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French Bashers: Listen Up(120 posts)

French Bashers: Listen Upzing
Mar 14, 2003 8:43 AM
I can't keep reading some of the posts on this site without replying. A select few of you, on nearly a daily basis, have to insult the French. I, for one, am sick of it. Do you have nothing better to do than find new, stupid jokes about France to post on the site? It seems most people don't respond, either they are unfazed or don't find it funny. What is it about France that you have to single it out every time? Do you have a personal problem we should know about? Did you flunk out of French 101 and never get over it? Are you intimidated by the culture? Captain Morgan, you especially are annoying. I would like to know if you have visited the country or have ever known anyone from France. This would maybe change your perspective, to have experienced the culture you so berate. You seem like a very prejudiced person, which I find sad. You probably don't reveal other prejudices I suspect you have towards ethnic groups, maybe towards women and gays as well, that you never post because somehow, it is A-OK to insult French people, and chalk it up to your 'patriotic' right wing viewpoint. Why don't you tell us your feelings towards Koreans, Blacks, Hispanics, Gays, Muslims... C'mon, reveal yourself for what I think you are: a bigot.

Thank you for reading.
I never listen to anyone who says "Listen Up"DougSloan
Mar 14, 2003 8:55 AM
Boy, I thought I was annoying.

I think the bashing is a little silly, myself. However, you seem to fail to account for the feelings of many, many Americans who gave their lives to save France, and much of the free world. Arguably, at least, for France to turn its back on the U.S. is an insult.

This has abolutely nothing to do with bigotry, but I realize that's a comfortable argument for some people who disagree with others. Sure, label them "bigots," and substantive discussion is done, right?

That "listen up" thing I always found annoying. Reminds me of an a-hole 7th grade gym coach.

Mar 14, 2003 8:56 AM
feelings for many...
I never listen to anyone who says "Listen Up"zing
Mar 14, 2003 9:06 AM
Bring on the substantive discussion. You really didn't answer any of my questions. What is your PERSONAL gripe against France? And yes, bigot is a label, but aren't you an expert at labelling groups of people on this site? Wouldn't most people agree that a bigot is someone who lumps a whole group of people into one category in order to dehumanize them and make them into objects of hatred? Isn't that what Hitler did with the Jews? It all starts seemingly innocently but can erupt into full scale persecution if people don't call it out. If the anti-French posters on this site substituted blacks for the French, people would call that racist.
Gratuitious personal attack: Doug, you never listen to ANYBODYcory
Mar 14, 2003 9:48 AM
Cory, I expect better from you. nmDougSloan
Mar 14, 2003 9:55 AM
Mar 14, 2003 9:53 AM
if France has to agree with everything the US presents to prove they really appreciate sacrifices of 55 years ago?

disagreement is an 'insult' and constitutes 'turning its back' on the US?

agree re 'listen up'
Listen Up, Pee-Pull!Dale Brigham
Mar 14, 2003 10:54 AM

That's how they always addressed us 7th graders at Atkins Jr. High, Lubbock, TX, in gym class. Does tend to leave scars on the psyche. "Sadistic Jr. High Gym Coach" is redundant, in my experience.


P.S. I like France and the people I have met over there. I did not feel that way until I went there.
"Those who can't do, teach, and those who can't teach, teach Gym":Woody Allen (NM)torquer
Mar 14, 2003 12:02 PM
I somewhat agree...sick of the French bashing (nm)ColnagoFE
Mar 14, 2003 9:00 AM
I'm grateful for the Frenchtarwheel
Mar 14, 2003 12:00 PM
Personally, I'm grateful for the French and Germans for standing up for what they believe. In my view, the Bush administration is pushing for war on Iraq to take people's minds off the sorry state of the economy, which the Republicans are doing their best to destroy. Most countries around the world are against going to war with Iraq, so I don't understand why everyone is picking on France.

I don't feel like the Bush administration has made a convincing case that Iraq is a threat beyond its immediate bordering countries. If the US is responsible for deposing every tyrant, we might as well go to war with about 1/3 the countries around the world. The only reason we care about Iraq is cheap oil, so wasteful Americans can drive their stupid SUVs that get 12 mpg. Ironically, the threat of war is driving up the price of gas, which I guess adds more fuel to the fire.
NoCaptain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 9:00 AM
Me, a biggot? No way. I usually consider biggotry to be on a personal level, not against something like an inanimate object (i.e. France). I would treat a Frenchman with respect and could even be friends, but that doesn't mean I can't think their country is misguided.

France does have biggoted tendancies itself. I will post again an article evidencing this:
Mar 14, 2003 10:40 AM
As my father would say, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. You are not bigoted towards the French (sorry, I can't separate the country from the people) because you are simply disagreeing with them and think they are misguided. It's all just a harmless little misunderstanding between friends.

But when the French administration disagrees with the US, they are hostile towards us, anti-American, scum and deserve to be boycotted and ridiculed.
I am not a Bigot!!....rwbadley
Mar 14, 2003 9:08 AM
I bash all groups equally, on an as needed basis! 8-))
I hate bigots! Does that make me one? (nm)Captain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 12:35 PM
I love this comic...hits pretty close to home thse daysColnagoFE
Mar 14, 2003 9:10 AM
re: French Bashers: Listen UpAlpedhuez55
Mar 14, 2003 9:26 AM
Gee, if France showed that kind of defensive attitude in the 30s, they may have spared a lot of the 55,000,000 of people killed in WW2.

France is being very Anti-American in their responses to UN proposals. It is only natural that they are going to face some backlash, just like Martin Sheen, Sean Penn & most recently the Dixie Chicks have.

It is funny, each time France rejects a US attempt at diplomacy, the approval for the UN goes down!!! THey even rejected the latest offer before Iraq did!!! The approval for war is up to 71% now and 57% say the UN is irrelivent. France is killing the prestige and importance of the UN with their actions.

One of my very good friends actually works at the French Embassy in Ottawa. We disagree over the war and have had some conversations about it. She also gets a lot of phone calls from people angry over her countries handling of the war. Some people have been taking it too far and she hears some abusive language. But France is trying to weaken the US with their actions. I think in the long run, they are going to regret it.

Mike Y.
and the UNMJ
Mar 14, 2003 10:00 AM
is irrelevant because they're not doing what the US wants?

disagreement with America is 'un-American'?

I'm confused - I didn't realise they're a puppet nation with no right of self-determination - nor did I realise they have been US bashing... maybe you could fill me in Mr Alpe
Listen up -moneyman
Mar 14, 2003 10:30 AM
Errr, I mean, tell me something: How is the UN relevant when the nation of Cameroon is instrumental in the approval of the US defending itself against terrorist attacks from radical elements from Southwest Asia? And how is the UN relevant when it won't enforce its own resolutions? And how is the UN relevant when it insists that inspections be allowed to continue, turning over rocks to find WMDs, when the Iraqis were commanded by the same resolution to turn over WMDs and/or evidence of their destruction immediately and have failed to do so?

Its got nothing to do with them not doing what the US wants. Its got everything to do with them not doing what they said they would!

And if you could fill me in on one more thing, I would appreciate it as well. Which UN resolution was passed allowing France to send Legionnaires to invade Ivory Coast? I must have missed that somewhere.

French military in Ivory Coasteurochien
Mar 14, 2003 10:39 AM
The reason France sent troops down in the Republic of Ivory Coast is because the political situation was starting to get dangerous for the many French residents who live there. France did not invade the Ivory Coast and will pull out as soon as stability resumes. Because of its colonial past and its ties to West Africa, it will leave contingents of troops, which is another debatable matter, but as far as this issue, protecting French citizens is the reason for military intervention.
The French protecting French citizensmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 10:44 AM
Must be more important and justifiable than the US protecting US citizens. Now I understand. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

The French protecting French citizenseurochien
Mar 14, 2003 10:47 AM
How many Americans live in Iraq????
Probably as many Fernch in Ivory Coastmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 11:00 AM
See moneyman 3/14/03 10:58am for further information regarding the pointlessness of your question.

