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Old 07-30-2004, 11:48 PM   #326
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Ryan Alan wrote:
I always like to come to a flame war well prepared so I have included plenty of sources.
The links I post are lengthy articles but I think just skimming them you will get the point.
Thanks, Ryan: good post! With this kind of discussion, I'm sure you'll need it. You start to see this drift towards non-reference posting, which is not good, IMO.

Quote:
On 02-03-2003, 01:06 PM (yes a long, long time ago but it's still current) Michael Neal quoted and responded to ahmad abas after he had written:
Michael Neal's views tend toward the jaw-dropping. He sees nothing wrong with losing civil liberties, "if it takes care of the problem," for example.

Quote:
Neil Mick does a pretty good job especially in his post on 07-27-2004, 12:23 AM
Thank you.

Quote:
BTW they said he could do the nuclear strike by whistling into the phone which is such a laughable lie it makes me want to hurt somebody.
I know exactly how you feel.

Quote:
Maybe so many people are Anti-American because they feel if the American government can't even hold up its OWN values who the hell are they to place them upon others?
touche.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 12:41 AM   #327
vanstretch
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Re: Anti-Americanism

neil-douche.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 05:32 AM   #328
rendshakir
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

NO I'm just suggesting that as the first IRAQI you have spoken to - you could treat me with a little more respect - I am sick of your assumptions that I have not been there recently and have no knowledge of what is going on - how many times do I have to tell you? I'm not talking about ETHNICITY I'm talking about EXPERIENCE. You are quoting LIVES and you have NOT MET ONE OF THESE PEOPLE.

I am amazed at your so-called support - I am the first Iraqi who has lived under Saddam you have spoken to - and yes this should provide an opportunity for you to discover an Iraqi perspective. As for being a WITNESS to WAR CRIMES - you are not. You never witnessed the crimes under Saddam, and I don't think you need to pass an ethnicity test to make comments but I think that BEFORE YOU THROW THE WEIGHT OF A LOT OF DEAD PEOPLE'S BODIES BEHIND YOUR ARGUMENTS - it is WORTH FINDING ONE PERSON FROM THAT COUNTRY TO TALK TO!


Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
With respect,

BFD.

Really, Rend: I'm about as interested in "impressing" you as I am in eating tomatoes...that is to say, not at all. YOU are not the "great source" of what's going on, simply by your heritage, I'm sorry to say (and since we're placing titles of ourselves such as "authority of All Iraq," which part of Iraq do you speak for, again? Was it the Sunni's, Shia, Kurds? When was the last time you actually were there?) After all, the place is changed a bit. Personally, I've gone to presentations of ppl who were literally just off the plane, and expecting to go back soon. One guy, Dar Jamail, was the reporter who broke the "ceasefire" myth, about Fallujah. The fact of whether or not he's Iraqi, means little to me, over what terrible things he had to present. All of the people I have listened and read about, were close to Iraqi's. Most of them were just over there: could you say the same? Were you just over there?

Sorry if you feel that a witness to war-crimes, needs to pass some sort of "Ethnicity Correctness Test" Obviously, I don't.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 05:44 AM   #329
rendshakir
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

And just as another pointer NEIL please don't speak to someone who has not only come from Iraq but lost people - how many people has your family lost in the past month? three months? thirty years? in Iraq. I have lost 5 people in the last month and I do not deserve the tone of voice with which you are addressing me. I REQUEST very strongly that you remove 3 numbers from your so-called tot up of figures in your signature because the 3 who would be OUTRAGED by the use of their lives in this way - they felt VERY strongly that an invasion was necessary. As for Sunni Shia etc- it may be news to you to know that these are largely YOUR divisions, not ours - as Iraqis we were never raised with these divisions, my grandmother refuses to even use these expressions in a casual conversation - we are first and foremost Iraqi.

Of course I don't represent all views but I can here represent my view and communicate the views of my over 50-strong extended family. We meet very regularly and have all gone back and forth to Iraq since the war.


Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
With respect,

BFD.

Really, Rend: I'm about as interested in "impressing" you as I am in eating tomatoes...that is to say, not at all. YOU are not the "great source" of what's going on, simply by your heritage, I'm sorry to say (and since we're placing titles of ourselves such as "authority of All Iraq," which part of Iraq do you speak for, again? Was it the Sunni's, Shia, Kurds? When was the last time you actually were there?) After all, the place is changed a bit. Personally, I've gone to presentations of ppl who were literally just off the plane, and expecting to go back soon. One guy, Dar Jamail, was the reporter who broke the "ceasefire" myth, about Fallujah. The fact of whether or not he's Iraqi, means little to me, over what terrible things he had to present. All of the people I have listened and read about, were close to Iraqi's. Most of them were just over there: could you say the same? Were you just over there?

Sorry if you feel that a witness to war-crimes, needs to pass some sort of "Ethnicity Correctness Test" Obviously, I don't.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 05:50 AM   #330
rendshakir
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Go there Neil - go there yourself and talk to the people - your eyes might open a bit - when you do though don't be so smarmy and opinionated - "After all, the place has changed a bit" - You think I don't KNOW that? You think I haven't SEEN that with my own eyes? you've personally Gone to PRESENTATIONS of people who have LITERALLY GOT OFF THE PLANE. You have no clue. The fact of whether he is an Iraqi or a pro-terrorist Al JAZEERA reporter makes a lot of difference to me AND other Iraqis. ALL THE PEOPLE I HAVE LISTENED TO AND READ ABOUT WERE CLOSE TO IRAQIs - who says????? YES I WAS JUST OVER THERE AND LAST WEEK SAW MY UNCLE GUNNED DOWN WITH A MACHINE GUN. Have some goddam respect Neil.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 07:23 AM   #331
frivolouspig
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Rend Shakir wrote:
As for who the hell are the US to impose on others? Well I take that point, but if it hadn't have been for their help in the second world war the life of everyone of my generation in the UK would have likely looked very different...
Please understand, I don't question the act, I question the motives, while the end result was the removal of a dictator (which is always good) there are many, many more dictators and war lords all over killing, raping and pillaging. Why are there not soldiers there?

