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Looks like it's already started,
September 6, 2002 3:28 AM   Subscribe

Looks like it's already started, American and British aircraft make an unusually large strike against Iraqi air defences near the jordainian border. Is this the precurser to Bush and Blairs looming Gulf war?
posted by JonnyX (62 comments total)

 
Where have you been? American and British air forces have been doing this for years. So far they've attacked no less than 30 sites this year, including about 10 in the past two weeks.

Of course, they claim rebuttal for being hit by anti-aircraft fire in the no-fly zone . . . But it seems to me they're just pushing their luck, trying to instigate a fight and waiting for one of their planes to get shot down so they can claim a reason to go to war. And in the meantime they get the chance to disable Iraq's military. Seems like a win-win to me.
posted by dogmatic at 3:43 AM on September 6, 2002


Full escalation isn't a foregone conclusion-- note Jimmy Carter doesn't feel imminent attack is imperative. (We still have time to run spell check-- sorry, couldn't resist!)
posted by sheauga at 3:53 AM on September 6, 2002


So do you have to declare war before you start bombing or do you do that when your half way through? Or do you wait until you've won then declare your at war and hope nobody has noticed its already done and dusted?
posted by JonnyX at 4:03 AM on September 6, 2002


I think you have to do what ever it takes to get the oil JonnyX. Isn't that the most important thing?
posted by bramoire at 4:13 AM on September 6, 2002


It sure is,
I wonder how long it will take Unocal to build a pipeline from Iraq to America.
posted by JonnyX at 4:20 AM on September 6, 2002


Not soon enough.
posted by Witty at 4:28 AM on September 6, 2002


Got a new SUV Witty?
posted by niceness at 4:39 AM on September 6, 2002


Just how much support is there in the US for war? I read this (Washington Post) and I wonder.

".... loyal Republicans coming back from their districts after the summer congressional recess .... The words they are hearing about the administration's Iraq policies: "concern" and "unease." They came up over and over."

"My sense from talking to people here is that the case hasn't been made,"

I doubt MeFi is representative but I read most of the contributors here as unconvinced or doubtful. Is there a solid, cross-party, thoughtful backing for war against Iraq? Or are we being distracted by some noisy blowhards.
posted by grahamwell at 4:44 AM on September 6, 2002


Or, to continue from grahamwell, does a large block of American citizens simply not care whether we attack Iraq or not?
posted by mischief at 4:55 AM on September 6, 2002


There's some pretty good evidence out there for a coalition war against America.

Oh wait, that's already started, hasn't it?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:56 AM on September 6, 2002


In unrelated news, crude oil hits an 11-month high.
posted by Ljubljana at 4:59 AM on September 6, 2002


Not to worry! The NY Times today reports on its front page that Congress to debate a long time to make sure they have it right on whether or not to attack Iraq. Disregard what planes may be doing and keep yur eyes on Congress.
posted by Postroad at 5:17 AM on September 6, 2002


Thats a great idea Postroad, be sure to tell the Iraqi people that!
posted by JonnyX at 5:25 AM on September 6, 2002


Congress could stop a war...but it would take a majority commitment to do so...perhaps a 2/3 majority. With a 2/3 majority, Congress can do almost anything....ah, but that's the problem isn't it..."with a 2/3 majority"

No matter what, if Bush & Co. want to start a war, then they probably will. Realistically, I doubt if Congress could stop them doing that. The only way they could stop it, once started, is to categorically refuse to fund it...and to stand firm in a showdown with the President over that issue.

Given the mood of the country at the moment, I wonder if there would be enough public support to carry 2/3 of Congress through such a showdown...if that many MoC could even be assembled into a voting bloc on this issue?
posted by ruggles at 5:50 AM on September 6, 2002


From BBC story: The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has told the BBC that Britain must be prepared to pay a "blood price" to secure its special relationship with the US.

