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What would Powell need to say to be convincing?(42 posts)

What would Powell need to say to be convincing?DougSloan
Feb 5, 2003 7:37 AM
Powell addresses the UN today, apparently with declassified CIA evidence against Iraq. In your opinions, what will he need to disclose to warrant military action?

Doug
absolute proof of WMD (nm)ColnagoFE
Feb 5, 2003 8:05 AM
Some EVIDENCE, rather than just claims, would do it.cory
Feb 5, 2003 8:37 AM
I'm about an hour and 10 minutes into the talk now, though I missed a few minutes. So far all I've heard are the same old claims, no evidence.
As things stand now, I'm opposed to a pre-emptive war...but I also have this "Hitler in 1939" worry in the back of my mind, so I could be convinced I'm wrong. Powell hasn't done it so far, though.
A few pictures would be nice but ...McAndrus
Feb 5, 2003 8:49 AM
in all honesty, I don't need to see or hear anything else. I've been amazed lately that the best source of information on Iraq has been the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, and the international History Channel. They've all had recent specials on Saddam Hussein that have been eye-opening - to say the least.

I never thought the guy was a saint but as George W said, if Saddam isn't evil, then we don't know what evil means (or something like that).
Most people are already convinced....Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 9:44 AM
THis was just adding a little to the case. THe intercepts were pretty convincing. Of course Saddam & Co. will say these are faked and his appologists will agree.

Some sceptics will not be convinced until we can actually physically hold it. To do that, we will need to send ground troops. They are obviously being moved about to avoid inspectors. If Saddam provided information on their desruction it would not be an issue.

Mike Y.
Following on CNN.com, it seems pretty convincing.eyebob
Feb 5, 2003 10:15 AM
I was/am a fence sitter on this issue, but this is pretty good stuff. What took em so long?

I'll be interested to hear what the Iraqi's have to say following his presentation. Apparently they've asked for some floor time to comment.

BT
maybe it boils down to your view on thisDougSloan
Feb 5, 2003 10:20 AM
Iraq was supposed to get rid of certain things. We know they had banned things, and there is little or no evidence that they got rid of them. Is the burden on Iraq to show compliance, or on anyone else to show they did not?

Doug
Both.eyebob
Feb 5, 2003 10:36 AM
Here's why. Iraq will never convince the Bushies that they've done what they had to do. They should try though. If for no other reason than to court World skeptisism on the need for War. The World needs to prove them wrong to prove the Bushies right.

Bottom line. Iraq is not innocent until proven guilty if you as Joe-average World citizen. (Yes, I'm speaking for them.) Quite the opposite, but they need to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because being just "a little" guilty will not give the Bushies what they need from Joe-average to go ahead with War and occupation.

BT
Stop drowning out the UN inspectors...velocity
Feb 5, 2003 10:18 AM
...whose testimony has actually helped support the GWB argument that war may indeed be necessary. It makes it seem like we're eager to go to war.

The GWB Adminstration has been pounding the Iraq war drum for what seems like forever (a year?). What started out as a war against terrorism is turning into Desert Storm II, with many of the same players. It's this unrelenting banging, matched with a minimum of diplomatic initiatives, that makes some Americans, including General Schwarzkopf, skeptical, and Europeans, in general, skeptical.
Powell speaks, the Market goes up. Bush speaks, the Marketeyebob
Feb 5, 2003 10:19 AM
goes down. If this is any indication, Powell will be a formitable opponent in 2008.
BT
"We have scoured the countrside.I now hold before you their WMD:128
Feb 5, 2003 10:31 AM
-cut to image of Powell rising that tiny vial in front of the council- as pictured on the front of the Wash. Post.

(I can't uplod the image. Don't know why. Drats!)