The thing that scares me the most is that the US government took an entire country over using lies and no one can do anything about it.

It kind of reminds me of something that happened in WW2 (that people are so happy to refer to.)

On Sep 1 1939 Hitler reluctantly invades Poland, but only after being provoked by warmongering Poles. The previous night, a Polish commando team shot their way into a German radio station in the border town of Gleiwitz, and broadcasted a radical call to arms against the peace-loving nation of Germany. Except that it was all an elaborate sham engineered by Nazi general Reinhard Heydrich, dubbed Operation Canned Goods.

Kind of like how the US invaded Iraq cause they had nuclear weapons and biological weapons (that Sadam kept invisible from the weapon inspectors using his super evil powers) and were about to attack, directly or indirectly using Al Qaeda. Oh wait that was all BS. (look at my first post for links to said BS)

As for people who try to justify new wars with old ones, I ask you:

If the US government and people were so concerned about Europe with Hitler invading Poland in 1939 and France surrendering on 22 Jun 1940 why did it take until December 11, 1941 to declare war on Germany? Oh yeah cause someone attacked the US on December 7th 1941.

The US may have cared about what was going on, but not enough to do anything about it, that is until someone punched them in the nose.

Again, I don't question the acts, the end result, the removal of a dictator is a good thing, but the motives, that's the question.

Perhaps if the people of Germany had been more questioning of their leaderships motives Hitler would not have gotten as far as he did.

Good thing the US has free speech. (well as long as it's positive towards the goverment, otherwise you better go to the "free speech zone")

Last edited by frivolouspig : 07-31-2004 at 07:27 AM.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 05:52 PM   #332
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Rend Shakir wrote:
NO I'm just suggesting that as the first IRAQI you have spoken to - you could treat me with a little more respect -
Oh, brother.

OK...let's get some terms straight.

Quote:
re·spect ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-spkt)
tr.v. re·spect·ed, re·spect·ing, re·spects
To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
To avoid violation of or interference with: respect the speed limit.
To relate or refer to; concern.
Now, WHERE, exactly: HAVEN'T I shown respect?? Have I insulted your heritage? Cast slurs on your (diverse) political view?? Shown unconcern for your perspective?? No: in most cases, I have given you the benefit of the doubt (you hammer on and on about how I "question your authenticity," but this is an aspect of the mode of communication...i.e., the internet...not, you).

You talked early on, about trying an "aiki-approach" to this discussion. Yet, I smelled something wrong with this picture, when your NEXT sentence was: "how can we get you to change your mind?"

Oh yeah, THIS sure is an "aiki" method, isn't it? I always try to "force uke to change his mind" tro see it my way.

OK, so you're an Iraqi with an opinion...halleluiah. But, I guarantee that if I were an Iraqi: we'd STILL have major points of contention.

Look at this from my perspective: you come in, proclaim your heritage, proceed to try to wedge me into an erroneous thought-process, based upon what YOU think I believe, with facts and figures galore. Your sources?

1. The fact that you're an Iraqi;
2. Your relatives, of which you've carefully revealed very little, in their living circumstances and their politics;
3. Your belief that Iraq, should be more like Britain (good friggin' luck!)

Nary a source, to highlight your opinions. YOU claim that sources are used as a "confidence spin." How convenient, Rend. Again, I am not interested in submitting to your "ethnicity correctness tests," to get your stamp of approval.

I welcome, and respect, your views: but that respect cuts both ways. Most of what I hear from you is attempts to put me down, and so far: I am spectacularly unimpressed.

Quote:
yes I am blatently more of an authority than you on the Iraqi perspective - and yes I have seen the pictures you are talking about
You claim, over and over, that my views lack authenticity because I haven't spoken to an Iraqi, and why don't I go over there (I AM curious, BTW: how DID you get into Iraq? It's not as if you can simply fly into Baghdad, after all). You know me very little about me, if you ask this of me. I'm the guy who DOES try to go to these places, that I read so much about. The Occupied Territories? Yep: I tried to get in there, too. Maybe, someday, I'll eventually succeed.

Funny, tho: I spoke to an arch-Conservative Israeli, about similar issues in Israel. HE also said that I "didn't know what I was talking about," that I was a "Jew-hater," and (my fave) that my posts were "torn from the pages of blood libel."

Funny, isn't it? How we cannot seem to be able to talk about situations that affect us, and we affect, outside of our country's borders, without having SOMEONE jump down our throats for not being the proper ethnicity...or, knowing, or talking to, the "right" people.

This "uninformed, unknowing" doka can guarantee at least one thing, Rend: that there are ppl in Iraq, who have differing opinions to the occupation, than you. Merely because you're the first that I have corresponded (and no: this doesn't count as actually speaking to an Iraqi, sorry to say. We aren't face to face), only means that you're one more person with Conservative views, that differ from mine.

But, let's put those logical boots that you keep stomping on the other feet, shall we? I could easily say that your PROFOUND ignorance of the US, makes you unqualified to speak of a US Occupation! You claimed to vote for Bush, "if you could," because he supported the invasion. Yet, you somehow ignore the fact that KERRY ALSO SUPPORTS THE INVASION, WITH GREATER TROOP LEVELS!

Did this little factoid escape that all-seeing Iraqi radar of yours?

