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Is this the Somking Gun?(44 posts)

Is this the Somking Gun?Alpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 10:53 AM
It looks like someone in Iraq forgot to stall the inspectors so they could hide a few warheads:

The inspectors found 11 empty 122 mm chemical warheads and one warhead that requires further evaluation. The warheads are similar to ones imported by Iraq during the late 1980s, the spokesman said.

So much for lack of evidence. Though people could say he was planning on using these to spray crops for bugs or something. I doubt it though. I beleive this shows that Hussein is not disarmimg. He needs to be removed from power. I hope he will do the rigght thing and go into exile somewhere. This will save the bloodshed on both sides.

Mike Y.
it may sort of blow overDougSloan
Jan 16, 2003 11:20 AM,8599,408784,00.html?cnn=yes

Saddam may get ousted from within. Not a bad solution, I suppose.

it may sort of blow overAlpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 11:34 AM
That would be the best situation. I think if the people did not live in fear they would have done it a while ago. It is too bad that story leaked though. My guess is the Saudi's will back off now. They have enough trouble there already without further angering the extremists.

I could live with Saddam in exile. France likes his oil, maybe they will host him. He just needs to lose power.

Mike Y.
Suppose again.Matno
Jan 16, 2003 2:11 PM
Not that I actually know much about Iraq, but from what I've read, one of the main reasons Saddam hasn't just been assassinated (which would be a piece of cake, in spite of what anyone might say) is because of concerns that those who would take over might be worse... Just one possibility.

What I would hate to see is for us to go in, destroy their entire system, and set up one of our own creation, like we've done in so many other places. Never seems to work all that well when we do that, and it ends up costing us a ton of money. Then again, it might be an improvement if we did...

Foreign policy is aggravating no matter what side you support, because you're always dealing with power struggles - often between two equally bad (and very stubborn)sides.
that's a big concernDougSloan
Jan 16, 2003 2:16 PM
I agree that worse would be, well, worse.

However, it does work sometimes. Japan, West Germany, after WWII. Panama, now (as far as I know). Afghanistan, so far. Might well be dozens of others, just can't think of them now.

If we set someone else up, I assume we'll do a thorough house cleaning, people and arms, in the process, and like Japan, disarm them completely.

Could cost a ton of money, but continued war and terrorism ain't cheap, either.

wasn't the US buddy-buddy with Saddam not too long ago?ColnagoFE
Jan 16, 2003 3:19 PM
I mean what if they remove him. Who are they gonna get? Some puppet government that doesn't have the support of the people? It's a complicared situation.
Reminds me of those commercials: "Timing is Everything"Matno
Jan 16, 2003 8:48 PM
Yes, we were. At various points in our history, I think we've been buddy buddy with just about everybody.

I guess I also should have clarified, when we (the U.S.) goes in and sets up a new gov't, it's usually much better than when we go in under the flag of the United Nations. I guess it makes sense though. Since the United Nations has very little to do with democracy and a lot to do with secrecy and control, how can we expect them to set up democratic governments?!
More like an empty holster...PdxMark
Jan 16, 2003 11:56 AM
As usual, another ambiguity out of Iraq...

The real dangers at issue are the chemical or biological agents that would go into those warheads. The empty warheads might mean there is biological or chemical stuff around, or maybe not. It's ambiguous. Maybe there is a smokiung gun somewhere, maybe there isn't. But the empty warhead itself certainly isn't a weapon of mass destruction. So not a smoking gun... What's a better analogy in the smoking gun context than an empty holster?
Still a violationAlpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 12:45 PM
What do you think they were planning on using them for? Promotional Snapple bottles? Or maybe Baby Milk!!!

Using that logic, it is not a violation of the law if someone on probation for armed robery carries an unloaded hand gun. Well in this country it would be a violation of that persons probation. Just as these empty warheads violate terms of Saddam's surrender.

I am amazed at how quick some people come to the defense of someone who would use chemical weapons on his own people. These were the weapons Saddam was supposed to get rid of but he did not. He is in violation of his treaty. He needs to be removed from power before he has the chance to use his weapons.

Mike Y.
Death penalty for probation violators!czardonic
Jan 16, 2003 1:22 PM
Give me a break. A few empty warheads are not worth going to war.

And as for using chemical weapons on "his own people," the Kurds are not "his" people. (You may as well say that the Palestinians are Ariel Sharon's people.) They are people who live on land that he controls. They hate Saddam. Saddam hates them. And why wouldn't he? This is a group that has been agitating for control over that region of the world since the British controlled it. Of course, the British also used chemical weapons against them. Not that anyone bothers to bring that up these days, but I doubt that anyone would suggest that the British gassed "their own people."

