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Hussein compared to Milosevic or Noriega?(45 posts)

Hussein compared to Milosevic or Noriega?DougSloan
Sep 19, 2002 7:55 AM
When Milosevic and Noriega were taken out, I don't recall a whole lot of objection from anyone. Why is Hussein different? Aren't they all, among others, despots who rule through corruption and genocide?

Sep 19, 2002 8:09 AM
Noriega isn't in the same league. I don't think Noriega was ever accused of genocide, for one thing. He was just a common criminal, whereas Milosevic had a real passion for killing and raping anyone who wasn't a Serb.

Plus, you're a lawyer. If Hussein filed a writ of habeas corpus, could the US comply? It could with Milosevic and Noriega, which is why both ended up at trials. We didn't seem too upset about Hussein's past crimes when we offered him a conditional surrender after the Gulf War, so why are they so much worse now?
Suspicious motivesczardonic
Sep 19, 2002 10:27 AM
I think that most people would be happy to see Saddam gone. The problem with the campaign to get rid of him is the credibility of its proponents. Most Americans would have no reservations about this campaign if it weren't for the sneaking suspicion that:

  • Bush is trying to get back at Saddam to erase the criticism of his father for not doing the job.
  • This is just a distraction, meant to draw attention from pressing and ever worsening domestic conditions and assure victory in upcoming elections.
  • This is just another iteration of Bush's oil fetish.
  • This is an attempt to stoke the war on terrorism, which is losing steam due to bad publicity and poor management.

    Bush's conflicts of interest have become all too familiar to the American people for us to take him at his word, which so far is the only thing he has deigned to grant us. Moreover, Bush's reasons for going to war simply don't make sense.

  • If there is a cohesive opposition in Iraq capable of leading the country after Saddam's removal, we have not seen it. Given Bush's professed distaste for "nation-building", and his so-far poor track record in Afghanistan in this regard, it seems all too likely that absent Saddam, Iraq will become the next war-torn hornet's nest of tribal strife.
  • If containment has kept Saddam in check for over a decade, and we have proven that we can bring him to heel with threats of force, what is the point of risking American lives? Haven't we already won this battle? And even if there is more to be done, why the sudden rush?

    Add the fact that the former head of the UN inspectors (and and American at that) is swearing up-and-down that Saddam does not have the weapons that Bush, in absense of any evidence, claims that he has, and you've got a very weak case for war.

    Bush's solemn assurances that Saddam is an evil megalomaniac bent on destroying America are simply not good enough for the American people. Until he can convince them that this is not an oil-grab or a wag-the-dog campaign, his administration will be largely out on their own on this issue. The frightening thing is that this seems to be fine with him.
  • While I agree with your sentiment...Wayne
    Sep 19, 2002 10:52 AM
    I think we've done amazingly well in Afghanistan, in that we've managed to keep the country together without too much internicine violence. I thought by now we would have been drug into an ever widening civil war. I still think the warlords are biding their time but I hope to be proven wrong.
    Virulent democracy.Sintesi
    Sep 19, 2002 11:54 AM
    This is a post cold war world where the spread of nuclear technology makes it everybodies business. This is the most salient point regardless of Bush's personal motivations and ultimately the one point on which this issue will be decided. I think the analysis' that say he is finishing off the man who tried to kill his daddy or GWB & Co. have some sort of cynical political machinations are irrelevant.

    The fact remains that the MAD (mutually assured destruction) deterrent becomes an entirely different ballgame when your opponents or potential opponents number in the 10s and 20s. That scenario is too scary; the potential for the literal "madman-with-his-finger-on-the- button" becomes a pressure too great to bear, so what to do? I see the Bush administration posing a doctirine that prevents totalitarian regimes from acquiring this technology at any cost and if the technology or potential is there then that regime will be changed. End of story

    9/11 showed the world in micro what would happen if a nuclear device hit a major city. I really don't think Bush will need too much help to push this over on America in general. If they scare enough people I think the US population would go along.

    The precendent is galling as hell because it puts America and its Western allies in the position of picking and choosing the future governments of the world. And indeed, one can see this as an imperialistic crusade of sorts, the caveat being this particular crusade would expand democracy and freedom rather than say, "Your king now obeys our king - begin paying tribute now."

    I'm starting to think that Afghanistan was first, Iraq is next and there will be a third and a fourth. There is a certain logic to this way of thinking.
    Well, the other contentious issue...Wayne
    Sep 19, 2002 12:24 PM
    in this whole scenario is the fact that no evidence has been presented that Saddam is anywhere near getting a nuclear bomb. I've seen several interviews with his chief bombmaker who defecteda few years ago, one of which was a lengthy affair on C-SPAN, and he made it sound like the Gulf War pretty much wiped everything out. Getting the nuclear material is the easy part, building a triggering device is far from trivial though. And then getting it small enough that you can put it in a missle is an equally daunting challenge.
    This takes special equipment and materials not available in Iraq. So there should be some evidence if he's aquiring these things. In fact, they've reported one incidence of him trying to buy some kind of essential aluminum piping (?) which he was not successful in getting.
    If nuclear proliferation is what were worried about how come we're going after Iraq and not North Korea?
    Korea Next?Sintesi
    Sep 19, 2002 12:45 PM
    Maybe Korea is too strong (relatively speaking) and scary right now. They already have the bomb(s) it's too tricky. But it's a lot easier to push around a country that doesn't have WMDs.

