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George S. Ledyard
03-17-2003, 11:54 PM
Go USA, lets ROLL!
Michael,
As a student of Saotome Sensei (at least by extension) you should know better than to turn something this serious into a triviality. Your training has been better than that... This is not a John Wayne movie or the Super Bowl. This is real war. Innocent people will lose their lives, our people and their people will have their lives destroyed, the survivors will live with memories which no person should ever have to remember, families on both sides will never see their loved ones again...

Whether you think we should go in or whether you think we should not go in is irrlevant. It is a great tragedy either way. We will almost certainly win this one militarily. But it will be impossible to win it morally with an attitude that sees this as some sort of macho contest in which we show those wimps in Europe how real men run the world.

It is clear that we are going in, probably by Thursday or Friday. I absolutely support our men and women, I hope they get back safely. I will also mourn every poor Iraqi slob that dies in this, every man, woman, and child that will suffer through this simply because they had the misfortune to be born in a country with that mad man for a leader.

This is not going to be something to be proud of even if you think we need to do it. It will not be something we look back on in our history books and want to tell our grandchildren about. Anyone who wants to sit around and chant "Go USA" like this was the World Cup Soccer championship simply doesn't have the imagination or the empathy to understand what is really going on. Only someone who looks at life like its a Hollywood movie has this sort of attitude. This is reality and in many ways reality bites. You do your point of view a disservice to trivialize it this way.

Neil Mick
03-18-2003, 01:43 AM
Well-written, George. My sentiments, exactly.

JJF
03-18-2003, 03:16 AM
Thank you George. You have no idea how good it is to hear this kind of talk from a US citizen. The only american people we see on TV right now, are the war mongers with the 'if you are not with us then you are against us' retoric and the selfrighteous promotion of unproven claims regarding weapons of massdestruction. I don't care who's right and who's wrong. But I care about all those who are going to suffer in a war deviced by Bush and Saddam. Two men that I find extrodinarily scary and who beyond doubt has alterntate agendas for acting the way they do. No war is ever 'just' or 'right', and the 'glory' of battle will once again prove to be more than just somewhat tarnished.

I send out my best wishes to anybody that are about to be sent into battle during this conflict, and to anybody who must see their loved ones fight this stupid war.

Erik Young
03-18-2003, 05:36 AM
Thank Mr. Ledyard. Well put.

Michael Neal
03-18-2003, 06:45 AM
I disagree, I completely support this war and the cause to go to war and I think it would have been a tragedy if we had decided not to do it.

You say that I am trivializing this when I am not, I take the whole situaiton very seriously. I think is nothing wrong with being proud of my country, its troops, and our upcoming actions because I believe that we are doing the absolute right thing.

You stated earlier that you were opposed to the war so it is easy to see why you would be offended by my statement.

I am pumped up for this (not because of the unfortunate loss of life that will result) but because of the massive loss of life it will prevent and the liberation it will bring to the Iraqis. Actually one of my friend's parents is from Iraq and he is very elated about the upcoming liberation of his country.

I will mourn along with you the loss of life that will occurr on both sides, I hope that Saddam changes his mind and leaves the country before we invade. That would be incredible if that happened I would really be happy if we could just drive in a parade of liberation rather than fighting small pockets of fanatical resistance.

I pray that this is resolved with most minimal loss of life possible.

So you see, I am happy about the prospect of saving thousands of American lives from death from weapons of mass destruction and thousands of Iraqi lives from torture and death at the hands of Saddam's murderous regime.

My support for the USA is not as trivial as you make it out to be.

Michael Neal
03-18-2003, 06:53 AM
I would to add that i find the following horrifying, in case you think I am some kind of war monger who likes death. These guys are actually applauding the death of a protester in Palestine.

http://www.sherdog.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70653

I disagrree with the protester but The Israelis had no right to murder her for blocking a bulldozer.

George S. Ledyard
03-18-2003, 08:53 AM
Given whom you train with I didn't really think that you were some sort of war monger. Your teacher treats fighting as very serious business but it isn't a game for him or his family.

The girl being killed over there made all the papers here as she is a local girl. A very lengthy letter she had sent home just before she was killed was posted on some of the anti war sites. It was quite moving. She was a real warrior in spirit I'd say. Very gutsy lady.

Michael Neal
03-18-2003, 09:11 AM
Believe me I don't take any this lightly. I take fighting as seriously as my instructor and I think it should be avoided if possible.

I just see the Iraqi situation as hopeless.

I don't like killing, I get upset when I see a dead squirrel in the road. I also question my ability to take anothers life even if my life is at stake. I chose Aikido because I believe in its philosophy.

But at the same time I do not subscribe to the politics many take with them to Aikido and then present as Aikido and I dont think Aikido applies very well to war situations.

Michael Neal
03-18-2003, 09:13 AM
About the protester, I would not call her a warrior spirit or gutsy. I think she was a complete idiot with a head full of garbage, but she certainly did not deserve to die.

Neil Mick
03-19-2003, 03:08 AM
About the protester, I would not call her a warrior spirit or gutsy. I think she was a complete idiot with a head full of garbage, but she certainly did not deserve to die.
Amazaing. I am speechless, with the sheer audacity and temerity of this assumption.

An oft-cliched Indian prayer comes to mind: "Oh spirit: grant that I may not judge my neighbor, until I have walked a mile in his mocassins."

I suspect that Michael has a lot of walking to do,,,

Nick P.
03-19-2003, 07:22 AM
Can someone explain to me how it is considered un-American or un-patriotic to second-guess the decisions made a particular administration? How is it you can't seperate the two?

Why do you think so many parts of the world have such burning hatred for America? (Note: I think they are referring to the GOVERNMENT, not so much the population). Maybe it's because the US chose NOT to intervene when Hussein gased his own people. Maybe because it chose to invade Afghanistan ONLY when it was attacked (by someone, it turns out, the CIA helped put in a position of power some years before). Maybe because the US only got involved in WW2 because it was attacked by Japan.

I think America is a great country, filled with many fine people. But don't act so astonished when people in other parts of the world say "No, that's enough from you." If America is such a bastion of democracy, than everyone has the right to say and believe what they want, and it's because they love their contry that they can. Or is it as Ice-T said years ago; "Freedom of speech, just watch what you say".

Worse, is it "Only us Americans have the right to our democracy." and the rest of the world better fall in line?

But, I have to give credit where it due. America did help liberate Kuwait. It did not wait to be attacked (OK, it's oil supply was threatened, but stil).

Is this the sound of me ranting?.....

Bpetriw
03-19-2003, 08:15 AM
I am not anti-American, nor do I believe Saddam is inocent, but I do believe that Bush is nuts. He has put the entire world in danger with his obsession to kill Saddam where his father failed. I hate to see it happen, but every day I turn on the news and wait for another 9/11 and think "thats a shame, but Bush brought it on himself". What weapons of mass destruction? What threat is Saddam to the world? What did he do that justifies killing thousands in an war that the rest of the world does not support? Who gave Bush the right to dictate that happens in other contries? How long befor Bush invades Canada to gain control of our natural resources? Our hockey players are a threat to his national pride so he better fire a couple of bombs our way too. If I were American, I would be scared for what Bush is going to do next. He is killing his own people with his foreign policy. He is destroying the world economy. Its bad enough that I live next door. I am just glad I don't have to explain this to my 5 yr old.

On the plus side, the price at the gas station went down today.

Michael Neal
03-20-2003, 07:10 AM
Yes, you had better be scared. I heard he had plans to invade Canada next.

Neil Mick
03-20-2003, 12:18 PM
Now is the time for action.

Resist this illegal war, any way you can.

I request all dojos open tonight to give 5minutes of silence and lights out, 7-7:05pm, to mourn the loss of lives in this oil war.

And now a few words from a great man--

Arrogance of Power

Today, I Weep for my Country...



by US Senator Robert Byrd

Speech delivered on the floor of the US Senate

March 19, 2003 3:45pm





"I believe in this beautiful country. I have studied its roots and gloried in the wisdom of its magnificent Constitution. I have marveled at the wisdom of its founders and framers. Generation after generation of Americans has understood the lofty ideals that underlie our great Republic. I have been inspired by the story of their sacrifice and their strength.

But, today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper. The image of America has changed. Around the globe, our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed, our intentions are questioned.

Instead of reasoning with those with whom we disagree, we demand obedience or threaten recrimination. Instead of isolating Saddam Hussein, we seem to have isolated ourselves. We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place.

We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance. We treat UN Security Council members like ingrates who offend our princely dignity by lifting their heads from the carpet. Valuable alliances are split.

After war has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq. We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.

The case this Administration tries to make to justify its fixation with war is tainted by charges of falsified documents and circumstantial evidence. We cannot convince the world of the necessity of this war for one simple reason. This is a war of choice.

There is no credible information to connect Saddam Hussein to 9/11. The twin towers fell because a world-wide terrorist group, Al Qaeda, with cells in over 60 nations, struck at our wealth and our influence by turning our own planes into missiles, one of which would likely have slammed into the dome of this beautiful Capitol except for the brave sacrifice of the passengers on board.

The brutality seen on September 11th and in other terrorist attacks we have witnessed around the globe are the violent and desperate efforts by extremists to stop the daily encroachment of western values upon their cultures. That is what we fight. It is a force not confined to borders. It is a shadowy entity with many faces, many names, and many addresses.

But, this Administration has directed all of the anger, fear, and grief which emerged from the ashes of the twin towers and the twisted metal of the Pentagon towards a tangible villain, one we can see and hate and attack. And villain he is. But, he is the wrong villain. And this is the wrong war. If we attack Saddam Hussein, we will probably drive him from power. But, the zeal of our friends to assist our global war on terrorism may have already taken flight.

The general unease surrounding this war is not just due to "orange alert." There is a pervasive sense of rush and risk and too many questions unanswered. How long will we be in Iraq? What will be the cost? What is the ultimate mission? How great is the danger at home?

A pall has fallen over the Senate Chamber. We avoid our solemn duty to debate the one topic on the minds of all Americans, even while scores of thousands of our sons and daughters faithfully do their duty in Iraq.

What is happening to this country? When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

Why can this President not seem to see that America's true power lies not in its will to intimidate, but in its ability to inspire?

War appears inevitable. But, I continue to hope that the cloud will lift. Perhaps Saddam will yet turn tail and run. Perhaps reason will somehow still prevail. I along with millions of Americans will pray for the safety of our troops, for the innocent civilians in Iraq, and for the security of our homeland. May God continue to bless the United States of America in the troubled days ahead, and may we somehow recapture the vision which for the present eludes us. "

Nick P.
03-21-2003, 12:12 PM
Oh, and Michael? (re:the US invading Canada)

<Comig Book Guy voice switched to ON>

"All those who have set the White House on fire, put up your hands? I'm looking at youuu, Canada. Thank you."

<Comig Book Guy voice switched to OFF>

Of course, we also have the largest French population in the world that did NOT surrender to the Germans. Yet.

;)

Bpetriw
03-21-2003, 03:25 PM
Yes, you had better be scared. I heard he had plans to invade Canada next.
Bring snow shoes, rubber boots, mosquito spray and a dectionary.

On the plus side, gas went down again today.

Kevin Leavitt
03-21-2003, 07:14 PM
As a member of the military, you will be happy to know that when things started I was with about 350 fellow soldiers in the U.S.

We did not yell and whoop it up when things got going....we were somber and reflective of what was about to happen.

We can only pray that this will be fast, and effective, with minimal loss of life.

All soldiers are hoping that we can start the humanitarian mission as soon as possible and get home and on with our lives.

Freedom and liberty is not something to take lightly, nor does it come easy and without responsibility. Most Amercians I believe realize this deep in their hearts and also realize that we have a responsiblitiy not only to protect ours, but to help others acheive it as well.

That said, I wish we would learn to be much more mindful in our comsumption of resources and try to expand our compassion to set a great example for others to follow. The situation that created this war should have never been allowed to get this far along....hopefully in the future, we as a world will not turn our cheeks to those in need or those that are oppressed.

Neil Mick
03-21-2003, 08:50 PM
Yes, Kevin: it's a very sad day. I was in a restaurant when I heard the news, and I had to pull myself together, to not break down and weep in public.

I have since attended marches, committed peaceful CD, and taped pictures around Santa Cruz of average Baghdad citizens from this site... http://www.nationalphilistine.com/baghdad/index2.html

Just one more way of showing ppl that Baghdad is populated with more than Hussein, some Iraqi soldiers, and the "Arab street." Baghdad has a human face, a face we never get to see in the media.

The silence of civilian casualties during "Shock and Awe" is a chilling testament to the complicity of the media.

I pray for a minimum of casualties (both Iraqi and American), but I fear that this war is only the beginning. The reverberations of this illegal conflict shall be felt for a very long time, around the world.

Midnight has arrived, and Baghdad is burning.

:(

George S. Ledyard
03-23-2003, 03:43 PM
A student sent me this picture.

Kevin Leavitt
03-24-2003, 06:34 PM
Good points by Goering. I find great joy in watching the protest around town (DC). It is patriotism in it's finest hour.

So far it has been directed at the policticians and society as a whole. That is where the focus should be. I hope it doesn't turn on the soldiers that would be a shame.

Patriots come in all sizes, colors, shapes, and flavors. I say just get up a do something that you believe in!

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 02:37 AM
Here, here, Kevin! :)

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 03:30 AM
I have found the following text in a german martial arts forum and have translated it. As

English isn't my native language I hope that the text will be understandable. It's quite hard to translate a text into a foreign language while keeping the sound and the intention of the original. (As always, if you find any (or some???) mistakes concerning grammar etc. you can keep them)

About me: Since I started learning Aikido I have read the AikiWeb forums but somehow never got to posting but after the latest happenings in Middle East I felt like posting something.

The following text is maybe not very friendly. It can't be, because it's angry. But: it's true. There is simply not a single good reason for attacking Iraq, besides the iraqi oilfields. Even now, five days into the war the american troops haven't found a single solid piece of proof for weapons of mass destruction. So why the attack? That's something people all around the world are wondering. And almost everybody comes up with a single answer: Oil, money, power.

Besides: You shouldn't believe everything you see on CNN or read in your newspaper. They are totally dependent on the informations from the government and quite a big part of that is plain propaganda. You will not find a single independent (US) reporter in the Middle East. They are all "embedded" so the government can control what they will see. (BTW in the "Third Reich" it was just the same: The whole media was "gleichgeschaltet", "put in parallel connection" (or so) meaning they were all dependent and controlled in the same way and got the same propaganda.)

About the picture Mr. Ledyard posted: it is telling, isn't it? Maybe some people should think about it a little bit more instead of waving the patriotism flag. Sometimes it is more patriotic to point out what is (dangerously) wrong than cheering everytime Mr. Bush/Powell/etc makes the anouncement that Iraq is evil. Before I forget: Don't tell me that this is about 9/11. First of all "vengeance" has never been a very holesome concept. And second, Iraq had nothing to do with this at all. Get it into your brains: This attack was made by AlQuaeda. Iraq didn't finance them, didn't train them and didn't support them. Period. Saddam Hussein cheered. That is horrible. But it is NOT a reason to attack Iraq.

I could write on and on about quite a lot of points but I don't have the time. This should only be an introduction to the following text.

Alex Germann

P.S.: Maybe you should take 9/11 as a reason to think about how you treat other nations and cultures...

Some moments of silence!

The americans have declared France and Germany "a problem".

If you are still worrying about the horrible happenings of 9/11/01, take 3 minutes to remember the 3.000 civilian casualties of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania...

While you're at it you could also take 13 minutes for the iraqi civilians who perished 1991 when President George Bush Sr. was in command. You could think about how the americans sang, danced and celebrated on the streets.

Now it's time for 20 more minutes of silence for the 200.000 civilians of Iran, who were killed in the eighties by the Iraqis with weapons and money sponsored by the US before America changed direction and chose its iraqi friends as enemy.

Then you should take another 15 minutes to remember the many thousands of Russians and Afghani who were killed by the Taliban, who were trained and supported by the CIA.

Then maybe you could take take some more 10 minutes for the 100.000 civilian casualties of the american nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII.

Now that was more than an hour of silence. 3 minutes for the killed americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania and 58 minutes for victims of the americans round the whole world.

If the relations still aren't totally clear to you, you could add another hour of silence for the victims of Vietnam. Or for the massacre in Panama 1989, when american troops attacked innocent villagers and left round about 20.000 without shelter and thousands dead. Or for approximately one million children, who died of malnourishment because of the US-embargos against Iraq and Cuba.

Or for the hundreds of thousands, who were killed in US-financed civil wars (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador - just to mention a few examples)... and now we can talk about terrorism again...

P.S.: The american (government) declared France and Germany "a problem" because these countries have made clear that they won't support a war of aggression against Iraq.

Did you know? More than half of the Bush administration including Bush himself consists of former members of the board of big oil- and energy-companies. VP Dick Cheney got from "his" company Halliburton Inc. a 34 MILLION Dollar "settlement" when he moved into the White House. (BTW these companies have financed Bushs election campaign in an extent never seen before... guess why?)

Totally "coincidentally" it's just the same Halliburton Inc. which supplies the whole US-Army on the Gulf (which needs TONS of fuel every day). And the fact that Iraq has the second-biggest oil deposits in the world should be known to most people. It's just to bad for the american government that at the moment they aren't allowed to do business with Iraq because of US laws... but if Iraq is "liberated" and a US-controlled government is in charge that's something totally different. (My own comment: Russia and russian companies have legally binding contracts with Iraq concerning the iraqi oilfields - I wonder what the US will do about THAT!)

The UNO was founded (among other reasons) so that no wars of aggression could be waged any more, let's just see what the free America will do to the UNO, if they can't find any weapons of mass destruction (which btw were initially supplied by the US and Germany to Iraq for the war against Iran) at all!

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 08:56 AM
How long would that moment of silence be for the 6 million Jews the Germans slaughtered gassed and attempted to enact Germany's final solution in WWII (not to mention the soldiers and such)? How long would would it be for the 100 million that Stalin slaughtered, comrade?

Fair and Balanced
Yes, these are horrible things that are almost to dreadful to imagine. We have to live with this heritage and it is not easy. It shall never be forgotten. But: Especially what the Nazis did is a main reason for the founding of the UNO. Things like that should never happen again. And this is the main reason why the germans are totally opposed to this war: We have learned what comes out of war...

And maybe you should remember the Nürnberg Tribunal. Those functionaries responsible for the holocaust had to pay a price even if it only could be symbolic.

Alex Germann

P.S.: I'm sorry, but I'm assuredly not a comrade, which would be either a buddy to you or a member of the communistic party. Both isn't the cause.

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 09:48 AM
I find it amazing how critical the left and the foreign left sees 9/11 along with their attempts to "make us think" Yes Alexander I do still think about 9/11 as I was there. I watched those towers get hit by terrorists against our American people (And they say its our government they hate). I did not watch this on TV I watched it from the middle of my street. I went to the funerals of friends and friends parents and children. I went to the funerals of a NYFD friend of mine who charged into the south tower never to emerge.

I don't think you understand nor care to understand the magnitude of this terroristic cowards attack. You and others of the lunatic fringe would rather shout "See!, SEE!, See what you dirty Americans caused yourselves".

You know they claimed in the first Gulf war that there was not enough coverage, Now there is almost too much and you still complain. Comparing it to your countries mistakes. Get over it as we are not Germany, Not the 3rd Reich and bare no resembelance to your countries past atrocoties.
What happened on 9/11 is a horrible thing. It still makes me sad to think about it, too. And maybe you could have realized that I didn't write this text. I just translated it. But ok, I posted it, so I get the reactions.

But maybe you really should think on the following: While 9/11 really was terrible, you choose to neglect the deaths of many many civilians who have been caused by America and whose deaths didn't happen in NY exclusively covered by CNN. I guess a main reason for your anger is the fact that you yourself could have been a victim. Those other deaths are far away. I'm sure the people of Basra will appreciate your point of view.

And about the media coverage: I do not complain that there is to much media coverage. Quite the contrary: I complain that there is almost no independent media coverage at all. All you get on CNN et al is from nicely "embedded" reporters who only see, what the US-Army wants them to see. If you have some time check out http://english.aljazeera.net/ . they show the other side that the US-Army is loath to admit. Or might that be unpatriotic.

Last of all: I really do like America and the americans. But what the Bush-administration pulls off just makes me wonder...

And you really should get off your high horse. Germany has paid its price for the atrocities of WWII, still pays. But it really makes me mad, the way americans point at us: "Oh, look at them, what they have done! We are so much better!" while the history of the US in the last 40 to 50 years shows a lot of not very savory spots. But it's quite hard to talk about these things to an american. They seem to think that just because they are the US, they necessarily have to be blameless.

Alex Germann

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 09:55 AM
And yet it is easy for you to make comparisons and attriubute American policy to your own country's genocidal attrocities. I find this rather sickening.

Peace and love Brother
And you think just because Germany committed atrocities you may do the same, albeit in smaller scale? And remain blameless? Interesting reasoning...

BTW WWII is about 6 decades over (I wasn't born until well over 3 decades later). In the meantime we seem to have learned. The war against Iraq is now. You could do something about it.

Alex Germann

DanielR
03-25-2003, 10:02 AM
check out http://english.aljazeera.net/ . they show the other side that the US-Army is loath to admit. Or might that be unpatriotic.
Alex, Al Jazeera is indeed on "the other side" of this conflict. It looks to me as far from objectivity as Fox. Looking at the first page: " the US 'saviours' ", " US 'precision' bombs " - note the ticks.

DanielR
03-25-2003, 10:10 AM
Alex,
WWII is about 6 decades over ... In the meantime we seem to have learned.
Playing devil's advocate here a bit, but I can't say I completely disagree with this - one might say that a preventive strike on Germany could have saved lots of lives. Shouldn't this be one of the lessons to be learned from that war?

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 10:11 AM
Alex, Al Jazeera is indeed on "the other side" of this conflict. It looks to me as far from objectivity as Fox. Looking at the first page: " the US 'saviours' ", " US 'precision' bombs " - note the ticks.
Believe me, I know that they are from the other side. You know it's a fairly scientific approach to look at both sides and then start filtering.

I don't have the feeling that the people of Basra appreciate the US-Troops as saviours. The troops are invading their country. That's something they don't like. Even is Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator, he's THEIR dictator, you see?

And about the precision bomb, Al Jazeera is talking about: it hit a syrian bus with syrian civilians well in syrian territory as it seems. Maybe that's precise but it's definitively the wrong target. So I guess the ticks are quite justified, at least in this instances.

Alex Germann

DanielR
03-25-2003, 10:15 AM
...I don't have the feeling that the people of Basra appreciate the US-Troops as saviours. ... And about the precision bomb... it hit a syrian bus with syrian civilians well in syrian territory as it seems.
Alex, I do understand why the ticks are there. What I'm trying to say that I don't need a news agency to put those ticks for me. With such attitude they immediately undermine their information, at least in my eyes.

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 10:22 AM
Alex,

Playing devil's advocate here a bit, but I can't say I completely disagree with this - one might say that a preventive strike on Germany could have saved lots of lives. Shouldn't this be one of the lessons to be learned from that war?
That may be. In that historical situation I might have supported a preventive strike, too. (even if there would have been better ways: LONG before '41 Germany was totally broke and couldn't pay for their tanks and guns. Guess what saved them? Right! Swiss and american credits! Oh well)

But likening Saddam Hussein to Hitler means making grossly light of Hitler. Yes Saddam is evil and everything but Hitler (and his staff) was really a lot more. I'm quite a student of history and believe me, what happened in Germany '33 to '45 should never be likened to Husseins reign in Iraq.

Alex Germann

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 10:36 AM
You made the comparison comrade, not me. Did you learn? Apeasement for peace? Again you compare the US to YOUR history. You also ignore the fact that Saddam Hussein has killed more muslims than anyone else in the world. I refer you to Islam?s Worst Enemy (http://www.nationalreview.com/contributors/levin101701.shtml) for your review. Where is the outrage towards him? Do the people in his country who are too afraid to speak out have no right to freedom?

I suggest we are doing somthing about it.
Please, could leave that be, you know that "comrade". It doesn't hurt very much, but well, it's annoying. Or should I call you buddy, Mr. McGrath?

About the rest: Goddamn it, I KNOW Saddam is evil! I'm not blind and our news are a lot better than CNN (Sorry, that was necessary!)

Try to understand: Almost the whole rest of the world is opposed to this war because 1.) Saddam was quite under control in the last 12 years. 2.) This war is in total contradiction to the wishes of the UNO, which is the council that has to decide about such things 3.) To get one man, a whole population has to suffer. 4.) The motivations of the Bush-Administration are really quite plain.

If you can kill Hussein with a Special Forces Team or the like - fine, be my guest! I will cheer when he's dead. But this war, which is really about the control of the iraqi oilfields - sorry, its unjustified, it's injust and it's plain illegal.

Alex Germann

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 11:05 AM
Ok Mr. Germann I won't call you comrade again, buddy. (I don't mind being buds). Let me address your points one by one:

1.) Saddam was quite under control in the last 12 years

You call that control. He expelled inspectors. Continued to build and amass weapons and systems forbidden by the UN. Continues his campaign of terror against his own people.

2.) This war is in total contradiction to the wishes of the UNO, which is the council that has to decide about such things

I disagree 1441 gives the military option to disarm saddam. Council already decided on such things. 40+ nations agree.

3.) To get one man, a whole population has to suffer

The whole population has been suffering. and don't give me the sanctions caused the suffering. As the benevolent dictator is worth between 3 and 10 Billion dollars he does not need the food for oil program. Besides his direct violations of UN cease fire agreements cause his peoples suffering not the US. And this war while may cause temporary suffering it will reap a much better world with a whole lot less suffering then they are used to.

4.) The motivations of the Bush-Administration are really quite plain.

To liberate an oppressed people from a brutal dictator, to stop the production of illegal chemical weapons. yes it is very plain.

So you are for a very limited war utilizing special forces only? interesting..

And if this is for oil then why did we not take it in 91?

Peace and Love brother
I'm sorry, I don't have much time to answer right now. Just one or two things: You still haven't found any weapons of mass destruction. WHERE ARE THEY?

And what do you mean with "Council already decided on such things"? 1441 doesn't allow a war of aggression. Read it. What do you think was all this manoeuvering in the Council by Colin Powell for? They wanted their war sanctioned. The Council disagreed. The war is not sanctioned and so it is illegal.

Sure, I'm for ousting, even killing Hussein, even if a process in Den Haag would be a better alternative. But it must be in accordance to the rulings of the UN Security Council! If you choose to ignore them if you please, why should North Korea for example respect them? You know, democracy rule 1: Equal rights for everybody. I don't think you understand what long-term consequences will follow, not only in the Middle East but around the whole world. It's quite frightening.

Alex Germann

DanielR
03-25-2003, 11:16 AM
...likening Saddam Hussein to Hitler means making grossly light of Hitler. Yes Saddam is evil and everything but Hitler (and his staff) was really a lot more. I'm quite a student of history and believe me, what happened in Germany '33 to '45 should never be likened to Husseins reign in Iraq.
But Alex, I'm not saying the situations back then and now are identical. I am talking about a principle: there's a dangerous regime. There's an opportunity to take care of it before it arms itself with nuclear weapons and it is too late. Why not do it?

