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Iraq accepts weapons inspectors unconditionally
September 16, 2002 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Iraq accepts weapons inspectors unconditionally, think vice president cheney is ready to start thinking about a peaceful settlement to the stand-off?
posted by specialk420 (91 comments total)

 
no.
posted by adampsyche at 4:32 PM on September 16, 2002


If this holds up, and saddam continues to cooperate, I think the Bush Administration should get a big pat on the back for their sabre rattling approach to foreign affairs.

Bush's speech to the UN when the check (check-mate is still a bit off) in a brilliant bit of diplomatic chess.
posted by Mick at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2002


Thanks, Saddam. And now...we'll bomb you anyway.
posted by Ty Webb at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2002


"was the check"

/mea culpa
posted by Mick at 4:36 PM on September 16, 2002


Bush's speech called for Iraq to comply with all Security Council resolutions, of which allowing arms inspectors is just one. I think the bar was purposefully set higher than Iraq is willing to go.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:37 PM on September 16, 2002


The goal is regime change, not inspectors. However this is a positive step for those who have been advocating 'containment' of Saddam.

The question is, would Bush have gone the UN route without the criticisms from home and abroad? The other side of the coin is, would the UN have had any chance at all if Bush had not come out swinging? Is this a victory for American common sense and consensus-building coupled with the threat of severe force? Or is it the calm before the storm?

There are more questions than answers at this stage, but there is no doubt that Bush's greatest success in this battle has been his use of the United Nations to present the case for action. He has managed to legitimize the American threat of war while getting movement on stale resolutions.
posted by cell divide at 4:41 PM on September 16, 2002


I just hope we don't have a strangely well-timed terrorist incident around the elections in case the warmongering dies down.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:41 PM on September 16, 2002


UNMOVIC inspectors are clearly not prepared to go to Iraq now -- they're stil hiring people -- and start inspecting sites quickly. Implementation of this thing looks murky.

It will be a matter of weeks before they actually get there and manage to do some work -- and think about UNSCOM's difficulties in late 1998, by the way, they couldn't actually see anything useful, almost

Saddam bought himself a little bit of time. But when the Iraqis displease in any way the inspectors -- they're very good at it -- Bush will tell UNMOVIC director Hans Blix -- a nice, politically correct Swede -- to recall his teams.

In 1998, it was Operation Desert Fox.
This time, it'll be full-out invasion.
posted by matteo at 4:42 PM on September 16, 2002


I think George and Dick will be disappointed if Iraq meet all conditions; they want war & regime change.
posted by msacheson at 4:42 PM on September 16, 2002


I just hope we don't have a strangely well-timed terrorist incident around the elections in case the warmongering dies down.

donkey, are you insinuating that a terrorist attack on American targets shortly before election time (this year? or 2004?) would be initiated BY the U.S.? If so, be careful, dem's fighting words.
posted by msacheson at 4:45 PM on September 16, 2002


No and I'll be surprised if Iraq actually follows through with this. Seems to me that they have made that promise before.
posted by tonelesscereal at 4:47 PM on September 16, 2002


donkey, are you insinuating that a terrorist attack on American targets shortly before election time (this year? or 2004?) would be initiated BY the U.S.? If so, be careful, dem's fighting words.

naw, and by incident, i mean pretty much any conveniently dug-up bugaboo, the way ashcroft inflated jose padilla.

although didn't our government toy with the idea of terrorizing us during the cold war to make us hate the commies? i forget the specifics, but it's been covered reputably.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:50 PM on September 16, 2002


Did anyone really NOT expect this?
Next: they enter, oops...not quite unconditionally, some diplo-dancing, then they inspect...oops... not quite full access... some more diplo-dancing, and we return to step 1.
Repeat and rinse.
posted by HTuttle at 4:53 PM on September 16, 2002


Seems to me that they have made that promise before.

I don't think so. For the last four years, they've been insisting that inspectors be tied to a loosening of sanctions. Allowing the inspectors back in unconditionally is definitely something new.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:54 PM on September 16, 2002


I think I should rephrase my previous response: no.
posted by adampsyche at 4:59 PM on September 16, 2002


donkey, that's for your reply.

adam, can you expand on that? ;-)
posted by msacheson at 5:06 PM on September 16, 2002


I highly doubt Saddam will keep this up. BUT if he does, it cuts off the Bush war talk at the knees. Of course, I still completely expect an attack if the poll numbers dip or Democratic control of the House looks likely.

We live in cynical times.
posted by owillis at 5:16 PM on September 16, 2002


Told ya, it's about inspectors not invasion. probably go like this

UN: "whats that?"

Iraq "go and look...

UN "...and THAT...

Iraq: "Oh, ah, cant look at, ah, let me call ah...nothing."

the difference is having a MARINE BATTALION AND LITE ARMOURED DIVISION AS YOUR BACK UP and not some blue helmets.

