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Saddam's terrorist strike...(35 posts)

Saddam's terrorist strike...rwbadley
Oct 2, 2002 8:51 PM
Allison post a topic that provokes thought. One idea that occurred to me concerns the current mideast activity.

We know that Saddam had no problem with starting devastating oil field fires. This was a nasty piece of work on his way out of Kuwait. If attacks on Iraq begin, what do you think he may do? He will do something ugly, that we may be certain of.

Do you think if things get hot, he may attack neighboring countries hoping to wreak havoc on oil producers, thus destabilizing the global oil market? This would be within his power, and would cause oil consuming countries a major problem.

Anybody able to think like a madman? What would you do?
re: Saddam's terrorist strike...I Love Shimano
Oct 3, 2002 1:36 AM
I would release my bio hazard weapons. I'd plant a canister of whatever virus at INTERBIKE, then the infected denizens at INTERBIKE will spread it across America. The virus will take some time to transform into a deadly the time that happens and it is discovered...EVERYBODY will be infected.

Hmm...sounds like something from Clancy eh?
Saddam is not a madman. . .czardonic
Oct 3, 2002 9:33 AM
or at least not in the irrational lunatic sense.

His actions throughout his reign have been lucid, if cruel and repugnant. Above all, his goal is to remain in power, and alive. I suspect that he will do everything that he can to avoid war with the US. The kind of brinksmanship we are seeing now is a publicity stunt.

If the US does invade Iraq with the intent of killing him, I suspect that he will launch every nasty weapon we ever supplied him with towards Israel, and then dissapear.
So you think Saddam has WMDs?Sintesi
Oct 3, 2002 10:46 AM
But we shouldn't "provoke" him? You've heard of Neville Chamberlain, right?

Madman is a relative term. Trust you to interpret his psychogical state and propensities for us, Is that it? What exactly has Saddam Hussein's relationship been with his neighbors since he came to power? And what has it been since the international coalition's involvement after the invasion of Kuewait. Why do you think that his behavior suddenly changed?
Bogus comparison. . .czardonic
Oct 3, 2002 12:32 PM
. . .rooted in the Bush ethos of over-simplification. No one is advocating granting Saddam anything in exchange for anything. If you are going to make a convincing argument that Saddam's ambitions are in any way comparable to Hitler's, you've got a long row to hoe.

On his record, are you talking about when he was our proxy in the fight against Iran? You said yourself that his behavior has changed under pressure from the international community. That suggests to me that he is quite rational. So what is your interpretation of "madman".
But you think he has WMDs, yes?Sintesi
Oct 3, 2002 12:52 PM
Enemy of an enemy, why wouln't the US support Iraq against Iran during that era? We supported the Taliban Mujahadin against the Soviets as well. You can't pick and choose and be the shining knight all the time. Sometimes the US gets dirty, I stil don't think we stink.

A madman is someone who would use a WMD against us or our allies.

So you concede the point he has WMDs and must disarm.
So madman is purely a subjective designation?czardonic
Oct 3, 2002 1:21 PM
Based on strategic alliances?

Anyway, Iraq has not used WMDs against us or our allies, nor has he ever threatened to. By your definition, he is exonerated.
Madman or mad man or act of desperation...rwbadley
Oct 3, 2002 4:53 PM
I used madman in my original post, and right after posting thought of five or six other adjectives that may have been more appropriate.

My point was not to debate if Saddam is lucid, or otherwise sound in mind. The past US involvement with Saddam's regime could set up for a great 'you get what you pay for' debate. Or 'what goes around comes around' etc...

A while back someone posted something to the effect that some war games were played, and the original outcome was devastation of US forces. So the game was reset to give another go at it. Some folks howled about the fact it was rigged. It would seem that the game should be played enough times to determine outcome of many scenarios, and best way do deal with each. War GAMES right?

What do you think was the ploy that wiped out our forces? Do you think the Pentagon learned from it?

The reply about 'canister of something distributed by Interbike' I found disturbing. I can just see bike messengers tossing envelopes of swill of the day.

Right now I place the odds we invade Iraq at 70%+
Place your bets, place your bets.

