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Iraqi surveillance photos: Why not help arms inspectors?(26 posts)

Iraqi surveillance photos: Why not help arms inspectors?Spunout
Jan 31, 2003 5:13 AM
Hey you guys, I'm not American, so I need somebody to ask questions down there.

If Powell is carrying undenyable proof of Iraqi arms, why doesn't he tell Hans Blix so that the inspectors can do their jobs? If Powell is right, then the inspectors find the arms and the case is made.

Powell isn't giving his information to the UN arms inspectors. Does this mean that the claims by your administration are probably false?

Please, someone call their congressman and ask these questions, or your UN ambassador. There is alot of common sense in America, unfortunately none resides in the elected officials. You must write letters, make calls, make yourself heard.
you're gonna get flamedMJ
Jan 31, 2003 5:45 AM
for that

asking the US to act reasonsably and proactively when excercising power has never been an American strong point - nor has accepting criticism

in fact - you will probably be dismissed as a pinko foreigner apologist cause you don't wanna nuke Saddam in light of him being clearly such a dangerous guy who supports terrorism the world over and puts Americans in harms way on a daily basis - you probably think the looming war is somehow linked to oil rather than ensuring democracy and freedom are brought to the good citizens of Iraq

you saw the South Park movie - you know what Americans really think of you (assuming you're Canadian "down there") - anyways aren't you guys on board to send some troops to Iraq for more F-16 target practice?
..some juiced-up hick in an F16 with Lynrd Skynrd blaring..Spunout
Jan 31, 2003 5:56 AM
on the radio is not near enough to make us back down, he'll rot in jail for that one.
..some juiced-up hick in an F16 with Lynrd Skynrd blaring..BikeViking
Jan 31, 2003 8:19 AM
Might you be referring to our two ANG Majors who, despite the allegations, did volunteer to serve and defend our country?

Not entirely respectful of those of us in uniform are you?
weren't they on amphethamines which contributed to deaths? - nmMJ
Jan 31, 2003 8:31 AM
yes 'Go-Pills' military issue amphetamines. Hell's Angels link?Spunout
Jan 31, 2003 8:34 AM
somehow I think the speed was made the scapegoatColnagoFE
Jan 31, 2003 10:37 AM
I mean if anything the speed would have made them more alert and less likely to screw up. The military has been using speed for years and I'm sure they wouldn't use it unless there was a benefit.
You're not even close.sn69
Feb 2, 2003 5:43 PM
While I do agree that the pills are being used as a defense tactic by their attornies, I can tell you FIRST HAND that they don't make you more alert. Does coffee make a drunk any less intoxicated? only end up with a wide-awake drunk.

Again, speaking from experience, these combat situations often result in a pilot being awake for up to three days strait. Yes I'm serious. No I'm not exaggerating. 3 stinking days (sometimes more although 72 hours was my personal limit). The thing with the go pills is that they only keep your body functioning, but your cognitive abilities start to exhibit the same symptoms as inebriation combined with marked behavioral changes.

Speaking as a military pilot, I'm telling you point blank that the pills are abhorrent and the research weenies pushing them and the brass buying off on them should all be prosecuted under drug racketerring charges. Of course they won't be.

Now, predicting your next possible question, why can't we do like Nancy said and just say no? The truth is that they are an option in name and technicality ONLY. If you refuse to take them, you are removed from the flight schedule and your squadronmates are forced to suck up the additional missions that you would have otherwise been flying.

It's criminal negligence. People have been dying for a number of years from this. Why then has the military been using them for years (about 30 to be exact)? Well, simply, they are constantly trying to do more with less. The national command authority decides what we do and when, and we are often woefully short on qualified people. Don't believe the hype about post-9/11 recruiting/retention statistics. That momentum faded a long time ago and still didn't compensate for the vast shortfalls we had in personnel end-strength. The pills are used because there aren't enough pilots and flight officers to do the missions that the NCA wants us to do. Solution? If you have moral courage as a leader (admiral/general), you stand up and say NO. Unfortunately, we don't have too many of those. Thus the goddamned pills.