Using chemical weapons is evil enough. Tacking on this preposterous notion that he is even more evil because these are "his" is counter-productive. Either it demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the situation, or makes one wonder if you think chemical weapons are OK, as long as you don't use them on your "own" people. Then again, that seems to be the stance of the US.
I'm not calling for Death PenaltyAlpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 4:02 PM
I could have used a better analogy there. "Ethnic Cleansing" is a better term than using chemical weapons on your own people. Luckily the US planes are patrolling the area where the Kurd are. Otherwise, there would be a lot less of them. And if the Israelis try to use chemical weapons on Palistinians, I will be on this board the next day saying the UN & US should take action against them. I do not approve of a lot of what they are doing now, but that is a topic for another thread.

I do not know where you got in any of my posts that Chemical Weapons are OK. What I am saying is that Hussein was told to destroy or turn over his chemical weapons and the means of distributing them as told by the UN when he surrendered. I would prefer that every weapon of mass destruction chemical, biological or nuclear, were removeded from the planet. Chemical weapons are more evil more evil in the possession of Hussein because he has shown a willingess to use them in the past.

I am not calling for Saddam Hussein's death. If you look at my origingal post, I hoped he would go into exile. Just because I think action is justified does not mean I want a war. I would like a peaceful resolution to this. If captured, if the UN wabts to let him go into exile that is fine with me. I would prefer he go before the word court though. Unfortunately, I doubt he is going to turn himself in. I can still hold out hope though.

Mike Y.
In this context, "removed from power" is the same thing.czardonic
Jan 16, 2003 4:47 PM
And what distinction do you draw between "action" and war? If you want a peaceful solution, fair enough. But throwing fuel onto the war fire with a bunch of calls for unspecified action, "removal", and especially with conjecture about chemical weapons seems like a step away from peace to me.
It is closer "Losing your job" than the death penaltyAlpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 7:16 PM
Maybe Saddam looks at power as his life. Maybe some people consider losing their job or power the end of their life. Maybe he would rather die than live in exile or go to prison. That is not the death penalty. Saddam is also the one who brought chemical weapons into play, not the US or UN. Whatever action is taken is one he brought on himself by violating his surrender agreement.

Action is whatever is needed to remove him from power. I think it will be quick and decisive and over within a few weeks. I will let you decide what you think a war is. You can also look it up on a dictionalry web site. I am assuming we have differing views on that and threads playing on words are boring.

Mike Y.
Um, just to set the record straightsn69
Jan 16, 2003 7:18 PM
He did use the same weapons on the marsh-land Shi'ite tribes in the Tigres/Euphrates estuary in the '80s as well. ...And they ARE his people.

The point is, this isn't about death for probation violators. I understand your reasoning and the allusion, but it's an oversimplification.

Remember Chamberlain. The Suddentenland wasn't enough. Hitler kept moving. This guy is of the same pathology.

Again, I'm not necessarily advocating war, but the fact remains that we will never be able to reason with him, nor will anyone in the East. It's not about ideology, philosophy or religious fundamentalism. Saddam is about power--ruthless greedy power. He might, from time to time, cloak himself in the ideology du jour (beit the Palestinians or aQ), but the bottom line is that he is a sociopathic dictator. And, in that vien, we can either deal with him now (one way or another) or we WILL deal with him later. While he might or might not eventually use a chemical or nuclear weapon against us or our allies, he is also just as likely to sell/provide those weapoons to our enemies, namely one Mr. Osama Bin Nutbag. ...Or he might use them in his next war with Iran. ...Or against the Kurdish seperatists in the north.

I vote to let the diplomats play their hand, but if/when it doesn't work, we need to be prepared to do what is necessary.

Again, I know you often like to quote our past violations, transgressions and plain ol' stupid moves, but this action has nothing to do with them. The past is something to learn from, not to live in fear of. The right thing is keeping the cork on the nuclear lantern as long as possible before the genie pops out. The stakes are too high not to.
Let's <i>really</i> set it straight.czardonic
Jan 17, 2003 9:20 AM
Let's not pretend that this is about keeping the cork in the nuclear lantern. If that were our aim, we wouldn't be soft-pedaling on North Korea, Pakistan, India etc.

And while we are getting down to brass tacks, let's not pretend that this is about Saddam aiding and abetting Bin Laden. Their goals are at cross purposes: Saddam is just they type of secular dictator that Bin Laden would love to take down, and Bin Laden is just they type of charismatic revolutionary that Saddam fears most.

