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Who the heck cares if Saddam Hussein gets a nuke?
September 15, 2002 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Who the heck cares if Saddam Hussein gets a nuke? Not Pat Buchanan, who provocatively suggests we have little to fear from an Iraq armed with a nuclear weapon. Pat's isolationism and fundamentalism are obvious, so let's examine the specifics of his argument instead: "Stalin acquired nuclear weapons in 1949, but did not blackmail us out of Berlin. Mao acquired nuclear weapons in 1964, but did not blackmail us out of Taiwan...[F]or him to threaten us with it would invite annihilation...Why would Saddam, who sleeps in a different bed every night to stay alive, risk the utter destruction of himself, his family, his dynasty, his monuments, his legacy?"
posted by mediareport (43 comments total)

 
And please, spare me the "he's a nut; we don't know what he'll do" nonsense. John Edwards' press secretary tried it Friday when I called to ask him about this; I didn't buy it then, either. The two examples most commonly tossed out -- "he gassed his own people!" and "he invaded Kuwait!" may be horridly evil acts, but they're horridly evil acts with understandable political rationales from Hussein's perspective. Attacking the US or Israel has no such rationale. If there's a flimsier excuse for sending my friends to die in Iraq than "But he's loony!" I'd love to hear it.
posted by mediareport at 12:46 PM on September 15, 2002


Ugh. Allow me to apologize for the tone of that first comment. Please ignore my example and help me come to grips with Mr. Buchanan's intriguing contention with your usual thoughtful and intelligent approach to foreign policy debate. ;)
posted by mediareport at 12:54 PM on September 15, 2002


We bankrupted the Soviets in an arms race, and the Chinese are still a problem..... Iraq doesn't have the economy or the need to get into an arms race with the United States, so he will resort to gorilla warfare, ie terrorism, to attack us.

What is smarter? If you have a hive of wasps in your yard, do you swat at them one by one as they try to sting you, or do you go get a big bottle of Raid and take out the whole nest?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:27 PM on September 15, 2002


"he's a nut; we don't know what he'll do"

At first, I thought you were referring to Buchanan when you wrote that. Thanks for the link. I never would have imagined Buchanan coming out on the side of peace in this situation. Good for him.

What is smarter? If you have a hive of wasps in your yard, do you swat at them one by one as they try to sting you, or do you go get a big bottle of Raid and take out the whole nest?

Are you saying that we are the hive of wasps and that Hussein should take us all out at once, or are you saying that Hussein and the Iraqi people are the hive of bees and we should wipe them all out at once? Your analogy holds either way, if you mean that the mindless wasps are human beings and the can of Raid is a weapon that kills indiscriminantly.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:32 PM on September 15, 2002


he will resort to gorilla warfare, ie terrorism, to attack us

Well, if Cheney keeps on shouting "We're going to kill you, motherfucker," Hussein might not have much to lose. But those much-ballyhooed links to terrorism against the U.S. have failed to materialize, Steve, and Hussein has to know by now that even the flimsiest link to terror will serve as a pretext for Cheney to invade his country. The only way it's in Saddam's interest to attack us is if we keep painting him into the kind of corner we're painting for him.

Nuclear powers become nuclear powers to deter their neighbors and become, well, players on the world stage. Iraq seems to me no different than North Korea in that respect. Except that there's no oil for Cheney's pals in North Korea.
posted by mediareport at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2002


"With President Bush daily threatening war on any 'axis of evil' nation that seeks a weapon of mass destruction, every rogue regime from Libya eastward must be in the market for one, if only to gain the measure of security North Korea seems to have achieved.

"The president and his War Cabinet are today giving our enemies the most powerful of incentives, i.e., survival, for seeking the very weapons whose proliferation we wish to prevent."


Once again Buchanan is making more sense than Bush and his administration. That in itself is very disturbing. This thread is another example.
posted by homunculus at 2:11 PM on September 15, 2002


"We're going to kill you, motherfucker,"
I am cracking up, imagining Cheney yelling that at a press conference!

I wouldn't go so far as to put all of the blame on Cheney for calling out Saddam...

If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use that arsenal.
- Bill Clinton, 1998.