(large caps not meant for effect, just hit the wrong button and too lazy to change it before i relize the time taken to write THIS, i could have just.....)

(does- "i was right" dance)
posted by clavdivs at 5:17 PM on September 16, 2002


By attack, I mean us vs. Iraq. Or, as donkeyschlong said - a "Terrah, Terrah" alert barrage.
posted by owillis at 5:17 PM on September 16, 2002


Everyone's appluading Bush, but I think Saddam did something very smart here. If Saddam sabre-rattled in return, Bush's approval ratings would go up and action against Iraq would be supported by more people in the international community.

Instead, Saddam is going to make Bush look like a bully. He'll be able to say "look! I did what they told me, but America just wants our oil and hates all Arabs." Even though he's lied before, this message is exactly what he needed to do to stay alive for one more round.

The case for war is now going to be this much harder for Bush.
posted by jragon at 5:18 PM on September 16, 2002


...and the beaut, that former weapons inspector talking from Iraq about how saddam dont got nuthin, cant have nuttin, wont have nuttin.

he said, we can clear this up by just letting in the inspectors. Doesnt that seem a small price to avert war?

what a piece of work.

YOUR WAR IS ON KIDS.

(and i hate war, saddam should have removed in the early 90's)
posted by clavdivs at 5:21 PM on September 16, 2002


slightly off topic - this article by robert kaplan on a post saddam iraq was interesting read today as well.
posted by specialk420 at 5:29 PM on September 16, 2002


When we get our Sarin gas back, will the taxpayers get a return on the deposit?

Seriously, its fairly obvious that Iraq will never reach its goal of being the biggest badest military in the middle east. Joining the nuclear club, if that has ever been their real goal, is just getting harder and harder.
posted by skallas at 5:33 PM on September 16, 2002


If Iraq complies and let the weapons inspectors in, what will the Bush administration do next to distract American voters, from seeing the crap job its doing running the country.
posted by delboy_trotter at 5:35 PM on September 16, 2002


This may be a stretch, but what are the chances that Sadaam did this with the intention of delaying any military action until after the November elections. Perhaps he is hoping that this will take the war issue out of the spotlight in the U.S. for the time being, allowing the Democrats to do better at the polls. Perhaps he is under the impression that he has more of a chance if the Democrats have more power than if the Republican and the president got some sort of mandate.

I'm not sure he would be right, or if he has a very good understanding of American politics, but a superficial knowledge of the U.S. *might* lead him to that conclusio
posted by JKevinKing at 5:36 PM on September 16, 2002


The main point, seemingly skipped thus far, is that the needed votes in the Security Council are not likely to be there if those member nations accept what Iraq has seemingly offered. After all, members of the Council were against the war till they had their say: UN approval for war contingent upon Iraq refusing inspectors. Without Security Council approval, America will be hard pressed to go ahead with an invasion.
posted by Postroad at 5:37 PM on September 16, 2002


from adampscyhe's link: said White House communications director Dan Bartlett. "We are working with the U.N. Security Council to determine the most effective way to reach our goal [...] Our goal is disarmament. And we have seen the type of inspections that Saddam Hussein has embraced in the past as efforts to defy that very goal."

so it's not regime change then? and as clavdivs sez the difference this time is it's backed up by the threat of imminent war. otherwise, it places in relief the contention that it's more about oil and increasing US influence in the mideast in general. and of course it's also consistent with what many been saying about hussein -- that his overriding motive is to preserve his regime, and why would he jeopardize that?

anyway, i'm a little more hopeful that war can be averted and peaceful resolution can be negotiated :) also i'm now intrigued at what form and how invasive inspections will be, like it could still be a prelude to an effective takeover of the iraqi power apparatus, as in iraqi sovereignty could still be severely curtailed!
posted by kliuless at 5:38 PM on September 16, 2002


I'm pleased. No really, I am.

But that comment by Kofi Annan:
]"I can confirm to you that I have received a letter from the Iraqi authorities conveying its decision to allow the return of inspectors without conditions to continue their work"] -

doesn't it remind you of someone?

I hope I'm wrong, I really do... maybe the cynicism round here's gettin to me.... I should take some time off...visit a neutral country... maybe open a bar in Casablanca...
posted by dash_slot- at 5:52 PM on September 16, 2002


This is a stall tactic. Saddam needs time and he needs public perception on his side. He thinks he's playing a big game, and he's invincible in his throne. This time, however, he doesn't have the confidence in his army that he used to. I can see this going on indefinitely. Why should the UN Security Council have to pass overlapping resolutions over 10 years, each showing dissapointment in Saddam's refusal to follow the last one.

