I've been picked to debate the pro-side of the War


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AZRickD
May 9, 2004, 09:38 PM
A local Phoenix talk radio show host, Ernest Hancock (http://www.ernesthancock.com) has scheduled a debate on the pros and cons of the Iraqi War. He will have two radio hosts from his station, the 50,000 watt blow torch, 1100 AM arguing the anti-war side (conservative Charles Goyette, who was fired by Clear Channel for being anti-war; and liberal Mike Newcomb, who ran for governor a few years ago).

He had planned to have two hosts arguing the pro-war side but he couldn't find any that would "go on the record." So, the producer of the Bob Mohan show will be arguing the pro side. That leaves one spot open... uh, likely to be filled by me.

Problem is, I'm uncharacteristically squishy on this issue (my "conservo-libertarianism" clashing with itself, I guess), so I would like your help to point me to some pro-arguments.

These would cover the chronology from the original Gulf War, to the first UN Declarations, to the inspections to the attacks on US planes in the No-Fly-Zone, The World Trade Center attacks, Afghanistan, "Axis of Evil," weapons of mass destruction, or not, to the recent UN Declarations, to the votes by Congressmen, flip-flopping, to the running of the war, (semi-unilaterally to quasi-ununilaterally), to the current status of the war, nation-building, to the exit strategy, to the definition of winning... etc, etc.

Thanks for your help.

Rick
Fence Sitter Debat-guy

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Jim March
May 9, 2004, 09:53 PM
Start with my second post here:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=80949

Once you understand that "Ba'ath" is literally an Arab translation of "Nazi" in terms of ideology, it takes the wind out of Liberals sails real quick.

AZRickD
May 9, 2004, 11:54 PM
That's a good start.

Anybody want to tackle the issue of "preemptive strike?"

WMD?

Torture chambers vs US interrogators?

Rick

atek3
May 10, 2004, 04:29 AM
Don't forget how Iraq was behind 9/11, at least that's what the majority of americans surveyed believe :fire:

atek3

ThreadKiller
May 10, 2004, 01:02 PM
Hmmm.... I never once believed that Iraq was directly tied to 9/11. I don't remember the Bush Admin asserting that to be true. I do remember Iraq being named alongwith Iran and Korea as part of the "Axis of Evil." We were told the WOT would long, difficult and would range all over the globe. We were told it was a "new kind of war."

Pre-emptive strikes? I'm all for 'em. In this day and age where one man armed with an all too available nucwep, we as a country have to be willing to fight this new threat. A little 1K device detonated in downtown Chicago, LA, San Fran, Seattle, Denver would devastate the US economy, mainly because the sheep would panic and tear themselves apart.

I still believe the Admin has access to much more intel than any of our armchair generals will ever have.

Until 2003, even John Kerry publicly believed there were WMD's in Iraq. So did many of his DNC counterparts. Now of course, they're singing a different song.

Saddam had a 707 up north in Salmon Pak for terrorist training purposes. He gave families of suicide bombers $25K. He was aiding and abetting terrorists. He had to go.

One of many that will go.

Tim

AZRickD
May 11, 2004, 11:17 AM
From Media Research Center www.mrc.org

http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040510.asp#2

As promised, on Fox News Sunday, in reaction to Nightline’s April 30 listing of the names of those killed in Iraq, Chris Wallace delivered a “What We’ve Accomplished” segment on his program.

Wallace listed “ending the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein,” including “ending the systematic torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis,” “ending the theft of billions of dollars from the Iraqi people” and “ending the threat that weapons of mass destruction will be developed and used”; Second, “quality of life” as “daily life has improved dramatically for the average Iraqi since the fall of Saddam” as “2,500 schools have been renovated, with another 800 to be finished soon” and “major progress has also been made in health care”; Third, “human rights” with “a fully functioning legal and judicial system” and freedom of speech. Plus, Iraqis now have satellite dishes, are flocking to Internet cafes, are enthralled with having private conversations on cell phones and the U.S. has done a lot to improve electricity service and clean up sewage.

For those who missed it, below is the full transcript, starting with Wallace’s explanatory introduction:
“As many of you may know by now, we thought the ABC News program Nightline made a mistake last week, listing all the brave men and women who died in Iraq but without providing the context of what they died for. So we said that we would put together our own tribute, our own list of what these brave men and women have built in Iraq.
“A couple of points before we begin. Some of you have written in saying that we're pushing the White House agenda. As you saw in the last segment, there are plenty of hard questions to ask about the Bush administration's policy in Iraq, and we will keep asking them.
“There were also times this week when you couldn't help but wonder about putting on the good news from Iraq, as we saw those ugly pictures from inside Abu Gharib prison. But the more we thought about it, what better time to talk about what the vast majority of our troops are doing there? What better time to try to make sense of the sacrifice of the 767 men and women who have died in Iraq? We call our tribute, 'What We've Accomplished.’"

Over matching video of the scenes and events described by Wallace, he then launched the segment which lasted just short of seven minutes:
“First, ending the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. Ending the systematic torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Since Saddam was overthrown, investigators have found dozens of mass graves, in which more than 300,000 Iraqis were buried. Ending the theft of billions of dollars from the Iraqi people. Since 1991, Saddam built 48 palaces, at a time when his regime said it did not have the resources to build housing. And an investigation has found Saddam stole more than $11 billion from the UN's oil-for-food program. Ending the threat that weapons of mass destruction will be developed and used. Since the invasion, U.S. inspectors have not found WMD. But during its time in power, Saddam's regime manufactured chemical and biological weapons and, at one point, actively pursued nuclear weapons.”
“Second, quality of life. Daily life has improved dramatically for the average Iraqi since the fall of Saddam, but it has come at a cost. These three soldiers [three pictures on screen] were killed last July while they guarded a hospital in Baquba. Under the old regime, little money was spent on education and there was no schedule for maintaining school facilities. So far, 2,500 schools have been renovated, with another 800 to be finished soon.”
Young girl, through translator: “They put in electricity for us and a fan for us so we could get some air, and I say thanks to God.”
Another young girl, through translator: “Before, the school was dirty and not clean, and even the bathroom was not good. This year they made a new bathroom for us, and they changed the building and painted it well.”
Wallace: “What children are learning in school has also changed. Before the war the government fired teachers for not following the party line. Almost nine million new math and science textbooks have been printed and distributed. Old books were filled with pro-Saddam propaganda. And here are U.S. troops handing out knapsacks full of school supplies in Samarra [inside a schoolroom]. This just days after those four American contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated in Fallujah.
“Major progress has also been made in health care. Under Saddam, the Ministry of Health spent $16 million a year. The current budget is almost $1 billion. The health care system is now open to all Iraqis, with 30 percent more people now using the facilities. Doctors, who used to get $20 a month, now earn up to $180. Modern medication such as cancer drugs are now available, something unheard of during the Saddam years.
“Last Sunday, these five Navy Seabees [pictures on screen] were killed in the Sunni triangle while on assignment rebuilding schools and medical facilities for the Iraqis.
“Third, human rights. Since the end of Saddam, a fully functioning legal and judicial system has been developed. More than 600 judges are working in courtrooms across the country. Iraqis charged with crimes now have rights that would have been laughed at under the old regime: the right to remain silent when they're arrested; the right to a fair, speedy and open trial; the right to a defense lawyer at all stages of the process.
“Iraqis now enjoy freedom of speech. Street protests against the U.S. occupation are now routine in Baghdad, something that in the past would have earned these demonstrators imprisonment or death. There is also something approaching freedom of the press. Under Saddam, all newspapers were controlled by the government. This woman was a reporter for 27 years.”
Woman: “Before, we write as they tell us to write. Now we write what we believe.”
Wallace: “Now, 120 papers are being published, some of them critical of the U.S. The coalition has shut down only two papers, which it said were inciting violence.”
“This is another sign of new freedom [video of people using computers]: Internet cafes. Before, few people had access to computers, fewer still to the government-monitored Internet. Now people can communicate, get information or sound off in Web blogs.
“And here's more technology that was banned under Saddam Hussein: satellite dishes. Now more than one-third of Iraqi households receive news from around the world by way of these dishes. [video of dishes lining roofs]
“Finally, the economy and infrastructure. There's a new currency in Iraq. Gone are those ever-present pictures of Saddam in a country that used to have two weak currencies, there is now one stable form of money.
“Iraq's most important resource, oil, is showing a strong revival. Production now exceeds pre-war levels, averaging half a million barrels a day more than when Saddam was forced from power. Still, gasoline shortages have meant that U.S. soldiers often have to guard filling stations to prevent looting. Private First Class Jason Wright from the 101st Airborne Division was killed by a drive-by shooter as he protected Iraqis who were buying gas.
“One crucial area that has seen solid improvement is basic utilities. After years of neglect, Iraqis have electricity for only part of the day. By this summer, the average Iraqi will have electricity for 16 hours a day, 40 percent above pre-war levels. Under Saddam, only half of the country had access to clean drinking water. Now extensive renovations of water plants have brought cleaner water to more people, almost 15 million, on a more reliable basis.
“Before the war, few areas had proper sewage facilities. One example of what soldiers are doing on the ground is in Mosul, where a neighborhood was swamped with raw sewage for 17 years. The U.S. Army spent $40,000 to hire local workers, and the problem is fixed.
“Improvements in the infrastructure are widespread. Here are some key examples: Baghdad airport now has 43 passenger flights a day, including regular commercial service to Jordan. And look at something as simple as phone service. Under Saddam, cell phones were a luxury, reserved only for top party and government officials. Now, more than 340,000 Iraqis have cell phones, and business is booming.
“There's one other big difference: When Iraqis make a call now, they say no one is listening in.
Man: “I call him now on the phone. Now we can discuss anything. We are not, I am not afraid to say anything.”