It is about economics. North Korea doesn't have a valuable commodity, like oil, to keep it afloat. We can impose embargoes against N. Korea and slowly cut them off from the world. But oil, well that is something everyone needs, so it is next to impossible to embargo that. This is proven by the current "oil for food" deal that the UN is not enforcing as we speak. As long as some one is willing to make a "dirty" deal with Iraq and pay for illegal oil, then Iraq will be willing to smuggle it out. And as long as Iraq has income from oil, they will be able to fund the military as well as any terrorist activity they may or may not doing. We are not really "containing" Iraq if they still have funds flowing from the outside world.

Nuclear powers become nuclear powers to deter their neighbors

Who? Everyone on the peninsula is scared of Iraq. They one country that is "threatening" Iraq is the United States. Once again it come to mind set. Saddam is not nearly insane enough to think that Iraq could take on American in a all out war... so this leads us to the conclusion that it, nukes, would be used in some gorilla action against the United States.

If any one has painted Saddam into a corner, it is himself.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:13 PM on September 15, 2002


True, we lived with Stalin all that time. But we didn't have to- In hindsight, it would have been wiser to knock out Stalin and the communists in 1945 and prevent 50 years of Cold War antics that caused so much suffering for innocents the world over. Conclusion- knock out homicidal tyrants when they're weak.
posted by quercus at 2:27 PM on September 15, 2002


"We're going to kill you, motherfucker,"
I am cracking up, imagining Cheney yelling that at a press conference!

I'm pretty sure Rummy will do that
posted by matteo at 2:29 PM on September 15, 2002


Pat Buchanan, voice of reason. Yeesh, whodathunkit?
posted by UKnowForKids at 2:50 PM on September 15, 2002


so he will resort to gorilla warfare

Oh, please. The only primates in Iraq are humans. All the apes are over in central Africa. And, I suspect that our military could take on a couple of bone wielding beasts.
posted by warhol at 3:11 PM on September 15, 2002


Pat Buchanan is not the only extremist smart enough to occasionally make sense. There are nuggets to be mined even from this racist garbage. In the midst of his spew, Duke is one of the few commentators to address root causes. I stumbled on this the day after it was written last year, and was really taken aback. It was the first thing I'd seen that said anything beyond "Evil madmen who hate our freedom."
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 3:31 PM on September 15, 2002


"We're going to kill you, motherfucker,"
I am cracking up, imagining Cheney yelling that at a press conference!


Nah, the US will mobilize Gangsta rap to send a point to Saddam

Hit Em Up
Dub-Pac. GOP Records

So I f**ked your bi**h
You fat mutha-f**ka {Take Money}
US
Terrorist Killers {Take Money}
You know who the realist is
texans as we bring it to {Take Money}
[ha ha, that's alright]

First off, f**k your bi**h
And the click you claim
US when we bomb
Come equipped with game
You claim to be a threat
But, I f**ked your wife
We bust on Terrorists
Texans f**k for Life
Plus Aziz tryin' to see me weak
Hearts I rip
Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida
Some mark a*s bi**hes
We keep on coming
While we running for yah oil
Steady gunning
Keep on busting at them fools
You know the rules
Ayatolla go ask you homie
How i'll leave yah
Cut your young a*s up
See yah in pieces
Now be deceased
Mullah Omar,
Don't f**k with real a*s G's
Quick to snatch your ugly a*s, off the streets
So f**k peace
I'll let them Texans know
It's on for Life
Don't let the US
Ride the night [ha ha]
Terrorists murdered on Wax and kill
f**k with me
And get your caps peeled
You know, See

Chorus

Grab your glocks when you see Dubya
Call the cops when you see Dubya, Uhh
Who attacked us,
But, your punks didn't finish
Now, you 'bout to feel the wrath of a menace
biotch, I hit 'em up

Check this out
You mutha-f**kas know what time it is
I don't know why I'm even on this track
Y'all terrorists ain't even on my level
I'm going to let my little homies
Ride on yah
bi**h made a*s Terrorist bi**hes
{ahh yo, yo, hold the f**k up}

Get out the way yo
Get out the way yo
Saddam Hussein just got dropped
Little move pa*s the mac
And let me hit 'em in his back
Osama needs to get spanked right
For setting up traps
Little accident murderers
And I ain't never heard of yah
Poise less gats attack when I'm serving yah
Spank the shank
Your whole style when I gank
Guard your rank
Cause I'm a slam your a*s in a pang
Ayatollah weaker than a f**kin' block
I'm running through biotches
And I'm smoking Al Qaida
In front of yah biotch
With the ready power
Tucked in my Guess
Under my Eddie Bower
Your clout petty sour
I push packages ever hour
I hit 'em up