He'll get another resolution drafted, we'll spin our wheels, maybe get some inspectors into Iraq in 6 months. Then, when the inspectors are dissapointed, they'll pull out and we'll get another 6 months of BS waiting for the security council to put together another resolution frowning upon that action. Saddam isn't a man to reason with, made peace with, trust, and especially leave in control of a country.
posted by askheaves at 5:54 PM on September 16, 2002


what will the Bush administration do next to distract American voters,

americans can distract themselves nice like without the prez.

kliuless: hey, the man has to go. remember nasser? the man destoyed his army and dragged other into a morass of burnt outroads in 67' and the people still wanted him to be prez. No one seems to want this guy around. If saddam was a true man he would have stepped down in 91.
posted by clavdivs at 5:55 PM on September 16, 2002


dash_slot,
What, don't you want to no peace in our time? ;-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:56 PM on September 16, 2002


Let's not forget that the UN's weapons inspection program, UNSCOM, was derailed by meddling from US intelligence agencies. This Frontline report "tracks how politics, quarrels and turf wars involving the UN, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and Israel effectively undermined and ended UNSCOM."

Folks who easily dismiss former weapons inspector Scott Ritter (this includes almost the entire WaRbLoGgeR world) owe it to themselves to read his account of confronting Iraqi resistance to inspections:

==
So, he accelerates through. As he accelerates, an Iraqi Special Republican Guard, one of the elite troops protecting Saddam Hussein, who's supposed to be manning this roadblock, had apparently been snoozing on the side, wakes up and goes, My God, cars. So, he comes up and he slaps Chris' car, but Chris just kept going. He turns around, and there's my car. Now, I have a French driver that night, a French military officer, whose command of the English language was limited. And I look at the situation. The guy's got a gun. And I said,' We might want to stop the car right now.' And he keeps going, towards this soldier. The soldier's screaming, shrill voice, panicked. I said,' We really might want to stop the car right now, go ahead and stop the car.'

He keeps going, straight at the solider. The soldier locks and loads his weapon, puts it on fire, gets down into a crouch -- I mean, he's ready to fire. You see him bracing, and he's screaming.

I turn, and I scream at the top -- 'Stop the damn car, you son of a bitch.' Stops. The guy's screaming, getting ready to shoot, and I'm thinking, 'That's it, we're dead,' when this flash of green comes off of my right shoulder. It was one of the Iraqi minders, the people who escort us, and he jumps between me and the soldier. A spilt-second, I think, we would have all been dead. The solider now has it, and he's screaming at this guy, getting ready to knock him off.

Meanwhile, another guy comes up, a Special Security Organization uniformed officer, pulls his pistol, points it at this Iraqi colonel, then points it at me, he's got it leveled at my head, and he's going back and forth, the soldier's going back and forth, screaming at the top of the voice, and I'm thinking, 'This is really interesting.'
==

I can hear the chickenhawks already. "He should have blasted through, too!" Yeah, whatever. They'd have been shitting their motherfucking pants.
posted by mediareport at 5:57 PM on September 16, 2002


clavdivs: that's why i'm intrigued at how "unconditional" things could get. like you could *effectively* remove him from power without firing a shot. like he could be effectively reliquishing sovereignty cuz i'd think the US'd pursue it to it's full measure! (and i guess the beauty of it would be it'd be under UN auspices... also i don't remember nasser :)
posted by kliuless at 6:05 PM on September 16, 2002


I sure am glad I'm not in the weapons inspecting business.
posted by punkrockrat at 6:16 PM on September 16, 2002


The goal is regime change
imagine that. me and george bush share a goal.
posted by quonsar at 6:18 PM on September 16, 2002


wait for the elements of resolution thats being drafted by the Bush Adminstration, he is going to make it harsh. wanting to finish off what his father started, and now will try again to get majority of the american voters on his side to go after Saddam once more with something.

Can't we have peace already......damn
posted by pyr at 6:27 PM on September 16, 2002


Kofi then went on to say that Iraq was "ready to start discussions on the practical arrangements". Why would there be discussions? If there are no conditions then shouldn't they just be waiting for the memo from the Security Council telling Iraq what the arrangements are?
posted by revbrian at 6:29 PM on September 16, 2002


Forgive me for the self-link I'm about to make, but I'd rather not rewrite or post such a large amount of text here.

I wrote a long post literally only nine or ten hours ago in which I referenced an article recently posted that mentioned that even if the Iraqis agreed to allow in inspectors this afternoon, then it would still take five months for preparations, long after the midterm elections, one of the principal reasons for Bush's pressing for an invasion.

My exact line in the post was "This means, strangely enough, that Saddam could very well cripple Bush’s plan by surrendering."

I agree totally with what jragon said. Saddam didn't stay in this power this long by being stupid. He's realized that to do this right now will let him "win" in the majority of scenarios this action will lead to.