Wallace, back on the Fox News Sunday set, wrapped up: “As we struggled to put all of this together, we were astonished by all that our troops have accomplished. And we'll keep an eye out so we can update you on some of the ways our troops are making life better for so many Iraqis.”

The home page for Fox News Sunday: www.foxnews.com

CyberAlert items on on Ted Koppel’s “The Fallen” editin of Nightline: www.mediaresearch.org

mercedesrules
May 11, 2004, 12:49 PM
(AZRickD) So, the producer of the Bob Mohan show will be arguing the pro side. That leaves one spot open... uh, likely to be filled by me.
Why would you want to do such a thing?
:confused:

boofus
May 11, 2004, 01:40 PM
While I don't agree with the timing of the Iraq war something did need to be done. Iraq was a loose end that needed dealing with. American and British pilots were still patrolling the Kurdish areas and Saddam's force would still take potshots at our planes with AA and surface-air missiles. Every time he defied the cease-fire he proved he could not be trusted. He played games with the UN for 12 years and squirreled away his arsenal including missiles and Mig-25 aircraft, so why wouldn't he be able to do the same with chemical or biological weapons. Also the terms of his surrender were for him to obey the UN resolutions for disarmament and inspections. By not abiding by those terms the war never ended. He broke his end of the contract.

UN sanctions WERE NOT working. They were bleeding the ordinary people dry while Saddam lined his pockets and those of various Europeans in the oil for food program. Hell he still had gold plated MP5s and Steyr AUGs and 13 or so palaces. Does that seem like someone that is being crippled economically?

What would the UN rather do? Starve all of the ordinary citizens of Iraq to death with more and more economic sanctions while Saddam lives up his life of luxury in those 13 mansions? The old way of dealing with Saddam was NOT working. It was time to try something else and that's exactly what Bush did. (though he should have waited til Bin Laden's head was on a stake before closing the Iraq loophole)

bountyhunter
May 11, 2004, 02:39 PM
Hmmm.... I never once believed that Iraq was directly tied to 9/11. I don't remember the Bush Admin asserting that to be true. No offense dude, but you are going to get clobbered (If the other guy is not brain dead).


better do some research on the dead horse you are going to be riding, you already have the fundamental point wrong: Bush did indeed say Iraq was a supporter of Al Qaeda and linked them to 9/11 on numerous occasions, the most notorious being his "victory" speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Both he and Cheney reversed themselves on that position with public statements a few months back and it made headlines on the nightly news.

He also said Iraq was supplying WMD to Al Qaeda (another total lie). Wear kevlar man, you are in for it. Stick to the argument that "Saddam just needed killing", because it's the only one the admin has put forth that hasn't been completely disproven.... and the rednecks always love it because they wanted somebody to pay for 9/11.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A2627-2003May1

Bush Speech Aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln

FDCH E-Media
Thursday, May 1, 2003; 9:43 PM


Excerpts From President Bush's speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to mark the end of major combat operations in Iraq.

/////We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th, the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got. (APPLAUSE)

////// The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men, the shock troops of a hateful ideology, gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the beginning of the end of America. By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation's resolve and force our retreat from the world. They have failed. (APPLAUSE)

////// From Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down Al Qaida killers. Nineteen months ago I pledged that the terrorists would not escape the patient justice of the United States. And as of tonight nearly one half of Al Qaida's senior operatives have been captured or killed. (APPLAUSE) The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al Qaida and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more.

bountyhunter
May 11, 2004, 02:45 PM
Why would you want to do such a thing? I wondered too, but was afraid to ask.

mercedesrules
May 11, 2004, 03:20 PM
(bountyhunter) quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why would you want to do such a thing?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wondered too, but was afraid to ask.
:D Sometimes, one has to just go for it :)

MR

telomerase
May 11, 2004, 09:54 PM
Good things about the war:

1. It has killed fewer Iraqis than the previous policy of blockading Iraq's civil economy while giving billions in Iraq's oil money directly to Saddam (well, with a cut for those UN bureaucrats).

2. It has ended the feuding between Sunni and Shiite sects (now they both want to see all Americans dead).

You're going to have some trouble with other issues, so practice on these:

1. The war is estimated to cost as much as terraforming Mars, and probably ten times as much as finding a cure for cancer. (Whereas normally we can choose the name of a nation's dictator for a mere couple of billion).

2. The war was never declared by Congress (Jefferson would have had a problem with this).

3. There were no WMDs, which is the only reason the US could build up a WWII-style army in concentrated bases in Kuwait. The war serves as a deadly warning to every government: get WMDs or be invaded.

4. The US is now seen as a mass torturer worldwide, even by our allies (technically, we have more than one: Scotland, Wales, and Airstrip One).

5. Whether or not there was a massive global anti-American terrorist movement before, there will be now.

Gotta admire your pluck in taking the pro side! (Maybe you'll get a Kerry "send in the Peace Corps and put the UN in charge of the world" guy as an opponent, and they'll make the war look reasonable as an alternative...)

AZRickD
May 11, 2004, 11:46 PM
Why would you want to do such a thing?
Because debating is fun. Of course, usually I take the side upon that which I agree.

But I was asked by the radio host and moderator of this 4-way debate to fill the slot. Since all the pro-war people were in hiding, it would have made the debate four against one (sorta like "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher") and hence, really, really boring...certainly something that *I* wouldn't want to be in the audience for.

He agreed and said that he wanted me to moderate so that he could take on the pro-war side (he is Big-L Libertarian and opposes the Iraq war), but I convinced him that it would be better if I took the role.

A few months earlier at a debate, gun law writer
Alan Korwin (http://www.gunlaws.com) was to debate an anti-gun professor at Arizona State University. The professor found out who Alan was and refused to go on leaving Alan alone and left only to do a monologue about his new book Supreme Court Gun Cases (http://www.gunlaws.com/supreme.htm) . About 30 minutes before the show was to start, I asked the moderator to let me assume the anti-gun argument. I went table to table trying to collect and write down all the likely anti-gun arguments and techniques such a person might employ, "sensible gun laws," "we don't want to ban guns," "nobody needs an AK to hunt deer...".

It worked out well. I attempted to do, with a straight face, the anti-gun side. I was so convincing that a group of senior citizens in the front row, who didn't know who I was, were glaring at me for the whole hour+. One person in the middle of the group attempted to catch me in hypocracy by demanding to know what was in my fanny pack. I told him that it contained "cosmetics and toiletries." He glared at me.