DanielR
03-25-2003, 11:45 AM
I don't have the feeling that the people of Basra appreciate the US-Troops as saviours. The troops are invading their country. That's something they don't like. Even is Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator, he's THEIR dictator, you see?
Look at this!

UK troops back Basra uprising (http://www.itv.com/news/466525.html)

I hope this piece of news is indeed true...

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 07:12 PM
Gosh, it sure got QUIET in the media about the supposed WMD chemical plant found, didn't it...? Almost, as if it were never discovered...

"Reporters were also embarrassed on March 23 by an evaporating story about a "chemical facility" near the town of Najaf, Iraq, that was touted by U.S. military officials as a possible smoking gun to prove disputed claims about Saddam Hussein possessing banned chemical weapons. While journalists were not typically as credulous of this claim as they were with the Scud story, and generally remembered to attribute it to military sources, accounts still tended to be breathless and to extrapolate wildly from an unconfirmed report."

http://www.fair.org/activism/scuds.html

Neil Mick
03-25-2003, 08:37 PM
"Live From Iraq, an Un-Embedded Journalist: Robert Fisk on Washington’s ‘Quagmire’ in Iraq, Civilian Deaths and the Fallacy of Bush’s ‘War of Liberation’ "

http://www.democracynow.org/fisk.htm

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 10:35 PM
But Alex, I'm not saying the situations back then and now are identical. I am talking about a principle: there's a dangerous regime. There's an opportunity to take care of it before it arms itself with nuclear weapons and it is too late. Why not do it?
Daniel,

simply put because Saddam Husseins regime is a lot less dangerous than CNN wants to make you believe. In '91 it was a different kind of story, granted. But now? Still no proof of WoMD, especially not nuclear ones. The iraqi army took a sound beating in '91 and Husseins neighbours aren't in the least concerned about him, Iran for example or Saudi-Arabia.

So while the principle may apply in certain situations, here it is useless.

It's another thing with North Korea. That's really something to be concerned about, the situation is a lot more dangerous. There your principle could be put into effect, it's just the situation you described in your post. But it seems, the administration isn't very much interested. Maybe that's for two or three reasons? 1.) North Korea really seems to have nukes and wouldn't be very loath to use them. 2.) NK has quite a powerfull army and the most fortified border of the whole world. 3.) There isn't a single drop of oil in NK.

Alex Germann

Alex_Ge
03-25-2003, 11:12 PM
-----snip------

And if this is for oil then why did we not take it in 91?
Jaime, buddy;-),

I have stated many reasons to believe that this is for oil. As far as I can see you didn't bother to notice, or answer to, these points.

But let's see if we can answer your question. I would like to pose the opposite question: If this is for the people, why didn't you conquer Iraq in '91? There were good reasons to do so: 1.) The greatest part of the atrocities commited by Hussein happened in the decade before '91. Since then there hasn't happened much at all. 2.) Iraq possessed WoMD. That was proven, while now there isn't any proof at all. 3.) The Iraqi army had taken a sound beating. It would have been a perfect moment for taking control of Iraq. It seems the war went a lot better in '91 for the US than today.

The reasons to believe that this is for oil I have stated in my previous posts. To reiterate some of them: Bush and the biggest part of his team were employed and paid by big oil- and energy-companies. These companies have also financed his election campaign to an bigger than ever extent. Now these companies supply the US-Army on the Gulf. These companies will get the fullest profit if Iraq is controlled by th US.

The situation in Iraq was fairly stable. Still no proof for WoMD. Why the haste? Hussein wouldn't have pulled a nuke out of nowhere and thrown it at you. The weapon inspectors made real progress. If they had found something (and they were very thorough, really), the US could have acted in accordance with the UNO. Most countries like France (or Germany) would have supported them.

There are some more points which could use some clarification, but again I don't have the time. Maybe you could answer the above points first instead of again posting unnecessary historical references about the german past. This past is just the reason why we don't want to be involved in a war of aggression.

Alex Germann

Erik
03-26-2003, 12:25 AM
Five days, 200 miles, and it's a quagmire. You guys have the attention span of a knat.

Kids today!

Erik
03-26-2003, 12:55 AM
Alexander, you make some points here which deserve comment.
If this is for the people, why didn't you conquer Iraq in '91?
Well, Bush senior, had a UN coalition and no mandate to take him out. The world should take a look in the mirror on that one but feel free to blame the US for it. If you can't, I'm sure Neil can find something. :)
1.) The greatest part of the atrocities commited by Hussein happened in the decade before '91. Since then there hasn't happened much at all.
Well, the major atrocities, I agree. There is a reason for the no-fly zones though isn't there.
2.) Iraq possessed WoMD. That was proven, while now there isn't any proof at all.
The one item in every good Republican guard's combat kit: a chemical suit. Sure, it's not proof, but c'mon. I marvel that anyone thinks he doesn't have these. If he doesn't, then why not just come clean? It would all have gone away. All of it.
3.) The Iraqi army had taken a sound beating. It would have been a perfect moment for taking control of Iraq.
See your UN buddies on this although I agree.
It seems the war went a lot better in '91 for the US than today.
Different war. Am I the only one noticing that crashed planes have killed more coalition forces than Iraqi's have? Am I missing something here?
Bush and the biggest part of his team were employed and paid by big oil- and energy-companies. These companies have also financed his election campaign to an bigger than ever extent. Now these companies supply the US-Army on the Gulf. These companies will get the fullest profit if Iraq is controlled by the US.
I understand the point but it's not about oil. It's simplistic thinking at it's finest. This is about a changed world since 9/11. The US is not going to control the oil. We don't need it. If he does, there will be a revolution here and I'll line up for it.
The situation in Iraq was fairly stable. Still no proof for WoMD. Why the haste? Hussein wouldn't have pulled a nuke out of nowhere and thrown it at you. The weapon inspectors made real progress. If they had found something (and they were very thorough, really), the US could have acted in accordance with the UNO. Most countries like France (or Germany) would have supported them.
Here we go again and now I have to repeat myself. The inspectors made progress until around 1996. In 1998 the inspectors left (at the orders of the US if you asked some, the sane realize that Saddam had long since ceased cooperation) but even in the last year there was little cooperation and constant resistance to them.

The problem is that the world won't support a sustained inspection regime. We can dance around the inspection debate all we want but the world didn't care. It's obvious if you look at it even remotely dispassionately. We got inspections because of George Bush and the US military. The problem is that the US military can't stay on alert forever. What happens in six months when the military goes home? Bingo! So do the inspectors. In 5 years Saddam gets his nuke and then what? That's right, another North Korea on your hands.

You guys ever hear of Khidir Hamza? You should learn about him if you have not (http://www.nci.org/a/60min2-Iraq.htm). Wonder if you guys know that Saddam tested a dirty nuke?

The problem though, and it's one you just can't get around, is why has Saddam fought so hard on this issue? I understand it's partly a mystique thing to keep him in power, but it would have all gone away if he had come clean. If he had done a South Africa he would have nukes and all the chemical cocktails he could ever want.

Hence what you can't get around is:

1) Saddam wouldn't come clean

2) The UN had lost the will to police him.

3) The price of taking him out with nukes, and it would be required, is too high.

I wish inspectors could have worked but I don't believe they would have.

Erik
03-26-2003, 01:12 AM
I embedded some links in my long post but they might be missed. For those of you unaware of Khidhir Hamza, he was responsible for the Iraqi nuclear weapons program up till 1995 when he defected. Some comments and links,

From 60 Minutes Transcript (http://www.nci.org/a/60min2-Iraq.htm)

ROSE: In 1991 ...

Mr. HAMZA: Mm-hmm.

Mr. ALBRIGHT: Yeah.

ROSE: ... to have a bomb similar--equivalent to what destroyed Hiroshima?

Mr. HAMZA: Yes.

ROSE: You were within a year?

Mr. HAMZA: Mm-hmm. Max. Well, actually, my estimate would have been within six months-- probably two to six months.

and from the same article

ROSE: Saddam, in your judgment, gets the bomb unless the United States removes him.

Mr. HAMZA: Yes. Unless they remove him, he'll get the bomb, one way or the other. One thing about Saddam: He's constant. He never changes. What he wants is what he wants. And he keeps at it till he gets it. His enemy--he never forgive an enemy. He never give up a project. He never give up a plan. He has the capability. He can--he can do. He's a can-do guy.

From

http://www.ceip.org/files/projects/npp/resources/hamzatranscript.htm

Answer: I think that we could have kept it secret although the new rules allowed for a much more aggressive inspection than before. Even though we were lying, the inspectors accepted Iraq’s story about not working on a nuclear weapons program -- that it was just a research laboratory. Up until 1995, during four years of inspections they accepted Iraq’s story about this being a small research lab.

Joseph Cirincione: You are saying that Iraq was working on its nuclear program after the war?

Answer: Yes. After the war we perfected the barriers that made diffusing and enriching the uranium possible.

DanielR
03-26-2003, 07:02 AM
Saddam Husseins regime is a lot less dangerous than CNN wants to make you believe.
So it is dangerous, but not too much? ;) We probably shouldn't go into trying to define what constitutes "dangerous enough" for a military intervention, but, IMHO, a murderous dictator with a WMD program - sounds pretty dangerous.
It's another thing with North Korea.
Well, as you mentioned, it looks like N.Korea already has nuclear weapons, so it's a whole different scenario, which doesn't fit into the principle I was talking about. The opportunity to disarm it is gone, too late. The opportunity to disarm Iraq still exists.

George S. Ledyard
03-26-2003, 11:48 AM
An insight to the REAL motivations behind the protests (http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2003/03-24-2003/vo19no06_radicalism.htm)
Jaime I am amazed that people read and beilev this stuff. I will simply use myself as an example. My motivations have nothing to do with that claptrap outlined in your article.

My objections to this war have to do with the fcat that it is the wrong war at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. I am not some sort of radical socialist, peacenik, or somesuch label that you can dismiss without listening to the message.

We have seriously misunderstood the mind set of the Iraqi people. Yesterday there was a story from Amman that thousands of Iraqis who have lived in Jordan for years after they fled Saddam are returning to Iraq to fight AGAINST us. They do not see us as liberators, they see us as invaders. The rest of the world, for the most part, shares this view.

You may feel as if we are working out some imperative to do good in the world , that this is the kind of thing a great country does, but the rest of the world is in disagreement with you. Since the original justification for this war was not bringing the blessings of modern democracy to Iraq but increasing the security of our nation going into the future you have to question the rationale. Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda have worked hard to promote the idea that the Islamic world is in a life and death struggle with the West, that this is an essential clash of two ways of life. This war goes farther than anything they could have done to convince the Islamic world that this is so. Al Qaeda couldn’t be happier.

We have invaded precisely the country that they care about least, they don’t even like or trust Saddam. Iraq will be destabilized and will be MORE fertile for organization by the Islamists than it was under the tight rule of Saddam. The Islamic world will view Saddam and the dead Iraqis as martyrs… how perfect. You may be able to dismiss the protesters in the US and Europe as hopeless liberals, people you can dismiss with all sorts of right wing phrases like lefties, peaceniks, liberals (oh no), pinkos, commies, etc. all of which allow you to not hear what they are actually saying… but those tens of thousands of protestors that you are seeing around the world in the Islamic countries demonstrating are merely the symptoms of a deep seated anger that will not be limited to street demos. These people are, as we speak, being recruited in unprecedented numbers in to the very organizations which we are fighting. From the standpoint of our true enemies the Islamists around the world this war is a Godsend. There is no way we can win it. If we get burned militarily they will trumpet a victory of Islam and Allah against the infidel. If we win, which is pretty much inevitable, they will use that military victory as their own propaganda victory.

We have just moved several hundred thousand troops into a geographic area that is surrounded on all sides by enemies. You don’t have to read SunTzu to know that this is a highly risky endeavor. I believe that Al Qaeda is quite pleased to have this happening.

Now should you think that this is all some kind of lefty drivel you might consider doing some research. Despite the fact that this war has been trumpeted by the administration, other branches of the government have not been enthusiastic about it. The State Department folks have generally been opposed, there have been a number of resignations of ambassadors etc. in protest of the policy. These are the very people who are in charge of developing and maintaining the international cooperation that we require to be that world economic power that we are. The Intelligence Community is widely in opposition as they believe that this war distracts us from the true war against the Islamists world wide, gives them a tremendous propaganda victory, and that Iraq under Saddam simply doesn’t represent the threat that the administration maintains. Now when the head of the CIA (not a lefty or a liberal) says that he doesn’t believe that Saddam presents an imminent threat to the rest of the world you have to question where the administrators are getting their information. The military folks who won us the last Gulf War ware uniformly against going in until it became apparent that we were going in anyway, then they closed ranks and got on board. I hardly think that people like Stormin Norman qualify as lefties but they are on record as having serious reservations about doing this.

We are in a war! But in the war we are REALLY in Iraq is at best a minor player. We have elevated its importance by invading it but even when we win we will have done nothing to have advanced our cause in the real war, in fact we will have helped our enemy, But you know, argument doesn’t even matter now because we have gone and done it. Things will play out and we’ll see if I am right or not. Just remember what I have said.

Taking out Iraq will not prevent the next terrorist act in the US and it will make it more likely that we will be unable to move safely anywhere in the world. For a country which is primarily about trade this will be disastrous. Business needs stability to flourish. We are about to be under attack world wide and the current war is not going to change that one iota for the better, quite the opposite.

So I am an antiwar protester and I didn't see anything in that conservative idiocy that adressed anyone like me.

Michael Neal
03-26-2003, 01:00 PM
I am amazed that people read and beilev this stuff. I will simply use myself as an example. My motivations have nothing to do with that claptrap outlined in your article.

My objections to this war have to do with the fact that it is the wrong war at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. I am not some sort of radical socialist, peacenik, or somesuch label that you can dismiss without listening to the message.
We believe it because it is true, you may not associate yourself with these radicals but a great deal of them are of this type. These radical groups are who organize and fund these protests, this is a fact, I will point you to the hundreds of anti-war sites and you can view for yourself who backs this criminal behavior.
We have seriously misunderstood the mind set of the Iraqi people. Yesterday there was a story from Amman that thousands of Iraqis who have lived in Jordan for years after they fled Saddam are returning to Iraq to fight AGAINST us. They do not see us as liberators, they see us as invaders. The rest of the world, for the most part, shares this view.
So you ignore the fact that there is an uprising in Basra against Saddam's forces, the many stories from Iraqi Americans who want this war(I personaly know one as well), stories from Iraqis about atrocities and the thousands who are refusing to fight for Iraq by surrendering yet use a propaganda piece from an Arabic news source and present it as the true picture.
The State Department folks have generally been opposed, there have been a number of resignations of ambassadors etc. in protest of the policy. These are the very people who are in charge of developing and maintaining the international cooperation that we require to be that world economic power that we are.
Yes , that is right. The State Department is mad because it has been shown that they have been ineefective in their diplomacy and that their way of resolving the situation has not woked.
We are in a war! But in the war we are REALLY in Iraq is at best a minor player. We have elevated its importance by invading it but even when we win we will have done nothing to have advanced our cause in the real war, in fact we will have helped our enemy, But you know, argument doesn’t even matter now because we have gone and done it. Things will play out and we’ll see if I am right or not. Just remember what I have said.
Their importance would also have been elevated when they detonated a weapon of mass destruction in the USA.
Taking out Iraq will not prevent the next terrorist act in the US and it will make it more likely that we will be unable to move safely anywhere in the world.
iT is already difficult to move safely around the world and to say that defeating Saddam will not help prevent future terrorist attacks is utter nonsense.

Neil Mick
03-26-2003, 05:42 PM
Aw, Jaime: this is approaching internet-flame abuse. Truly, you've lost your center.

Why are you posting the same thing on every thread??

I feel embarassment, for you. Come on, dude: take a breath.

Neil Mick
03-26-2003, 08:41 PM
I embedded some links in my long post but they might be missed. For
Khidir Hamza is a joke: a low-level flack in Iraq's weapons program who was ALLOWED to leave Iraq, by a high-level security officer, after listening to his plea to leave. He told Hamza that, yeah, you can leave, because you aren't important.

When he ponied up to a CIA station, they heard his story and said"not interested."

Later, he surfaced in the US in '95, warning us all that Hussein will have nuclear capability in 6 months.

Repeatedly, he keeps upping the timetable because he's a nobody, a wannabee who gets a welcome ear from the mainstream media.

How do I know? Scott Ritter; and the testimony of Kamal Hussein, from his official interview, when he defected.

Don't make me pull up my sources, Eric...

Neil Mick
03-27-2003, 12:23 AM
Five days, 200 miles, and it's a quagmire. You guys have the attention span of a knat.

Kids today!
Right. I suppose this "lightning blitz" where Hussein crumples like a paper doll is "all proceeding to plan?"

I dunno: the idea of Bush asking for $75B for the next SIX MONTHS in Iraq is beginning to sound as if "quagmire" is an appropriate descriptive.

So, it seems, does Bush, in his apparent change of rhetoric.

But: who knows? Maybe Hussein will fall quickly. The real test is...what happens next...

Erik
03-27-2003, 01:08 AM
How do I know? Scott Ritter; and the testimony of Kamal Hussein, from his official interview, when he defected.
You could do that but then I'd have to post this,

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020918-239312.htm

Oops! Guess I got tired of hearing about Ritter as the paragon of virtue.

I did a search at fair.org because I figured the financing of his documentary would be something they'd report on. You know, get both sides out and all, but I didn't find anything on it.

For the record, there are other UN inspectors besides Ritter, many of whom disagree with his conclusions. He is a fascinating character though. He was effective and the Iraqi's hated him. He was, in fact, tremendously critical of the inspection process, Iraq, the UN and the USA when he resigned. Then, one day, it all changed and he pretty much started completely contradicting himself. He was, in fact, even accused of being an Israeli spy at one point.

I don't think he's terribly reliable, but I like him. He's colorful.

As far as Kamal Hussein goes, make up your mind. He is, or he isn't reliable. I know that prior to 2/24/03 he probably wasn't reliable, after which, he probably became much more reliable.

In the interest of fairness, which you won't find at fair.org, Imad Khadduri is the guy most critical of Hamza, and the one you should probably quote. If you can find any mainstream articles on him I'd be interested. A Google search yielded nothing but interviews by those with a specific ideological bent.

Erik
03-27-2003, 01:27 AM
Right. I suppose this "lightning blitz" where Hussein crumples like a paper doll is "all proceeding to plan?"
Since I don't know what the plan was, I really can't say. I hope it wasn't all that simple in Rumsfeld's mind. I don't think he's going to crumble, although he is dead or came damn close to being so. I think there will be resistance but realistically I think expectations were set way too high on a lot of parts. CNN has daily polls on US expectations. It's worse than the stock market. Still, 49 deaths is just under a 1/3 of what was suffered in 1991 which was ridiculously low and a much different war than this one is going to be.
The real test is...what happens next...
On that, we agree.

Neil Mick
03-27-2003, 03:23 AM
Scott Ritter has answered those questions in an interview. His movie backer was investigated by the CIA, at Ritter's request.

And, as far as Kamal Hussein, respectfully--you must be aware of the "Newsweek" break on the Kamal Hussein story, by now.

That story also released an actual transcript of the interivew, which you can find here (http://www.casi.org.uk/info/unscom950822.pdf). On page five he describes Khidir Hamza as per my description.

It's a primary source. Believe it or not; try to smear Scott Ritter, or not--

(as a side-note, it sure was interesting, how he spotted that "WMD chemical plant" as a "rumor," wasn't it? He's pretty sharp, but I do share some of your puzzlement. Still, listen to the guy; he's making a lot more sense, nowadays).

But yes, there were other ppl on-record who disagree with Ritter's findings.

Well, I dunno about mainstream, but I did a search on him, and I did find a few articles by him...hope this is useful--

http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2002/Khidhir-Hamza-Lies27nov02.htm

And, thank you for the tip.

But, Bush implied a "short war;" that was the hook, right? That's the bill of goods that was sold to America.

Now, with just the taste of war, Americans are starting to not like its stench.

Good. Neither do the Iraqi's.

Michael Neal
03-27-2003, 06:32 AM
The real test is...what happens next...
Erik, just understand that no matter what happens Neil will be opposed to it.

Neil Mick
03-29-2003, 02:22 AM
Erik, just understand that no matter what happens Neil will be opposed to it.
This "Neil is the next Satan" jag is gettin' old, Michael.

If you don't wish to communicate, why take jabs across "ignore?" It's petty.

Kelly Allen
03-29-2003, 04:57 AM
I follow all the the current threads to pass the time at work because night shifts are kind of slow. I can't help but wonder how Neil and Jamie are able to find the time to not only post the copious number of posts that you do. Not to mention the time needed to search and read the articles you link to your posts. It takes me half of my shift every night to keep up to all the stuff you guys put up.:eek:

Not that I'm complaining, it's a great way to whittle away the night hours. I just got to know how you do it!

BTW thanks to both of you. I wouldn't know what I would do to pass the night shift without you guys.

Neil Mick
03-29-2003, 06:53 PM
Lol, thanks, Kelly. Glad to be of assistance.

This post might give those of you who've just emerged from a coma ;), a little perspective (http://epic-usa.org/action/alert.php?n=54):

Neil Mick
03-30-2003, 04:21 PM
And, now we're expecting the US to actually care about post-war Iraq??

"Over the last two years, I've discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.

The primary document, "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities," is dated January 22, 1991. It spells out how sanctions will prevent Iraq from supplying clean water to its citizens."

The Secret Behind the Sanctions

How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply (http://www.progressive.org/0901/nagy0901.html)

by Thomas J. Nagy

(BTW: I did a search on Nagy's source, for the DIA article. You can view it here (http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_511rept_91.html).

Erik
03-30-2003, 08:40 PM
Just in case you need some perspective! (http://www.samizdata.net/blog/archives/002995.html#002995)

Erik
03-30-2003, 08:54 PM
Saddam Hussein an Environmentalist (http://www.iraqfoundation.org/hr.html)?

From 1992-1995, the regime waged a military and environmental campaign against the ancient region of the southern marshes, draining the waters, burning villages, killing and arresting civilian inhabitants. As many as 300,000 marsh Arabs are believed to have been driven away from their homes. Many thousands were forced to flee to Iran, where they live in refugee camps. The regime continues to wage war on the inhabitants of the region surrounding the marshes: villages have been razed, inhabitants have been killed in shelling and men have been jailed.

Neil Mick
03-30-2003, 08:55 PM
Thanks for the reminder, once again, that Hussein is a butcher, Eric. I noticed that the latest entry is 1995.

Again, I ask the quesion, respectfully: "If we are going to replace Hussein, hadn't we better find out if the Iraqi people actually want us to do it?"

And, do you think that the Iraqi's are going to TRUST a nation that just knowingly starved them, for 12 years?

Just my 2 cents, but hey: the great master-plan is right on schedule. Iraqi's are all dancing in the streets, laying down their "blood and their lives" for the Americans.

Right?

Neil Mick
03-30-2003, 09:23 PM
Definitely, I agree that perspective (http://www.peacerace.be/berichten/fr-berichten.htm) is an important thing.

Erik
03-30-2003, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the reminder, once again, that Hussein is a butcher, Eric. I noticed that the latest entry is 1995.
Qusay Executes 1,000 Prisoners (http://www.iraqfoundation.org/hr/2001/may/4_qusay.html)

Ethnic Cleansing in Kirkuk (http://www.iraqfoundation.org/hr/2001/ajan/26_deport.html)

I can do this all day if you like.
Again, I ask the quesion, respectfully: "If we are going to replace Hussein, hadn't we better find out if the Iraqi people actually want us to do it?"
Well, as you know, 100% of the population can't be wrong, even Hitler never did that good. I think even Stalin had some opposition. So you are almost certainly right. The Iraqi people love him and want him to be their leader forever and ever. Failing that, they certainly must want Quday.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Seriously? Until Saddam is gone you won't know what the Iraqi's want. I doubt that even today the Iraqi's really know what they want. Give it some time, then we'll know.
And, do you think that the Iraqi's are going to TRUST a nation that just knowingly starved them, for 12 years?
Of course you mean Iraq.
Just my 2 cents, but hey: the great master-plan is right on schedule. Iraqi's are all dancing in the streets, laying down their "blood and their lives" for the Americans.
Even the French held out for 6 weeks. :)

But it's ok, you've got to spin things as best you can. I understand your frustrated but just wait until Saddam is confirmed as dead, the Iraqi's get a government of their choice, the secret police is gone, and Bush leaves without taking any oil with him.

That would be a major bummer, wouldn't it? Of course you could then complain about all the money Halliburton is making. Wait, they didn't get the contract. Damn, Cheney really is evil.

Neil Mick
03-30-2003, 10:25 PM
Apology, apology.

You say "Spin;" I say "Apologist;" again...

"Let's call the whole thing OFF!" :)

You just have to reach for the verbal slur, don't you, Eric?

Odd, your mention of the French: didn't the French also introduce us to the lovely experiences of Vietnam? My THAT sure was a shining moment in American history, wasn't it?

And, call me a deluded "spin doctor" if you like, but I imagine that the Iraqi's don't particularly LIKE being bombed, or invaded.

Certainly, not by a country that has treated them so poorly, for so long.

But, you just keep posting these "bad-guy Hussein" links: Kelly gets something out of them, but the simple illegality of this invasion, coupled with the planned genocide of starving Iraqi's via the Sanctions (BTW, did you even bother to look at the site? Please, don't believe him; look up his sources...he wants you to), puts any other motives (other than oil, and macho imperialism) for this US invasion in some doubt, to say the very least.

You just keep tapping that "US-good-guy, saving the thankful Iraqi's" song out, maybe it'll even happen.

Not bloody likely, IMO: but I'm just one, lonely spin-doctor :p What do I know?

Erik
03-31-2003, 12:38 AM
You just have to reach for the verbal slur, don't you, Eric?
At least I spell your name right.
Odd, your mention of the French: didn't the French also introduce us to the lovely experiences of Vietnam?
Don't forget the Catholics. You can never count them out when it comes to causing trouble.
And, call me a deluded "spin doctor" if you like, but I imagine that the Iraqi's don't particularly LIKE being bombed, or invaded.
We don't really know where they sit but as a general rule, I agree. I doubt they like bombs landing in their capital. Particularly when it's Iraqi anti-aircraft fire that is killing them.
But, you just keep posting these "bad-guy Hussein" links
OK, he's a good guy.
(BTW, did you even bother to look at the site?
I actually read the original document. OK, I admit I didn't do that until you posted this but your sources are not terribly credible. Get mainstream media going. The media is not a pawn of the government like you think.

What you've done, again, is take a very narrow and specific anti-US viewpoint and run as far as you could with it in a fervent desire to make the US the most evil nation the world has ever seen. The problem is that many of the sanctioned items are dual-use (weapons and civilian use), hence, well, it really sucks in this case.

I repeat my earlier point. All Saddam had to do was open up his country, give up the WMD and it would have all been over. All of it. It is really that simple.

That's what you can't get around. This guy spent years lying to the inspectors and the UN. Surely he would know of the effects on his people, and, he didn't care. Hell, I've said it before, if he gave up the weapons in 1991, not only would sanctions have been lifted, he'd probably have a nuke today and all the funky cooking he could ever want.

So, in the end, maybe it's once again Saddam that is the problem. And for the Great Pumpkin's sake, it's not genocide, it's one document which may not have even made it past some low-level manager and wound up filed. Once again, by jumping to extremes you are not helping your credibility.