I got quite a chuckle: after reading the references here to his proof I thought I'd read some papers. First stop, and there it is! the vial! Of course! AS plain as day for all to see! How we have been so bliiiind?? They possess the dreaded Tiny Vial of Yellowish Stuff!!
I'm convinced, but it wasn't easy. . .js5280
Feb 5, 2003 10:35 AM
I'm by no means a war hawk and my libertarian persuasion does not advocate force except in national and self defense. However, I think there's been enough evidence of subterfuge by Iraq, particularly in Powell's presentation today (which I watched on TV), to indicate that they hiding WMDs and/or technology that allows them to produce them. From what I've heard, I think it was clear the Iraq has failed to provide evidence of destruction of known biological weapons in the past. I think the pictures Powell presented are pretty damning evidence that biological, and most likely nuclear, weapons are being stockpiled or pursued. Also there is evidence are developing long range delivery capabilities. I highly doubt all this evidence could be fabricated and the burden of proof is on Iraqi which it fails to provide repeatedly. I also know that "gun control" doesn't work because criminals and other evil-doers don't follow laws. What makes us think that Saddam would do so?

The other big issue with Iraqi is it economic strength. It's GDP is estimated at $59B ( http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/iz.html ) and geographically it's about the size of California. I believe Iraqi poses a much higher threat than any terrorist faction purely by the resources it has available and shear geography to hide such endeavors. It also could serve as a effective harbor for smaller terrorist factions as well. I now believe Iraq is a clear and present danger to the U.S. and it's allies. It's a tough decision for me to make and I think we somewhat forced the situation, but the fact remain. An Iraq under the rule of Saddam is a immediate mortal enemy of the U.S.

I did see the Discovery Channel show on Saddam. He is a tyrant who hold on power comes from his murderous and tortuous ways. His immediate family holds the same values, and help up hold his iron fist grip. They are present in the most critical government agencies to insure dissension is punished by death. These incidents I felt were well documented and even include murders of in-laws who were perceived threats to the Husayn family rule. While it may not be easy, I really believe the people of Iraq will rise up against the Husayn regime if the iron fist is sufficiently weakened.

I believe military action is justified, although I favor striking suspicious facilities with, perhaps, just enough advance notice for people to evacuate, then drop an inspection team shortly afterwards. This should help eliminate the possibility of hiding WMD capabilities, reduce civilian deaths, and possibly to justify further military action to topple Saddam with global support.

Now's the time to do it, before we absolutely know they have WMDs. In the past, it's always come down to a stalemate with countries with WMD capabilities. However, those countries are more nationalistic in their views whereas Iraq has demonstrated more imperialistic and ideological inclinations which in my opinion is a MUCH riskier situation than we faced in the past.

"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
- Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
The Administration is arguing the wrong case.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 11:10 AM
Bush's and his neo-con task masters will always be hobbled by their own refusal to understand those that resist their policies. The Administration has been building up its case against Saddam's non-compliance and general dispicability into this anti-climax of re-hashed evidence (holy $hit, are they still harping on those aluminum tubes!?), and assertions that their assertions are backed up by un-nameable facts (well, if you say so Sec. Powell).

But resistance to American invasion has nothing to do with the right-wing fanatasy that the anti-war camp is dominated by Saddam apologists. People are wary of the war because the Administration has made no case for its competence to wage this war in a way that will reduce risk to Americans, or leave Iraqi's better off. Instead, Bush has tried to ramp up terrorism fear to the point that Americans will sign off on a war despite their misgivings, and harp on decade old attacks against Iran and the Kurds (that were facilited by our own government) in hopes that people sympathetic to the Iraqi citizenry will conclude that a punishing war will nonetheless be better than leaving them to Saddam's tender mercies.

I don't need to hear any more evidence of Saddam's WMD designs. Bush and Powell have done their jobs in that regard. But I am still wary of invading Iraq. Why? Because Bush has not done the job of convincing me that this war isn't going to encourage terrorism rather than reduce it. He has also not demonstrated that he has a viable plan for the future of Iraq.
The Administration is arguing the wrong case.Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 12:24 PM
Czar, here is one of the most probable options if a regime change is made, it is the Iraqi National Congress:

http://209.50.252.70/p_en/inc/index.shtml?inc=inc

I heard one of the representatives on a radio program this morning. The only reason the INC are able to still operate in Iraq is because of small area liberated the Northern no fly zone.

It is too early for Bush to publically support a new regime. It would include a shift towards becoming a democratic state and most likely the INC. The Bush administration cannot be too vocal about that at this point. I suppose if they did support the INC publicly at this point, the anti war argument would again shift to "Bush wants to put in his puppets in charge." I think once troops are in ground there will be operations done in conjunction with the INC and other opposition to try to get their cooperation and involvement.