As an American, I do not concur, and I do not understand why an intelligent statesman like Blair seems to be reluctantly kowtowing to Bush, when Bush seems to have so little support even within his own party and administration. If any British MeFites of draft age need to slip out of the UK quietly to avoid it, you can crash on my sofabed for a few days.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:58 AM on September 6, 2002


niceness: Nope... but nevermind.
posted by Witty at 6:07 AM on September 6, 2002


planetkyoto - probably TB sees that although Bush has diminishing support in the US (Blair has even less in the UK) he's going to go ahead anyway. And as the war's going to happen, it's better the UK has a share of the spoils than not. It's the way it's always worked. No-one's going to get drafted. We'll donate a few planes and ships and do the peacekeeping aftewards and that will be it. Bush should let Blair do all the talking for him, he's so much better at it.
posted by Summer at 6:09 AM on September 6, 2002


Blair air-sucks Shrub's little waggling weiner, politically speaking, while 88% of his own MPs say that there should be no backing up of the bully without proof, which is so far not been offered.

Fuck the both of them.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:11 AM on September 6, 2002


"has"

poop.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:16 AM on September 6, 2002


I'm just embarrassed to be an American right now. It's a source of shame, kind of like when my sister was thugging hard in high school, stealing guns and selling dope and people would ask me...wait, aren't you X's brother?

Does anyone know how to go about filing as a conscientious objector?
posted by chinese_fashion at 6:21 AM on September 6, 2002


chinese_fashion: "...wait, aren't you X's brother?"

Your sister's name is X? That is so cool.
posted by *burp* at 6:32 AM on September 6, 2002


Well, while Congress gets to feel self-important and blather on for weeks, the U.S. militar is building up its military forces on the Kuwait-Iraq border.
posted by Kneebiter at 6:41 AM on September 6, 2002


He told people to eat his body and drink his blood
That's so cool
Jesus was so cool
But then some people got jealous of how cool he was
So they killed him
But then he rose from the dead
He rose from the dead, danced around
Then went up to heaven
I mean, that's so cool
Jesus was way cool

No wonder there are so many Christians
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:41 AM on September 6, 2002


There seems to be a fairly cynical attitude regarding the no-fly zone. We have been policing the no-fly zone since the end of the gulf war. In order to enforce the no-fly zone, we periodically blow-up Iraqi radar installations, shoot down violating Iraqi aircraft, etc. But there happens to be a group of people -- the Kurds -- living under that no-fly zone and they are pretty happy to be doing so. I think it's fairly obvious that many or most of them would be dead without our continued enforcement. Instead, it sounds to be one of the few areas in the region that cannot be officially labeled f-ed up. There is religious tolerance, free speech, and carnival rides. What more could you ask for?

NPR did a story about it recently, which reminded me that there are some direct human beneficiaries of this no-fly zone and that it's not just some randomly enforced "line in the sand" (note: the link goes to a .ram file).
posted by probablysteve at 6:45 AM on September 6, 2002


That is true probablysteve but i doubt the 'no-fly-zone' would be in place if there wasn't so much oil in Iraq.
posted by JonnyX at 7:02 AM on September 6, 2002


There are many places in the world where people are oppressed by their goverment, funny how the US goverment only shows interrest when those people are sitting on an oil field.
posted by JonnyX at 7:04 AM on September 6, 2002


>The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has told the BBC that Britain must be prepared to pay a "blood price" to secure its special relationship with the US.

Bit of a misrepresentation from BBC online's rather creative news editor: Blair did use that horrendous "blood price" phrase, but he was referring to his preparedness to order attacks on Iraq, not the price he would pay to buttkiss Bush.

Again we are shown that one smart thing Bush does is to surround himself with smart people - but maybe he can find somebody to help with his vocabulary and grammer. What was all that jibberish about 'crawfish'?
posted by keno at 7:05 AM on September 6, 2002


As a financial backer of The World's Greatest Military, I have just one question. Why does Iraq have any radar or anti-aircraft facilities left near the No-Fly Zone after 10 years of patrols?
posted by dglynn at 7:10 AM on September 6, 2002


People, undoubtedly the no fly zone is inspired in some way by Iraqi oil. It is also inspired by regional and global politics.