    Let's say the inspections come off fine and the UN puts the good housekeeping seal approval on Iraq. Are we safe? What happens in 2-3 years? There is also this "proving a negative" problem with weapons inspections in the first place. Something like, "We looked around a lot of places here and found no WMDs, therefore no WMDs exist." I mean that's proof?

    What's the guarantee over the next decade? I mean I dunno.
    A few weeks ago I thought this was all going to blow over but now I'm not so sure.
    Sep 19, 2002 12:30 PM
    I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki are much better indications of what happens when a nuclear device hits a major city.

    The theory behind nuclear weapons is actually fairly simple and fairly well-known by now. It's just not that complicated. Really.

    Building a device is another story. Basically you need a bunch of uranium to start with, which isn't easy to get. Then you need a reactor (requiring more uranium) to create plutonium, or a diffusion plant to extract the proper isotope. Both of these things are hard to hide. In WWII the USA built a reactor at Hanford, Washington to make plutonium and a diffusion plant at Oak Park, Tennessee. These plants are huge and draw huge amounts of power. Not things you can really hide.

    There's a very good reason the Israelis blew up that reactor back in the 1980s, when the USA didn't give a damn what Saddam was doing. Once you have a reactor, you can use it to enrich uranium and create plutonium. Israel is not stupid.

    Considering that Israel has much better intelligence than the USA will ever have in Iraq, I'd have to think that there's no nuclear development going on there, despite what our government wants us to think.

    I'm not even going to mention how we stood by and watched while India and Pakistan developed atomic bombs. Those guys have been in countless shooting wars just in the past decade, but this doesn't concern us enough to invade.
    Like you say...Wayne
    Sep 19, 2002 12:43 PM
    the theory and the how-to's is fairly simple and any of us could get the info. Saddam's bomb-maker (I wish I knew his name he's on the news all of the time and has a book, now), said he got the info. out of the MIT library when he was doing his graduate work here in the US in the '70s.
    Where is Israel on all of this, if Musad isn't worried when Israel (or Iran) are the most likely victims of a nuclear-bomb welding Saddam, why are we?
    Sep 19, 2002 1:08 PM
    "I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki are much better indications of what happens when a nuclear device hits a major city. "

    Well you're right. But actually I meant 9/11 brought this possibility home to us personally - as in "on US soil" "present day" and not in a history book or a movie. It's now a tangible thing and easily pictured. The relatively small area of devastion at Ground Zero looks like the end of the world. It's a good hint as to what awaits us. And a good reminder too.

    Also, you make the point of other volatile nations arming themselves with Nuclear bombs remain untouched and unharrassed. But this is due to a lack of cohesive foriegn policy, no? What is acceptable for one administration can easily turn into a problem for another. Your also neglecting that other issues such as India is a functioning democracy and ally. And MAD might actually work in this area and force these two to solve their battles over Kashmir more peacably.

    But let's face it, none of these questions of invading Iraq would probably have arisen without the moral justification and authority GWB has from 9/11. Times have changed. What Clinton couldn't even consider Bush can now do.

    One more thing, What makes you so sure the Israelis aren't for the removal of Hussein? How do you know they aren't sharing intelligence (I'm not so sure it's that much better anyway)with us. Do you think their silence may have something to do with the delicate situation their in? Maybe the US told them to sit on it. I don't hear the Israelis saying, "Don't go, there's nothing there."
    Comment from Benjamin Netanyahumoneyman
    Sep 20, 2002 10:02 AM
    Former Prime Minister of Israel in the Wall Street Journal 9/20/02:

    Two decades ago it was possible to thwart Saddam's nuclear ambitions by bombing a single installation. Today nothing less than dismantling his regime will do. For Saddam's nuclear program has changed. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country -- and Iraq is a very big country. Even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of mass death.

    The size of washing machines. That is a bit frightening.

    an alternativeDougSloan
    Sep 20, 2002 10:21 AM
    Say a nuke is detonated on a ship in New York Harbor, killing 5 million people. Of course, the blast itself will have destroyed nearly all evidence of it's creation. It might be nearly impossible to attribute the act to anyone in particular, unless intelligence is extremely good and the terrorists are a bit sloppy.

    So, then, what do we do? Who do we go after? If we strongly believe that Iraq at least conspired or furthered the act in any way, we unload on it. However, we make this scenario clear to them in advance. We tell them that if anything like this happens, we are going to hold them accountable, whether we can prove it or not. There most certainly will be retaliation that matches or exceeds the terrorist act. Baghdad will cease to exist.

    Is that too draconian? Would it work? It, assuming Hussein believes the threat, makes Iraq a partner in stopping the terrorism, not an opponent.

