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the French response(23 posts)

the French responseMJ
Feb 13, 2003 7:58 AM,11882,894533,00.html
the German responseMJ
Feb 13, 2003 8:59 AM,2763,894874,00.html
the American responseMJ
Feb 13, 2003 9:30 AM
what's YOUR response? (nm)ColnagoFE
Feb 13, 2003 9:35 AM
your turnMJ
Feb 13, 2003 9:59 AM
SH is a bad man and should die painfully at the hands of his victims (many of whom I worked with when I was a social worker)

SH is not a legitimate threat to anyone outside of Iraq

even the CIA agrees SH doesn't have WMD capability

credible evidence is more than just making a statement and lifting a 12 year old dissertation spelling mistakes et al

we are currently allies with plenty of despots in the mid-East and elswhere so the aim in Iraq can't be humanitarian

US oil reserves are the lowest since 1975

real threats are being used to scare everyone into war with Iraq and still remain the biggest concern - Al Qaeda/Osama, North Korea

a war in Iraq will only make other legitmate security concerns more of a problem

conflict with fundamentalist terror muslims (and other third world based terrorists) stems at least in part from Palestine/Israel conflict and a prolonged failure to engage the third world in meaningful development and aid programmes which are always a cheaper and more efficient method of dealing with extremists

because we don't have Osama in a body bag we need a TV movie of the week finale for the Bush/Blair axis and we're likely to get it despite 10m people marching against the war this weekend... at least TV will be more interesting

the US is in many forums banging the drum for war while ignoring the rest of the world, their wishes and a number of US citizens viewpoints to boot

the US press is unable to effectiuvly report on international events and views and has a profound inability to distill complicated issues to a population who remain largely out of the loop in comparison with anyone who doesn't live in the superpower - there's a disconnect

and just to repeat for emphasis - SH is not a legitimate threat to anyone outside of Iraq
not so sure SH isn't a threatColnagoFE
Feb 13, 2003 10:33 AM
i just don't think the US has PROVED he is a major threat at this point--enough to drag the world into a war against him anyway. i still think diplomacy (with the military threat as an enforcer) should be used as long as possible. i agree with most of what you've said though I think that the European press has its own biases. those who learn to read between the lines and do some additional research will not be fooled and will make up their own minds based on the evidence they have at the time.
SH isn't a legitimate threat to anyone outside IraqTJeanloz
Feb 13, 2003 1:02 PM
It may well be true that Saddam is not a threat to the U.S. or anyone else outside Iraq (though he does seem to be a bit of a threat to Israel).

But he is a threat to people inside Iraq. If the Kurds or Shiite muslims were white Europeans, I don't think there would be a discussion about whether or not Saddam needs to be removed from power. NATO removed Milosovic for lesser crimes than what Saddam is generally acknowledged to have committed.

The argument against the humanitarian one is that "we" (i.e. the U.S. and Allies) have good relationships with despotic regimes the world over. This is the most ridiculous defense - it, in effect, claims that the US is incapable of doing the morally right thing because it has historically not done the right thing. It just doesn't wash.
it's more than thatMJ
Feb 14, 2003 1:14 AM
you know this isn't being billed as a war of liberation - it's billed as a war against terror and possible WMD's

if it is a war of liberation and we are genuinely concerned about the plight of citizens in any number of sovereign countries that raises a very different set of questions which you as a fundamentalist conservative should shudder at - you don't even like the federal govt taxing for social programmes so how can invading a foreign country to liberate their population who may or may not want your help in the first place be justified? - furthermore, you can't say we're doing the right thing this time while simultaneously colluding (as allies no less) with even worse despots
Ted, you a fundamentalist?Sintesi
Feb 14, 2003 5:12 AM
I didn't know.

