Aug 7, 2002 7:43 PM
ANSWER: Atrocities are often the key substance of propaganda to get Americans to go to war. Didn't our government also do that at Waco? The C2 gas used by the FBI killed children who couldn't fit into gas masks and then created an explosive mixture which triggered fire and immolation, (see super documentary, Waco, nominated for an Academy Award).

To see how good natured Americans are lied to by our own government see, How Hill and Knowlton Public Relations "sold" the Iraq War). For the First World War, it was stories that German soldiers ate Belgian babies. For the Iraq war it was lies about babies being thrown out of incubators, "testified" to a Congressional Committee, with massive media coverage, by a "mystery" witness who later turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti sheik's ruling family who is Ambassador in Washington. It was all lies. Then we were told there were aerial photographs of the Iraqi Army massed on Saudi Arabia's border ready to attack. They were never released; they apparently were lies too. How do we know we weren't also lied to about the gassing? See Jude Wanniski Report on gassing for questions about it.

For more background and earlier answers about Iraq, please go to http://iraqwar.org/talking-points.htm and to http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-consp.htm#one about the missing evidence that Iraq was planning to attack Saudi Arabia in 1990.

EIGHT

A WAR WOULD BE QUICK AND EASY TO WIN. IRAQIS WOULD WELCOME AMERICANS TO OVERTHROW THEIR CRUEL DICTATOR. AMERICA WOULD THEN SET UP A FRIENDLY REGIME, EASILY OCCUPY THE COUNTRY AND RID IT OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

ANSWER: To assume that after massive new bombing (what we always do) and killing tens of thousands more Arabs, that America would be welcome is unreal. Also Washington is now considered in the Arab world as an instrument of Israeli policies. More likely would be continuing guerrilla warfare against occupying Americans, possible break up of the nation, economic chaos in Jordan and Turkey which trade with Iraq, and/or the rise of a new dictator. War, once started, has its own momentum. Arnaud de Borchgrave draws a possible scenario of a worldwide oil crisis, overthrow of pro-U.S. Moslem regimes, and chaos for American interests.

Also millions more Moslems would be seeking vengeance against America. There would be little support in Congress for a prolonged occupation and "Democracy building."

CONCLUSION

Look at the above and think how America is now hated. No wonder many Arabs engage in suicide missions. American soldiers are so unpopular in Saudi Arabia that the government hides our Airmen away in desert bases to keep them out of sight from its citizenry. How the world sees us was reported by the Wall Street Journal's European edition editor (2/24/98):

"What came up most were charges of American hypocrisy. The US wants to bomb Iraq over its violations of UN directives, but won't take any action against the Israelis for theirs (e.g. occupation of and settlements in Palestine)."

Washington Times columnist Bruce Fein (10/9/01) put it another way, "Other nations and peoples are more resentful of our pious hypocrisy than of Realpolitik bluntness."

No doubt America can easily decimate Iraq again. But then what? More death, more hatred, more enemies wanting vengeance. Out of the billion plus Moslem world others would finally find new ways, perhaps biological, to hit us back. And meanwhile we would live in constant fear of that day.

If, instead, Washington showed justice and fairness in its policies, then it would not be creating sworn and desperate enemies who, in former Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick's words, "define themselves as being Enemies of America." The best security for Americans is not to make so many enemies (see Joseph Sobran column, How Many Enemies Do We Want?)

ADDENDUM

The Boston Globe (5/16/99) reported:

"In planning the 1991 Persian Gulf War, US officers found a 12 bridg
8 Washington lies on Iraqweiwentg
Aug 7, 2002 7:44 PM
ADDENDUM

The Boston Globe (5/16/99) reported:

"In planning the 1991 Persian Gulf War, US officers found a 12 bridges for the movement of Iraqi troops in and out of Kuwait. US planes bombed those bridges over and over, with little effect. So they bombed every bridge in Iraq, 160 in all, about two-thirds of them far from Kuwait. After a while, all bridges were seen and treated equally. Similarly, now in Belgrade, it seems, all military agencies are seen and treated as if they were of equal importance. The Pentagon announced last week that three-quarters of the targets hit in this air war, 270 out of 380, have been 'strategic targets.' Only 110 have been directly connected to the soldiers and militias in Kosovo."