On preview: I heart quonsar.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:29 PM on September 16, 2002


um, i guess i'm talking about a "mongol" surrender :)
"During their campaign in some of the Arabian nations, they would approach a city and give it a chance to surrender. If it did, it would be accepted into the Mongol empire. If it refused and resisted, then the Mongols would lay siege (using siege engines built and operated by Chinese combat engineers who accompanied the Mongols in the campaign) and once the city fell the inhabitants would be completely slaughtered. Word of this spread and surrenders became the norm, as the Mongols intended."
and stealing from the plastic subq:
"For inspectors to do their job, they have to have the truth, which can only come from the Iraqis. As President Bush told the United Nations last week, the world needs an Iraqi government that will stop lying and surrender the weapons programs. That is not likely to happen as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power."
so if as pjgulliver sez, "The basis of a state is that it hold a monopoly on all violence commited within its borders or by its citizens," then hussein wouldn't actually be in power! right, right?
posted by kliuless at 6:31 PM on September 16, 2002


Just look like a bully? Shrub's 'regime' is doing just that. It's fully why so many distrust us [U.S.], and why so many more hate us. You can't be a bully one minute and try to be friends the next. People see you as either untrustworthy or schizophrenic. Or both.

Shrub's foreign policy is to make America look like a bunch of war-hungry lunatics. As if our PR wasn't already in trouble with the rest of the world.

Saddam wants to preserve his regime. This means he needs to be as powerful as he can be militarily. Shrub wants to preserve his oil interests - oh excuse me 'America's interests' in oil and other less important import/export interests (less important to Shrub, not necessarily to America). In order for Shrub to keep the oil running smoothly, he has to get rid of the cog in the works. That cog is "So Damn Insane." So Shrub needs to make Saddam look like a crazy man swinging his guns around like they were phallic symbols. With this one action from Saddam, for the moment, he's made Shrub's attempt backfire. Now Shrub looks like the war-hungry lunatic, and all of America by proxy.

With this action, Saddam Hussein is proving himself to be anything but insane. He's being a shrewd customer at the moment. I can't think of him as insane anymore. He's sly like a fox. This won't change anything though. He had a decade to conform to the UN requirements and he chose not to before. He's buying himself some time, and will weasel out of it as soon as he can. That's how Saddam operates. He likes to try the world's patience.

On a completely appearingly unrelated topic, recently I've been hearing that the Dalai Llama is 'compromising' with the Chinese Communist government. At first I thought that a reckless and foolish thing and then I thought dang! This is the Dalai Llama we're talking about. When has he ever done anything foolish or reckless? He's anything but that by definition.

What does this have to do with Saddam & Shrub? Gimme a second.

The Dalai Llama wants to preserve the Tibetan way of life. He was forced out of Tibet, and the communists have dramatically altered the landscape of what he once called home. He's gotta get back in there to do damage control, and the only way he can do that is to play ball with the communists. He's tried everything else and when all else fails, eat crow. I'm sure that's an ancient Tibetan saying somewhere. So the Dalai Llama is not being foolish. Perhaps in hindsight the only foolish thing he ever did was allow himself to be forced out.

Maybe Saddam Hussein learned something from observing the Dalai Llama. Maybe not. However, ironically the two of them have one thing in common: they want to preserve what they are duty-bound to uphold. Saddam thinks he knows what's best for Iraq, just as the Dalai Llama thinks he knows what's best for Tibet. Others disagree with them, but they each feel they have a responsibility to their respective positions.

It's a darn shame we can't give Saddam Hussein to the chinese communists, and ask the Dalai Llama to run Iraq. Isn't it?
posted by ZachsMind at 6:32 PM on September 16, 2002


What's the difference between "invasion" and "regime-change"? Point of view? Does the latter sound more justified and PC?
posted by Poagao at 6:36 PM on September 16, 2002


imagine that. me and george bush share a goal.

I share it with you also. The problem I have is that this relieves no tension whatsoever on the situation for a good many reasons. As has been noted, getting the inspection back on track is going to take time and that is definately in Saddam's favor. It must also be noted that this backing down is a severe loss of face for him - it certainly undermines him with the fundamentalist Islamic crowd. What you need to be worried about now is WHY he feels that this is a good idea all of a sudden. We can hope that it is because the US showed no intention of giving a damn about world opinion (which Saddam tried so hard to skew) but there is always a chance that this is an attempt to buy time for some other move. Doesn't it seem odd to some that Arafat's cabinet, the House of Saud and Saddam all make drastic position changes within days of each other? Maybe trying to skew the elections in America Democratic...always a possibility!

It was nice to see the ever eloquent Kofi Annan say, "I believe the president’s speech galvanized the international community." Priceless!

Let's hope for the best though, I'd love for things to be accomplished without a shot fired.

Just look like a bully? Shrub's 'regime' is doing just that. It's fully why so many distrust us [U.S.], and why so many more hate us.