BTW, all countries are hypocritical. And I mean all. Well except for maybe Bhutan, yet.
Ted, you a fundamentalist?MJ
Feb 14, 2003 5:52 AM
he's a market fundamentalist - very conservative fiscally/economically - it's not a comment about religion
Ted, you a fundamentalist?TJeanloz
Feb 14, 2003 11:08 AM
The line that is being drawn is one of basic human rights. There is the intonation that because I don't believe that the Federal Government should offer certain social benefits, I automatically don't believe in any benefits or care about any people. This is not the case. There are basic human rights issues, all over the world, which I believe all people are morally responsible to uphold. These are basic freedoms, rights of self-determination, protection against racial (et. al.) discrimination, etc. Ensuring these rights is miles away from providing full and infinite universal health care, housing, and other social benefits. I don't know how we can sit idle while people are being denied the most basic human rights. Furthermore, I would be more embarrassed to have extensive social programs while turning a blind eye to those who have nothing.
For the record,TJeanloz
Feb 14, 2003 11:37 AM
It is often brought up that the US is allied with "worse" despots than Saddam Hussein. Which begs the question: who?

I can't think of a "worse" despot, let alone one with whom the United States has an alliance. There are some pretty nasty governments in the world; Myanmar, Congo (DROC), Liberia, Lybia; but (1) they are not allies of the United States, and (2) none, in my opinion, is "worse" than Saddam Hussein.

I will give you that historically the US has been allied with people as bad as Saddam, including Saddam himself- but that doesn't mean that the US has to continue its poor policies.
How about Saudi Arabia?Len J
Feb 16, 2003 9:39 AM
Rule by Decree.
No criticizm of the royal family allowed.
Trials held in secret.
Adultry & turning away from islam punished by public beheading.
Public flogging in shopping centers the order of the day.
Women have zero rights. Are not even allowed out unaccompanied.
The majority of the population is in a different sect than the leadership & are not allowed to hold any power for fear of an uprising.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive regiems in the world and yet the jhuman rights violations, which are a matter of public record (see amnesty international), are ignored by the US administration. Why? I think the answer is obvious.

SH is a despot, Kim Jong is a despot, King Fahd & Crown Prince Abdullah are also despots. Let's face reality here and not try to defend what GB is doing based on human rights, he certainly isn't.

agreed - nmMJ
Feb 17, 2003 1:22 AM
Not even close,TJeanloz
Feb 18, 2003 8:49 AM
There's no doubt that Saudi Arabia is a repressive regime. However, their track record, while bad, isn't in the same league as Iraq's. We're talking about mass genocide of two ethnic groups. The population majority in Saudi Arabia isn't allowed any power - but King Fahd hasn't gassed them to keep them quiet.
oh contraire - right on targetMJ
Feb 18, 2003 9:01 AM
that leaves aside the other examples listed in LenJ's post

I guess when you get down to it the Saudis haven't gassed their own people though they are repressive and decidedly undemocratic - in any event - all but two of the Sep. 11 hijackers were Saudi - who's hurt more westerners - Iraq or Saudi Arabia

that's not to mention that this has never been billed as a humanitarian mission - it's a mission to protect the west from WMD's - evidence of which has not been produced
Closer than you care to admit.Len J
Feb 18, 2003 10:28 AM
While I agree they haven't "gassed their own people". Ask the Suni's (I think that is the majority sect but I could be wrong) how much torture and "ethnic cleansing" goes on in Saudi Arabia and you might be surprised by the answer. Close friends who work in Saudi Arabia (And have for several years) tell me that the repression that the press reports is only a small portion of what actually occurs. They tell stories of "Disappearances" as a routine occurance, capital verdicts with no trials resulting in beheading and generally a systematic elimination of all dissenting voices (the majority of which are the majority sect). If this isn't "ethnic cleansing" then I don't know what is.

IMO the only difference between Saudi Arabia & Iraq is that SH does it out in the open while Saudi Arabia tries to do it quietly. The government has known about this BTW for decades and has looked the other way as a matter of policy. Kinda remends me of what happened with the Shah in Iran.

Believe what you want to, we do have a governmental policy of backing despots when we think it is in our best interest to do so.

Hypocritical, IMO.