Jon Basil Utley is the Robert A. Taft Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. A former correspondent for Knight/Ridder in South America, Utley has written for the Harvard Business Review on foreign nationalism and Insight Magazine on preparation for terrorist threats.
Yes, and it would appear...rwbadley
Aug 7, 2002 8:20 PM
these are all valid points. The scary thing is, we are powerless to stop the scenario that is unfolding on a daily basis. The Bush administration is hell-bent on forcing this down our throats. The Media seems to be 'gearing up' for what looks to be inevitable.

Many Americans believe this action to be the right thing. A while back I made the off-hand comment that it was only a matter of time before this sort of situation took place. The pre-emptive strike on a possible crime, ala Minority Report.

I admire the goal of decreasing the hazard of terrorist activity. Why not try to work on why this activity takes place? If the Palistinians are so desperate they resort to suicide bombing (which is really the only effective weapon they have, as they are not supplied by US military) does that not indicate a very real problem that should be addressed?

We are living in very interesting times, my friends.

RW
Yes, and it would appear...weiwentg
Aug 8, 2002 12:28 AM
> The scary thing is, we are powerless to stop the scenario that is unfolding on a daily basis.

not as powerless as you might think; we may not be able to stop it but we can speak against it. German citizens eventually realized the magnitude of their nations crimes during WWII, as did (perhaps to a lesser extent) Japanese citizens, and perhaps later American citizens will.

> If the Palistinians are so desperate they resort to suicide bombing (which is really the only effective weapon they have, as they are not supplied by US military) does that not indicate a very real problem that should be addressed?

yes, but remember the vast human capacity for self deception. ask most conservatives (minus most libertarians), and they will say no.
in fact, ask a lot of liberals and those idiots will say no.
Why do writers do this?TJeanloz
Aug 8, 2002 5:00 AM
I was perfectly willing to believe that these were all lies and myths until I got to number seven, that Saddam gassed his own people.

The "answer" to this "lie" is that everybody has done it and Saddam is no worse than the FBI. That doesn't seem like much refuting, and I've seen a lot of credible journalism (a particularly horrifying New Yorker article, for example) that indicates that he did do it.

So the problem here is that I know (or I think I know) the background to one of these "lies" and I don't know the background to the other seven. But the one I know doesn't corroborate with the story told, so it casts doubt on the other seven. I don't know why writers stretch things like this. It doesn't help their arguement, which, in this case, I have no doubt is at least partly true. But I don't know which to believe and which to not believe, so I'm left at the status quo of not really being convinced by any of it.
"Saddam is rational" - You must be trolling...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 7, 2002 8:59 PM
If I did not recognize your handle I would laugh you off as a troll. However, I must wonder what would prompt you to say such a thing.

It's good you answered your own statements because not many others could have come up with such, ... , interesting observations.
"Saddam is rational" - You must be trolling...weiwentg
Aug 8, 2002 12:12 AM
firstly, not my article. see the bottom of the last post in the chain.
secondly, he's certainly been rational not to use his WMDs - the writer meant rational in that narrow sense. if he were completely irrational, he would probably have used them against Israeli and Kuwaiti civilians. assuming he had the means. certainly he could have equipped, say Hamas, with nerve gas.
and yes, I know that he has used them against the Kurds, and MAY have used them against US forces (Gulf War Syndrome, possibly also due to exposure to depleted uranium particles, reason not confirmed anyway).
You can be rational and still be a very bad....Wayne
Aug 8, 2002 3:53 AM
person. I think Saddam has pretty much acted in a rational manner throughout his career with some serious miscalculations along the way. As far as world leaders go this guy probably deserves a bullit in the head more than anyone. This whole propaganda thing to link him to terrorism/potential WMD against U.S. seems like something out of the 50's that any half-way thoughtful person can see through. If the US govt. feels there is a legitimate reason to go after him than say so, but don't feed us a bunch of B.S., and have a plan. The worst thing that could come out of us offing him is the destabilization of the middle east. He's really only a threat to his own people which sucks for them. I hate to be a cynic but could this threat of war with Iraq be a re-election ploy in the face of the perceived and real economic woes we have at home? I certainly hope not.
I'm Just a-shaving my shoulders ... Homer J Simpsonjose_Tex_mex
Aug 8, 2002 11:11 AM
Seriously, Saddam is rational? You can be bad and still be rational. This sounds like something Homer would argue.

