To go to War, or not to go to War

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by rachel, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. rachel

    rachel

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  2. suzanne

    suzanne

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    NO NO NO
     
  3. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Why?
     
  4. panini

    panini

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    I thought we were involved with getting something else done. Did I miss something? Did we get that idiot binladen? I'm getting the feeling this Texan is more concerned in keeping his job then doing it.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There are some good arguments that hitting Iraq is the logical extension of the war on Terror. There are many links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

    On the other hand, I think it is hypocritical to deny another soveriegn nation the same weapons that we have. I can see where the reasoning goes, but that reasoning cuts both ways. Then again, he uses them for his own gain on the people he rules....

    And he did sign a treaty denying them to himself. Which treaty he has willfully abrogated. It says something about the rest of the nations involved in that treaty that they don't care about their own agreements either.

    Phil
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Jim -- if you were asking for an explanation:

    because all this talk of going to war is meant to distract people from the day-to-day domestic issues that W is doing NOTHING to remedy: the economy tanking, unemployment WAY up, etc.

    because there are many other world leaders who have been just as rotten to their own people, yet are not being considered for US annihilation (I believe in equal-opportunity intervention; NOT)

    because to me it is immoral, if not illegal, to attempt to overthrow another nation's leader; what right do we have?

    because W is a demagogue who came to power illegally, and will do whatever he can to whip up public fervor to legitimize his usurpation of power, and

    because W is playing on people's fears of terrorism and making it into a "if-you're-not-with-me-you're-a-traitor" issue.

    Just a few of my reasons. I don't expect everyone to agree with them, but to me they matter a lot.
     
  7. kimmie

    kimmie

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    What Suzanne and Panini said!
     
  8. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    This whole waR with Iraq thing seems mighty fishy to me ( no insult to our aquatic friends intended here). Did anyone notice that W. brought all this to the forefront at the same time that handcuffs were landing on the wrists of the corporate leaders of Tyco and WorldCom? The Iraq issue also coincides with frontpage articles about the growing investigation of fiscal misdeeds at Halleburton? Halleburton is the company where Dick Cheney and our W. have considerable financial connections. It seems to me a very thinly veiled diversionary tactic based on the assumption that most Americans have very busy lives and short attention spans.
    If there is a strong evidential link between the leadership of Iraq and Al Queda-I have yet to see it. There is stronger evidence of supportive terrorist links in Iran Syria, Lebanon and don't forget--The Phillipines (where US citizens were killed for their religious beliefs not 3 months ago.) No one talks of taking out the leaders of any of those countries.
    I'm not saying Saddam is a good guy-he's as bad as they come. We just need to have proven evidence of his connection to attacks on the US AND a plan and objective for what we want to achieve there in the long run---something clearly absent from any discussions we are involved in regarding Afghanistan. I really don't think W. has the forethought to be able to articulate a plan for 10 years down the road.

    By the way, will someone PLEASE tell W. and Trent Lott that the word "nuclear" is pronounced "noo'-clee-ar" NOT "nuke'-you-ler!" Geez, and these guys went to Yale?
     
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Iran is a target, make no doubt. Whether that's good or not is open to discussion too. There will be an attack there within 5 years if W holds the presidency and Iran makes no other changes.

    Syria and Lebanon are both recognized as state sponsors of terrorism. They are targets, just lower priority. Again, a policy of long standing with both parties. That mess is tangled up in the Palestinian equation and has no win (for the US) solution at this time.

    Phillpines has a cooperative government and is pursuing the capture and prosecution of the terrorists. US has military aid in the process. There is no logical or moral equivalence claim to be made.

    In 1998, for less reason than today, all the leading Democrats wanted war with Iraq. Today, they're not in the Oval Office and ducking Monicagate. I am not defending the republicans here as I see little difference between the two big parties here. I thought there was good reason in 98 to deal with Iraq then too, even though it was a political dodge.

    As to Haliburton, both C and W are fully divested of direct financial interest there currently. Indirectly, well everyone has indirect ties to all businesses. But with the egregious behavior of big business dating back for decades through control of both parties, you can't just pick and choose negatives on the Republican side. Both parties love big business and cater to them heavily. Is W using Iraq as Clinton did? Perhaps, but the book is still open on both accounts. Be fair about it.