Nobody invited the French but themselves. Nobody else wants them, I guess. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Mar 14, 2003 11:12 AM
MJ 3/14/03 11:07am
Fernch - indirect realtive of Frenchmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 11:24 AM
How did you do that? You Brits and your computer skills amaze me.

How do YOU feel about the French? The UK has been on-again off-again at war with the French for a long, long time. Wasn't the greatest naval victory in British History - Nelson defeating the French fleet - against the French? Oh, wait - I guess so. Silly question. Don't you have any personal animosity toward them? And how does it feel that they left the BEF hanging by their fingernails at the beginning of WWII with their surrender to the Germans?

The French certainly were courageous in WWI, to respond to your post below. They are not now. They want leadership of the EU, in spite of their own poor economy, and by pissing up the leg of the US they can show the rest of the world how tough they are. Not to mention the fact that they stand to lose billions of Euros in business if SH is no longer a trading partner. But I'm sure that has nothing to do with it, either.

Mar 14, 2003 11:38 AM
the UK kicked frog arse for a long long time - now they're the exasperating continental cousins - you should see the debates rage in the EU over metrics and the ingredients for chocolate - they make the Iraq thing look like Little House on the Prairie

no personal euro-animosity here - I holiday there once a year at least - plenty of weekend trips as well - I have many Frog friends and everyone enjoys good natured ribbing - we make fun of their smell - they make fun of our teeth - we do get along - more like sibling rivalry - the Germans is even a bit harsher 'humour' often reserved for international football matches...

BEF - look where that bravery got them - France rolled over in WW2 because they lost an entire generation in WW1 and didn't want it to happen again - no one has a right to criticise their previous or current war stance until they have appreciated that fact and what it does to a country - anyways the whole BEF thing gave the UK a reference for a well observed UK life philosophy - the Dunkirk Spirit - I think rather than blame the French we could look at the Nazis instead...

glass houses and stones/pot kettle black re cashing in on Iraq

France isn't in charge of EU - nor do they want it - Germany is and does - they're the Euro-superpower - but they're struggling too

I think the French stance is more about domestic facts and representing their citizen's reluctance to march to the US tune i.e. democracy - the US tune which ignores anything but naked self-interest (again Kyoto, ABM, World Court) - I for one think it's great that somebody is stepping out of line and disagreeing with the only superpower

why no criticism of Russia or Germany - aren't they easier targets? Russia = commies - Germans = Nazis? non?
I understandmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 12:27 PM
Not really, but it sounds good. No criticism of the Russians or Germans because this thread is about the French.

Do you tell your French friends about the bashing taken on this board?

"Kyoto, ABM, World Court" Interesting. For me, and I consider myself well-informed, they are non-issues, yet they keep appearing in posts and articles about US arrogance and ignorance. I look upon them as abrogation of US sovereignty, rather than cooperation with the rest of the world. By agreeing to those compacts, the US Constituion plays second-fiddle to the treaties. I'm not a Constitutional scholar, but I'm pretty sure we cannot do that. Because of that, I never consider them as reasons why the rest of the world, as it seems, should feel anger towards the US. People who see the world as you do, however, believe they are very important. Or is it just rationalizing anger at Uncle Sam?

I understandMJ
Mar 17, 2003 1:12 AM
sovereignty is abrogated with agreement to abide by the terms of any international treaty - of which the US is party to many

I bash my French friends enough (and vice versa) no need to pass on board highlights - most of which they would dismiss with a quick parry and a vicious thrust (all very entertaining in any event)
Interesting article about French Connectionmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 1:58 PM
By William Safire.

Says a lot.

I'll answer - none - not one single AmericanMJ
Mar 14, 2003 11:09 AM
is directly threatened by SH

I understand there were 6,000 French citizens living and working in IC
And only 3,000 were killed on 9/11moneyman
Mar 14, 2003 11:13 AM
And that certainly won't happen again, right? Especially if SH has said he won't have anything to do with it, cross his heart and hope to die, right? And you'll guarantee that, right?

Please put that in writing for me so I can refer to it later.

not by SH - or anyone remotely connected to him or IraqMJ
Mar 14, 2003 11:19 AM
in fact the terror boys of 9/11 were almost all from one of the main US allies in the mid-East - Saudi Arabia - are they on the list yet?

with that logic anyone could be wiped out - who's on the list next and where does it stop?

listen up -

I do understand (and agree) that post 9/11 the US and close allies are gonna do things differently - however, it's about targeting the threats - SH is not a threat to anybody but Iraqi's - as of last fall not even the CIA considered him to be a threat
So lets kill 30,000 Iraquis to get even?torquer
Mar 14, 2003 1:15 PM
First off, while no one in my family or close aquaintances were killed on 9/11 (a fact I am deeply gratefull for), I take offense when people argue for more indiscriminate killing based on the atrocities commited that day. I take it personally, having been stuck in a subway 1/4 mile away from the WTC when they collapsed; the dust and smoke rolled down the station steps and filled the tunnel as we waited and wondered if the train would ever move; while we wouldn't learn of the enormity of the tragedy untill the train backed into the adjacent station, everyone on that train knew something awfull was happening.

For weeks afterwards, lower Manhattan's air tasted and smelled of concrete dust (familiar to me from demolition and construction sites, but disconcerting inside my office, local coffee shop, bank). For months, passing through the subway stop nearest the WTC, the air was permeated by the smell one experiences after a house fire has been extinguished: the wet, acrid, smoky reminder of the human toll that had been taken.

Through these experiences, the reality of the firestorm bombings of Dresden, Kassel and Berlin (all cities I have visited, having family in the first two) were made real to me in ways that books never could.

And it will not be in my name that these things are done to the peoople of Iraq!

No need to repeat that that there is NO evidence linking Sadaam & the hijackers (well, yes there is a need to repeat it, since you imply such a linkage in your topic, while Bush and FOX seem to have snookered a significant part of the populace into thinking there is one), but lets look at it from another perspective: what's the liklihood, and what happens if Sadaam's WMD get loose in the aftermath of a war?

We don't know where they are now (or we would have told the inspectors, right?) In preparation for the increasingly likely US attack, Sadaam can either 1) deploy them, risking assured massive retaliation, or 2) further hide and disperse them, hoping to keep them as a trump card if the war bogs down and he is in a position to negotiate for his survival.

Sadaam's sole principle is survival; he will kill rivals, countrymen, even family to preserve his own sorry ass. He knows that the moment he launches a CBN weapon, however, he is history. He doesn't have a bunker deep enough, can't surround himself with enough human sheilds to forstall a vaporizing counterattack (and I'm not sure I would argue one wasn't deserved). So he won't.

By dispersing them, he runs the risk of losing control of them, but so what? If he's dead, Al Quaida may as well have them and wreak revenge on the West. And that is very likely what will happen when, in the fog of war, every Iraqui officer and scientist with access to these weapons, fearing punishment by the invading crusaders, will be looking for their main chance, who just happens to be a fellow Muslim, with plenty of cash and a world-wide underground network offering shelter until this thing blows over.

Even if the war goes as planned, how long before the Kurds and Turks go at it? Hard to be digging up suspected ammo dumps when two of your allies are trading artillery rounds over your head. Meanwhile, under cover of night, commerce continues, and there is a seller's market for WMD.

The UN inspections may be slow; the inspectors may have been given the run-around; but they have succeeded in reducing the supply of WMD, and their presence makes the production and development of more extremely difficult. Pull them out, send in the rangers, and you may as well redeploy those inspectors to lower Manhattan.
Not to get evenmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 1:54 PM
To keep it from happening again.