He's the leader of a totalitarian regime. He murders his own family and people. He cannot be reasoned with, therefore he is not rational.

Don't let his narcissim be interpreted as rationale.
Perfectly rational...Wayne
Aug 8, 2002 11:58 AM
I live in the lap of luxury and enjoy the power I have over others and the freedom I have to do whatever I want. I will do anything to maintain that position as it is the most important thing to me.
What is irrational about that? Aren't you confusing immoral with irrational? Why do you think he's letting the weapons inspectors back in now? It's perfectly rational, his main desire is to remain in power, it looks as though we may be gearing up to invade him under any number of pretences one of which is his failure to comply with UN decrees. So now he complies to take away one line of our justification for war (well actually two if the weapon inspectors find no evidence of WMD). Morality doesn't come out of some rational thought process necessarily, of course you can be perfectly rational yet bad. You really believe that acting badly/immorally is equal to acting irrationally? I'm sure with any thought we could clearly come up with good irrational behaviors and bad rational behaviors.
Who said anything about morality???jose_Tex_mex
Aug 8, 2002 1:25 PM
I am defining rational as having reason or being agreeable to reason. Reason implies "not extreme or excessive" and "possessing sound judgment." If you think these concepts accurately describe a genocidal totalitarian regime such as Saddam's then I respectfully disagree.

WRT this definition Saddam is not rational - he is not reasonable. We tried reasoning with him on the arms inspectors and he just played games.

We tried reasoning with him prior to the air war, he played games.

We tried reasoning with him prior to the start of the ground war, he played games.

His irrational behaviour far outweighs any passing nebulous rational-looking behaviour.

Saddam does not reason, he reacts. It's his way or you die. I fail to see any reason there.

Just because he wants to save his own ass does not mean he is a reasonable/rational being.

Do you think Hitler was rational? How about Stalin?
Good point. (nm)Jon Billheimer
Aug 9, 2002 9:44 AM
A trucker was driving down the road one day...Sintesi
Aug 9, 2002 11:41 AM
and begins to pass along the long fence of the state insane asylum. As he's driving along he comes up to a tunnel. The tunnel has a sign saying "tunnel height 12'7"." He hits the brakes, pulls over and hops out of the rig. His truck is exactly 12' 7 1/2" in height. He looks back down the long road he has just driven, there is no place to turn around, backing up a 1/2 mile on this fairly busy stretch of road is not an appetizing prospect. He doesn't know what to do, he's stuck.

Just then he notices a man with wild hair, wearing a bathrobe, hanging on the fence staring intently at him. Obviously a patient the trucker looks away.

The patient speaks to him, "What are you doing? What's the matter?"

The trucker smiles weakly at him, "Oh, I'm stuck. My truck is half an inch too high to fit through the tunnel and I can't turn around. Guess I'm gonna have to call the office and get a tow." He shrugs his shoulders and turns towards the truck to get a phone.

"Hey," says the patient.

"What?"

"Why don't you just let the air out of your tires so your truck drops down an inch and drive on through that way?"

The trucker's mouth drops, "You know that's a pretty good idea. That's a great idea! Wow! Thanks."

He turns to the task and sure enough the truck lowers to a height that will allow him to pass.

The Trucker turns to the patient, who is still there staring at him and says, "I gotta tell you that was pretty smart advice I can't imagine what you're doing locked up in an istitution like this."

The patient stares at him a while and finally says, "Look buddy I'm crazy, not stupid."
Please your "Washington" sources...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 7, 2002 9:06 PM
In particular, I would enjoy seeing who said the next war would be an "easy win."

