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The War on Iraq - the evidence(33 posts)

The War on Iraq - the evidenceEager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 12:42 AM
So, the "dossier" has been published in London this morning. And what socking secrets does it reveal? What proof that Sadam is a real and present danger to the West? What support for the theory that we should bomb and invade his country?

Errm - virtually none. Just the usual load of specualation about him "wanting a nuclear capability" (but admitting that he doesn't have one yet) and trying to amass more chemical weapons.

All very nasty I'm sure, but no smoking gun, and nothing IMO to justify action now, given that we have done nothing for the past years.

How on earth does this justify a war over concerted efforts by the UN to inspect and destroy?
MaybePaulCL
Sep 24, 2002 9:20 AM
Just maybe...all of this saber rattling has been aimed at the UN to get off its' butt and act on its' resolutions?

The UN should be given a chance to inspect, to have complete access to Iraq. Though Iraq will never give the UN complete access. Why has the US done nothing over the years??? Maybe becuase we hadn't been attacked yet and we had a worthless leader before ou current one.

At what point, in your opinion, do we act?? How much evidence is enough?? Do we need to be pro-active toward Iraq?? Do we wait until they attack Isreal?? Do we wait until an Iraq-supported terrorist group sets off a nuke in the US?? I ask becuase I don't know the answers either.

I firmly believe that the US/UK will not act alone. For world stability, I think they will wait until other countries join them.
Let's hopeEager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 9:33 AM
the the UN does get off its butt, or I think it will have a hard time recovering any credibility in the future.

It's not the will to act now that I see as necessarily objectionable, it's the rubbish that goes with it, pretending that there are deep dark threats that the public can't know about, but can be priviledged to glimpse a tiny bit of.

If Bush/Blair etc just said "we are going to war with Iraq because Sadam is a mad dictator who gasses his own people and is a treat to world peace" I could have some respect for them.

It's the pityful politicing about that gets me.
Actually Bush has.Sintesi
Sep 24, 2002 12:15 PM
Lately he's saying the US will go after Saddam whether the UN approves or not. It's the US congress that could stop and/or curtail Bush at this point. That or complete capitulation by Iraq.

The question ought not to be the "smoking gun" but the realistic potential of Iraq getting viable WMD in the near future. Let's say the inspectors go in, find nothing or we are able to verify destruction of said arms. Then what does the UN do? Do we continue to impose sanctions or do we normalize trade as the Soviets eventually want? If so do you trust Iraq to behave themselves?

Saddam is so unhinged - are we to believe he will go quietly into the night? This is a decision that is either going to make the world more dangerous or safer and I can't tell which side of the fence will create the most damage. One thing I will say tho - you can't show weakness. I mean at all.
Saddam unhinged?czardonic
Sep 24, 2002 1:45 PM
As far as I can tell, he has spent the last decade plus minding his own business, and maintaining his regime despite what should be overwhelming internal and external pressure. He has not been overthrown or crushed by any of his hostile neighbors. You could argue that he has relied on sheer brutality to maintain his rule, but it seems to me that the cards are too stacked against him for that to make sense. Rather, he has shrewdly turned his people's dissatisfactions towards external "evils".

Any of these tactics sound familiar? I live in another country ruled by a man who decisions are based purely on his own ideologic perogatives, and bears no patience for dissent. However, unlike Saddam Hussein, my president's designs on world domination are self-proclaimed and well documented.

I just hope that when the U.S. brings democracy and responsible leadership to Iraq, someone does the same for my homeland.
even the king of jungle licks its wounds before the next hunt...jose_Tex_mex
Sep 24, 2002 2:04 PM
... meaning that I don't think Hussein has been "minding his own business" moreso than recovering from the Gulf War.

As for paragraph 2, comparing Bush to Hussein is just weak.
Only because. . .czardonic
Sep 24, 2002 2:25 PM
Bush is a far greater threat to American freedom and international stability. He clearly has no respect for the Constitution or for International Law.

As for preparing for the next hunt, maybe you can offer an iota of evidence that this is the case. Bush certainly can't.
Here we go again.Sintesi
Sep 25, 2002 4:28 AM
What evidence do you need to think Saddam is a potential threat? You're starting to sound kooky and naive czardonic. Are you another one of these self-hating americans?
Every time a dissenting opinion is heard!cyclejim
Sep 25, 2002 6:00 AM
The person is said to be a self-hating American, or is not patriotic, or should just leave the country if he/she doesn't like it.