...Rant complete. Thanks for listening....
I'll agree with you on the 3 day thingColnagoFE
Feb 3, 2003 8:53 AM
Didn't realize they had to be awake for such periods of time. If they are truly taking enough speed to be awake for 3 days then that is bad news. From previous personal "scientific" research into the phenomenon I believe you'd be seeing things flying around that aren't there by that time. For short term though I'd think that taking a small amount of speed might help keep them from dozing off which would be pretty bad news while piloting a fighter jet.
It's brutal.sn69
Feb 3, 2003 9:06 AM
We actually train for this in the Navy during a 72 hour combat exercise before deployment. It's dangerous enough in a passive, domestic can only imagine how much worse it is in the Persian Gulf, where the environment and the other people want to kill you. Every year, the Navy and Air Force loose a crew or two to CFIT (controlled flight into terrain), often due to circumstances aggrivated by sleep deprivation. That's how the "go-pill" research began during Vietnam.

You're do actually halucinate after that level of deprivation, both audibly and visually. Everyone reacts differently. Some people get hyper aggressive, others get extremely emotional. Some stop bathing. It's really bizarre. I always found that I had to eat on the order to 10K-12K calories a day to stay remotely "with it."

Oddly, my wife is a molecular biologist and has done some defense related research on the subject. She has lots of issues with the pills too, in part because she's seen mice and rats spontaneously die during their experiments.

I won't take the f-in' things. If you ever want an approximation to the experience, try one of the 24 Hours of Adrenaline mtb races. Do it solo or on a two man team. By hour 15 you'll know what the physical experience is like.
We don't want to shoot our wad...yetCaptain Morgan
Jan 31, 2003 5:50 AM
First, what many people fail to understand is that the inspectors were not intended to be "finders" of illegal weapons. They are supposed to inspect and verify. An example would be for Iraq to say "we demolished our 100,000 tons of nerve gas." The inspectors then would say, "okay, where was it done, and where are the remnants so that we can verify your explanation." Iraq then would provide documentation to the inspectors so they could conclude that Iraq is telling the truth.

However, to date the Iraqis have provided NO support, other than to say "we destroyed all our weapons. We can't tell you how or where, but we did destroy them." This has been a mockery of the inspection/verification process. If we were talking about a couple of viles of something, then I could understand the lack of proof by the Iraqis, but hundreds of thousand of tons of chemicals and thousands of missiles?

In direct answer to your question, the U.S. wants to drum up as much international support as possible, but not too early. It has been well published for almost a year now that the U.S. military said that if we were to go to battle in Iraq, then February and March would be the optimal time. Therefore, we have kept our information to ourselves until the final endgame is nearer.

Regarding our elected officials, regardless of whether going to Iraq is right or wrong, they must be sure to stay within the mainstream of their contituents. I think there is more support in the U.S. for action than there is for inaction at this juncture.

If we go into Iraq and win handily (as should be the case), what are the odds that the Iraqis have none of these weapons? I find it hard to believe that even the anti-war buffs actually believe that the Iraqi regime is innocent.
Reason: $1Billion/day war machine needs oil. Pathetic. nmSpunout
Jan 31, 2003 5:57 AM
It's not as black and white as thatColnagoFE
Jan 31, 2003 6:42 AM
And I for one am not hot to go to war with Iraq, but then again I don't have all the information the president and the pentagon do either. The US tries to be the world's peacekeeper and it often backfires on them. And sure the US wants to protect its economic interests. What country doesn't? That said, I hope that we can find a peaceful solution to this mess we're in.
So true. War is failed diplomacy. nmSpunout
Jan 31, 2003 6:44 AM
And it is Iraq's diplomatic failures that are causing this.Alpedhuez55
Jan 31, 2003 7:07 AM
If Iraq met the term's of the inspections over the last 12 years it would not come to this. Despite all the diplomatic efforts of the UN & USA over the past decade they are still not providing the information they agreed to. If they have nothing to hide, why not just be upfront about it and save the trouble and expense of a military action.

Maybe your should call your parlament & PM and have them contact Iraq to put pressure on them to meet the terms of theur surrender agreement. I would suggest you contact prople in Iraq to make that sugestion, but they would probably meet a horrible fate if they protested Saddam's position.

Mike Y.
Reason: $1Billion/day war machine needs oil. Pathetic. nmBikeViking
Jan 31, 2003 8:30 AM
YOur view is incorrect. With 9/11, the US has NO patience for lingering problems (like Iraq), especially when Iraq possesses weapons that can kill on a 9/11 scale.

Iraq cannot account for VX and its precursors. They can'a account for the thousands of liter of anthrax. They are BOUND by the cease fire treaty to verify that ALL of those weapons have been destroyed. Twelve years later and still no finality to that issue.