The mandate is for SH to prove he no longer has the WMDs. He can do this, just like the South Africans proved they scrapped their nuclear program. He has chosen not to. The UN resolution 1441 is clear, although some obstinate members of the Security Council (moi? Nein!) don't want to stand by their commitment. If the inspections "process" worked, the WMDs would have been destroyed many years ago. SH has chosen to obfuscate and coverup. And if you believe that he has stopped trying to build more, then there is no point discussing this further. The universe you inhabit may be nice and cozy where everyone cares about each other, but my world is a bit different. Color me cynical, but I don't believe SH really wants to cooperate. Imagine that.

If we (the US) attack Iraq, I think we stand a much better chance of controlling the WMDs that are there now, while at the same time preventing their distribution to the rest of the madcap lunatics who think driving planes into buildings is a reasonable thing to do.

The Iraqi army, save a small portion of the Republican Guard, is ill-trained, unmotivated, fearful of death, and not real willing to fight. I would guess that at the opening of hostilities, they will surrender in droves. Their allegiance to SH is based in fear, not ideology. It will not last long.

Sorry - really - that you had to experience the worst in NYC. I hope you never have to again.

Just my point...torquer
Mar 14, 2003 2:13 PM
Maybe my experiences give me greater sympathy for the innocents, but they don't blind me to Sadaam's evil.

My point was that the present situation, while regretable (Sadaam terrorizes his populace, some unknown quantity of weapons remain) is, on balance, less terrifying than the opening of Pandora's box the Yalie cowboy is leading us towards.

With the inspections proceeding, some controls are in place. Its not perfect, sure, but I have more confidence in dozens of UN inspectors than many hundreds (thousands) of desperate war criminals trying to flee a chaotic, collapsing tyrany. That scenario, in my opinion, is much more likely to put WMD in the subway system than anything in Sadaam's wildest dreams.
And that's where you get confused...eurochien
Mar 14, 2003 3:44 PM
The issue is not whether Saddam Hussein's Iraq will defend itself to the death. Most pessimistic estimates plan on 3 weeks. It's the AFTERMATH. Bush, with his great international experience (as he's already demonstrated in the handling of the Europeans and anyone emitting doubt about his strategy) plans on occupying Iraq, managing it for years and years until some US-style democracy (or US-approved dictatorship?) is in power, with the domino-effect influencing other Arab nations to follow suit in the pursuit of happiness for all. How do you really think other Arab countries are going to take that? You need to get your news from someone other than Mc News-CNN-Fox News. You live in a dream world.
How many of those hijackers were from Iraq? nmempacher6seat
Mar 15, 2003 7:19 PM
50% of Americans polled now believe they were from France! (nm)czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 10:32 AM
LOL. good one :) (nm)empacher6seat
Mar 17, 2003 7:04 PM
maybe if the Bush admin...empacher6seat
Mar 15, 2003 7:14 PM
could actually prove US citizens are at risk, you might have a point.
Listen up -MJ
Mar 14, 2003 10:44 AM
was it FFL or regular French army? I think that had to do with a direct threat to numerous French civilians - chocalate prices are gonna go up...

I think France is pursuing a middle ground re enforcing UN resolutions - after all they're not pressing for the enforcement of the huge number of Israeli related UN resolutions - nor is the US for that matter - I am however pleased by what I've read today about Bush and Blair lining up a resolution of Israel/Palestine - that may do the trick for support from UN allies re Iraq - you know one hand washes the other

SH is not a threat to America and is not related to any terrorist groups - not one bit of evidence has indicated terror links or direct threats to western interests - he's only a threat to his own people - along with all the other tinpot dictators - you're not proposing we're gonna go get 'em all are you?

if there's proof of WMD's in Iraq they should be revealed

Cameroon have a great football team - they should get a veto for that alone
Wrong againCaptain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 10:53 AM
What about the plot to kill GHWB? I consider that a terrorist act AND a proof of a SERIOUS threat to the U.S.
Mar 14, 2003 10:58 AM
are you referring to the threat from eight years ago when Bush was visiting Kuwait?

really - you need to reach out and grab hold of those reigns and pull hard
YesCaptain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 11:19 AM
Yes, what's your dispute??
Mar 14, 2003 11:25 AM
oh I know it happened

but it's breathtaking that that is your example of Iraqi 'terrorism' directly jeopardising the west - BTW I haven't heard that one used by the white house yet - would it go like this: "he tried to get my daddy - now I'm gonna get him"? I think that would play better in the next UN debate - rather than clapping - outlandish squeals of laughter would come from everyone

maybe you could try and look up assassination and terrorism in say a dictionary and return later after you have educated yourself - if I had know you were this thick I never would have responded - but it has been entertaining

when you do respond - maybe you could explain what "regime change" may be interpreted as by an objective outsider...

I hope you're not this thick and are just baiting me
YesCaptain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 11:43 AM
Well, you asked me for "an example" of how Iraq ever threatened us (you said "direct threats to western interests), so I gave you an example. Now you are acknowledging my example as being valid, yet now you want me to build a whole regime change case on this one example. Take the blinders off -- I think its you trying to bait me.
present tenseMJ
Mar 17, 2003 1:08 AM
was implied in the query - that you can't distinguish what may be a direct threat is funny

with your logic you should nuke the UK for burning down Washington in 1812

seriously you haven't a clue - or any evidence
How old are you?Captain Morgan
Mar 17, 2003 6:43 AM
You make arguments like a high schooler. A threat from 5 years ago (under the same leader Saddam) is a little bit different than a threat from 191 years ago. Now you are also bringing nukes into the discussion???

For your benefit, just for starters, evidence from the inspectors alone includes 100+ al-Sammoud missiles plus shell casings for chemical weapons. This weekend, an ex-weapons inspector said that he visited a site in 1998 that was producing parts for nuclear warheads, and he believes Iraq may have up to 9 nuclear weapons already.

Really, if you can't use at least SOME logic in your posts, please refrain from entering the discussions.
really nowMJ
Mar 17, 2003 7:34 AM
it's pretty clear what's at issue in the query is a current threat not a threat almost a decade old - maybe you call it something different but we call it history

yep I was serious about nuking the UK because of the War of 1812

al Sammoud aren't WMD's - nor are shell casings - if you wanna look at former weapon inspectors start with Scott Ritter who discounts your unnamed inspector
I guess its a matter of what one believesmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 10:58 AM
I believe that SH certainly is a threat to me as a US citizen. I don't think he will send the Republican Guard on a search-and-destroy mission to Wyoming, but I believe he has the will and the means to supply other terrorist groups to do that for him. To believe otherwise is turning a blind eye to reality. My wife is opposed to acting in Iraq, just like you. (You don't know her, do you? Never mind. Don't answer that.) I asked her if, as proof, she would need the deaths of tens of thousands of US citizens to justify action? I am not willing to wait for that to happen.

Iraq has had WMDs. We both know that. The resolution was for them to prove they were destroyed. They have not shown any documentation that was done. They are clearly in violation of the resolution.

I didn't know Cameroon HAS a football team. I thought they just played soccer. Who is their quarterback?

Mar 14, 2003 11:07 AM
actually a soccer team - but when Tom Landry retired from the Cowboys he went over and coached - so it gets confusing...

lots of people could supply WMD's - SH is the least likely suspect - more likely are N Korea and the poverty stricken Russian, CIS and ex-Soviet nuke dept's with active stockpiles and trained, poorly paid nuke scientists - although it's easier to line up all the tanks with SH than to poke around in Kyrgystan and Pyongyang etc.