And it's also why many people in the world love and respect us. I'd rather be loved and respected for standing up against Saddam than be loved and respected for being nearly invisible (like, say, France.)
posted by RevGreg at 6:40 PM on September 16, 2002


RevGreg: Let's hope for the best though, I'd love for things to be accomplished without a shot fired.

I'd personally like to see the whole thing accomplished with one shot fired.
posted by askheaves at 6:43 PM on September 16, 2002


That's the tricky thing about those one shots, though. They tend to multiply like rabbits on the battle field.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:49 PM on September 16, 2002


A man can dream, can't he?
posted by askheaves at 6:50 PM on September 16, 2002


ritter is not the only one saying weapons inspectors were manipulated by the US last time around.
posted by specialk420 at 6:57 PM on September 16, 2002


"This is not a matter of inspections. It is about disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi regime's compliance with all other Security Council resolutions." (via drudge) hmmmm...
posted by kliuless at 7:01 PM on September 16, 2002


More from the White House response:

This is a tactical step by Iraq in hopes of avoiding strong U.N. Security Council action. As such, it is a tactic that will fail.
It is time for the Security Council to act.


In other words, "We're going to war, and there's nothing anyone can do about it."

Assholes.
posted by Optamystic at 7:06 PM on September 16, 2002


all other Security Council resolutions
seems its just US's security council resolutions
posted by pyr at 7:07 PM on September 16, 2002


kliuless"This is not a matter of inspections. It is about disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi regime's compliance with all other Security Council resolutions."

Sounds good to me. Inspections are just a tool to accomplish that goal (with varying opinion as to its effectiveness). Most of those UN resolutions were worded to take away Saddam's ability to use non-conventional weapons against his people, neighbors, and any other part of civilization. Just because Saddam may allow weapons inspectors doesn't mean he's complying with all of the UN resolutions. He is a danger.
posted by askheaves at 7:11 PM on September 16, 2002


Did it ever occur to anyone here that Scott Ritter's visit had more to do with the change of Iraq's position than the chickenhawks saber rattleing?

We may be praising the wrong hero here, And yes, someone who STOPS a war is a better hero than the one who wins a war, in my book.

This is from me, someone who has been to a war.... Just a thought to avoid the hell I saw happening again...
posted by Elim at 7:14 PM on September 16, 2002


We now have a direct response from the White House that is pretty darned predictable. "That's nice, Saddam. But we're still waiting for the U.N. to get rid of you [and when they don't, we will]."
posted by /\/\/\/ at 7:26 PM on September 16, 2002


yeah, but what's interesting i think is "It is about ... the Iraqi regime's compliance..." (empahsis added :) like is that a tacit (yet conditional) acceptance of the regime i hear!?
posted by kliuless at 7:26 PM on September 16, 2002


nasser was a fun guy. ask the brits. It is about the inspectors, said it all along. cant have invasion without them. dont down play the time table if koffi gives his rubber stamp. witin two weeks we could have the forward eliments in place. plus, saddamm had a rep for changing his mind (someone here pointed that out) if he does, he gets invaded. he lets the inspectors in, he's invaded- (really, if one where devout, even ONE blue helmet occupying your soil is intolerable, so it's a matter of numbers and types of infidels inflitrating the land) If he backs down and does not let inspectors in, he is invaded.

revgreg said (better then I) . Doesn't it seem odd to some that Arafat's cabinet, the House of Saud and Saddam all make drastic position changes within days of each other?

I'm reading 'House of Saud' right now. (author was killed in cairo under mysterious circumstanses before book was published) a good read. The authors state that Ibn Saud had some trouble from the house of Hashem. The secret and little spoken of feud lasted 4 generations and was not 'buried' until King Feisal made his peace with King Hussien in 1960.

we, in the U.S. have had little experience in the affairs of arabs in a historical sense. When Ibn Saud consolidated, every major power tried to make all sorts of deals . the germans wanted to bring in rails, the brits wanted secure ports for the med. the russians wanted to sell them guns.

so, if we are to blame anyone for the broken deals to the arab nations, let us start with the old turn of the last century powers. But since the U.K. is the last one standing (and in my mind the least accountable for trouble, i.e. Shakespear, t.e. Lawrence) should we blame them?

we can only try and right what was wronged today.

i for one fear for the arab peoples future if fundamentalists seize a majority of these states. and this, even Nasser saw.
posted by clavdivs at 7:40 PM on September 16, 2002


elim-the trick is to prevent a war, wars have a hard time stopping by the will of one man. also, Israel started a war to prevent a larger one in 67'.
posted by clavdivs at 7:43 PM on September 16, 2002


donkey, are you insinuating that a terrorist attack on American targets shortly before election time would be initiated BY the U.S.?.
.......
naw, and by incident, i mean pretty much any conveniently dug-up bugaboo, the way ashcroft inflated jose padilla.