As for your other argument, Terrorism will go on with or without Saddam in power. We cannot live in fear of terrorism. Homeland Security has located several cells. Removing Saddam from power will also get rid of a source of funding, weapons and training grounds for terrorist groups. Saddam supports Hammas who have also been threataning to bring attacks to the US. Saddam is threatening Scuicide attacks against us. That is not a reason avoid action. It is all the more reason to take him out quickly.

Mike Y.
The INC is old news.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 12:39 PM
And from what I have heard they shouldn't be confused for a serious option. Too many internal conflicts and competing interests that are easy to put aside when nothing is at stake, but will likely cause problems should they be put into power.

I don't understand why the Bush Administration can't be "too vocal" about a concrete plan to stabilize and ultimately liberate Iraq. At this point, they can't be vocal enough. Bush himself has already declared this intention to the entire world, and the INC isn't news to anyone at this point. Why on earth would publicizing a solid, plausible future for Iraq be a mistake? Stabilizing a country of millions of people in the wake of a massive war isn't something you slap together while the smoke is clearing. Not if human welfare is among your priorities.

As for terrorism, you are right, it will go on. All the more reason we don't have time to futz around with military adventurism. Eliminating Saddam isn't going to stem any of the threats that you list. We should be hardening our defenses at home by finding ways to detect and neutralize threats that will continue no matter what we do. The first step to solving the problem is admitting that it is something that sending troops abroad isn't going to solve.
Said the same thing about UNOAlpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 1:19 PM
THeres an argument I heard before. People said the exact same thing about the Uno Party in Nicaragua, an opressed group in a dictatorship. Ultimately when they won their election in 1990, they were able to distibute power among the coalition of I think 26 parties despite infighting. I had the pleasure of taking part in a meeting with Dr. Wilfredo Navarro Moreira who was in charge of the third largest party in the coalition and a group of Republican activists shortly after they took power. It was interesting to hear stories of young democracy and tried to advise hime on things such as grass roots campaigning.

UNO is proof that a group like INC would be able to share the power. People said they were not a serous threat to unseat Ortega in the election their and they won. Sure there were problems at first when they took power but they were able to get through them. If anything, democracy in Iraq has better potention because of their oil resources.

WHether it be the INC or another coalition, Democracy would benefit the Iraqis. THey would gain support once they are released from Saddams Grips. Hopefully it would spread to other countries in the region as well.

Mike Y.
Most people who know enough about Iraq. . .czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 1:51 PM
. . .to not rely on specious comparisons to post WWII Europe and Japan or a tiny Central American country predict that democracy in Iraq in the near future is a pipe dream. No offense to you, but the Middle East in 2003 is a whole new ball of wax. We are talking about a country with no history of democracy, no significant democratic neighbors except for rival Israel, and a ton of cultural, tribal and political baggage to sort through.

Several predict that if Iraq was turned into a democracy tomorrow, the 60% Shia majority would vote in someone who would persecute minorities (especially the 35% Sunnis who have held disproporionate power under Saddam) and forge a bond with 95% Shia fundamentalist Iran. Needless to say, that would be all kinds of bad news for Sunnis and Kurds, and destabilize the entire region against the interests of the US.
Most people who know enough about Iraq. . .Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 4:46 PM
I am sure those same several experts said that UNO would not win or bring themselves together and form a coalition. I am sure that they dont think the opposition groups within the Shiia, Sunni, Kurds Christians and other minorities (who are already working together in some opposition groups) will not be able to get together on a goverment that allows all the groups to coexist. I am sure they assume people living under a dictator for 30 years will just switch it to a different dictator. I am sure they also do not think the tens of thousands of people in exile such as doctors, educators, engineers & scientists who will return to a Saddam free Iraq will not be able to demostrate the benefts of living in a free society. I am sure that they do not think it is possible that when other countries see how Iraq prospers it could lead to more democracies in the region. I suppose if the new Iraq were to give a taste of fredom to women, that they would just prefer to go back to being opressed. Maybe those several "Experts" do not know as much as you think.