Please provide.
Please state your "Washington" sources... nmjose_Tex_mex
Aug 7, 2002 9:13 PM
once again, not my articleweiwentg
Aug 8, 2002 12:25 AM
BUT the CIVILIAN leadership seems to believe, implicitly, that war against Iraq would be fairly easy to win. I believe the writer sees the Bush administration's determination to remove Saddam, and their dismissal of objections, and comes to the conclusion he did. there are a lot of military leaders who do believe that it would be difficult. there are those who believe that it would be doable, but not worth it.
however, I can not point to any one person who said winning in Iraq would be easy.
frankly, judging from Afghanistan, it might be difficult, but your nation's armed forces are (for better or worse) experienced in military matters, and tecnologically advanced. they could certainly win in Iraq, given air superiority. what happens after that, I have no idea. for all your talk of democracy, your government has only allowed it to flourish where it doesn't threaten US interests (eg Latin America).
More of the same weiwentg BS. nmSintesi
Aug 8, 2002 6:01 AM
CapriceJon Billheimer
Aug 8, 2002 6:23 AM
There is always a certain arbitrariness and capriciousness in the "targets" that Washington selects. There is certainly no shortage of evil governments and dictatorships for GWB to pick on the world over. A good case can be made for specifically withdrawing support from and targeting Saudi Arabia as the central nexus in international Islamic terrorism, but that would run counter to American corporate and strategic interests. The unspeakable tragedy of this whole thing is the untold suffering of the Iraqi people already as a result of the Gulf War and UN sanctions. Any kind of war, for whatever purposes, will inflict more unimaginable suffering on millions of civilians. I don't think the American people, or perhaps anyone else, fully comprehend and appreciate this. And the planners in Washington simply don't care.
Pure Capriciousness?Sintesi
Aug 8, 2002 9:08 AM
Look, there is "unspeakable tragedy" and there is "unspeakable tragedy." Who gets to be the recipient of this tragedy? I can imagine scenarios 5-6 years down the road that are even uglier than a supposed disruption of the current Palestinian-Israeli peace initiatives, than the suffering, death and hardships a war with Iraq would cause in the here and now. I don't have crystal ball but then neither does anyone else.

The fact of the matter is that the people in Iraq (not to mention the rest of the Arab world - Saudi Arabia is indeed a case in point) suffer unnecesarily because of the brutality of the dictatorships under which they live. This isn't the US' fault. I went over this before with my pal weiwentg before: the food and assistance was offered to Iraq back in Feb or March of '91 and the Iraqi's basically refused until '96. What are supposed to do? force them to help their own people? Can't do it. Not to mention during this time there was billions of dollars of illegal trade which continued throughout the sanctions (what do you suppose that money was spent on? Not on easing suffering obviously). When the Iraqi's decided to finally sell their oil for food and medical supplies they keep a third of it in escrow refusing to spend it. In the north, because of the well known enmity of the Kurdish people and Iraq, the UN itself distributed food and relief with just 13% of those funds which resulted in an unmitigate success in averting disaster from malnutrition in that area. Where the Iraqis have control, as everyone knows, this has not been the case although the funds have been available for years. You can pin this disaster on one man, one regime. To say the war caused this, to say the sanctions caused this is a misinformation and propaganda. Saddam wants everyone in the Arab world to think the cruel West is killing his civilians and this is not the case. He is a cruel, callous murderer.

One of the problems with articles such as the ones posted by weiwentg is that the administration has not determined what the ultimate policy is. The article sets up a point by point straw man argument. They can't call the current administration a bunch of liars when they've failed to proffer a set policy in the first place. Everyone is talking like war with Iraq is some sort of eventuality. What we have in regards to Iraq is a contentious debate about our policy is and that's precisely what it should be. For all you know, the saber rattling amy be a part of policy itself.

I don't see caprice, I think the main actors in the debate know the consequences and consider them.
do you know, I hate to let people, especially you,weiwentg
Aug 8, 2002 8:03 AM
pull my strings. so I won't respond to that.
oh, and btw,weiwentg
Aug 8, 2002 8:16 AM
if you make a reasoned logical argument, I'll be happy to answer you. anything else is beneath contempt.
Can't help youself can you?Sintesi
Aug 8, 2002 9:15 AM
"beneath contempt" One thing you know more than anything is contemptuosness for those who argue back. I liked your well reasoned point of view that Bush is a war criminal and belongs in a jail cell with Saddam Hussein. You find these two to be morally equivalent don't you? Hoo Boy!