You mean kind of like how they ratcheted up the terror alert right before the Sept 11 anniversary, then forced us all to relive the events via every possible medium on the anniversary itself, then went out the next day and (*amazingly enough*) arrested a bunch of people in Buffalo with suspected Al-Qaeda links......almost as if they were trying to make us feel like they had gone out and made those arrests the very day after the terrorist attacks......you know, to erase the poor impression we've all developed of the FBI and CIA over the last year?

Yeah, this administration pretty much specialises in dog wagging.
posted by Raya at 7:52 PM on September 16, 2002


It must also be noted that this backing down is a severe loss of face for him - it certainly undermines him with the fundamentalist Islamic crowd.

Assuming that Saddam either has or wants any particular standing from the 'fundamentalist Islamic crowd' is such a basic misconception that it's hard to know where to begin. 'Face' is nothing; survival is everything. 'Rope-a-dope', as is the phrase in some circles.
posted by riviera at 8:06 PM on September 16, 2002


Israel started a war to prevent a larger one in 67'.

Sorry to derail for a moment, clavdivs, but wasn't the decision to start a war and confiscate land as said spoils of "necessary war" the reason Iraq got into a war with the US in the first place? So why isn't Israel ceding land back, or for that matter openly admitting that they have nukes? Maybe it's the hypocrisy of deciding who gets to "start wars" and who doesn't like that that has led to the massive violence and hatred of the U.S. and Israel.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:34 PM on September 16, 2002


clavdivs: That's the point, Israel, started a war to "prevent a worse one" and look where they're still at, ostracized and hated by their neighbors, no end of violence in sight, it seems to have gotten them a longer war...

If you present a preemptive strike, be sure the cure isn't worse than the disease.
posted by Elim at 8:39 PM on September 16, 2002


Here is a transcript of Fox News Channel's David Asman's attack on interview with Scott Ritter, Sept 12, 2002. This is the first interview I've read with someone who has genuine, first-hand, factual knowledge of Iraq's weapons capability.
posted by sixdifferentways at 8:55 PM on September 16, 2002


Scott Ritter has backed off in the last few weeks from much of his claims. He maintains his phrasing so that it seems like he wasn't lying in the face of evidence, but his 15 minutes are up... 15 minutes he paid for with his integrity. I worked with a guy who was in Iraq with Scott. He doesn't have a very high opinion of the guy, and his stories mirror what so many others have said. There's been a concerted effort by the Iraqis to cover up capabilities, hiding of materials, and general blocking of searches in certain areas. I don't take seriously anything Scott says.
posted by askheaves at 9:00 PM on September 16, 2002


Not to add more cynicism to the fire, but...
posted by hippugeek at 9:02 PM on September 16, 2002


Scot Ritter: 1. don't know jack shit about what Iraq has done in the last four years. 2. took $400,000 from an Iraqi-American 'businessman' to make a "documentary". 3. is insane.
Saddam on the other hand is a clever survivor who did exactly what everyone knew he would do. It's a big chessboard and there are a lot of moves ahead, but one thing is clear: the US has no mandate to get rid of Hussien; if he actually opens Iraq up for inspections and quits screwing around he'll still be in power when Hillary Clinton leaves the white house after her two terms are over.
posted by Mack Twain at 10:29 PM on September 16, 2002


Concerning appeasement, that's a poor comparison, dash_slot. The UN is an international governmental body, not a country. And no matter how "galvanized" the international community may be, the last thing that any of them would do would be to cede territory to Iraq. Is the UN plagued by guilt? Hardly. They've got Security Council resolutions on the table. And that's essentially the linchpin here. Besides, aren't you in violation in Godwin's law? :)

Mack Twain: In the insanity department, Saddam ain't got nothing on Uday.
posted by ed at 10:42 PM on September 16, 2002


Scot Ritter: 1. don't know jack shit about what Iraq has done in the last four years.

Unlike you, right, Mack Twain? You have *impeccable* sources who provide you with *extremely* accurate information. Among them is one Dick Cheney, famous for lying to the press during the 2000 campaign about his business dealings with the very dictator whose head he's now insanely shrieking for. Yes.

Your information about Hussein's weapons is *much* better than Scott Ritter's.
posted by mediareport at 12:36 AM on September 17, 2002


kliuless: First two links in earlier thread outline a plan for "coercive inspections" - using force to deal with weapons only, without removing Hussein's regime. Most likely we'll all stick to growling about Ritter's credibility, Cheney's business connections / old-school, non-agile persona, and regurgitate the usual political cliches. No working person in their right mind has the time to print out 60 page .pdf reports and actually learn something about verification, much less do the needed independent research on who's arming Iraq!
posted by sheauga at 4:19 AM on September 17, 2002


mediareport: that's funny, I don't remember saying anything about what WMD Iraq may or may not have. Wouldn't have the slightest idea. I did say Ritter doesn't know what's happened in the last four years. *yawn*
posted by Mack Twain at 8:45 AM on September 17, 2002