THose with your view will be the FIRST to jump on President Bush should some of Iraq's illicit WMD kill a few thousand US citizens
The destruction of Iraq's WMD is only a side benefit...Quack
Jan 31, 2003 10:55 AM
If you truly believe that our main purpose is to eliminate Iraq's stockpile of WMD materials and to prevent further action against the US, I've got a C40 with full Record on it for you for $250. It's carbon, really.

From the small amount of research I have done into the so-called facts, Iraq is sitting smack dab on top of some pretty serious quantities of oil that have yet to be tapped. It just so happens that the companies hoping to develop in these regions are the same people responsible for putting our President in office and funding the campaigns(lining the pockets) of enough seats in the house and senate to essentially control what happens in our government.

I would be willing to bet a dollar based on my small amount of knowledge on the subject that this declaration of war is 99% based on our current economic problems in the USA. The President realizes the effect that a lower oil price would have on the economy, and the pocket-lining oil giants are willing to develop in the untapped oil regions of Iraq, but are hesitant to do so while Saddam is still in power. And a nice side benefit, you can justify the whole military action by blaming it on some lame-ass dictator and his non-compliance with treaty policy. Plus, hundreds of American companies will ramp up and hire personnel to produce the goods that are consumed during the military action. When we're done pounding Iraq into the ground and put someone else into power(or not), we can maybe even get away with skimming money off the top of oil exports from Iraq to rebuild Iraq while simultaneously lower the price of crude, thereby giving our SUV driving nation a little more green in their wallets.

My .02.
Where do I pick up the bike?Captain Morgan
Jan 31, 2003 12:24 PM
It would be the easiest $250 I ever spent. I suppose next you'll say that Vietnam was fought so we could get our greedy hands on all that rice Vietnam is sitting on top of.
The destruction of Iraq's WMD is only a side benefit...BikeViking
Jan 31, 2003 12:48 PM
Interesting theory, but if GWB is doing it for that eason only, the potential of dead American servicepeople coming home is droves is not a way to ingratiate youself with the populace for an '04 re-election bid.

I really believe that the 9/11 "Pearl Harbor" is the reason. If there is ANY possibility of ANY nation helping to inflict another 9/11 on us, we will be pre-emptively solving that problem.

THe though of 3,000 dead Americans is absolutely horrifying. Letting the condtions develop for another such (possibly more horrific) event is even worse.
Jan 31, 2003 12:28 PM
First off, we had the oil fields in 1991. And packed up and left. If all we wanted was the oil, we could have kept it.

Secondly, if oil was all we wanted, we could easily cut a deal with Saddam. American oil companies get the oil, sanctions go away and he stays in power.
Fundamentally, it is about the oil...Jon Billheimer
Jan 31, 2003 12:45 PM
...but not in the simplistic sense that some people suggest. Oil is what makes the middle east strategically important. But more fundamentally I think this is about future regional stability and the deemed importance of establishing American hegemony in the region, not so much as to benefit specific oil companies, but to maintain political and military stability so that all parties can go about their business. Secondarily, I'm convinced that this is also about the defence of Israel. And last, a permanent American presence in the region provides a military springboard for the continued offensive against Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, etc. A complete military overthrow of Saddam should also intimidate the bejeesus out of the Iranian clerics, the Yemenis, and the Egyptian fundamentalists among others.
jeopardize sources?DougSloan
Jan 31, 2003 7:12 AM
One reason I can think of, but still speculation, is that exposing evidence too early might jeopardize intelligence gathering sources, tipping off Iraq what we can find or see, before we have gathered all we need. In a way, we are spying "under cover," and you don't want to blow cover too early, before a case is made. We may have spies in Iraq, or have capabilities they do not yet know about. Disclosure could but a halt their effectiveness.

I imagine we'll hear the actual reasons at some point, but at least this seems reasonable.

jeopardize sources?Jon Billheimer
Jan 31, 2003 8:44 AM
The long promised incontrovertible evidence is supposed to be forthcoming next week at the UN. I hope the Americans actually have concrete proof rather than simply more dark hints and fuzzy photos from which Rumsfeld draws his inferences. Credibility is absolutely necessary here if the U.S. wants to garner support and retain any kind of moral leadership on this issue.

A really good point, however, was made above with respect to what the inspectors' job is, i.e. being inspectors and not sleuths. From that perspective I can understand both the U.S.' and the UN's frustration with this game. But also from the same perspective I really don't understand the failure of the administration and the UK to present convincing evidence and/or arguments over the past months. Let's hope for a genuine "Adlai Stevenson moment." But somehow I sort of doubt it.
the burden is really on IraqDougSloan
Jan 31, 2003 8:50 AM
You're right; the inspectors are supposed to be there to verify disarming, not to find needles in haystacks. This article says it better than I could:

David Limbaugh (back to story)

January 29, 2003

You can't ignore the evidence

Monday morning's report by United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix confirms there's only one remaining reason to delay military action against Iraq: to give our military a little more time to complete its final preparations for the strike.