I don't think we should wait for anybody's death - but we need more of a reason than "it could happen" without any further evidence being put forward

they are in violation - SH probably dislikes America for some reason - he probably wants to be a big guy in the third world and middle east - suspicion is not a reason to go to war

Israel is in violation of many resolutions - nobody's lining up to kick their arse
and the UNAlpedhuez55
Mar 14, 2003 10:39 AM
Should France have the authority to Veto a US military action? SHould the Security Counsel be able to back off the resolution they approved last October? Should the US need to try lobby for approval from Guinea, Belize or Angola for anything? Can you take any body that would pick Lybia to chair their human right commission seriously?

France is leading the effort to make the UN irrelivant. THey are turning down off diplomatic efforts to disarm Iraq before Iraq does. They have a history in the past century of not protecting their own soil, should they have the right to tell us we cannot defend ours?

We are the most powerful nation in the world. We provide the UN about 40% of their funding. Some of nations are trying to use the UN to hold the US back. The UN should not become a puppet of the US. It should not be used as a tool to try to weaken the most powerful nation in the world either.

Mike Y.
and the UNMJ
Mar 14, 2003 10:56 AM
you either have global support or you don't - the UN is the measuring stick - I don't think anybody's in doubt that the US (and UK) are gonna do whatever they want

look at the huge number if Israeli related resolutions not being enforced... is there one rule or are there different rules?

maybe Guinea, Belize and Angola have a more objective point of view than the main protagonists - or is it that if their not an 'important' country they shouldn't get a vote? we could apply that same rule to people who aren't important and disagree - I have heard Americans here who get in trouble cry out "you can't do that to me I'm an American" - it still gets a chuckle - you keep treating people like shiit and they remember it - reference ABM treaty, world court and kyoto

I understand that according to Amnesty Int'l the US is on par with Libya re human rights - for example I don't think they execute minors...

anyways who's attacking the US? certainly not SH - not one bit of evidence on that...

if the argument goes like it seems your playing it - the US is the most powerful and should be able to do what it wants and still call it diplomacy even when it's not - it does seem a bit of a pointless charade...
and the UNAlpedhuez55
Mar 14, 2003 12:34 PM
Well it is not just the US & UK acting here. It is also Spain, Denmark, Protugal and may other European Nations.

Many of us have posted pleanty of evidence of Saddams links to terrorist. You have just chosen to ignore it since apparently the only "Reliable Sources" are THe Guradian, The Nation and NY Times.

You also seem to think Amnesty International is a reliable source of information which I find very amusing. THe idea that Lybia and US are on par is funnier than any French joke that has been posted here.

Libya does not allow a free media. The four official newspapers, along with the television and radio, carry only the regime's propaganda. No criticism of Gaddafi is permitted. Howabout doing a webearch on Abdullah Ali al-Sanussi al-Darrat, a Jounalist in prison since 1973. How about the state sponsered murders over Scotland?

I think at this point, UN diplomacy is as you call it "a pointless charade" for all the reasons Moneyman & I put in our posts about why they are irrelivant.

Mike Y.
and the UNMJ
Mar 17, 2003 1:25 AM
I have honestly never seen an article that concludes Iraq has WMD - NYT, Guardian, Times, Economist, Houston Chronicle, Dallas papers or Reuters - if there are so many examples maybe you could do a search and provide a link to shut me up

IMO Amnesty isn't a good source for facts - it's only as reliable as right wing propaganda

there are countless examples of individuals who have been persecuted unfairly by the US government on par with Libya - Black Panthers etc.

there are countless examples of US sponsored state terrorism - Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua to name a few

there are a few other supporters of US intervention - but that's kind of like saying Gore should have won because he had a few votes
and the UNpurplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 10:28 AM
You've NEVER seen an article? You must have been asleep since even Saddam admits he HAD WMD. Now the only debate is whether he still does. Hmm, I wonder if we should believe him. Hmm. He's been so consistently fair and honest in the past and wouldn't have anything at all to gain from obfuscating the truth if, somehow, he still has them.

Doubtless there are vast crimes against humanity that will never be known in parts of the world with closed, repressive governments. That you have examples of the unfairness of the US government is a testament to our openness. In the absence of a perfect government, which I think is what you're after, what we have ain't bad.
had and have are very different - nmMJ
Mar 18, 2003 1:53 AM
The French admitted he has them - and they should knowpurplepaul
Mar 18, 2003 10:08 PM
They have offered to help our troops if Saddam USES WMD. There was no question that he had them, just whether he would use them.

France also revealed that they were "duped" into giving him equipment that is used to make weapons grade plutonium.

You weren't on the O.J. jury were you?
source - you and Alpe and the other hawksMJ
Mar 19, 2003 1:41 AM
haven't provided one scrap of evidence

you saying it doesn't make it true - you saying France said it makes me even more suspicious - you didn't used to lynch people on trumped up charges did you?

give me one article, one source, one authority which concludes SH has WMD and I'll reconsider my position (as undoubtedly the rest of the sceptics of the world would as well)

the point is that you can't produce credible evidence - but if you repeat your mantra long enough: "SH is responsible for 9/11, SH has WMD" maybe you can keep yourself convinced...
source - you and Alpe and the other hawkspurplepaul
Mar 19, 2003 12:46 PM
I didn't realize I had to provide evidence else I would have saved the link. Nor did I ever claim that I was an authority. I don't expect you to accept whatever is said on these forums. It could be a false news story, but I have no interest in making stories up. Strength comes from dealing with reality, not from denying it. And, for me, lying to get support is far worse than telling the truth and being unpopular.

Yes, we used to lynch people on trumped up charges. That never happened anywhere else throughout history (hmm, the French Revolution comes to mind. Then there was the Dreyfus case).

Now, the article I read did not state that Saddam definitively had nuclear weapons, just that France acknowledged that they provided him with equipment that would allow him to build them. The engineers said they feared they were duped into it. It could have been MSNBC, but I just don't recall.

However, it is puzzling to me why you would assume that someone who disagrees with you would invent information. When someone notifies me of something that seems shocking or contrary to my beliefs, I may hope that it is untrue but I'd first look into it before I decide they just made it up.

It is your lack of criticality that discredits you.
Different rules.DJB
Mar 14, 2003 2:00 PM
"look at the huge number if Israeli related resolutions not being enforced... is there one rule or are there different rules?"

The resolutions passed against Israel are all Chapter VI resolutions. Those passed against Iraq after the Gulf war are from Chapter VII (of the U.N. Charter).

"Sir Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at Oxford University, believes there is a fundamental difference between the UN's forthright condemnation of Iraq and its disapproval of Israel. "The comparison that is frequently made between Iraq's response to the resolutions relating to disarmament and Israel's responses to the resolutions about occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is a facile comparison," he says.

"The resolutions of the security council 242 and 338 call on all the parties to negotiate a peace settlement and it's perfectly possible to argue that serious attempts have been made ... and that responsibility for failure is not entirely Israel's fault.