I'm sick and tired of it. If you aren't caught up in the Nationalistic fervor and ready to attack at a moments notice you are somehow not allowed to speak your opinion without being labelled in a negative way.

This is America.... isn't it?
Every time a dissenting opinion is heard!Sintesi
Sep 25, 2002 6:20 AM
You're getting a little bent up aren't you jim? It's not like he's being run out of town.

I merely asked if he was self-hating.

The guy thinks Saddam is "just minding his own business" and in some ways better than the American president. Great. I disagree and think that's naive and kooky and I said so. I didn't call him personally any names just his views.

Please untie your shorts.

Just a free exchange of ideas, no real animosity I promise.
For the record. . .czardonic
Sep 25, 2002 9:43 AM
I love America, the Constitution, and the ideals on which this nation was founded. So much so that it sickens me to see it co-opted and subverted by demagogues who hold no allegiance to the principles of our founding fathers.

I don't hate anyone. But I have no patience for "patriots" who's knowledge of their country is limited to the first two lines of the national anthem and the gist of the first and second ammendements. America is not a sports franchise. It is not enough to don the team colors, fly the team banner, and hum along to the fight song.

I am one of many who love America, but apparently one of a relative few who love it enough to ask difficult questions and worry about whether it is on the right track. This country was founded on the principle that man could be held to a higher standard. It is not enough that this country wins its wars and prevails over its enemies. We must fight and win for the right reasons, or America has not won at all.

When George W. Bush took the oath of office, he solemnly swore to "preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States" to the best of his ability. Instead, for the purposes of political and administrative expediency he has mounted a siege on the principles the Constitution sets forth.

Saddam Hussein can kill me, but he can't destroy this nation or the principles that make it great. That can only be done by the selfish, weak-willed and weak-hearted who value nothing over their personal security.
Unforunately...Eager Beagle
Sep 25, 2002 12:18 AM
I think we messed that up last time, when we had the chance to finish the job properly, and didn't.

Don't get me started on what gives America the right to invade/bomb other countries against the will of the UN - I am not a great fan of the "might is right" school of thought.

To answer your question at the end of para 2, it think it has to be "yes". They maybe led by a lunatic, but if he has no WMD I can't see any moral justification for war. Obvioulsy, the monitoring has to continue and we have to ensure that the staus quo regarding weapons is maintained. But if the "west" is going to start waging war on nations that, although nasty, pose to tangible threat to the general peace, just because they feel like it, I think we have reached the thin end of the wedge.

Afterall, that's what liberal democracy is about - having some tolleration for views that you don't like. Normally, it's only thought of in domestic terms, but I find it very difficult to see why the principle ought not to apply internationally.

Where will it end? Are we to start wading into Africa? China? Korea? Probably not - there is no oil interest there...
Let me boil this down.Sintesi
Sep 25, 2002 4:46 AM
You want a cold war with Iraq. Continue the sanctions as prescribed over the last decade, yes? Not saying that's wrong just trying to get a handle. Ice everyone out?

As far as oil goes. Yeah, that's exactly the reason we are so interested there. So what? It's a pretty vital commodity in the world economy. There's a lot of downside to having that supply threatened. It's also the same reason we're so cozy with the Saudis even tho their regime is inimical to us as well.

You're also evading the point about Saddam's potential (you do know about Iran, Kuwait, the Kurds and the Shi'ites in the south, right?). You say he has no WMD (which there is not enough evidence one way or the other) but you don't acknowledge the fact that he has been trying continually to abtain or manufacture weapons grade uranium and has definitely had WMDs in the past. If this has been his goal in the past why do you think he would or has ceased? By your logic war is justified if he gets it but not a second before. Correct? This seems absurd.
Sort of.Eager Beagle
Sep 25, 2002 5:46 AM
My point is this. I am bored of politicians trying to justify action NOW on the basis that something has recently changed. Sadam has been building weapons capability since before he threw the inspectors out, and since. He has been gassing his own people (that's so widely accepted that it's almost become a cliche). There is no "smoking gun" here.