By the way, I'm not a fan of sanctions. I'd like to see them go away. The only way I see that happening is through Baghdad. Iraq would be a much different and better place today if we'd have done that in 1991.

I'm not sure this link is credible but it's an analysis of the document from a different perspective.

http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2000/msg00994.html

Neil Mick
03-31-2003, 02:26 AM
Oh, whatever.

Look, whether or not you choose to admit it, the US had bombed the water and agricultural infrastructure of Iraq, in Gulf War 1. You can rebut and "claim" it's all bunk, but its a declassified, DIA primary source. You don't like it, then come up with a rebutting source, don't kvetch.

But, the US is guilty of a crime against humanity by this act, flat-out against the Geneva Conventions (also, IMA, it really doesn't matter if they knew about it or not, 12 years of Sanctions certainly shows results).

And, respectfully: what YOU can't seem to "get around" is the US involvement, spying and contravention of the inspections. You conveniently ignore the US role, and dealings with, Iraq during the whole period of the '90's.

Just like your 1/2 histories, you fail to see the other side, the US-fingerprints in the inspections pie.

But, even if the US didn't have their fingers in the UN kitchen, they rigged the game from the beginning, and the end. They broke international law, by starving the Iraqi's via the Sanctions, and they broke the law again when they invaded Iraq, 1 week ago.

Bush said several times that he would "go around the UN." Well, he sure did, didn't he? He just cowboy'd into a situation that he promised the Conservatives that it would be a "cake-walk," and it's not the 4-day war, that his advisors promised, is it?

I noticed Rumsfeld on TV, looking a little worried...

At this point, I agree with the viewpoints of George Ledyard: right after this war, Bush, Blair et al, are going up on charges for crimes against humanity.

And, "mainstream media" is little more than the army's "in-bed-wid" journalism. You want "mainstream" journalism to disucuss these articles? You might have to wait about 10 years or so, for this to happen.

Newsflash, Eric: I pointed out the humanitarian crisis weeks ago, based upon reports from humanitarian agencies. Check my previous posts. Did you hear word one about the potential humanitarian crisis involved if the US invades Iraq, in the mainstream media??

No. All we heard was how all the cool, comic-book presentations of weapons would make this war a "cake walk."

But, it blows me away that you still believe that the US really cares about the Iraqi's. In spite of all evidence to the contrary, you still hold to this belief that we're "doing it for the Iraqi's.

While they're sitting on the 2nd-largest supply of oil, in the world.

In the midst of a severe energy shortage (probably permanent), within the next 10-20 years.

Gosh, I used to believe in Santa Claus, once. I gave it up, when I caught the parents planting the evidence.

Neil Mick
03-31-2003, 02:42 AM
And finally, regarding "dual use:"

Dual use was also designated for a vaccine. The US-dominated committe determined that an important vaccine could be used to make a biological weapon.

It was a great embarassment to the US when it came out that the vaccine was impossible to replicate; the WHO scientists said that even in a sci-fi scenario, the vaccine couldn't be used as a weapon.

Dual use has also been applied to yogurt-making machines, equipment to repair infrastructure, etc.

Any other apologies, for genocide?

P.S. Uh, no. You document, respectfully, lacks a little in its 3rd-handedness...

"I passed on the Glasgow Herald article and the document on
to a senior USAF contact of mine who was able to contact
someone involved in the drafting of the document. Here are
his comments, stripped of identifying detail."

Michael Neal
03-31-2003, 08:57 AM
Who is really killing Iraq's civilians?

http://www.mywebdimension.com/images/bagdad.jpg

Neil Mick
03-31-2003, 11:14 AM
He just get more and more amazing, with every link he posts.

Next, I suppose it's crayon drawings of the WMD sites, ay, Michael? :rolleyes:

Erik
03-31-2003, 03:29 PM
Neil, you believe in UFO's, I don't. I've never seen one side convince the other.

Neil Mick
03-31-2003, 05:22 PM
Whatever, Erik. You believe what you want to believe; and I'll do the same.

Peace.

Neil Mick
03-31-2003, 10:37 PM
Now, this might be interesting, for all of you military strategists:

"Today we can see that the US advance is characterized by disorganized and "impulsive" actions. The troops are simply trying to find weak spots in the Iraqi defenses and break through them until they hit the next ambush or the next line of defense.

Not a single goal set before the coalition forces was met on time.

During the nine days of the war the coalition has failed:

- to divide Iraq in half along the An-Nasiriya - Al-Ammara line,

- to surround and to destroy the Iraqi group of forces at Basra,

- to create an attack group between the Tigris and the Euphrates with a front toward Baghdad,

- to disrupt Iraq's military and political control, to disorganize Iraq's forces and to destroy the main Iraqi attack forces."

http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/news082.htm

DanielR
04-01-2003, 08:26 AM
http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/news082.htm
Neil,

The russian anti-US and anti-Israel tendencies have reached sickening proportions these days. I'm not trying to argue with what the article says - out of my league. But those resources, IMHO, lack credibility, to say the least.

Erik
04-01-2003, 10:55 AM
IMHO, lack credibility, to say the least.
You have to understand that Neil only reads one side of the news and then proceeds to accuse the rest of us of being uninformed.

Wouldn't want this kind of news to get out (http://espn.go.com/oly/news/2003/0120/1495655.html#).

nor, should we read things like this,

http://hri.ca/fortherecord1998/documentation/genassembly/a-53-433.htm#C30

III. The rights to food and health care

33. The Special Rapporteur has consistently reported on the food and health situation in Iraq since he took up his mandate in 1991. The Special Rapporteur observes that along with the systematic violation of various civil and political rights, the Government of Iraq has consistently failed to respect its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the detriment of the welfare of millions of Iraqi citizens. In particular, notwithstanding its own calculations of widespread suffering and high morbidity and mortality rates throughout the country (especially affecting women, children and the elderly), the Government of Iraq has persistently failed to act to the maximum of its available resources and in full cooperation with the international community to respect and ensure the rights to food and health care, according to article 2 of the Covenant in conjunction with articles 11 and 12.

34. The Government of Iraq refused for five years to cooperate with the United Nations and take advantage of the so-called "oil-for-food" resolutions which would have long ago provided substantially increased resources to assist specially affected persons. At the same time, it failed to ensure the end of the sanctions - and consequently also the end for the need for "oil-for-food" programmes - by complying with relevant Security Council resolutions. When the Government of Iraq finally did begin to cooperate with the United Nations on the implementation of an "oil-for-food" programme, it nonetheless prevaricated in negotiations, restricted the access and flexibility of the United Nations in carrying out the operations and subsequently interrupted oil sales at various times and for significant durations, all of which has been to the detriment of the long-suffering Iraqi people, in particular the most vulnerable.

35. Greater supplies of food and medicine and more material for the improvement of the sanitation system would have reached Iraq if the Government would have given priority to these items in allocating resources for imports. But instead it gave priority to its military programmes and to the building of prestige objects such as numerous palaces for which material had to be imported from abroad.

There are a few more in this section of the report. All quite interesting. But, Neil will tell us it doesn't matter and it's all the fault of the US.

opherdonchin
04-01-2003, 11:07 AM
I don't, as a rule, enjoy William Safire, but for some inexplicable reason I found his recent column sort of fun:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/31/opinion/31SAFI.html

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 04:29 PM
Neil,

The russian anti-US and anti-Israel tendencies have reached sickening proportions these days. I'm not trying to argue with what the article says - out of my league. But those resources, IMHO, lack credibility, to say the least.
Sigh.

All I said was: "it's interesting." The Russian link provides an analysis of the military situation completely lacking in US media. Now, that CNN is firing its star newscasters for offering even slightly critical assessments, a counter-view is valuable.

Sure, look askance at the credibility of the source. But please, I suggest you hold off shooting the messenger, before you at least look at what he has to say.

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 04:40 PM
I did something that you obviously seem to have abandoned, regarding mutuality in each other's sources...I am reading over your source.

Remember this, Erik? Once upon a time, we actually READ, and considered, the perspectives of each other.

Did you actually READ "Cool War," posted above? I'm beginning to doubt that anything I say will make a difference to you.

And, you keep carping, parrot-like, on this notion that "it's all the fault of the US."

Newsflash, again: I never said this, and never thought it. But, if we are going to be the LoFW and "rescue" the Iraqi's from the tyranny of Hussein, it stands to reason that we'd better have clean hands ourselves, before we start invading Iraq.

Imagine if Iran used the same excuse, and they went ahead and invaded Iraq, to "liberate" them. "Oh, we're invading Iraq because we're "liberating" Iraq, from Hussein."

Riight.

Now, all of your highly colorful, antiquated posts are interesting (and illuminating, from a biased historical perspective), but: do you have ANYTHING to say about the current illegalities of this war? Or: the simple fact that we have NO IDEA if the Iraqi's really want us there?

Because, if they don't, if they see us as the invaders: all the good will and above-board dealings we (haven't) do(ne) will mean nothing. We'll depose Hussein, in all probablility, but it will mean squat, in the final analysis, because we'll be constantly fighting the Iraqi's over their right to self-rule.

My, doesn't THAT scenario sound familiar...?

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 04:46 PM
I don't, as a rule, enjoy William Safire, but for some inexplicable reason I found his recent column sort of fun:
Yeah, I'm not a Safire fan, either: but I think he writes well. Thanks for the article, Opher.

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 04:58 PM
Several x's a day, I check the latest casualty tally, and I update the figures on my signature.

It saddens me to see that figure change frequently, sometimes several times in one hour.

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 05:12 PM
You have to understand that Neil only reads one side of the news and then proceeds to accuse the rest of us of being uninformed.
Rude, sarcastic, and patently untrue.
With respect:



My sources are the Independent, the BBC (I'm practically GLUED to the latest BBC updates, even tho I think they treat it as a weather-broadcast...very surreal), the NY Times, all my local papers, and yes: the indymedia sites, electroniciraq, and Pacifica radio broadcasts.

Regarding my postings of the casualty rates: those are from www.iraqbodycount.org .

Check out their sources: all mainstream, well-documented, carefully tabulated.

When I call into account your sources, all I am asking is for you to broaden your news input. Go ahead: stick to your guns. Believe what you want; I'm just asking you to use other outlets besides Fox, and CNN: both of which are using a very narrow source.

I am not interested in any other form of discourse, except one arising from mutually-held respect.
Any questions? Or: shall you continue with the same tactic of "sarcastic slander first, reflect later...?"

opherdonchin
04-01-2003, 05:36 PM
Ok, since I've had some success with this, I'm going to post another editorial I sort of found interesting. I want to add two caveats, though. 1) I don't read necessarilly follow everyone elses links; 2) the fact that I've posted two sort of right leaning articles in a row should not be taken as support for the war (or, as opposition to the war, for that matter).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45183-2003Mar28.html

DanielR
04-01-2003, 06:12 PM
Sigh.

The Russian link provides an analysis of the military situation completely lacking in US media...

Sure, look askance at the credibility of the source. But please, I suggest you hold off shooting the messenger, before you at least look at what he has to say.
Neil, I wrote my comment after I read the article and researched where it came from. I've been reading several russian forums, so I've been exposed to quite a few such sites, and believe me, those are the last places you want to go searching for credible perspective.

So it was basically just a friendly advice - presenting sources from a country known for its anti-american stance in the context of this war probably does a disservice to your argument, that's all.

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 06:22 PM
So it was basically just a friendly advice - presenting sources from a country known for its anti-american stance in the context of this war probably does a disservice to your argument, that's all.
OK. Do you have any suggestions for another site (other than that 1) that looks at offers military appraisals of Iraq...outside the US?

I look at a lot of humanitarian sites (NGO's, mostly), and they are all pretty worried. Of course, none of them offer military analysis, and the reporters around Baghdad and Iraq are taking disturbing turns. A reporter was just kicked out of Iraq, by the US troops, and an indy reporter was kicked out of Baghdad. He had a tough time, getting back home.

DanielR
04-01-2003, 06:54 PM
OK. Do you have any suggestions for another site (other than that 1) that looks at offers military appraisals of Iraq...outside the US?
I'll let you know if I come across one. Personally, I find articles of Ze'ev Schiff in the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" to be concise and to the point. Here's a sample (http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=278576&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y)

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 07:21 PM
Yes, I've read a few articles from Haaretz. They were good.

I should pay more attention to what they say, nowadays. I'm sure they'll offer an insightful balance. Thanks for the tip.

Erik
04-01-2003, 10:03 PM
patently untrue.
Which correctly identifies many of your statements of fact. The only reason I'm still here is that you continue to make poorly supported claims. As long as you do, my 5th final and complete declaration of doneness ain't done. Six more and I catch up to Saddam. :)

Hundreds of Kurds have been killed and 900,000 made homeless in a new round of repression in northern Iraq.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9909/14/iraq.report/

Today just 6 percent to 17 percent of the marshes, one of the world's most important wetlands, is intact, and more than 200,000 people have been driven out of the area in this act of vengeance by the Iraqi dictator. The marshes may disappear altogether by 2010.

http://www.kuwait-info.org/News/iraq_draining_away.html

By the way, there is fodder for your anti-US sentiments here.

Pasha
04-01-2003, 10:09 PM
those are the last places you want to go searching for credible perspective.
Well, the article was a reprint from www.iraqwar.ru which is rather informative and moderate than some of the periodicals. I would take Daniel's advice with a grain of salt though. For the best selection of Russian editorials and analitics I would suggest David Johnson's newsletter (CDI project) - davidjohnson@erols.com.

The overwhelming mood in Russian media was best summarized by Alexei Pankin, editor of the Sreda media journal: "Everybody wants this war to be over quickly, and it is clear that America will win but everybody wants America to be dealt as many blows in the face as possible. There is a feeling of surprising satisfaction with the fact that the U.S.

military machine hasn't turned out to be as mighty as advertised." So I would be careful when reading regular newspaper sites. iraqwar.ru however, does offer somewhat sobering analysis in my view.

I appologize in advance for the lengthy qoute, but I am simply not sure where to find this since it came this afternoon

Analysis: Russia advises Iraq on U.S. plan

By Martin Sieff

UPI Senior News Analyst

WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- Russian military advisers have told Iraqi

President Saddam Hussein and his government that the main Allied drive on

Baghdad will not take place until mid-April and will then come around the

west of the city, Russian journalists and analysts with strong links to

Russian military intelligence now claim.

Strikingly, the Russian analysts, whose work appears on the iraqwar.ru Web

site, believe that U.S. and Allied forces are still overwhelmingly likely

to win the war and that they are performing in a highly impressive manner.

The reports are described as "based on the Russian military intelligence --

the Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU -- reports."

A March 31 report on the site revealed that Iraq was receiving analytical

advice from Russian officials. "Russian military analysts are advising the

Iraqi military command against excessive optimism," it said.

The Russian analysts stated that "There is no question that the U.S.

'blitzkrieg' failed to take control of Iraq and to destroy its army. It is

clear that the Americans got bogged down in Iraq and that the military

campaign hit a snag."

But they then went on to caution the Iraqis, "The Iraq command is now in

danger of underestimating the enemy. For there is no reason to question the

resolve of the Americans and their determination to reach the set goal --

complete occupation of Iraq."

And they continued, "Despite some obvious miscalculations and errors of the

coalition's high command, the (Allied) troops that have entered Iraq

maintain high combat readiness and are willing to fight. The initiative in

the war remains firmly in the hands of the coalition."

Indeed, in a March 30 report the Russian analysts predicted, "The coalition

is already planning a new large scale operation that will utilize the new

forces currently being deployed in the region."

Russian intelligence believed "this large scale operation will be launched

from the general vicinity of Karabela and will develop into a wide maneuver

around Baghdad from the west ending in the area of the Tartar lake east of

al-Hadid -- or east of the Tartar lake at Samarrah," the Russian analysts'

report said. "From this point a part of the force will continue advancing

toward Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit and from there it will turn

towards Baghdad from the north through Samarrah and Baahkuba; meanwhile the

rest of the force will strike the rears of the Iraqi forces fighting in the

north near Kirkuk and Mosul."

"Such an operation would require up to 60,000 troops, no less than 300

tanks and 200 helicopters," the Russian analysts concluded. "It is believed

that such forces can be put together by April 15 and by April 18 they

should be ready for to attack."

It remains to be seen, of course if the war will indeed follow this highly

detailed prediction. Current reports indicate that U.S. forces are slowly

closing in on Baghdad and probing for weaknesses in Iraqi defenses already.

What is certainly the case is that Iraqi resistance has been impressive and

prolonged and that contrary to universally held U.S. media assumptions --

and the confident expectations of Defense Department war planners -- the

Iraqis have succeeded in holding up and preventing U.S. conquest and

occupation of all major cities to this point, almost two weeks into the

war. The main -- and bloodiest -- clashes of the war are clearly still ahead.

With this in mind one other, sobering conclusion of the GRU analysts may

prove significant. The March 30 report concluded, "Russian military

analysts believe that the critical (point) for the U.S. duration of the war

would be over 90 days" -- in other words, after mid-June -- "provided that

during that time the coalition will sustain over 1,000 killed. Under such

circumstances a serious political crisis in the U.S. and the world will be

unavoidable."

As for what the fears are - this might be interesting (http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2003/04/02/006.html)

Cheers.

Neil Mick
04-01-2003, 11:13 PM
Erik:

Mass murderers, indicting Hussein???

That IS a good one: perhaps they'll be so good, as to supply the judges...?

And, if your "only reason for being here is to combat my poor suppositions," you've come up with a poor counter, indeed.

60% invective, 15% repetition of 1/2 truths, and 25% regurgitated CNN (read: White House press staff) reports doth not a solid counter, make.

But, let the readers decide: you've certainly failed to convince me.

But, I sure notice all the talk of humanitarian aid, and all the US support for the upcoming humanitarian crisis, that we're creating, on CNN.

Gosh, we ARE such a HUMANITARIAN nation, aren't we...? All that lovely food we hand out, off trucks...be nice, now: let the little girl get some, too>>>looks good for the camera's... :grr:

Erik
04-02-2003, 12:00 AM
#&$*&#*^@ 15 minute time limit.

Last night I had a two-hour conversation with someone opposed to the war. It was quite civil and we had a lot of common ground. There are issues worth discussing where I agree with those opposed to the war and many where I disagree.

So much of this debate has fallen into extremes like:

1) The USA is intentionally committing genocide with the sanctions.

2) Saddam was part of 9/11.

3) The US is only there to take the oil.

4) Saddam has direct ties with Al Qaeda.

Really, none of these are true in the aggregate, although all have some tiny bit of truth to them. For instance,

1) Sanctions do suck, but one document is not proof of US genocide except to someone desperate to see it that way and completely ignore Saddam's complicity and the reasons for sanctions in the first place.

2) Saddam wasn't part of 9/11 but I bet he did a dance in whatever palace he was in.

3) Any US president that didn't think about oil should be impeached, however, if you look at how the US buys oil and how the oil market works you get a much different picture.

4) The terrorist camp in Northern Iraq, is, well, it's in Iraq. Still, I doubt that Saddam is a big fan of them.

Am I sarcastic? HELL YES! These are stupid and simplistic arguments as are many of their friends just like them.

For some reason this issue has polarized the argument to the realm of 'wild-assed' claims, in the extreme. I blame part of that on Bush's extreme lack of sales skill but I also blame much of it on people desperate to paint the USA as the worst entity the world has ever seen. The truth on all of this is that no one is clean in this debate. Not Germany, not France, not Russia, not China, not the United States, not the UN, not the Arab world, not Bush, not the anti-war crowd, nor the pro-war crowd.

I do agree that this situation sucks. I think going to war in the Arab world is the best of a host of bad options in a crappy situation i wish we were not in. Thing is, all anyone seems able to do is hurl nonsense at each other, never address the real issues, and certainly not provide any solid solutions.

Looks like there's a lot to be sarcastic about on this one.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 12:51 AM
You want to address the real issues?

Look at the numbers here, at the bottom of my post: that's as real as it gets.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 01:07 AM
".

Well lets argue facts. As one who worked for Military and D.O.D organizations involved with OT&E (Operational Test and Evaluation), (Ballistic Missile Defense), AND yes BDA (Battle Damage Assesment). I can say from my personal assesment (not affiliated with any government position) this picture does indeed show launches (not simply false launches resulting from initial blasts from U.S. strikes) from the ground into the air and back down onto the city. From the trajectory analysis that can be detrmined from this photograph it can be seen from the output of the rocket it is probable that these are misfires due to aging equipment or other malfunction. The clearing or "greying" and dissapation of the smoke would indicate that these rockets were fired prior (perhaps seconds) to the U.S. strikes hitting target.

I think it may be time to check that body count and its true source (It is the same the Iraqi Government are using)....
But, I guess being an expert doesn't mean being omnipotent...

The proof: marketplace deaths were caused by a US missile

By Cahal Milmo

02 April 2003

An American missile, identified from the remains of its serial number, was pinpointed yesterday as the cause of the explosion at a Baghdad market on Friday night that killed at least 62 Iraqis.

The codes on the foot-long shrapnel shard, seen by the Independent correspondent Robert Fisk at the scene of the bombing in the Shu'ale district, came from a weapon manufactured in Texas by Ray- theon, the world's biggest producer of "smart" armaments.

The identification of the missile as American is an embarrassing blow to Washington and London as they try to match their promises of minimal civilian casualties with the reality of precision bombing.

Both governments have suggested the Shu'ale bombing ­ and the explosion at another Baghdad market that killed at least 14 people last Wednesday ­ were caused by ageing Iraqi anti-aircraft missiles. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday it was "increasingly probable" the first explosion was down to the Iraqis and Peter Hain, the Welsh Secretary, suggested on BBC's Newsnight last night that President Saddam sacked his head of air defences because they were not working properly.

But investigations by The Independent show that the missile ­ thought to be either a Harm (High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) device, or a Paveway laser-guided bomb ­ was sold by Raytheon to the procurement arm of the US Navy. The American military has confirmed that a navy EA-6B "Prowler" jet, based on the USS Kittyhawk, was in action over the Iraqi capital on Friday and fired at least one Harm missile to protect two American fighters from a surface-to-air missile battery.

The Pentagon and Raytheon, which last year had sales of $16.8bn (£10.6bn), declined to comment on the serial number evidence last night. A US Defence Department spokeswoman said: "Our investigations are continuing. We cannot comment on serial numbers which may or may not have been found at the scene."

An official Washington source went further, claiming that the shrapnel could have been planted at the scene by the Iraqi regime.

On Saturday, Downing Street disclosed intelligence that linked the Wednesday attack ­ and by implication Friday's killings ­ on Iraqi missiles being fired without radar guidance and falling back to earth. The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "A large number of surface-to-air missiles have been malfunctioning and many have failed to hit their targets and have fallen back on to Baghdad. We are not saying definitively that these explosions were caused by Iraqi missiles but people should approach this with due scepticism."

The Anglo-American claims were undermined by the series of 25 digits and letters on the piece of fuselage shown to Mr Fisk by an elderly resident of Shu'ale who lived 100 yards from the site of the 6ft crater made by the explosion.

The numbers on the fragment ­ retrieved from the scene and not shown to the Iraqi authorities ­ read: "30003-704ASB7492". The letter "B" was partially obscured by scratches and may be an "H". It was followed by a second code: "MFR 96214 09."

An online database of suppliers maintained by the Defence Logistics Information Service, part of the Department of Defence, showed that the reference MFR 96214 was the identification or "cage" number of a Raytheon plant in the city of McKinney, Texas.

The 30003 reference refers to the Naval Air Systems Command, the procurement agency responsible for furnishing the US Navy's air force with its weaponry.

The Pentagon refused to disclose which weapon was designated by the remaining letters and numbers, although defence experts said the information could be found within seconds from the Nato database of all items of military hardware operated across the Alliance, "from a nuclear bomb to a bath plug", as one put it.

Raytheon, which also produces the Patriot anti-missile system and the Tomahawk cruise missile, lists its Harms and its latest Paveway III laser-guided bombs, marketed with the slogan "One bomb, one target", as among its most accurate weaponry.

The company's sales description for its anti-radar missile says: "Harm was designed with performance and quality in mind. In actual field usage, Harm now demonstrates reliability four times better than specification. No modern weapons arsenal is complete without Harm in its inventory."

Faced with apparent proof that one of its missiles had been less accurate than specification, Raytheon was more coy on the capabilities of its products. A spokeswoman at the company's headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, said: "All questions relating to the use of our products in the field are to be handled by the appropriate military authority."

Defence experts said the damage caused at Shu'ale was consistent with that of Paveway or, more probably, a Harm weapon, which carries a warhead designed to explode into thousands of aluminium fragments and has a range of 80km.

Despite its manufacturer's claims, it also has a record of unreliability when fired at a target which "disappears" if, as the Iraqi forces do, the target's operators switch their radar signal rapidly on and off. Nick Cook, of Jane's Defence Weekly, said: "The problem with Harms is that they can be seduced away from their targets by any sort of curious transmission. They are meant to have corrected that but there have been problems." During the Kosovo conflict four years ago, a farmer and his daughter were badly injured when a missile exploded in their village. A shard of the casing was found near by with a reference very similar to that found in Baghdad: "30003 704AS4829 MFP 96214."

The American navy confirmed that one of its Prowler jets, which is used to jam enemy radar, had been over an unspecified area of Baghdad on Friday night. A pool reporter on the carrier USS Kittyhawk was told that the Prowler squadron had fired its first Harm on Friday evening in response to an air-defence unit that was threatening two F/A-18 Hornet jets. Lieutenant Rob Fluck told the journalist that the crew had not seen where their missile had landed.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 02:23 AM
"The operation of Iraq sanctions involves numerous agencies within the United Nations. The Security Council’s 661 Committee* is generally responsible for both enforcing the sanctions and granting humanitarian exemptions. The Office of Iraq Programme (OIP), within the U.N. Secretariat, operates the Oil for Food Programme. Humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization work in Iraq to monitor and improve the population’s welfare, periodically reporting their findings to the 661 Committee. These agencies have been careful not to publicly discuss their ongoing frustration with the manner in which the program is operated.

Over the last three years, through research and interviews with diplomats, U.N. staff, scholars, and journalists, I have acquired many of the key confidential U.N. documents concerning the administration of Iraq sanctions. I obtained these documents on the condition that my sources remain anonymous. What they show is that the United States has fought aggressively throughout the last decade to purposefully minimize the humanitarian goods that enter the country."

http://www.harpers.org/online/cool_war/cool_war.php3?pg=1

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 03:59 AM
Interesting analyses of the war-situation:

Medieval Sieges and the Politics of Casualties; Which Side Will Give Up First? (http://www.counterpunch.org/)

And, for balance (wouldn't want to accused of being "biased!" lol)

A US Military-strategic think-tank's website

(pages take forEVER to load. Haven't been able to see it yet,,,it 's STILL loading!)

www.stratfor.com

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 04:14 AM
But, what the heck, Erik: I've got a killer insomnia, and so here I am, face glued to the comp screen, and I's 3AM. So, here's my 2 cents:

1. That the US imposed Sanctions on Iraq for 12 years without knowing the effects upon the Iraqi children is not just impossible, it is ignoring reality. Studies by the UN came out; MANY studies. The US gov't DID know about the effects, even as they implelented them.

Again, give "Cool War" another look.