"By contrast the resolutions on Iraq from 91 ... call unequivocally on Iraq to take certain actions and accept certain conditions as a quid pro quo for the ceasefire, and Iraq has been said quite clearly by the security council in 1998 to be in 'flagrant violation' of various resolutions. That was unanimously passed by the security council in resolution 1205 of 98. Iraq is the only state the security council itself has said is in flagrant violation of its resolutions." "
Different rules.MJ
Mar 17, 2003 1:28 AM
that's exactly what arab muslims are saying in the middle east - different rules for Israel

same problem - Israel isn't complying and actually exacerbate the problem

it looks like Bush has finally taken this on board with the road map to be published shortly
A gun in your face isn't what I would call "diplomatic efforts".inallston
Mar 14, 2003 3:05 PM
Agree. Many of the posts smack of proving the arrogant, naive Yank myth. nm.128
Mar 14, 2003 9:30 AM
Political PaybackJon Billheimer
Mar 14, 2003 9:38 AM
I don't pretend to understand all of France's motives or perceived interests, but I think there's an element of payback in the French-German-Russian position. Dubya squandered an immense reservoir of sympathy and goodwill following 9/11 by his unilateralist positions on Kyoto, the ABM treaty, and the World Court. I think some, but not all, of the European reaction is motivated by a fear and resentment of American arrogance. Bush may eventually learn to his chagrin that even America needs friends and that friendship cuts both ways.
Mar 14, 2003 9:57 AM
Thanks for using your brain. France is not the only country against this war as you know, it may be the most obstinate, but I don't think other countries like China and RUssia are following France out of respect for Chirac. France is a small country to them too. Being French myself, I think that the reason for the French position has more to do with the Bush administration's attitude and lack of diplomatic tact. The Bush administration has managed to piss off Europeans (and others) with its arrogant attitude, like the Kyoto accord blow-off, the "with us or against us" discourse, the appalling diplomacy track record of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz ("Old Europe", "we don't need the UN"). Bush needs the UN for no other reason than footing the reconstruction bill in Iraq after the war (btw, Halliburton, VP Cheney's old company, is looking pretty good in the bidding competition). The Bush administration has indeed pissed away a lot of goodwill that came out after the terrorist attacks of 09/11.
Mar 14, 2003 7:18 PM
While cycling with a buddy from Portugal who always talks down to me because I'm just an ignorant American and not sophisticated like the Europeans from whence we came, it became clear that, according to him, most Europeans aren't against our going to war with Sadam. What pisses them off is THE WAY we're going about it (and now eurochien has confirmed that).

Now, I can agree that Bush has handled many issues with a heavy hand. But for (some) Europeans to act against their own self-interest simply because our diplomats have bad manners is foolish and worthy of ridicule especially when a higher (more moral) cause is cited.

Get off your false soapbox. That America doesn't use its unrivaled power to try to simply take over everything and everyone is unique in world history (and, no, opening McDonald's in Paris does not equal an invasion. If Parisians didn't patronize McDonald's, it would close. Can't get more democratic than that). That we want others to live as well as we do is worthy of respect. And just because we benefit in the process should not inherently call our motives into question. No government should act against its own interests. So stop trying to brow beat us for doing what we believe is right.

In addition to trying to oust a dictator who killed many times more of his own people than this war ever will, contain WMD, root out terrorists and keep oil prices stable, we are just trying to make this a better world for all freedom loving people. You think France has such altruistic motivations?
Looks like someone just bought a case of French Whine...nmjaybird
Mar 14, 2003 9:54 AM
Both sides are behaving like petulant children. nmOldEdScott
Mar 14, 2003 10:12 AM
I'll admit I didn't like my HS French teacher nmContinental
Mar 11, 2003 8:35 PM
The French are many things...moneyman
Mar 14, 2003 10:41 AM
Ungrateful, arrogant, cowards, and conceited to name a few, but they are NOT an ethnic group. They are a nation distinguished by their language and culture, but they are not ethnically different than most Brits.

Mar 14, 2003 10:54 AM
"Ethic" is defined as "Of or relating to a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage." (emphasis added,
OK, I'm wrongmoneyman
Mar 14, 2003 11:05 AM
If sharing the cultural values of ungratefulness, arrogance, cowardice, and conceit are traits of ethnicity, they are certainly an ethnic group. My apologies.

OK, I'm wrongMJ
Mar 14, 2003 11:10 AM
they didn't seem so cowardly in WW1
Wait! Maybe you're right.czardonic
Mar 14, 2003 12:42 PM
Based on that description, I see little difference between the French and a considerable number of Americans.
Chalk it up to bully pride.czardonic
Mar 14, 2003 10:49 AM
These American ultra-patriots will flat out admit that Iraq is on the top of their regime-change list because it will be the easiest member of the Axis of Evil to defeat. Is it any wonder that given the choice between taking out their frustration on Russia, Germany and France, they choose the country that they percieve as being the weakest?
Didn't know they were in the axes of evil (nm)Captain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 10:58 AM
The Axis of Evil seems a very inclusive term these days.OldEdScott
Mar 14, 2003 11:23 AM
Complete Military History of FranceRoadnMtn
Mar 14, 2003 11:06 AM
Sorry...this is not RACIAL best of my rememberance of anthropology....there is not a French RACE...Being French would be a heritage, or place of birth...let's see...Black, Caucausion, Asian, Hispanic, French? Nope...definately not a French Race that I am aware of....but they do have a colorful military history.

- - Gallic Wars - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian.

- - Hundred Years War - Mostly lost. Saved at last moment by
schizophrenic teenaged girl, who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman."

- - Italian Wars - Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.

- - Wars of Religion - France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots

- - Thirty Years War - France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.

- - War of Devolution - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.

- - The Dutch War - Tied

- - War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War - Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.

- - War of the Spanish Succession - Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.

- - American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when
America does most of the fighting."

- - French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.

- - The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.

- - The Franco-Prussian War - Lost. Germany plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.

- - World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraeulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.

- - World War II - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning all four stanzas of the Horst Wessel Song.

- - War in Indochina - Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu

- - Algerian Rebellion - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.

- - War on Terrorism - France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador, fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.
Mar 14, 2003 11:10 AM
So this is the best you can come up with to end the French bashing, that someone is intimidated by the French culture or is a bigot? Surely you have something more incisive to add that will sway minds.

Got to go for now and thanks, in honor of your post, I will order some 'freedom fries' with my burger. (I do like the Tour de France though)
Listen Up, French loversCaptain Morgan
Mar 14, 2003 11:14 AM
How could anyone think the French are being productive in this situation? If they want peace, wouldn't they want diplomacy? It is not reasonable to say you are going to vote against (much less veto) a resolution before it is even drafted. Furthermore, don't you think it is hypocritical to say you will veto a resolution in the name of peace, when the likely outcome of the veto is war?

I have no problem with them desiring peace, as most of us do. It is how they manifested their desires. They have not been productive, helpful, OR reasonable... to NEITHER the United States NOR Iraq. (Perhaps on a deeper level they WANT us to take out Saddam -- but with their country looking like the doves in this situation)
I didn't say it (some quotes):DougSloan
Mar 14, 2003 12:01 PM
"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes." ---Mark Twain

"I just love the French. They taste like chicken!"
---- Hannibal Lecter

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me."
--- General George S. Patton

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." --Norman Schwartzkopf

"We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it." ---- Marge Simpson

"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure"
---Jacques Chirac, President of France
"As far as France is concerned, you're right."
---Rush Limbaugh,

"The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." -- Regis Philbin

There was a Frenchman, an Englishman and Claudia Schiffer sitting together in a carriage in a train going through Provence. Suddenly the train went through a tunnel and as it was an old style train, there were no lights in the carriages and it went completely dark. Then there was a kissing noise and the sound of a really loud slap. When the train came out of the tunnel, Claudia Schiffer and the Englishman were sitting as if nothing had happened and the Frenchman had his hand against his face as if he had been slapped there. The Frenchman was thinking: 'The English fella must have kissed Claudia Schiffer and she missed him and slapped me instead.' Claudia Schiffer was thinking: 'The French fella must have tried to kiss me and actually kissed the Englishman and got slapped for it.' And the Englishman was thinking: 'This is great. The next time the train goes through a tunnel I'll make another kissing noise and slap that French bastard again.'

"The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore. True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don't know." --- P.J O'Rourke (1989)

Next time there's a war in Europe, the loser has to keep France.

An old saying:
Raise your right hand if you like the French....
Raise both hands if you are French.