War with Iraq is about synergizing current fears with a decade old ambition. It will do nothing to stem the tide of terrorism, nor will it pull the world any further from the nuclear brink.

Sometimes the past is something to be learned from and to be feared.
Jan 17, 2003 10:10 AM
That was certainly a spirited response. I respect your beliefs, although I don't necessarily agree with them all.

OK, this is going to come out insulting, so please bear with me and be assured that it is NOT meant this way. You need to transcende your unintentional cultural bigotry to gain more clairty with regards to the differing dynamics of the situation.

Iraq. Yup, secular dicatator...but also more than willing to share intelligence, support infrastructure and weaponry with other enemies of the US. I've seen it first hand, flying AGAINST said systems. Remember the addage: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." We want their nuke/bio/chem program stopped because he is both capable of and willing to use such weapons. He's done so several times in the past. Why do you think the Israelis hit him in the early 80s? They had never historically had armed conflict with Iraq, BUT they had credible evidence that he was going to sell the weapons to the PLO, Hamas, the Peoples Democratic Judean Liberation Front (forgive the slight tongue-in-cheek)....

North Korea. Isolated to the point of global pre-adolescence. We want their program stopped because they are ruled by a man who is often cited by socio-pathologists as being dangerously delusional. If he wants to take back the southern end of the penninsula, we can stop him--eventually, but only at the cost of millions of Korean and American lives. We are "soft-pedalling" at present because that is the role that their culture demands we take. We are attempting to find a way to allow him to back-down without losing face. Again, cast-off the filters of a westerner with interests in politics. You are better served to look at the equaiton as a cultural anthropologist.

Pakistan. One of our many so-called allies. We need them right now to continue to persue the AQ issue. We bellied-up to them historically only because the Indian gov't alligned themselves economically with the Soviet Union for many years. The two nations exist in a perpetual state of theocratic hatred, and they have sizeable arsenals pointed at each other. They have repeatedly come close to the brink over the past 40 years. (FWIW, India has come alarmingly close to the same with China, the worst of which occurred in 62-64.)

Israel. Yup, here's where you're right. They have more than enough virtual presence/capability to deal with threats to them without resorting to the nuclear option, yet we don't pressure them enough to disarm. I wish we would.

The thing is, every situation is different, defined by the nuances of the cultural norms in the area inasmuch as the ideologies and/or personalities involved. If you look at it only through the eyes of a left-leaning American, then you limit yourself every bit as much as those who only look at as a right wing hawk. In stead, try looking at the motivations on the other end. Hussien doesn't care about global dynamics any more than he cares about his own people. He's a dictator, plain and simple, and he regularly slaughters his own who dissent. He is seeking regional hegemony to further his own personal ambitions.

Will war with him do anything to stem terrorism or provide non-proliferations assurances? Yes and no. It's not one or the other. Terrorists will always exist, yet as important as it is to kill the terrorists, it's equally important to disrupt their supply infrastructure (Saddam and others), and--surprise, surprise--to try to adopt policies of generosity that might sway potential candidates (share the wealth without imposing our culture...). How about nuclear proliferation? The problem will continue to exist in ever-increasing scale (boy, that's scary as hell), but don't you think we have an obligation to do everything we can to stop it?

Again, looking to the cultural standards and how they affect things, you need to think about the failure of the Barak/Erekat as an example. Barak made two critical errors. F
The rest...(sorry)sn69
Jan 17, 2003 10:11 AM
Again, looking to the cultural standards and how they affect things, you need to think about the failure of the Barak/Erekat as an example. Barak made two critical errors. First, he didn't gag/hog-tie Sharon and prevent him from going to Temple Mount. Second, and far more importantly, he withdrew from southern Lebenon under the wrong pretenses, and his enemy--Hamas--regarded it as a victory based on their cultural paradigm. That, in turn, motivated them to press their attacks within Israel and to fan the flames of the relatively peaceful Intifada (up to that point). ...And Barak subsequently fell from power, the peace initiative failed and countless Palestinians and Israelis continue to die and suffer.

We made the same mistake when we lobbed Tomohawks blindly into Sudan and Afghanistan in response to the African embassy bombings. We failed to grasp the full nature of the enemy's intent, and, through our own perceived cultural superiority, we thought "surely they'll see that we mean business." They didn't. In stead Bin Laden and Al Zawhari strengthened their resolve that America was not only corrupt and weak, but also wouldn't have the spine to do anything substantive in response. They grew bolder, and we paid the price.