1) The Kurds and the Shiites were being slaughtered in the immediate aftermath of Gulf War I. Short of taking over Iraq, the Bush and Thatcher administrations had to do something to at least make it appear that they cared about ethnic minorities who had risen against Saddam in large part out of the belief that the US would prosecute the war to Baghdad....thus the no fly zone.

2) If Saddam truly cracked down on his Kurds they would flee to Turkey, destabilizing this key regional ally but further exacerbating the simmering conflict that Turkey has with its own Kurdish minority. On the other hand, if Washington granted the Iraqi Kurds their own du jure state, the Turkish Kurds would demand the same thing. The compromise was to give the Iraqi Kurds autonomy but not independence by enforcing the no fly zone.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:12 AM on September 6, 2002


Dglynn....Iraq is allowed to have radar installations in the no fly zone...it is still sovereign Iraqi territory. However, it is not allowed to use these installations to target coalition aircraft. If the aircraft are target or painted by Iraqi installations, those installations are fair game for attack.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:14 AM on September 6, 2002


Blair did use that horrendous "blood price" phrase, but he was referring to his preparedness to order attacks on Iraq, not the price he would pay to buttkiss Bush.

At the moment, that's the same difference. The name 'Ramsay McDonald' springs to mind, as well.
posted by riviera at 7:19 AM on September 6, 2002


Pjgulliver.....................Thatcher wasn't PM during the Gulf war, John Major was.
posted by JonnyX at 7:34 AM on September 6, 2002


SOrry...Thatcher was PM during the summer leading up to it wasn't she? And then Major took over at the end. My fault.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2002


Does anyone here really think the current U.S. Congress would vote down Cheney's war? Yeah, right. Gutless wonders, all of 'em. Name one Democratic presidential contender who'd vote "no" on a resolution going to war with Iraq. One.

*dials phone, bitches at Congresscritter*
posted by mediareport at 7:41 AM on September 6, 2002


Looks like it's already started

Started? The damn thing never ended. The cycle continues... ad nauseum.
posted by damclean2 at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2002


I dont know pjgulliver but she was an old bag!
posted by JonnyX at 8:09 AM on September 6, 2002


good work pkgulliver. the rest of you can lie down now, wait for the private to hand you your evac cards. thank you for playing the war game. come again, remember, idiot remarks get 20% off game time.

Does anyone know how to go about filing as a conscientious objector? i doubt you have the criteria for that statis, but get your sister to write a note, who knows.
posted by clavdivs at 8:29 AM on September 6, 2002


Looks like its time to apply for that Canadian Passport I've been meaning to get...
posted by insomnyuk at 8:33 AM on September 6, 2002


What does that mean clavdivs? What was the "idiot remark?" My description of why we are involved in the no-fly zones?
posted by pjgulliver at 8:33 AM on September 6, 2002


chinese fashion: get yourself arrested at an antiwar rally. Make bail, show up for court and plead guilty or nolo it. Make it abundantly clear at your hearing that you broke the law as an act of civil disobedience in protest of policy. Pay your fine and/or do your time. That should do it (but talk to a lawyer in your town before setting out upon a course of action such as this.)

There have been stories in the past of Chinese technicians installing fiberoptic networks to link up air defense sites around Iraq; guess they're still pissed about their embassy.

I think Blair's "blood price" is how much Iraqi blood he's willing to shed to turn the sand that Bush would tell him to go pound if they didn't help us into cement that renews the bond of the "special relationship". It's things like this that form the building blocks of relationships between enlightened, civilized, peace-loving Western democracies.
posted by trondant at 8:34 AM on September 6, 2002


ruggles: There's nothing in the Constitution that says, "Congress can only stop an executive branch declaration of war with a 2/3rds vote to stop it." Honestly. Look all through the Constitution. You won't find that sort of language. The only sticking points are the president's being named commander in chief, which seems to give the president the ability to do quite a bit before a declaration of war (based on history) and the War Powers Act, even though it passed with a 2/3rds vote. (You see what good that did!). In that case, Congress has never started the clock there, but they don't need a 2/3rds majority to do so. Just need to get their collective act together. It would seem clear to most readers of the document, however, that launching a full-scale war without Congresssional approval would be a blatant violation of the Constitution, even if lawyers can pick over the fine points. As such, Congress could easily justify impeacing and convicting the president, with or without a 2/3rds majority vote. Actually, they need not justify any such reason at all, except to the public.
posted by raysmj at 8:38 AM on September 6, 2002