2. I don't care if Saddam got piss-drunk and slaughtered a town in honor of 9/11; attacking Iraq as some form of "justice" for 9/11 is patently insane. He had nothing to do with it...might as well slaughter all the dolphins in memory of 9/11, or, FTM, Americans.

3. An interesting point. Yes, how the US deals with the oil market IS critical to this issue. But we have less than 200 years before the direction of the oil-flow slows to a trickle. In 20 years, we're going to reach the halfway point.

If I ever heard of a time in history more ripe for a change to alternative fuels, this is it. All that vaunted, centralized power...this guy could really change things for the better, instead of becoming the new "Butcher of Iraq," while canonizing the old.

4. Yeah, we're in agreement, there. A terrorist camp right under the watchful eyes of the no-fly zone.... :rolleyes:

But, we are in partial agreement over the lack of sales pitch to the Arab-world, on Bush's part. If he had even HALF an interest in REAL regime-change, he'd a least have hired a PR firm. ;)

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 12:57 PM
Oh, so Mr. "I'm really going, now" just couldn't keep to his word...?

Not interested in your comments, Jaime (since, you can't be bothered to respond in polite debate, via email).

Gotta love this ignore feature...bye!

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2003, 06:13 PM
Neil,

I am sure we as a country (U.S) certainly knew the effects on the Iraqi children.

I am sad that they are the ones to suffer. It hurts me deeply.

But at what point does Iraq become responsible for it's own actions?

Was it the U.S. that caused the suffering? or was it Iraq's refusal to obey?

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2003, 06:15 PM
Neil,

In response to the casualties you quote above:

How many Iraqi's have been killed, tortured, or maimed by Sadam Hussein?

Not that we should ever justify a body count based on strictly a cost/benefit ratio of human lives....but it does need to be considered!

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 06:33 PM
Neil,

I am sure we as a country (U.S) certainly knew the effects on the Iraqi children.

I am sad that they are the ones to suffer. It hurts me deeply.

But at what point does Iraq become responsible for it's own actions?

Was it the U.S. that caused the suffering? or was it Iraq's refusal to obey?
Excellent. Now we get the real question, that needs to be asked.

That the US knowingly attacked the water and agricultural infrastructure is, IMO, without doubt. This act is a complete violation of the Geneva Convention of War, and it validates Hussein's attempts to waffle around the inspections.

Consider: no confession signed under torture or duress has merit. By the same token, an international law enforced with genocidal Sanctions becomes invalid. if not in legal framework (as I honestly am not sure), but in the mind of the Arabic world.

Hussein's supporters could say that he was fighting an unjust violation of the Conventions by subterfuge; it gives a moral basis for his actions, where there would be none.

I have always been very opposed to the treatment and non-POW status of the Afghani prisoners at Guantanamo. In wrongly imprisoning them and denying them council, WE become the opporessors, the terrorists.

When we illegally invaded Iraq, we only underscored this discrepancy. Now, we're calling Iraqi's defending their own country from invaders "terrorists."

A disturbing picture begins to emerge. Go to the Defence Dept website: see if their own standards of combatants and definition of terrorists match up to their behavior, if the mirror is turned in the other direction.

The picture that emerges is one of Anglo-American racism: the Arab combatants are subject to one standard, and the US soldiers another (another example: the ICC. We are quite happy to see an int'l court that investigates OTHER countries' militaries, but we want our own militia to be exempt, from the same scrutiny).

So now we knowingly used the Sanctions with genocidal effect; we disrupted the inspections process that was reporting tangible results; and we're now attacking a city that the Arabs STILL remember the Mongol attack of Baghdad, in 1270.

In short, we're going into this conflict without a legal leg to stand on, with one eye closed, with the probable aim of canonizin Hussein and enriching the ranks of Al Qaeda, bombing a major civilian city with the expressed intention of "saving" them.

If this looks patently absurd to me, how do you think it looks to the average Iraqi, or Iranian (particularly since the Iranians are now being threatened)?

Sure, Hussein must answer for his crimes, but invasion is the worst idea, out of many.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 06:36 PM
Neil,

In response to the casualties you quote above:

How many Iraqi's have been killed, tortured, or maimed by Sadam Hussein?

Not that we should ever justify a body count based on strictly a cost/benefit ratio of human lives....but it does need to be considered!
Absolutely. But, it needs to be considered in context.

How many of our allies are guilty of human rights violations? Why are their crimes utterly ignored, while Baghdad gets cluster bombs?

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 06:45 PM
But, I'll tell you something very telling, Kevin. You're the first person to comment upon how sad it is that these Iraqi casualties occurred, how bombing a children's hospital is a great loss.

Most of the other ppl in opposition to me only called into question the validity of these #'s. Not one word of loss, of sorrow, only "every civilian death is on the hands of Hussein" to paraphrase Erik.

When I hear of these deaths, I feel it as if it occurred in New York, in this country.

If your first response is to deny the reality of these deaths, well then: that says it all , doesn't it?

Denial of reality, affects several levels of perception.

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2003, 06:45 PM
I would certainly agree with you that human rights violations by so called civilized nations are unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

I think though that you and I may disagree in a gray area between lawful actions of war vs. human rights issues.

It would be interesting to see where we would meet in these issues.

I certainly oppose "dumb" land mines especially when there is new technology that allows them to be employed in an effective manner for force protection that does not have the undesired after effects we see in a post war environment.

Cluster bombs have their time and place on the battlefield.

I am very pleased with the fact that we are using ground troops to better control civilian casualties than trying to keep our hands clean from 30,000 feet. All though it will mean more lives lost for us....but I think America needs to wake up to the fact that their is a cost to war, not only in a deficit, but in human lives...both the enemies and ours!

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 06:53 PM
Well, for me, it's all about human rights.

If human rights are not the primary concern, barbarism is legitimized.

Take a look (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0402-04.htm) at this article, to see my point.

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2003, 07:04 PM
Not sure I see YOUR point?

I actually am somewhat of an expert in Urban warefare and guerrilla warfare, having taught, studied, and trained in the tactics that we are employing and will soon be employing in Bhagdad.

Nothing wrong with bulldozers IMHO....it is when you use them indiscriminately against civilians as with any weapon system.

I think the article brings up some good points with good advice.

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 07:17 PM
And, with 'reduced visibility:" how can you NOT use them indiscriminately against civilians?

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2003, 07:24 PM
You must adopt strategies, policies, and proceedures to minimize loss of civilian life.

I think you rubble buildings that have tactical value to your enemy...while there is no one in them of course.

It is very frustrating when your enemy has such disregard for human life, that they will use their own women and children as shields. Those are acts of cowards and criminals!

Neil Mick
04-03-2003, 07:31 PM
Right. "Minimizing loss of civilian life," is not dropping cluster bombs and smart bombs (with a 25% failure rate, in Afghanistan) on Baghdad, to bring the conversation back to the war.

I might not have the knowledge you possess of military urban tactical fighting, but the lessons of the IOF become painfully apparent: the longer you occupy a hostile population, the greater the slippage of concern for human rights.

Don't you think the US will eventually assume the same role, after 10 years of occupying Iraq?

opherdonchin
04-03-2003, 08:23 PM
You know, Neil, the author of the website that you get your casualty statistics from is quoted in Newsweek as saying, "This war is being fought with a degree of caution that previous wars have not had regarding civilians." (http://www.msnbc.com/news/892723.asp?0dm=-19FK&cp1=1)

He takes some credit for this because his site is so popular, but at least he gives the American military establishment some credit as well.

You undertand, of course, that what the Americans were probably interested in learning from the Israelis is how to fight in an urban envirnoment without killing civilians. The guardian article somehow failed to mention that this is something the Israeli army thought to put a lot of emphasis on and do with some success.

DanielR
04-03-2003, 08:27 PM
Nothing wrong with bulldozers IMHO....it is when you use them indiscriminately against civilians as with any weapon system.
One quick comment: IMHO, the Israeli army goes out of its way to minimize civilian casualties. There was a high-profile case when 13 IDF soldiers died in an ambush in Jenin. If I got the analysis right, they were there because the IDF wanted to minimize use of bulldozers and tanks, thus minimizing civilian casualties.

Erik
04-03-2003, 11:35 PM
You're the first person to comment upon how sad it is that these Iraqi casualties occurred, how bombing a children's hospital is a great loss.
Maybe you created an environment where that sort of discussion could not easily take place.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 02:12 PM
You undertand, of course, that what the Americans were probably interested in learning from the Israelis is how to fight in an urban envirnoment without killing civilians.
I suppose that ppl like Rachel Corrie don't count, as civilians, in this respect.

Nor, do all the Palestinians bulldozed, with no other objective other than to punish Palestinians.

I was just listening to a radio broadcast where an ISM volunteer was hiding in a house that had a family in it, with the IOF shooting at the house, outside. No one inside was shooting back, and there was no discernable reason for the attack.

This disregard for civilian life is played out every day in the Occupied Territories.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 02:15 PM
Maybe you created an environment where that sort of discussion could not easily take place.
I do not control your thoughts: do not elevate my status as the sole "creator" of the "tone" of this conversation.

Kevin did not seem constrained to attack my source; it seems to me that the onus of the tone of your posts, lay with you.

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 02:19 PM
There is no logical inconsistency between my claim that the Israeli army makes great efforts to minimize civilian deaths and is highly regarded for those efforts and your claim that the Israeli army has caused civilian deaths and that some or many of those deaths are unnecessary.

I also think that your use of the initials IOF, by which I assume you mean 'Israeli Offense Forces' or something, to be a cheap shot of the sort that makes discussions with you difficult for me. I understand and respect your anger, but I wish you wouldn't do it.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 02:59 PM
I also think that your use of the initials IOF, by which I assume you mean 'Israeli Offense Forces' or something, to be a cheap shot of the sort that makes discussions with you difficult for me. I understand and respect your anger, but I wish you wouldn't do it.
I respect your request, and I'm sorry it angers you.

However, the deaths of Palestinian civilians on my dime angers me. A "defensive force" does not invade, does not destroy 150 innocent shopkeeper's businesses, for no military objective other than to intimidate and cow a people into compliance: simple as that.

I do not find the term offensive: I find it more accurate, but I am sorry if you do.

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 03:03 PM
Like I said, I respect and understand your anger. If you don't like calling them the Israeli Defense Forces, call the the Israeli Army. Most people find that term acceptable. I, and a number of other people on the forum, have been in that army.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 03:08 PM
And, about 1000 of those men and women have bravely refused to serve in that illegal occupation, serving jail-time, instead.

The renaming is not slanderous, ridiculing or debasing: it merely illustrates the actual function of said army.

Certainly, it does not debase the people who serve in it: even tho many of its members engage in despicable acts, against the Palestinians (murder is only one of them: degradation, humiliation and widespread theft are others).

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 03:11 PM
Well, in any case, I appreciate your willingness to respect my sensibilities.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 03:41 PM
Opher, I hope you don't think that I discard your sensibilities, out of hand. I don't.

DanielR
04-04-2003, 03:48 PM
And, about 1000 of those men and women have bravely refused to serve in that illegal occupation, serving jail-time
And the rest are as bravely defending their country and families from murderous terrorists.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 03:54 PM
And the rest are as bravely defending their country and families from murderous terrorists.
"The rest??" I don't think so.

I can see an army taking actions to contain a few ppl in a whole population of otherwise innocent civilians against an attack against Israeli's, but to limit the movements, unlawfully arrest, unnecessarily shoot everyone? Shooting children, for throwing rocks (sorry: stones :rolleyes: )? Hardly a good definition of "bravely defending one's country."

Sorry, Daniel: the logic does not hold. By this logic, I guess the US military should go to Harlem, wall it up and shoot civilians, because the majority of criminals arrested are African-Americans.

The logic is the same.

Erik
04-04-2003, 04:54 PM
I do not control your thoughts: do not elevate my status as the sole "creator" of the "tone" of this conversation.
I'd say it's got a pretty consistent flow from a very specific source. Maybe Jun should take a poll. :)

If someone walks up to someone, calls them a murderous child-killing asshole, it creates very little chance of achieving common ground and almost no chance of achieving a peaceful reconciliation.

What happens when you try to force someone into a technique? They tend not to cooperate and resist even more or give up and leave. It's counter productive if your intent is to achieve common ground.

The Palestinian / Israeli situation, is not, one-sided.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 06:30 PM
If someone walks up to someone, calls them a murderous child-killing asshole, it creates very little chance of achieving common ground and almost no chance of achieving a peaceful reconciliation.
You will please forgive me; my memory fails, as to when I executed this action.

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 06:39 PM
Oh, and for those of you who think the the Palestinian situation is "one-sided," that the war is "ongoing, so why argue...?"

Here's a number to chew on:

5 / DAY

That's the number of Palestinians, per day, dying from the IOF, since the illegal invasion of Iraq.

Today, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the back of the head, as he was running away.

In a conflict, there always IS "another side." But, that fact excuses nothing.

Roger Geertz Gonzalez
04-04-2003, 07:09 PM
I'm amazed that we have so many Aikidoka ready to use violence not in direct self-defense. Anyone in my dojo can tell you that I tend to be extremely physical to the point of being almost violent. However, I'm not at all...I just tend to realize that O'Sensei's Aikido was at first physical and then simultaneously spiritual...All of you who promote war should read "The Art of Peace" and everything you can on O'Sensei...I'm guessing, but I believe he would've have never "preemptively" attacked unless there was a viable, physical threat directly in his purview...I'm no pacifist since I supported the Gulf War and Afghanistan...these were "direct" threats to U.S. interests and the U.S. itself...however, I truly believe that this war is a sham; so far no WMDs found whatsoever! Moreover, we now know that Saddam Insane's military is utterly useless outside of Iraq; ties to Al Qaeda so far unproven...my next cynical question to you is if this was about "regime change" and Iraqi freedom, which model of democratic consolidation or democratization will we impose on Iraq: Haiti, Panama, or Afghanistan? Since we are all Aikidoka, let's think about what O'Sensei would've thought...maybe I'm wrong and there are other points of view, and I would love to here them...

Peace

DanielR
04-04-2003, 09:13 PM
I can see an army taking actions to contain a few ppl in a whole population of otherwise innocent civilians against an attack against Israeli's, but to limit the movements, unlawfully arrest, unnecessarily shoot everyone? ... Sorry, Daniel: the logic does not hold
Neil,

Thank you for pointing out lapses in my logics.

While I'm thinking about an appropriate response to your recent posts, let me ask you a question: you have a credible intelligence information that a group of terrorists from Jenin is planning to carry out a suicide bombing inside the green line within the next 24 hours. What do you do?

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 09:20 PM
Neil,

Thank you for pointing out lapses in my logics.

While I'm thinking about an appropriate response to your recent posts, let me ask you a question: you have a credible intelligence information that a group of terrorists from Jenin is planning to carry out a suicide bombing inside the green line within the next 24 hours. What do you do?
No offense meant, Daniel.

An excellent question. I'd do everything in my legal power, to stop those terrorists, respecting the dignity and human rights (and laws) of everyone involved.

Indeed, some people will die from my lapses in security; but some people are dying, from lapses of fresh water, by the present system.

No way is perfect. But, which path do you choose, to maintain the moral high-ground?

DanielR
04-04-2003, 09:30 PM
I'd do everything in my legal power, to stop those terrorists, respecting the dignity and human rights (and laws) of everyone involved.

Indeed, some people will die from my lapses in security; but some people are dying, from lapses of fresh water, by the present system.

No way is perfect. But, which path do you choose, to maintain the moral high-ground?Ok, let's take one step at a time then. You're an elected leader, and people in your country are dying in suicide bombings because of your lapses in security. What do you do?

DanielR
04-04-2003, 09:44 PM
Again, the same answer as above.
Now, of course, you don't stand a chance of being reelected. Your moral ground is still intact, but you realize that if it goes on like that, the next elections will bring such hawk to power that will just go and bomb the hell out of those terrorist labs and camps, and several blocks of civilian buildings in the area. What do you do?

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 09:58 PM
I'd go on a PR program, promoting and fostering peace.

I'd establish Israli-Arabic task groups to discuss the root causes of this disagreement.

I'd re-establish food and drinkable water infrastructures to make their lives at least liveable.

If I weren't re-elected, I'd go live in a Palestinian village, and personally start a voluntary service program, to jump-start educational reform.

If I were the mayor of a city, I would go before the Israeli army members, and beg them to stop. I would gather with me a group of concerned rabbi's, to volunteer to come with me, to protest this injustice.

I would run every angle I could to get reelected and try to turn Israeli opinion back toward peace.

One thing I WOULDN'T do is try a PR stunt like coming to a mosque, with 1000 armed guards.

That sure was a great blow for peace, wasn't it? :rolleyes:

DanielR
04-04-2003, 10:09 PM
I'd go on a PR program, promoting and fostering peace.

I'd establish Israli-Arabic task groups to discuss the root causes of this disagreement.

I'd re-establish food and drinkable water infrastructures to make their lives at least liveable.

If I weren't re-elected, I'd go live in a Palestinian village, and personally start a voluntary service program, to jump-start educational reform.

If I were the mayor of a city, I would go before the Israeli army members, and beg them to stop. I would gather with me a group of concerned rabbi's, to volunteer to come with me, to protest this injustice.

I would run every angle I could to get reelected and try to turn Israeli opinion back toward peace.
By conducting this policy and giving up the office you were elected to, you killed scores of Israelis in suicide bombings and scores of Palestinians in the military operations carried out by your successor. How's your moral ground?

Neil Mick
04-04-2003, 10:10 PM
On top of that, of course: I'd do the normal things: security checkpoints, sure-- but every single violation of human rights by Israeli soldiers, would come before me. No Palestinian would be barred from coming or going.

And, I'd outlaw Israeli settlements.

Hopefully, I'd start to establish a reputation amongst the Arabs as a bridge-builder, not a destroyer.

Maybe it wouldn't work. Maybe the Israeli need to "teach them a slesson" cannot be abated, but at least I tried. Maybe some other politician would take my example.

But, this continual "cruel to be kind (to Israeli's)" policy is the very definition of an abuser, feeding into the expanding cycle of violence. Clearly, systematic abuse is not working.

DanielR
04-04-2003, 10:23 PM
And, I'd outlaw Israeli settlements... Hopefully, I'd start to establish a reputation amongst the Arabs as a bridge-builder, not a destroyer.Not really, because you don't have the required majority in the parliament, so you get an A for trying, an F for not producing. Still, people are dying, so no bridges, really. What now?

opherdonchin
04-04-2003, 11:38 PM
That's the number of Palestinians, per day, dying from the IOF, since the illegal invasion of Iraq.Neil, I was under the impression you had agreed to stop using that name to describe the Israeli Armed Forces. I really find it offensive.

Neil Mick
04-05-2003, 12:03 AM
Neil, I was under the impression you had agreed to stop using that name to describe the Israeli Armed Forces. I really find it offensive.
I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, Opher, but I agreed to no such thing.

I feel that the term is not demeaning or derogatory, merely descriptive of their current activities.

You find it offensive. I respect that.

I find 5 deaths a day, offensive.

But, truly: I apologize if this offends you, but the moniker stands.

Neil Mick
04-05-2003, 12:05 AM
Not really, because you don't have the required majority in the parliament, so you get an A for trying, an F for not producing. Still, people are dying, so no bridges, really. What now?
Well, since you aren't omnipotent, you cannot be absolutely sure of the outcome.

I might be re-elected for some other totally random reason (my economic development policies, for example), or the Israeli populace of my little town might be swayed by my PR campaign.

Stranger things have happened.

opherdonchin
04-05-2003, 01:30 AM
Long tirade follows. Please feel free to skip if you are so disposed.
I respect your request, and I'm sorry it angers you.When you said this, I understood you to be respecting my request. It seems I was mistaken. I certainly feel disrespected.

I also feel that it is strange to draw a parallel (as you have in a number of posts) between my taking offense at what you are doing and you taking offense at what the IDF is doing. It seems as if you are saying that your anger at the IDF justifies your insensitivity to my feelings.

I don't see your disrespect as a reason to treat you poorly or be inconsiderate of you. I just don't understand it.

On the more general point, epithets are simply a rhetorical trick designed to score points by pretending to an established concensus. If there is a question, then the epithet shouldn't be used. If there is no question, then there is no need to use the epithet. I feel this way no matter which side uses them. I tend to tune out when people talk about the terrorist Arafat, the mass-murderer Hussein, Sharon the war criminal, the illegal settlements, or America's evil empire. These ways of talking are disrespectful to the subject matter and to the audience. They are disrespectful to the subject matter, because they deny the complexities of the issues. They are disrespectful of the audience because they assume that the audience is stupid and easily swayed by colored language.

Don't misunderstand me. I have nothing against you (or anyone) making a case that the Israeli armed forces should be called the IOF or that Arafat was and is a terrorist. However, the case, once made, does not give you (or anyone) the right to refer to anybody using any sort of ephitet.

You say that the term is not demeaning or derogatory. Perhaps you feel that that is true. I think that any 'unauthorized' perversion of a name runs the risk of being derogatory, particularly when used by someone who has strong negative feelings towards the named. It is, I think, much like if I were to refer to start referring to you, Neil, as NTFL (which stands for Neil, the fanatical Leftist and which I think is reasonably accurate description) or when Jamie referred to you for a while as Neil/Ham (which he also would have claimed was simple accurate description). I think you can see how this might grate on you. Even if it doesn't, I think you should respect that it does, in fact, grate on me.

Neil Mick
04-05-2003, 02:53 AM
I have read what you wrote, Opher.

Now, I'm going to sleep on it, and respond in the morning.

DanielR
04-05-2003, 09:24 AM
Neil,
Well, since you aren't omnipotent, you cannot be absolutely sure of the outcome.

I might be re-elected for some other totally random reason (my economic development policies, for example), or the Israeli populace of my little town might be swayed by my PR campaign.

Stranger things have happened.
This is not a hypothetical situation, it's my stripped-down interpretation of the fall of the left in Israel.

IMHO, your approach, as noble as it might seem to you, fails a reality check. From what you're writing I get an impression that you're willing to sacrifice numerous lives on both sides in order to keep your conscience clean. While blasts are rocking your streets, you go on a bridge-building PR campaign. One doesn't have to be omnipotent (just look back in history) to see that while the bridge you're hoping for might have a basis on the Palestinian side (because they appreciate your effort for preserving their lives and freedoms), it stands no chance on the Israeli side because you sacsifice their lives and freedoms for bridge-building. It can't be good for economy either, so pinning your hopes on being reelected on an economic platform is simply unrealistic. Besides, most people won't care about your economic platform (when you're worred sick about letting your child on a bus to school, would you?). You come to them with your condolences and preach them that their friends and family members didn't die in vain, that they made the ultimate sacrifice for peace. Peres tried that - didn't work out. No omnipotency - just history lessons.

"Stranger things have happened"? Will this be your reelection slogan?

Tens, hundreds of lives of your countymen, and, God forbid, people you love, are on your conscience. What do you do?

Reality check, Neil.

DanielR
04-05-2003, 10:31 AM
Neil,

Let me share something else with you.

During the last two Israeli elections I participated in, I voted for Meretz - one of the leftmost parties in Israel. I agree with many of the things you say - about unnecessary deaths among Palestinians, about the necessity to revive the peace process, to have the US get involved, etc.

That said, I also served in the IDF. Many of my loved ones and friends live in Israel, and they can get hurt in a suicide bombing. Hell, I can die in a suicide bombing too when I go visit them.

You talk about one-sidedness of this conflict: does the above sound one-sided to you?

You used Rachel Corrie's name several times in your posts. Have you heard of Abigail Litle? She was 14 years old when she died last month in a bus bombing in Haifa. Yuval Mendelevitch, 13, also died in that explosion. Both of them participated in the Children Teaching Children program at Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva.

Is this one-sided?

It's a complex subject, and your blunt, in-your-face, no-compromise posts leave me buffled, to say the least. The negotiations between Barak and Arafat broke down because the sides couldn't reach a compromise - see where it brought us. I don't see how your throwing numbers of killed Palestinians in my face gets us any closer to a compromise. Would you like me to start counting the killed on the Israeli side? Will this be constructive?

Your "unnecessarily shoot everyone" description of the IDF actions does nothing but offend me and every other Israeli citizen and reservist I know. You know it's not true. It's an figure of speech that is completely unnecessary in this discussion. We're all intelligent people trying to maintain a civil conversation. We're not at a anti-Israeli rally here. So why do you say that? Is this constructive?

Think about it: this comes from an Israeli leftist. What does it tell you about your methods?

Erik
04-05-2003, 11:02 AM
You will please forgive me; my memory fails, as to when I executed this action.

See Opher's post.

My first aikido teacher, an ex-ranger, used to say that you could say "yes sir" and "yes sir" when responding to an officer. One meant one thing, the other meant something else entirely. As he put it, no one had any illusions about which one meant what.

Neil Mick
04-05-2003, 06:03 PM
Neil,

This is not a hypothetical situation, it's my stripped-down interpretation of the fall of the left in Israel.

IMHO, your approach, as noble as it might seem to you, fails a reality check.
No Daniel: this is called a "sucker punch."

I was under the impression that we WERE doing a hypothetical situation. You seem to want to trap me into the fallacy of what you think is my opinion.
From what you're writing I get an impression that you're willing to sacrifice numerous lives on both sides in order to keep your conscience clean.

While blasts are rocking your streets, you go on a bridge-building PR campaign.
Again, I thought it was a hypothetical.

Guess what, Daniel? People ARE dying, every day, so what about the consciences of the Israeli leaders? They don't hold up to the same test, you put to me.
One doesn't have to be omnipotent (just look back in history) to see that while the bridge you're hoping for might have a basis on the Palestinian side (because they appreciate your effort for preserving their lives and freedoms), it stands no chance on the Israeli side because you sacsifice their lives and freedoms for bridge-building.
Wrong. The Israeli opinion swings to the left, at times.

Besides, what: exactly, is your alternative? THIS?? Children shot for throwing rocks???
It can't be good for economy either, so pinning your hopes on being reelected on an economic platform is simply unrealistic. Besides, most people won't care about your economic platform (when you're worred sick about letting your child on a bus to school, would you?). You come to them with your condolences and preach them that their friends and family members didn't die in vain, that they made the ultimate sacrifice for peace. Peres tried that - didn't work out. No omnipotency - just history lessons.

"Stranger things have happened"? Will this be your reelection slogan?

Tens, hundreds of lives of your countymen, and, God forbid, people you love, are on your conscience. What do you do?
You know, I'm sure you have your keen insights on why I'm foolish in my outlooks. And, I thank you for not making said observations so obvious, as some other pro-Israeli post-ers have done.

But, understand something, with respect: I wanted to go see what it was like, in Palestine. I was ready to sit with some families to insure their safety. This was not a decision I made lightly, so don't you think I spent a little time considering the complexities?

So, please stop trying to "convince" me how nieve, or simple, I am. It's disrespectful, and only leads to your pre-ordained conclusion that I am a fool.
Reality check, Neil.
Sure is.

Neil Mick
04-05-2003, 06:26 PM
Neil,

Let me share something else with you.

During the last two Israeli elections I participated in, I voted for Meretz - one of the leftmost parties in Israel. I agree with many of the things you say - about unnecessary deaths among Palestinians, about the necessity to revive the peace process, to have the US get involved, etc.