That's the point, Israel, started a war to "prevent a worse one" and look where they're still at

oh boy. i wont address the 67' war any longer. please read Orens, 'Six days of war'. ya see, the israelis, in 67' had..
- UNEF going or gone
-america was ambivilent towards Israeli (viet nam and all)
-the russians where giving MIGS away like candy
-Nasser was going mad

almost everyone wanted Israeli....declawed. But the arab armies would have decimated Israeli and a second holocaust most like would have occured.

who would we be if we allowed that to happen.
our job was to keep the sovs at bay and that became difficult after IDF went into Syria.

see the USS Liberty incident. the israelis killed 37 U.S. sailors, wounded over a hundred. We forgave because it was a terrible mistake.

Ritter is most likely a spook folks. think about it. he appears to be on the side of peace.

why did he want inspectors in...to get the same treatment as he did, stonewalled and redirected?
posted by clavdivs at 9:17 AM on September 17, 2002


Apologies, Mack Twain, for the comment. And clavdivs, Ritter may or may not be a spook, but one thing that seems obvious is this, from Denis Halliday:

"The whole weapons inspection issue is really just a ruse. The real agenda of the Bush administration is a regime change -- which is just a polite word for assassination. It has nothing to do with the U.N. or weapons inspectors or even human rights."

He adds, "I read recently that one of the generals whom the Pentagon is thinking of as a 'replacement' for Saddam Hussein is the same one who ran the brutal military campaign against the Kurds."

Think many of the folks now using the Kurds as an excuse for invading will give a shit if that happens?
posted by mediareport at 9:41 AM on September 17, 2002


We forgave because it was a terrible mistake.

Have to let a lot of things pass from clavdivs due to sheer volume and Pynchon-like allusions, but not that one. While there is evidence that it was a mistake, the vast bulk of evidence is that it was an intentional attack. Saying it was a mistake means you disregard the word of pretty much everyone involved, save the attacking party. The USS Liberty memorial page has information from the survivors.

We forgave because it made political sense to do so, not because it was a 'mistake'.
posted by cell divide at 9:43 AM on September 17, 2002


Here come the conditions on the unconditional acceptance of inspectors: And the Arab League's ambassador to London, Ali Muhsen Hamid, gave the first indication that the inspectors might not be allowed the unfettered access required when he said they could inspect only "military sites".
posted by schlyer at 11:32 AM on September 17, 2002


celldivide: frankly, that is incorrect. The liberty issue was taken up by many right wingers in the 80's. namely larouche...you like his politics? A mistake in warfare is a bad word to use none the less it states the attack was unintentional. Do you know the events? The ship strayed, plus the lag of communication prevented her from backing off when Johnson ordered it to do so. The ship was raked many times, three fly overs total with 20 mm i believe. They dropped napalm on the ship because thats what the jets had on them, the anti-ship stuff was on it's way when the mistake was relized. It was a grievous error and almost an act of war. It showed the fatigue of IDF fighters, and the failure to use at least three confirmed methods of I.D. Yeah, rusk and co. where livid. But the Israelis cannot bring those sailors back and the 12 million given is but to ease the heavy burden upon our sailors families. this is the way nations deal with "mistakes". Ascribe any emotional phrase you want. The facts speak for them selves. besides what would raking a U.S. naval ship get them. True, they where worried it might be russian, and in a odd way relieved it was american. If it where Sov? well, Israeli would most likely not be today.
mediareport, your a good student but a terrible anal-ist.

you two remind of those right wingers who vilify jews at any cost.
Political sense? that could have been the green light to back off Israeli and leave her to the sovs. political bullshit flys in the crapper when lead is tossed. It was the honorable thing to due between the military and IDF. Was it politically correct, for the IDF, to honor the brave Jordanians whom died?. No, people kill another and those who survive try and find reason for it. Warfare is the worst single thing we face save continued environmental decline.

inspections a ruse? then the U.N. is a bunch of rubes for not seeing it. they are just as guilty then IF this is a diversion. I say count every single bullet saddam has.
posted by clavdivs at 1:08 PM on September 17, 2002


you two remind of those right wingers who vilify jews at any cost

Is this a round-about way to say that I am an anti-semite (or in this case, half of a self-hating Jew) because I believe the men who were on the ship and their commanders rather than the Israeli government? You are spinning your wheels offering 10 different pseudo-explananations, running circles around reality. As I said, there are a few plausible shreds of evidence that it was unintentional, but this is buried under the mountain of evidence collected showing the attack was intentional and focused. You are right about one thing, though, the facts do speak for themselves. No amount of trying to smear people with allegations of Anti-Semitism, Larouchian nut leanings, and right-wing extemsim will change that. Casting aspersions on American servicemen who survived the attack and saw what happened with their own eyes and ears will not work either.