If Afghanistan is so bad now, why have 2 million returned to it? Or are they al warlords and people shooting at Marines? Nobody was expecting a perfect society in 12 months. They have made progress and will continue to do so in the years to come. And if you put Iran between demorcracies on all three sides whoe is to say they will not speed reforms?

It is only OK to bring up history past 12 years if it suits your cause, like when you bring up the British slaughtering & gassing Kurds in the 1920s. Japan hardly had any neigbors in Asia after WW2 but they prospered. Nicaragua has made significant progress as well.

The likelyhood of the scenario you describe is much smaller than you want us to beleive. The US has made mistakes in the past such as Iran, Cuba and other places. You would like to think they have learned from their mistakes. The US would not allow one group to take control since they have learned that it is best to replace a an evil regime with a democracy over the last 20 years.

Czar, you look at close the worst possible outcome for every event. Sure if every event you talk about happens, it will be a mistake but the chances of any of them happenning are slim. Then again, the worst outcome for you would be a swift change in Iraqi's goverment that prospers from investments from the Western World and a Bush re-election next year.

Mike Y.

P.S. Admit it Czar, you are going to miss me after I leave for Denmark tomorrow ;-) I will be back in about a week though.
Hope for the best, <i>prepare</i> for the worst.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 5:42 PM
That's all I'm saying. Millions of lives are potentially at stake if things don't go as peachy as you hope they will. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I think I'll manage a week without you, Mike }: ] Have a nice trip.
Hope for the best, <i>prepare</i> for the worst.Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 6:14 PM
Millions of lives are at stake if we dont act. I am not saying it will be peachy as my post. It would be somewhere between our posts but I feel closer to mine. I am sure there will be groups of fundamentalists who will want to disrupt democracy. Ultimately I beleive in democracy and feel in the long term it is the best option.

Being prepared for the worst is ok, but not taking action out of fear of it is wrong.

Mike Y.
I'm not saying we shouldn't act.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 6:16 PM
I'm saying we shouldn't act rashly.
I'm not saying we shouldn't act.Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 6:51 PM
Well I guess it depends on you definition of "Rashly" is.

I think they have been acting accordingly. They clearly threatend Saddam with action when they were in Afghanistan a year ago. They let the inspections try to work, but Saddam is not cooperating. Is Saddam all the sudden going to cooperate if inspections continue for another year? He only responds to force. He has given no indication he can cooperate diplomatically.

I do not think Bush is acting rashly. If he started bombing 12 months ago with out any diplomatic efforts, I would say he was acting rashly and would not have supported him on it. Right now he is doing things appropriately and I support him.

Mike Y.
Rashly, as in no end-game.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 6:58 PM
No one seriously expected Saddam to fully comply with inspections. That is not the issue in any respect other than Bush's tortured excuses to invade. Inspections don't even need Saddam's cooperation to work. Inspectors found and destroyed significant amounts of material between 1991 and 1998. The only thing inspections need to work is adequate resources and back-up from the UN.

The US knows this. The US does not want the inspections to work, the US wants to invade. To that end, the US is clearly sandbagging the inspectors by withholding intelligence that would help them find what we claim they can not find.

Anyway, it isn't the rationale for invasion that is rash, is the lack of a plan to clean up the mess that is rash.
Rashly, as in no end-game.Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 7:24 PM
I am sure they have an end game. They may may wait to release details until the action is near complete or has at least started. They already talked about the oil money going in trust to benefit the Iraqi people for starters. Of course they have other plans and back up plans. They will come out in due course.

Mike Y.
Let's hope. (You see, even <i>I</i> can hope). (nm)czardonic
Feb 6, 2003 11:12 AM
A response in three parts - Part IMcAndrus
Feb 5, 2003 12:38 PM
Saddam Hussein has personally murdered a couple of people I'm aware of.

Saddam Hussein ordered the torture and execution of dozens of his own political operatives after the coup that brought him into power. His only purpose was to show who was boss.

Saddam Hussein invaded Iran after the Iranians deposed the Shah as a simple attempted power grab. What were the casualties of this: something like 200,000 dead Iranians and Iraqis?

Saddam Hussein kills through chemical warfare thousands of Kurd civilians who rebel against him.

Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in a simple attempted power grab. Thousands of Kuwaities die. There has never been an official count but the best estimate I've seen is something like 10,000 Iraqis die in the Gulf War. Hundreds of Coalition soldiers die.

Exactly how much blood does Saddam need on his hands before people see him for what he is?
Is this a joke?czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 12:42 PM
I just got finished explaining that people already see Saddam for the evil person he is.

Crimeny!
A response in three parts - Part IIMcAndrus
Feb 5, 2003 12:47 PM
Does invading Iraq encourage terrorism? That's an interesting question that I doubt anyone can answer precisely. Who knows?

Did invading Germany discourage Nazi aggression? No. Defeating Germany's army in the field discouraged Nazi agression.

Did we declare war on Germany in 1941? No, we declared war on Japan on December 8. Germany acted on its alliance with Japan and declared war on the US on December 9. Should the threat of hostilities with Germany have stopped us from declaring war on Japan?

Did Germany spread terrorism in the United States once we joined in the war? Yes: the most famous case being the saboteurs who were caught and executed in 1942. Did the fact that Germany responded to a state of war by attacking us mean that we should not have gone to war?
Obvious answer.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 12:57 PM
Yes, invading Iraq, an Arab country that has cast itself successfully (where it counts) as a champion of Paletinians and a thorn in the side of Israel and the United States encourages Islamic extremist terrorism.

Rather than fooling yourself with this ludicrous comparison to Germany, consider this: The presence of US Troops in Saudi Arabia, where we were acting as protectors rather than invaders, provoked Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. Our presenence in the region under any circumstances is a provocation.

Does that mean that we should leave them alone? No. It means that before we go we better make sure we have our backs covered at home, and we should do everything possible to make sure that our intentions are clearly on behalf of the people of Iraq.
A response in three parts - Part IIIMcAndrus
Feb 5, 2003 12:50 PM
What exactly would be a viable plan for the future of Iraq and should the lack of one stop us?

Did we have a viable plan for the future of Germany and Japan in 1941? No. Are they better off today? Arguably yes.

Did we have a viable plan for the future of South Korea in 1951? No. Are they better off today? Arguably yes.

Did we have a viable plan for Afghanistan last year? No. Are they better off today? I'd say so.
Not so simple.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 1:06 PM
Japan and Germany forced our hand. More importantly, the outcome of the war was not a forgone conclusion. Japan was better off after nearly a decade of the kind of commitment that Bush doesn't have the stones for. Germany was split in two for a half a century of very touch and go Cold War hostility. Germany is more an example of what could go wrong, and Iraq could go much more wrong. Neither is applicable to Iraq, where we are guarunteed victory, and thus have no excuse for not being prepared.

South Korea yes. North Korea no. Which half of Iraq are you prepared to settle for while the other half becomes the next member of the axis of evil?

Afghanistan is a mixed bag. Good if you are an American patting himself on the back from the safety of his own home. Less good if you are a Marine taking fire on a regulare basis. Getting better if you are a member of the Taliban or Al Queda. Good as ever if you are a brutal tribal warlord.
Not so simple.SteveS
Feb 5, 2003 4:58 PM
McAndrus got it right,you are (typically) trying to skew the question. Anyway one cuts it, Japan and West Germany were better economically and less of a threat to their neighbors after World War II and it seems they were pretty much permanently cured of their historic militarism. Their radical liberal elements that formed terror groups have survived but to a minimal extent. Our concern is not with East Germany as you well know, the Communists had it under their tutelage. However, based on the simple observation of the number of people who risked their lives and were killed crossing "The Wall", West Germany clearly looked better. And Reagan had "the stones" to force that issue. Jimmy Carter didn't. Bush doesn't seem much like the very weak President Carter.

You don't have the faintest idea what Bush "has the stones for", that is just a pop-off phrase.

North Korea was and still is under the Communist sphere of influence. What have you got the stones for to do about it?

Terrorism is going to happen,but its source is rooted very simply is fundamental Islam. The funds for support come from the oil money primarily in the Middle East. Whether or not eliminating one of their big heros lessens the enthusiasm for these countries to aid their terrorist brethern, time will tell, but it should clearly show that the supporters aren't going to be exempt from the repercussions of their actions. Ultimately, these Islamic countries themselves will have to put the squeeze on the terrorist elements in order to thwart terrorism. Thus far, as a group, they have neither the interest nor the stones to do so.
Not so simple.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 5:59 PM
How am I ("typically") skewing the question? Looks like you've got a pop-off phrase or two of your own.