    I agree, proven evidence is a good thing. Based on the requirements of the unanimous-1-vote September 14 2001 act, W needs to provide no proof. It's all his decision. That was stupid of our representatives who feared looking weak in a stresssful time.

    I am deathly afraid of the no public evidence policy to protect our intelligence assetts. The principles and rights of the people take precedence over intelligence gathering. Just courts require openness and public evidence. Justice will not happen under the current structure.

    The Patriot Act does nothing to terrorists and abuses the citizenry of the country. Criminal. Our elected leaders should all be held accountable for that crime.

    But none of those things excuse Iraq's abrogation of its agreements, nor those of the Coalition who also signed that treaty. If those reasons were valid, which is also a good discussion, then they are still valid today and require enforcement. Yet none of them are calling for a meeting to rewrite those accords.

    At the time, I was against our involvement in Kuwait as it was not a policy equally emposed on similar situations, as has been pointed out. Nevertheless, the results of that action are what we are living with. Those results are better than what we had before and need to be upheld. The UN is double dealing to ignore its own responsibilities at this time.

    What it comes down to is holding our government to principles instead of waffling with the winds of popularity. It is for this reason that we are a democracy only briefly every 4 years and a republic for the rest of the time. Else we would have mob rule. But our recent presidents seem more interested in their popularity than right or wrong. Which equals mob rule.

    Phil
     
  10. alexia

    alexia

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    "THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES"

    In addition to much of what has been said already, I'd add that I have the sense that the Bush administration has an agenda to advance certain business interests both in the US and abroad, whatever the cost to the rest of us. But what's his agenda for the longterm stability and prosperity of the country at large and its general citizenry?

    Do you think you and I will benefit by ousting Saddam at this moment in time? Will we benefit from the chaos that may result from such a change? Will we benefit if this bunch of cowboys lead us into a war that triggers an attack on Israel, counterattack by Israel, and the possible use of nuclear devices on countries sitting on top of pools of oil? Will we benefit if the destabilization of Iraq leads to an Iranian sphere of influence on the Shia majority in Iraq? Will we benefit if that leads to extending this middle eastern war to yet another country? Hello! They haven't even nabbed Saddam or pinched off AlQuaeda's financial resources yet.

    This potential expanding instability is what occurs when the leaders of a nation and its elite class define the nation's interest as consistent only with those of that small elite -- as if we were some third world nation -- and pursue opportunistic policies that have already transferred wealth from the average citizen into the pockets of the rich (for example, the manufactured California "energy crisis" the administration did nothing about).

    This administration has taken opportunistic advantage of every crisis the US has been faced with in the last two years to push forward a business and ideological agenda and consolidate their own power. I'm appalled by the cynicism and hypocrisy, but most of all the wanton will to power. They act little better than a bunch of thieves and bullies who have ridden into town and taken it over. It's like watching a grade B western!

    There seems to be no more plan to it than loot and ravage, the consequences be d**ded.

    In the last 2 years we have had a dramatic reversal in both the economic and foreign sphere. Where we were on the brink of resolving longstanding conflicts (Ireland, Israel) we see that Bush's many months of refusing to deal with the middle eastern crisis encouraged its current flare up. Where we were rolling in surpluses so large that Greenspan worried about what was to be done with all that money, we now see deficits again as far as the eye can see. Where many people saw early retirement in their expanding 401K's and other funds, they now see they will take later not early retirement.

    And yet, folks, W's polls are still sky high!

    If you're interested in checking out a web site that keeps tabs on the Bush heritage and legacy, bushnews.com has an amazing amount of information and links to much more. (Today they highlight and link to an article by Jay Bookman, deputy editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal- Constitution). If only a tiny fraction of what I read on this site is true, I'm frightened by the implications for the future of Americans.

    Oh, and BTW, have you noticed where the stock market is? Where world markets are now that the US economic engine is sputtering? -- Dow's at 7548 at 1:30 EST. I'm personally looking to 6000 as a buying opportunity if you're willing to wait some years to reap the benefit as we take years to climb out of the economic hole.




    http://www.bushnews.com/
     
  11. alexia

    alexia

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    And while on the subject of Iraq, I find the Asia Times site often has detailed information I've seen nowhere else. According to them, we've already doubled our regional forces from 50,000 in early 2002 to 100,000 in countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Turkey.