    The only reason they went for the towers and not Indian Head...jose_Tex_mex
    Sep 20, 2002 12:33 PM
    Let's face it. The terrorists had the nuclear card in their hand when they navigated towards NYC using the Hudson river. If my geography is correct they flew over Indian Head and not far from 3-Mile Island. What do you think kept them from attacking these nuclear sites? They may not be able to send nuclear warheads via cruise missiles just yet. However, I do not think we should wait until they catch up to the learning curve.

    We need to connect all those countries who tacitly approve terrorism and let them know that if you attack us with chem- bio, be prepared.
    That's a little dramatic...mr_spin
    Sep 20, 2002 12:29 PM
    Gas centrifuge diffusion for uranium enrichment requires a large number of interconnected centrifuges. They are typically bigger than washing machines. They aren't exactly "portable" and they require a fair amount of power to run. And remember, you have to have a lot of uranium to start with. You end up with U-235, enough of which could make a low yield "gun-type" bomb of the Hiroshima type (15 kiltons), where one chunk of U-235 is slammed into another chunk at 6,000 feet per second. That might destroy Manhattan if air-dropped, but not all of New York City. Exploding a bomb of this type at ground level (i.e., in a ship) would produce a lot less damage.
    Democracy is a front, and the world knows it.czardonic
    Sep 19, 2002 1:04 PM
    Democracy has been a hollow promise in our past excursions into the Middle East and other parts of the world. All too often we are content to replace one dictator with another who may be just as brutal and repressive, but happens to be more amenable to our interests (which are almost always economic).

    Which brings us back to the proposed doctirine of preventing totalitarian regimes from obtaining nuclear weapons. Former administrations had no compunction about the proliferation of high-tech weaponry among unstable factions that happened to be fighting our enemies. Pakistan, basically a military dictatorship that is well-implicated in the support of terrorist acts against India and continues to harbor terrorists from Afghanistan, has nuclear weapons and apparently nothing to fear from the US.

    Your point about the fear associated with nuclear proliferation is well taken. Unfortunately, I think that it is a fear that is being exploited rather than addressed constructively. That we allow dangerous and unstable entities to posses these weapons while using them as an excuse to overthrow governmenst that by all accounts do not seems to prove this.
    Suspicious motivesPygme
    Sep 21, 2002 9:06 AM
    I am not trying to disrespect you, but your post sounds like nothing more than politically motivated rhetoric. I have a sneaking suspicion that if GWB has chosen the opposite course of action, you would have criticized him for NOT doing the above.
    So Hussein is a decent guy and we should just leave him alone?DougSloan
    Sep 19, 2002 2:49 PM
    Forget motives. If Hussein is a threat to our lives, why not take him out? I almost get the impression that some people would be happier if more people are killed, versus Bush being credited with doing anything sucessful. How much risk along that line are we willing to tolerate that Hussein is developing WMD's or harboring and funding terrorists?

    Another thing, the Bush haters club is more than eager to blame his administration for not being more aware of clues that 9/11 was going to happen. If another disaster occurs, I'm sure they will be clamoring even more zealously that he's incompetent to protect us. What will they say, though, if a disaster occurs that is linked to Hussein, and nothing was done about it pre-emptively due to pressure from Bush opponents and/or world pacifists? Is he damned either way?

    The wheels are greased and the machine in motion...jose_Tex_mex
    Sep 19, 2002 3:06 PM
    I am the furthest from being a Bush supporter. However, I am now 100% in agreement that we need to oust Saddam. I am not willing to wait for a "smoking gun" when it comes to his chem-bio-nuclear capabilities.

    Pardon me if I sound harsh. However, I think the US should truly flex its military muscle and not just play video games. Let every country realize that when you attack the US or provide tacit approval for those who do, you will be dealt with.

    I would rather regret having "Zapped" several mideast countries than regret not.

    When the 9/11 hijackers flew over the reactors in NY we got lucky. What about next time?
    What evidence is there. . .czardonic
    Sep 19, 2002 3:45 PM
    that Saddam approves, tacitly or otherwise, of the terrorist 9/11 attacks on the US? He is, after all, a former ally. His is also the head of a secular regime, not some Islamist fanatic. It was his rivals, and our supposed allies, that spawned the monsters that flew those plains.

    The tone you take when describing "zapping" mideast countries implies that you do not think that the people of the mid-east are human beings. I hope this is not the case. At any rate, the idea of killing them because they may attack us in the future flies in the face of everything this country and its system of justice stands for.
    What evidence is there. . .jose_Tex_mex
    Sep 20, 2002 12:24 PM
    A few points:
    1) How many terrorists live in Baghdad? Wasn't Abu Nidal living there? If you think Saddam frowns on those who who hate the US where is that evidence. HE LOST THE WAR and as such he needs to prove to us all is well. However, he wants to play around. Take him out.

    2) You can read in to my tone whatever you like. I do wonder why you come away with an opinion on humanity.

    3) As for our system of justice, take another look. For example, the police who are allowed in most states to use a level of force higher than what you are using. No, they do not have to wait until after the event has occurred to react.

    Square off with a cop - you get punched.
    Punch a cop - you get battonned.
    Pull a knife on a cop - you get shot.
    Pull a gun without bullets - you get shot.