So madman is purely a subjective designation?Sintesi
Oct 4, 2002 5:26 AM
Yeah, I guess the only way will find out is if he blows up Tel Aviv or gives aid to a terrorist who wants to kill a lot of Americans. That's cool with me. So when's your next class czardonic?
School's in, Sintesi!czardonic
Oct 4, 2002 10:15 AM
Lets start with a pop quiz.

Part I: Multiple Choice

1) Which of the follwing is true?
a)Tel Aviv has a population of 354036.
b)Baghdad has a population of 4834773
c)There are more than 10 times as many people in Baghdad that in Tel Aviv.
d)All of the above

Part II: Fill in the blanks

1)Saddam has threatened to bomb Tel Aviv ___ times in the last decade.
2)Bush has threatened to bomb Baghdad ___ times in the last month.

Part III: Essay

1) How many Iraqis should die to placate your paranoia?
School's in, Sintesi!Sintesi
Oct 4, 2002 10:56 AM
Lets start with a pop quiz.
Part I: Multiple Choice

1) Which of the follwing is true?
a)Tel Aviv has a population of 354036. T
b)Baghdad has a population of 4834773 T
c)There are more than 10 times as many people in Baghdad that in Tel Aviv. T
d)All of the above T

Part II: Fill in the blanks

1)Saddam has threatened to bomb Tel Aviv ___ times in the last decade.
As opposed to actually bombing Israel during the Gulf War? How about paying $25,000 to families of suicide murderers? Not acceptable evidence to you?

2)Bush has threatened to bomb Baghdad __0_ times in the last month.

Part III: Essay

1) How many Iraqis should die to placate your paranoia?

How many will die if we don't go in? You know a 100,000 Kurds have disappeared. Over a million people have died in combat in the wars of your sane bud Saddam Hussein. If you were a Shia in the south whose irrigation water was cut off because SH wants your people to starve you'd probably have a different attitude. Where of where would those people be without the no-fly zone. Paranoia? I'd think you'd be for a war against Saddam on humanitarian reasons alone.
Oct 4, 2002 11:21 AM
On Part II

Saddam's attack on Israel during a war in which Israel was allied with his enemies over a decade ago is evidence of future intent? Not acceptable. No. And you failed to fill in the blank so zero points for II:1

I suppose that you are going to say that despite Bush's repeated attempts to overthrow Saddam by military means and specifically advocating his assassination (through his spokesman), he did not specifically say that he wanted to bomb Baghdad. You are quite the master of semantics. Unfortunately, neither did Saddam specifically say that he wanted to bomb Tel Aviv, so your argument is completely disingenuous and hypocritical. Zero marks for II:2.

On Part III

Our attempts to starve the Iraqi (into overthrowing Saddam) people have contributed to the deaths of 10% of the population. Saddams actions, however horrific, do not rival our record with regards to cruelty. Our military action has never had the welfare of the Iraqi people in mind, why would it be different now?. What if the Kurds and the Shia don't want to play nice and toe the line for an American installed puppet government. Nothing in the history of this region suggests that they would, or that anything other than future rebellion and ethnic warfare will ensue. Zero points for pretending so unconvincingly that you give a rat's a$$ about the people of Iraq.
Oct 4, 2002 11:39 AM
US atarving the Iraqis. That's an old lie (and it is a lie). Your full of it.

Yeah past behavior is no indication of future behavior. Yeah I guess your right. I'm really wrong there. Saddam won't do anything bad I trust you. And that attack on Israel was fully justified.

Talk about impugning character. You should get a load of yourself. "don't give a rat's a$$" That's me alright.

Maybe the Shia and the Kurds and the Sunni can get along.

BTW, I'm not for the war smarty.
So you are not for the war?czardonic
Oct 4, 2002 11:54 AM
But you freely infer that if it does not take place we are inviting attacks on Israel, terrorism against the US and the further deprivation of the Kurds and the Shia?

That's a pretty bold stance.
So you are not for the war?Sintesi
Oct 4, 2002 12:15 PM
As a matter of fact i pretty much agree with everything you said. ; )
Oh really?moneyman
Oct 3, 2002 10:52 AM
Ordering the murder of thousands of your own citizens, as well as members of your own family, is "lucid" and not the mark of someone who is "irrational" as in a "lunatic" sense? Only if psychopaths are rational and "lucid", right? Was Stalin "lucid" in the same way as Saddam?

Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week which opines that Saddam's generals and foot soldiers would be very hesitant to launch an all out assault aginst US forces because of the treatment they would receive from those same forces after Saddam's inevitable downfall. Much like the Nazis did not use nerve gas on the Soviets as they entered Berlin. The soldiers commanded by a despot obey not out of love of country or a sense of duty, but rather out of fear of the despot. Saddam will never launch a weapon or fire a gun himself, and with no one obeying him, those weapons will not be used.

But I cannot imagine you reading the Wall Street Journal.

You're right about one thing. . .czardonic
Oct 3, 2002 12:45 PM
I wouldn't be taking the WSJ's word for it when it comes to the mindset of Iraqi soldiers. Even if they hate Saddam, what makes you think that they will like us? More to the point, if Saddam were anywhere near as universally despised in Iraq as Americans so foolishly beleive, he would be dead.

As for Saddam's killings, self preservation comes to mind as a rational motivation. Cruel and repugnant, as I already stated, but rational nonetheless. The Kurds (the primary victims of his WMDs) belong to a seperate ethinic group that has been rebelling in Nothern Iraq for the better part of a century. Was Lincoln a psychopath for fighting the Civil War?
Deep end...moneyman
Oct 4, 2002 7:45 AM
Off of which, you have gone. If you would like to discuss the motives of Lincoln choosing to fight the Civil War, rather than acquiescing to an illegal rebellion, let us begin another thread. For you to compare his actions to preserve a legal union, agreed upon by the Founders and approved by a unanimous vote of the states, with Saddam and his murderous actions towards the Kurds and OTHER Iraqi citizens, is ludicrous.

I think you underestimate Saddam's desire to remain alive. It is the penultimate objective of any megalomaniac, which is why he takes such great care to make his movements secret and secure. Think Hitler, Pablo Escobar, Stalin (again) and other criminals of history who ruled from fear. And it is fear that guides their decisions, not rational thought. Saddam is no more rational than any other serial killer.

There's no thread like the presentczardonic
Oct 4, 2002 8:29 AM
How was it legal for the Kurds to carve their own state out of Iraq's territory? There is a reason why we didn't support them at the time, and still don't support the formation of a Kurdish state. Saddam's "murderous actions" were facilitated and condoned by the United States. You really ought to pick up and encyclopedia before you decide what is ludicrous. You can jam your fingers in your ears and hum "God Bless America" as long as you want, history isn't going to change.

Penultimate objective?

What then is his ultimate objective? You know, after he is dead. And how many times do I have to say that his primary goal is to stay alive before you stop trying to convince me of same? That was my point to begin with: czardonic 10/3/02 10:33am. It's good to see that you are catching on.
That's not the point of disagreementmoneyman
Oct 4, 2002 9:06 AM
We agree (shudder) that his ULTIMATE (OK, I am guilty of misuse of the word penultimate) objective is to stay alive. The disagreement is whether Saddam's thinking is "rational" and "lucid". I say no, you say yes. I say he is psychopathic, with all the baggage attendant to that accusation. You disagree, leaving him to be compared with other political leaders, especially Bush. You fail to see a difference in the illegal secession of the South in 1861 and Lincoln's response with Saddam's repression of the Kurds. I must have missed the Congresssional resolution or Presidential directive giving support to chemical and biological weapon use agains the Kurds in Iraq. I must have missed news of shipments of sarin and smallpox to Iraq from our stockpiles. Please enlighten me with details of these things, so I might be fully informed on the way in which the US "facilitated and condoned" Saddam's actions.

The US was formed (in case you skipped history class that day) by 13 states ratifying a constitution that was drawn up by elected representatives from each of those states. I may be sketchy on the details, but I do not believe Iraq's current regime followed the same path.

I like "God Bless America" but jamming my fingers in my ears hurts my ears and my fingers, which is why I don't do it.

Robert E. Lee and Jeff Davis were traitors and should have been treated as such.