Yeah I'd say your pretty rational and even handed all right.
Can't help youself can you?Jon Billheimer
Aug 8, 2002 11:57 AM
My point is not that Saddam isn't fully as evil as everyone says he is, simply that on moral grounds a unilateral, pre-emptive military overthrow by the U.S. government is not, in my opinion justified. If the U.S. were truly serious about containing the threat of Islamic terrorism they wouldn't be propping up the Saudis.

I do disagree with you, Sintesi, on one point. The Bush administration does intend to go to war against Iraq. The rhetoric, the press coverage, the public diplomacy, etc. all points very clearly in that direction. This is not a public debate. It's a propaganda campaign to get the American people and as many allies as possible on side.
Can't help youself can you?Sintesi
Aug 8, 2002 12:38 PM
"The Bush administration does intend to go to war against Iraq. The rhetoric, the press coverage, the public diplomacy, etc. all points very clearly in that direction. This is not a public debate. It's a propaganda campaign to get the American people and as many allies as possible on side."

I guess we do disagree but only in part. I have no doubt that key personnel in the Administration advocate full-on war, many are debating not "if" but "how and when" to go about it. But i also believe there are voices opposed. I've read key members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Colin Powell are less than hot on the idea. Key allies are throwing cold water on the the notion. The Israili-Palestinian picture is distracting as well. I see all these forces as tempering, and whatever Dick Cheney and George Bush want to do, they may not be able to do. There is also this nagging problem of convincing the American public and I'm not so sure we can be talked into an open-ended conflict, Vietnam remains a spectre (Saddam banks on this concept). I don't think this can be shoved down our throats. I concede I could easily be mistaken, who knows?

So I remain unconvinced that we will in fact go to war although I am keenly interested in the debate. If we get hit by another 9/11 then hold on to your hats we'll probably jump in with both feet.
Biased reporting, lies, Half truths, & misdirectionLen J
Aug 8, 2002 6:29 AM
This article you have copied is clearly a one-sided biased attempt to simplify what is a very complicated situitation. As TJ says, this bias and misdirection dilutes his fundamental argument that it is "All washington's" fault. Followed to it's logical conclusion we would see Sadam as a guiltless participant in all that has transpired for the last 10 years.

Here is what I think:
-Sadam is a tyrant, merciless & ruthless in dealing with any threat to his position of power. He has gassed the Kurds (his own people, or at least people that are part of the country he rules). He has killed thousands of his own subjects. He does live in the lap of luxury while his population starves. He is also clever, intelligent and knows that he can play his position against the fundamentalist boggymen when dealing with the west.

-The U.S. position on Isreal does sometimes, get in the way of doing what is best for the entire middle east situitation. It, unfortunatly is what allies do. The Arab position always sees this as an anti Arab bias & probably always will. The truth is somewhere in the middle. I think we sometimes do give Isreal too much latitude to do things that we know are wrong &/or don't criticize actions that are clearly "over the edge" vis a vis the palestinians especially.

-It has been documented that Iraq has (while their people starve) funded terrorism in an unbroken line for the last 15 years. It is unclear yet weather or not they were involved in 9/11. The current administration is convinced they were and is obviously preparing the American people for war.

-The European & especially the Russian position on the blokade has nothing to do with what is right & just. Rather it is more about their own economic situitation. Russia depended on commerce with Iraq for years as a source of hard currency. They have been hurt more than other countries by the blockade. To pretend otherwise is to be foolish. The French were Irag's second largest trading partner & have been hurt almost as much as Russia. To look at their position without lookin at their own self-serving motivation is doing a disservice to any legitimate debate.

-I do agree that a key to selling the move on Iraq will be a clear exit strategy. This was clearly the reason that Saddam was not removed in the last war. Unfortunatly it appears that Iraq will degenerate into open ethnic fighting without a strong leader. Unfortunatly this appears to be the undercurrent in most if not all moslim countries.

-I do believe that Saddam has continued to fund WMD development and is a threat to the rest of the world when you couple this with his support of Terrorism. Do you trust him with WMD? I don't.