Does oil factor into this, Czardonic? Certainly, and anybody who says differently is fooling themselves. Still, I think you might be well served by momentarily looking past the passion that can, at times, blind one with regards to such significant socio-political issues. If we do nothing, then we will face this crisis again; only, Hussein will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons. What do we do then? He will be immune from economic sanctions and diplomacy will fail outright.
Seems to be som rather fast and loose assumptions here.czardonic
Jan 17, 2003 11:18 AM
First, this notion of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sounds a lot like Bush's "Axis of Evil" (talk about cultural bigotry).

Saddam is about survival and personal aggrandizement, in that order, period. Aiding and abetting attacks against Israel serves this purpose because it wins him brownie points among Arabs. Theoretically, aiding Bin Laden would serve the same purpose, but for two overshadowing drawbacks. First, to do so would guaruntee his destruction by the US, thereby violating his primary goal. Second, it would strengthen forces that undermine his own authority, therby violating his secondary goal. In short, it is lose-lose for Saddam. Yes, Saddam has used weapons agains people under his control (20 years ago) and invaded neighboring countries (10 years ago). What has he done lately? It looks an awful lot like Saddam is learning the lessons of history.

Frankly, I think that boiling the North Korea (or any) situation down to "cultural" factors, especially trite notions of "face", is what is bigotted. what I have read on Kim Il Jong suggests that he is nothing more than a garden variety dictator, i.e. an ego-maniacal control-freak. As with Saddam, the judgement of "dangerously delusional" is proffered simply to staunch any further discussion or understanding of his motives. "He's a nut, end of discussion." Bull. If the South Koreans aren't concerned about him launching an invasion, why should we be? (Are they the victims of cultural bias?).

Honestly, what is more bigotted than the assumption that because Saddam is an Iraqi and Kim Il Jong is Korean that their motives must be fundamentally different? They are both interested in being seen as regional bad-a$$es, and having a nuclear weapon is a quick way to get that reputation. Between the two, North Korea is far more likely to distribute weapons to terrorists because they need the money and there is little risk of blowback or reprisal from the US (as long as China is in the picture).

I agree with you about Pakistan and Israel.

Really, I am not suggesting that we do nothing. I hate Saddam for what he has done to inoccent civilians and I think that he should go: for the right reasons. The reason I am so picky about honesty in justification is because people like Saddam and Bin Laden are demons of our own making, and products of battles we entered under the guise of freedom. I don't want to into Iraq talking about democracy but caring about oil or a beach-head for our own regional hegemony. That is a lose-lose for the US and Iraq.

And isn't capitalizing on terror paranoia exactly the kind of blinding passion we should be avoiding?
It's a reporting violation, but not proof of WMD...PdxMark
Jan 16, 2003 1:41 PM
You can see my earlier comment below agreeing that it's likely a violation of Iraq's reporting obligation. I say likely because I haven't actually read what the reporting requirements are.

My point is that the empty warheads do not prove that Iraq currently has chemical or biological agents. No, I'm not assuming Saddam is either good or trustworthy. The MSNBC article has the following quote "The warheads were in excellent condition and were similar to ones imported by Iraq during the late 1980s." Saddam clearly had WMD in the 1980s. Do these warheads now *prove* that he still has chemical or biological agents? I don't think so.

If you think the 20 year old warheads are proof of current stocks of agents, please explain the proof to me. To help you out a bit, the fact that Saddam used chemical weapons in the past is not proof that he currently has those weapons.

You seem to be using the same rationale as GWB. (1) Saddam is evil, (2) he has used WMD before, therefore (3) he currently has WMD. I don't get the jump to #3, and 20 year old warheads don't make the jump any easier for me. The best public evidence so far of the presence of the agents are discrepencies between what past inspectors believe was manufactured and the amounts of the agents that were used or destroyed.

Finally, if we are going to war because Saddam violated the terms of the Gulf War truce, then say that. But that's not what our government is saying. It is saying that they have proof of WMD, but they can't divulge their sources. While I distrust Saddam completely, I also don't trust someone saying they can prove something but just don't want to.
Didn't Mark Russel quip:"We know they have weapons of mass128
Jan 16, 2003 11:58 AM
destruction. We still have the receipts."

Sounds as if the Saudis may be coming to their senses. That would be tidy.
Saddam do the right thing?Wayne
Jan 16, 2003 12:07 PM
I don't think that's in his nature. I have several questions, which I'm sure someone here will answer:

1) We should have expected to find something like this right? Aren't we the ones who sold them to him for the war vs. Iran?
2) If they're empty, isn't that evidence of disarming?
3) If taking out Saddam = Fighting terrorism isn't the evidence we're looking for some kind of biological/chemical and more significantly nuclear weapons producing capability that is exportable?
4) If we don't find #3, why shoot a caged tiger if he's already had his claws removed (see the Gulf War)?