    The cop does not have to enter the metaphysical realm of what if's or is the gun loaded. Based on evidence the cop will make a decision. Let Bush make his decision based on the evidence to which he is privy.

    Finally, your "may attack" arguement sounds nebulous. Are you talking possibility or probability? I do not think we need to attack the possible bad guys but the probable bad guys. We have been attacked. Given the history of Al Qaeda, their attacks have escalated. What do you think would be the next step after 9/11? If there's a probable threat, especially nuclear, take them out.
    What evidence is there. . .czardonic
    Sep 20, 2002 2:19 PM
    1) Good question. How many terrorists do live in Iraq. Abu Nidal was found in Iraq. Dead. Either by suicide to avoid the Iraqi police (or at their hands). Now, if terrorists would rather kill themselves than be questioned by the Iraqis (or if the Iraqis are summarily executing them), what does it say about their attitude towards terrorism? Let's not forget that Iraq is a secular regime that is far from a haven for Islamist fanatics.

    2) Your words were:

    "I would rather regret having 'Zapped' several mideast countries than regret not."

    This suggests a disturbingly blasé attitued about killing people in the Mid-East, regardless of their guilt.

    3) By justice, I meant due process. In this country it is held that a person is innocent until proven guilty. And even if one is forced by circumstance to strike out pre-emptively, the burden of proof is on them to justify their actions. A cop may act to defend himself if he is threatened, but he must also prove that his perception was justified. Thus far, we are relying on the highly questionable assurances of parties that have a clear axe to grind with Iraq, and would benefit politically and economically from his disposal.

    As for possible vs. probable, that seems pretty metaphysical to me. Let's focus on what we know, not what we suspect. Iraq has made no threats to attack the United States. Of course, we have bombed him repeatedly, and are now threatening to depose him. By your very own cop vs. perp. reckoning, they would now be perfectly justified in launching an attack on us.
    You would make a good PR guy for Saddam...jose_Tex_mex
    Sep 20, 2002 4:04 PM
    No offense, but your rational critique of an irrational totalitarian dictator is just stunning. I honestly believe that it is because of academic analyses such as these that our security and intel has been degraded to the level that missed 9-11.

    1) How long was Nidal there and why is it that only recently did he meet with his "untimely demise?" If such a high profile character is able to live in Iraq for years then what does that say about the little fish? Are you saying that Iraq is now terrorist free? I suppose you feel the same way about Libya, Sudan, Saudi...

    2) When it comes to mideast countries that have a high probability (which is not metaphysics) of causing the US damage I would prefer to be on the offensive. If even after the murder of thousands of Americans you still believe we should be in a defensive mode then I humbly disagree.

    My disagreement is due to the fact that it is only a matter of [a very short] time until terrorists acquire the matter and means of striking at us on a doomsday scale. Those terrorists and the countries that help them should be dealt with - now. The US should not allow them to play the "it's not our country it's just a bunch of rogue citizens" game.

    As for #3, we are not talking about CONUS but the world. Check the laws wrt cops and you will see that they can go on the offensive if in their "professional opinion" they feel threatened. The "proof" is their word.

    You cannot wait until they have WMD's because proof negates defensive actions. That is, once we receive the level of proof for which you apparently require it's already too late. While we have the upper hand we should use it to our advantage.

    Let's put the onus on you. What would you need as proof? A statement on the 5:00 news by Saddam? If such info was available should it be made unclassified?

    Also, WMD is not just nuclear but can be Chem-Bio. Do you have any doubts of his previous intentions and uses - just ask his own people? He has used WMD. He has stockpiled WMD. Is this unclear? He lost the war. He did not play by the rules of surrender. Therefore he is a two time loser and should be taken out.

    Go Bush.
    The case against him is mostly spin anywayczardonic
    Sep 20, 2002 6:39 PM
    Let's get this straight. As far as we know, Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. This is not in the realm of what we might reasonably expect to happen, and whether we are
    justified in those expectations. 9-11 happened, we
    know who did it, and we know that other than disliking the US, the perpetrators had absolutely nothing in common with Saddam. The "Bush doctorine" cannot be applied inversely (or is it conversely?), those that are against us are not necessarily with each other.

    Let's get another thing straight: Saddam is a bad person who has served the Iraqi people poorly. Nonetheless, he is simply not the imminent threat that Bush has claimed. So why the sudden urgency to depose him? Why not the Saudi ruling powers who spawned, nurtured and continue to support international terrorism aimed at the US? Why not Pakistan's military dictator, who continues to harbor terrorism, supported the Taliban, and actually has nuclear arms? These are just two examples of countries that can easily be proven to be providing support to terrorists. Yet, Bush counts these as our allies! Saddam was our buddy, crimes against humanity and all, until he threatend our oil interests. If he hadn't made the mistake of invading Kuwait, he would be enjoying a cool iced tea on the front porch down in Crawford right now with Bush, Fahd and Musharraf.