    Most astonishing to me was the claim on August 17 that "Already, 1,800 US troops (mostly Special Forces) are inside Iraq, at least since the end of March and, in fact, units there were visited two months ago by CIA director George Tenet during a side trip from Israel and Palestine."

    The "Asia Times" appears to be a mainstream sort of information resource for people with business interests, unlike the Bush site that I noted earlier which is clearly a political "watch" site that is mostly a tangle of openly agenda driven links to articles about Bush & Company.

    And the very mainstream Washington Post had an interesting commentary on Sunday:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2002Sep28.html
     
  12. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    No president has a long term plan for economic anything. They aren't in control of the economy. And they have no long term policy power. You are confusing their duty as executive branch with the legislative branch, our Congress and Senate. They set policy and funding to drive the policy. The President only has the power to influence its implementation and staffing. The president can't declare war, only congress. But the president runs the war once declared. Congress gave W that power. You can't fault him for doing what Congress requires him to do. Congress can also change that directive. They haven't.

    The end of the president's term is the end of his power. A good deal of Clinton's forecast for rosy ten year futures was gone even before he left office. Any prediction beyond the term of the leader is a fable for the believing.

    President's do submit their plans to congress, true. Congress is under no obligation to do anything with it if they don't agree. They determine policy. W executes it. Same was true of Clinton. End of story.

    People like to lay the blame for the current economy on Bush. It tanked under Lame Duck Clinton at a time when his chosen son Gore was leading the polls. There are many reasons for the current economy. Most of them predate the last two administrations. But people only look at the current leader and credit them with what the ecomony is doing. Under Clinton Greenspan could do no wrong. Using the same policies, he can do no right under Bush. Greenspan is a Clinton appointee, as I recall. He's not in control either, just an influence.

    In the end, the economy is in the consumers hands as there is no economy without consumers. It is also a serious mistake to equate the economy with the stock market. They are two very different animals. The stock market reflects short term behaviors of people who move money, not consumption. There are interrelations, but not the same thing.

    To look at ousting Sadam only on the benefits to ourselves is immoral. The question is: Is ousting Sadam the right thing to do? This is a moral question. If your morals are based on personal benefit, then you can equate those two things. You can argue about it benefitting Bush and that being the reason he wants to do it. But the end question is still, is it a moral thing to do. Of course some will benefit and some will be harmed. That's the nature of all national decisions.

    Based on Sadam's word, his past actions and the moral obligations all parties involved signed on to, then yes, ousting Sadam is the moral thing to do. True, there is the question of the morality of how that situation arose, but that can't be changed now. We must deal with the morality of the choices left to us now, not fight over what could have been but absolutely isn't.

    If you want no messing with Iraq, your moral obligation is to argue for a complete policy change with Congress. Not to harass the president for doing what he is required by Congress to do.

    Phil
     
  13. jock

    jock

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    In a nutshell, "Politics makes for strange bedfellows". Former enemies ar suddenly allies and vica versa depending upon the very selfish interests of each participant. This has been the case throughout the ages and I am surprised that people are surprised.
    I am not a Bush fan but I thought his speach to the UN a couple of weeks ago was a good one. Basically saying that this man has thumbed his nose at us (the UN) for 10 years and if we don't do anything about it we may as well pack up and go home for all the good we are.
    I used to support the idea of a UN sanctioned military action against Iraq because of all the local despots around the world, this one presents a greater risk to world peace than most others. However, reading some of these posts with compelling arguments for restariant, makes me pause to reconsider.
    That said, I have to wonder if we had had as much evidence against Osama Bin Laden on Spetember 10, 2001 as we do against Saddam Hussein today, would anyone have hesitated to act or would we have insisted on the smoking gun (or buildings!) first?

    Jock
     
  14. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I heard a program on Wisconsin Public Radio not long ago on this topic. The speaker was the Washington bureau chief for the Wisconsin State Journal (a respected state-wide newspaper), with a couple of decades' experience. He had several interesting points to make.

    1. Saddam has harassed and killed lots of Al Qaeda operatives in his country. He is all about a secular, totalitarian regime- not an ultra-right wing fundamentalist Islamist at all, as Al Qaeda and the Taliban represent. He represses Islamists in his own country. Having Islamist Iran on his east sent him to a bloody, disastrous war in the '80s. Why would he aid Al Qaeda? Makes no sense.