In short, I remain unconvinced that removing Saddam from power makes the average American citizen one iota safer (this is the business the government should be in, right?). Furthermore, it very well may endanger alot of military personal, and it can only hurt our image on the international scene in general and with arabs in particular. Someone tell me what I'm missing?
Saddam do the right thing?PdxMark
Jan 16, 2003 12:20 PM
Empty warheads is not evidence of disarming. The warheads arrive empty. They are filled with bio or chem agent when they are to be used (or stored for use). So the presence of empty warheads doesn't necessarily mean that bio or chem agents are around. But, Iraq was probably required to disclose the warheads, so their existence is likely a breeach of the reporting requirements.

The existence of the bio/chem agents is the big issue. Ari Fleischer says he "knows for a fact" that Iraq has the agents, but he won't say anymore. The last round of inspections determined that there were tons of chemical and biological materials that Iraq made but never accounted for, either through use or destruction. Iraq never volunteered that information. It was discovered through amazingly hard work.

So, do we go to war on the basis of those past inspection results? If they are correct, Iraq is playing yet another shell game and has lots of bio and chem warfare agents. But do we really really know (as Ari says he does), or are we just pretty sure and willing to launch a war on that level of certainty?
For the sake of arguement...Wayne
Jan 16, 2003 12:48 PM
let's assume he has a warehouse full of the stuff.
Is there any reason to believe he would use them unprovoked against us? Meaning our troops in the region, since Iraq could barely get scuds to Isreal I can't see this as really threatening the average US citizen.
Or is there any reason to believe he's selling this stuff to terrorists?
Aren't these the important questions, not just does he have it or not?
Are these agents really that dangerous as WMD?
Mass means lots of people dead, conventional weapons seem worse than these. ARen't nuclear weapons really what we should be worried about anyway?
For the sake of arguement...TJeanloz
Jan 16, 2003 1:04 PM
You're right, having the weapons to destabalize what is one of the most important sources of oil to the world is not a threat to the American people.

That round-about threat aside, possession of any of these weapons by anybody is incredibly dangerous. Sure, he might not sell them to terrorists, but how can we be sure that a couple of cannisters of VX don't find there way to Al Qaida via an Iraqi sympathizer? And these cannisters find their way into downtown Peoria? I'd feel safer knowing that there were fewer chemical weapons floating around in the world.
how much dishonesty do we tolerate?DougSloan
Jan 16, 2003 1:19 PM
At a minimum, even according to the UN, this shows Iraq to be in violation of UN requirements (a "material breach"). We know he played inspection games for 10 years, even kicking the inspectors out. Heck, even Clinton sent some missles in. He has thumbed his nose at international law, and the surrender agreement following the Gulf War. The guy is a dangerous liar.

How much slack do we cut the guy? Do we wait until he attacks again (remember Kuwait?)? Do we wait until he supplied weapons to terrorists, people die, and we attempt to trace them to him? I'm not intending to be rhetorical -- can anyone who disagrees with invading soon tell us just how much the world should tolerate before doing something?

I agree...PdxMark
Jan 16, 2003 1:52 PM
He's had his chance. He is a master at edging into non-compliance in ways that "seem" unimportant to some folks in the world, including allies. It seems that we now have at least some justification under the latest UN mandate to go to war for reporting violations.
let the inspectors do their jobDuane Gran
Jan 16, 2003 2:13 PM
can anyone who disagrees with invading soon tell us just how much the world should tolerate before doing something?

I disagree with invading because UN inspectors are currently doing their job in the country and the US agreed to give inspection a chance. In order to keep other countries engaged in the issue we can't afford to invade willy-nilly.

How much slack do we cut the guy? Do we wait until he attacks again (remember Kuwait?)? Do we wait until he supplied weapons to terrorists, people die, and we attempt to trace them to him?

It sounds like the doctrine of premptive strikes makes sense to you, but I regard it as a dangerous precident for several reasons:

1) Clearly there is no objective standard by which a nation should be stricken premptively, otherwise we would be mounting the same political and military pressure on North Korea and other hostile states.

2) Terrible harm could arise if other disagreeing nations (Israel vs Palestine or India vs Pakistan) use the policy as a template. In fact, the administration admonishes Isreal when they do the same thing.