I'm happy (well, not really) to admit some of it,TJeanloz
Feb 18, 2003 11:13 AM
It's clear that the Saudi government is not a paragon of tolerence and ethnic diversity. Further research indicates that the majority sect - Sunni - actually rule the country and persecute a minority sect - Shi'a - not that persecution of any flavor is necessarily better or worse. And it gets relatively foolish to debate the relative evil of various despotic regimes. But are you contending that the Saudi government has consistently been "worse" for their people than SH? The argument defies logic. Hussein has invaded two of his neighbors, kept his people at war for virtually his entire reign, and killed off large portions of opposition groups. All of this is in addition to every allegation you've leveled against Saudi Arabia.
Fair enough.......Len J
Feb 18, 2003 3:54 PM
I can't (and wouldn't) say they are worse than SH. What I was reacting to is a defense of US policy based on a human rights argument. Let's not pretend that this focus on Iraq is primarily driven by being outraged by SH's record on human rights, I don't believe it is. Our Gov't has backed (& seemingly will continue to back) human rights abusers when there is something else we want (be it oil or a counterweight to some other regime we don't agree with). If it were about human rights, we would have ousted him in 1991.

IMO What this retoric is about is power and influence. With Afganistan now moving under our influence, a conquered Iraq will give us a very large strategic position in this part of the world. Every other argument is to convince the rest of the world (and our own people) that SH has suddenly become more of a threat than he has been in the last 12 years. Bringing in alleged links to AQ and WMD are just playing upon the fears of the moment.

So in summary, I agree that Saudia Arabia is not as bad an abuser as SH, but I disagree that the difference accounts for why SA is our friend and SH is the devil incarnate.

Fair enough.......TJeanloz
Feb 20, 2003 8:46 AM
It's fair to have the opinion that U.S. policy isn't about saving the people of Iraq from a horrific regime. Particularly since this card hasn't really been played at all by the Administration (or anybody else). But just because I don't support a possible war with Iraq for the same reasons as the Administration doesn't mean that I don't support a war for different reasons. There are a lot of reasons to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and some pretty severe drawbacks (mainly civilian casualties). However, we don't all have to agree on the same reasoning before we reach the same conclusion.
Good point.Len J
Feb 20, 2003 9:55 AM
My biggest issue is, Why Iraq, Why now?

Little credible evidence has been given that the WMD threat has increased, if anything his attacks on the Kurds have decreased (as a result of the Allied "control" of the Kurd areas) and he is the same SOB he was 13 years ago.
What has changed that suddenly has made him more evil, more of a threat than he ever was before?

From a pure Threat & human rights violation standpoint, North Korea is an easier case to make for military action than Iraq. Is the difference that the cost in US lives will be less in Iraq?

I just can't get my mind around the logic for selecting Iraq at this point. It seems arbitrary.
Is arbitrary wrong?TJeanloz
Feb 20, 2003 11:22 AM
Even if it is arbitrary, doesn't one have to start somewhere? Why not Iraq, why not now?

There was an interesting segment over the weekend on (I think) Meet the Press, where Madeline Albright said that Saddam had never been a threat to the U.S., that it didn't make sense for us to attack, blah, blah... Then they rolled a clip of her as Sec. of State, in 1998, when she was adament that war with Iraq was necessary sooner rather than later. I'm just disturbed that people are taking something as serious as war and making a political event out of it (not that it hasn't happened before).
Why not Iraq, why not now?Len J
Feb 21, 2003 10:41 AM
You are right that we have to start somewhere. I would contend that when shifting your stance (like we have in the US) as dramatically as we have, you should start on firm ground. We started in Afganistan on the firm ground after 9/11. We had very little international resistance to this and very little at home. Why? because there was a provable direct link between AQ, The Taliban & Afganistan. Our war on terror had a focus and a real threat as a target. GB then expands his war on terrorism to include SH and his alleged WMD. Yet no real proof of his link to either WMD or terrorism have been documented. It's all inuendo and "trust us we know". Well IMO that's not good enough to garner support from either our allies or from our citizens to send our boys to war and rain death & destruction on a Population of Iraqi's.

So I guess my Why not Iraq? answer is, what have the Iraqi's done to us to warrent us destroying their country? Yes they invaded Kuwait, but I think they paid for that.

As far as it being a political event, it wouldn't result in that if the issues were clear and the moral mandate wasn't unopposable. Was Afganistan a political issue?

Arbitrary is not good enough for me to put American lives on the line. Is it good enough for you?