The gig was up when I exceeded my ability to keep a straight face. One questioner wanted to know why I said, "guns are not the answer to our problems." I responded, quite reverently, and in the softest, tofu-slurping voice, "Sir,...in a post-Columbine world..." I lost it with a Danny Thomas spit-take. I had to bury my head in a linen napkin, I was laughing so hard. I eventually composed myself and continued, but it became a free-for-all after that.

And, Bounty Hunter, when you wrote, " No offense dude, but you are going to get clobbered (If the other guy is not brain dead)..." you are aware that it was ThreadKiller who wrote that, not me? Anyway, I have little problem with his point.

Rick

AZRickD
May 12, 2004, 12:32 AM
BTW, here's the radio station...

http://www.1100kfnx.com/index.shtml

bountyhunter
May 12, 2004, 02:34 PM
And, Bounty Hunter, when you wrote, " No offense dude, but you are going to get clobbered (If the other guy is not brain dead)..." you are aware that it was ThreadKiller who wrote that, not me? My bad.

bountyhunter
May 12, 2004, 02:40 PM
2. It has ended the feuding between Sunni and Shiite sects (now they both want to see all Americans dead). It also brought together two groups I would have never though could possibly be within a mile of each other without bloodshed: the Sunnis (who formely supported Saddam) and Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda (to wit, Bin Laden) and Saddam were mortal enemies because OBL had bragged he was going to dump Hussein's regime and install an Islamic theocracy. needless to say, Al Qaeda was persona non gratis in Iraq while Hussein was there. And as long as there was a chance Hussein might come back, the Sunni (Saddam Loyalists) were obliged to stay at a distance from Al Qaeda. Now that Saddam is toast, all the Sunni's are free agents and are going to fight for whichever side:

1) pays the best

2) kills the most Americans.

hence, Al Qaeda.

junyo
May 12, 2004, 03:39 PM
1. It has killed fewer Iraqis than the previous policy of blockading Iraq's civil economy while giving billions in Iraq's oil money directly to Saddam (well, with a cut for those UN bureaucrats).

Yep, we forced Saddam to steal money specifically allocated for humanitarian goals. Too bad we didn't consult with someone (like the Security Council) before those sanctions went into place, or didn't think of putting say, UN administrators in charge of the program to watch out for impropriety.

2. It has ended the feuding between Sunni and Shiite sects (now they both want to see all Americans dead).

Yeah, they just loved us before. All those videos they're always showing of them kissing American flags in the Middle East.

You're going to have some trouble with other issues, so practice on these:

1. The war is estimated to cost as much as terraforming Mars, and probably ten times as much as finding a cure for cancer. (Whereas normally we can choose the name of a nation's dictator for a mere couple of billion).

I'm assuming you have an itemized reciept for the cost of terraforming Mars? Because otherwise you'd just be throwing out a nonsense figure that sounded good, but meant nothing. Like 'larger than some US states' when the person actually means 'larger than Rhode Island' i.e. 'smaller than the average yard in Texas'. I've seen cost estimates for terraforming Mars from $450 bil (which seems like a lot of money) down to $10 bill (which the government probably spends on giveaway knicknacks for Airforce One). Comparisions are useless without a valid basis.

2. The war was never declared by Congress (Jefferson would have had a problem with this).

And no president since Reagan, Clinton included, has let that stop him from sending troops into combat. At least this president got specific authorization from Congress to do so.

3. There were no WMDs, which is the only reason the US could build up a WWII-style army in concentrated bases in Kuwait. The war serves as a deadly warning to every government: get WMDs or be invaded.

Um, no. Iraq had an obligation not just to not have WMDs, but to verify that it didn't have them. A convict's not allowed to have weapons; does his parole officer take him at his word when he says he's not carrying, despite the suspect bulge in his pocket? Could be a roll of quarters, could be a gun. Does he pat him down? And if the convict refuses to be patted down, does the parole officer say 'Okay, nothing I can do'? Or does the convict find himself over the hood of a car getting cuffed? The convict lost he right to refuse that search when he commited a crime. Iraq lost it's right to say what inspectors could or couldn't look at when they lost DS1. Therefore the warning should be, "If we even think you're holding, we reserve the right to look. BTW, we might break some stuff on the way in."

4. The US is now seen as a mass torturer worldwide, even by our allies (technically, we have more than one: Scotland, Wales, and Airstrip One).

France has openly done 'hard' interrogations for years. Police abuse doesn't contaminate evidence in most Western countries the way it does in the uS, so the police have a much freer hand to 'persuade' prisoners. If the world sees the US as torturers now, then that makes us much more 'Continental'.

5. Whether or not there was a massive global anti-American terrorist movement before, there will be now.

Whether or not? The first World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on US embassies, the USS Cole, 9/11... Isolated incidents huh?

telomerase
May 12, 2004, 10:47 PM
Whether or not? The first World Trade Center bombing, the attacks on US embassies, the USS Cole, 9/11... Isolated incidents huh?

All trivial. One guy with some ANFO and a bass boat could kill 100,000 Californians by knocking out one dam in California. Several biological agents could be deployed to kill millions for only a little more money. If there were really a worldwide terrorist organization with hundreds of millions of dollars (as claimed about Bin Laden), it wouldn't make a couple of piddling attacks and then do nothing for two years.

Either the "terrorists" are about as funded and organized as the KKK, or the terrorists are being manipulated and used by ambitious men as Spartacus was. Either way, the main threat to you and I is still the same one that killed 200 million people in the 20th century in "peacetime"... and that ain't a few raggedy men.

PS You do remember who paid for the first World Trade Center bomb, right?

telomerase
May 12, 2004, 10:51 PM
And no president since Reagan, Clinton included, has let that stop him from sending troops into combat. At least this president got specific authorization from Congress to do so.

You mean since FDR. Damn, now you made me say something good about FDR; I feel so dirty.

telomerase
May 12, 2004, 10:53 PM
If the world sees the US as torturers now, then that makes us much more 'Continental'.

Absolutely true. And that is good because...?

telomerase
May 12, 2004, 10:58 PM
I'm assuming you have an itemized reciept for the cost of terraforming Mars?

OK, I admit that the US government couldn't terraform Mars for the cost of the Iraq war. But private owners could; the technology to move asteroids around has been around since the '60s:

http://freedom.orlingrabbe.com/lfetimes/neil_armstrong.htm

charby
May 12, 2004, 11:38 PM
Mass Genocide (kurds and marsh arabs, others), miss approproations of Oil for Food, Raping women, supporting suicide bombers, death treats made to Bush Sr(1st gulf war), etc. Saddam, sons and loyal Baath party members were tyranical a-holes.

CaesarI
May 13, 2004, 12:15 AM
Anybody want to tackle the issue of "preemptive strike?"
Short story: Saddam Hussein demonstrated a history of violent aggression against his neighbors. Given his predilictions towards the construction of not so nice weapons (poison gas among them), it is reasonable to assume that he would continue this pursuit. Striking him while he was weaker, serves two purposes:
1. Easier to hit him now w/o the weapons.
2. Sends a deliberate message to the Islamo-fascists who have been eyeing us for signs of weakness. It supports Bush's previous statements that we would make war on "those nations that harbor and support terrorism". For examples of Saddam's support of terrorism:
a. $25,000 to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
b. In 1998 several terrorists were sent out from Iraq IIRC 30 teams, they were all caught, but they were still sent out.

Addtionally, Saddam surrendered unconditionally in 1991, we have maintained continous operations against him since then, he has violated the peace agreement, thus, we were in our rights to strike.

Lastly, it is argued that our motivations here were impure, that our "liberation" is inconsistent with previous actions. OK, so our record ain't spotless, does this mean we can't act to remove him now when it might be in our collective security self-interest? The guy's "evil" personally, I want all evil rulers removed from power. This would include N.Korea

If anyone even *starts* to say smack about "it's all about oil" call'em a moron and ask'em why we didn't invade Venezuela, from whom we get a larger share of our oil, when Venezuela's oil supplies dried up a little before the war due to political upheavals. Or why don't we invade Mexico? Or why didn't we just keep the oil wells in 1991 in the first place? This assertion is so bogus it isn't even funny, there are plenty of other countries we could have hit that had oil. There are not plenty of other openly hostile muslim nations that we could hit.