That said, I also served in the IDF. Many of my loved ones and friends live in Israel, and they can get hurt in a suicide bombing. Hell, I can die in a suicide bombing too when I go visit them.

You talk about one-sidedness of this conflict: does the above sound one-sided to you?

You used Rachel Corrie's name several times in your posts. Have you heard of Abigail Litle? She was 14 years old when she died last month in a bus bombing in Haifa. Yuval Mendelevitch, 13, also died in that explosion. Both of them participated in the Children Teaching Children program at Jewish-Arab Center for Peace at Givat Haviva.

Is this one-sided?

It's a complex subject, and your blunt, in-your-face, no-compromise posts leave me buffled, to say the least. The negotiations between Barak and Arafat broke down because the sides couldn't reach a compromise - see where it brought us. I don't see how your throwing numbers of killed Palestinians in my face gets us any closer to a compromise. Would you like me to start counting the killed on the Israeli side? Will this be constructive?

Your "unnecessarily shoot everyone" description of the IDF actions does nothing but offend me and every other Israeli citizen and reservist I know. You know it's not true. It's an figure of speech that is completely unnecessary in this discussion. We're all intelligent people trying to maintain a civil conversation. We're not at a anti-Israeli rally here. So why do you say that? Is this constructive?

Think about it: this comes from an Israeli leftist. What does it tell you about your methods?


How do I respond to this post?

I am listening to radio broadcasts, news articles, and eyewitness accounts on the situation in the Occupied Territories.

None of these activities come close to your personal experiences on how complex the situation is.

So, firstly, of course: I humbly apologize if my posts have offended you.

Now, that being said: I have also tried to go to Palestine, as an international observer. I have seen and heard a lot more than the average American on the effects of the war upon Palestine, and yes: I am biased. I think many Americans would be, if they saw the full consequences of this situation.

And, I am sure that many members of the Israeli army are honestly trying to do the best they can, in a difficult situation.

But, the levels of abuse are so widespread, so documented.

What do I say to this? Respecting your personal experiences, I also have an involvement in the deaths, in Palestine. Every American does.

And, yes: the deaths from suicide bombers is terrible. I deplore suicide bombings.

But, how does the tragedy of victims of suicide bombings, translate into the tragedy of Palestinians with no access to water?

Again, thank you for sharing your personal experience. I am richer, for it.

DanielR
04-05-2003, 08:03 PM
People ARE dying, every day, so what about the consciences of the Israeli leaders? They don't hold up to the same test, you put to me.Precisely. Nobody can hold up to that test, because no ideal solution exist.

I'm sorry to hear you found my posts disrespectful, although I fail to see where lies the lack of respect. Somehow you came to conclusion that what I think of you is that you're a naive fool? I don't do that, Neil. I suggested a situation you don't have a solution for, I didn't expect you to, either. In my mind it doesn't translate to mental disability, does it in yours?

You claim that you realize how complex this problem is, yet when someone (Erik?) mentioned this complexity in a post, you went along the lines of "it's as clear as daylight! Here's the count of dead Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers shoot everybody in site, indiscriminately". Where's the complexity you claim to realize? So yes, I tried to remind you of that complexity. You asked what my solution was? I don't have one. That's exactly the reason I try to keep my opinion on this as balanced as possible, and I wish you'd do the same.

I'm tired of repeating this as you're tired of repeating that yes, Saddam is a murderous lunatic. Understand that I am not trying to defend the abuses of the IDF in the territories. I'm trying to show you that the way you conduct a discussion here is not constructive. You acknowledged my sharing of my experience, and yet I think you're missing my point. Your posts push me to the right. As a political activist, is this a result you're looking for?

Neil Mick
04-06-2003, 01:57 PM
Daniel:

I want you to know that I have carefully considered your posts, and I thank you for maintaining a respectful tone so rarely seen in political discussion.

However, I must take exception to some of your methods.

I do not believe that, because of "no ideal solution" existing, that we should all shrug and maintain the status quo.

In your "hypothetical" scenario, you said that my policies "failed" because ppl will die.

I disagree that a policy affirming the dignity of all sides is a failure because ppl die. In a scenario where someone's going to die no matter what you do, how do you gauge success?

Perhaps, the scenario with the least deaths is the best measure of judgement. I do not know. Your hypothetical set up a scenario with a supposed zero-sum goal, with an end to apparently teach me that no zero-sum is possible. In effect, you rigged the stakes.

Also, I feel a little blindsided, when you mention past posts about some exchange I had with Erik, awhile ago. Why didn't you simply come out and share your experience, when I wrote that post? Hopefully, I would have welcomed the new perspective (I remember the first post I read for Opher: he described the interactions between Israeli Jews and Palestinians in the dojo: I was fascinated).

Now, it feels as if you're secretly counting reasons to dislike my position. I believe that you're honestly trying to maintain a courteous debate; however, I also think that it would be a more positive discussion if you just express your viewpoints, rather than save them for an "aha."

Regarding the indiscriminate shooting comment, I hear reports of Israeli soldiers shooting indiscriminately. Does this happen, all the time? No, probably not. Should I be taken to task, for suggesting otherwise? OK, I accept this.

I am curious as to your views, and I welcome your input. But, "pushing" you to the right...?

I don't "push" anyone; it is my experience that ppl will have a political position, no matter what I say.

"Not constructive?" OK, I'm willing to dialogue further on this. But please: I resent being elevated/demonized as the fanatical Leftist Satan of the aiki-posts.

Several other ppl have utilized tactics that can charitably be called flaming. Name-calling and abuse also come to mind. At my worst, I always held to the dictum of "attack the opinion; not the person."

When ppl cannot hold to this critical rule, conversation stopped and we'd have to debate etiquette, rather than the issues.

Sure, my discourse needs work: that's why I'm here. In point of fact, if you've read my other posts of my RW experiences debating the war, the feedback I get is that I am a moderating voice, within the peace movement.

Many of the tactics I employ in discussion in RW discussions, I learned here. Even on something as clearly wrong as the invasion of Iraq (from my perspective), there is no clear-cut "right or wrong." I oppose debates that are interruptive and disrespectful of one's opponent (on either side), no matter what position is taken.

So, yes, Daniel: I'll be the first to admit that I need work on my delivery; but please refrain from making me the sole engineer of your "pushes to the Right." I am not interested in preaching the Leftist ideology: you'll either agree, disagree, or take exception to my points, or my methods. Hopefully, you will come forth and debate the points of contention, but I doubt that I have "converted" anyone to the "Left:" this is not my goal, IAC.

You have other reasons to be "pushed," but I am willing to dialogue on alternative methods of discussion.

opherdonchin
04-06-2003, 02:08 PM
Neil,

I really appreciated that post. I've been (quietly) sympathizing quite strongly with Daniel's efforts to reach you, and hoping that it would lead in a productive direction. It sounds like you feel that he is coming down a bit hard on you or trying to trick you or something, but I honestly think that instead he is just doing his best to connect. Probably his delivery needs work, just as you say yours does. In any case, from this last post it seems that some connection is, in fact, developing and that's really great. I really respect your efforts to be as honest and straightforward as you can.

By the way, I also consider myself a leftist and I also find that your posts 'push me to the right.' I wouldn't make you the sole engineer, and I don't really blame you for it. And, of course, there are plenty of militant right wing posters who 'push me to the left.' In the end, I make up my own mind. However, like Daniel, I suspect that pushing me to the right, in whatever small way, is not what you intend.

Neil Mick
04-06-2003, 02:24 PM
Well, thank you, Opher. I try to maintain honesty: at least with myself.

I hope that both you and Daniel understand that my concerns are not meant to take him to task, rather my attempts to reach a more effective level of discussion (emotional intensity is difficult to express in email, as you know).

I had wanted to comment upon your request about what I call the Israeli army.

Honestly, I mean no insult to the ppl here who are members of that army. I also hear accounts of (Jewish) ISM volunteers who try to talk to members of the army as they knocked down Palestinian shops. Some of them were clearly moved by her comparisons between what they are doing, and what was done to her grandparents. Their CO told the volunteer to stop talking to his soldiers, because of this effect.

I am listening to a broadcast for the memorial of Rachel Corrie, and it saddens me deeply. On one level, I feel personally involved, as it could have been me, if the circumstances had been a little different.

With the IDF blaming her death completely on Rachel, how do I express my outrage, at the injustice of her death and the daily deaths of Palestinians, while respecting the feelings of others, such as you and Daniel?

DanielR
04-06-2003, 03:09 PM
Neil,

As Opher and yourself point out, there's room for improvement in the way I communicate. Absolutely, no question about it. Sometimes I think I just need to shut up and let Opher talk :) .

I should've been more clear on my "push to the right" comment: I mentioned it in the context of the dialogue with you. However hard the current situation in Israel/Palestine is, I don't see myself getting converted with regards to this conflict.

Believe me, my last few posts were not an attempt to "aha" you, but rather a way to make you understand why I found some of your posts to be so uncompromising that I almost saw no point for me to continue the discussion. And it was because I was indeed interested in the discussion that I went ahead with that "test". No demonization was intended.

And yes, we're not here to preach. Maybe to share? If yes, then sharing suggests having something in common, and I hope that we can share the same sense of balance and center that we strive to achieve in Aikido (well, at least I do).

And - I do not dislike your position. As I said, we have a lot in common in our visions of this problem. You mentioned some forum participants that resorted to name-calling and abuse - I remember this vividly and I felt nothing but disgust. I was actually surprised to see you respond to that. In any case, I hope my posts never create the same impression.

About your remark on how to express your anger at injustices taking place in Palestine - why do you see a problem in doing exactly that? I don't think that anyone would argue that Rachel Corrie's death is tragic and unnecessary. We can also try and argue the case itself. As long as we do that without sweeping statements and with all possible objectivity we can achieve, I think we're ok.

Neil Mick
04-06-2003, 03:31 PM
In any case, I hope my posts never create the same impression.
They don't, and I hope you do not think I equate your posts with those that demonize my position: I don't.
About your remark on how to express your anger at injustices taking place in Palestine - why do you see a problem in doing exactly that? I don't think that anyone would argue that Rachel Corrie's death is tragic and unnecessary. We can also try and argue the case itself. As long as we do that without sweeping statements and with all possible objectivity we can achieve, I think we're ok.
But Daniel: I have read several posts which affirm exactly this position.

For awhile, I posted over at bugei.com . The very first thread I read was a kudos by an article by Michelle Malkin, calling the human shields cowards.

I have read other posts calling Rachel Corrie stupid, and her own fault.

Now, I respect the fact that you (and most post-ers here) do not resort to such tactics, but I guess the question I asked ought to be--

how can I communicate my perspective of outrage at the Palestinian deaths and still maintain a position of respect for the readers, here? Some of the readers here may actually THINK that Rachel Corrie deserved what she got..?

What is the best position to take? Ignore them? Attempt to engage them in debate?

Honestly: I am not asking this question to be clever, or dodging the issue. I truly wish to be able to maintain both positions.

DanielR
04-06-2003, 04:42 PM
Ok, second take: I don't think any reasonable person would gloat over her death. Failing that... Well, my take on this is that one needs to pick one's battles. Sometimes reporting a post to moderator is one's best option.

For advice on discussion management - please see Opher ;)

Neil Mick
04-06-2003, 06:36 PM
Fair enough. ;)

I've been listening to the story of Brian Avery, the 24 yr old ISM volunteer who was shot in the face, today.

I listened to an interview with the witness, Tobia Carlson, a Swedish ISM volunteer, who stood right next to him.

When you compare the AP report (http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AMERICAN_SHOT_ISRAEL?SITE=CACRU&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT) to the Ha'aretz (http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/280782.html) article, you see a lot of biases over even the phrase: "Palestinian-backed group."

The implication is that ISM might have pro-Arafat ties. Also, AP-article takes the Israeli army viewpoint whole hog about a gunbattle nearby, when the witness stated that the street was deserted (Saturday curfew).

What do you think?

opherdonchin
04-06-2003, 10:14 PM
I have to admit to being a little confused by the idea that someone went to be a human shield with the expectation that they would not get hurt. I guess there are three theories on what might happen:

1) The Israeli army really is as careful as possible about civilians, and so these human shields are just as likely to get hurt as other Palestinian civilians.

2) The Israeli army really doesn't care who it shoots, and so these human shields are just as likely to get hurt as other Palestinian civilians.

3) The Israeli army only shoots at Palestinian civilians, and the presence of these human shields will help to protect the Palestinians.

In cases 1 and 2, the (somewhat cynical but not unreasonable) idea, I guess, is that The World will care more about the deaths of these volunteers than those of the Palestinians, and an upcry will follow.

I'm not judging, I'm just trying to make sure I got the logic straight.

opherdonchin
04-06-2003, 10:21 PM
With the IDF blaming her death completely on Rachel, how do I express my outrage, at the injustice of her death and the daily deaths of Palestinians, while respecting the feelings of others, such as you and Daniel?I think a clear, honest and straightforward expression of outrage, just like you've done here, is probably the most effective for you and for us. I may find it hard to believe that an Israeli soldier bulldozed a woman in cold blood, but it's certainly not inconceivable and it's not more extreme than some of the other awful things that soldiers have done in Israel and other countries. Even if I didn't believe it were possible, I could certainly sympathize with the outrage of someone who felt that it was the most likely explanation.

The hardest thing about these discussion, I think, is establishing common ground. Once a common ground is established, it can provide a foundation for expressing almost any feeling or thought.

Neil Mick
04-07-2003, 12:24 AM
Oh, yeah, this might interest. The report from the ISM website:

American Peace Activist Shot by Israeli Tank

Jenin

Michael

5 Apr 03

Today at about 6.30 pm Brian Avery, 24, of New Mexico was shot in the face by a burst of machine gun fire from an Israeli Armoured Personnel Carrier. The circumstances surrounding his injury are as follows:

Today the Israeli army of occupation operating in the Jenin area imposed its second day of curfew on the people of the city. Groups of young men and boys continued their resistance to the curfew by venturing out onto the streets to throw stones at tanks and other military vehicles.

At about 6.30 pm Brian and another ISM activist were at the ISM’s Jenin headquarters when they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the centre of the city, about two blocks away. They left the apartment to investigate and had traveled about a hundred metres when saw two armoured personnel carriers advancing towards them at low speed. There were no Palestinians on the streets in the area, armed or otherwise.

At the sight of the armoured vehicles both activists stood still and raised their hands above their heads.

opherdonchin
04-07-2003, 08:18 AM
Talk about accepting your sources without question. They don't even say where their information is coming from.

DanielR
04-07-2003, 09:09 AM
Well, as long as noone objects this off-topic...
Brian Avery, the 24 yr old ISM volunteer who was shot in the face, today...
I'm afraid my response will sound trivial.

It's unfortunate and I feel sorry for the guy. That said, I'd wait for a more elaborate account from the IDF before forming my opinion on what happened there. The eye-witnesses say there was no gunbattle, the IDF says there was. In my mind, so far it's equally possible the ISM volunteers weren't aware of the real situation in that area, or that IDF is looking for excuses, so I'd go for neither just yet.

About the bias you see in the words "Palestinian-backed": if this is indeed a fact, then personally, I find no bias in this. It seems reasonable that this organization would be supported by the Palestinians. I agree that it's "spinnable", but it doesn't seem that the articles you referenced do that.

Neil Mick
04-07-2003, 01:29 PM
But Daniel:

As I pointed out with the protestors article:

bias isn't necessarily spinning untruths. Bias is about presenting an event and emphasizing certain elements, over others.

With the protestors, we're presented with the inconvience of the traffic jam, coupled with motorist's impressions of the morality of the action.

With the ISM, we're told that the volunteers, a "Palestinian-backed" organization, may have interceeded between themselves and a 2-way gunfight.

You see the inference? The press is implying that the ISM is working in concert with the Palestinian militants (did you ever run across the ISM while you were serving, Daniel? What was your experience with them?)

Today, I read an AP-article that mentioned Brian Avery briefly. It only said that "allegedly," he was shot in a gunfight.

And so, with not even a detailed story to cover themselves, the Israeli army gets their spin heard over the testimony of witnesses, at the scene.

DanielR
04-07-2003, 02:02 PM
With the ISM, we're told that the volunteers, a "Palestinian-backed" organization, may have interceeded between themselves and a 2-way gunfight.

You see the inference? The press is implying that the ISM is working in concert with the Palestinian militants...Truthfully, I didn't see this inference in the two articles you mentioned. I guess it's a matter of perception.
And so, with not even a detailed story to cover themselves, the Israeli army gets their spin heard over the testimony of witnesses, at the scene.But don't you think it's better to conduct a thorough investigation (ballistic analysis and what not) before producing a detailed story?

I have no personal experience with the ISM volunteers. My opinion on this is being formed as we speak.

Neil Mick
04-07-2003, 11:53 PM
Hmm, that is interesting. The ISM volunteers generally feel that the increase in incidents in Palestine are not accidental: they feel that the violence is a none-too-subtle message, from the IDF:

stay out of our way.

opherdonchin
04-08-2003, 01:22 AM
That's an interesting theory. I wonder where in the army heirarchy the ISM volunteers feel this message originated. It shouldn't be too hard to find out what the orders that individual soldiers get with regards to ISM volunteers (if any). Plenty of individual soldiers are left wing enough to report any obviously illegal orders, and they have certainly done so in the past.

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 03:57 AM
I don't know: mostly I overheard it in interviews with ISM members.

This article might interest:

Robert Fisk: It seemed as if Baghdad would fall within hours. But the day was characterised by crazed normality, high farce and death

08 April 2003

It started with a series of massive vibrations, a great "stomping" sound that shook my room. "Stomp, stomp, stomp," it went. I lay in bed trying to fathom the cause. It was like the moment in Jurassic Park when the tourists first hear footfalls of the dinosaur, an ever increasing, ever more frightening thunder of a regular, monstrous heartbeat.

From my window on the east bank of the Tigris, I saw an Iraqi anti-aircraft gun firing from the roof of a building half a mile away, shooting across the river at something. "Stomp, stomp," it went again, the sound so enormous it set off alarms in cars along the bank.

And it was only when I stood on the road at dawn that I knew what had happened. Not since the war in 1991 had I heard the sound of American artillery. And there, only a few hundred metres away on the far bank of the Tigris, I saw them. At first they looked like tiny, armoured centipedes, stopping and starting, dappled brown and grey, weird little creatures that had come to inspect an alien land and search for water.

You had to keep your eye on the centipedes to interpret reality, to realise each creature was a Bradley fighting vehicle, its tail was a cluster of US Marines hiding behind the armour, moving forward together each time their protection revved its engines and manoeuvred closer to the Tigris. There was a burst of gunfire from the Americans and a smart clatter of rocket-propelled grenades and puffs of white smoke from the Iraqi soldiers and militiamen dug into their foxholes and trenches on the same river bank further south. It was that quick and that simple and that awesome.

Indeed, the sight was so extraordinary, so unexpected – despite all the Pentagon boasts and Bush promises – that one somehow forgot the precedents that it was setting for the future history of the Middle East.

Amid the crack of gunfire and the tracer streaking across the river, and the huge oil fires that the Iraqis lit to give them cover to retreat, one had to look away – to the great river bridges further north, into the pale green waters of that most ancient of rivers – to realise that a Western army on a moral crusade had broken through to the heart of an Arab city for the first time since General Allenby marched into Jerusalem in 1918. But Allenby walked into Jerusalem on foot, in reverence for Christ's birthplace and yesterday's American thrust into Baghdad had neither humility nor honour about it.

The US Marines and special forces who spread out along the west bank of the river broke into Saddam Hussein's largest palace, filmed its lavatories and bathrooms and lay resting on its lawns before moving down towards the Rashid Hotel and sniping at soldiers and civilians. Hundreds of Iraqi men, women and children were brought to Baghdad's hospitals in the hours that followed – victims of bullets, shrapnel and cluster bombs. We could actually see the twin-engined American A-10s firing their depleted uranium rounds into the far shore of the river.

From the eastern bank, I watched the marines run towards a ditch with their rifles to their shoulders and search for Iraqi troops. But their enemies went on firing from the mudflats to the south until, one after another, I saw them running for their lives. The Iraqis clambered out of foxholes amid the American shellfire and began an Olympic sprint of terror along the waterside; most kept their weapons, some fell back to an exhausted walk, others splashed right into the waters of the Tigris, up to their knees, even their necks. Three climbed from a trench with hands in the air, in front of a group of marines. But others fought on. The "stomp, stomp, stomp" went on for more than an hour. Then the A-10s came back, and an F/A-18 sent a ripple of fire along the trenches after which the shooting died away. It seemed as if Baghdad would fall within hours.

But the day was to be characterised with that most curious of war's attributes, a crazed mixture of normality, death and high farce. For even as the Americans were fighting their way up the river and the F/A-18s were returning to bombard the bank, the Iraqi Minister of Information gave a press conference on the roof of the Palestine Hotel, scarcely half a mile from the battle.

As shells exploded to his left and the air was shredded by the power-diving American jets, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf announced to perhaps 100 journalists that the whole thing was a propaganda exercise, the Americans were no longer in possession of Baghdad airport, that reporters must "check their facts and re-check their facts – that's all I ask you to do." Mercifully, the oil fires, bomb explosions and cordite smoke now obscured the western bank of the river, so fact-checking could no longer be accomplished by looking behind Mr Sahaf's back.

What the world wanted to know, of course, was the Question of All Questions – where was President Saddam? But Mr Sahaf used his time to condemn the Arabic television channel al-Jazeera for its bias towards the US and to excoriate the Americans for using "the lounges and halls" of Saddam Hussein to make "cheap propaganda". The Americans "will be buried here," he shouted above the battle. "Don't believe these invaders. They will be defeated."

And the more he spoke, the more one wanted to interrupt Mr Sahaf, to say: "But hang on, Mr Minister, take a look over your right shoulder." But, of course, that's not the way things happen. Why didn't we all take a drive around town, he suggested defiantly.

So I did. The corporation's double-decker buses were running and, if the shops were shut, stallholders were open, men had gathered in tea houses to discuss the war. I went off to buy fruit when a low-flying American jet crossed the street and dropped its payload 1,000 metres away in an explosion that changed the air pressure in our ears. But every street corner had its clutch of militiamen and, when I reached the side of the Foreign Ministry, upstream from the US Marines, an Iraqi artillery crew was firing a 120mm gun at the Americans from the middle of a dual carriageway, its tongue of fire bright against the grey-black fog drifting over Baghdad.

Within an hour and a half, the Americans had moved up the southern waterfront and were in danger of over-running the old ministry of information. Outside the Rashid Hotel, the marines opened fire on civilians and militiamen, blasting a passing motorcyclist onto the road and shooting at a Reuters photographer who managed to escape with bullet holes in his car.

All across Baghdad, hospitals were inundated with wounded, many of them women and children hit by fragments of cluster bombs. By dusk, the Americans were flying F/A-18s in close air support to the US Marines, so confident of their destruction of Iraq's anti-aircraft gunners that they could clearly be seen cruising the brown and grey skies in pairs.

Was this what they call "rich in history"? General Stanley Maude invaded Iraq in 1917 and occupied Baghdad. We repeated the performance in 1941 when the former prime minister Rashid Ali decided to back Nazi Germany. The British, Australians and Arabs "liberated" Damascus from the Turks in 1918. The Israelis occupied Beirut in 1982 and lived – not all of them – to regret it. Now the armies of America and, far behind them, the British – a pale ghost of Maude's army – are moving steadily into this most north-eastern of Arab capitals to dominate a land that borders Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

As night fell, I came across three Iraqi defenders at the eastern end of the great Rashid Bridge.These three – two Baathist militiamen and a policeman – were ready to defend the eastern shore from the greatest army known to man.

That in itself, I thought, said something about both the courage and the hopelessness of the Arabs.

Hogan
04-08-2003, 03:56 PM
Neil - can I ask you a question ? I noticed you have a "tally" of "current civilian killed" in your signature. I was wondering, does this include the number of civilians killed by Saddam Hussein during his reign ? Or at least tortured ?

Did you know that the biggest murderer of muslims in the world is Saddam (or "SaDAMN" as Prexz Bush I called him) ?

I was just wondering whether your concern for recent civilian deaths in Iraq is of recent origin or not....

Have a good one....

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 04:41 PM
A good question.

My concern for Iraqi's heightens when my tax-dollars are funding their illegal murders.

My concern during the '90's was also noted (tho somewhat muted), as Sanctions were also killing Iraqi children.

Regarding Hussein's despicable human rights record,

...Sigh.

Once again: yes, Hussein is (was?) a murderous leader who needs to be brought to justrice.

1000 people illegally murdered is not, IMM, the way to peace and justice in the region, however.

But, for your interest (and, it seems, the regular call to show that, yes: Neil must acknowledge that Hussein (who killed the bulk of his victims during a time when he was the darling of the US media, and Administraton) is evil),this (http://www.firethistime.org/feariraqgovt.htm) website may prove illuminating, about Hussein's crimes.

opherdonchin
04-08-2003, 05:28 PM
Actually, on a sort of similar subject and just out of curiousity: does the number include civilian casualties caused by Iraqi gunfire? I was wondering about this when there were reports of mortars being fired into Basra and reports of civilians being fired at as they attempted to flee the city. I decided not to ask in order not to be inflammatory, but I am sort of curious if those have been counted.

Another thing I'm curious about on this same issue is how many civilian casualties you (Neil or anyone really) think would be 'reasonable.' Clearly any at all are tragic. At the same time, people before the war were talking about tens or hundreds of thousands.

I guess the real question for me is: what sort of numbers are consistent with the American and UK claim that they are making every effort to prevent civilian casualties and at what point do I start doubting that these claims are being made in good faith.

This is not, by the way, to say that I believe either Neil's minimum number or his maximum number. In the Newsweek article I read about the site producing these numbers, the site's author basically admitted that while his numbers were well documented, they were also probably wildly inaccurate.

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 06:40 PM
they were also probably wildly inaccurate.
Wildly inaccurate because they don't "tell the whole story." That was the rest of his quote: he meant that there are many more deaths UNreported. If the reports were accurate, the numbers would be much higher.

iraqbodycount.net uses two references before it actually makes a count: all from reputable sources. Go to their website: all the papers are mainstream.

opherdonchin
04-08-2003, 06:49 PM
Yes, but the sources from which those papers draw their numbers for any particular report are not necessarily credible, and are often the same source for both papers. The papers make it clear who they're quoting, but that information isn't (and probably shouldn't be) taken into account when doing the counting. It sounds like it's a reasonably good effort given what's available, but I wouldn't trust it over much one way or the other. I suspect the real body count could easily be between a third of what's reported and three or four times what's reported.

Your interpretation of what he meant when he said "don't tell the whole story" is one possible interpretation. I had a different one.

In any case, you've ignored most of my post and dwelt on a minor point, I think.

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 06:56 PM
I have also heard about "truckloads of bodies" reported. How do you count that?

Opher: I notice that you always question casualty counts, and frankly: I find it disturbing...what's the difference? It's a lot of people who died violently, under horrible conditions, OK?

There are other historical incidents where the number was questioned, and I think you know to which 1 I refer. Ppl have questioned #'s for those deaths in my earshot, and I had little patience for them, either.

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2003, 07:06 PM
I would surmise that the estimates are probably correct as any source.