[quote]I am sick of your assumptions that I have not been there recently and have no knowledge of what is going on - how many times do I have to tell you?

Quote:
I'm not talking about ETHNICITY I'm talking about EXPERIENCE.
Sorry, but this is EXACTLY what you're talking about.

I've spoken with ppl of many, many stripes, in the ME. Many of them work with Iraqi's (who are in total agreement, about the occupation), many have a great deal invested in Iraq. Yet, we should push all that aside, because ONE EX-PAT proclaims it's all hogwash.

Whew! Thank the gods the ex-pat's know where it's all at, huh? Us clueless (Liberal) rube's here in the sticks wouldn't be able to find our heads with our HANDS, without your knowledgable guidance. Just ask a Cuban ex-pat, in THIS country: Castro is evil, the next Hitler, and we must invade NOW NOW NOW!

Quote:
As for being a WITNESS to WAR CRIMES - you are not.
The source of whom I speak, were.

Quote:
You never witnessed the crimes under Saddam,
Yes, I did. It was a tape, but it spoke volumes. Does this make you MORE of an authority, because you might have seen it, firsthand? Sure, I'll go along with that (but I didn't realize, that this was some form of contest. What's the prize, since we're competing)?

Does this mean that

a. I haven't a clue about what I'm stating;
b. You have superior knowledge to ALL things Iraqi?

A story: when I was in S. Korea, I made a point of looking up the Aikido scene there. On the way, I met a woman who wanted to spruce up here English, and we chatted amiably for a few hours before class. I told her about Aikido, and understandably: she'd never heard of it. I took her to the local dojo which was in her own neighborhood. The last thing she said to me was (in a wondering voice) "you know something about Korea, that I didn't."

Funny, sometimes a stranger to a country can make an observation, that longtime residents never stopped to consider.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 06:01 PM   #333
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Rend Shakir wrote:
YES I WAS JUST OVER THERE AND LAST WEEK SAW MY UNCLE GUNNED DOWN WITH A MACHINE GUN
Now, onto other issues.

I'm not speaking to you as a debater, anymore. I'm not speaking to you, even as a fellow doka.

I'm speaking, as a fellow human.

If you just saw your relative die, what are you doing here?? Don't get me wrong: I'm actually GLAD to hear your perspective (even if, we do not agree); but a person in grief isn't up to a political debate.

If my relatives were just killed in front of my eyes: I wouldn't be here arguing politics. My emotions and feelings would interfere with rational discussion. Sometimes, political debates aren't good for the emotions: respectfully, maybe you should consider taking some time away from this, as it may not be a good outlet, for the way you feel (understand, these are just friendly suggestions, not attempts to shoo you off the thread).

My deepest condolences, and sympathies, for your loss.


Last edited by Neil Mick : 07-31-2004 at 06:05 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2004, 07:51 PM   #334
frivolouspig
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Re: Anti-Americanism

This will be my last post in this thread. After reflecting on this subject I have come to the realization that there are some people will not change their minds or even open them to another possible concept other then their own no matter how much evidence points in the other direction.

There will always be the creationist's (never mind that viri evolve constantly) the flat earth societies and the holocaust denier's Nothing will change their minds because those minds and eyes are closed for whatever reason. After a certain age people's minds will begin to close (how much depends on the person) and they will believe what they were taught or choose to believe (for example there is no way that you could convince me the color red is actually the color blue). I would simply waist my time and give myself carpal tunnel if I were to continue.

I feel I have made my point and I wish you all well.

Last edited by frivolouspig : 07-31-2004 at 07:57 PM.
 
Old 08-01-2004, 01:12 PM   #335
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

"Opinions are like @ssholes, everybody has one." I forget who said that, I think it was even someone on Aikiweb. I believe that there is an absolute truth, and you won't find it in politics or politician's statements. There will always be facts that argue both sides, maybe more on one side than the other...but, how does one weigh facts? Nothing is black and white, and neither is this war...or any war for that matter. So simply saying its right or wrong doesnt really work for me...because it isnt true. It is an opinion.

Just as in different martial arts, different people have different approaches to the same problem. Some styles stress hard linear counter attack, whereas others stress defensive circular motion that attempts to neutralize aggressive action. Some mix both. Some are better suited to certain situations than others; the basic principles of some much easier to grasp than others. Leaving out the politics of war, the Iraq conflict is using a very direct linear approach to acheive peace, instead of the circular approach... and no one will ever know which approach will have worked better for the people of the world.

Since I am taking Aikido, I probably would use a circular defensive strategy. But, I am not everyone. Besides, sometimes that strategy is far too complex.
 
Old 08-03-2004, 01:50 AM   #336
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
"Opinions are like @ssholes, everybody has one." I forget who said that, I think it was even someone on Aikiweb.
Good post! I think I've said it a few times, but I'm definitely not the originator.

Quote:
how does one weigh facts?
Personally, it all comes down to morality. I have a simple formula: the human rights rule. Whenever you consider a foreign policy (or, even, local policy): ask yourself these simple questions:

In the end, were more lives saved, by doing/not doing an action? Were ppl's homes/lives/peace of mind damaged the least?

If not, it fails the human rights test.

Now, Rend claims that Hussein killed 50,000 ppl, the year before the US invaded. Source, pls? I'm not an expert, but I don't remember hearing about this on the news.

But even so: you might say that, yes: lives WERE saved because of the invasion. But you also have to consider the wider issues: the destabilization of international law; the lives lost by the Sudanese because the world powers are taken up with Iraq; etc.

When you consider the wider picture: the invasion of Iraq fails the human rights test.