Actually, from a strategy standpoint, hope and pray they talk about oil. If they do, you can beat'em everywhich way to Sunday. And they'll look like TOTAL idiots.

WMD?
The best evidence available indicated that there was a good probability that Saddam had or would soon have WMDs. Presuming Bush et al. used cost-benefit analysis, what odds would be acceptable before it would be worth our striking? If there were a 10% chance Saddam had them, and might give them to hostile parties, would it be worth sending troops in?

Further, if Bush were right, and we waited, and we were hit with WMD's *first* what would the situation look like? More Americans dead, and Iraq would be radioactive. Does that sound good? Didn't think so.

Finally, if he did have WMDs how pre-emptive would you want Bush to be? The whole point of WMD's is that the very threat of their existence justifies pre-emption because the costs of waiting for a first-strike with WMD's are so terribly high. Do you think there wouldn't be martial law in 5 minutes after a WMD strike on US soil?

Torture chambers vs US interrogators?
The WSJ is doing an excellent job covering this issue.
I did a nice summary of their relevent remarks here:
http://www.thementalmilitia.org/clairefiles/index.php?act=ST&f=4&t=1099&st=15

1. We've condemned the actions.
2. A lot of Marines are very upset about the whole thing, on account of the negative effects its going to have.
3. People do weird, messed up things when they are put in positions of power, witness the Stanford Prison Experiment (http://www.prisonexp.org/) .
4. There's a lot of BS propoganda:
http://aztlan.net/castrate.htm <--- this is a porno picture
http://aztlan.net/iraqi_women_raped.htm <--- more porno (note the hair color of the girl in question, and the color of the camo)
5. In sum, building off of 4, there is a complete and total absence of any rationality of skepticism on the part of people condemning US actions now.

-Morgan

telomerase
May 13, 2004, 12:21 AM
personally, I want all evil rulers removed from power

Wonderful goal. May I suggest that removing the American aid from all evil rulers might be a good first step?

http://freedom.orlingrabbe.com/lfetimes/dependent_dictators.htm

AZRickD
May 13, 2004, 01:09 AM
Y'all have been very helpful with both sides.

I'll have to lock myself into the den for the next two nights, study up, and take notes.

This should be fun.

Rick

bountyhunter
May 13, 2004, 01:57 PM
Striking him while he was weaker, serves two purposes:
1. Easier to hit him now w/o the weapons.
: I actually agree with that statement in principle, but in application it had two gigantic problems:

1) Double standard. The US happily does business with agressive murdering tyrants when it serves our interests. We put saddam in the powerful position he was in by assisting him in pounding Iran into the dirt. Bottom line, we gave up the moral authority LOOOONG ago to point a finger at a tyrant and call him evil when our government stood quietly by as he slaughtered Kurds with poison gas.... because at the time he was still considered a valuable asset.

2) Troops held back for the Iraq war were desperately needed elsewhere. We were not in a position to go "terraforming" unfriendly regimes when we were in a genuine war with Al Qaeda. Period. We should have been 100% focused and committed to their destruction. When we had them cornered in Afghanistan we should have thrown everything at them including the kitchen sink.

So, I guess the real question is not whether thumping Iraq was justified, it's whether or not it was in our best interests overall. I believe the answer to that one is becoming abundantly clear.

CaesarI
May 13, 2004, 07:35 PM
The US happily does business with agressive murdering tyrants when it serves our interests.
I guess the real question is... whether or not it was in our best interests overall.

We hit Saddam now, and not then because then it was not in our best interests, cause we correctly identified the major threat of Iran. There are some who postulate that Bush's position is such that we now surround Iran on two borders, and as a result are in a position to put strong pressure on them.

The argument regarding splitting of resources is pretty weak. Battlefield tactics often dictate that one not solve problem #1 first, before solving problem #2. It's very simplistic linear thinking that doesn't take into acount that sometimes solving problem #2 might help overall problem #3. There are about half a dozen other examples where it is bad tactics to fail to engage a second threat simply because the first threat is not "down and out".

-Morgan

AZRickD
May 13, 2004, 10:30 PM
A fellow at work is an American who spent many years in the dirt hole that is Pakistan. I told him what I was up to and he had some very enlightening things to say. He isn't necessarily pro-War, but he did wonder why nobody in the Administration had offered this argument:

Those people who favored continuing the UN sanctions against Saddam's Iraq ignore some facts. The reason there were sanctions to enforce was that Saddam invaded Kuwait and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia. To protect both countries and enforce things such as the "No Fly Zone" we had to have armed forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

What was the stated reason given by al-Queda for the attack on the World Trade Center? "Infidels setting foot on holy Saudi territory."

So, the very policy which the peace-niks called for is what al-Queda said would result in future WTC-like attacks.

Not a very favorable scenario, and one which disallows us the ability to go after the root cause of the problem: people who want to kill us.

And then he began to talk about the al-Queda link to Pakistan/Afghanistan and the Grand Plan. Scary *****.

Rick

AZRickD
May 13, 2004, 10:32 PM
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005071

Sometimes, a War Saves People
We must be willing to bring the fight to those who would do evil.

BY JOSE RAMOS-HORTA
Thursday, May 13, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

The new Socialist government in Spain has caved in to the terrorist threats and withdrawn its troops from Iraq. So have Honduras and the Dominican Republic. They are unlikely to be the last. With the security situation expected to worsen before it improves, we have to accept that a few more countries--which do not appreciate how much the world has at stake in building a free Iraq--will also cut and run.

No matter how the retreating governments try to spin it, every time a country pulls out of Iraq it is al Qaeda and other extremists who win. They draw the conclusion that the coalition of the willing is weak and that the more terrorist outrages, the more countries will withdraw.

As a Nobel Peace laureate, I, like most people, agonize over the use of force. But when it comes to rescuing an innocent people from tyranny or genocide, I've never questioned the justification for resorting to force. That's why I supported Vietnam's 1978 invasion of Cambodia, which ended Pol Pot's regime, and Tanzania's invasion of Uganda in 1979, to oust Idi Amin. In both cases, those countries acted without U.N. or international approval--and in both cases they were right to do so.

Perhaps the French have forgotten how they, too, toppled one of the worst human-rights violators without U.N. approval. I applauded in the early '80s when French paratroopers landed in the dilapidated capital of the then Central African Empire and deposed "Emperor" Jean Bedel Bokassa, renowned for cannibalism. Almost two decades later, I applauded again as NATO intervened--without a U.N. mandate--to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and liberate an oppressed European Muslim community from Serbian tyranny. And I rejoiced once more in 2001 after the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban liberated Afghanistan from one of the world's most barbaric regimes.

So why do some think Iraq should be any different? Only a year after his overthrow, they seem to have forgotten how hundreds of thousands perished during Saddam Hussein's tyranny, under a regime whose hallmark was terror, summary execution, torture and rape. Forgotten too is how the Kurds and Iraq's neighbors lived each day in fear, so long as Saddam remained in power.

Those who oppose the use of force at any cost may question why overthrowing Saddam was such a priority. Why not instead tackle Robert Mugabe, the junta in Myanmar, or Syria? But while Mugabe is a ruthless despot, he is hardly in the same league as Saddam--a tyrant who used chemical weapons on his own people, unleashed two catastrophic wars against his Muslim neighbors, and defied the U.N.

Saddam's overthrow offers a chance to build a new Iraq that is peaceful, tolerant and prosperous. That's why the stakes are so high, and why extremists from across the Muslim world are fighting to prevent it. They know that a free Iraq would fatally undermine their goal of purging all Western influence from the Muslim world, overthrowing the secular regimes in the region, and imposing Stone Age rule. They know that forcing Western countries to withdraw from Iraq would be a major step toward that goal, imperiling the existence of moderate regimes--from the Middle East to the Magreb and Southeast Asia.

If those regimes were to fall, hundreds of thousands of Muslims who today denounce the "evils" of Western imperialism would flock to Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia, seeking refuge. As in Iran, Muslims might have to experience the reality of rule by ayatollahs before they realize how foolish they were not to oppose these religious zealots more vigorously.