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 07:14 PM
Thank you, Kevin.

opherdonchin
04-08-2003, 07:15 PM
what's the difference? It's a lot of people who died violently, under horrible conditions, OK?That's a strange question from someone who has the casualty count as his signature, isn't it?

I tend to question numbers that I know were generated with political intent and are presented as facts. Casualty counts would be just one example. As far as the holocaust reference goes, I think it is important for each person to figure out which number they believe. Six million is a big number, and it would behoove each of us to know where it came from and why he should believe it and to question the agenda of the person who generated that number. However, to say that my skepticism regarding casualty counts generated by either side is the same as holocaust denial seems like a bit of a strange jump. Or perhaps I misunderstood you?

Still, my questions from the previous post stands: what sort of numbers are consistent with the American and UK claim that they are making every effort to prevent civilian casualties and at what point do I start doubting that these claims are being made in good faith?

Kevin Leavitt
04-08-2003, 07:35 PM
I think given the magnatude of the war and the fact that Bagdhad alone is a city of 5 Million that this is actually a "reasonable" expectation of civilian casualities.

I think we are doing our best to minimize casualities...if we weren't, then we would be conducting operations from afar (airstrikes). We would have fewer american casualties, but the cost would be more iraqi lives.

I appauld the effort and the over all compassion that soldiers seem to be conducting this war under.

This is the first war I have been a part of that I have not once heard the term "RAGHEAD" or "GOOK" or any other term we have used in the past to de-humanize the enemy. Trust me, the military has definitely shifted to a new paradigm than in the past!

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 07:53 PM
I tend to question numbers that I know were generated with political intent and are presented as facts. Casualty counts would be just one example.
And so, you reveal your bias.

I know, and you know, that statistics is an inexact science. MOST statistics are relative, and presented with some bias in mind: sometimes by the very nature of how the data was gathered.

In the final sum, a more exact figure will probably come down the tubes, in about 50 years: well after we're all gone, probably.

So, attacking a method of gathering war-casualties vis-a-vis their built-in fallacy is, my friend: what I call a political agenda.

I fully acknowledge the political motivations of this posted figure: I want the war to stop. Maybe people who see these numbers will realize that people are dying, illegally.

How about you? What's your political agenda?

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 08:02 PM
And, if you're waiting for the "other side's" counts, you'll probably be waiting a long time.

Gen. Tommy Franks: "We don't do body counts."

Kind of makes you wonder why, doesn't it?

DanielR
04-08-2003, 08:50 PM
So, attacking a method of gathering war-casualties vis-a-vis their built-in fallacy is, my friend: what I call a political agenda.Neil, but what about objectivity? I remember the Palestinian Authority reporting hundreds of dead in the Jenin operation, and, well, I didn't believe that for a second. I'm not comparing that to the source of the numbers you present, I'm just saying that questioning a method of gathering seems to be natural in certain cases, doesn't it?

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 09:09 PM
Neil, but what about objectivity? I remember the Palestinian Authority reporting hundreds of dead in the Jenin operation, and, well, I didn't believe that for a second. I'm not comparing that to the source of the numbers you present, I'm just saying that questioning a method of gathering seems to be natural in certain cases, doesn't it?
In certain cases, yes: and, it depends upon your reasons, for questioning the methods.

And, regarding Jenin: aside from decrying the # of deaths, I have also heard Israeli politicians state that it wasn't a "massacre." Numbers were manipulated both ways, and who knows? Our descendents may one day uncover a mass grave, telling the true tale...

There is no such thing as TRUE "objectivity," just as there is no true "average" lifestyle. Numbers, however, give a rough estimate of orders of magnitude.

DanielR
04-08-2003, 09:27 PM
In certain cases, yes: and, it depends upon your reasons, for questioning the methods.I agree. The reasons for questioning though might depend on the reasons for presenting the numbers. :confused:

About Jenin - in case you're interested, here'sIDF's response to Amnesty's report (http://www.idf.il/newsite/english/amnesty0407-2.htm) This is not an argument, just a source of additional info. As a personal opinion, I imagine it would be hard to hide a mass grave in such a densely populated area.

Anyhow, knowing your position regarding the war, I don't have a problem with the numbers in your signature.

opherdonchin
04-08-2003, 09:49 PM
I don't have a problem with the numbers in your signature either. I also, like I said, accept the methods and the numbers as reasonably generated in the circumstances. I also accept the claim by people quoted in the Newsweek article that these numbers are barely even good to an order of magnitude. Like Neil pointed out, there are probably many deaths that are overlooked. Like I pointed out, eye witnesses often have an agenda.

I sort of agree with Kevin that these fit with my idea of a 'reasonable expectation' of civilian casualties, but I really don't know too much about these things. It certainly doesn't seem surprisingly low to me, but it also doesn't seem surprsingly high. I was wondering what other peoples opinions were.

I think Gen Franks made the remark you keep quoting, Neil, in reference to Iraqi military deaths and not civilian deaths. His implication was that he did not see the success of the war in the number of enemy killed. It was a very different comment than what you are making it out to be.

Another thing, Neil. I'm not going to address the veiled ad hominems or your efforts to 'reveal' my bias one way or the other. I don't see the point.

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 10:03 PM
It's not veiled, and it's not an ad hominem.

I expressed my statement with no ill-will, read it with no sarcasm intended.

Personally, I do think that you have a bias, but I have no agenda in trying to reveal it. If you feel that I am trying to attack you: my apologies, that isn't my intention.

DanielR
04-08-2003, 10:05 PM
I sort of agree with Kevin that these fit with my idea of a 'reasonable expectation' of civilian casualties, but I really don't know too much about these things. It certainly doesn't seem surprisingly low to me, but it also doesn't seem surprsingly high. I was wondering what other peoples opinions were.
It is rather clear that the allied forces are very careful in avioding civilian deaths. A very prudent thing to do, considering the importance of gaining the support of the population once the old regime is gone. I imagine most of the deaths are from the bombings, but another important factor to notice is reports of Iraqi combatants posing as civilians. This greatly increases the danger to the civilian population as soldiers become more inclined to use deadly force (probably a great simplification on my part).

Neil Mick
04-08-2003, 10:16 PM
Sure, they're careful (with certain exceptions, and if you do not count the "accidental" shelling of the Palestine Hotel, where journalists were residing), but it's the symbolic aspects of this war that are the most distressing, IMM.

(Also ignoring the point that, no matter how careful: they were still killed under circumstances of an illegal occupation. Even if the number was "1," that person was killed in violation of int'l law).

Using Israeli-made cluster bombs, on an Arab, civilian populace...? Storming the cradle of civilization...?

These symbols will feed the fires of Islamic anger, around the world. Couple that with the inherent message for 3rd world nations to get nuc's ASAP, and you spell a recipe for a threat to peace that OBL could only wish for, IMM.

DanielR
04-08-2003, 10:27 PM
...if you do not count the "accidental" shelling of the Palestine Hotel, where journalists were residing)Why the quotes? I can't think of a reason for the US military to shell it intentionally...
Using Israeli-made cluster bombs, on an Arab, civilian populace...?
Does it really say "made in Israel"?! I hope not, doesn't do any good for the PR (forgive my cynicism).
Storming the cradle of civilization...?

These symbols will feed the fires of Islamic anger, around the world. Couple that with the inherent message for 3rd world nations to get nuc's ASAP, and you spell a recipe for a threat to peace that OBL could only wish for, IMM.Oh, that's a big one. Probably beyond the scope of the question at hand.

Will catch up tomorrow. Too many (bad) breakfalls tonight.

opherdonchin
04-08-2003, 10:36 PM
I don't think that they claimed that the shelling of the Palestine Hotel was accidental. First, it wasn't shelled, it was hit by fire from a tank, I believe. Second, the claim was that this was in response to heavy fire from the direction of the hotel.

If I understand properly the logic of what you are saying, Neil, you are accepting that, in fact, casualty figures are low enough to reflect a real regard for civilian lives by the invading forces. However, you see this as irrelevant since the main damage from the war is not in civilian deaths but rather in the damage it causes to America's image abroad. Is that right?

Neil Mick
04-09-2003, 02:01 AM
No, I am not accepting the notion that the "casualty figures reflect a real 'regard' for civilian lives," at all.

"A real regard" would be to refuse to invade. This is an illegal invasion: every life lost is an unnecessary death. Doesn't matter if the army tiptoe'd in.

But, since the leaders gave an illegal order, it is up to the moral responsibility of each soldier to obey that law. Since most of them followed this illegal order, well: that's also a case for the courts.

How well the invading forces are treating the Iraqi's? I don't know, as the facts are very sketchy. When a better picture emerges, I can give a more complete answer.

At this point, they're going to have to write a book, just to annotate the number of Geneva Convention violations, which the US will try to sweep under the rug. When that happens, who knows?

Also, I listened to three separate sources (including 1 eyewitness at the Palestine), and all sources state that there was no enemy fire coming from the lobby of the Palestine. In fact, the army at first denied their role in it (sound familiar?)

It's also suspicious: the al-Jazeera offices were hit in Afghanistan, as well.

And, yes, I meant a "tank" shell.

opherdonchin
04-09-2003, 09:21 AM
I usually use the term to 'shelled' to refer to a barage of artillery fire. Maybe I'm misusing the term. Any military experts still hanging around?

Whether or not there was fire coming from the Palestine, it is one thing to say that attacking it was unjustified and another to say that it was accidental. Putting either of those in quotation marks is another thing entirely, as Daniel pointed out. Why did you do that?

I'm going to try to make sure, again, that I understand your logic. I hope I get it better this time. Casualty counts don't matter at all. In fact, they could be misleading because low casualty counts might lead people to forget that this war is illegal. It is neither the civilian deaths (nor, I guess, the umbrage of the Arab world) which is really at issue here, but rather the affront to International Law and the potential breakdown of the established systems of world law and order.

I have to admit to being a little confused about how this logic (if I got it right) interacts with what you said in your last post. There you seemed to say that it is the anger of the Arab street in the face of our symbolic nature of our actions which is the real problem.

And, we leave somehow un-addressed my original question: is the casualty count consistent with the American claim that its soldiers are performing their duties in this war with a serious regard for civilian lives. The question can be asked whether or not the war is illegal, since an illegal war can be perpetrated with a gross disregard for civilian lives or with a painstaking regard for civilian lives.

Michael Neal
04-09-2003, 09:55 AM
Gosh I love being right, just turn on the TV and you will see all of the anti-war arguments made on these forums utterly destroyed.

Michael Neal
04-09-2003, 10:06 AM
What happened to the argument that the Iraqi people did not want us there?

Michael Neal
04-09-2003, 10:08 AM
This has to be a bad day for tyrants, their supporters, and apologists.

Erik
04-09-2003, 11:59 AM
(Also ignoring the point that, no matter how careful: they were still killed under circumstances of an illegal occupation. Even if the number was "1," that person was killed in violation of int'l law).
Neil, I recognize that many state this war is illegal, but that's rhetoric at this point. There is disagreement on this subject amongst legal types, a lot of it, and it's not fact. I do agree that many in the legal profession see it as illegal but it's also true that many don't.
These symbols will feed the fires of Islamic anger, around the world.
I don't think this is so simple. Assuming we set things up right, which is a big question, the Arab world is going to see a country moving forward for perhaps the first time in the Arab world since the middle ages. I think the most telling thing about the Arab world is that they produce oil and nothing else. On the one hand, it may feed further resentment as the Arabs see continued failure in themselves, on the other hand, it may be something which guides them forward.

I don't think we'll ever be heroes but this is not all doom and gloom.

Michael Neal
04-09-2003, 12:59 PM
Iraqi Bomb suspected in journalist deaths (http://media.guardian.co.uk/iraqandthemedia/story/0,12823,932481,00.html)

It keeps getting worse for you anti-war guys!

Neil Mick
04-09-2003, 02:31 PM
Neil, I recognize that many state this war is illegal, but that's rhetoric at this point. There is disagreement on this subject amongst legal types, a lot of it, and it's not fact. I do agree that many in the legal profession see it as illegal but it's also true that many don't.
I think that the real issue of legality will be played out in the courts, in the upcoming months.
I don't think this is so simple.
On this point, we are in complete agreement. Saviors, or satan's? Or: something else, entirely? No way to say, for certain.

IMM, the universal, emerging world opinion of the US, is not a good sign...not at all.

opherdonchin
04-09-2003, 10:10 PM
So, on the off chance that the international courts determine that the war is legal (I tend to feel that it is not, but, like you say, that's for the courts to decide): what sort of casualty count would seem to you consistent with the American and UK claim that they are being as careful as possible about civilian lives.

To Michael Neil: a few hundred people cheering out of a city of 5 million may not mean much. Hussein could always bring out much greater crowds to cheer for him. I'm not sure how the Iraqis feel, but I suspect that, largely, they have not made up their minds quite yet.

And, on a similar point, we were cheered into Afghanistan, but it seems that that was not the end of the story.

Michael Neal
04-12-2003, 09:44 AM
Opher there are alot more than hundreds cheering in the streets, maybe not more than a hundred in one place because it is not an organized effort. Everywhere you se American troops there are Iraqis waving Amerian flags, shaking their hands, etc. You really have to have your head in the sand if you think that the Iraqis are not celebrating their liberation.
And, on a similar point, we were cheered into Afghanistan, but it seems that that was not the end of the story.
Who ever said it was the end of the story in Iraq?

opherdonchin
04-12-2003, 11:30 AM
Hey Michael,

It'll be hard to tell for sure until later, of course, but my sense primarily from NPR and the NYTimes is that the Iraqi feelings towards the Americans are much more ambivalent than were the feelings of the Afghanis. It's not surprising that there are Iraqis who want to be on the 'winning side' of this conflict and even those who would prefer the Americans to be the winning side. Still, do you doubt that if Saddam had, somehow, succeeded in pushing back the American assault we would have seen crowds in the street cheering for his victory as well?

I agree with you that it was annoying that there were so many negative voices early on in the invasion, eager to say that the American invasion was poorly planned, poorly thought out, and over optimistic. To me, it was annoying because it was so clear that they had no idea what they were talking about. Still, I think that people who read too much into these 'crowds' are also jumping the gun.

George S. Ledyard
04-13-2003, 12:10 AM
Hey Michael,

It'll be hard to tell for sure until later, of course, but my sense primarily from NPR and the NYTimes is that the Iraqi feelings towards the Americans are much more ambivalent than were the feelings of the Afghanis. It's not surprising that there are Iraqis who want to be on the 'winning side' of this conflict and even those who would prefer the Americans to be the winning side. Still, do you doubt that if Saddam had, somehow, succeeded in pushing back the American assault we would have seen crowds in the street cheering for his victory as well?

I agree with you that it was annoying that there were so many negative voices early on in the invasion, eager to say that the American invasion was poorly planned, poorly thought out, and over optimistic. To me, it was annoying because it was so clear that they had no idea what they were talking about. Still, I think that people who read too much into these 'crowds' are also jumping the gun.
Despite the massive propaganda effort under way to say otherwise, there is not the massive turnout that the administration hoped for. The footage of Saddam's statue in Baghdad being taken down was consisitently shown using closeup footage. I saw another picture on an alternative news site that showed the very same event from the air. There were clearly only a couple hundred there a(this is in a city of millions) and there was some evidence that the folks there were heavily inflated by Iraqis that we had just flown in from exile and not all of them were local.

Michael Neal
04-13-2003, 08:04 AM
You are unbelievable. So what about all the other celebration occuring throughout Iraq at the same time? Was it all some sort of staged event? Give me break.

Michael Neal
04-13-2003, 12:51 PM
Also I am curious as to who shot the scene from the air. I am not doubting you but it seems strange that a camera crew would be hovering over Bagdad in the middle of a war...
:)

opherdonchin
04-13-2003, 09:34 PM
It could have been shot from a tall building, no?

I'm not denying that some Iraqis are happy about the American victory. I'm not questioning that many Iraqis are not yet ready to express their opinions on the matter. I'm only questioning Michael Neil's exhulting posts (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/newreply.php?s=&action=newreply&postid=44144 ) regarding the pro-American demonstrations. I'm not saying Michael is wrong. I'm just saying his judgement strikes me as premature.

I do think, by the way, that it's fairly clear that this is the second time in succession that the press has vastly underestimated the pentagon and the administration's ability to effectively wage a war.

Abasan
04-16-2003, 02:20 AM
So as the Iraq Invasion finally comes to some kind of ending...

1. Where is Saddam?

Still not dead yet apparently. We'll find him though. He wasn't in the Russian envoy that we shot unfortunately.

2. Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Its now in Syria. US now has intelligence that didn't come from a 10 year report and which is not based on the existence of chem suits, that syria has chemical weapons of mass destruction.

3. How are the oil fields?

Some US companies are working out the final details.

4. The war bill?

IMF expects that Iraq will owe the world bank some USD200 billion for rebuilding. What better way to use the oil revenues eh? Make the country pay for the rebuilding whilst giving the rebuilding contracts to US companies.

5. What next?

Put in an American 'temporary' leadership for the people of Iraq until such time, these children can stand on their own two feet.

Oh, and if Syria doesn't cooperate so says Sharon, we'll do something to them. Like maybe Sanctions. So that more and more of their kids will die or grow up to hate good ol' USA. That way, we'll be justified when we come to bomb them to kingdom come.

Great work Bush Junior! A lot of americans will come out richer this time around. Next time there's an economic crisis out there, you can always find another Muslim state with oil to invade and conquer. You don't even have to say WoMD. We all know what its all about. If you wanted WoMD in the middle east, you go to Israel for that.

Abasan
04-16-2003, 02:42 AM
Btw, here's an alternate site on the war on Iraq. Its by a group of ex Russian intelligence, and they just provide military analysis as best they can. Impartial I hope.

http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/iraqwar_ru_027.htm

Its last run was on 8th April.

Michael Neal
04-16-2003, 02:54 PM
Remember that Ahmad Abas, in an earler post, praised the Taliban for refusing to turn over Bin Laden. This might give you a little more insight to where he is coming from.

Michael Neal
04-16-2003, 09:08 PM
Yes read here on the first page of the Anti-Americanism thread.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3311&pagenumber=1

He praised the Taliban and then I called him a terrorist sympathiser, for which of course I was criticised for name calling.

This would all be very amusing if it were not so serious

Erik
04-17-2003, 12:50 AM
Michael, Jaime, I'd let it go.

There's going to be a ton of second guessing in the coming months. We are going to hear all of the reasons this was the wrong thing to do and we'll hear it from everywhere. No matter what we do someone is going to complain. We could give every Iraqi $1,000,000 US dollars and we'd hear how it should have benn $2,000,000. It's the nature of things and people have very short memories.

The real test of this isn't today, or even tomorrow, but rather 10 or 20 years from now. At this point I'm inclined to let things play out.

Abasan
04-17-2003, 06:20 AM
Jaime,

I don't mind you asking me all those questions regarding my post in this forum, in fact thats what its for.

But don't just believe what Neal here says without looking through the entire thread. As it happens we disagree on somethings. And if he wants to call me names that's his attitude problem which only reinforces my view of his close mindedness.

unfortunately, some of the figures i quote are from printed newspapers and from television. For the USD200 bn figure, that was shown in the news about IMF heads meeting to discuss the war in Iraq and its bill. Maybe you can dig it up over the net, but its slower for me to do so.

As for the Americans and Saddam killing muslims... yeah well, whatever we say its pure rethoric. Many will argue that the 10 year economic sanctions which killed 500k children (so quoth Mr Blair himself) is a direct action by US. And of course, i won't lose sleep over Saddam's demise. I don't know how many he killed. Well... where is he then? Why didn't US just destroy him the last time around? Why wait another 10 years? Before the last gulf war, the butcher had already killed his fair share of people, why was he a friend to the US?

But then, US attack is unprovoked by Iraq. And Unsanctioned by UN. US and UK is doing it on their own. As for their Many many allies... well name them. Some of them are so small, they might as well be small towns in US. And what other forces do you see on Iraq?

Ok I agree. Its pretty soon to tell whether Iraq has the WoMD. I just thought that since Bush and Blair were so adamant that there was WoMD in Iraq contrary to the weapons inspector's opinion, they would have known where the Iraqis were hiding it.

First they said Iraq was going to use it on US. Then Isreal, then Kuwait. Then when the troops get closer to Baghdad... well, I'm still waiting. I just hope that Bush and Blair doesn't say that its now in Syria, and bomb them to kingdom hell. or wherever.

Maybe you all have a hatred to these Arabs that you don't know anything about. Maybe everything you hear is somehow tied to 9/11. Yeah, its unthinkable when the twin towers were destroyed and some 3-5 thousand americans died. What a tragedy to the world that is. Is it any less of a tragedy that US retaliates without any concrete evidence on Afghanistan and Iraq? Two muslim countries neigbouring Israel and rich in oil. Notwithstanding that throughout this time, Isreal has broken many UN sanctions, Barred weapons inspectors, still hasn't solve the refugee problems they created, encrouched on palestinian settlements, killed this people?

Maybe I was wrong, maybe it isn't about the oil.

All you see is the Isreal side of things. Why not? That's where the money is. All the big media moghuls are Isreals isn't it? Why would they want to show the other side of it.

You want to see a muslim killer? Look no further then Sharon. Even at the time of Jenin, Isreals parliament wanted him tried as a war criminal. How on earth is he still free, and Israel's pm at that? What a world.

Abasan
04-17-2003, 06:27 AM
Here's an excerpt from Richard Fisk's column in the Independant (UK). Read it, and tell me why?

Now here's another question the Iraqis are asking - and to which I cannot provide an answer. On 8 April, three weeks into the invasion, the Americans dropped four 2,000lb bombs on the Baghdad residential area of Mansur. They claimed they thought Saddam was hiding there. They knew they would kill
civilians because it was not, as one Centcom mandarin said, a "risk freeventure" (sic). So they dropped their bombs and killed 14 civilians in Mansur, most of them members of a Christian family.

The Americans said they couldn't be sure they had killed Saddam until they could carry out forensic tests at the site. But this turns out to have been a lie. I went there two days ago. Not a single US or British official had
bothered to visit the bomb craters. Indeed, when I arrived, there was a putrefying smell and families pulled the remains of a baby from the rubble.

No American officers have apologised for this appalling killing. And I can promise them that the baby I saw being placed under a sheet of black plastic was very definitely not Saddam Hussein. Had they bothered to look at this place - as they claimed they would - they would at least have found the baby. Now the craters are a place of pilgrimage for the people of Baghdad.

Then there's the fires that have consumed every one of the city's ministries - save, of course, for the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Oil - as well as UN offices, embassies and shopping malls. I have counted a total of 35 ministries now gutted by fire and the number goes on rising.

Yesterday I found myself at the Ministry of Oil, assiduously guarded by US troops, some of whom were holding clothes over their mouths because of the clouds of smoke swirling down on them from the neighbouring Ministry of Agricultural Irrigation. Hard to believe, isn't it, that they were unaware
that someone was setting fire to the next building?

Then I spotted another fire, three kilometres away. I drove to the scene to find flames curling out of all the windows of the Ministry of Higher Education's Department of Computer Science. And right next to it, perched on a wall, was a US Marine, who said he was guarding a neighbouring hospital
and didn't know who had lit the next door fire because "you can't look everywhere at once".

Now I'm sure the marine was not being facetious or dishonest - should the Americans not believe this story, he was Corporal Ted Nyholm of the 3rd Regiment, 4th Marines and, yes, I called his fiancée, Jessica, in the States for him to pass on his love - but something is terribly wrong when US soldiers are ordered simply to watch vast ministries being burnt by mobs and do nothing about it.

Because there is also something dangerous - and deeply disturbing - about the crowds setting light to the buildings of Baghdad, including the great libraries and state archives. For they are not looters. The looters come first. The arsonists turn up later, often in blue-and-white buses. I
followed one after its passengers had set the Ministry of Trade on fire and it sped out of town.

The official US line on all this is that the looting is revenge - an explanation that is growing very thin - and that the fires are started by "remnants of Saddam's regime", the same "criminal elements", no doubt, who feature in the marines' curfew orders. But people in Baghdad don't believe Saddam's former supporters are starting these fires. And neither do I.

The looters make money from their rampages but the arsonists have to be paid. The passengers in those buses are clearly being directed to their targets. If Saddam had pre-paid them, they wouldn't start the fires. The
moment he disappeared, they would have pocketed the money and forgotten the
whole project.

So who are they, this army of arsonists? I recognised one the other day, a middle-aged, unshaven man in a red T-shirt, and the second time he saw me he pointed a Kalashnikov at me. What was he frightened of? Who was he working for? In whose interest is it to destroy the entire physical infrastructure
of the state, with its cultural heritage? Why didn't the Americans stop this?

As I said, something is going terribly wrong in Baghdad and something is going on which demands that serious questions be asked of the United States government. Why, for example, did Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defence, claim last week that there was no widespread looting or destruction in
Baghdad? His statement was a lie. But why did he make it?

The Americans say they don't have enough troops to control the fires. This is also untrue. If they don't, what are the hundreds of soldiers deployed in the gardens of the old Iran-Iraq war memorial doing all day? Or the hundreds camped in the rose gardens of the President Palace?

So the people of Baghdad are asking who is behind the destruction of their cultural heritage: the looting of the archaeological treasures from the national museum; the burning of the entire Ottoman, Royal and State
archives; the Koranic library; and the vast infrastructure of the nation we claim we are going to create for them.

Why, they ask, do they still have no lectricity and no water? In whose interest is it for Iraq to be deconstructed, divided, burnt, de-historied, destroyed? Why are they issued with orders for a curfew by their so-called liberators?

And it's not just the people of Baghdad, but the Shias of the city of Najaf and of Nasiriyah - where 20,000 protested at America's first attempt to put together a puppet government on Wednesday - who are asking these questions.

Now there is looting in Mosul where thousands reportedly set fire to the pro-American governor's car after he promised US help in restoring electricity.

It's easy for a reporter to predict doom, especially after a brutal war that lacked all international legitimacy. But catastrophe usually waits for optimists in the Middle East, especially for false optimists who invade oil-rich nations with ideological excuses and high-flown moral claims and
accusations, such as weapons of mass destruction, which are still unproved.

So I'll make an awful prediction. That America's war of "liberation" is over. Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans is about to begin. In other words, the real and frightening story starts now.

Abasan
04-17-2003, 08:01 AM
Quick reply. :)

Ok. Its true, Taliban has some pretty nasty extremist. I think maybe they are pretty confused on some issues, and they use religion (or what they interprete it is) as an excuse for their misdeeds. That said, was Taliban just made yesterday? It doesn't make sense when America comes to Afghanistan to say they are liberating them from Taliban. What makes sense is that, they want revenge. Justifiably so.

In my earlier post, I mentioned that the Taliban regime was willing to hand over Osama to a neutral court (preferrably one in control by UN) if US was willing to provide proof that Osama did 9/11. US did not give the proof, thus Taliban did not hand them over. That was the basis of why US attacked Afghan and the Taliban, not because of women being forced to cover up and soccer fields being used as execution spots. That's been going on for sometime now I would presume.

Now, I opposed judging someone guilty just because You said so. This is the basis of fair trial and i believe US subscribes to this in their court of justice. So why the double standards. I said that US is not justified to attack afghan on the basis that Osama wasn't proven guilty. I am for a country that stands by its pledge of amnesty. Given the superior power of US, everyone knew that it was practically suicide to do so. Yet they did, because it was the right thing to do. For that, i was called by Neal a terrorist sympathiser.