Chorus

Grab your glocks when you see Dubya
Call the cops when you see Dubya, Uhh
Who attacked us,
But, your punks didn't finish
Now, you 'bout to feel the wrath of a menace
biotch, We hit 'em up

Peep how we do it
Keep it real
Its penitentiary steel
This ain't no freestyle battle
All you terrorists getting killed
With your mouths open
Tryin' to come up off of me
You and the clouds hoping
Smoking dope
It's like a Shermine
terrorists think they learned to fly
But they burn mutha-f**ka you deserve to die
Talking about you Getting Money
But its funny to me
All you terrorists living bummy
While you f**king with me?
I'm a self made Millionaire
Thug livin', out of prison
Pistols in the Air {Air} [Ha Ha]
Saddam remember when I use to lend you money
And beg the bi**h to let you sleep in the house
Now its all about versace
You copied my style
Three shots couldn't drop me
I took it and smiled
Now I'm back to set the record straight
With my A-K
I'm still the thug that you love to hate
Mutha-f**ka I'll Hit 'Em Up

I'm from N W New Jers.
Where plenty of murder occurs
No points to come
We bring drama to all you herds
Now go check the scenerio
Quaddafi
I'll bring you fake G's to yah knees
Copin' pleas with these
Mullah Omah is yah
Coked up or doped up
Get your little Al Qaida click smoked up
What the f**k?
Is you stupid?
I take money,
crash and mash through Baghdad
With my click looting, shooting, and polluting your block
With fifteen shot,
Cocked glock to your knot
Outlaw Mafia click moving up another notch
And your Pop stars popped and get dropped and mopped
And all your fake a*s east coast props
Brainstormed and locked

You'se a B-writer
Dub style taker
I'll tell you to face, you ain't nothing s**t but a faker
So fill the Alazhay with a chaser
'bout to get murdered for the paper
E.d.i I mean post the scene of the caper
Like a loc, with little Ceas' in a choke [uhh]
Toting smoke, we ain't no mutha-f**kin' joke
Thug Life, biotches better be known
Be approaching
In the wide open, gun smoking
No need for hoping
It's a battle lost
I gottem crossed as soon as the funk is bopping off
biotch, I hit 'em up

Now you tell me who won
I see them, they run [ha ha]
They don't wanna see us
Whole Al Qaida click
Dressing up to be us
How the f**k they gonna be the Mob?
When we always on out job
We millionaire's
Killing ain't fair
But somebody got to do it

Oh yah PLO [uhh]
You wanna f**k with us
You Little young a*s mutha-f**kas
Don't one of you evildoers as got some problems or something
You f**king with me, biotch ?
You f**k around and catch a seizure or a heart-attack
You better back the f**k up
Before you get smacked the f**k up
This is how we do it on our side
Any of you terrorists from the Middle East that want to bring it,
Bring it.
But we ain't singing,
We bringing drama
f**k you and your mother f**king mama.
We gonna kill all you mother f**kers.
Now when I came out, I told you it was just about Saddam.
Then everybody had to open their mouth with a mother f**kin opinion
Well this is how we gon' do this:
f**k Osama,
f**k Saddam,
f**k Al Qaida as a staff, record label, and as a mother f**kin crew.
And if you want to be down with Al Qaida,
Then f**k you too.
Iran, f**k you too.
All you mother f**kers,
f**k you too.
(take money, take money)
All of y'all mother f**kers,
f**k you, die slow mother f**ker.
My nukes make sure all yo' kids don't grow.
You mother f**kers can't be us or see us.
We mother f**kin' Thug Life riders.
US till' we die.
Out here in Texas, biotch
We warned ya'
We'll bomb you mother f**kers.
We do our job.
You think you the mob, biotch, we the mother f**kin' mob
Ain't nuttin' but killers
And the real Texans, all you mother f**kers feel us.
Our s**t goes triple and four quadruple
You biotchess laugh cuz our army got guns under they mother f**kin' belts
You know how it is and we drop records they felt
You evildoers can't feel it
We the realist
f**k 'em.
We Terrorist killas.