Quote:
Nothing is black and white, and neither is this war...or any war for that matter. So simply saying its right or wrong doesnt really work for me...because it isnt true. It is an opinion.
That all depends upon your definition of "right and wrong," isn't it? If you feel that it's OK for the US to be a global empire, then no: nothing was wrong with this invasion. If you don't, well: then it was wrong.

Quote:
Since I am taking Aikido, I probably would use a circular defensive strategy. But, I am not everyone. Besides, sometimes that strategy is far too complex.
Yes, the spiral gets 'em every time, doesn't it?
 
Old 08-03-2004, 02:30 AM   #337
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Since we're considering right-ness or wrong-ness of foreign policies, I just came across the latest, from Robert Fisk. He touches upon the subject:

Quote:
I keep re-reading Tony Blair's statement. "I remain convinced it was right to go to war. It was the most difficult decision of my life." And I cannot understand it. It may be a terrible decision to go to war. Even Chamberlain thought that; but he didn't find it a difficult decision - because, after the Nazi invasion of Poland, it was the right thing to do. And driving the streets of Baghdad now, watching the terrified American patrols, hearing yet another thunderous explosion shaking my windows and doors after dawn, I realise what all this means. Going to war in Iraq, invading Iraq last year, was the most difficult decision Blair had to take because he thought - correctly - that it might be the wrong decision. I will always remember his remark to British troops in Basra, that the sacrifice of British soldiers was not Hollywood but "real flesh and blood". Yes, it was real flesh and blood that was shed - but for weapons of mass destruction that weren't real at all.

"Deadly force is authorised," it says on checkpoints all over Baghdad. Authorised by whom? There is no accountability. Repeatedly, on the great highways out of the city US soldiers shriek at motorists and open fire at the least suspicion. "We had some Navy Seals down at our checkpoint the other day," a 1st Cavalry sergeant says to me. "They asked if we were having any trouble. I said, yes, they've been shooting at us from a house over there. One of them asked: 'That house?' We said yes. So they have these three SUVs and a lot of weapons made of titanium and they drive off towards the house. And later they come back and say 'We've taken care of that'. And we didn't get shot at any more."

What does this mean? The Americans are now bragging about their siege of Najaf. Lieutenant Colonel Garry Bishop of the 37th Armoured Division's 1st Battalion believes it was an "ideal" battle (even though he failed to kill or capture Muqtada Sadr whose "Mehdi army" were fighting the US forces). It was "ideal", Bishop explained, because the Americans avoided damaging the holy shrines of the Imams Ali and Hussein. What are Iraqis to make of this? What if a Muslim army occupied Kent and bombarded Canterbury and then bragged that they hadn't damaged Canterbury Cathedral? Would we be grateful?

What, indeed, are we to make of a war which is turned into a fantasy by those who started it? As foreign workers pour out of Iraq for fear of their lives, US Secretary of State Colin Powell tells a press conference that hostage-taking is having an "effect" on reconstruction. Effect! Oil pipeline explosions are now as regular as power cuts. In parts of Baghdad now, they have only four hours of electricity a day; the streets swarm with foreign mercenaries, guns poking from windows, shouting abusively at Iraqis who don't clear the way for them. This is the "safer" Iraq which Mr Blair was boasting of the other day. What world does the British Government exist in?

Take the Saddam trial. The entire Arab press - including the Baghdad papers - prints the judge's name. Indeed, the same judge has given interviews about his charges of murder against Muqtada Sadr. He has posed for newspaper pictures. But when I mention his name in The Independent, I was solemnly censured by the British Government's spokesman. Salem Chalabi threatened to prosecute me. So let me get this right. We illegally invade Iraq. We kill up to 11,000 Iraqis. And Mr Chalabi, appointed by the Americans, says I'm guilty of "incitement to murder". That just about says it all.
 
Old 08-03-2004, 09:50 AM   #338
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Don't get me wrong, I am totally against this war...and I have weighed the facts from both sides. Its important to keep an open mind.
 
Old 08-03-2004, 03:38 PM   #339
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I am totally against this war...and I have weighed the facts from both sides. Its important to keep an open mind.
Yes, I agree. But, sometimes--things ARE pretty cut-n-dried, black and white. That is, if you agree that living a full and peaceful life is the desired end.

Consider WW1, for example. No one, to this day, can explain why this war was necessary. It served no purpose other than for expansionist gain. A lot of lives were lost for the materialistic aims, of a few.

Yet, an argument for this war COULD be put forth, if you feel that the most important things in life AREN'T freedom, and the pursuit of happiness, and fulfillment.

Just a thought.
 
Old 08-03-2004, 03:55 PM   #340
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Interesting, how much commentary, these little numbers in my sig generate. So much controversy, so much anger, over a simple recording of the cost of a foreign policy. If the war were so right and decent and all, these numbers wouldn't cause so many feathers to fly, now would they?

Yet, all too often, the mainstream wishes us to shut up and disregard, or downplay, the cost of war. They'd like us, as Gen. Miller wants the Iraqi's to do, when horrifying images of war flood their TV's, to "change the channel," to ignore the high costs and pretend that war, on foreign soil, is more like the movies, than anything else.

I got these numbers from www.iraqbodycount.net. Looking up their rationale for compiling these numbers, they state that

Quote:
The Iraq Body Count project aims to promote public understanding, engagement and support for the human dimension in wars by providing a reliable and up-to-date documentation of civilian casualties in the event of a US-led war in 2003 in the country. The duty of ‘recorder' falls particularly heavily on the ordinary citizens of those states whose military forces cause the deaths. In the current crisis, this responsibility must be borne predominantly by citizens of the USA and the UK.