Ray wasn't quite clear. The constitution gives the President commander-in-chief status, which has for two centuries been interpreted to mean he has the ability to commit American military forces without consultation. The War Powers Act clarifies the role of Congress beyond its constitutional mandate of a declaration of war, but it's important to note two things: first, it was passed by Congressional supermajority without Nixon's signature, and second, key parts of it have never come before the Supreme Court. The opinion of the White House has generally been that much of the Act is unconstitutional.

If Congress were so inclined, under the Act both houses, by simple majority, could pass a concurrent resolution ordering the cessation of military deployment. (There's a 60-day clock, but let's leave the technicalities out of it.) Ray is having a little wet dream over the idea that Congress is actually as opposed to this as he thinks; there's certainly sufficient support to block any resolution as noted, and impeachment? Ha.

Anyway, ruggles, please don't babble about the constitution without actually having read it.

chinese_fashion: There is no draft. If you are in the proper age group (18-25), you should already by law be registered with selective service; and you may indicate conscientious objector status at the time of notification of eligibility, which would mean that the draft would have to be re-activated first, and you'd still have a draft lottery and draft board to pass through. This is dead simple; kids today know NOTHING. NOTHING. Do I have to tell y'all where to find the post office, too?
posted by dhartung at 9:00 AM on September 6, 2002


I'm just embarrassed to be an American right now.

You know where the door is. No one is forced to be an American. Beautiful, isn't it?

There are many places in the world where people are oppressed by their goverment, funny how the US goverment only shows interrest when those people are sitting on an oil field.

If we overthrew all of the oppressive governments of the world, would that make you happy?

Not to worry, a U.S. war against Iraq would "open the gates of hell" in the Middle East. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa urges Iraq to allow U.N. weapons inspections to resume in a bid to head off a U.S. attack, but he warned, "No Arab country will accept any strike on any other Arab country."

That's some strong urging. "Saddam, you should really honor your post-Gulf War obligations, but since you never have and you never will, we've got your back, pal."
posted by David Dark at 9:02 AM on September 6, 2002


Bush's approval rating is down to 60% in the Pew ratings. "Mommy, look, the tail is wagging the entire dog!"
posted by owillis at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2002


dhartung: Wet dream? For a person who writes in such a way as to make you think he knows everything in the world (even about, say, the last details of the Free Willy situation), you sure do come off as a stereotypical reactionary every now and then. What do you want to be? The guy who can go on and on about major styles of American urban architecture of the mid-20th Century, or the guy who accuses people of being "NPR-style liberals" or having "wet dreams?" I didn't say Congres was going to impeach anyone, or I that I thought it would happen, just that 2/3rds vote would not be needed. Look at the context, already! (In any case, wasn't in Scowcroft who said that part of the reason Desert Storm I stopped before a takeout of Saddam was impeachment fears? Or am I mistaken about that? I don't have my copy in front of me,nor my list of southern boll weevil senator of the '50s- type insults to go along with the facts.
posted by raysmj at 9:29 AM on September 6, 2002


By the way, no president's ever attempted to go into a full-scale, all-out war without Congressional approval of some sort. Bush is now saying that he'll consult Congress, but if he doesn't (hypothetical situation, so calm down), there would indeed be a Constitutional crisis, commander-in-chief role or no.
posted by raysmj at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2002


If we overthrew all of the oppressive governments of the world, would that make you happy?