As for the question of how much slack we give Iraq, I think the policy of containment for the last 10 years worked rather well. The sanctions and inspections don't seem lax to me. I'm not convinced that regime change would guarantee that weaponry wouldn't land in the wrong hands anyhow.
Saddam not letting them do their jobAlpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 3:30 PM
Iraq is stalling the inspectors at every corner, providing in accurate reports, not giving them access to scientists and other officials that they are asking to talk to. If Iraq were being truthful and and offering full access & disclosure, this would not be an issue.

This also is not a dispute between to disagreeing countries. This is a UN action. This is different from the India/Pakistan or Israel/Palestine. Nobody is pushing for Military action against North Korea.

The policy of the last ten years is failed. If it worked, we would not be in the situation we are in now. Saddam is in violation of his surrender. He has been given 11 years to compy with them. He continues to stall and deceive the UN.

Nobody can be 100% sure of what will happen if there is a regime change. I would hope you would be willing to let Iraq give democracy a try after Saddam leaves power.

Mike Y.
Why would he?czardonic
Jan 16, 2003 5:01 PM
I thought he was an implacable, homicidal maniac, bent on world domination and annihilation of the US. Why would anyone care what he says about anything, let alone expect full cooperation and disclosure?

He lied and the UN inspectors found the goods anyway. That proves that the inspections are working, Saddam's obstruction notwithstanding.
Inspectors have had over 11 years alreadyAlpedhuez55
Jan 16, 2003 7:36 PM
"I thought he was an implacable, homicidal maniac, bent on world domination and annihilation of the US. Why would anyone care what he says about anything, let alone expect full cooperation and disclosure? "

You just made a great argument for why he needs to be removed. He cannot be trusted. If you need one more, there was a report on the news this morning that he is looking to sign up "Human Sheilds" despite the fact that it is a violation of the Geneva Convention to use them.

How long do you want to give the inspectors? This became a domestic security issue on 9/11/01 and took on a new urgency in this country. Though if you do not think he is such a threat, I hear he is hiring.

Mike Y.
I'm sorry the irony was lost on you.czardonic
Jan 17, 2003 9:30 AM
I was simply pointing out the hypocracy of simultaneously denouncing him as a maniac and wringing ones hands over minor administrative non-compliance.

Your link won't open for me, but if it is anything like a similar story I read yesterday, it points out that these "human sheilds" are actually anti-war activists who are volunteering to go to Iraq as a deterence to a military attack. How can it be a violation of the Geneva Convention to allow someone to willingly risk their life for a cause they believe is worth dying for?

It seems that all the pro-war roads lead to a shameless reference to 9/11. Pathetic.
I'm sorry the irony was lost on you.Alpedhuez55
Jan 17, 2003 11:08 AM
Cardzonic, you say "It seems that all the pro-war roads lead to a shameless reference to 9/11. Pathetic."

Well, I think it is pathetic that the thousands of lives lost on 9/11 mean so little to some in the anti-war movement. You refuse to accept that it changed the dynamics since terrorism on a large became a reality in our country and sped up the timeline in which we are allowing Saddam to comply. You want to claim it is about oil or a "minor administrative non-compliance". Now you are now making excuses for a genocidal maniac.

Use of non combatants as human sheilds is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Though one could agrue to volunteer for human sheild duty could make in a sense make them combatants. I just hope none of the volunteers decide to bring their children along. And what types of sites do you beleive human sheilds will be used to protect?

You are trying to only look at these events as if the started a few weeks ago when the inspections resumed. Some will even go as far as bring up the quasi "friend of my enimy is a friend" status Iraq held in the 80s then ignore everything he did wrong since 1990. You need to look back further than than this latest round of inspections. THe UN gave Saddam a last chance to make good. He has failed to do so. I am sure you will keep making excuses for him though.

Mike Y.
I'm not interested in excuses, period.czardonic
Jan 17, 2003 11:36 AM
Particularly the following:
  • We need to go into Iraq because he used the WMD we gave him 20 years ago.
  • We need to go into Iraq because he invaded Kuwait 10 yeas ago.
  • We need to go into Iraq because Saddam is not cooperating with the UN.
  • We need to go into Iraq because Saddam tried to assassinate the President's dad.
  • We need to go into Iraq because Saddam might someday obtain nuclear weapons.
  • We need to go into Iraq because Saddam might give other WMD to terrorists.
  • We need to go into Iraq because an organization that Saddam has in no way been connected with (according to the CIA) attacked the US.
  • We need to go into Iraq because some nuts are volunteering to be human sheilds and [this just in!] they might take their children with them.