Here are some interesting facts. . .czardonic
Oct 4, 2002 9:45 AM
On the topic of Kurdish legitimacy:

  • The Kurds are the one of the largest ethnic groups that does not posses its own state. As such, Kurds have been rebelling in parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey since those countries were formed from the fallen Ottoman Empire.
  • In 1920's and 30's, when the region was under British control, British forces used Mustard Gas on Kurds to keep them under control.
  • Until 1991, not body of international law supported the creation of an autonomous Kurdish territory (though they had been promised a state repeatedly).

    Thus, until 1991 there was no legal recognition of Kurdish legitimacy. As such, their attempts to secede from Iraq were illegal. That does not justify the use of chemical and biological weapons against them by Iraq (or Britiain, for that matter), but it does justify (on a purely legal basis) Saddam's desire to crush their rebellion.

    The fact that Iraq obtained its biological and chemical weapons from US companies, and that these transactions were approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce are documented in the report "U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War", which was presented to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with Respect to Export Administration in 1994.

    Among the agents sold to Iraq:

  • Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.
  • Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin.
  • Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord and heart.
  • Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs.
  • Clotsridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness.
  • Clostridium tetani, highly toxigenic.


    As for Iraq's path, they won their independence from Britain and established a republic in 1958.
  • zmag. Uh oh Chomskyite.Sintesi
    Oct 4, 2002 10:20 AM
    Boy they're not biased are they? That's a GREAT organization. I'm sure they tell the whole story. Are you sure you haven't posted here before czardonic? Under a differnt name maybe?

    Rebelling against tyranny is not illegal in my book. How did Saddam come to power again? Democratic election, right? I think everybody except Israel sold munitions and chemicals to the Iraqis during the eighties. Your logic seems to imply if I sell you Potassium, charcoal and sulpher and you make gunpowder and bomb the post office then it's my fault for selling you the means. Why can't you just blame the person who commits the act and be done with it. Nope it's gotta be America's fault, America's responsibility like the rest of the world are little impressionable children that can't be expected to behave themselves. You have a liberal paternalistic attitude that at its base is disrespectful and unfair.
    Ignore the facts, attack the messanger.czardonic
    Oct 4, 2002 11:02 AM
    Classic Sintesi for you. Go ahead and impugn the source if you want. What is at issue is their source, which is the US governemt.

    Ignoring the editorial and sticking to the report: it states, "These biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction." So we are not talking about a few ingredients to make gunpowder here. Moreover, we sold these materials with the full knowledge that they would be used against Iraq's enemies (which were also our enemies at the time).

    By the way, my fellow Chomskyite liberals that the New York Times are also claiming that the US was complicit in Iraqs use of these weapons:

    (Now I'm "paternalistic"? The irony!)
    Yeah, you've really been attacked.Sintesi
    Oct 4, 2002 11:27 AM
    Do you still feel "patronized."

    Are you sure there's not more to the story? The phrase "dual use" must mean something, no? Hmmmm.

    You can ignore the editorial all you want personally I think it's because everytime you ask you get an ansswer you don't like so you just continue to widen the argument and falsely claim I'm impugning you personally. I think I've been pretty mild.

    I think the US helped create the monster but then again so did the rest of the world. I don't think that means we killed the kurds. sorry.

    And yeah you are paternalistic and suffer from feelings of superiority. It all comes out in your snide dismissals.
    I was talking about my source.czardonic
    Oct 4, 2002 11:51 AM
    And I was suggesting that we ignore the source's editorial and stick to the facts that it draws from. But you don't have an answer for the facts, do you?

    Mild or not, the fact remains that absent of any relevant objection to my argument, you prefer to talk about my personality.

    But you have made the excellent point that a person who titles himself "czardonic" tends to deliver his point of view with a certain scornfull tilt. That's quite a revelation!
    Brits and mustard gas.Sintesi
    Oct 4, 2002 11:00 AM
    "In 1920's and 30's, when the region was under British control, British forces used Mustard Gas on Kurds to keep them under control"

    I'm pretty sure that's a lie. Saddam Hussein in 1986 was the first to violate the Geneva Convention (1925) banning chemical weapons. At least that's what the UN says.