Fortunately that remains a remote scenario. If we look beyond the TV coverage, there is hope that Washington's vision of transforming Iraq might still be realized. Credible opinion polls show that a large majority of Iraqis feel better off than a year ago. There is real freedom of the press with newspapers and radio stations mushrooming in the new Iraq. There is unhindered Internet access. NGOs covering everything from human rights to women's advocacy have emerged. In short, Iraq is experiencing real freedom for the first time in its history. And that is exactly what the religious fanatics fear.

Iraq's Shiite majority has acted with restraint in the face of provocation by extremist elements in the Sunni minority, Saddam loyalists and al Qaeda and other foreign mercenaries. The coalition authorities would be wise to cultivate responsible Shiite clerics more closely and ensure that their legitimate concerns are met. While a Shiite-dominated regime might not meet America's goal of a Western-style democracy, it is still far preferable to risking the return of Saddam's thugs. The U.S. must reiterate that building democracy will not marginalize Islam. Democracy and Islam coexist in Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh, while Israel offers an example of a state built on a single religion. That could be the case in Iraq, too, as long as it is led by wise clerics who are able to deliver freedom and good governance. The most probable contender to fill this role is Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who has emerged as the national leader the country needs to keep it together. He may not be a democrat in the Western mold, but the U.S. needs to cultivate him, and provide whatever support is required to ensure that he emerges as ruler of the new Iraq.

The U.S. also needs to repair the damage done by the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. While it's important to remember that those involved only represent a tiny fraction of U.S. servicemen in Iraq, the fact remains that the abuse was allowed to continue for many months after organizations such as the normally secretive Red Cross sounded alarm bells. Only thorough investigation, including action against those responsible, can restore U.S. standing in Iraq.

Now is the time for Washington to show leadership by ensuring that the U.N. plays the central role in building a new Iraq. As an East Timorese, I am well aware of the international body's limits, having seen first hand its impotence in the face of Indonesia's invasion of my country in 1975. The U.N. is the sum of our qualities and weaknesses, our selfish national interests and personal vanities. For all its shortcomings, it is the only international organization we all feel part of; it should be cherished rather than further weakened. While the U.S. will continue to play a critical role in ensuring security in Iraq, a U.N.-led peacekeeping force would enable many Arab and Muslim nations to join in and help isolate the extremists.

In almost 30 years of political life, I have supported the use of force on several occasions and sometimes wonder whether I am a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace prize. Certainly I am not in the same category as Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu or Nelson Mandela. But Mr. Mandela, too, recognized the need to resort to violence in the struggle against white oppression. The consequences of doing nothing in the face of evil were demonstrated when the world did not stop the Rwandan genocide that killed almost a million people in 1994. Where were the peace protesters then? They were just as silent as they are today in the face of the barbaric behavior of religious fanatics.

Some may accuse me of being more of a warmonger than a Nobel laureate, but I stand ready to face my critics. It is always easier to say no to war, even at the price of appeasement. But being politically correct means leaving the innocent to suffer the world over, from Phnom Penh to Baghdad. And that is what those who would cut and run from Iraq risk doing.

Mr. Ramos-Horta, the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1996, is East Timor's senior minister for foreign affairs and cooperation.

rayra
May 14, 2004, 12:20 AM
Well, AZRickD, looks like you are drawing more flies than helpers in your quest.


How much time have you got to prepare?

I've spent 18months online arguing the 'Pro' side, and have amassed over 2200 links to internet news / media and govt articles providing substantiating information.

There are strong and various elements of Truth to EVERY pro-war claim about Iraq.
NONE of them is the be-all / end-all showboat point. Besides, no one on the Left side of the matter listens to facts unless they fit their pre-formed opinions.

Your best strategy to prepare is to look at the insane Idiots on the Far left, look at all their favorite slogans and 'talking points', and prepare your counter-points to show the falsity of each of theirs.

Iraq / Saddam ties to terror?
His payments to Palistinian familes of suicide bombers for murdering Israelis.
His medical treatment of Al Queda senior personnel
His establishment of the Salaam Pak terror-training camp in SE Baghdad, complete with 727 fuselage for hijacker training.
His hosting of Abu Nidal in Iraq
His hosting of Abu Abbas in Iraq
Iraqi intel meating with 9/11 hijackers in Czechoslovakia, Germany, and via Iraqi diplomats in Spain, int he year before the attack.

WMD in Iraq?
WMD USED by Iraq, against Iran and Kurds.
WMD research programs well documented '91-'98 by the UN.
Huge stocks of Iraqi WMD destroyed by US Mil in '91, then by UN from '91-'98
UN reports BY Blix in those years, detailing the products, dual-use manufacturing facilities, refusals by Iraq to account for some bio and chem materials.
Scott Ritter [spit] himself apopletic about there BEING WMD, before '98, then suddenly reversing himself 180-degrees when an Iraqi 'businessman' funds him $400,000++ to make a film in support of Saddam - AFTER Ritter is arrested on pedophilia charges in the NE - and the 'businessman' is later revealed to be one of the bigs in the unfolding UN Oil-for-Food program scandal, as having received a huge amount of money from Saddam via the 'oil vouchers' programs.
Solid intel reports of heavy mil truck traffic from Bagdad to Syria and on to the Bekaa Valley, reportedly cehmical weapons being transported, prior to 3/20/03
Several thousand liters of chem and bio-toxins unaccounted for and reported by the UN, which amasses to no more than a couple semi-trailer-sized loads - in a country the size of CA / France, where entire MiG combat jets were being buried in the sand.


Bush's 'Rush to war'
Aug90 Saddam invades Kuwait on trumped-up reasons, failed extortion. He'd just spent a decade fighting Iran and achieved nothing but mass casualties. His re-armament programs were bankrupting the Iraqi economy, verge of collapse, tried to extort Kuwait, they said no, he invaded. Threatened to invade Saudi - threatening the USA's strategic resources - REGARDLESS of Party in power, we would have gone in.
WITH UN and Int'l AND Arab support, we went in.
'91 Gulf War - We kick their asses in 100hrs. Under 'authority' of UN Resolutions approving the action and LIMITING the action to ONLY expulsion from Kuwait. THAT is why we didn't 'go on to Bagdad' in '91. NOT a 'failure of Bush 1' as lamely claimed by some on the Left.
Part of the Cease Fire (important) agreement was the imposed sanctions, and several severe limits on Saddam's operations, war material, attacks on Kurds in the North and Shiites in the South - to become the 'No Fly' zones - and several restrictions on the type of weaposna nd research he could conduct in the future.

There followed 12 years of UN resolutions and sanctions that ultimately did NOTHING, and with the unfolding Oil For Food scandal, have been revealed to have been some of the most deceitful crap pulled by our 'allies' in the last 50 years. French German and Russian companies provided huge amounts of ILLEGAL material support to Saddam during this period. The UN and Frnch banks got fat and rich skimming ~$10 BILLION from the Oil-for-food programs, all the while the Left decried the 'human cost' of sanctions, and ALL THE WHILE Saddam was building an ADDITIONAL 40 Palaces.

Bush 2 laid down the gauntlet for the return of Inspections and compliance by Iraq. 8 months of diplomatic maneuvering (on top of the already passed 12 years of sanctions and 'diplomacy'), to be met ONLY by complete French and Russian stonewalling as they sought to protect Saddam and keep thei mutli-billion dollar oil and military hardware contracts with Iraq viable.

And more about those 'No Fly' zones - we've been patrolling, over-flying and occasionally BOMBING in those two-thirds of Iraq during the WHOLE 12 YEARS of the CEASE-FIRE. No follow-on UN resolution required to reinstate active hostiltiies - Sadam's own refusal to comply with UN resolutions and the terms of the Cease Fire gave defacto permission.
Toss 'Declaration of War' in there as well - another strawman - we haven't 'Declared War' since Dec 9th 1941. How many dozens of military engagements have we participated in during the last 62 years??


Unilateralism?
More imaginary bull????. More nations than last time - just go to the CENTCOM website for the details. During the entire run-up to the war, we had only a troika of European nations (France Germany Russia) obstructing our efforts. They and the Arab Dictatorships that have the most to lose by a there being a non-Islamic democratic Iraq squatting right in their midst.