    1)I don't know. The Iraqi government claims he was there illegaly. At any rate if it were for any length of time, wouldn't we have heard that? It seems odd that such a juicy bit of evidence would not have been applied to the backdrop of a Bush press conference by now. Have the Iraqis been implicated in any acts of terrorism against the US? We have been trying to kill him for over a decade, and he has not shown the slightest inclination towards these tactics.

    2)Make no mistake, I don't think that we should remain on the defensive. I simply think that we should go about eradicating threats in a thoughtful, rational and just manner. No, our enemies may not extend the same courtesy to us. The difference is what seperates a civilized society from barbarism.

    Inconvenient as it may be, it is not their country, and is in fact a bunch of rogue citizens (though they were citizens of our ally against Saddam, Saudi Arabia).

    3)If our legal principles are not sufficient to administer international justice, how are we qualified to impose our systems on the rest of the world? Anyway, Cops do not have carte blanche to brutalize citizens. Their "professional opinion" must be professional, as determined by strict guidelines

    There are many ways to confirm that a country has nuclear weapons or is building them. Nuclear weapons require rare resources and components that cannot be made from scratch. Materials must be procured abroad and transported, and the weapons themselves must be assembled, handled and stored. All of these activities leave tracks. I wouldn't even hold the US to proof beyond reasonable doubt. Evidence of any of the above would justify our intervention to prevent futher development. Thus far, we haven't even got to probable cause.

    Question for you: If we are so sure that these weapons exist, yet we can't find them or even prove their existance, how does destabilizing the region and radicalizing their possesors make us any safer? How could we ever know that our efforts were successful? Unfortunately, you can't prove a negative. We opened the nuclear pandora's box, and now we have to live with it. The only rational course is to develop ways to detect these weapons before they can be used against us.

    As for chemical and biological weapons, we know they exist because the United States gave them to him. He used them for exactly the purposes that we intended them for: to fight Iran and maintain his regime. On the other hand, when given the opportunity to use them against American troops, he did not, even though
    Plenty of evidence.Jomo Kenyatta
    Sep 23, 2002 1:28 PM
    Not just in Iraq. I agree that it is never healthy to take a "blasé attitued about killing people" regardless of where they live, but keep in mind a couple of points.
    First, "due process" is a protection for US citizens. It does not apply to foreigners, particularly on foreign soil. Concern that due process rights might be violated has never even been a consideration in declaring war on ANY nation. The very thought of it is ludicrous as it would preclude any military action, ever.
    Second, while it wasn't in Iraq, the following example is a fairly representative attitude of Arab Middle Eastern countries towards the US. Did you happen to see the footage of Palestinians dancing in the streets, burning American Flags, and generally celebrating the morning of Sept. 11th, 2001? The left wing U.S. media kept coverage of it pretty much off the air after a couple of short video shots. However, I watched quite a bit of it on the Hispanic channels, and it was sickening. Combine that with a regime leader (Saddam Hussein) who personally vowed to double the "reward" money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, and I think you have more than adequate reason to take action.

    My only real question is, do we even HAVE a military left with which to take serious action? Thanks to the "leaders" of the 90's, we went from being able to defend our country from large scale attack on BOTH fronts, to being able to defend ONE side, to lacking the capacity to even defend against a SINGLE large scale attack. That's scary. Unfortunately, rather than beefing up our military against foreign attack (as it should be built up), Bush seems more concerned with increasing federal police power within our own borders and thus increase the Federal Government's strangle hold on our country. While the possible implications are pretty extreme, history bears out that such extremes will be carried out eventually. I'm not looking forward to that time...
    A question....cyclejim
    Sep 19, 2002 9:55 PM
    "Let every country realize that when you attack the US or provide tacit approval for those who do, you will be dealt with."

    The question is... why is it that in America our foreign policy when attacked seems to be "if you attack us we will squash you" and not "gee, I wonder why everyone hates us and attacks us" Instead of us trying to understand why this is happening to us again and again, we just tell everyone we are going to come get them and hunt them down and everything will be well again.

    I'm afraid it's been shown that you can't beat terrorism, it will continue to rear its head again and again. Look at Israel. They have been trying to squash it for years and haven't been able to.
    are you saying...DougSloan
    Sep 20, 2002 6:10 AM
    1. If we "understand" the terrorists, they will stop? I thought these people have dedicated their lives to eradicating us. How would we negotiate with them, short of all of us converting to Islam and living according to their rules? They hate us and everything we stand for. While, yes, it would be good to understand them, I don't see that as the solution.

    2. You imply that if we can't defeat terrorism, we should give up and not even try. That's a little nutty, if that means we simply allow them to keep blowing up buildings and killing people at will. We'll never rid our country of domestic crime, either, but that does not mean we shouldn't try. It may well be a perpetual battle. That may be the new reality of the planet now. If we can't defeat it, maybe we at least can reduce it. Are you suggesting we not try?

    Terrorism Vs Nationalismjose_Tex_mex
    Sep 20, 2002 12:10 PM
    Let's put semantics aside and not fight over who is a terrorist, guerilla, freedom fighter, republican, or nationalist. I agree that you cannot defeat nationalism, unless you totally eradicate the nationalists.