"You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn't have the face for it."
---John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona

"You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people."
--Conan O'Brien

"I don't know why people are surprised that France won't help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn't help us get the Germans out of France!"
---Jay Leno

"The last time the French asked for 'more proof' it came marching into Paris under a German flag."
--David Letterman

"Runaway" by Del Shannon,
"Walk Right In" by the Rooftop Singers,
"Everybody's Somebody's" Fool by Connie Francis,
"Running Scared" by Roy Orbison,
"I Really Don't Want to Know" by Tommy Edwards,
"Surrender" by Elvis Presley,
"Save It For Me" by The Four Seasons,
"Live and Let Die" by Wings,
"I'm Leaving It All Up To You" by Donny and Marie Osmond,
"What a Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers,
"Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
"Raise Your Hands" by Jon Bon Jovi
I hear Chirac wants a place in history and a Nobel (nm)KeeponTrekkin
Mar 14, 2003 8:29 PM
re: American Bashers: Listen UpDougSloan
Mar 17, 2003 7:18 AM
Suppose the French, among others, tell "American" jokes? Come on, we know darn well that half the planet thinks we're a bunch of renegade cowboys and jokes about that. I suppose the rule is that you can only make fun of the big guy.

re: American Bashers: Listen Upzing
Mar 17, 2003 8:38 AM
I'll bet they have years and years of good joke fodder after GWB's presidency. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic and depressing that he is dividing the world, not to mention his own country. It's true that the French believe stereotypes about the US. The movies we export, Schwartzenegger, Bowling for Columbine, all those lame Hollywood blockbusters, do not show our country in a profound light. Some think we are a country of gun-toting, violence-addicted, arrogant, ignorant people with no regard for culture and no knowledge of history. The newspaper reports that most high school students in the U.S. can't even locate Iraq on a world map. So we start a preventive war to dispel all these stereotypes...? Right. I have spent approximately one year of my life in France, and I am always an ambassador for my country. Mostly what I find is an intense curiosity about America. I was there during 9-11, and a French woman in a cafe, a complete stranger, detected my accent as American, and took my hand, embraced it and was near tears as she told me how sick she was about what had happened, how she absolutely loves the US, had lived in New York for a time. In Europe then the sentiment was extremely pro-US. It's a dirty shame that GWB is squandering all the good will.
re: American Bashers: Listen Uppurplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 9:32 AM
You're so right. I guess you hope there will be more attacks on the US so that more of the world will love us.

Although Bush could have handled our allies with more respect, I think you're way off base attributing to him 100% of the rift that has ensued.
more attacks - great!zing
Mar 17, 2003 10:29 AM
Come on, I would never wish for more attacks on us. But GWB is sure playing into the terrorists' hands by launching this war. What better motivation for Al Qaeda to start recruiting? You heard of Israel? Suicide bombings on a daily basis in crowded streets, malls, restaurants... Could happen here and probably will. Nothing can prevent an angry Muslim from blowing him/her self up and taking lots of bystanders out too. Remember, bombs were not dropped on the WTC on 9-11, American planes were used. Disarming Saddam will not prevent such things. It may placate people who can't tell the difference, or who just want to feel better because we bomb a country in the Middle East.

How am I way off base saying Bush caused the rift? He has a rift with most of the world right now. Guess they all just can't see him for the great leader he is, huh?
more attacks - great!purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 10:48 AM
You're off base because it takes two to tango. Bush didn't treat our allies with the deference they wanted, and now they're throwing a temper tantrum and discrediting themselves in the process. Why do I say this? Because the French, Russians and Germans are acting without principles, trying to bully us with a supposedly more moral argument. But no one believes that they really care about the people of Iraq or the safety of OUR troops. They hate that they are growing increasingly insignificant, and I don't blame them. But stop using their arguments against the war. It's bullshit.

I've been expecting homicide bombers in this country for a while. Extremists feed on weakness and appeasement. If the world had reacted strongly and with force against the terrorists going back to the 1972 Olympics in Munich, we would not be in this mess now. There simply would have been no opportunity for the movement to evolve because their tactics wouldn't have worked. It is because they HAVE worked that they continue to be used (and no country deserves more of the blame for appeasement than France). But by standing up to them, and saying, "No More" we are beginning a long but ultimately successful process of stomping out Islamists and their kind of behavior.

Disarming Saddam is just a small part of a big war. The biggest battles should be fought in US-supported classrooms of Muslim countries. That isn't happening. Looks like I'll have to take over the world sooner than I thought.
Mar 17, 2003 11:07 AM
Israel has been trying to appease terrorists and that's why there's just no terrorism there anymore. It's just been completely eradicated in this "long but successful process of stomping out Islamists and their kind of behavior", as you can hear almost every day on the news.
Mar 17, 2003 1:11 PM
It is not the Israelis who appease terrorists, our allies are doing that, but Israel pays the price. And, now, so do we. As I said, if it was unacceptable and got them nothing, they wouldn't do it.
You're on to something (though I suspect it is inadvertant)czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 11:27 AM
It does take two to tango. Bush blew it by failing to recognizing that simple fact. He basically reduced our fomer allies to the role of rubber-stamping our policy. Knowing that war would procede with or without their approval, the French, Russians and Germans were free to take the moral high road and agitate for a peaceful, diplomatic solution. It is what the vast majority of their people wanted anyway. Why should they shoot themselves in the foot at home just to play a subserviant role in Bush's posse, a-la Blair?

It is clear that the US is the 800 pound gorilla in the international arena. There is no doubting that everyone else is of lesser significance. But that does not mean that dictating policy to an unwilling and resentful world is a wise path for the US.

"But by standing up to them, and saying, 'No More' we are beginning a long but ultimately successful process of stomping out Islamists and their kind of behavior."

"Stomping" things out is their kind of behavior. But don't expect a warm welcome to their "do as we say or we will kill you" club.
You're on to something (though I suspect it is inadvertant)purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 1:19 PM
Look, violence is violence. Sometimes it produces something good overall, sometimes not. I don't believe it is intolerant to want to stop the behavior of a group that wants to force people to believe one thing, or die. Our two competing civilizations are not equal. They're not equally good, equally tolerant, equally relevant. That's too bad, but it's reality. Given the freedom to choose, and I mean that in the largest possible sense, I don't believe many human beings would embrace an Islamist culture whereas you can see how many want to live here.

The politicians "should" shoot themselves in the foot if it's what they believe is right. I know it's rare for any politician to have that much integrity, but it would only breed respect. Then, perhaps, more people's opinions would change. As it is, most people believe that politicians only do things for their own expediency. Thus, even if something really is the morally best solution, it's just so easy to be a scoffer.
Nobody is offering anyone the "freedom to choose".czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 1:42 PM
Unless you consider a choice where death from above is an option to be "free".

The fact is that many people do embrace Islamist and other repressive cultures. Why do you think billions of people live under those conditions? It isn't prefferable to liberal-democracy, but it is prefferable to anarchy and tribal warfare.

Iraq's is bitterly divided "nation" carved arbitrarily out of ethnically distinct territories. How is democracy going to protect the already deprived Kurds, or the outnumbered Sunnis from the Shia majority? What happens if the Shia team up with the other "Axis of Evil" member Iran (95% Shia). Are you going to respect their freedom of choice?

Democracy's merits notwithstanding, it doesn't happen overnight. It has taken over 200 years of struggle for it to reach the far from perfect state that American democracy has attained.

And, as you have demonstratied, there are still those who don't realize that in a democracy, it is the responsibility of the elected to represent the electorate. It is not a democratically elected leader's right to dictate policy and ignore public sentiment. That is what is know as "dictatorship".
200 years?Captain Morgan
Mar 17, 2003 2:12 PM
Seems like Japan and Germany were able to do it, with our help, in a few decades.

Also, regarding your comment about the protection of the Kurds and Sunnis, what makes you think they are protected now? I do not agree that we are going to make things worse in this respect.
Then maybe we should be listening to the Germans and Japanese.czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 2:28 PM
Since these countries have done in two generations it took us two centuries to accomplish, maybe people like you should spend less time marginalizing their point of view on how to deal with Iraq and North Korea.