Sounds like a hit
posted by RobbieFal at 4:08 PM on September 15, 2002


It's not everyday that I find myself agreeing with old Pat. OK, its not even every year. This time, however, he speaks with wisdom. Saddam hardly threatens the USA. Certainly not via official state action. One such mistake and he gets entombed in glass. Could he supply another terrorist organization? Perhaps. Pat's makes his best point in weighing the risk of action versus inaction. Our action carries very certain and severe detriments, while our inaction carries an uncertain, unquantifiable risk, one which I feel to be low rather than high. Politically, war mongering carries great benefits for the President, any President, that is until the bodies start coming home in bags or the world turns on us like rabid dogs. So, for the time being at least, a President looking to maximize his political advantage should take the offensive, at least verbally, against Saddam. Of course, a President who put his country first.....
posted by caddis at 4:18 PM on September 15, 2002


Fuck the nukes, its a red herring.

Saddam has tactical bio and chemical weapons. They are easy to hand out to terrorist organizations and even easier to deploy.

And working through terrorists is a diffuse attack. You havea general idea of where it came from, but never with enough specificity to strike back at anything. ...Makes our wonderfully accurate smart bombs stoopit.

The bottom line is asymmetric warfare could bring the west down completely. The Cheney administration is fixin to make an example of why this type of ambition won't pay off. The example is a message to the Koreas, the Syrias and the Chechnyas of the world, past present and future. Anyone (here, on MeFi) have a problem with that?
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:37 PM on September 15, 2002


Sounds like a hit

Not unless you edit it down from seven minutes to three. :)
posted by mediareport at 4:37 PM on September 15, 2002


You havea general idea of where it came from, but never with enough specificity to strike back at anything.
Try telling that to Afghanistan. Rumsfeld says that it is a running joke at the Pentagon that our policy can be sumed up as "Ready...Fire...Aim!"
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 4:56 PM on September 15, 2002


I can think of many reasons why it would be a very, very bad thing for Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons.

1. There are some legacies which no amount of American backlash can erase. I think a Saddam Hussein would be quite happy with a destroyed/decimated Israel as a legacy, despite Iraq getting destroyed in the process.

2. The next time Iraq tried to invade Kuwait (or another country) it'll be that much more dangerous for allied troops to repell him.

3. It kind of gives him a little more license to be an ass. Right now, if it severely pisses off the world, we can invade and depose him. With nuclear weapons, that's more difficult.

4. He might use it if he's about to be deposed/killed as a kind of ultimate 'screw you' to the rest of the world.

5. And finally there's always the fun possibility that someone from Al Queda or another terrorist organization will infiltrate the Iraqi military and launch the nukes themselves without government approval.

Those aren't enough reasons for you? Maybe he IS mad. Or deluded. Maybe he doesn't think we'll counter attack. Maybe he wants to use them against Iran or someone. Maybe he's going to use it on the Kurds. Maybe he's developing biological weapons instead.

Letting a little power-mad dictator get nuclear weapons is insane. We have the power to stop him. Why shouldn't we?
posted by Mitrovarr at 5:02 PM on September 15, 2002


John Edwards' press secretary tried it Friday when I called to ask him about this;

Thanks for this, mediareport.

now who to support?
posted by goethean at 5:25 PM on September 15, 2002


hahaha, nice song =p

OT
w/ regards to the earlier think for Pat, Ming China regarded the idea of supporting outposts and garrisons halfway across the world as foolhardy and implausible, at least by sea, those many years ago during the time of the sea voyages.

Granted, the military technological gap was not as great, although they did use gunpowder weapons against some town in Somalia.. if only the following emperors had also come from a military mindset, and dreamed big ;)

Uh, oh yes, as for Iraq, I don't have anything to add.
posted by firestorm at 6:57 PM on September 15, 2002


oops. think=link
still need sleep
posted by firestorm at 6:59 PM on September 15, 2002


Mitrovarr, did you get that list out of a Tom Clancy novel or something?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:01 PM on September 15, 2002


mediareport:

Everyone seems to forget that Hussein is not immortal. When he finally dies, it's not at all clear that his son Qusay will calmly succeed him. Qusay, unlike Hussein, was not a Baathist party man who rose through the ranks. There will be many generals who resent Qusay's rise and who may launch a coup. (Hussein's other son, the insanely violent and now wheelchair-bound Uday, might well battle Qusay's faction and the generals for control as well.)