    When our founding forefathers "rebeled" against the British our desires to be a nation could not be stopped.

    When the Jews wanted to oust the British from Palestine the Irgun ensured the nationalistic views were heard.

    Same deal with the Indian national army and Irish Republican. You cannot defeat nationalism. It may be a crummy $hithole in the desert, but it is "their" crummy $hithole in the desert.

    However, I could argue that the US Gov't defeated both black and white terrorists in the US. The Black Panthers and Klan are mostly moot when it comes to terroristic activities.

    Throw poverty and hopelesness in to the equation along with a single ethic group compromising the majority of the poor and things get worse.

    The point is not that we don't try but it is how we try. Do some analysis on British Policy in the North of Ireland and you will quickly realize the greatest source of recruitment for the IRA was the British Gov't. How can the US fight a war against terror if we create more terrorists?

    The other night Rumsfeld was saying how all we have to do is catch the terrorists and that will show the rest of them. Please.

    Terrorists thrive in poverty - when people have nothing to lose they often have everything to gain. - Insert middle class with justice and watch the terrorists disappear.
    makes senseDougSloan
    Sep 20, 2002 12:36 PM
    We just need more McDonalds and Walmarts all over planet and terrorism will disappear? Sounds good.

    don't forget beer and MTV - Islam! nmjose_Tex_mex
    Sep 20, 2002 12:46 PM
    Not really... i meancyclejim
    Sep 20, 2002 3:46 PM
    1. I mean that we need to understand why it is that the U.S. is pretty much the only democratic, free country that the terrorists are targeting. (besides Israel!) We need to ask that question and try to figure out why it is this is happening. I have my own opinion on what the answer is- I am just trying to make a point here. The reason is not that they hate us just BECAUSE IMHO, its because of our foreign policy in the Middle East (among other places) and our blind support for Israel, and the way we think we can control the world to do our bidding basically.

    It's not so much that they hate us and our way of life (Im sure maybe they do) however, if we weren't meddling in their countries and subverting and manipulating their governments they probably would ignore us. Case in point- Iraq. We created the monster of Saddam and made him powerful by supporting him while he was at war with Iran because it was in our best interests, now he is a menance to his region and perhaps the world and we now we are going to go in and take him out. Gee... kinda makes us look like hippocrits (or fools)doesn't it?

    I am suggesting that WE (the US) need to change the way we are throwing our weight around in the world, trying to build countries and overthrow governments and in general making the world hate us or be ambivilant towards us because of this arrogance. Now, if we were to mind our own business and THEN still find ourselves being attacked, I am in total agreement that we should swiftly and powerfully retaliate.

    2. I never said we should give up and not try. By now you understand my stance on how we should try and get this madness stopped. I stand by my statement that you can't stop terrorism however. It will continue to rear its head again and again and the more we fight it using the same methods that got us into this mess, the easier we make it for young kids to want to become martyrs by killing more people.
    Damned if you do...jose_Tex_mex
    Sep 20, 2002 4:16 PM
    ... damned if you don't.

    Why doesn't the US help starving people in Africa? Okay, send them food. But the warlords are stealing it. Okay, send in the troops. Result - you know the rest.

    As for #1, I think you are really way off the mark. Do you really believe the US (forget Israel) is the only country being targeted by terrorists? With respect to countries like France, Germany, Spain, Britain, Italy, and Greece the terrorists activity in the US is VERY recent history. If anything we have just awokened to the reality Europeans often face.

    As for the rest - I pretty much agree.
    Damned if you do...cyclejim
    Sep 20, 2002 5:02 PM
    I should have qualified the terrorists with "Islamic" in front of it. Sure there are terrorists in other countries like Spain but in Spain its not Islamic terror its ETA. Yes, there have been small attacks in other european countries, true but normally those attacks are against American interests anyway.
    Sep 21, 2002 9:20 AM
    I tell you what, while I am kicking your ass, raping your wife, and forcing your children to bring me beer, dont try to stop me, just understand my'll feel better about yourself.

    The mistake you make is trying to apply your sense of fairness, humanity, and morals to judge others that do not have the same. They dont play by the rules, but you make yourself play by the rules. That puts you at a a disadvantage. That is how Al Quaeda punched our lights out on 9/11. We played by the rules and they violated every rule they wanted to.

    The comedian Ghallager said it best when he stated, "Sometimes you have to confront ignorance and stupidty with ignorance and stupidity. It is the only language that they understand."

    Why do they hate us? That is so easy to see. You want to make it complicated though. THEY ARE TAUGHT BY THIER GOVERNMENTS TO HATE US. If they hate us, they dont have time to hate thier own government. The governments (dictatorships) support each other. They do so not out of this overwhelming Arab brethren, but because if one ditatorship falls to some sort of democracy, all the others are next.
    Sep 21, 2002 10:15 AM
    I'm not sure what you are trying to say with your first paragraph, but you seem to imply that I am the kind of person who would sit back and allow someone to enter my home and watch while they attacked my family and not do anything about it. You are sorely mistaken. Before you go on and on about the kind of person you perceive me to be, let me tell you what- I am a Gulf War veteran and I have served my country pal so get over it.