The Sunnis and Kurds are only protected now by the threat of US force. Is the US going to maintain its containment stance towards the new government and keep the no-fly zones in place? Realize that while Iraq is functionally a dictatorship, it is nominally a republic. It is in fact an object lesson in the ways that unstable "modern" government can go awry.
Yes, listen to themCaptain Morgan
Mar 17, 2003 2:41 PM
Can you please tell me what led to the dramatic change in these countries conversion to democratic systems? Perhaps they did it themselves, right? Or was it a REGIME CHANGE?

Anyway, Japan is with the U.S. on this issue, not Germany.

Regarding the Sunnis and Kurds, it sounds like you are agreeing with me that they are not safe under the current government without our help. Therefore, your original post that they will be more endangered once we begin our occupation is confusing.
Iraq is not a Japan or a Germany.czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 4:29 PM
Japan and Germany were both realtively homogeneous states in the thrall of populist dictators. Misguided as they were, the Japanese and Germans were at largely cohesive societies with a sense of national identity. Iraq has none of these foundations to build on which to build a new nation. No trust of central authority, no sense of national identity, and probably no desire to be lumped together into a state shaped by outsiders.

As for Japan, I was referring to their desire along with South Korea to deal with the North Korean situation peacefully and civily, as opposed to Bush's characteristic shooting off at the mouth and bullying. (Again, just because you can, doesn't mean that you should.)

As it stands, Kurds and Sunnis are protected by a (mostly) American enforced no-fly zone. The reasons that they came under attack (ethnic rivalry and sepratist ambitions) will not go away with Saddam. They will remain minorities, and the Kurds especially will continue to agitate for their own state. Democracy won't change any of that.
You mean countries are different?!Captain Morgan
Mar 17, 2003 6:38 PM
Germans were a largely cohesive society -- with the exception of the killing off of a race/ethnicity in their society.

Bush bullying NK? What the hell are you talking about? He has been ignoring their direct threats. Isn't it Japan who is now threatening to arm themselves, and also sent some ships off NK's coast to monitor their missile activities? I dunno what world you're living in.

Does Liberalism have to come with such negativity and falsehoods? Or is that part of the Agnosticism? It seems like you look at life through crap-colored glasses.
If you're going to play dumb, I quit.czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 7:05 PM
Because you are going to win.

First, Germany was a homogenous society by the time the war was over. Germany started the war in the name of nationalism, and eliminated everyone that didn't agree. If you disagree, please tell me what significant ethnic factions divide today's Germany.

Second, Bush's hasn't ignored North Korea's direct threats There haven't been any. He directly threatened North Korea in his "Axis of Evil" speech, and has made it clear ever since that North Korea's sole choice is to bow before him and beg for forgiveness. I consider that bullying.

Third, this is the second time you have betrayed your ignorance of political identity. "Liberalism" is the ideology of those who see nothing by rainbows and peaceable solutions.

Fourth, I am not an agnostic.
If you're going to play dumb, I quit.purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 7:15 PM
"Second, Bush's hasn't ignored North Korea's direct threats There haven't been any. He directly threatened North Korea in his "Axis of Evil" speech, and has made it clear ever since that North Korea's sole choice is to bow before him and beg for forgiveness. I consider that bullying."

Wow, that is just about the biggest twisting of the facts I think I've ever seen.

Then what are the facts? What threat was made to us? (nm)czardonic
Mar 18, 2003 10:38 AM
If you're going to play dumb, I quit.purplepaul
Mar 18, 2003 4:13 PM
Perhaps you missed NK's admission that they were working on a nuclear program in contravention of their agreements with the world. Then, when we stopped bribing them with food and oil, they expelled inspectors, cut seals on nuclear equipment and declared that they were entitled to develop nuclear weapons. Then they said if sanctions were implemented, war was declared. Then, they intercepted a US plane in international air space. Then they said that it wasn't just the US that could launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

Bullying comes to mind, but not about the US.
For the most part, they simply asserted their soverignty.czardonic
Mar 18, 2003 6:41 PM
Much as India, Pakistan etc have done. The US is really in no position to dictate to other nations what weapons they have, especially when the US has the very weapons it denies others, and uses the threat of those weapons to deter others from obtaining them. Its one person saying to another, "Guns are wrong so don't use them. Pick one up and I'll shoot you."

Imposing sanctions is a clear act of aggression. Imagine if Saudi Arabia refused to supply us with oil unless we abandoned our nuclear program.

If this US plane was in international airspace, North Korean planes have just as much of a right to be in that space.

Finally, Bush and his NSS justify North Korea's threat of pre-emptive action agains us. By Bush's own reasoning, if North Korea percieves us as a threat, they are justified in striking us pre-emptively.

It seems to me that North Korea is really just rattling its sabre to remind Bush that he can't touch them. Bush's approach to North Korea from the start was very clumsy, and his "Axis of Evil" statement was provocative. I think that deep down Bush means well, but his simplistic and reactionary approach to diplomacy is out-matched by practiced gamesmen like Saddam and Il. In the case of Saddam, he use his superior military power to even the score. But in the case of North Korea, he has no way to call their bluff.

Since just about everyone agrees that the only option is to settle the matter peacefully, Bush should have done so quietly and spared himself the embarassment of North Korea's unanswerable provocations. By shooting his mouth off and refusing to negotiate, Bush is only going to make himself look more foolish when the compromises are made to draw North Korea back into line.
For the most part, they simply asserted their soverignty.purplepaul
Mar 18, 2003 9:27 PM
What NK has done is break international laws and treaties. There is also a world wide consensus that no more countries should have access to nuclear weapons and that any nuclear power reactors must be monitored by an international body. NK will not allow this. BTW, the only thing a 5 megawatt nuclear power plant is good for is weapons production. It wouldn't provide enough power for one city block.

Sanctions are not a declaration of war. They are a way of trying to mold behavior without violence. NK stated that sanctions were tantamount to bombing their soil.

Nowhere on earth is it acceptable for two planes to fly within 50 feet of each other. That is extreme harrassment and could easily lead to warplanes being sent to shoot down the NK plane.

I will give you two things: it is hypocritical to have weapons and tell others not to. I'd hate it if I were afraid of a more powerful country, but I'd hate it more if I had designs on regional or world domination. Again, though, all the current nuclear powers have agreed that it is better that no others obtain them (in other words, the US is not alone in this).

Second, pre-emptive strikes have the immense potential for abuse and it is amusing that NK is using it against us. It is very serious to change from defensive war to offensive. However, if the threat is real and large I believe a pre-emptive strike is justified as long as the objective can be achieved. NK has no chance of winning a war against us and would just be killing out of spite.

But you raise two very complex issues that are well beyond my feeble brain's ability to explain. The best answer would be global consensus, something I'm not sure is or ever was reasonable to expect.
Global concensus has not weight of law. More info.czardonic
Mar 19, 2003 11:31 AM
That is the rub with nuclear non-proliferation, it is simply a gentlemanly agreement by countries without existing nuclear weapons to not obtain them.

There is a long but worthy article that makes some interesting points about the issue here:
Nobody is offering anyone the "freedom to choose".purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 3:56 PM
We are offering the freedom to choose. Some may die. Why should this be any different than any other price paid for freedom? But many more will live.

I think you're confusing "Islamist" with "Islamic." People don't choose to live in an Islamist state. It's thrust upon them with violence and the threat (often carried out) of death. Who in their right mind would choose such a thing?

Iraq is going to be a tricky country to manage because of tribal hatred. But they will all be given the opportunity to live a better life because their oppressors will be gone. If we make it clear that it's NOT okay to kill people simply because of their "tribe" then I believe we will get to a point where people can hate each other without having to follow up with slaughter.