I suppose you count the Neo Nazi movement in Germany among the "radical liberal elements"? Is this more of your Political History for Dummies?

Bush personally disavowed "nation building" during his campaing, and has shown little in the way of backbone when it comes to standing up to the neo-con hawks who are only interested in Iraq as a stepping stone to regional hegemony.

North Korea isn't my problem to deal with. Its Bush's problem, and it looks like appeasment is what he's got the stones for.

So if terrorism is rooted in "fundametal Islam[sic]", why are you so convinced that a secularist with a history of persecuting religious fundamentalists is the lychpin holding their network together? He's not their "big hero". Not even the Administration has your back on that laughable assertion. Yes, only Islamic countries can put a stop to Islamic terrorism. Iraq is not an Islamic country.
History for DummiesSteveS
Feb 5, 2003 7:09 PM
"Iraq is not an Islamic country."

Really? That is so sublimely impressive. Pray tell, what are your sources for that tidbit of information. Wrong!!
If you don't know anything about the Sunni, Shiahs, etc.,you better not pop off. The majority of the population is Muslim, the culture is Muslim, and Bagdad was a center for the Caliphate. When Saddam gets down on his knees on his prayer rug, he is facing Mecca. Muslim.

Bader-Meinof and their relationship to groups like the Red Brigades of Italy, far leftists groups mostly active in the '70s-'80s. Remember blowing of knee-caps, the murder of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro? (this is history for dummies) Neo-Nazis are like their predecessors by the same name, with antipathy to Jews and the recent influx of foreign immigrants. In hatred to the former, they have common ground with Muslims. Oh, the news today says the Muslim terrorists want to attack Jews and synagogues in Germany.

Saddam is a hero to the Arabic world, that is why they are so opposed to his being removed. Then concept of Pan-Arabicism is enough of their common ground and Saddam is a great source of strength against the common enemy of Israel. Hence the fear that without Saddam, Iraq will be greatly weakened and divided between Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiahs. Maybe so.

"Iraq is not an Islamic country." ...An ignorantly laughable assertion.
You are taking the fun out of this.czardonic
Feb 6, 2003 11:11 AM
Honestly, your faith in your own ignorant prejudices is getting a tad sad.

The vast majority of Iraqis are Muslim, yes, but Iraq is not an "Islamic country" in the sense that it is goverened by Islamic law or custom. It is a quasi-Republic, based on
secular law. My source? The CIA World Factbook.

By the way, when George Bush goes to church, he prays to a Christian God. That does not make the United States a "Christian country".

"Neo-Nazis are like their predecessors" Finally something you got right. That is to say, they are right-wing.

Pan-Arabicism? You mean that dream Saddam has of taking over the whole Middle East? That dream that compelled him to take go to war with Iran, take over Kuwait and threaten Saudi Arabia? That makes him hero in the Arabic World!? You may as well say that Hitler was a hero in the European world for his dream of "Pan-Aryanism". Yep, its that stupid.

"An ignorantly laughable assertion"

Heh. You see, the way you have structured this sentence implies that the person who is doing the laughing is ignorant. Maybe you are smarter than you seem.
This is so easySteveS
Feb 6, 2003 6:44 PM
"Iraq is not an Islamic country." Czardonic

My, you went to the CIA for information, no doubt 'Big Brother' is tracing you down right now, just like in your favorite book.

Let's see what you got right, the CIA did say that Iraq was nominally a "republic" and they did use parentheses. That is nothing close to saying it isn't an Islamic country.

The official religion- Islam (per Arab.net)
The Legal System-Islamic
The flag-Emblazeoned with the phrase "Allah Akbar." (God is Great, the Muslim greeting)
The population- 95 to 97% Muslim

Try telling the Iraqis on the street the country isn't Islamic. They will explain to you in their very special version of toleration what they are and are not in terms of religion.