    2. The Kurds, who have their own concerns around autonomy, have been courting Al Qaeda, possibly on the grounds that "an enemy of my enemy is my friend". That is the Al Qaeda danger in Iraq. The Kurds and Al Qaida both would like to see Saddam fall, but for quite different reasons. Saddam has brutally suppressed the Kurds. Again, the logic of Saddam helping Al Qaeda doesn't hold up.

    Last week W. let it slip: "He tried to kill my father." In my opinion, this is all about revenge and oil. I am trying hard to see further, but it's very, very hard to see any imminent threat from Iraq. I agree with Suzanne, Alexia, Kimmie.... you get the idea.

    Why isn't anyone in Washington talking aloud about the armed inspections option? The idea is to enforce inspections with armed forces. It's a sure thing these won't be American troops, but more likely from a coalition of nations that oppose the war "option" (as if an apocalypse is an option :cry: ), but whom the U.S. would respect as credible. The rules would be that if Saddam refused the inspectors access anywhere, the entry would be forced. (I'm sure I don't have this completely gelled in my brain, but that's the general idea of this.) This option has been floated in security circles, according to reports in the Washington Post (I think... might have been the New York Times).
     
  15. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    No Al-Qaeda/Iraq connection?

    Then why did Mohammed Atta meet with Iraq intelligence agents on multiple occasions?

    Why does Iraq have an airliner in Bagdad for hijack training?

    Why did Iraq train Al Qaeda in bio and chem weapons and techniques?

    These have all been reported before.

    You're correct in saying that Hussein has angered the shi-ite groups in that he has created a socialist regime of arabs, not islam. But Hussein and the peoples of Iraq are close relatives and descendants of the Wahabbi sect that rules Saudi Arabia. In many ways, Iraq is the bully boy for Arabia. Why did he fight Iran? Kuwait and Saudi Arabia paid him billions to. When they asked for some reimbursement, they got stiffed. He invaded Kuwait and the rest is history. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia kicked him back into submission, mostly by using the US.

    Yes, Al Qaeda is Shi-ite in principle, not Sunni as Hussein. But Iraq is engaged directly in jihad with the US, just as Al Qaeda wants to be. They are primed for cooperation. Hussein preaches a Pan-arab message. Not a sunni or shi-ite message. In the last two weeks since he agreed to inspections, he as fired 67 times at the patrol craft. Those are patrol craft he agreed to have until he fulfilled the treaty he agreed to. He's been shooting at these planes for years, at our citizens. That's not a state of war? That's not a flagrant violation of the treaty? Why is no one complaining that he is doing this? Do you think it's OK for him to shoot at our military volunteers against his own treaty?

    Additionally, Hussein has already issued orders to his military leaders that the use of chemical and biological weapons are at their discretion in any engagement with the US. Hussein is out of control and a threat to all.

    One of the reasons the armed response inspection is being bandied around is it's the way for the Dems and the UN to look like they have some input on this. They know their hands are tied, they handed the ball to W and he has run a direction they fear. But they also fear confronting him because the popular opinion is increasing against Iraq.

    You want some interesting reading? Do some a boolean search on Wahabbi and British Petroleum.

    Phil
     
  16. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Sounds like Dubya is declaring, in his best gibberish, "Daddy couldn't get ya so I will!" It's too little too late. We couldn't get this guy 10 years ago, so we're still nursing a black eye and this is, what, last licks? I say that retaliatory action is much more politically correct. Concentrate on Osama - now there's a human plague for you.
     
  17. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Last year, on Veteran's Day, chiffonade said:
    So, having Sadam shooting at our current military men daily for the last 6 years doesn't matter?
     
  18. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Only 6?

    Kuan
     
  19. alexia

    alexia

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    For those worried about the morning after the victory in Iraq here's an interesting and disquieting article in the NYTimes this AM about US efforts to cultivate the Iraqi opposition:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/02/i...ww.nytimes.com/2002/10/02/opinion/02SWOF.html
     
  20. panini

    panini

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    I just wanted to thank all of you posting on this subject. I really like the fact that I can come here and read very educated and articulate opinions and views.