I believe that's just to scare me away from saying my mind. Well. I guess I'm shaking in my boots now, that US Special forces will come knocking on my door and lock me up just like the thousands of Arabs (muslims and some are US citizens) you have locked up without a fair trial.

As for the gallons and all that thingey. I don't know. I don't have the sophisticated sattelite and surveillance system that US is suppose to have, reputedly able to even read the lable on a coke can in a trash can. I'm sure you could have used that to establish his weapon stocks.

Funny that you just dismiss Fisk off hand without even answering what is obvious. I want to know what US thinks of all the civilians killed indiscriminately when invading iraq. So call smart bombs hitting markets and residential quarters. Would you like that to happen to your neighbourhood?

To all of us who are beneath you... anytime at all this can happen to us. And it seems we are powerless to stop it. That's when we know, that you respect only might and power. That's why we know you won't attack North Korea, because you know they have nukes and will use it. That's why we can guess that you attacked iraq because you knew Iraq doesn't have WoMD otherwise they would have used it already.

I didn't say I hate jews. You must have inferred that from what i've said. Just like i inferred that Bush and his cronies hate muslims from what he has done (ie kill lots of them.)

Sharon is still a war criminal. And I would seriously like to know what he means by a palestinian state especially from a guy who has said that he is willing to kill every single palestinian alive.

And Isreal is still a rogue state. US has protected it so many times with its veto power (over 70 times). Why?

As for bosnia. Yeah, you came to the rescue. The world appreciates it. Although unfortunately the serbs war criminals are still rampant. And by the time UN organised any sort of rescue tens of thousands of bosnian muslims have already died.

Abasan
04-17-2003, 08:14 AM
Actually, let me make my position clear. I don't hate americans or the brits. I spent a good 5 years living in UK and I like the people there, especially the aikido ppl who I still keep in touch with.

I hate war and strife. I hate that the mighty are using their power for unjust things. What's the point of all this power and money? If everyone is going to die in the end, where does this warmongering and resources hogging going to lead to? Wouldn't it be better if we were to live in peace?

I support Isreal and Palestinians living in a shared state, or even with borders clearly defined. But it has to be fair. Some shared areas, should be governed autonomously and impartially. i don't think Isreal wants that though. Especially not sharon. Bit by bit, they have increased their borders, destroying palestinian homes and killing their people. And yes, the palestinians have been fighting back. with their hopeless suicide bombers for what its worth. a pitiful picture compared with the jet fighters, the attack choppers, military tanks and powerful artilleries that israel employ on them.

But I don't hate the Jews. I don't think any human being with a capacity for love and with ethics and reasoning in him would kill for pleasure. So instead of war, they should be discourse.

opherdonchin
04-17-2003, 10:41 AM
Michael,

I think your reading of Ahmad's post is a little uncharitable. Further, I've always found his attitude on these forums to be respectful and open-minded and I've often found his insights to be interesting. While he and I probably don't agree on many things, he strikes me as offering a perspective on a point of view shared by a large number of people around the world. You would be hard pressed to find someone willing to represent this point of view more graciously. You would be making a serious mistake if you decided that this point of view can be safely ignored.

opherdonchin
04-17-2003, 10:54 AM
Oops. Sent off my reply without realizing that there was a whole 'nother page of productive discussion between Jaime and Ahmad. Sorry.

Reading what Ahmad and Jaime are saying to each other, I sort of wish they would try to focus on one small issue of disagreement and put it to rest one way or another, and then move on. I find the jumping from issue to issue and from point to point very dizzying. I'd love it if I could figure out what the things that Ahmad and Jaime really do agree about are, and what the things they really do disagree about are, and then start figuring out where their disagreement actually stems from.

Michael Neal
04-17-2003, 11:38 AM
Michael,

I think your reading of Ahmad's post is a little uncharitable. Further, I've always found his attitude on these forums to be respectful and open-minded and I've often found his insights to be interesting. While he and I probably don't agree on many things, he strikes me as offering a perspective on a point of view shared by a large number of people around the world. You would be hard pressed to find someone willing to represent this point of view more graciously. You would be making a serious mistake if you decided that this point of view can be safely ignored.
I actually think I was being charitable in my response. I do not have much tolerance for those who sympathize with terrorist organizations.

opherdonchin
04-17-2003, 01:44 PM
I don't think anyone has ever accused the taliban of being terrorists. They were, more or less, the recognized rulers of a sovereign state. We could argue back and forth about the legalities of Bush's demand and their response. I think their are interesting point to be made on both sides. However, the issue of extra-legal extradition is certainly complicated enough that one could support the taliban decision on that point without sympathizing with the terrorists or even, particularly, with the taliban themselves.

Abasan
04-21-2003, 07:13 PM
Right, I agree its better to find some common ground instead of you staying in your side of the border and me staying in my side whilst throwing stones at each other.

I feel that terrorism is wrong and should be curbed.

I feel that to curb terrorism, you must identify the reasons of why it happens. I don't think there exists a long line of people who are so fanatical such that they are willing to die for a terrorism act without some reason. If so, what wonderful cannon fodder do they make.

I feel that the American public are a great diverse bunch. However, I feel that they underrepresented in the government. The reason why, is (btw, how do you feel about Pat Buchanon? this is an excerpt from his Mar 24 American Conservative article) the American Government does what Israel wants them to do not necessarily what's in their best interest.

"President Bush is on notice: Should he pressure Israel to trade land for peace, the Oslo formula in which his father and Yitzak Rabin believed, he will, as was his father, be denounced as an anti-Semite and a Munich-style appeaser by both Israelis and their neoconservatives allies inside his own Big Tent.

Yet, if Bush cannot deliver Sharon there can be no peace. And if there is no peace in the Mideast there is no security for us, ever—for there will be no end to terror. As most every diplomat and journalist who travels to the region will relate, America’s failure to be even-handed, our failure to rein in Sharon, our failure to condemn Israel’s excesses, and our moral complicity in Israel’s looting of Palestinian lands and denial of their right to self-determination sustains the anti-Americanism in the Islamic world in which terrorists and terrorism breed."

And here's another excerpt, right at the end of his speech which I find very puzzling. Opher, I would like to know your thoughts on this.

"Since the time of Ben Gurion, the behavior of the Israeli regime has been Jekyll and Hyde. In the 1950s, its intelligence service, the Mossad, had agents in Egypt blow up U.S. installations to make it appear the work of Cairo, to destroy U.S. relations with the new Nasser government. During the Six Day War, Israel ordered repeated attacks on the undefended USS Liberty that killed 34 American sailors and wounded 171 and included the machine-gunning of life rafts. This massacre was neither investigated nor punished by the U.S. government in an act of national cravenness.

Though we have given Israel $20,000 for every Jewish citizen, Israel refuses to stop building the settlements that are the cause of the Palestinian intifada. Likud has dragged our good name through the mud and blood of Ramallah, ignored Bush’s requests to restrain itself, and sold U.S. weapons technology to China, including the Patriot, the Phoenix air-to-air missile, and the Lavi fighter, which is based on F-16 technology. Only direct U.S. intervention blocked Israel’s sale of our AWACS system.

Israel suborned Jonathan Pollard to loot our secrets and refuses to return the documents, which would establish whether or not they were sold to Moscow. When Clinton tried to broker an agreement at Wye Plantation between Israel and Arafat, Bibi Netanyahu attempted to extort, as his price for signing, release of Pollard, so he could take this treasonous snake back to Israel as a national hero."

I also believe that what Americans view as news, is a very onsided opinion on the whole issue. That really can't be helped because the media plays a role that only they can fathom. Here's a link where you can see the toppling of Saddam's statue which was likened to the toppling of the berlin wall. It's the other view i'm afraid. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm

I believe that Isreal has the right to have a state as much as the Palestinians have a right to theirs. But it should be established through peaceful means. Violence begets violence.

My belief is that Isreal is violent in its pursuit to establish its state of existence. Undeniably it stems from the history of its founding and the war with its arab neighbours then. But what it has come to can only be said as paranoia. Isreal is paranoid with its neighbours and is set to establish itself as an untouchable military power in the middle east. All this with the help of the US.

To me its all about the double standards. But i guess both sides can be blamed on that. So it helps when you share different opinions in forums like this.

Abasan
04-21-2003, 07:23 PM
I have the utmost respect for service men who die defending their country. So I'm sorry that my previous post has belittled the sacrifices the US army has gone through in keeping the peace of the world.

I do believe that soldiers do their job as they are told to do. They may not necessarily know the whole picture. That's the point of military heirarchy anyway. So that no one asks a question out of line.

The reason why I keep on contesting about civilian deaths is just that this time, the war isn't about keeping peace. Its an invasion. A preemptive attack you say, but are we to know the future? You attack a city filled with millions of people, you will kill innocents.

"As the "momentous events" of April 9 were described, the war raged on. US soldiers and many Iraqi civilians were killed in fighting that same night. The next day a suicide bomber killed several US marines and wounded four more close to where the statue had been toppled. Civilians were shot and killed: Channel 4 (UK channel) filmed as a six-year-old girl was shot in the head by US troops, and as a civilian man was shot dead on his balcony as he came out to see what was happening. Two children were shot dead at a checkpoint, with 9 family members injured. A Shia Muslim cleric favoured by Downing Street was assassinated in Najaf."



And I suspect that yes some civilians probably took part in the resistance of the invasion. Don't blame them. If somebody invaded my country I would defend it with my life. So would you right? At the business end of your mossberg I would presume.

opherdonchin
04-21-2003, 08:42 PM
And here's another excerpt, right at the end of his speech which I find very puzzling. Opher, I would like to know your thoughts on this.I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, or what you find 'puzzling' about this excerpt.

I have no opinion about the USS Liberty except that I tend to believe that it was an honest war-time mistake. Still, I have no evidence for that. It certainly seems like an isolated incident.

The relationship between the level of American aid to Israel and Israel's settlement policy in the territories is a more complicated issue. The U.S. has succesfully used the threat of withholding aid to influence Israel on a couple of occasions in the past. Some would say that this works because it is only used occasionally.

The whole Jonathan Pollard story is certainly an embarassment to both the U.S. and Israel, as is any case of friendly spying. For instance, here (http://www.jonathanpollard.org/sentences.htm) is a list of people caught spying for our friends and enemies over recent years and the sentences they received. The claim is that Pollard's sentence is completely out of proportion with his crime. Looking over different pages on the web, you get two completely incompatible pictures of what happened. Even the issue of whether the stolen documents were returned seems to be unclear.

In any case, I'm not sure exactly what you were asking, Ahmad, and I've kept my replies brief, just sort of sharing my surface thoughts on the points raised by that excerpt you posted. In general, all of these things seem like red herrings, having little to do with the day-to-day politics of the relationship between Israel and the U.S. Currently, I see that relationship being largely determined early in the years of the Bush presidency when Arafat lost his credibility with Bush Junior by lying about the Karin A incident. Again, I'm not juding either Arafat or Bush. I'm just remembering that Bush's approach to the Palestinian/Israeli issue changed sharply at that time. In contrast, Sharon succeeded in establishing a real comraderie with Bush (just two farmers doing their best to bring their simple, honest values to a hard job). It doesn't hurt that by showing strong support of Israel, Bush wins favor with his fundamentalist Christian base will simultaneously digging into traditional Jewish support of the democrats.

This, I think is the reality of what is going on. If one is interested in changing that reality, it will either involve changing the leadership in the U.S. or changing the leadership in the middle east. While the current reality is comfortable for me in some ways, I would still welcome change in either place.

opherdonchin
04-21-2003, 08:44 PM
By the way, Ahmad, I don't know if those last two posts were meant to be an example of focusing in on an issue. For me, they didn't work that way. You are still skipping back and forth between the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, and the Palestinian/Israeli situation. I know that for you these are all related issues. Still, wouldn't it be best for all of us to focus on one specific question somewhere in that morass. Figure out if we agree or disagree on that one question, and perhaps where the disagreements come from, and then move on? I sure would like that.

Abasan
04-23-2003, 03:39 AM
Ok Opher you got me. I don't hold my thoughts together very well... seems this fault of mine has been the result of a very short attention span habit i've ingrained in myself to keep up with the games i play.

Lets see... you've basically highlighted 3 issues.

1. war on terrorism

2. war on iraq

3. palestinian and israel issue.

They are three seperate but somewhat intergral issues to me but lets talk about terrorism and find some common ground there.

First, terrorism is a bad thing. No one wants to be the victim of a crime of terror. I would protect myself as best i could from that, and so America is right in saying that it should defend itself from being the target of terrorist attacks.

I'm not really a criminal analyst or political science major so i can't define whats in a terrorist mindset and what are the governing principles of defining terrorism and any other warlike action. I read my stuff from the general public information disemination eg papers, news, internet. In fact some quarters are saying that the US invasion on Iraq is akin to terrorism itself. Well they were comparing it to the FBI's defination of terrorism... or something like that.

Anyway, whatever the case maybe. Surely there has to be something to be addressed by this terrorism thats happening. Why are they taking place.

Usually when terrorism happens, in the case of IRA for example or maybe the Tamil Tigers, or maybe in the Philappines (can't remember the name), there is an issue that they want to bring out. They want something. Maybe they think its their right. Maybe they are wrong. But they have a message and they want the world to hear. What I don't understand is, why there is no message on the 9/11. If there was I missed it, kindly link me to the site. Post 9/11 nearly two years now... and i bet there's a lot of loose cluter still unresolved. Like forensic investigation on the towers, gone... scrap metal in countries around the world. Details on the pentagon site, details on what went wrong with the high tech airforce security that patrols airspace in US, etc etc. Shouldn't this have been revealed by now? This and perhaps a message from the terrorists on why the attack took place will answer a lot of things, and from there a way to find the best solution so that it won't repeat again.

I'm no conspiracy theory buff, but yeah what i wrote just now qualifies for the stuff. Still, taking action on two countries now just based on assertion that they are culpable without doing the necessary information research, investigation and disclosure seems to me a bit hasty and a trifle arrogant.

Further on we now see an economic sanction imposed on syria just like the one you hit Iraq with for 10 years (UN stats show that 500k children died as a direct result of that sanction. The fault maynot be entirely US here because Saddam prob didn't do justice to the food for oil programme, but the fact was that before the war the children were doing ok)... right. that's what we need, kill syrian children. Their surviving siblings will hate you for it. Guess what they will do when they grow up. And all this for what? Looks to me like a classic case of Domino effect cascading around the middle east, with Israel at its center. Its no secret that israel has identified the countries to be brought down by US way before the war started and has pressed the bush administration to do so. The article by Pat Buchanon i mentioned earlier notes this as well but its pretty long. If you want, i can email it to you.

So, somehow, in talking about the war on terrorism we have somehow entered into both Iraq and Israel.

Lets talk about just terrorism alone and how my country dealt with it. We have this KMM, and we had the communists before that. Our country had to fight this people who went guerilla on us. They wanted to rule a country that is shared by 3 major races courtesy of the british colonials (originally it was just the malays). Can't have that. To iron them out, we had to do it two ways.

Physical - ie go to war with them on their ground. its very hard when you have masses and masses of jungle. Our country is built for guerilla warfare. a lot of people died because of this.

Spiritually - ie cut off their support. That

means, integrating the suspected collaboraters into society, changing their ideology to accept the majority's allignment for democracy, etc. Because of this, we managed to phase out the communist threat after a decade or so without committing any serious bloodshed.

To me, its not about getting rid of the symptoms. Its about going to the root cause. I feel that America should sit down and discuss this root cause with the rest of the world before doing anything stupid. Yes you have your grief... don't let that grief justify causing hurt to others, especially innocents who had no beef with you.

Jaime

"War is hell... What you have described here sounds like war to me. Mistakes are made. "

Geez, lucky i'm no iraqi... don't want to be part of the mistake you know.

Ok so you are saying the war is about keeping the peace, establishing a regime change so that an iraqi government can be established for the iraqi ppl (as a whole), to find and punish all saddam cronies, and to find WoMD.

1. Keeping peace.

Iraq was not at war with US. It was agreed in UN that war is only allowed for self defense. But here we have the most powerful country in the world entering into a 'preemptive war' without the concurrence of UN. That's a mighty precedent being set here. Next we'll have preemtive wars all over the place... being justified of course post war.

2. Regime change is good. War to do it, is bad. Vietnam in ousting Pot Pul (sp?)(evil2 dictator cum drug lord) of cambodia was fired by UN.

3. Good Iraqi government of the ppl.

they have 3 majority groups: Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds (in order). That never really got along well. Some would say the kurds never got along well with any country - ask the turks. Still, will US establish a sound, democratic government that balances the population demography at the same time bring the country back to civilisation? Or is the lack of anything right being done to Afghanistan post war something to look forward to? The fact that US troops did not police the riots, looting and arsons that happened after the present government was toppled? Or the fact that the appointed interim government will be headed by an Israel alligned person?

4. Saddam and cronies... ok keep on searching.

5. WoMD... ditto. Although i read somewhere that the Weapon Inspectors seem to say that they couldn't find any, and even if the remaining WoMD that they couldn't find remain unaccounted for it would be harmless sludge by now (i guess that means WoMD has expiry dates?). My guess as good as yours.

Abasan
04-23-2003, 03:49 AM
Btw, here's something from Congressman Ron Paul that asks a lot of questions and answers them in a fashion.

Congressman Ron Paul

U.S. House of Representatives

September 10, 2002

QUESTIONS THAT WON'T BE ASKED ABOUT IRAQ

"Soon we hope to have hearings on the pending war with Iraq. I am concerned there are some questions that won’t be asked- and maybe will not even be allowed to be asked. Here are some questions I would like answered by those who are urging us to start this war.

1. Is it not true that the reason we did not bomb the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War was because we knew they could retaliate?

2. Is it not also true that we are willing to bomb Iraq now because we know it cannot retaliate- which just confirms that there is no real threat?

3. Is it not true that those who argue that even with inspections we cannot be sure that Hussein might be hiding weapons, at the same time imply that we can be more sure that weapons exist in the absence of inspections?

4. Is it not true that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency was able to complete its yearly verification mission to Iraq just this year with Iraqi cooperation?

5. Is it not true that the intelligence community has been unable to develop a case tying Iraq to global terrorism at all, much less the attacks on the United States last year? Does anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and that none came from Iraq?

6. Was former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro wrong when he recently said there is no confirmed evidence of Iraq’s links to terrorism?

7. Is it not true that the CIA has concluded there is no evidence that a Prague meeting between 9/11 hijacker Atta and Iraqi intelligence took place?

8. Is it not true that northern Iraq, where the administration claimed al-Qaeda were hiding out, is in the control of our "allies," the Kurds?

9. Is it not true that the vast majority of al-Qaeda leaders who escaped appear to have safely made their way to Pakistan, another of our so-called allies?

10. Has anyone noticed that Afghanistan is rapidly sinking into total chaos, with bombings and assassinations becoming daily occurrences; and that according to a recent UN report the al-Qaeda "is, by all accounts, alive and well and poised to strike again, how, when, and where it chooses"?

11. Why are we taking precious military and intelligence resources away from tracking down those who did attack the United States- and who may again attack the United States- and using them to invade countries that have not attacked the United States?

12. Would an attack on Iraq not just confirm the Arab world's worst suspicions about the US, and isn't this what bin Laden wanted?

13. How can Hussein be compared to Hitler when he has no navy or air force, and now has an army 1/5 the size of twelve years ago, which even then proved totally inept at defending the country?

14. Is it not true that the constitutional power to declare war is exclusively that of the Congress? Should presidents, contrary to the Constitution, allow Congress to concur only when pressured by public opinion? Are presidents permitted to rely on the UN for permission to go to war?

15. Are you aware of a Pentagon report studying charges that thousands of Kurds in one village were gassed by the Iraqis, which found no conclusive evidence that Iraq was responsible, that Iran occupied the very city involved, and that evidence indicated the type of gas used was more likely controlled by Iran not Iraq?

16. Is it not true that anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 US soldiers have suffered from Persian Gulf War syndrome from the first Gulf War, and that thousands may have died?

17. Are we prepared for possibly thousands of American casualties in a war against a country that does not have the capacity to attack the United States?

18. Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy? How about an estimated 30 years occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to "build democracy" there?

19. Iraq’s alleged violations of UN resolutions are given as reason to initiate an attack, yet is it not true that hundreds of UN Resolutions have been ignored by various countries without penalty?

20. Did former President Bush not cite the UN Resolution of 1990 as the reason he could not march into Baghdad, while supporters of a new attack assert that it is the very reason we can march into Baghdad?

21. Is it not true that, contrary to current claims, the no-fly zones were set up by Britain and the United States without specific approval from the United Nations?

22. If we claim membership in the international community and conform to its rules only when it pleases us, does this not serve to undermine our position, directing animosity toward us by both friend and foe?

23. How can our declared goal of bringing democracy to Iraq be believable when we prop up dictators throughout the Middle East and support military tyrants like Musharaf in Pakistan, who overthrew a democratically-elected president?

24. Are you familiar with the 1994 Senate Hearings that revealed the U.S. knowingly supplied chemical and biological materials to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and as late as 1992- including after the alleged Iraqi gas attack on a Kurdish village?

25. Did we not assist Saddam Hussein’s rise to power by supporting and encouraging his invasion of Iran? Is it honest to criticize Saddam now for his invasion of Iran, which at the time we actively supported?

26. Is it not true that preventive war is synonymous with an act of aggression, and has never been considered a moral or legitimate US policy?

27. Why do the oil company executives strongly support this war if oil is not the real reason we plan to take over Iraq?

28. Why is it that those who never wore a uniform and are confident that they won’t have to personally fight this war are more anxious for this war than our generals?

29. What is the moral argument for attacking a nation that has not initiated aggression against us, and could not if it wanted?

30. Where does the Constitution grant us permission to wage war for any reason other than self-defense?

31. Is it not true that a war against Iraq rejects the sentiments of the time-honored Treaty of Westphalia, nearly 400 years ago, that countries should never go into another for the purpose of regime change?

32. Is it not true that the more civilized a society is, the less likely disagreements will be settled by war?

33. Is it not true that since World War II Congress has not declared war and- not coincidentally- we have not since then had a clear-cut victory?

34. Is it not true that Pakistan, especially through its intelligence services, was an active supporter and key organizer of the Taliban?

35. Why don't those who want war bring a formal declaration of war resolution to the floor of Congress? "

opherdonchin
04-23-2003, 09:26 AM
Ugh. Too long for me by half. In my self-appointed role of moderator, I'm going to limit discussion (well, my discussion at least) to the initial part of your first post that is focused on terrorism. I'd love it if Jaime did the same, although he's obvoiusly free to do whatever he wants. I thought there was some interesting stuff there that would be worth getting clear on before we move on.

What I heard you saying the first part of that post was that while you believe, in some sense, in fighting terror, you also think that terror always has an underlying cause. By understanding what they underlying cause is, you say, we may be able to avoid 'fighting' the terror in the first place. One might say that the issue is not so much with what the U.S. has done in response to the 9/11 attacks as with what it has not done. That is, it has not really taken the time and the effort to understand what motivated the 9/11 attacks, or taken any steps to address this underlying motivation. You say further, regarding what the U.S. has done, that it seems disproportionate to you without a clearer understanding of the underlying causes.

Restated as I've just said it, with the conspiracy theory stuff taken out, these are ideas I can generally agree with. I don't know if Jaime would agree with them, and maybe we can address the conspiracy theory stuff later.

There are a couple of point of disagreement I do have with my synopsis above, though. I'm not sure if I agree that the U.S. response is innappropriate without a clearer understanding of the underlying issues. There's plenty, I think, that's wrong with the U.S. response, but, in principle, I see no problem with pursuing a military and a humanitarian agenda side by side, and pursuing some parts of the agenda more energetically than others as the need dictates. Again, don't take this as a justification of what the U.S. is doing. It's just a disagreement on a particular point.

The second place where I'm not sure I agree with you is that a lot of people seem to have very clear ideas of 'why' the 9/11 terrorists did what they did. There are specific demands -- chief among them the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia -- that Al Qaeida has made, and there is plenty of discussion of the underlying world view of the anti-western and extremist religious movement within the Arab world.

Abasan
04-23-2003, 10:49 PM
I wish i can write like you. You've summed what I wanted to say very clearly.

I still don't understand though why you think US action without a clearer understanding on the underlying issues is ok. To me, before you act you analyse something. after you analyse the issue, you formulate a plan. Then you take action, and then you do introspection. Otherwise, it seems to be blind action only... kinda like trying to achieve progress by doing something, anything! Maybe that would seem dynamic and give the impression of a strong determination on US's part... but it seems callous and bullheaded to me.

The demands made by Al Qaeda - was that after they claimed responsibility for the 9/11 or after the US-Afghan war? I didn't hear about it... so if you can, pls fill me in.

"and there is plenty of discussion of the underlying world view of the anti-western and extremist religious movement within the Arab world"

This does not seem to be good grounds for taking action. Extremists, satanists, white supremists and all that jazz exists everywhere. They are there in US talking about spilling blood and raising ragnarok... and there will be versions of them elsewhere in the world. Does this give credence to attack a whole sovereign country in order to irradicate this radical minority?

No government should do that. To do that means you act above the law. To do that as US, you break your own laws. Laws exists to control those in power, power to do right and power to do wrong. When the laws are not upheld, people with power can abuse them. God knows, US has lots of power... and the potential for abuse is infinite.

The american public deserve to punish those responsible for the crime against them. Unite with the world again, and find these criminals. Don't create new ones. Doing so is criminal.

Neil Mick
04-28-2003, 02:38 PM
Excellent post, Abasan. I, for one, am interested to hear Jaime's response.

opherdonchin
04-28-2003, 03:12 PM
I was also holding back on responding, waiting for Jaime's post.

Jaime, you still around?

opherdonchin
04-29-2003, 10:14 AM
So, let me point out the parts in Ahmad's post I most agree with. If Jaime also finds himself agreeing with some of it, then we may have a basis to branch out from.
God knows, US has lots of power... and the potential for abuse is infinite.
Ahmad was making a big deal out of the idea that the U.S. is behaving outside of international law. While I don't necessarily agree with everything he said about that, I am, in principle, a supporter of the development of international law and I am concerned by the way that the Bush administration seems to be putting itself above international law. Even more than I am concerned about these things, I'm aware about how much of a concern they might be to people outside the U.S.
The american public deserve to punish those responsible for the crime against them.I don't know if I agree with the word 'deserve,' but I certainly recognize that Americans feel that 9/11 changed their view of world events in a fundamental way. How does that change things? How does it change the rules of the game? I'm not sure that I know, but I understand that it does. Ahmad seems to feel that however it changes the rules, it should do so within the context of well established rules of law and order. I would be surprised if Jaime agrees with that, or perhaps he sees the administration as operating within the context of U.S. laws. I'm not sure.

Let me just mention in passing the parts of Ahmad's post that I didn't focus on, so he knows that I'm not ignoring them.
I still don't understand though why you think US action without a clearer understanding on the underlying issues is ok.I think we could have a long discussion of this, and perhaps we should. Basically, I would say that sometimes action is required before the analysis is completely in and we all know of those times in our lives. Of course, sometimes we are hasty, too. Finding the balance is always a challenge.
The demands made by Al Qaeda - was that after they claimed responsibility for the 9/11 or after the US-Afghan war?I remember it as coming out after 9/11 but before the Afghan war in a video statement from Bin Laden, but I don't have sources.
Does this give credence to attack a whole sovereign country in order to irradicate this radical minority?Good question. I feel like I have good answers to it, but I'm afraid they'll distract us. Is that ok?