    Anyone have any facts?
    Oct 4, 2002 11:40 AM
    The University of Vermont's bio-chemical warfare timeline:
    Before Geneva apparently.Sintesi
    Oct 4, 2002 11:53 AM
    Pretty bad but then again that's history for you. Somewhat irrelevant considering the amount of time that's passed. The perpetrators must be dead by now. Too bad no one could put a stop to it, eh?
    Someone like us?czardonic
    Oct 4, 2002 11:59 AM
    Who didn't ratify the Geneva protocol until 1974? Who even after that facilitated their production and use in other countries?

    A person might get the idea that our outrage about these weapons is merely a pretext for some other agenda.
    Someone like us?Sintesi
    Oct 4, 2002 12:20 PM
    Yeah they must have foreseen the conflict where our own weapons would come back to haunt us. Self perpetuating entity creating problems that only it can solve. A sick game.
    Sick indeedczardonic
    Oct 4, 2002 1:12 PM
    How many times will our disingenuous attempts to "liberate" others comback to haunt us? Remeber when we were propping up the Khmer Rouge through the CIA to spite the "Evil Empire". That was a worthy effort. I wonder what joys await us when we set the Kurds (perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide) free? Yeah, I'm sure everyone will forgive and forget. That's what usually happens, right?
    re: Saddam's terrorist strike...Jon Billheimer
    Oct 3, 2002 12:33 PM
    Psychopaths are quite lucid and rational. They don't have a conscience, are narcissistic, plus a whole bunch of other interesting/nasty personality traits. The prevalence of psychopathy in corporate and governmental leadership roles, according to experts on the subject, would shock many of us. Enron is a classic case in point.

    That being said, I imagine that Hussein will use biological weapons against U.S. forces if he has the opportunity. To think that the Iraqi army will not fight I think is a mistaken assumption. That Iraqis may not exactly love Saddam is a possibility, but guaranteed they would hate American invaders even more. Plus they do love their own country and would naturally resist any invasion. I think the idea of a popular uprising in support of an American-led invasion is a bit of a pipe dream.

    My own uninformed view is that Iraq's interest in stockpiling WMDs is for future use against Israel, not the U.S. as Bush keeps inferring.
    Psychopaths lucid and rational?moneyman
    Oct 4, 2002 8:04 AM
    Psychopath - A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

    Only in their own world. And I do not say that lightly. Their reality is not the same one you and I exist in, assuming neither one of us is a psychopath. Their actions may be perfectly justified, lucid and rational in their mind, but not in reality.

    Enron should not be in this discussion. Enron is a corporation, an inanimate object. It cannot be psychopathic because it has no "psyche." The people running it may well have been psychopathic, although I think greedy would be more descriptive, but Enron itself was not. If you wish to imply that certain people in powerful positions are psychopaths, have at it. Please do not make the mistake that governments or corporations are psychopathic, because they, by definition, cannot be.

    Your view is uninformed. Thank you for stating so.

    Psychopaths lucid and rational?Jon Billheimer
    Oct 4, 2002 9:47 AM
    I did not mean to apply that an organization is psychopathic, only individuals who may be in leadership roles. My remarks were spurred by an hour long special I saw on the subject of psychopathy. In a psychiatric sense psychopaths are rational. But their ethical premises are certainly different than yours and mine.

    A psychologist at the University of British Columbia has designed a checklist questionnaire for psychopathy which has become the international standard. I don't recall all the traits revealed, but it is interesting. This guy, as well as other professionals who study the subject, noted that most psychopaths operate quite undetected by their colleagues and neighbours. But they all, whether they be of the Saddam ilk or the more garden variety, share a uniform cluster of personality traits. That is what I was referring to.

    And yes, according to authorities on the subject, some people who achieve positions of leadership demonstrate strong psychopathic characteristics and behaviours. This does not mean that they overtly break the law. But they do manipulate ruthlessly and coldbloodedly, have no ethical boundaries and can be quite destructive within conventional, legitimate organizations.
    Thank you for that uninformed response...Wayne
    Oct 4, 2002 11:24 AM
    it was nice of moneyman to insult you while in the same post providing a definition of a psychopath that supports your contention that a psychopath can be both lucid and rational.