A post-Hussein Iraq could very well degenerate into a Mad Max kind of environment. Look at how alarmed we were about nukes on the loose during Russia's relatively calm transition - Iraq will be orders of magnitude more chaotic. The chances that a non-state actor might get their hands on a weapon in that kind of situation are nontrivial. Admittedly Hussein's potential nukes wouldn't compare to Russia's in terms of destructive power, but it doesn't really matter whether the weapon kills 5000 or 50000 or 500000.

The American public doesn't think in terms of rads and roentgens and effective doses. They think "a nucular [sic] bomb went off in NY!! omg!". NY (or wherever is attacked) would become a ghost town after a nuclear incident, with incalculable economic damage no matter what the actual human toll.
posted by godlesscapitalist at 8:36 PM on September 15, 2002


The truth of the matter is that any nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons that Iraq develops are not going to be used by him or by terrorists pre-emptively. To do so would be suicide.

Iraq is *NOT* a fundamentalist state, and although Saddam may have offered up very limited support to terrorists in the past (the jury is still out on this and the evidence is kind of weak...), he is very much against religious fundamentalism, as it is a threat to his government.

Unlike Saudi Arabia or Iran, Iraq has is controlled by the Sunni minority and has been for the better part of this century. The Sunni minority that Saddam represents is against fundamentalist Shi'a, because they are the ones most likely to try to depose him, most likely with assistance from the Iranians or Saudis.

So, assuming that Hussein still is trying to develop nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons (along with the more effective missile and dispersement technology that it would take to effectively use any of these options), what is the reason he would be doing so? The answer is primarily Israel.

Right now, Israel is able to either intimidate or attack any Arab country without significant repercussions, primarily because they have nuclear weaponry. However, if Iraq were to have nuclear weapons, then Israel would no longer be able to attack or intimidate other Arab countries, nor would they be able to use nuclear weapons to respond to an attack against them without inviting a similar attack on themselves.

Also, Iraq would be considered the strongest country in the region. He wouldn't have to worry as much about Iranians trying to help Kurdish or Shi'a rebels, as they have in the past. He'd be taken more seriously by other nearby countries, and he would recieve greater support from his people, who would see him as standing up to the Israelis and the US.

So, with all those advantages to having such weapons, why would Iraq possibly give terrorists such power? It would be counterproductive and dangerous for Saddam to do so.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:40 PM on September 15, 2002


RobbieFal:

That was fockin' hilarious. Someone seriously needs to redub the original, substitute those lyrics, and release Hit 'em up - Gulf War 2 Remix on KaZaa...
posted by godlesscapitalist at 8:41 PM on September 15, 2002


I just agreed with Buchanan.
Wow.
Scary.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:44 PM on September 15, 2002


"Saddam may have offered up very limited support to terrorists in the past "

I don't think his support has been "very limited". See here:

Iraq is one of seven countries that have been designated by the Secretary of State as state sponsors of international terrorism. UNSCR 687 prohibits Saddam Hussein from committing or supporting terrorism, or allowing terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq. Saddam continues to violate these UNSCR provisions.


In 1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directed and pursued an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George Bush and the Emir of Kuwait. Kuwaiti authorities thwarted the terrorist plot and arrested 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals.


Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians.


Iraq shelters several prominent Palestinian terrorist organizations in Baghdad, including the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), which is known for aerial attacks against Israel and is headed by Abu Abbas, who carried out the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer.


Iraq shelters the Abu Nidal Organization, an international terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist attacks in twenty countries, killing or injuring almost 900 people. Targets have included the United States and several other Western nations. Each of these groups have offices in Baghdad and receive training, logistical assistance, and financial aid from the government of Iraq.


In April 2002, Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers. The rules for rewarding suicide/homicide bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a "martyr" and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."


Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations.
posted by godlesscapitalist at 8:45 PM on September 15, 2002


That was fockin' hilarious. Someone seriously needs to redub the original, substitute those lyrics, and release Hit 'em up - Gulf War 2 Remix on KaZaa...

or they can do it on an album, "Music for the War on Terror"

Including:
Ain't Nothing but a Jihad Baby and Welcome to Baghdad (Welcome to Atlanta remix)
posted by RobbieFal at 9:04 PM on September 15, 2002


The bottom line is asymmetric warfare could bring the west down completely. The Cheney administration is fixin to make an example of why this type of ambition won't pay off. The example is a message to the Koreas, the Syrias and the Chechnyas of the world, past present and future. Anyone (here, on MeFi) have a problem with that?
posted by Fupped Duck


This is an extremely important yet often overlooked point by many of those who are not in favor of intervention by the United States right now. Very insightful, Fupped Duck.