Unilateralism? Where was the hue and cry of Unilateralism when the Clinton Admin used NATO to bomb the ???? out of Christians / Catholics in Bosnia-Kosovo? No UN approval for that. No EU approval for that. The EU sat there with their thumbs up, while genocide occurred once again on the European continent.


Civilian Casualties?
More nonsense. Saddam is reliably estimated to have used his 13 separate 'security' organs to MURDER nearly 1 MILLION Iraqis during ~25 years. That's 40,000 / YEAR.
Even the most inflated / 'high estimates only' counts trumpted by the Left / Anti-War freaks, and which by the way include terrorists, Iraqi Army, Fedayeen and Mehdi Army KIAs in the totals - state a count of ~10,000. Throw out the mil casualties and the number is something like 4,500. 4,500 INSTEAD of 40,000. A half-MILLION people died under Saddam AFTER GW1. And 40,000 AREN'T going to die NEXT year at his hands.

There are reports of media reporters traveling to Iraq after 4/9/03 and saying 'where's the damage??'.

We specifically went to great lengths to not destroy civilians or infrastructure. Plenty of mil / intel related cites give details of those efforts and the high-tech means that were used.


Torture?
Gimme a f*cking break.
Saddam's torture chambers and body counts. Mass graves all over the country (and NOT related / explained away by the Iraq-Iran war). Uday and Qusay's well documented tortures, rapes and murders. tales of people fed feet-first into shredding machines. People maimed, hands cut off, feet broken, tongues cut out, eyes gouged out. Branding.
Uday had a torture chamber in the basement of his OLYMPIC TEAM HQ for f's sake.
Our side - some staged nudity for use on the arabic shame / humiliation soft point. BFD. The alleged rapes are staged porn-site pics, and pics of US soldiers having sex with EACH OTHER.

Last words on the Abu Grahb situation - reported SEVERAL MONTHS ago, BY A SOLDIER, investigated, people removed from duty, officers reprimanded, court martials underway, mil and govt reports and press releases MONTHS AGO, and the Lib media didn't touch the story until one of the court martialees' attorney leaked the evidence pictures while trying to blackmail a lighter punishment for the cretin. SAME lawyer and journalist at the core of this that were involved in the My Lai exposure. DELIBERATE manipulation of the truth, for partisan political goals.


Anyway, I'm not going to type all night on this. If you a huge list of links to explore, email / PM me, I'll get them to you.


And if your opponents even utter the LIHOP / MIHOP nonsense, you'll know you are speaking with the clinically insane.

AZRickD
May 14, 2004, 12:39 AM
Now THAT'S whad I'm talkin' about !!

blam x8, ping, indeed !!

BTW, all that torture by Saddam? You forgot to mention that he had his henchmen torture children in front of their parents. Dipping a child's hand in acid, is just one example.

I have until Saturday morning to internalize this stuff. A couple of hours tonite. A couple of hours tomorrow. Lots of note taking.

One of the things that I thought about when I began this project was that I would indoctrinate myself towards being pro-war (which is my natural proclivity anyway).

Well... hmmmmm...

Rick

AZRickD
May 14, 2004, 01:47 AM
I see Art Eatman has grown tired of Iraq threads and has locked a few of them.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=81648

Please keep away from this thread. I need it.

Rick

bountyhunter
May 14, 2004, 01:49 PM
Mass graves all over the country (and NOT related / explained away by the Iraq-Iran war). True, he did enjoy torturing people. His former mistress said Saddam had chronic limp weenie syndrome (seriously) and had to watch porn to get it up: and his "porn" was films of him torturing people.

But, for the record: most of the dead in mass graves are the remains of the Shiites who rose up against Saddam after Desert Storm when Bush the elder called on them to overthrow Hussein. I don't know exactly what was promised to them (I know what they SAY was promised) but I know that Bush completely bailed on them. What's worse, the terms of the settlement after the war specifically allowed Hussein to use his helicopters in "no fly" zones. This was a blunder by the US negotiator of gargantuan proportions. The Shiites had made some major gains against Saddam's remanant forces and had pushed north a ways. But, when Saddam's guys were able to use their attack gunships, the Shiites were quickly routed and many were captured (no air cover = immediate defeat). The Shiite forces were treated exactly as any dictator would treat people who tried to kill him: they were executed en masse and bull dozered into mass graves. Our government shares some of the blame for that one.

Iraqi intel meating with 9/11 hijackers in Czechoslovakia, Germany, and via Iraqi diplomats in Spain, int he year before the attack. FYI, that's an urban myth. Never happened. Our own intel knows that the people alleged to be at the "meeting" were elsewhere and thats why Bush has never tried to beat that drum.

There are strong and various elements of Truth to EVERY pro-war claim about Iraq. Not the lynchpin of the case: that Iraq was supporting Al Qaeda. That is pure myth.

So, the very policy which the peace-niks called for is what al-Queda said would result in future WTC-like attacks. Defending the Iraq war by citing Al Qaeda's misdeeds is like shooting coyotes because your house has termites. They ain't connected.

The argument regarding splitting of resources is pretty weak. Battlefield tactics often dictate that one not solve problem #1 first, before solving problem #2. It's very simplistic linear thinking that doesn't take into acount that sometimes solving problem #2 might help overall problem #3. There are about half a dozen other examples where it is bad tactics to fail to engage a second threat simply because the first threat is not "down and out".

-Morgan Actually, the argument is not weak. We knew exactly who the threat to the US was because we had been dealing with Al Qaeda for more than 6 years when 9/11 happened. The problem is, Bush simply ignored the facts about Al Qaeda to follow a pre-determined path to get saddam Hussein. That was a disaster because we starved the effort against the real threat to save troops for a country which was NO immediate threat.

It's very simplistic linear thinking that doesn't take into acount that sometimes solving problem #2 might help overall problem #3. It's very CLEAR thinking to see that when you have the actual enemy cornered, you take him out. And you don't start two front wars and divide resources when there is no immediate need to do so.

There are about half a dozen other examples where it is bad tactics to fail to engage a second threat simply because the first threat is not "down and out". But, this case is not any one of those examples. This case is exactly the opposite.

rayra
May 15, 2004, 12:11 AM
FYI, that's an urban myth. Fin. Put up. Czech Intel still says it's so. I'd like to see an actual cite / quote / link from our own US Intel people that states your assertion. I'm certainly not going to take the word of someone dismissing it.

AZRickD
May 15, 2004, 05:40 PM
I'm back from the "debate."

The gathering was larger than expected so they moved us to a bigger room with, paradoxically, no place for all to stand up front. So the format was changed. Thirty-ish minutes for each speaker followed by Q&A.

Charles Goyette went first but spent most of his time on why he and others were fired by Clear Channel for speaking out against the war. He invoked Socrates' refusal to buckle to those who falsely accused him. This argument was on-target for Goyette's situation but had nothing to do with the War in Iraq, which he skimmed over, not offering much data. It was all a little too touchy-feely coming from a guy who said he was an original supporter of Goldwater at 14 years old and broke with Goldwater after the Gerald Ford endorsement in 1976.

I went next and did my evovling "Genesis of Al-Qaeda" (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=81948) presentation. Although my intention was to have some fun, I must report that two people who were fence-sitters came up and said they are no longer on the fence, at least.

Dr Newcolm's turn was next and was as if he was in front of his radio microphone as he rambled about health care, Dubya, and the rest. Someone from the audience shouted, "I thought we were here to talk about Iraq." Newcolm shifted gears and said there was no Iraqi link to terrorism or biological or chemical weapons.

Then Joyce got up and did more of the same, only from the pro-war side. Turns out she walks the walk and talks the talk, having been on the front lines of counter-terrorism in the 1980s in Afghanistan and Central America. Said she, "Yes, I carried an AK in one hand and a Gucci bag in the other."

Q&A came forward after that and it was clear that it was mostly and anti-war crowd (and Libertarian at that).

All shook hands and we jabbered on for another hour in the courtyard as the staff attempted to hustle us out before the lunch rush.