    From where I stand, there is plenty of reason to depose Saddam without all these bull$hit excuses. He's a jerk and a menace to his people, and potentially a threat to others in the region. The only problem is getting him out of there without doing further damage to the Iraqi people, who should be our primary concern. Of course, they are pretty far down the list of Bush's concerns and well below oil, American control of the region, distracting American attention from the flagging war against actual terrorists, boosting poll numbers in advance of his re-election campaign, pandering to Israeli lobbies and possibly furthering a nutty religious prophecy.

    Why does it matter as long as Saddam is gone? Because as long as Bush's motivation has nothing to do with the welfare of the Iraqi people, there is no guarantee that the Iraqi people (or the American people, for that matter) will be any better off.
  • Thank you for revealing your motivationAlpedhuez55
    Jan 17, 2003 12:58 PM
    THat is fine, you are entitiled to your own views on the president. I do not agree with your views on religion being a motivation. Nor do I think Bush is after poll numbers or think this is related to re-election, though a decisive win could help his cause. It did not help his father though. I think President Bush is a man of conviction and character who beleives he is doing what is right. You see him as something else and I can respect that. I know I was critical of Clinton's motives on some issues, even when I agreed with him.

    Protecting innocent Iraqi's is also a good motivation. I would trust the military is willing to do what they can to aviod civilian casualties. That may be difficult when Saddam wants to put civilians in harms way. Ultimately, I think it is in the best interest of the Iraqi people to remove Saddam from power and have the UN phase in a form of Democracy.

    You should have made the two points about the President & welfare of the Iraqi people in your original post. You came across as making excuses for Iraq's non-compliance & UN policies. I still disagree with but at least I understand where you are coming from.

    Mike Y.
    No problem.czardonic
    Jan 17, 2003 1:17 PM
    However, I was making excuses for Saddam's non-compliance. Not that I think he should be excused, but of course he is dragging his feet! Wouldn't you?

    It is counter-productive to belabour a just cause with bogus justifications. The more we waffle between denouncing him as a lunatic and decrying his crafty subversion of the inspection process, the more it sounds like just using whatever of our own excuses best serves the situation. This type of disingenuousness is the reason why the US foreign policy has no credibility.
    How many times do we let him get away with his games?Alpedhuez55
    Jan 16, 2003 1:14 PM
    I will try to tell you some of the things you are missing. Here are some answers to your questions:

    1. Politics of 20 years ago is not the same as the politics of today. Sadam changed that when he invaded Kuwait.
    2. Destroying or turning over the warheads would have been disarming. Hiding them is not.
    3. Anything over zero weapons of mass destruction is a violation of his surrender agreement. Chemical weapons do not take a lot of space and could smuggled into other countries.
    4. He is a injured tiger, but not a caged tiger. He would be a caged tiger if he were in jail. He is very much in power and is dangerous.

    THere are possibilities that Saddam could sell chemical weapons to terrorists who could try to get them in the US. That threat should be clear to you after the events of 9/11. He could use them on his own people, our military or Israel, where there are thousands of US citizens at any given time. You also do not seem to show any concern over our military being you think that chemical weapons being used on them will "only hurt our image on the international scene in general and with arabs in particular"

    This is just another piece of evidence that is added on to other violations he has already committes such as shooting at planes in the no fly zone and providing the UN with false reports. All Americans will be safer if Saddam is removed from power since it takes away a source of funding and intelligence information for terrorist and removes a source of chemical, biological or conventional weapons.

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Mike Y.
    Thank you - I agree he is a lying menace....PdxMark
    Jan 16, 2003 2:01 PM
    And that he's in non-compliance over reporting. And if that's what we're going to war for, then it's at least a reasonable justification. I'm just saying that, literally, those warheads don't prove chemical or biological agents.
    How many times do we let him get away with his games?Duane Gran
    Jan 17, 2003 5:11 AM
    This is just another piece of evidence that is added on to other violations he has already committes such as shooting at planes in the no fly zone and providing the UN with false reports.

    Regarding this no-fly zone, our planes wouldn't be shot at if we weren't flying in the no-fly zone. My understanding of this situation is that the US flaunts disregard for the concept just as much as Iraq.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Iraq is bad news, but I don't see the smoking gun. Ari Fliecher (sp?) claims that they know he has WMD but he isn't telling me any details. Supposedly they are sharing info with the inspectors, so I eagerly await the results.
    We have the right to patrol the no fly zoneAlpedhuez55
    Jan 17, 2003 5:52 AM
    Part of the surrender agreement is that we have the right to patrol in the no fly zone. The Iraqis are not supposed to fire on us. There would be a lot more dead Kurds if we were not able patrol it.

    Both Bush and Tony Blair talk with alot of confidence about a very damaging peice of evidence. I am sure that will come out with it before any attack is made. Right now, they need to protect their intelligence sources.