Hell, I'd be happy if we didn't have to use Special Forces soldiers to guard the president of Afghanistan 24 hours a day. Bombs exploding and assassin's bullets in the air in Kabul, and Cheney is trying to distract us ("No, don't look there! Over here! MOTHERFUCKING SADDAM HUSSEIN is on the loose!") with a war in Iraq that will benefit his pals in the energy business?

You're actually falling for this garbage? Much as Cheney and Rumsfeld want to give it a go, the USA doesn't have what it takes to go solo and become the terror police for the entire damn world. Especially at a time when, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers (pdf), 45 of the 50 states are either currently operating in the red or had a budget shortfall this year. Good lord.
posted by mediareport at 9:41 AM on September 6, 2002


no pj, your comments are fine, I'm refering to the majority of comments before yours.

"By the way, no president's ever attempted to go into a full-scale, all-out war without Congressional approval of some sort"

hmmm. the definition of declaring war and waging it are being confused.
what about lincoln, even he got that some 'sort of approval'
but it meant little as congress really did not exist after succession. To give abe credit, he did try appease the south but i dont think part of congress wanted to hear that.
posted by clavdivs at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2002


Clavdivs: That was all complicated by the definition of national emergency. Lincoln could say that the Ft. Sumter constituted one, and did in fact issue a proclamation stating that the southern action constituted an insurrection.

Curiously, the linked essay shows, Congress had earlier its doubts and concerns about the Mexican War, which started as an emergency action. Congress eventually declared war, but with reservations. Among those who questioned whether the war was an "act of aggression" was one Rep. Abraham Lincoln.
posted by raysmj at 10:28 AM on September 6, 2002


thats interesting, if im correct was not Sumter already fired upon before he was pres? I know his first day at The WH was a request from the commander for relief. His statement in the inaugural says he would not interfere with slavery where it existed and said he did not have the legal right to do anything about that BUT he vowed to protect any U.S. military installation.
rock and a hard place i guess.
nice tie in to the Mexican War and Lincolns position, did not know that.
posted by clavdivs at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2002


It seems that a large number of people are against an Iraq invasion. What exactly is the worst-realistic case scenario here? If the shit goes down, what are we afraid will follow it?
posted by gsteff at 1:12 PM on September 6, 2002


Tens of thousands Iraqi civilian deaths during the conflict. A subsequent American abandonment of Iraq that will then lead to either a) Iraq's descent into anarchy and all the inherit domestic and regional issues there or b) the emergence of a new brutal stong man.

This, coupled with the Iraqi deaths would lead to a huge anti-American backlash which will complicated further American action on the world stage and increase likelihood that America will suffer another brutal terrorist attack aimed at our civilian population.
posted by pjgulliver at 1:15 PM on September 6, 2002 [1 favorite]


dhartung: Anyway, ruggles, please don't babble about the constitution without actually having read it.

I don't believe I mentioned the constitution anywhere in my previous post. I really do wish you had read the post before you started throwing haughty remonstrations at me.

My previous point had been that with a 2/3 majority congress could certainly stop the war. The President would certainly be able to start it (even if we did not call it a war), but he would not be able to continue it without the support of congress.

If we do become involved in war, and Congress cannot form a standing majority either in support of the war or against it, they will almost certainly succumb to the argument of "supporting our troops." Even if you oppose the war, it's politically very difficult to oppose providing for the troops already there.

The President could effectively send troops into combat, and make a case that they could not be safely removed within the timeframe of the authority allotted him by the war powers act. Congress would probably have a hard time arguing with this, and would thus be politically forced into providing the funds needed to support the troops. The hawks in Congress would probably do their utmost to make sure that any appropriations bills passed would contain provisions adequate to further support the administration's goals.

The only way congress could really stop the war, in this scenario, in my opinion, would be to Act to stop the war. Since the constitution names the President the Commander in Chief and gives him control over foreign policy, the only way Congress could do this (without constitutional change) is via indirect methods such as provisional funding, explicit resolutions, and vindictive political countermeasures, or perhaps by impeaching the president...which would take a while, and even if successful we'd then have Cheney to deal with.