Rick

Greg Bell
May 15, 2004, 06:36 PM
We went to war with Iraq because they represented everything that was wrong with U.S. foreign policy pre-9/11. America was the paper tiger that only had the courage to act with permission from everyone else in the world. Saddam thought, and he was right, that he could basically, ahem, fool with us at will and we would do nothing about it as long as it wasn't so egregious as to inflame the whole world. The first gulf war was a BRIEF period of unity at the tail end of the cold war. Saddam's actions clearly endangered world energy markets and that was a disaster that no country wanted to contemplate. FYI no one gave a crap about Kuwait. That was just icing on the cake for morons who needed such justifications (much like the WMD and torture chamber arguments now).

The original gulf war and the decision not to go into Bagdad was perfectly fine from a "realpolitik" perspective. Unfortunately, the bottom fell about the time the ink dried on the surrender papers. Bush's political capital drained away as the U.S. economy sunk under the dead weight of the 80's boom and the S&L bailout (sound familiar?). Bush no longer had the ability to maneuver he once had. The Democrats were daring him to do something in Iraq--reporters were asking if it would be appropriate to act during the election period, since it might be interpreted as manipulation of the electorate. Perot, "read my lips," blah, blah...

Clinton was a joke. Upon meeting him, Boris Yeltsin referred to him as a "lightweight"...and everybody knew it was true. Various violations by Iraq going , in effect, unanswered, Somalia, the first WTC attack, JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say? :uhoh:

When Bush got into office Iraq had basically played their cards well for so long that nothing could be done without people asking "why now?" Foreign leaders and Democrats (as usual, in harmony) were clamoring for Iraqi sanctions to be lifted. So, even though the neo-cons were there, and understood that Iraq represented the largest mark on U.S. credibility, there was nothing that could be done. People forget that, pre-9/11, the Democrats and the media were engaged in an endless loop of "illegitimate President" rhetoric. Bush did not have the excuse he needed to act.


Then came 9/11. Immediately, the people in the trailers understood, these nut-jobs were coming after us despite all the appeasement and half-measures. Bush seized upon the brief window and took it.



Unfortunately, the usual crowd of anti-American leftists, trailer park Democrats and crackpot Libertarians have wasted no time in undermining what was a fantastic opportunity to gold-plate the United State's reputation as a strong willed nation willing to stand up against obvious evils like terrorism. But again, they would prefer to get their petty political points no matter how short-sighted--no matter how counter-productive to America's interests.


That, in a nutshell, is what really happened.

Paco
May 15, 2004, 09:49 PM
Greg,

Gold-plated for whom, Greg? We're doing what Bush wants and the world is not very happy, so who are we trying to impress since we didn't at all listen to most of the world. Call it like it is: we want to do what we want because we think we have the right and we do have the power.

Answer me this:
-What is the war on terror?
-When will it end?
-better yet, how can it/will it end?
-why didn't we do anything against any other dictators that were torturing their people etc.?

I think the problem I have with all this is that you claim the other side was short-sighted and that exactly the problem I have with the admin. towards the " WAR ON TERROR" ...Terror....rror...rrr....

-We should have finished the job in Afganistan....

targetshootr
May 15, 2004, 10:55 PM
When the idea of going after Iraq was first mentioned out of nowhere by Mr Bush, I thought it was crazy and nothing has changed my mind since. The one or two problems it may have solved are far outweighed by the many it has created.
Seems pretty simple.

Greg Bell
May 15, 2004, 11:03 PM
Paco,

"We're doing what Bush wants and the world is not very happy, so who are we trying to impress since we didn't at all listen to most of the world."


This is the attitude I'm talking about. We should not be concerned, like you say, with making the world happy. This is not Sesame Street we are talking about.


"Call it like it is: we want to do what we want because we think we have the right and we do have the power. "


Yes, yes. Thats why we did it. Feel better? :rolleyes:



"-What is the war on terror?"

I have already explained this. It is an attempt by those who understand power politics to develop a coherent strategy for the post cold-war world. Some might argue that it is a replacement for the bumbling "globalization will solve everything" Clinton strategy.


"-When will it end?"

Probably when a counterbalancing superpower develops.


"-why didn't we do anything against any other dictators that were torturing their people etc.?"

I love hearing this "argument." It is a classic logical fallacy. Further, it misses the point.


-We should have finished the job in Afghanistan....

Pabulum overload! :D

Paco
May 16, 2004, 12:25 AM
Greg,

I disagree with your 'attitude' about not needing to agree with th rest of the entire world. We need the support of other nations to hunt down enemies that hide in other countries. We just can't barge in on any nation that has terrorists in it. So long as that gov. doesn't truly show that it supports those terrorists, we should ask them to handle it and give them support to do so.

Besides, I'd like the rest of the world to help us a bit to foot the bill in lives, manpower, and money since this endeavor won't necessarily end with the taming of Iraq.

My point for pointing out why this and past admins. haven't done anything to stop other unsavory conditions is that they try to justify alot of what they do as though it's motivated by noble and righteous causes. Tell me, how is a conventional army gonna do away with an ideology if that's your only tool in the box. How do you bomb away terrorism. Even the admin. know this won't work and puts our boys in direct danger to slowly take the time to weed out the problem as opposed to bombing the entire area. They are now really clueing in on trying to win the people over.

I'm not a big believer in pre-emptiveness since it opens up the proverbial pandora's box and usually causes more problems than it fixes. We are trying to undo terrorism and the only thing that our killing a bunch of people is gonna do is enflame the peoples of the middle east and give the whack-jobs an excuse to be able to recruit more terrorist.

-Pull out the conventional war machine. Send in headhunters and get the Iraqi to do their own police work. And yes get the UN involved since this is a world problem, not just an American problem. This does two things: it shows the people of Iraq that we aren't trying to occupy their country, because it's the world's will that we weed out the whack jobs. It shows the good will of the world that the whole world is attempting to rebuild Iraq.

I know you might think this sounds hokey and you'll beat your chest and tell me that only power/force will solve this, and that the whole rest of the world is incompetant., and that only America has the gumshum and intelligence to pull it off. The only way ANY ideology has ever changed is by usurping that ideology with a better/more moderate ideology and coercing, not forcing the peoples to accept it.

-Moderation is key.

AZRickD
May 16, 2004, 12:54 AM
This episode has shown that we neither need, nor can trust other nations.

Months ago we wondered why the UN, Russsia, France and Germany were acting so strangely as Dubya attempted to build his Coalition. Now we know that they were skimming money off the top of the "Oil for Food" program as well as getting kick-backs from Saddam.

We can't trust anyone and need not ask permission from two-faced nation-states when our security is on the line.

Rick

Paco
May 16, 2004, 01:03 AM
Trust goes boths ways and we haven't necessarily shown the world that we are trustworthy. If a friend or ally disagrees with us, we oust them and call them names, like 'cowards' and 'spineless' etc. One can be your friend and ally and not agree with you and precisely because they are, they will express their disagreement in hopes to come to a greater truth and colaboration for both.

-What with all the stunts the gov. has pulled in my short life, I don't even trust us. Vigilance always.

-paco

AZRickD
May 16, 2004, 01:15 AM
Yes. We were wrong to call France, Germany and Russia "cowardly and spineless."

They were actually just corrupt.

Sometimes a country has to go it on its own. Think Great Britain circa 1940.

Rick

Warbow
May 16, 2004, 01:27 AM
Paco wrote:

We are trying to undo terrorism and the only thing that our killing a bunch of people is gonna do is enflame the peoples of the middle east and give the whack-jobs an excuse to be able to recruit more terrorist.

I've heard that reasoning a lot. Is there any information which can corroborate it?

Check out this State Department report: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2003/31569.htm

An excerpt:

There were 82 anti-US attacks in 2003, which is up slightly from the 77 attacks the previous year, and represents a 62-percent decrease from the 219 attacks recorded in 2001.

Since we started fighting back in a major way with our military in October, 2001, anti-US terrorist attacks have dropped significantly.