I'll give one thing to Bush - at least he's getting close to saying that he just wants a war to keep the home front happy, to look after oil interests, and because America thinks is has a God given right to police the world as it sees fit, and stuff the UN. At least that's honest and you can take it or leave it.

What is irritating is all this false "morality" stuff that gets thrown in as if it's some form of legitimate justification.

They have no MWD yet - even the governments admit that. As yet, there is no real evidence that Sadam is an form of immediate threat (i.e. capability + intention) to the rest of the region/world. That's not to say that he doesn't want to be one, he almost certainly does, but again, no smoking gun.

So let's have some honesty. There are lots of countries in the world that are trying to get a nuclear capability and might get nasty with it, and with socking human rights records. No one seems to be campaigning to bomb/invade them. So let's just get it out in the open - we want a war because:

1) Bush needs to be seen to be actually doing something concrete after 9/11.

2) The West wants to look after it's oil/economic/political interests.

God knows what Blair is playing at.
Sort of.Sintesi
Sep 25, 2002 7:17 AM
"I am bored of politicians trying to justify action NOW on the basis that something has recently changed"

9/11 is the watershed. There is nothing Saddam has done recently but the WTC coming down changed our perspective entirely on what is permissable in the world. One of the big questions since that day is why didn't we see it coming? Why couldn't we have prevented it? Could the US have attacked Afghanistan and Al Quaida before 9/11? Probably not. But should that preemptive strike be our new doctirine in the future? We have seen one outcome of failing to act (massive loss of life, potential destruction of our govt and economy, attempted assasination of our president) I'm not sure we should fail to act in the future. Iraq may just be the first on the list others to follow.

I disagree about your comments about Bush. We took the fight to Afghanistan very thoroughly, with great deliberation (i.e. there was no rush)and very successfully thus far. The record of this administration in this respect has been exemplary and very competent.

I do agree with your second point tho. The West does indeed want to look after its oil and economies and will go to war to protect that. But then again that's what all countries do throughout history.
HmmmEager Beagle
Sep 25, 2002 7:36 AM
"(massive loss of life, potential destruction of our govt and economy, attempted assasination of our president)".

Sounds very much like what you are arguing for v Iraq to me. So what's the difference, other than perceived self-interest? If there isn't one - it's back to might is right.

I don't think Afghanistan was a great PR success from the point of view that nobody saw Bin Laden in a body bag. Bush is a politician, is a PR man - he thinks he needs a spectacular, and soon. From that point of view, Al Gore isn't helping much, though at least he's (perhaps) getting a few brains mulling. Hard to tell from here.

Your analysis may be right. But on the other hand, it may be that the answer to "should that preemptive strike be our new doctirine in the future?" might be no. It could be "let's see if we can piss less people off so much that they want to fly planes into the WTC". Has that option really been explored in the midst of all the whip-up-a-war fervour?

I'm not saying which approach is the better, but it does seem that only one of them is getting a lot of consideration at the moment, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.
HmmmSintesi
Sep 25, 2002 10:26 AM
I see myself as ambivalent towards both positions in regards to Saddam Hussein. You guys (You, czardonic and cyclejim) are against any military action in the current situation so why not find the foundations of your convictions by asking questions?

Incidentally, Al Gore's speech and Jimmy Carter's comments are giving opponents in the Democratic party a bit more courage in speaking out. Something is catching on.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62793-2002Sep24.html

On the other side of the spectrum, Dick Army the House Majority leader in the senate has been very cold to the idea of an American strike without a direct threat. He's pretty prominent. I think he's an ass but he's prominent.

In this climate, I don't think Americans want to back down. If you fly a plane into the WTC and kill a lot of us, you're going to get paid back 100 times over. I think Americans want two things: Payback and security. Everything else is an afterthought. Look, this is the most powerful nation in the history of the world (at least most of us think so) any nation or organization that picks an overt fight with us is going to get dusted. Except Vietnam of course. Well they got still got dusted but they ended up winning anyhow.
Attacking now,TJeanloz
Sep 25, 2002 10:37 AM
People are making out like Bush wants to attack Iraq solely based on the events of 9/11; which, I think is how he's selling it. But during his campaign for President, more than a year earlier, he supported a "regime change" in Iraq. This isn't a new concept for Bush, and it's clearly something he has been planning for longer that 13 months.