Neil Mick
04-29-2003, 02:27 PM
Mickster I am touched.... you really... really are interested in what I have to say? What brings this new tone of civility is it the spring in the air?
I have been attempting (and failing) to establish a tone of civility with you, for a month, now.

Since your last posts have been free of insult, I'm all ears.

So, what is your response to Abasan's post?

opherdonchin
04-29-2003, 04:11 PM
Jaime, I'm confused by one thing in your post. On the one hand, you seem to be saying that you don't see any reason for America to be respectful of international law. On the other hand, you seem to attach some importance (although you say it isn't much) to our activity being sanctioned by the U.N.

What I'd be most interested in, I think, is the way in which you feel America should or ought to constrain it's behavior out of respect for international law or the U.N. I recognize that there are ways in which you think our behavior should not be constrained by these mechanisms.

It seems, though, that here we are certainly going to find a 'rock bottom' difference between Jaime and Ahmad. I mean, either we sort of leave Iraq behind for a while and take up the question of the validity and value of international law, or else we stay with Iraq.

P.S. Jaime and Neil, I'm not sure if you are starting to snipe at each other again. If you are, maybe you should move that particular aspect of the discussion to a different thread.

Neil Mick
04-29-2003, 04:15 PM
The rules have changed we as the U.S.A are no longer reacting to events but instead enacting our soveriegn right to self defense

by pre-emptivly removing threats to our people and our allies. Which rules of Law and Order. We are acting in accordance with our own. We acted in accordance with the UN (Which in my mind is not that important).
Now, right here I am confused. Are you saying tht the US should have one set of laws, and the rest of the world, another?

Also, how did we act, in accordance with the UN?

Finally: could you please answer Abasan's question? I am not trying to "hound" or catch you in anything: I am honestly interested in your response to
The american public deserve to punish those responsible for the crime against them. Unite with the world again, and find these criminals. Don't create new ones. Doing so is criminal.

Michael Neal
04-30-2003, 06:39 AM
This is another good reason why the UN should be ignored.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,85526,00.html

opherdonchin
04-30-2003, 07:17 AM
It sounds like we need a discussion of the U.N. and its role in American and world affairs.

opherdonchin
04-30-2003, 08:48 AM
Why do we need "international laws"?So, this seems to be the fundamental question right now. I have an amateur's view of the arguments for and history of international law, but maybe there is someone around who wants to give a more informed perspective? Also, Ahmad or Neil, as people who have brought up international law in this forum, perhaps you'd like to explain why you think it's important. I think, specifically, the focus would need to be 'what's in it for the U.S.'

Sometimes I wonder how many people still read this thread except for us principles.

opherdonchin
04-30-2003, 09:38 AM
Let's leave derogatory nicknames (Saranwrap) out of the discussion.

opherdonchin
04-30-2003, 09:41 AM
3 issues currently on the table:

1) Should the U.S. pay attention to international law

2) Was the U.S. acting in accordance with international law when it attacked Iraq (along with its coalition partners)

3) Is the war likely to create more terrorists.

Just keeping track.

Neil Mick
04-30-2003, 03:25 PM
3 issues currently on the table:

1) Should the U.S. pay attention to international law

2) Was the U.S. acting in accordance with international law when it attacked Iraq (along with its coalition partners)

3) Is the war likely to create more terrorists.

Just keeping track.
1. Absolutely. If the US does not, then we have a double-standard of what is "fair," in terms of international law. Increasingly, the equation looks to be a set of laws for American interests, and another set for the Arab-states.

2. Absolutely not. To obliquely answer Jaime's point: Hussein was not judged to be in "material breech" of Section 1441, by the Security Council. Only the Security Council can judge a material breech, yet the US went ahead and unilaterally invaded, in contravention of the fundamental principles of the UN charter, which disavows war as an extension of foreign policy.

War is supposed to be a means of last resort. By all other accounts (non-US), the reports of compliance with 1441 were promising: Blix reported "progress," and Iraq was promising further cooperation, in the future.

Now, a person could argue that they cannot be trusted as they lied in the past, etc; but the powers (I mean the US, in this instance) that state this claim are hardly in a position to talk about lies, now are they? Especially since they based much of their reasons for invading under a web of forged documents, misinformation and lies (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=400805). Also, the US interfered with the inspections process for its own ends, right down to excising 5000 pages from the last report of weapons that emerged from Iraq.

By acting in a manner contrary to the purpose of the UN, the US, as a signatory nation, is in breech of contract, itself.

However, since the US and Britain are the winners, it does not look as if the perpetrators of these crimes will be brought to justice, FWIH (http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,936827,00.html).

3. Yes, IMM. Already, the US is allying with an Iranian terrorist group, to the outrage of the Iranian gov't. Apparently, the only "good" terrorist is an ally to the US.

And finally, I have to say it:

"WHERE'S THE BEEF???!!!" No WMD, in spite of all the myriad detailed "reports" from Powell, et al, before the war. All of those "reports" of chemical weapons-finds are splashed on the news, yet nothing concrete is found. If the US does not find those weapons, which were the basis of the pre-emptive strike doctrine, then the whole policy is void.

One can claim that the purpose for invasion was humanitarian, but then one is engaging in the very definition of "spin," IMM. As in my article, a person can claim self-defence for murdering a potential burglar, but if that person was found not to have been a burglar at all, then the motives of the homeowner become increasingly suspect, don't they?

If the US is permitted to carry out an illegal doctrine of pre-emptive invasion in the interests of maintaining international and national security, then shouldn't it be eager to prove the validity of its doctrine to the world? If this doctrine has merit, why aren't the weapons inspectors permitted back into Iraq?

And, if the US is so "justified" in invading Iraq, then why is it not acting in accordance with international law and providing much-needed food and supplies, instead of stonewalling the UN relief-effort, forcing the UN to go in the back-door thru Syria and dragging its feet, as much as possible?

In short, the US is hardly acting as the "liberating force" of the Middle East: increasingly, its actions suggest that its motives are criminal, in nature (not to mention, of course: its appalling nonresponse to the looters, IN SPITE of prior warnings from various museum societies, as well as the shooting of al Jazeera reporters at the Palestine Hotel).

opherdonchin
04-30-2003, 10:07 PM
Sorry, too long for me to read. It's late and I'm lazy. I did read the first point, though, and I'll respond to that. I may be putting words in Jaime's mouth, but I suspect that a 'moral' argument for international law will not be convincing to Jaime. My guess is that he will say that our moral behavior and our adherence to international law are two separate issues. We should be a moral nation because we should be a moral nation, and we should be responsible to ourselves for that and not to anyone else. However, international law, Jaime may claim, has rarely, if ever, prevented immoral countries from pursuing their immomral agendas and gets in the way of our pursuing our own, largely moral, agenda.

I'm not saying I agree with that, but I suspect that that is what Jaime would say. I, personally, think there is some validity to the argument even if I don't agree with it. I think an argument for international law can, and should, be made from the perspective of american self-interest. I think an argument can also be made from a moral perspective, but I think it is harder to make and that a delicate and subtle argument is required.

Neil Mick
05-01-2003, 02:34 AM
Well that's your take on it, Opher: but since you've admitted to not even reading through the post, you can hardly expect me to take your response seriously, now can you?

Jaime has amply proven his ability to speak for himself. Besides, I am not posting to attempt to "convince" anyone. I am posting from my own perspective.

Neil Mick
05-01-2003, 05:03 AM
This (http://www.helpicrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/iwpList530/D34949DF9C488D00C1256CF5004CB47D) might interest:

opherdonchin
05-01-2003, 06:45 AM
Hey Jamie,

Is "International House of Dictators" supposed to refer to something specific? If so, I'm not sure what.

opherdonchin
05-01-2003, 09:12 AM
Oh. Then could you please stick with proper names for things. The discussion devolves quickly when everyone uses their favorite (and to their mind justified) monickers for the institutions and people they don't like.

opherdonchin
05-01-2003, 09:16 AM
And, along the same lines, I have trouble with the term 'extreme left' unless it is used very judiciously. The problem I have with it is that it brands me as an extremist if I hold any of the views that you ascribe to the extreme. It also has the feeling of an effort to deligitimze those positions by suggesting that only an exremist could hold them.

Michael Neal
05-01-2003, 09:18 AM
Sometimes using alternative descriptive names for things helps put things in perpective.

opherdonchin
05-01-2003, 09:24 AM
Sometimes it does. Unfortunately it invites alternative descriptions in response from the other side. These 'nicknames' given on both sides contribute to a sense of people talking past each other, or trying to score points through rhetoric rather than being focused on understanding one another. Most problematic for me, though, is that they make the conversation 'feel' nasty and disrespectful.

Occasionally, and very carefully, they find their place, like everything. The question, for me, is whether ones use of the term makes people who disagree with your points feel more respected and understood or less. If, ultimately, they contribute to a feeling of real understanding on both sides, then they are being used correctly.

opherdonchin
05-01-2003, 11:29 AM
Yeah, all of these are judgment calls. I guess I feel that, given the history of the thread, we should err on the side of caution. Like I said, for me the biggest issue is that it makes the tone of the discussion 'feel' more nasty.

Anyway, maybe we should get back to the discussion ...

Neil Mick
05-01-2003, 03:17 PM
The level of etiquette is beginning to slip.

I do not consider myself "radical," "Communist," or definitely not "fanatical."

Fanatic: A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause

Keyword is "unreasoning." I fully respect anyone's advocacy of a political position, or cause, even if I do not agree with it (OK, I'd have a hard time respecting a neo-Nazi: got me there)--do the rest of you respect the same?

As far as the "IHOD" monikers: I suppose, then, that it's ok to use IOF, for "Israel Occupation Force," lump all of my detractors as "extremist," and call the President "shrub."

So, what's it going to be?

(BTW, I feel justified in calling the US leadership "liars" because I CAN provide documentation of their statements of untruth. With regard to "criminals," there are several members of the Administration who HAVE engaged in criminal acts: notably, John Poindexter.

Many countries, including our own, are members of the UN. Since the UN is not mostly composed of dictators, the term is misleading. I also feel justified in calling the IDF the "IOF," yet I have desisted out of respect for the other readers.

Are you able to do the same?)

Neil Mick
05-01-2003, 04:37 PM
Neil,

I did not call you a fanatic.
Actually, I was not referring specifically to you, in some of those labels. I was making a more general comment about labels other ppl have thrown at me.

Apologies for the misunderstanding.
I also find your bodycount at the bottom rather redundant and it comes off as self serving but that is my point of view and do not take issue with your constant repetition of this "count". (I did add my own though) :)
A curious thing.

I think the Iraqbodycount figures are the most often commented-upon aspect of my posts, yet they are simply tallies of death.

Death occurs every day, everywhere. It is a commonplace thing, even, a part of life. And yet the tally also highlights the cause of death, which in this case is the Iraqi's killed, in a war in which we promised to liberate, rather than destroy.

I think about this a lot, and the numbers are my small, virtual "candle-in-the-window," to commemorate the continued loss of life, over (what I feel is) a lie, sold to us. I update them regularly, as there are still ppl dying over this war, even as it's "supposed" to be over.

Yes, Jaime: I know, it can be argued that these lives were shed in sacrifice for freedom and democracy, in Iraq. Also, a noble sentiment.

But a noble sentiment lacks weight, when it's uttered for someone else. The Iraqi's were not asked if they wanted to make this sacrifice. When Rumsfeld said that an Iraqi mother will one day praise the cluster bomb that killed her son, how did it make you feel?

Personally, I felt ill. Imagine for a moment, Americans going into a just war (name your favorite). Imagine an American soldier, getting blown to bits by friendly fire.

Even in a "just war," do you really think any mother would ever "thank the bomb" that killed her boy?
I do not think words like "extreme left (or right)" or using IHOD harms anyone anymore than your bodycount at the bottom of everyone of your posts. We both have individual styles, I am attempting to accept yours, are you willing to accept mine?
Not sure how to answer this one. Since Opher is the person who takes the most umbrage at terms like "IOF," I am curious as to his response.

Also (and, not to provoke anything--I'm curious), what do you think of my using "shrub" to describe Bush? Several post-ers adamently requested I stop, and I did.

Personally, I don't take THAT much offense at "IHOD," but where do sarcastic asides stop, and invective begin?

Neil Mick
05-01-2003, 05:32 PM
P.S. The media-death toll figure, BTW, was in response to a specific request, who asked that I include reporter deaths, as they are victims, as well.

opherdonchin
05-02-2003, 09:23 AM
It seems that for both Neil and Jaime, the use of terms like IOF and IHOD are not that big of a problem. Myself, I find them really troubling from both sides. I still feel like I haven't articulated the trouble as clearly as I would like, but I'm not going to try again because it seems like sort of a distraction. I saw we should go on from here, and deal with it again if I (or anyone else) raises it again as an issue.

One thing about the death tool, Neil. I think I would find it much less annoying if you modified the signature to say something like "Current civilian casualties in Iraq, according to http://www.whateverthatsitewas.org:" That would, in fact, make a big difference to me.

Let's try to leverage this discussion into something useful. When Jaime uses the term IHOD, he highlights something which is at the heart of his feeling that international law isn't legitimate. That is, the community of nations seems, to him, like a group not sufficiently trustworthy to have the authority of law. I can see some legitimacy to this point, and I certainly am troubled by the recent spate of human rights violators on the human rights committee.

On the other hand, I see lots of cases where international law, and the U.N., have been an extremely positive force in the world. International health management seems to be a particularly important one for us right now. International economic law has been very beneficial to the U.S., and patents will soon be a completely meaningless concept without an international understanding on patents. The 'rules of war' have probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives. I'm not saying the U.N. isn't broken in some ways, but I am saying that it's the only game in town. Just like U.S. law seems to me to be broken in many ways (as it does to people on the left and on the right) doesn't mean that I think we should turn our backs on it.

Neil Mick
05-02-2003, 05:30 PM
Any Iraqi in Iraq that would have uttered such words would have been executed. I did not here Rumsfeld say these words do you have a link?
My mistake. After much google-searching, I cam up with the proper source. It was Geoff Hoon, Defense Secretary to Britain, in reference to the use of (Israeli-made--the irony is overwhelming) cluster-bombs (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=394140).

I find the sentiment sickening, in its patronizing racism.

But, I'm sure that this news is unsurprising ;)


One thing about the death tool, Neil. I think I would find it much less annoying if you modified the signature to say something like "Current civilian casualties in Iraq, according to http://www.whateverthatsitewas.org

That would, in fact, make a big difference to me.



With respect, Opher: as an artist, I have discovered that every general statement (artistic, or otherwise) is bound to "annoy" or "offend" someone. I think that I have amply documented my source, and they have amply documented their sources (they even have an interactive map tool, to zero in on where the deaths were reported. Viva la virtual, lol).

Should I document every single fact I present (2-year-old shot yesterday in Gaza, according to www.whatsisname.com)?

The statement, and my signature, stands as it is.

More later: I have to dash to class.

opherdonchin
05-02-2003, 08:26 PM
I think that I have amply documented my source, and they have amply documented their sources ... The statement, and my signature, stands as it is.I wasn't saying that you didn't or that they hadn't. Why wouldn't you be willing to add that, though? Would it take away from the power of the signature, in your eyes?

Given the size of this thread, it would be a committed Johny-come-lately to the discussion who finds the reference buried in our history. People reading your posts in other threads would have to do quite a bit of searching to get it.

Still, letting people know where your information is coming from (which you generally do quite well) is only the smaller part of it for me. I just feel that it sounds 'better' when asserted as someone's claim rather than as a pseudo-fact. I tend to take it more seriously and consider it more realistically with the attribution.

Mind you, I don't find it terribly offensive. I don't think it has the same sort of derogatory feel that the nicknames have. I just think it works better the other way.

Ultimately, it is rhetoric. I tend to judge rhetoric primarily in the way that it affects the people hearing it. The alternative is to judge the rhetoric in terms of how good it feels to say it. Ultimately, within reason, that's the choice of the speaker.

Neil Mick
05-03-2003, 12:23 AM
I wasn't saying that you didn't or that they hadn't. Why wouldn't you be willing to add that, though? Would it take away from the power of the signature, in your eyes?
Partly, yes. Also, if someone were interested in the source of my figures, they'd ask (as several have), and this would be a good conversational topic.

It's probably also partly stubbornness: something vaguely tied in with artistic statements, and individual expression. ;)

Neil Mick
05-03-2003, 02:30 AM
THE SECRETS OF SEPTEMBER 11, WHAT IS THE WHITE HOUSE HIDING? A CONVERSATION WITH NEWSWEEK INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER MICHAEL ISIKOFF (http://stream.realimpact.net/rihurl.ram?file=webactive/demnow/dn20030502.ra&start=1:12:27.3) (audio link}

Neil Mick
05-03-2003, 02:53 AM
And, I promise from now on, not to think "bad thoughts" about the President, because bad thoughts (http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1051389722750&p=1012571727088), it seems, is now sufficient reason to draw uninvited visits from the US Army.

Neil Mick
05-05-2003, 12:37 AM
I am afraid to ask. What is the summary of that audio link you posted? I do not have the patience to listen to my computer.
Why should you be afraid to ask? Actually, I posted it with someone like you, in mind...thought you might like it.

Apparently, there was only one Congressional investigation into 9-11. The findings of the investigation were classified. Senator Graham (r), head of the Senate Int. Sub-Committee, wanted the report to be de-classified, as he felt the public had a right to know the contents of the report.

Some of the report was de-classified, and the White House has since attempted to re-classify the info, even tho the report has been openly discussed in the Senate Sub-Committee. Senator Graham is not pleased.

Neil Mick
05-05-2003, 01:12 AM
And now, to catch up on a few previous points.
Part 2 you of course will disagree was the numerous UN resolutions. including 1441. What would your definition of these quotes from 1441 mean to you..

"Recalling that its resolution 678 (1990) authorized member states to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660 (1990) and to restore international peace and security in the area, "

"Recalls, in that context, that the council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations"

What does "all neccesarry means" and "serious consequences" mean to you? or anyone for that matter, another resolution?
"Necessary means" and "serious consequences" are not licenses to violate the fundamental purpose of the UN. As a signatory to the UN, the US is bound to act in accordance with a manner consistent with international law. And the fundamental purpose of the UN is to seek all means of peaceful settlement, before going to war.

It's amply documented that Bush & Co planned this war, even before he took office. His subsequent actions hardly speak of a diplomat who exhausted all other measures before being forced to go to war.

And: all of your resolutions are dated 1990. The situation had changed somewhat, by 2002.

By all independent accounts (and, in spite of your frequent claims to the contrary, as you have no documentation to prove this), Iraq was complying with disarming in accordance with 1441, if not dragging its feet. As you well know, Bush knew he couldn't get a mandate to invade from the Sec Council, and so he invaded, in contravention of the fundamental purpose of the UN.

And BTW, Jaime: where's the be...I mean, what about those pesky wmd, that was the sticking-point of the doctrine of "pre-emptive strike?" Barring any "amazing new" discoveries cooked up from the backrooms of the CIA, if an independent source fails to document a wmd finding in Iraq, then we really have not a legal leg to stand on, in the self-defence angle, do we?
"Unite with the world again, and find these criminals. Don't create new ones. Doing so is criminal."

I agree with finding these criminals. I also know that we are doing just that. I do not think we are "creating any" They are doing that just nicely without our help.
The Taliban? Hussein? Noriega? Papa Doc Duvalier? Somoza? Sharon? Do these names (off the top of my head: many more if I actually researched) sound familiar? They should; these leaders all use(d) terror tactics, and were all either given material support and training by the US.

Some of them still are receiving this support. In fact, most recently the US has announced its support of an Iranian group (decried by the Iranian gov't) that the US has previously labeled a terrorist organization. Soon, we'll all need a road-map to figure out who are the terrorists.
If you compare the number of deaths this war compared to the number in the first Gulf War wouldn't you agree that in warfare at least we are moving in the right direction?
No, I don't. People are still dying from the cluster bombs, the DU-dust. Cholera and other outbreaks are slipping the Iraqi populace ever closer to an humanitarian crisis, as the US plays macho games with the UN humanitarian efforts. Iraqi's are shot for demonstrating against the US, and the situation is more closely resembling the Palestine situation, daily. The body-count rises. The war is still ongoing.

opherdonchin
05-05-2003, 08:34 AM
I did read the whole post this time (see, even I can be reasonable), but I'm still going to stick to the part that seems to me most salient. I'm not trying to ignore the other points and I'm not saying they aren't relevant. I'm just trying to focus my part of the discussion.

The part that I felt was most salient was a two part claim. First, you said that the U.S. was over-reaching the language of the U.N. resolutions by moving to a military solution before all peaceful efforts had been exhausted. Second, you said that the U.N. resolutions from 1990 were effectively invalidated because they were out of date.

My reading is that the second argument is simply not relevant since Jaime is quoting from a 2002 resolution that, in fact, re-affirms the U.N.'s commitments to the earlier ones. I'm also not sure that there is a statute of limitations on U.N. resolutions.

As for over-reaching, I'm also not sure I can agree with you. That is, I accept that the U.S. failed to demonstrate that it had used all available peaceful means to prevent this war. However, I argue the narrow point of the war's legality. My reading of 1441 puts the onus for prevention of war firmly on Iraq, and my reading of the statements of made by the weapons inspectors indicates a clear failure to live up to the conditions stipulated in 1441.

To make it clear, I'm making no claim about the necessity or wisdom of the war. I'm only saying that it was probably 'legal,' and that, at least, it wasn't 'obviously illegal.'

Michael Neal
05-05-2003, 09:34 AM
Doesn't there seem to be a new conspiracy thoery every day?

opherdonchin
05-05-2003, 09:56 AM
Jaime,

That's a lot of points. Can you 'point' to one or two of them that you feel are most relevant to the direction you'd like us (me) to pursue?

One point I'd like to make about your post is that the suffering of the Iraqi people, at least as I understand international law, has absolutely nothing to do with international law. There is no provision in international law that sanctions a war in the case of a sovereign nation that abuses its own people. On the other hand, the deaths of Iraqi civilians during the war and in its aftermath is a matter of law. It can't make the war illegal, but it can, potentially, make the U.S. liable for war crimes.

There's another category of crime, I think people are calling 'crimes against humanity.' It's been getting a lot of press lately because it is broader in scope than the idea of a war crime. It would certainly apply to Saddam's abuses of his citizens and possibly even to his use of chemical and biological weapons. However, legally, Saddam's crimes do not in any way justify illegal action on the part of the U.S., whether it be an illegal war (if the war was illegal) or a failure to protect the civilian population of the occupied country (potentially including the looting and burning and the whole thing with the Baghdad museum).

opherdonchin
05-05-2003, 04:56 PM
Can you 'point' to one or two of them that you feel are most relevant to the direction you'd like us (me) to pursue?1st and last paragraph.I'm also very interested to hear what Neil has to say in answer to both of those questions.
Then the international Law system is broken.Perhaps. Most legal systems are and certainly the legal system in the U.S. is. I was hoping to get a discussion started about the value of having a system of international law, but it never got off the ground. I'd still be interested. Like with most legal systems, I don't think being broken is a reason to throw it out, but I do see where that idea might come from.

In either case, whether or not the legal system is good doesn't change the fact that there are valid reasons to think this war may be illegal under that legal system.

Neil Mick
05-06-2003, 04:17 AM
My reading of 1441 puts the onus for prevention of war firmly on Iraq, and my reading of the statements of made by the weapons inspectors indicates a clear failure to live up to the conditions stipulated in 1441.

To make it clear, I'm making no claim about the necessity or wisdom of the war. I'm only saying that it was probably 'legal,' and that, at least, it wasn't 'obviously illegal.'
Wrong, in a way.

The prevention of war is a little more complicated than that, from my meagre understanding.

"Article 2(4): All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force..." means that the US, as member of the UN, can only attack another country on 2 occasions:

1) self-defence (article 51), and;

2) to protect int'l peace and security (Chapter 7).

The onus was on Iraq to comply with 1441, but material breech could not be declared by any one council member. Certainly, several SC members expressed that 1441 does not mandate the automatic use of force, which, IMA, was not declared.

No mandate from the SC (and, the US isn't currently (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3500394&thesection=news&thesubsection=world) acting as the international law-abiding nation, is it?)
If not for OpSec (operational security) reasons then why do you think that it remains classified?
I think that they have something to hide: something about 9-11, that they don't want anyone to know about. What it is, I can only guess (and, I hate conspiracy theories). But, doesn't it make you wonder...? What's the big secret?
Second, you said that the U.N. resolutions from 1990 were effectively invalidated because they were out of date.
Not out of date: just in who determines when they shall be relevant. Again, only the SC can determine how the resolutions are to be enforced. This was spelled out in an SC meeting on 12/16/98.
Ok we got what "Necessary means" and "serious consequences" are not.... but I am more interested in what you think they are
It's not up to me: it's up to the SC, and not it individual members. Personally, I feel that the US has operated contrary to the fundamental principles of the UN, and the pursuit of peace, for a long time, most blatantly since 9-11, but much longer before that.
Didn't former President Clinton have a war plan for Iraq? War plans are not unique to the US. In fact at certain military warfare centers we have mock battles and war scenarios for most nations
Jaime: it's hard for me to continue when you act as if the US has not been steadfastly railroading the peace process for at least the last 6 years. Please.
c'mon now I have provided amply documation to the contrary any time I felt it neccesarry and I am sure others will agree I have done so in the past on this very topic. I found this in 10 seconds Iraqi violations timeline I can find or expound on more if you would like. Also see Hussein murdered scientist. "
A timeline, I noted, that also seems to miss the salient details going on in the rest of the world. The US buggings, the US-GB bombings...? Fox, it appears, only seems to remember what it wants.

Yet, once again: I have to say that since Blix's report was promising and no material breech was declared, only the SC could determine whether violence was appropriate, or not.

Remember the last few months? Was Bush acting as if he were respecting Int'l law? The buggings, the briberies, the excising of the reports? Does this sound like a law-abiding int'l UN member? I don't think so.
I have spoken on this subject in the past (to you even). The core and the Gap.
Let's just agree to disagree. Many of the assumptions by the author with which I disagree, as well.

(sorry, no link re the Iranians. Try a word-search, tho...it was very recent).
I am curious as to what you think the outcome would be if we implemented this solution of no sanctions and no threat of war
Well, I don't entirely know. I have my ideas for how the Iraqi situation OUGHT to have been run, but I haven't any ideas about what the outcome might be.
Only those who benefit from a dictator support a dictator. And if a tyrant is abusing his own people by your international law standards all we can do is send in CNN and let France and Russia trade oil with them? This system has no point then and is broken.
Well, I agree with 1/2 your last sentence: it IS broken...but the US broke it.

The number of dictators we benefit and support is staggering. What about Hussein, and the benefit we gave him? Simply, I do not understand the obvious discrepancy, in your perspective.

To me, your post sounds aggressive: it's time to take a breath, and take the PC-test. Are YOU "patriotic enough?" Take this test (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/uniontrib/mon/currents/news_mz1c5loyal.html) to see if you make the PC-quotient. ;)