My .02

Len
of course. can't deal with message, attack messenger. :)weiwentg
Aug 8, 2002 8:15 AM
> I do believe that Saddam has continued to fund WMD development and is a threat to the rest of the world when you couple this with his support of Terrorism. Do you trust him with WMD? I don't.

ask Scott Ritter about the WMD program. as of '98, it was mostly destroyed.
http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/02/18/iraq.airstrike/index.html

> I do agree that a key to selling the move on Iraq will be a clear exit strategy. This was clearly the reason that Saddam was not removed in the last war.

while I am not privy to the reasons for Saddam's non removal, I will say this. I am not alone, not even among Americans, in believing that any sort of war against Iraq and its long-suffering people - people who suffer under sanctions initiated by the US government - is at this point immoral. Libertarians believe that it would be immoral period. I can accept that if Saddam posed a serious threat, and the Palestine/Israel conflict had been settled, a war to remove him MIGHT be moral ...

> Unfortunatly it appears that Iraq will degenerate into open ethnic fighting without a strong leader. Unfortunatly this appears to be the undercurrent in most if not all moslim countries.

you ignore Malaysia and Brunei, which are quite stable, and probably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and many other Gulf states (might be wrong). however, you could be quite correct about Iraq degenerating into ethnic war. what will the US do about it?

> -The European & especially the Russian position on the blokade has nothing to do with what is right & just. Rather it is more about their own economic situitation.

be that as it may (and I think you are right to say that), is the US embargo on Iraq based on justice? if so, BULLSHIT. I posted below about how many children have died. only a fool like Sintesi would have you believe that such an act is moral.

your first two statements are on the money, for what that's worth. with the possible exception of the Israel bit. there should be no latitude: UN resolutions demand that they withdraw to the green line, and state clearly that the settlements are illegal. in both instances they are over the line.
Whose attacking the messanger?Len J
Aug 8, 2002 9:23 AM
I was just pointing out the one-sided nature of the article.

"ask Scott Ritter about the WMD program. as of '98, it was mostly destroyed"

The key word here is Mostly. In addition, he has had 4 years to rebuild it. The key components of rebuilding are knowledge & plutoninm both of which he has. I think if you do some digging that will become obvious. He is a threat, that, I think is undeniable. The question is do we have the moral authority to do something about it. At this point I am not convinced one way or the other, but unlike you, I am trying to look at both sides of the issue & keep an open mind.

"I can accept that if Saddam posed a serious threat, and the Palestine/Israel conflict had been settled, a war to remove him MIGHT be moral ... "

How can something change from immoral to moral based on the resolution of another conflict? This makes no sense. The two situitations are not related other than by geography & Saddam's insistance that they are. What he has done to his people & to the rest of the world thru his funding of terrorism is evil (& I suspect he would do anyway) with or without a Isreal/Pal. conflict. He wraps himself in that conflict in an effort to distract & confuse.

"you ignore Malaysia and Brunei, which are quite stable, and probably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and many other Gulf states (might be wrong). however, you could be quite correct about Iraq degenerating into ethnic war. what will the US do about it? "

While these areas may be "stable" they are not what I would consider fostering etnic equality. In most cases (Saudi Arabia being a great example) there is an undercurrent of racial strife that could break into a confrontation at any time.

"is the US embargo on Iraq based on justice? if so, BULLSHIT. I posted below about how many children have died. only a fool like Sintesi would have you believe that such an act is moral. "

Two points you ignore, 1 How much money is Saddam diverting from aid to military support & lining his own pockets? & 2 The US has said all along, let the inspectors back in with the same access they had before they were thrown out & we will increase the humanatarian aid. This was rejected, why? What is SH hiding? Why doesn't he share a good part of the blame? He is the one who invaded a soverign country, he is the one stealing fropm his people, he is the one obstacle to increased aid. Why is it all the US's fault?

One final note, you have decided that any move on Iraq is immoral (at least until the palestinian issue is resolved, (I still don;t get that)) and are consequently looking at every justification to support that. Again, I wish things in the real world were that simple. Remember that Saddam is a master at manipulation of events, it sounds like you have fallen into his trap. Try to work to see the other positions.