    Mike Y.
    So you're fundamental point is...Wayne
    Jan 17, 2003 6:42 AM
    He might help terrorists so we need to take him out? He clearly lacks any kind of ability to destabalize the middle east, because his army is a skeleton compared to what it was before the Gulf War. BTW, I think the Gulf War was justified for the very reason of the destabalizing effect he could have had on the region (Hitler taking Austrian/Chezkloslovakia analogy I think applied as well).
    Again, chemical weapons are not going to destabalize the region. My understanding is they are relatively ineffective in combat against prepared troops. It's not like he's going to use them to roll over our air bases in S.A. and move on Israel. Nukes (i.e. the real danger for destabilization), the administration seems to have forgotten about them since this whole thing started. I imagine because there is not one iota of evidence that there is a program in Iraq anywhere near getting a bomb if it exists at all.
    That's the same amount of evidence that there is for him supporting terrorism. The CIA won't even say that he has had anything to do with terrorism, which you for some reason assume he has. So no you haven't answered my questions. THe policy of containment worked fine for 10 years, what changed?
    In short, we appear to be going down the road that I think that this country has largely avoided in the past, which is using military means to accomplish foriegn policy goals as something other than a last resort. I think if we go ahead unilaterally with this history will not be kind to us. Again, the burden of proof is not on me, you say Saddam is a danger to us. What's the evidence? In 10+ years of no-fly zone tag, I think he's shot down one drone. Those radar locks and occasionaly missles are as close as he's come to any American citizen.
    So you're fundamental point is...Alpedhuez55
    Jan 17, 2003 8:04 AM
    My fundamental point is Saddam was given a chance to become a responsible member of the world community after he surrendered in 1991. If you asked me then, I would have said the UN should have tried to capture him then and brought him up on war crimes charges.

    He has been given almost 12 years to do it and he has not done so. He was asigned a list of conditions and yesterday was just the latest in a long list of violations. He agreed to allow inspectors back in after expelling them in 1998. He has stalled and deceived tham at every turn.

    Here is an article that gives some information on his links & support of terrorism:,,3-373053,00.html

    THough maybe not a direct reason alone to support action alone, it a contributing factor when you look at the past history and recent violations of UN treaties. Chemical weapons against prepared troups may have questionable effectiveness as you say. But if released in a crowded public place like the 1995 sarin gas subway attack in Japan, killed 12 people and injured more than 5,000, chemical weapons can be quite dangerous.

    What do you want to do, allow him to develop nuclear weapons and use them before we attack? He is a loose cannon that needs to be dismantled.

    Mike Y.
    I think if there is evidence for nuclear weapons...Wayne
    Jan 17, 2003 8:48 AM
    and the only way to take it out is an invasion we should do it.
    Where's the evidence?
    Would an invasion be necessary?
    The Israeli's took out his reactors (never to be rebuilt) when there was legitimate concern he might be getting a weapon back in the '80s.

    I still say his main goal is to stay in power, he seriously miscalculated in the Gulf War. I don't think he'll do that again, and give us and the UN a real obvious reason to attack (like supporting terrrorism against us). I think supporting Palestinian terrorism against Israel is something of a different bird (although equally despicable).
    I think if there is evidence for nuclear weapons...Alpedhuez55
    Jan 17, 2003 9:21 AM
    I think we will probably revisit the subject on the board after the Weapons Report is on 1/27 and the Bush/Blair Summit at the end of the month. I am sure the evidence will be better detatiled then.

    Until then, I guess we will have to respectfully disagree on whether or not there is enough already there to support action. I feel there is enough there, others want to wait. I think people on this thread have made credible arguments on both sides.

    Mike Y.
    If it's any indication...sn69
    Jan 16, 2003 4:52 PM
    Hi gang,

    I just got back from a week of temporary duty in San Diego. Aside from the eternal sunny and 70 there and the bevvy of shiny new Holland ti frames I watched along PCH with envy, I saw some interesting indicators of the seriousness of the situation.

    Two entire Amphibious Ready Groups along with their two Marine Expeditionary Units and Marine Air Ground Task Forces are surge deploying tomorrow. What does that mean? Well, basically two entire assualt groups, 6 ships, an ass-load of helos and a whole lot of Marines are making an unscheduled snap 6 month deployment to the kitty litter box tomorrow.

    That, in and of itself, does not mean war. In spite of the Corps' capabilities, they still need a sizeable Army contingient to take and hold the ground. The Army has yet to fully mobilize.

    Still, Sadam's time is drawing to a critical point. Let's hope somebody from within aerates his skull with a high velocity round....