Obviously, once again, in terms of Pan-Arabism, etc. you don't what you are talking about: "Iraq is not an Islamic country." (but it might be very 1984-like.) I am smarter than you seem.
I guess it is easy to lie.czardonic
Feb 6, 2003 7:19 PM
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/iz.html

The CIA World Factbook does not use parenthesis around the word "republic". Nor do does it list any official religion. Arab.net might, but you asked for my source, and my source isn't Arab.net. Besides, Arab.net says on the topic "Officially Islam, as Muslims form 95% of the population." They jump the same conclusion as you based on demographics, and play fast and loose with the term "official".

Once again, is the United States a "Christian country"? The CIA World Factbook has 84% as the percentage of Americans who are Christian.

Wait, you are smarter than I seem? Smarter than I seem to who? You?
Yes, it would be easierSteveS
Feb 7, 2003 8:23 AM
It would be easier to "lie", pinky, but instead here is the copied text from the CIA World Factbook-Iraq:

"Background:

Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq became an independent kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen have ruled the country since then, the latest being SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990 Iraq seized Kuwait, but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during January-February 1991. The victors did not occupy Iraq, however, thus allowing the regime to stay in control. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. UN trade sanctions remain in effect due to incomplete Iraqi compliance with relevant UNSC resolutions."

Save your pathetic pc word games on 'Is the United States a "Christian country?"'. The topic was Iraq and their culture doesn't play the liberal word games as to the root of their nation and culture.

Since you are posting all the time on these topics, you ought to know what you are talking about but to claim that "Iraq is not an Islamic country" is every bit as ignorant as not knowing the nationality of the majority of the 9/11 terrorists. Obviously you have not the slightest clue as what you are talking about in terms of Iraq and lesser of their culture. Now, you can choose to ignore the reality of that part of the world and play cutesy little word games of what "official" means to the politically correct crowd in the U.S. but you have conveniently chosen to ignore the reality of the facts.

I prefer to tell the truth and the real truth is, that Iraq is an Islamic country.
I hate to say it, but you are right.czardonic
Feb 7, 2003 10:36 AM
I skipped the "Background" portion and scrolled to the "Goverment Type" portion.

But do you seriously maintain that Saddam Hussein is a religious ruler, rather than a secular one? That, is just plain false.
I hate to say it, but you are right.SteveS
Feb 7, 2003 3:12 PM
Thanks for acknowledging the error.

I have never maintained that Saddam Hussein is an Islamist as in Iran, and it is clear that he has not followed the path favored by Al Qaeda. However, whether he murders family members at a family gathering, Kurds in the northern part of the country, or Shiites in the South, he maintains a completely Islamic religous pattern of religiousity.
The evidenceMcAndrus
Feb 5, 2003 11:40 AM
The full text of Powell's speech is at

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html

Pretty interesting reading.
He was clear about weapons violations.Steve98501
Feb 5, 2003 5:39 PM
Powell made a very clear case (assuming his allegations are backed up with the evidence he claimed to have) that Iraq has violoated the 1991 and recent UN resolutions. What I'm less clear about is the next move to enforce those resolutions. Powell's point about the UN making itself irrelevant if it does not enforce resolutions is a very good and strong point that I pretty much agree with. However, real life is a two-way street. If these UN resolutions against Iraq are enforced, shouldn't we join with equal zeal and enforce the several UN resolutions against Israeli treatment of Palistinians. I mean terrorism is terrorism, even when done by our Israeli allies. The US would look a lot better on the world stage if we said consistent enforcement of UN resolutions is appropriate, and not just picking and choosing to enforce the UN resolutions we most favor. We're hypocritical if we insist only on enforcing the resolutions against Iraq.

True, Iraq is more of a threat to the U.S. than Israel. But Israel, with complete U.S. support, terrorizes Palistinians daily. (And some wonder why Palistinians become suicide bombers?) Digressing a bit here, but it seems that U.S. support for a country (Israel) that terrorizes Palistinian non-combatants is in itself destabilizing world peace. Imagine that, us good guys here in the U.S. that want a peaceful world contribute to instability by pushing our human rights agenda where it's convenient, and ignoring it in the middle east.

OK, I'm game if we'll be consistent. Let's disarm Iraq and Israel, and improve human rights conditions in two countries simultaneously.

Steve