...and before anyone comes back and tries to put more words in my mouth, I'll say right now that I'm not posting with any more supposed authority on this matter than anyone else.

I am not attempting to force my suppositions on you, and I'm not trying to interpret or clarify our beloved Constitution. I'm just typing a bunch of crap like everyone else.

Go ahead and let me know how else I'm wrong, at least that will be productive :P
posted by ruggles at 1:20 PM on September 6, 2002


gsteff WELL THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IS..........................
1> IRAQ LAUCHES NUKES ON ISREAL
2> ISREAL REACTS WITH NUKES
3> THE WHOLE SHIT HOUSE GOES UP IN FLAMES
4> usa HAS NO MORE TREACLE TO BURN
5> WE RUN OUT OF OIL AND HUG LOADS OF TREES!
posted by JonnyX at 3:51 PM on September 6, 2002


My previous point had been that with a 2/3 majority congress could certainly stop the war. The President would certainly be able to start it (even if we did not call it a war), but he would not be able to continue it without the support of congress.

Well, a majority of each house could pass a bill making it illegal to spend federal money on blowing up Iraqi stuff and making holes in Iraqis before we'd started doing so. Could even beat a veto with 2/3.

What would happen when Dubya ignored the law could be... entertaining.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:22 PM on September 6, 2002


Sorry if this rambles on a bit...I've tried to organize it so that it flows better....but this is the best it's going to get, because I have other things to do tonight ;)

raysmj, I believe that Congress would need a 2/3 majority to stop a war because that is the threshold number of votes needed to override the presidential veto. In addition, while the house of representatives needs only a simple majority to impeach the president, the senate needs a 2/3 majority to convict.

Therefore, any bills that Congress might try to pass in an effort to end the war could be effectively vetoed by the President, and any attempts at impeachment might end in failure, without the necessary 2/3 majority of support.

Since the Constitution gives the President authority in foreign affairs, and appoints the President the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, I doubt Congress could constitutionally pass a bill explicitly stopping the fighting. Additionally, the President has the ability to put Congress in uncomfortable political situations regarding the military.

For example: Long before the war powers act, in 1907, Teddy Roosevelt decided to send the US Navy on a tour of the world. Congress didn't like the idea, and did not approve all the funds for it. Roosevelt simply told the Navy to set sail. By the time they got half-way around the world, there were not enough funds to get the navy home...and Congress was effectively forced to "pony up the dough."

I'm not convinced that the "90 days" limitation on the power of the President to commit forces to action (in the War Powers Act) would be effective in the real world. I think Congress could be politically strong-armed to "support the troops" and that the president would argue that he could not possibly remove the forces safely within the remaining portion of the 90 day period. Congress would then look like it did not care about the safety of the troops were it to refuse to at least extend the period of involvement and provide the funds necessary to prosecute the war for that period.

When the troops start fighting, the public usually starts supporting the troops...and when the President makes a case "for the troops," Congress would have a hard time fighting it without looking unpatriotic. No matter how unpopular the war might be, I doubt that the american public would ever support anything might "harm the troops;" and the President can pretty much paint any picture he wants for the public about what will and won't harm the troops.

I'm not saying that the whole of the populace would fall for it, if the President were simply playing politics, but I'm willing to bet he could at least get a simple majority of the public to rally to "support the troops."

For Congress to stop a war, it would take some sort of legal/political contest between the Congress and the President. I believe that the Constitution gives the Congress the upper hand here, but only if they have a large majority and the will to stick to it.

I take the trouble to mention this because I'm not sure that a war could be effectively stopped by the congress using the existing laws empowering the executive to commit and control the armed forces. Not having studied these laws in detail, I have a feeling that there are plenty of little technicalities that could be used as grounds for impeachment, but I have great faith that the power of party politics and legal obfuscation could make these pretty difficult to capitalize on.