But to suggest that we need to give sinister Saddam more time to comply with U.N. resolutions is insulting to our intelligence and potentially dangerous to America's fighting forces. There is simply no evidence that Iraq intends to comply with the resolutions and plenty to the contrary.

Some believe that President Bush changed the rules in the middle of the game by shifting the burden to Iraq to prove it has rid itself of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of production. They are gravely mistaken. By the terms of a series of U.N. resolutions since 1991, the burden has always been on Iraq. Those who contend otherwise are either willfully ignorant or deliberately deceitful.

The language of the Nov. 8, 2002 Resolution (1441), passed unanimously by the Security Council 15-0, couldn't be clearer. We all, especially Saddam apologists, must read it. Here are some highlights for your consumption. The resolution states that Iraq:

-- has not, as required by Resolution 687 (1991), provided a full and accurate disclosure of its WMD and long-range missile programs;

-- has repeatedly obstructed U.N. inspections and ultimately ceased cooperation in 1998;

-- has refused to allow inspections between 1998 and late 2002;

-- has failed to comply with its commitments concerning terrorism;

-- remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions;

-- will be given a final opportunity to comply with its WMD disarmament obligations;

-- will be considered in further material breach by making false statements or omissions in the required declaration and other failures to comply with resolution 1441;

-- will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;

-- is required to "cooperate immediately, unconditionally and actively."

Inspector Blix issued a strongly worded indictment Monday against Iraq to the United Nations -- so strong as doubtlessly to shock the appeasement crowd, which, so far, has considered Blix an ally. Blix said:

-- Gulf War Cease-fire Resolution 687 required cooperation by Iraq. "Iraq, unlike South Africa, has not come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament demanded of it;"

-- Resolution 687 had the twin operations of "declare and verify," but turned into "a game of hide and seek;"

-- Resolution 1441 strongly reaffirmed the demand on Iraq to cooperate immediately, unconditionally and actively;

-- Iraq has cooperated only on access, not on substance. Iraq has an obligation to declare all WMD programs and either to present items for elimination or else to provide evidence that nothing proscribed remains. It must be active; it is not enough to open doors. "Inspection is not a game of catch as catch can. Rather it is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built upon the premise of trust. Rather it is designed to lead to trust."

Blix also said Iraq:

-- failed to permit U2 planes safely to perform aerial imagery and surveillance;

-- likely encouraged and initiated harassment and demonstrations against inspectors;

-- failed to account for 6,500 missing chemical warfare bombs (containing 1,000 tons of chemical agents);

-- moved and stored chemical rocket warheads into a relatively new bunker near Baghdad in the last few years, when Iraq shouldn't have had such weapons; several thousand chemical rockets a
Jan 31, 2003 8:50 AM
... are unaccounted for;

-- probably misled about converting highly deadly VX nerve gas into weapons;

-- failed to account for anthrax supplies, providing no evidence of their destruction;

-- imported banned items, including 300 rocket engines, as late as December 2002, that could be used in a missile program;

-- failed to disclose all WMD documents in its 12,000 page, Dec. 8 declaration, most of which is a reprint of earlier documents;

-- stored mustard gas precursor that was found during inspections;

-- possibly concealed information, such as a box of 3,000 pages of documents in the private home of a scientist, many relating to the enrichment of uranium.

Kofi Annan and the United Nations may choose to ignore their own resolutions and the endless recalcitrance and lies of Iraq, and France and Germany can balk, but the Bush Administration has decided that 11 plus years is enough time. It is times like these that underscore how indispensable is American sovereignty, as is a president who is committed to safeguarding it and the national interest.

moreJon Billheimer
Jan 31, 2003 10:18 AM
The American sovereignty rhetoric is a red herring. Sovereignty issues only come into play, according to international law, when a nation is in danger of imminent attack. On that basis neither the U.S. nor the U.K. have ever made a credible case. Which is why U.N. sanction for this war is absolutely mandatory if the U.S. and its allies are to maintain any semblance of legality and respect for the rule of international law.

The weight of the evidence does seem to lend itself to a declaration of "material breach." So it's up to the Security Council to do its job, in my opinion.