Throughout the history of the Cold War, several countries became nuclear powers with China and Russia as the main US opponents. These two countries have a particularly unique national heritage and view that have tempered their desire to start a nuclear aggressive act; despite regime and political changes, the national identity and culture has remained essentially unchanged. The ability of US opponents to respect the theory behind Mutually Assured Destruction has made this very theory successful to date.

However, the Middle Eastern states have a history of far more turmoil and have been much less stable at the top levels of leadership, particularly Iran and Iraq. While Saddam Hussein is probably more secular in his actions and motives than many US citizens might think, the doctrines of Islam nevertheless permeate their national viewpoint.

The bottom line - nuclear weapons will NEVER be a deterrent to nations that harbor and encourage terrorism. They will NEVER respect the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction - because, obviously, their extremists are willing to sacrifice and die for their cause without regards to innocent human life.

We MUST ensure that Saddam Hussein and his ilk never realize the ability to implement weapons of mass destruction for this very reason. While I would never be for the wanton waste of military action and lives, I feel that this is a worthwhile cause. If the United States does not take a stand and show the terrorists that we mean business about defending our interests, they will never take the United States seriously and they not stop actions of terrorism.
posted by insulglass at 9:24 PM on September 15, 2002


How does this:

their extremists are willing to sacrifice and die for their cause without regards to innocent human life.

square with this:

take a stand and show the terrorists that we mean business about defending our interests, they will never take the United States seriously and they not stop actions of terrorism.

? The logic of the first statement would mean that there is no real deterrence. The second says that by violently responding, the terrorists will know we mean business and will knock it off.
posted by chaz at 11:55 PM on September 15, 2002


chaz:

I think it means that if deterrence doesn't work, you have to kill them.
posted by godlesscapitalist at 12:14 AM on September 16, 2002


"While Saddam Hussein is probably more secular in his actions and motives than many US citizens might think, the doctrines of Islam nevertheless permeate their national viewpoint."

Meaning?!? The clear implication is that Islamic countries are inherently suicidal, caring nothing about their lives. They cannot "respect the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction", because they live only to kill Westerners.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the bigot. Could you dehumanize the Islamic people any more?

The truth of the matter is that just like the US, Islamic countries have political and religious extremists, and what those groups do in their culture is either considered allowable behavior that would be hard to weed out, or is considered to be the proper thing for their governments to do.

Has the U.S. arrested and expelled all of its terrorists? The KKK? The people who support organizations like http://www.godhatesfags.com? The national militia groups that are a haven to people who would like blow up the government? What about the CIA itself? Didn't they harbor and train the Contras, the "freedom fighters" that became the Taleban?

Every country out there has its own agenda, and that agenda often includes murdering others to achieve political goals. However, the US seems to think that they are the law... when other governments kill, it's murder, but when the US government kills, it's justice.

Personally, I don't believe it.

If murder is the unlawful killing of one human by another, then wouldn't attacking Iraq without the approval of the full body of the United Nations be an act of murder too?
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:58 AM on September 16, 2002


"just like the US, Islamic countries have political and religious extremists"

The situation is not analogous. Abortion clinic bombers in the US are marginal, while Wahabbi extremists in Islamic countries are far more accepted among the general population. Read the Arab News or Memri for a few months, and I think you'll agree.
posted by godlesscapitalist at 1:12 AM on September 16, 2002


"If murder is the unlawful killing of one human by another, then wouldn't attacking Iraq without the approval of the full body of the United Nations be an act of murder too?"

Nations are not people. And the United Nations is a joke. If the UN was the "United Democratic Nations", I would have much more respect for it. As it stands, the UN General Assembly is a spectacle of dictatorships dictating to democracies.