It is accepted that war causes many dire consequences for the civilian population even if they are not directly killed or injured in military strikes. They may suffer long-term injury or illness (as a result, for instance of radiation, post-conflict contact with unexploded munitions, pollution due to spillage of toxic materials). UN estimates suggest that a war in Iraq would create starvation and homelessness for millions. A widely-leaked UN report on the humanitarian consequences of a US-led war in Iraq has estimated that the conflict would create two million refugees. (BBC News, 28 January, 2003, 07:38 GMT) People may suffer deep psychological trauma, miscarriage, bereavement, dislocation, and loss of home and property. Destruction of civil infrastructure can have effects which last for generations. These factors undoubtedly cause many further deaths. However, documenting and assigning responsibility for such effects requires long-term "on the ground" resources. Immediate deaths and injuries through military strikes can be pinpointed in place and time, and responsibility straightforwardly attributed to the weapon that caused the death or injury.

This project aims to record single-mindedly and on a virtually real-time basis one key and immutable index of the fruits of war: the death toll of innocents. The full extent of this has often gone unnoticed until long after a war has ended, if at all. One reason is that reports of incidents where civilians have been killed are scattered in different news sources and spread over time: one or two killed here, a few dozen there, with only major incidents (such as the attack on the Al-Amariyah bomb shelter where hundreds of women, children and elderly were incinerated alive) being guaranteed headline coverage. But the smaller numbers quickly add up: and however many civilians are killed in the onslaught on Iraq, their death toll should not go unnoticed by those who are paying — in taxes — for their slaughter. It is to these all too easily disregarded victims of violence that Iraq Body Count is dedicated, and we are resolute that they, too, shall have their memorials.
 
Old 08-03-2004, 05:59 PM   #341
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

I feel that war is ALWAYS avoidable, but conflict is not. America obviously was itching to go to war...which is a terrible mindset. It is my belief that Saddam should have been taken out of power, but not in the manner America used...and so should all the dictators commiting genocide in Africa, etc...but to take someone out of power a full scale war is not required. Personally, hate me for this...but I also feel many leaders in our great nation should be taken out of power too.

Last edited by MitchMZ : 08-03-2004 at 06:03 PM.
 
Old 08-04-2004, 07:06 AM   #342
rendshakir
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Yet, an argument for this war COULD be put forth, if you feel that the most important things in life AREN'T freedom, and the pursuit of happiness, and fulfillment.

Just a thought.
Another thought - the biggest things I have gained from this war are greater freedom (eg., to return to Iraq, previously I'd have been executed, not to mention the enormous freedom in the media there now), the opportunity to pursue happiness (impossible under Saddam - it's miserable under the US but not in the same ways), and increased fulfillment of seeing Iraqis actually express opinions for the first time in my life! Before, almost everyone was afraid to say almost anything.

I don't see how removing Saddam could have been achieved without a war - but obviously it would have been better if it could, the international law on this "leader immunity" issue should be revisited in my view. Yes, I wonder why you don't hear about 2 million Iraqis killed in the media? It's difficult to find credible sources on all these things. Over 400,000 bodies have been found in mass graves (this is difficult to lie about whatever the source) - Around 1 million Iraqis were killed in the Iran war (which was instigated by Saddam and supported by the US and UK, so there is blood on everyone's hands here - the soldiers were just conscripts). This gives a figure of 1.5 million. Of course not everyone was buried in a mass grave - many had the bodies sent to the parents' houses, where payment would have been demanded for the bullets that killed their child, you add then the chemical bombings of thousand of kurds, the wiping out of those who rose up against saddam in 1991, and those villages that were wiped out because someone who resided there made an attempt on Saddam's life, then there are the human shields that saddam used on his war vehicles to discourage shooting - women and children chained to tanks. This gives a range of estimates you can take from 1.5 million (which is only realistic if everyone was thrown into a mass grave - I can think of one or two people who weren't myself) to about 2.5/3 million.

In terms of who the credible source is we have a bit of a problem - noone disputes the 1 million Iraqi casualties over the Iran war period (this is generally reported), or 400,000 plus bodies so far found in mass graves. Noone disputes several thousand Kurdish casualties. That gives us the bottom estimates. As to whose making estimates - the bodies are being counted by the provisional government, they are entering names into a computer and it is a process expected to take many months - just the identification of bodies. However the count of bodies so far found in mass graves was on the CPA website and widely reported in the arab media. There is more to come as well.

Problem is - there are NO credible sources for anything of this kind - even yours Neil - I would not be surprised if they are all anti-war people - politicians against Saddam and the Iraqi government under Saddam did some counting - none of these sources are completely reliable.

But you have to use a bit of common sense - half a million bodies must mean a count of half a million at least - many died in the Iran war obviously (and military casualties DO count just like civilians in a country where soldiers are conscripted and their whole families are threatened if they do not fight. My two brothers were conscripts in the Iran Iraq war, and I for example would have got killed if they did not go to fight). So here the boundary between a soldier and a civilian is a bit more fuzzy isn't it? Not to mention the invasion of Kuwait. It's takes a lot of analysis to produce reliable figures and therefore my recommendation is to get estimates from various scholars of middle eastern/Iraqi politics and compare these with government estimates to arrive at a maximum and minimum approximation - this is what I have done to arrive at the estimate of 2 million. Many people suggest it is more and some suggest less but noone suggest less than 1.5 million because that would be physically impossible in the light of clearly documented evidence (such as body counts from mass graves).

Neil - I got into Iraq because I have an Iraqi passport. What can I say about my 50 plus family? We are Iraqi and accept no other divisions, but we are happy to say we are Muslim. As to Sunni and Shia it may surprise you to know that most of us had no idea what we were until the media started talking about it - and initially they actually got it wrong (referring to members of my family as one thing before switching to another). I had no idea what I was - we even had to do a little research to find out - this kind of categorisation and frankly imposition of these categories on our politics is one of our greatest challenges if we are to overcome racism and sectarianism and go forwards as Iraqi people.