The concept of "regime change" isn't new; the argument for it has just been emboldened.
Then it seems awfully disingenuousczardonic
Sep 25, 2002 10:52 AM
I heard Bush just this morning claim that he could not distinguish between Al-Queda and Iraq (because they were equally evil). This is yet another shameless attempt to leverage the emotions of the American people resluting from 9/11. Such an obvious bait and switch is an insult to intelligent debate.

Moreover, the fact that Bush keeps changing his story about why we need a regime change in Iraq demonstrates that nothing he has said so far has convinced the American people that such action is necessary. If Bush has indeed been planning this campaign for 13 months, where are his 13 months worth of reasnoning, planning and preparation? And if after 13 months the case is still this bereft of a concrete justification and the evidence to back it up, does that indicate that the case isn't there, or that Bush is to inept to make it?
What are we in for after the battle is won?Starliner
Sep 25, 2002 12:33 PM
Iraq has never had a democratic government; it has always been controlled by brutal despots who have been replaced in coups by other brutal despots. It is sheer fantasy to believe a western, Christian nation can march in and create a democratic government that will work in Iraq. Iraq's populace is split into several factions whose interests are not in congruence; attempting to get a handle on the situation will prove to be a monumental task that will take more time than the American people will have patience for, and cost more money than we'll have bargained for.

Bush has not done well at consensus building which worries me. Maybe he thinks he doesn't need to; after all, didn't he become President without a majority of the popular vote?
Good question. And someone else's thoughts on the topic. . .czardonic
Sep 25, 2002 12:44 PM
There is a very thoughtful article posted here on what will really be required for a meaningful and successful regime change in Iraq: www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/11/fallows.htm

Based on Bush's own disavowal of "nation building", I doubt that he has leadership skills or even the attention span to re-build Iraq. Rather, this "war" will follow the Afghanistan model of leaving chaos and uncertainty in its wake.
Well, one thing is clear from all this...Eager Beagle
Sep 26, 2002 12:20 AM
I think your last paragraph sums it up neatly.

Might is right. We want revenge and we don't care what the rest of the world says, we are going to take it because we think we deserve it.

The main reason I am against that sort of justification is that I spend 12 years in the military, during which I had a neat exposure to what happends when people start wading into conflicts with that attitude. There tends to be no viable exit strategy, and the concequences tend to be negative (great job training Osama and his mates to fight the Russians in Afghanistan), often resulting in the foreign powers baling out when the situation gets too messy. What's left is often huge deathtolls, usually on the part of civilian populations (smart bombs have a nasty tendency not to be), and huge politcal instability/vacume.

What exactly is Mr Bush going to be doing with Iraq in 5 years time, if he decides to start turning all the sand into glass there now? I'll let you into a secret - Iraqis may not like being governed by Sadam greatly, but they are no great lovers of the US/Western alliance either.

Lastly, if you sign up for the UN, be big enough to take the rough with the smooth and face the fact that just bacause you have the capability to try to bomb the world to peace, it doesn't make it right, or mean that it's going to work.
Maybe it will tho.Sintesi
Sep 26, 2002 5:15 AM
I guess we'll all see what happens. If we go to war I hope you're proved wrong. Iraqis might like might. Might be the best thing that ever happened to the world. They might want to be more western and more secular and more open. I don't think you can deny this with anything other than opinion. Removal of Saddam may be the lifting of a great burdon off these people and the start of a great democratic civilisation which will set alight a renaissance of Muslim culture and peaceful brotherhood with the world. A shining city on the hill inspiring the millions of impoverished and downtrodden peoples broken and hunched under the yoke of sick, corrupt oligarchies, over-fat despots and strongmen. A new world order in which simple words such as Honesty, Freedom, Equality and Tolerance will ring between the Tigris and the Euphrates. The Sh'ites, the Kurds and Sunni alike; their voices lifted in unison, "Thank you Gearge Bush, thank you America for saving us and lifting us up and helping the middle east climb out of this turmoil and degradation and into peaceful harmony with the civilised nations of the world."