If Congress were committed to stopping a war which the executive was adamant about continuing, I believe that congress would first need to pass some sort of law that would not be in violation of the powers granted congress by the constitution, but which the executive would have to break in order to continue prosecuting the war. This would provide a clear case of the executive breaking the law, and provide clear grounds for impeachment.

In taking that sort of action, Congress could effectively get the war to end, while remaining true to the division of powers delineated in the Constitution, and without going to all the trouble of amending it.

All of this, of course, is my own interpretation of the limited facts I have at hand. I recognize that I could be completely wrong, and more than welcome all of the vitiolic criticism I will, no doubt, receive.
posted by ruggles at 4:26 PM on September 6, 2002


grr...vitriolic
posted by ruggles at 4:27 PM on September 6, 2002


ruggles..........I do see your point, how ever, rather then could be, the best that can , and I suspect, will be, is:

1>Iraq lets the inspectors in
2>the inspectors arn't allowed access to all sites
3>Bush drops a few 'not so smart' bombs
4>Iraq's weopons of mass destruction are declared 'eliminated'
5>in ten years time the whole preformance is played out again
posted by JonnyX at 4:44 PM on September 6, 2002


JonnyX, I agree that your scenario may be the best that is likely to happen, at this point. Your #5 point bugs me though....

...still, it does fit my own pet idea that we're going to have a war every 10 years or so, just to keep the military sharp. Bah.
posted by ruggles at 7:18 PM on September 6, 2002


("No, don't look there! Over here! MOTHERFUCKING SADDAM HUSSEIN is on the loose!")

LOL
posted by ruggles at 7:25 PM on September 6, 2002


pjgulliver, the article in question states that the allies "targeted the main air defence command centre for western Iraq". Terms of the no fly zone are that any targeting of patrols makes the scanning installation fair game. What are the protocols for the allies targeting the command center that controls those remote Iraqi installations? If you'd like to argue "kill the head, and the body will die" that's cool, but it doesn't appear that this was an attack on an Iraqi radar guidance system or a SAM battery. This appears to be an attack on the people issuing orders to those installations.

Now, that may be an effective way to deter future targeting of allied patrols, operating under UN sanctions, but it damn sure ain't the same thing as blowing up an aggressive missile battery.

I suspect that the Iraqi sovereignty you spoke of may not carry as much weight you assigned to it.
posted by dglynn at 10:31 PM on September 6, 2002


Hell, I'd be happy if we didn't have to use Special Forces soldiers to guard the president of Afghanistan 24 hours a day.

Get used to disappointment. We do have to and will continue to do so for some time.

Bombs exploding and assassin's bullets in the air in Kabul, and Cheney is trying to distract us with a war in Iraq that will benefit his pals in the energy business?

Some of us have learned to focus on more than one important issue at a time. With practice, I'm sure you can learn to do the same. No one's trying to distract you from anything. Go ahead and focus on Kabul with as much intensity as you'd like. However, there are many other areas in the world where bombs are exploding and assassin's bullets are whizzing through the air every day. Iraq will be one of them. Feel free to turn your attention to any of these areas at your leisure.

Much as Cheney and Rumsfeld want to give it a go, the USA doesn't have what it takes to go solo and become the terror police for the entire damn world.

We won't be entirely solo, but negligable support doesn't hold much weight in the minds of decision makers. Truly, the entire damn world should be into policing terror for itself, but sadly it appears this won't be the case. At any rate, you are mistaken. We have plenty of what it takes, and we won't be deterred by nervous ninnies with track records of lying down for dictators on the march.

Especially at a time when, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers (pdf), 45 of the 50 states are either currently operating in the red or had a budget shortfall this year.

Ah, I see you've been spoiled by the budget balancing Clinton administration. Don't get me wrong, I applauded Clinton's fiscal responsibility, too, but in the big scheme of things none of that makes a damn bit of difference. We'll be just fine.

You're actually falling for this garbage?

Well, one of us is, definitely, and yours has the distinct smell of Eurotrash.
posted by David Dark at 3:41 AM on September 8, 2002


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