I should correct my last posting on my uncle - I wrote it wrong - I meant to say he was shot down last week (ie., "last week saw him shot down") rather than the impression it gives that I personally saw him shot down - tried to go back and edit it to make it more clear but it was gone time.

Only 6 months ago Saddam was captured - it will be hard to find any non-emotional Iraqis therefore I expect that you can either be tolerant to the fact that we are emotional right now, but that doesn't mean that insights cannot be gleaned through our conversations, or not get any input from Iraqis at all - a shame with an anti-americanism thread where people are quoting Iraqi lives - I simply cannot stand by to see a quote for 11,000 of my people, regrettable as that has been to support an argument, that the war should never have happened (a consequence of which would have been a Saddam in power today), and therefore that the mass murders, and irrelevent wars (unlike US/UK Iraq had CONSCRIPTS) would have continued for the Iraqi people.

Thanks again to the US.

Rend
 
Old 08-04-2004, 09:18 AM   #343
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Can I qoute my friends that are serving over there? Have you ever heard of Uranium depleted shells before? Do you like the fact that the US government will be controlling your resources? Do you like that our government has given the new Iraqi leader the power to declare martial law at any time? Do you like that we destroyed many parts of the country only to rebuild it? Do you like that the first thing we secured are the oil fields? Foremost, I feel that civil liberties in the US are lacking as of late...as a liberal in america I can honestly say that I have been demonized and shunned. Not to mention physically threatened, etc.
 
Old 08-04-2004, 01:20 PM   #344
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Forgot to mention...what about the genocide being committed in Sudan right now? Why doesnt the US act?
 
Old 08-04-2004, 03:31 PM   #345
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
Forgot to mention...what about the genocide being committed in Sudan right now? Why doesnt the US act?
Maybe it will if it doesn't straighten out -
http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2000/2441.htm

Sudan
The United States and Sudan in mid-2000 entered into a dialogue to discuss US counterterrorism concerns. The talks, which were ongoing at the end of the year, were constructive and obtained some positive results. By the end of the year Sudan had signed all 12 international conventions for combating terrorism and had taken several other positive counterterrorism steps, including closing down the Popular Arab and Islamic Conference, which served as a forum for terrorists.

Sudan, however, continued to be used as a safehaven by members of various groups, including associates of Usama Bin Ladin's al-Qaida organization, Egyptian al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and HAMAS. Most groups used Sudan primarily as a secure base for assisting compatriots elsewhere.

Khartoum also still had not complied fully with UN Security Council Resolutions 1044, 1054, and 1070, passed in 1996--which demand that Sudan end all support to terrorists. They also require Khartoum to hand over three Egyptian Gama'a fugitives linked to the assassination attempt in 1995 against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia. Sudanese officials continued to deny that they had a role in the attack.
 
Old 08-04-2004, 05:28 PM   #346
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Mitch - I really don't like any of these things but they're all just annoyances compared with life under Saddam. When people are not allowed to criticise anything and held in fear all their lives it hurts a lot. You didn't destroy our country in this war, you destroyed it in 1970 when you supported Saddam against the Communist Party of Iraq in a military coup - you went on to destroy it in arming Saddam over his war with Iran, then you destroyed it with sanctions which only hurt the poor people of Iraq, and when you encouraged us to rise up against Saddam but did not support us, and you destroyed it also when you carpet-bombed our cities with less than perfect military precision wiping out around thousands of innocent people. You even bombed a civilian shelter.

I can forgive you all of that now that you have helped to remove Saddam.Not only can I forgive but I would also extend my hand to shake the hand of any serving officer, and genuinely thank him or her, and you all.

No I couldn't have forgiven you if you had gone with the UN with France and Russia on Saddam's "payroll." But for my part - all is forgiven to the one who rids us of Saddam.

I could get hunted down and killed for saying this but I don't care, I'm already on the terrorist hit list, after campaigning for women's rights and against Sharia law in Iraq. I'm not scared anymore anyway - I have already had the chance to see - an Iraq rid of Saddam - an Iraq where people are no longer afraid to express how they feel and a media to report what they like.

Of course the thing that keeps people afraid is terrorism, but everyday more people risk their lives lining up to volunteer for the police force, and many have died in trajic car bomb attacks. They are not as afraid as they were under Saddam though - there is the largest of differences between a death of certainty, as under Saddam, and one of mere possibility.

All those things you mention are really terrible, and all of them should be worked on. There is an excellent campaign that addresses important issues concerning debt and the economy (www.jubileeiraq.org). But you can only work on things when you start being able to talk about them without fear and to criticise. Now we have that - the rebuilding will be a long struggle and we all have our work cut out. Now we have the ability to talk we have gained something that we did not have under Saddam - it is something that I think people don't appreciate in democratic and free states as much as they should - the right to speak - and the right to criticise.

I have seen Iraqis in this country struggle to swallow tears before speaking in public and saying things like "Thank you and thank your government for allowing me to speak freely."

Liberals in the US who were against the original invasion are in my mind misguided - misguided in human terms - though they may be perfectly right in legal terms, and if they are I would say the law needs to be changed.

The people in Sudan deserve their freedom too - everyone deserves their freedom to speak and challenge, to protest and to elect their government. We are a long way away from that all over the world. But it is not the US's responsibility.

I feel lucky we had enough oil in Iraq to have interested the US enough to get rid of Saddam, just as I would thank my lucky stars if a thief were to rescue me from drowning just because he happened to be interested in my wallet.