Might happen.
Yeah mebbe it will - I think I'll just ...Eager Beagle
Sep 26, 2002 6:41 AM
nip out any buy a lottery ticket, whilst we are talking about that sort of probability :-)
Better chance of them mailing you the money by accident! (nm)czardonic
Sep 26, 2002 9:37 AM
Time to wake upStarliner
Sep 26, 2002 8:50 AM
That's a wonderful dream to have. A people of another culture, another religion, discarding old and entrenched customs and embracing Our Way with open hearts. Imagine them all laying down their weapons and animosities with each other and holding hands, together, as one... and thanking George Bush for making it all happen....
It's coming buddy so look out.Sintesi
Sep 26, 2002 9:25 AM
You're too negative and pessimistic. I've decided that a peace loving nation of democratic Muslims will emerge and rescue the middle-east from a dank abyss. Gearge Bush will be remembered as a man of courage along the lines of Winston Churchill say crossed with Will Rogers the beloved humorist.

You're going to hate the future. You will wail and gnash your teeth as America and George Bush's New World Order prevails. McDonald hamburgers and Cokes are on me.
You've eaten too many Big MacsStarliner
Sep 26, 2002 11:37 AM
You and Clinton may not be so different after all.:-)

You're confusing my realism with pessimism. Your fantasies are - fantasies. It would be nice if things would fall into place like that, but what will be the consequences if your dream does not come true? Wake up and smell the coffee.
A wager then?Sintesi
Sep 26, 2002 11:52 AM
Just kidding. This whole scenarios actually has me quite spooked.

Hoping for the best.
Ever triedEager Beagle
Sep 27, 2002 12:45 AM
eating a Big Mac and a coke in a burkah? You plan is doomed to failure for culinary reasons...
Couple of things...cyclejim
Sep 25, 2002 6:10 AM
1. Why are we so dependant on foreign oil? It hasn't led us into very positive directions in the past. Why not research more intensely alternative fuels so we don't need so much oil?

2. Lets say we go in and take out Saddam, install yet another puppet government. (we're pretty good at that)

What if...

While we are pre-occupied in Iraq, a country that ALREADY has nukes and certainly has MANY people in it's goverment sympathetic to the terrorists (Pakistan) "loses" a nuke or two, or some uranium 235. Sure Pakistan is our ally of convenience right now, but I'm pretty sure there are an awful lot of people high in their govt. that HATE us.

So we took out Saddam but we still end up getting nuked by someone.

Where does it end? We can't cover every single possibility militarily. We can't plug every hole.

U.S. foreign policy is a joke, gee everyone in the entire world can see it's a confused mess but us apparently.
A very good point.Eager Beagle
Sep 25, 2002 6:16 AM
I do wonder at a nation obsessed with oil and its effects, that has huge ocean (wave power) resources, huge plains (wind resources), huge desserts (solar resources) and so on, in which every one (I exaggerate for effect) seems compelled to have a new 5 litre plus vehicle every couple of years.

As someone who dislikes putting more money than I have to in the pockets of oil giants, and would like the earth to have to swallow as few used and disgarded cars as possible, I genuinely don't understand it.

Why is it?
Why does the potential justify war?Steve98501
Sep 25, 2002 10:45 AM
I'll grant that Iraq probably has chemical and biological weapons and is seeking nuclear capability. How does that justify taking him out? China and Korea have WMD, including nuclear, are communist and by policy definition, enemies of the U.S. We co-exist with them. Several of the former Soviet states have remaining nukes and other WMD and the potential to deliver them should they get POed at the U.S. Yet we aren't invading any of these nations.

If the U.S. is going to replace the Hussein regime in Iraq because he may act against U.S. interests, are we going to systematically invade and replace regimes globally that may also do the same? What about the ones that already have acted against U.S. interests, like China and Korea? Is it because they are a more powerful foe? Is it because Bush's buddies don't have any oil profits at stake in the actions of those countries?

It seems like the Bush/Cheny administration stands for maintaining and perhaps increasing U.S. dependence on oil, increasing oil development, militarily protecting oil that the U.S. may use, and ignoring the environmental, long-term economic, social, and health consequences of such a policy. Which sort of leads to the SUV and pollution rants of other threads. An administration like this may be a menace to society.