All that being said, I am not sure that it is correct to invade Iraq. If we decide to, I hope the administration gives us more justification than we have now. I do think that the long we let this sore fester, the more likely it is that he will strike out against us in some terroristic way. Should we wait for americans to die?

Len
But Why?Wayne
Aug 8, 2002 10:11 AM
I try to look at this from a balanced perspective and if it was just him and me in a room I don't think I'd have any moral problem with offing him and doing the world a favor but you say, "I do think that the long we let this sore fester, the more likely it is that he will strike out against us in some terroristic way." Why would he do this, it makes no sense, he should just sit tight and remain in power? He only invaded Kuwait b/c he thought we wouldn't do anything about it (a serious miscalculation). Clearly we've shown we will stand up to terrorist attacks so why would he in any direct way get linked to terrorism against us?
Not sure if it was you or another poster but lumping Palestinian terrorism (which is what Iraq has supported somewhat) in with Al Quaeda terrorism seems unjust. Although both are reprehensible one is a real threat to the US the other really isn't. Hasn't it been impossible to get any real link to him and Al Quaeda, afterall doesn't Al Quaeda oppose his rule just like it opposes that of the Saudi royal family. And even from a purely US self-interest perspective, ignoring the moral arguements, is it really in our interest to get rid of him? What's changed between now and the end of the gulf war? The weapons inspectors we're always a joke according to the guy who was the chief of his nuclear bomb project, who has since defected to the west (talk about brain drain). And even if they could build a bomb how would they deliver it? They could barely get a SCUD to Israel. It just doesn't make sense to argue Saddam is a threat to the US. He just wants to stay in power, he's not on some God trip like the Al Quaeda folks.
Good questions.Len J
Aug 8, 2002 10:20 AM
I think that greed will be the reason he strikes out, greed & ego. I think that the development of the WMD will result in him "selling them" to some terrorist group. Once that genie is out of the bottle, I believe that they will be used against the US.

I too am not convinced of a link to 9/11. The statement I made was that clearly the Bush admin is convinced of the link. It is implicit in the increased public posturing prepaqring the american people for an invasion of Iraq.

In terms of the delivery, a backpack nucular device is easily delivered on the back of a suicide bomber.

I also question what benefit we would receive in ousting Saddam. That is where I agree that a clear exit strategy is necessary.

Len
My understanding is that Saddam does behave rationally.Sintesi
Aug 8, 2002 11:14 AM
I read a profile on Saddam recently in this book "Rogue Regimes" their take was that he was largely predictable. When Saddam has something to lose he grows conservative and takes less risk, conversely when his back is against the wall he starts swinging wildly (scud missiles into Israel). Right now he wants to be an irritant to the US by open bellicosity and diplomatic games. Continued containment and diplomatic pressure was their suggestion. Cold war tactics. Suppress him as much as possible and wait for him to die like we're doing Castro.

The WMD aspect is supposedly "incontrovertible" and Tony Blair has recently claimed he has smoking gun type documents. Not released tho, which is troubling. Most experts agree that Iraq possessess biological and chemical weapons and is 5-6 years away from creating a nuclear device.

The big question is: Is it better to wait and see if he behaves according to profile or to attack now and remove all doubt. The complicity in 9/11 is, from everything I've heard thus far, circumstantial.

However, He is paying the families of suicide bombers $25,000 each, if that isn't sponsoring terrorism I don't what is.
Let's define rationaljose_Tex_mex
Aug 8, 2002 1:33 PM
In my small corner of the world I use rational to describe someone who is open to reason - agreeable to reason. I see reason as "not extreme or excessive " or "possessing good judgment."

Now if this is the way people define rational where you live, I fail to see how one can look upon Saddam and believe his is rational and/or reasonable.

If my definition is wrong, please define.
Let's define rationalSintesi
Aug 9, 2002 5:43 AM
Oh i think he's a nut job alright. We don't disagree at all it's just the use of terms. When I say rational I mean "predictable," or rather he responds to pressure in a predictable way.