We all have to make compromises and sacrifices. The US needs to realise there are worse things than communism and should never support a totalitarian regime even against communism. The liberals need to realise that the choice between killing more people and killing fewer is not the same as the choice between waging and not waging war...



Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
Can I qoute my friends that are serving over there? Have you ever heard of Uranium depleted shells before? Do you like the fact that the US government will be controlling your resources? Do you like that our government has given the new Iraqi leader the power to declare martial law at any time? Do you like that we destroyed many parts of the country only to rebuild it? Do you like that the first thing we secured are the oil fields? Foremost, I feel that civil liberties in the US are lacking as of late...as a liberal in america I can honestly say that I have been demonized and shunned. Not to mention physically threatened, etc.
 
Old 08-04-2004, 05:48 PM   #347
rendshakir
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Mitch I really don't like any of these things but they are just annoyances compared with a life under Saddam. You see, when people are not allowed to criticise and held in fear all their lives it hurts a lot. You didn't destroy our country in this war, you destroyed it in 1970 when you supported Saddam against the Communist Party of Iraq in a military coup - you went on to destroy it in arming Saddam over his war with Iran. You destroyed it with sanctions which only hurt the poor people of Iraq, and even more when you encouraged us to rise up against Saddam but didn't support us. After Kuwait was invaded you destroyed it when you carpet-bombed our cities with less than perfect military precision, wiping out thousands of innocent people. You even bombed a civilian shelter!

I can forgive you all that now you have helped to remove Saddam.Not only can I forgive you but would also extend my hand and genuinely thank you. No I couldn't have forgiven you if you had sided with the UN "decision" with France and Russia on Saddam's "payroll." But for my part - all is forgiven to the one who rids us of Saddam.

I could get killed for saying this but I don't care, I'm already on the terrorist hit list after campaigning for women's rights and against Sharia Law in Iraq. I'm not scared anymore - I have already had the chance to see an Iraq rid of Saddam, in which people are no longer afraid to express how they feel.

Of course one thing that keeps people afraid is terrorism, but every day more Iraqis risk their lives lining up to volunteer for the police force, and many have died in car bomb attacks. They are not as afraid as they were under Saddam though - there is the largest of differences between a death of certainty and one of mere possibility.

All those things you mention are really terrible, and all of them should be worked on. There is an excellent campaign that addresses important issues concerning debt and the economy (www.jubileeiraq.org). But you can only work on things when you start being able to talk about them without fear and to criticise. Now we have that - the rebuilding will be a long struggle and we will have our work cut out. But we have the ability to talk - something we did not have under Saddam - something that I think people don't appreciate in democratic and free states as much as they should - the right to speak - and the right to criticise.

I have seen Iraqis in this country struggle to swallow tears before speaking in public, saying things like "Thank you and thank your government for allowing me to speak freely."

Liberals who were against the original invasion are in my mind misguided - in human terms - though they may be perfectly right in legal terms, and if they are I would say the law needs to be changed. People in Sudan deserve their freedom too.

If you think it's a bit much me sounding like I'm expecting you to take responsibility for your government's actions remind yourself that we, the Iraqi people, never elected Saddam, so why should we all have had to take responsibility for his actions? Why do you deserve better from your government just because you were born there and not in Iraq? And how can anyone begrudge me - like Neil with his "anti-war" figures - my newfound right to vote that I have waited all my life for, my new rights to speak and criticise.

Everyone deserves their freedom to speak and challenge, to protest and to elect their government. We are a long way away from that all over the world. But it is not your responsibility.

I feel lucky we had enough oil in Iraq to have interested the US enough to get rid of Saddam, just as I would thank my lucky stars if a thief were to rescue me from drowning just because he happened to be interested in my wallet.

We all have to make compromises and sacrifices. The US needs to realise there are worse things than communism and should never support a totalitarian regime even against it. The liberals need to realise that the choice between killing more people and killing fewer is not necessarily the same as the choice between waging and not waging war.



Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
Can I qoute my friends that are serving over there? Have you ever heard of Uranium depleted shells before? Do you like the fact that the US government will be controlling your resources? Do you like that our government has given the new Iraqi leader the power to declare martial law at any time? Do you like that we destroyed many parts of the country only to rebuild it? Do you like that the first thing we secured are the oil fields? Foremost, I feel that civil liberties in the US are lacking as of late...as a liberal in america I can honestly say that I have been demonized and shunned. Not to mention physically threatened, etc.

Last edited by rendshakir : 08-04-2004 at 05:52 PM.
 
Old 08-04-2004, 06:12 PM   #348
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Very good points. Like I said, I don't agree with war but military action I do. I agree with taking Saddam out of power; I don't agree with some of the weapons used and the governments real reasoning for being in Iraq. No, I didn't agree with the initial invasion. IMO, invading a country and counter terrorism are two different things. In Aikido do we teach advertising our intent in a tactical situation? TRaditional war is a thing of the past, yet we tried to fight this war in a very traditional manner. How does one weigh this, our government has done evil things, and the reasoning for our occupation of Iraq (in the highest levels of government) is anything but innocent. Many people in our government and country are making tons of money off this. But, there are people in our government that do care about the people here and around the world. For those people it is extremely hard to get anything done in their own good will, unless $$$$$ is involved for everyone. This is a complex war...you can't just say its right or wrong. One things for sure, our execution was a terribly sloppy display of our reliance on brute force; although its amazing we can topple a regime so fast...I would have much rather seen us dump the money we spent on bombs and cruise missles to give directly to the Iraqi people, and I think we should more extensively used ground troops and special forces teams as scouts and not bombs. I know we tried to bag Saddam many times with special forces teams...but why give up?