Libya heads the UN Human Rights commission. Syria is rotating through the UN Security Council, and Totalitarian China is a permanent member. I could go on and on, but the point is that the UN's imprimatur means little or nothing.
posted by godlesscapitalist at 1:19 AM on September 16, 2002


Well in my younger more fundamentalist republican days(gasp, geze I was barely old enough to vote) i used to LOVE the hall out of Pat Buchanan. Although it pains me to be on the same side of ANY issue with him now, I have to agree with him about iraq's "nukes"...Who cares let the middle east deal with hussain
posted by hoopyfrood at 8:58 AM on September 16, 2002


umm guess the spell checker doesn't catch errors in usage! Ummm.. substitute hell for hall
posted by hoopyfrood at 9:01 AM on September 16, 2002


Mediareport,
Would you please stop this silly pracitce of making perfectly good sense? You're upsetting all the chickenhawks and warbloggers!
Besides, if you keep it up you'll have people accusing you of "having an axe to grind" or "being a one trick pony" also and I certainly wouldn't wish that on you!

We simply MUST send the young of our poorest citizens into Iraq and kick his Bush hating butt! No question about it! What are you anyway? Commie pinko? Unpatriotic? Or worse yet a Godless Green or Dem? Has anyone called TIPS yet?
posted by nofundy at 10:55 AM on September 16, 2002


quercus: You have a severly distorted view of history and military capabiliy if you think that the 144 divisions available to the western Allies in *all* theaters of operations (including the Pacific) could have defeated the 225 Russian divisions *in Germany alone* (much less the 491 that they had available in all theatres).

"... [K]nock out homicidal tyrants when they're weak" indeed. At the close of hostilities in Europe, Josef Stalin was at the peak of his strength.
posted by Cerebus at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2002


Not to mention, Cerebus, that invading your allies is considered bad form.
posted by Summer at 2:12 PM on September 16, 2002


Very bad form.

We simply MUST send the young of our poorest citizens into Iraq and kick his Bush hating butt!

What?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:58 PM on September 16, 2002


insulglass: The bottom line - nuclear weapons will NEVER be a deterrent to nations that harbor and encourage terrorism.

I dunno, seems to be working with India against Pakistan, one of the world's worst terrorist hotbeds.

Steve_at_Linnwood: Everyone on the peninsula is scared of Iraq.

Really? Then why aren't they rallying around Cheney? Iran is developing its own nuclear capability, actually. Are they next? Right-wing Israelis are apparently ready to go.

godlesscapitalist: A post-Hussein Iraq could very well degenerate into a Mad Max kind of environment.

Well-said. So why are we going to duplicate the Mad Max kind of environment we already see in Afghanistan, where US-sanctioned power exists only inside the Kabul city limits? Isn't there a better way than an armed invasion to help a country become more calm, orderly and prosperous?

Mitrovarr: I think a Saddam Hussein would be quite happy with a destroyed/decimated Israel as a legacy, despite Iraq getting destroyed in the process.

If he's faced with the death of himself and his dreams of dynasty, sure. But we're a capitalist democracy, Mitrovarr. We're supposed to believe in the value of economic trade and open engagement as tools for spreading our ideas. The decade of sanctions has obviously only served to bolster Hussein's power, and an invasion puts him in exactly the kind of spot you say will result in "a destroyed/decimated Israel." Where's the logic in this garbage?

4. He might use it if he's about to be deposed/killed as a kind of ultimate 'screw you' to the rest of the world.

Oh. We agree then. Btw, thanks to you and everyone else who posted thoughtfully.
posted by mediareport at 4:56 PM on September 16, 2002


One more thing: This link is a nice short overview of the dangers coming from Russia's nuclear arsenal. I honestly don't think we're going to be able to stop every terrorist or dictator on earth who wants the hip cachet of owning a nuke. Which means we'd better start thinking of strategies aside from sending expensive Western armies all over the globe. If we really want to save ourselves from a future where small nuclear explosions become as common as suicide bombs in Jerusalem, we need to ratchet the aggression *down,* not up.
posted by mediareport at 5:11 PM on September 16, 2002


Then why aren't they rallying around Cheney?

Because they're scared of Iraq, and, perhaps, a bit distrustful that the US won't finish the job again. It would be either brave or crazy to get behind a US invasion of Iraq publicly while Hussein has any sort of power, especially if you're trying to play both sides to your advantage, but we'll never know exactly what has been said privately through diplomatic channels. Countries do not speak to each other exclusively through the news media. I would not be surprised to hear that many countries are saying the same thing Egypt has been saying recently, except they're not willing to break solidarity by saying it in public.
posted by kindall at 7:59 PM on September 16, 2002


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