Greg Bell
May 16, 2004, 03:33 PM
Paco,


"I disagree with your 'attitude' about not needing to agree with th rest of the entire world. "

Only a stupendously uninformed person could believe that there is any set of circumstances where we could get the "rest of the entire would" to agree with us. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case for those who parrot the anti-war argument. What the Left (actually only those who do their bidding, their leaders understand this) fails to take into account is that other nation's interest are not our interests. There was no possibility of getting the cooperation of Germany, France or China. Germany was in the middle of elections and Schroeder was trying to hold the red/green alliance together against a strong opponent. France, besides its long-standing, if absurd, animosity towards the U.S., is attempting to position itself as the head of the new E.U., a potential rival to the U.S.'s cultural and economic dominance. This leaves out the economic incentives that France and Germany had. China, you might remember, is a violent and repressive communist dictatorship with no small interest in counter-balancing U.S. influence on the world stage........blah



"Besides, I'd like the rest of the world to help us a bit to foot the bill in lives, manpower, and money since this endeavor won't necessarily end with the taming of Iraq."


There is no "rest of the world" in this context. With the exception of Britain (who you guys ignore) China, Russia (sort of) and France--we are the only people who can do this. Oh, and good luck trying to get money out of the Chinese, Russian and French for this.





"-Pull out the conventional war machine. Send in headhunters and get the Iraqi to do their own police work. And yes get the UN involved since this is a world problem, not just an American problem. This does two things: it shows the people of Iraq that we aren't trying to occupy their country, because it's the world's will that we weed out the whack jobs. It shows the good will of the world that the whole world is attempting to rebuild Iraq."


Yes, let the U.N. do it. Not only because they have a fantastic record of handling such situations, but because they have shown so much interest in helping so far. :rolleyes: Seriously, does anyone actually believe this stuff?




"I know you might think this sounds hokey and you'll beat your chest and tell me that only power/force will solve this, and that the whole rest of the world is incompetant., and that only America has the gumshum and intelligence to pull it off."

Again, you have totally missed the point. The rest of the world is not "incompetant." If I was the leader of France or Kofi Annan I would have done the same thing. The game is about power.




" The only way ANY ideology has ever changed is by usurping that ideology with a better/more moderate ideology and coercing, not forcing the peoples to accept it.


Yes, I recall that wonderful day back in 45 when Hitler and Tojo broke bread with Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in celebration of their working out their differences. Ah what a day it was.




"Moderation is key"


Of course, but no one can ever agree on what the "moderate" course is.

GHB

bountyhunter
May 17, 2004, 02:06 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FYI, that's an urban myth.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fin. Put up. Czech Intel still says it's so. I'd like to see an actual cite / quote / link from our own US Intel people that states your assertion. I'm certainly not going to take the word of someone dismissing it.

OK, I could waste time going abck and find the "urban myth links" and every one I post would be greeted with: "Oh, that's a (left wing, liberal, biased, blah, blah, blah) source."

So, instead I will offer the most compelling proof: You have an administration being beaten to death in the eyes of the world because they can not support their claims that saddam was connected to terrrorism. The CIA has worked 24/7 since Bush took office to find a connection between Hussein and terrorism. They would sell their souls for anything with the slightest credibility in that regard.

And what do we hear from the admin on the subject of the mythic meetings in Iraq among the terrorists?

DEAD SILENCE.

But, not just silence. We actually were treated to a public retraction by both Bush and Cheney some months back on their public position that there WERE connections between Hussein and terrorism. It made the nightly news when that reversal occurred. The admin's position now is to admit there is no proof connecting Iraq with Al Qaeda or anybody else.

Greg Bell
May 17, 2004, 02:49 PM
Bountyhunter,

" Bush and Cheney some months back on their public position that there WERE connections between Hussein and terrorism"


No who is peddling horsepucky? There has never been any such retraction. The connection between Iraq and terrorism is well documented. Abu Abas was captured there. Iraw was training terrorists (they are still there!). He was paying rewards to terrorists. They found countless murals to September 11th there. They just found WMD's there (as an aside) And so on.

You guy are purposely mixing al-queda specifically with terrorism generally. This is a war on terror, not just Al-queda. It is true that there isn't any (or much) direct evidence of Al-Queda/Iraqi collaboration. But it isn't likely to be the type of thing that that you would keep a lot of records of--especially post 9/11.

The hilarious thing is that you guys have been whining about Bush mixing al-queda specifically with terrorism generally--but you guys constantly do it.

You guys have gotten so silly about this that if Osama announced that Al-Queda had changed their named to "not al-queda' you guys would whine that the terrorists that we were hunting were not al-queda.:D

GHB

bountyhunter
May 17, 2004, 05:44 PM
No who is peddling horsepucky? There has never been any such retraction. This is where it gets pointless because it is not my responsibility to educate the masses, nor you. This information has been out for a long time. Not only did both Bush and Cheney reverse their long standing positions (that there was evidence linking Iraq to Al Qaeda), it was noticed by every major news carrier. One carrier did a piece on the "evolution" of the admin's position and showed that they had consistently stated (either directly or by association) that Iraq was connected to 9/11 and/or Al Qaeda.... then abruptly flipped to the "No evidence" position. The sudden turnaround resulted in the President answering an angry and abrupt "We can't say that." and "The evidence isn't there." when asked about it, and then the question stopped being asked at press conferences altogether. All questuions are approved before hand, so it means that subject was ruled off limits.

If you want to see the admin at the peak of it's shoveling about Iraq and Al Qaeda, the famous speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln is a perfect example:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A2627-2003May1


Bush Speech Aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln

FDCH E-Media
Thursday, May 1, 2003; 9:43 PM


//////// The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men, the shock troops of a hateful ideology, gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. ///// They have failed. (APPLAUSE)

/////we are hunting down Al Qaida killers.///////// The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al Qaida and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more. (APPLAUSE)

/////We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th, the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got. (APPLAUSE)

bountyhunter
May 17, 2004, 05:47 PM
You guy are purposely mixing al-queda specifically with terrorism generally. This is a war on terror, not just Al-queda. Thanks, that is the best laugh I have had in months. Look at the content of Bush's speeches, his evasions about the facts concerning Iraq, his constant linking of Hussein and 9/11, Bush's run for the cover of the "WOT blanket" as an excuse for the war...... and you concluse that I am the one mixing Al Qaeda's crimes with the general war on terror?

That's a good one.

BTW: the only thing "us guys" are "whining" about is that our CIC is too stipid to understand there is a difference between Al Qaeda and the rest of the world... and that it is Al Qaeda who perpetrated 9/11, it's Al Qaeda who has set up shop in Iraq now that we swept it clear of Hussein, it is Al Qaeda who is channeled unlimited funds from saudi Arabia. This is very old news, and it is also very old news that we invaded the wrong country.

bountyhunter
May 17, 2004, 06:01 PM
" Bush and Cheney some months back on their public position that there WERE connections between Hussein and terrorism"

No who is peddling horsepucky? There has never been any such retraction. The connection between Iraq and terrorism is well documented.

It is a fact the FALSE connection between Iraq and terrorism is pervasive, but that is reflective of a steady stream of propopganda, not supporting information. To set the record straight:



REGARDING BUSH'S REVERSAL OF HIS LONG STANDING POSITION, ie that Iraq and 9/11(Al Qaeda) are connected:

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/no-saddam-qaeda.htm



Bush Flatly Declares No Connection Between
Saddam and al Qaeda


from the press conference, 31 Jan 2003

>>> "During one of his rare press conferences, President Bush admitted something which completely contradicts what we've been hearing from him, most other politicians, and the mainstream media. ////// The occasion was a press conference with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, which took place in the White House on 31 January 2003. Here's the key portion:


[Adam Boulton, Sky News (London):] One question for you both. Do you believe that there is a link between Saddam Hussein, a direct link, and the men who attacked on September the 11th?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't make that claim.

THE PRIME MINISTER: That answers your question.



Under any circumstances, these answers are remarkable for their brevity and directness. No politician answers clearly and in just one sentence. Yet on this crucial matter, Bush and Blair did just that. (True, Blair then launched into his standard speech about how we need to attack Iraq anyway, but his direct answer is brief and to the point.)

What they unambiguously admitted is that there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden/al Qaeda. You may recall that bin Laden and al Qaeda are officially blamed for hatching, plotting, and carrying out the 9/11 attacks. That's who the British reporter was referring to. Now the President and Prime Minister have said there is no link between them and the government of Iraq. Could it be any simpler?"

Coronach
May 17, 2004, 06:15 PM
Closed as OT.

Please read:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=82260

Thanks you,

Coronach

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