    Lets take what you say is my mistake and apply it to the U.S. governments. Do you think we have played by the rules or fairness, morality, and humanity all the time? Do you remember that we created Saddam by supporting his war against Iran so that we didn't have to worry about them? Now look at where we are with him. Nice. I don't agree that we have played by the rules, and I think that is the mistake with your judgement.

    Your last paragraph says that they are taught by the governments to hate us. Again, I have to ask the question: WHY IS THAT? Just because? They have no reason for this and one day they woke up and said, hey lets hate America?!! Yea thats it!
    Sep 21, 2002 2:31 PM
    >I'm not sure what you are trying to say with your first >paragraph, but you seem to imply that I am the kind of >person who would sit back and allow someone to enter my >home and watch while they attacked my family and not do >anything about it. You are sorely mistaken.

    Thank you for proving my point. For some people, there is no understanding. You gotta get up and kill or be killed. More or less, that is what happenned on 9/11. They came into our house and killed our family.

    >Before you go on and on about the kind of person you >perceive me to be, let me tell you what- I am a Gulf War >veteran and I have served my country pal so get over it.

    YAWWWN. I was there, as well. It was pretty boring, too.

    >Lets take what you say is my mistake and apply it to the >U.S. governments. Do you think we have played by the >rules or fairness, morality, and humanity all the time?

    "All the time." That is an untenable litmus test. No one is "all the time." The vast, overwhelming, majority of the time? Then my answer is yes.

    >Do you remember that we created Saddam by supporting his >war against Iran so that we didn't have to worry about >them?

    First of all, I do not think we "created Saddam." We certainly did assist him and with a logical purpose in mind. No one, including you, can tell us what would have happened if we did not keep Iran from taking over the MIddle East. It is always easy to play armchair quarter back but you must remember one thing. You and I do not know SQUAT! We are judging what is happening and happened on non classified informaition. I can, maybe foolishly, trust that the actions my government takes at this time, is based on information that I can not or should not know.

    >Now look at where we are with him. Nice. I don't agree >that we have played by the rules, and I think that is the >mistake with your judgement.

    You are the mistaken one. Killing children and women ON PURPOSE is not playing by the rules. Blowing up innocent people at work is not playing by the rules. Blowing up unamrmed embassies is not playing by the rules.
    Taking military risks and putting military lives at risk to avoid killing innocent civillians is playing by the rules.

    >Your last paragraph says that they are taught by the >governments to hate us. Again, I have to ask the >question: WHY IS THAT? Just because? They have no reason >for this and one day they woke up and said, hey lets hate >America?!! Yea thats it!

    Ok. Now reach up and turn off the selective perception button and I will explain it to you again. All the governments in the Middle East, save Isreal, are brutal dictatorships. They do not want their people rising up and rebelling against them. Therefore, they blame all the problems in the country on US and Isreal. You may find this hard to believe, but the governments in the Middle East give a damn about freedom, democracy, and the people they rule over. They only give a crap about their own wealth and dictatorships. As a result, every single government in the Middle East covers every other government SOLEY as a means of self preservation.
    Sep 21, 2002 3:29 PM
    How did I prove your point? LOL. As far as I am concerned you haven't been able to respond or refute anything I said, you simply try and put words in my mouth and twist what I said.

    Case in point:

    "Killing children and women ON PURPOSE is not playing by the rules. Blowing up innocent people at work is not playing by the rules. Blowing up unamrmed embassies is not playing by the rules"

    Get a grip! Try and respond to my post instead of fabricating things I didn't say and then responding to them!
    Sep 23, 2002 7:14 PM
    I should have known better thant to try and confuse you with the facts.

    I'm sorry.
    That question doesn't get much play because . . .Steve98501
    Sep 22, 2002 9:06 PM
    the answer doesn't make the U.S. look good. Lots of people around the world dislike the U.S., but none so much, it seems, as fundamentalist and radical muslims. Following the principle of "seek first to understand" you have to ask why? Pygmie says it's because their governments teach them to hate us. Is it as simple as that? If so, why? Maybe there is more . . .

    Some muslims hate all infidels, but that isn't limited to the U.S. It includes all Christian, or predominately Christian nations. The rest might be as simple as the U.S. support of Israel you refer to. I'd like to see the Islamic world's response to either of the following actions by the U.S:

    1) The U.S. stops all foreign and military aid to Israel. Or,
    2) The U.S. levels the Palistinian playing field with Israel by providing the Palistinains with an amount of foreign and military aid equal to what we provide Israel.
    The purpose would be to demonstrate that the U.S. believes both Israel and the Palistinians have the inalienable right to defend themselves against oppression.

    The Palistinians defend themselves against Israeli tanks and missles with stones and small arms. Some of them strap bombs to their body and commit suicide. Forget the jokes about going to heaven and having 72 virgins. People who have any hope in life don't do this sort of things, at least not on the sort of regular basis that it happens in Israel.