Also, John, words and action are two totally different things...I could talk about solving problems all day (something ALL policticians do) but if they never happen what does it matter? Hell, there are streets in America that are just as dangerous as those in Iraq. Nothing ever changes there.

Honestly, my biggest objection to our fine nation is no longer the war, and I'm thankful I havent been forced to kill...not that I ever would anyways. Unlike many of the people who live in countries around the world. Really, it is our raping of the enviroment and our nuclear and biological weapons programs that make me angry. There are people that can barely afford to eat in this country and can't get health care but yet we can spend billions on buuilding more nuclear weapons. Not to mention the horrible blows to civil liberties that have been dealt the past 10 years. I get especially nervous when the government here has total control of the media. Which becomes overly apparent when the truth gets chopped up. I think in 50 years military action (revolution) may quite possibly have to happen in this country again. People really need to stop fighting and realize that the earth is almost done for. But, thats about as realistic as me getting elected to be president some day. LOL. Good day to you both, I had a lot of stuff on my mind and it came out in a jabble, sorry.
 
Old 08-07-2004, 01:18 AM   #349
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Rend Shakir wrote:
You didn't destroy our country in this war, you destroyed it in 1970 when you supported Saddam against the Communist Party of Iraq in a military coup - you went on to destroy it in arming Saddam over his war with Iran. You destroyed it with sanctions which only hurt the poor people of Iraq, and even more when you encouraged us to rise up against Saddam but didn't support us. After Kuwait was invaded you destroyed it when you carpet-bombed our cities with less than perfect military precision, wiping out thousands of innocent people. You even bombed a civilian shelter!

I can forgive you all that now you have helped to remove Saddam.Not only can I forgive you but would also extend my hand and genuinely thank you.
At last, you admit some flaws, in the way the US has treated your country. This puts a more realistic view on things. Up til this point, you almost sounded like a Conservative living in Minnesota!

So, let's just all agree on a few things, OK?

1. Iraq (and, by extension, the world), is better off, without Hussein;

2. Hussein needed to be removed from power. Somehow. (EXACTLY how, is debatable);

3. Invasion and "regime change" are the most obvious (but not necessarily the best) methods;

4. The US has not had the welfare of the Iraqi citizenry as a priority, for some time now;

5. More to the point, the US has been complicit in some of Hussein's worst offenses.

(Still, I could imagine a "third way," in which the UN sets up "peaceful invasions" by shipping in supplies along with cadre's of blue-hats, to monitor the supply-distribution, and to monitor Hussein's abuses. Maybe it would work, maybe not).

Quote:
Rend Shakir wrote:
I simply cannot stand by to see a quote for 11,000 of my people, regrettable as that has been to support an argument, that the war should never have happened (a consequence of which would have been a Saddam in power today), and therefore that the mass murders, and irrelevent wars (unlike US/UK Iraq had CONSCRIPTS) would have continued for the Iraqi people.

Thanks again to the US.

Rend
OK, now here we get to the "meat" of the matter. Pay close attention to point #5. You're all happy that Hussein is gone. Me too. You're thrilled that Hussein is being tried for his crimes.

Not so fast.

The people who ARE trying him, are CRIMINALS. Get it? They broke international law. They HELPED Hussein, during his worst offenses. The criminals are trying the criminal. Surely, they'll leave out a few salient names, in the upcoming list of defendants.

Remember when Hussein issued that 20,000 page report to the IAEA? What was the first thing the US did...? They excised 6,000 pages. And, remember the moral and just methods they used, to assemble their "coalition of the willing?"

Mighty fishy, isn't it? The former allies of a criminal, censoring his statements, staging his kangeroo-trial, carefully avoiding any mention of their involvement...?

Consider this article:

The Bush Admin LIED about WMD! Can anything positive, be ultimately spun, from such a lie?

More to the point, what makes you think that the "new democracy" won't spin out anything other than a new Hussein? All that money spent, all those troops semi-permenently stationed there; the re-routing of the oil pipeline to Haifa...no, it does not look good at all, for hopes of an Iraqi future.

As far as the numbers themselves: think what you like. Our army "doesn't do body counts." I for one, consider the media blackout of the cost of this invasion, an insult to the memory of these victims. Obviously, you see it differently.

Quote:
Of course one thing that keeps people afraid is terrorism, but every day more Iraqis risk their lives lining up to volunteer for the police force
Sorry, that's not what I heard. I heard the opposite. Source?

Quote:
Liberals who were against the original invasion are in my mind misguided - in human terms - though they may be perfectly right in legal terms, and if they are I would say the law needs to be changed. People in Sudan deserve their freedom too.
And, what if you couldn't have Iraqi freedom, without first sacrificing Sudanese relief, and vice versa? How do you choose between deposing an oil-rich tyrant that uses death squads and torture, starved by the UN, or stopping the genocide and starvation of an African nation?

Please, isn't the answer obvious? And, now that the US has gone down the rabbit hole, isn't it clear that the next Hussein is already being selected? Did you know, for instance, that the Iraqi "governing council" has guaranteed seats in the new Parliament, to be selected?

You don't create democracy and freedom, by invasions and extended occupations. How many times must we re-learn this lesson?

Last edited by Neil Mick : 08-07-2004 at 01:30 AM.
 
Old 08-07-2004, 06:30 PM   #350
rendshakir
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

We'll see! I think it's a great idea giving them seats - to be honest there are a lot of seats and these people - the 23 that are left of the 25 all risked their lives - many have been prominent campaigners against saddam for the last 30 years - they have some experience of gvernment now and put together a suggested constitution --- I have no problem with them serving in government - out of the 250+ seats available - it doesn't ruin the process at all and they deserve it!
 

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