I don't understand your last paragraph. Bush is doing what the electorate wants. But, occassionally, a politician must act against what his constituents want because he strongly believes he is right (think Churchill). Remember that as constituents, we have elected people to act for us. They are accountable to us at election time. If they disappoint us enough, we can try to force an impeachment. But our leaders should not have to conduct a poll to know how to deal with every situation.
Maybe you should join the Taliban.czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 4:48 PM
Seriously. You say of Islamism that " It's thrust upon them with violence and the threat (often carried out) of death." Kind of like the way that you are thrusting "Democracy" on them. The Taliban also have a abunch of elaborate rationalizations to justify cramming their beliefs down other's throats, and like you, they didn't mind losing a few in the process.

As you say, some will die. Why should it be different? It already is. The most fundamental aspect of liberty is the right to choose how you want to live, and choose whether or not you are ready to die to obtain or protect that lifestyle. That choice can not be made for you (or at least not under the auspices of freedom).

Something tells me that stemming generations of blood feud and ethnic rivalry is more than a matter of sitting people down and delivering a stern lecture on right and wrong. I guess if they don't embrace your wisdom, "some may die." Why not avoid this war altogether by sitting Saddam Hussein down and telling him that it is "NOT okay to kill people". If there is one thing that Bush and his war is "NOT" going to show the people of Iraq, its that killing people is "NOT" the way to get what you want.
Maybe you should join the Taliban.purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 6:12 PM
Ah, where to start? Well, if our allies had not hampered us at every opportunity to show Saddam that his behavior was unacceptable, we wouldn't be in this mess now. I don't propose to lecture rival tribes. I propose the show and use of force when necessary. Kind of like a place where rules are drawn up and everyone agrees to follow those rules and then when someone doesn't, they get punished. I think we call that CIVILIZATION.

Your second paragraph is a joke. The people of Iraq are not free now. That's the problem. They aren't free not to be free. They are what Saddam tells them they are. Are you seriously suggesting that it's enslaving to be given freedom? Is it your argument that the North was immoral because some slaves were killed in the crossfire during the Civil War? I suppose if a poll were taken some would say they'd rather live out their lives in slavery rather than risk being killed during liberation. But history shows overwhelmingly that the enslaved wish to be free. And our armed forces take extreme precautions to avoid civilian casualties. Lest we forget, though, our primary purpose is not to free the Iraqis. It's to oust Saddam and his regime. We don't need Iraq's permission for that.

As for joining the Taliban, I think I'll leave that to you.
The Taliban wouldn't have me. I'm not a Conservative.czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 7:12 PM
I'll leave the gun-point consensus building to you and your political fundamentalist pals.

Personally, I believe that if we are going to go about raining down hell-fire on the opressed in hopes that not to many will die before they are liberated, we ought to at least wait to be asked. I think that's the "civilized" thing to do. Iraqi's want to be liberated, but not by us. They know where Saddam got the weapons that he uses to torment them, and they remember being betrayed the last time we preteneded to care about them.
The Taliban wouldn't have me. I'm not a Conservative.purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 7:18 PM
Ah, name calling is the last gasp of a drowning czardonic.

As for being asked, what do you think the Iraqi opposition was doing at the White House?

I doubt the Iraqis care who liberates them so long as it's real.
I called you a name?czardonic
Mar 18, 2003 10:57 AM
I didn't take you for the sensitive type.

I don't think that a bunch of bourgois ex-pats can speak for the Iraqi people. I don't see them putting their lives on the line to win their freedom.

I would agree on not caring about the source of "real" liberation. I disagree that the US is the appropriate catalyst for liberation in that region, given its history or aiding Saddam, its alliance with fellow Kurd oppressor Turkey, and its generally conflicted motivations. Let's hope Bush does a better job of uniting Iraq and getting it on its feet than he has done for the US.
I called you a name?purplepaul
Mar 18, 2003 4:26 PM
Political fundamentalist? Didn't hurt my feelings. Just made me laugh.

Now, do you profess to actually know what you're talking about? Because I've got news for you: you don't. Those "bourgois ex-pats" were forced to flee Iraq because Saddam would have killed them after they tried to overthrow him. Many of them are in and out of Iraq trying to build support for his removal. Doing so puts their lives at risk.

I think the one thing that will come out of this war is the fact that it's hard to hate America more than some Americans do.
No harm, no foul.czardonic
Mar 19, 2003 11:36 AM
We'll just have to see whether or not these guys are a vialbe replacement. My guess is that we will be propping them up for a long time to come.

One never quite knows how American forces will be recieved, regardless of their benevolent intent. We went to Somalia with no other intent than feeding starving people and protecting them from warlords.
The Taliban are Conservative?Captain Morgan
Mar 18, 2003 3:30 AM
I thought Conservatives were against change? Isn't it the Taliban who radically changed life in Afghanistan? Conservatives, by definition, would obstruct such change and would have preferred the status quo.
Damn ConservativeOldEdScott
Mar 18, 2003 10:02 AM
They want to return to the status quo -- of the 12th Century.
Mar 18, 2003 10:52 AM
To say that Conservatives are "against change" is incorrect. They are against progress, and for regress to "traditional" values. From gun control to reproductive rights to sex education to affirmative action, Conservatives are very much in favor of change back to the societal mores of a generation (or more) ago. The also tend to favor a strict but very narrow adherence to religious custom and law, which typically cast women in subserviant roles and reduces law enforcement to punitive "eye for an eye" measures.

You must remeber that before 9/11, the only groups complaining about the Taliban were "liberals" who were decrying their brutal repression of women and absolutitst theocracy (which motivated them to destroy ancient symbols of other religions).
Bad boy, Saddam! Bad boy!Captain Morgan
Mar 17, 2003 6:31 PM
Although I disagree with most of your posts, I usually can understand your points you are trying to make. Today hasn't been your best debating, czardonic. I have no idea where you are going. Read your last paragraph. Maybe we should have sat Hitler down and told him it is bad to kill Jews, too.
I was being facetious (nm)czardonic
Mar 17, 2003 7:13 PM
You're on to something (though I suspect it is inadvertant)purplepaul
Mar 17, 2003 8:31 PM
Look, violence is violence. Sometimes it produces something good overall, sometimes not. I don't believe it is intolerant to want to stop the behavior of a group that wants to force people to believe one thing, or die. Our two competing civilizations are not equal. They're not equally good, equally tolerant, equally relevant. That's too bad, but it's reality. Given the freedom to choose, and I mean that in the largest possible sense, I don't believe many human beings would embrace an Islamist culture whereas you can see how many want to live here.

The politicians "should" shoot themselves in the foot if it's what they believe is right. I know it's rare for any politician to have that much integrity, but it would only breed respect. Then, perhaps, more people's opinions would change. As it is, most people believe that politicians only do things for their own expediency. Thus, even if something really is the morally best solution, it's just so easy to be a scoffer.
You silly French lover youCaptain Morgan
Mar 17, 2003 11:05 AM
Might I remind you that the last poll shows that 74% of Americans support this war, and that number continues to rise. And there are plenty of countries that are with us in this endeavor.

In the Wall Street Journal today, there is an article regarding all of the Arab countries that are supporting us, either publicly or privately, in this situation, including Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. This weekend, several Shiite clerics came out and said this is a holy war -- against Saddam. The article also states that the Arab League was planning to go to Iraq to show solidarity with the U.S.'s position, but Syria blocked that effort. Not too many Saddam supporters willing to martyr themselves in his name.

Liberals such as yourself say that we should ignore Saddam and focus on people like Kim over in North Korea. However, you fail to realize that the only difference between NK's threat and Iraq's threat is that we allowed Kim to fully develop WMD.

The French have every right to be anti-war. However, THEY pulled the plug on diplomacy. By adamently saying they would veto ANY more resolutions, they provide incentive for the status quo, even though the French actions have lead more directly to war.

Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time-a!