    Israel takes Palistinian land by force. (Yeah, they've been fighting over who the land belongs to for thousands of years, but I'm referring to post-WWII.)
    Israel controls where Palistinians may and may not go in their own land.
    Israel controls the water supply in that desert region and provides 10 times as much water per capita to Israelis than Palistinians are allowed to have, thereby limiting Palistinian economic growth and opportunity, not to mention basic sanitation and health.

    Israel commits more terrorism on Palistinians daily than the Palistinians have on Isreal over the past 50 years. It's just that the Israeli terrorism is mostly "sanitized" in the form of economic and regulatory processes instead of direct mortality. But it is terrorism; it's state sponsored, and it is directed at non-military, non-combatant, civilian Palistinians. And the United States supports Israel unflinchingly. I don't think arab or Islamic governments have to teach their citizens to hate the U.S. The U.S., by it's actions, provides all the reason necessary.

    As long as the U.S. supports Israel at the expense of the Palistinians, muslims will lash out at the U.S. however they can. And if we are concerned about that, we would be well served to review any other unholy alliances we support or prop up throughout the world.
    That question doesn't get much play because . . .Pygme
    Sep 23, 2002 7:31 PM
    What you say might make sense if the playing field was level. What do I mean by that?

    If the average hater of America had the same access to information that the average American does. Everything in those countries is censored..newspapers, tv, radio, magazines, books, etc. The "haters" do not have a realistic view of the world...and that is not an accident. Their government keep them mushrooms on purpose.

    When everything their governmnet tells them, everything they read, everything the hear on TV and radio says that America is bad, guess what? They are going to believe that.

    Take a generation of children under 3 in the Middle East, expose them to different perspectives. Let them see the world from different views. Then let them make up their minds.

    Do you think that those goverments tell their people how much foreign aid the US sends around the world? Do you think that Saddam tells the Kurds that we are pissed as hell that he gassed innocent people? Do you think that Chinese leaders tells their people that we watched with horror the events of Tianmen Square and we cheered when that guy on foot faced off with the T-72 tank? Do you think that the Middle East government new sources say that there was an eartquake or flood somewhere in the world and the us military is sending food/water and medical care? Do you think that they tell their people how many private citizens and churches help the poor and oppressed around the world?

    Bottom line, if the people who hate us so much, really knew us, I think they would have a different opinion.
    Who says he is a threat?czardonic
    Sep 19, 2002 3:31 PM
    Saddam is not a threat to our lives, and nothing that he can be proven to have done or be planning to do in the future suggests a change in his stance. Saddam's ambitions are strictly local, and for that matter more favorable to our interets than the current governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Bush has not proven any of his accusations against Iraq. As usual, he has left Americans to wonder if he is a liar or simply inept.

    Also, the Bush administration deliberately minimized the amount of attention that was being paid to the Middle East and to terrorism in general. Their stated goals were to re-focus efforts on the war on drugs and to make sure that social security recipients benefitted from the limitles expansion of the stock market (with thanks to their visionary CEO cohorts). In spite of trying to downplay the threat of terrorism, we are still learning of the very specific information that did cross their desks. The real outrage is not that he wasn't "aware" of the threats, it is that he ignored them.

    Until Saddam Hussein actually threatens the US and evidence suggest that he is even capable of carrying out a threat, he should not be a priority. And since most of his crimes against his people were carried out with our tacit approval, we don't have a moral leg to stand on in demending his removal.

    The logical extension of your argument is that we will never be safe until the entire world is run by puppet regimes of our choosing. I am sure this would suit Bush just fine. Still it begs the question of who is the real megalomaniac with nuclear arms who is bent on world domination.
    Leave him alone? We made him strong in the first place!cyclejim
    Sep 19, 2002 9:45 PM
    Hussein is a threat to our lives perhaps, and you can thank the Reagan administration for that. The U.S.govt was more than willing to provide support to him when Iraq was fighting Iran.

    When will we wake up to the fact that our own govt. is creating the monsters that come back to haunt us?
    Sep 20, 2002 9:04 AM
    Robert Scheer outlines our complicity in Saddam's crimes against humanity in Salon today:
    What is the point of US having all those nukes if we don't use them once in a while? nmMB1
    Sep 19, 2002 3:11 PM
    Totally differentEager Beagle
    Sep 20, 2002 12:10 AM
    Sadam has a far more impressive moustache than Milo ever had. Noriega had a nice zapata for a while, but Sadam wins on the basis that all the family has the same tashes, and they all have all the top jobs.

    Milo's daughter has a bit of a tash, but it's really not in the same league.
    bush must've cut his tashishmael
    Sep 23, 2002 6:44 AM
    and the six shooter by his side is now hidden under that tie and jacket. He needs to be sherif in texas so he can crack skulls without causing international problems. The question was always"where will the war on terrorism end". Who knew it would go so far. As it was said, saddam hasnt threatened the US and doesnt have the power to do so. We're willing to sacrifice what this country stands for because we feel threatened(unjustifyably) by a bug far away. Why do we have to believe whatever comes out of Bush's mouth, none of it is factual, he's a rable-rouser. I feel that we're losing America, being led by a shmuck, no one would be thinking about Iraq if it wasnt for Bush.
    Why would we, nothing is happending there.