Saddam is a megalomaniacal and power hungry but he is also calculating. He can behave rationally but he's twisted like Hitler. The longer he is allowed to continue the greater the risk that some truly catastrophic act will manifest itself in that region. I don't know if he truly wants to start world war three by starting a war with Israel in an attempt to create a pan-arab/muslim super regime or if he merely uses this scenario as a ruse to achieve his personal goals. I do know this man wants to strike back at the US, of this I have no doubt, but will he risk all to do it? Or will he behave "rationally" and not provoke us to keep what he has? I don't know.
of course. can't deal with message, attack messenger. :)Sintesi
Aug 8, 2002 9:57 AM
"only a fool like Sintesi would have you believe that such an act is moral."

I made no such statement. My point was your characterization of the act is wrong-headed ("cock-eyed" was the phrase I used), in error and misguided by your own, admitted, anti-Bush administration bias (take you pick which one - he hates them both and says so openly- and I mean "hate" that's a quote). Therefore you cannot say I condone such and such until we agree as to what in fact happened and who is culpable. The US is not responsible for the suffering the the Iraqis. The means for aiding the Iraqi people have been there since the war ended. The Iraqis refused the aid. Even after they received the aid the did not use it to its full effectiveness. It's sad but it is not our fault.

My my. Can't stop the seething can you, weiwentg? You have to insult me on the side to others. Do I stick in your craw? Why would that be? Hmmm.

Why don't admit you lost our original argument or at least conceded it because you refused to answer the points I made?

BTW, whereever you go posting your biased junk I'll be there to respond.
For once (and only once) I agree with weiwentg.cory
Aug 8, 2002 7:36 AM
I think Bush "sincerely believes in the rectitude" of everything he does and says. That's the problem--a little doubt and self-questioning is often a good thing.
Isnt International Relations and Game Theorie Cool...jrm
Aug 8, 2002 6:33 PM
Cool thread.

PS: "Hell, they bought their tickets, let um die.
It kills me to agree with democrats......firstrax
Aug 8, 2002 6:17 AM
But then again I am not really a republican, rather a fiscal conservative and social liberal.
I have never been comfortable with attacking a country for what they might do if given the chance. Its like giving speeding tickets to anyone who buys a corvette instead of waiting to see if they are really going to use it to speed.

I doubt the pending attack is any kind of personal vendetta. George Sr. never intended to oust Saddam. If Saddam had fallen we would have had to attack Iran for invading Iraq. Our objective in the middle east is to keep things at a stalemate. Its more likely an election issue. Americans love to watch smart bombs on CNN. Shame on them, shame on us.
these discussions are pretty funny when you don't participate nmDougSloan
Aug 8, 2002 2:13 PM
:-)
We got you Doug, come on in!! This'll get you going...rwbadley
Aug 8, 2002 4:16 PM
Here's a little food for thought.

An article in the paper today presented figures on the atmospheric temperature variation that occurred during the few days of 'No Flights' over the US during September of last year.

I was astounded that during 'no flights' the temperatures (especially over the east coast, where more flights take place) were both much higher (day) and much lower (night) than before and after 'no flight'.

This was in correlation to what the scientists had expected. The 'no flight' days gave them opportunity to test their hypothesis. This is just from contrails formed by jet flight!!

Sooo, (yes I am going somewhere with this) it can be shown that human activity can change weather patterns, and we could follow to the conclusion of climate change etc...

Right? ( I say this to those that doubt global warming or that humans have effect on...)

Now, We are all on this small planet together. What If a coalition of governments said "look here, what you are doing to our atmosphere (and water) is no longer to be tolerated. We have acid rain due to your emissions. Your pollution does not stop at your borders. You are using a weapon of mass destruction. We and our Children are threatened. You refuse to go along with this. We think it is time for a change in your leadership, and we will help you..."

Soo? Different?

Now I am not saying anything good about Saddam. His regime is obviously problematic. The trouble he creates generally stays within the borders of Iraq. We think he may support terrorism. This could have effect outside his border. This may effect others, ourselves and our children.

One scenario is different than the other. Hmmmm? Which one do you think is long term more dangerous to our grandchildren? Saddam will be gone. He can be made to go away.

What will OUR legacy be?

RW