You remind me of someone who defends "the underdog" at any cost, even if the underdog is not the underdog.
posted by cell divide at 1:22 PM on September 17, 2002


read abook celldivide. and don't bait me with double back.
I'm waiting for that mountain evidence.
and i said 'remind me of...'
using the grieving families website as the your frontal assault is disgraceful. Leave that out.
perhaps you would like me to bring up Egypts' use of gas in Yemen. or the death scene cartoons depicting Israeli skulls in Tel Aviv.
dont mind a debate but will have to wait till tomorrow.

Shalom.
posted by clavdivs at 2:14 PM on September 17, 2002


Cladivs: the show me proof game can be played to absurdity, Both you and celldevide need to take this game elsewhere as it takes up space better used for real dscussion.

As for Israel, Ttey had had bad relations ever since Britain started the whole Palestine issue, No one asked the then current residents of Palestine if they wanted to stay or leave and Israel started a policy of expansion and redistribution of land to jewish hands in a rather totalitarian method. once they had numbers they decided to flex a bit and the locals payed for it.

1947: One of the two States envisaged in the partition plan proclaimed its independence as Israel and in the 1948 war expanded to occupy 77 per cent of the territory of Palestine. Israel also occupied the larger part of Jerusalem. Over half the indigenous Palestinian population fled or were expelled. Palestine was SUPPOSED to be an ARAB state as mandated by the UN, Israel defied that order and then war,

The "war to prevent a greater war was in most rational peoples view in reality, really a land grab and set up of a buffer zone to isolate Israelites from the other Palestinians."

So the Poor little us speech don't fly in most of the worlds view, including ours up until 76 and the oil crisis when we had a political leverage in the region to protect oil interests.

nothing to do with religion at all, everything to do with broken treaties, land grabs and oil, no wonder the region hates Israel, Not exactly been good neighbors have they?

Info taken from:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/ngo/history.html
posted by Elim at 3:06 PM on September 17, 2002


Elim, you are correct so this will be my last word on the subject:

using the grieving families website as the your frontal assault is disgraceful. Leave that out.

Proving that you are both wrong and lazy, had you visited the site I linked you would find it is the single largest storehouse for information on the USS Liberty anywhere in the world (besides perhaps the files of the US and Israeli governments!) I suggest you take a look at the site, read some of the many book chapters as well as personal accounts, and study the evidence on the site. We can agree to disagree, but so far all of your attacks have been on my person and not on the evidence I have so readily displayed.
posted by cell divide at 3:34 PM on September 17, 2002


Cell DIvide, Never attacked you personally, and never really attacked your Facts, Of which I don't dispute, I just wanted to clarify that the isreali/palistinian situation is not a factor in this argument about Iraq other than Iraqs offer to attack isreal if attacked by the US or buy rule of the US....

US Liberty, maybe a spying issue, may be pay back, may just a foul up, no one talking straight about it so no way to be sure, and the conspiracies start to be the only answer that makes sense....

Like the 2002 election, or 9-11 warnings...


Like I said earlier, I don't dispute your facts, or findings, just not relevent in this thread....
posted by Elim at 7:07 PM on September 17, 2002


Also, Egypt and Yemen and Iran and Embassy have little to do with ti as well.
posted by Elim at 7:09 PM on September 17, 2002


In fairness, i did pursue the site and found little if nothing to convince me. I found contridictions and i dont trust a site that has "order memorablia here" I'll stick to Orens work.

Elim-dont tell me take it elsewhere, you have no right, this is a forumn and ideas are being discussed. If cell divide has a prob, fine. i will not withdrawal one inch

As for Israel, Ttey had had bad relations ever since Britain started the whole Palestine issue,
oh doy, thats real discussion

So the Poor little us speech don't fly in most of the worlds view, including ours up until 76 and the oil crisis when we had a political leverage in the region to protect oil interests

unbelivable, i am stunned...til 76' what? union 76' gas station? 76 bands in the big parade?

I guess I'll be in the trenches for tomorrow. fresh with facts. But i do agree, the personal attacks should stop here.

Shalom.
posted by clavdivs at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2002


"So, I'm not budging, Nyah, and your spelling sucks, and don't tell me what to do" are your arguments?

And you are standing against personal attacks?

I was just saying the little game of I don't believe your source no matter what they say seemed a bit childish to begin with...and should be left to some other less discriminating forum,.
If others think "I'm right and you disagree, so your wrong" is a fair stand to take in any argument, then please feel free to join the Maoist vs Gods Army discussion group, and leave the big table to the adults.

If this is not you then ignore the rant..

76, as in the start of the gas crisis of the 70s...... when non-us gas reserves became a big 'us national interest'. till the Israel seemed to be a small "regional" dispute as far as the US was concerned...
posted by Elim at 8:50 PM on September 17, 2002


I was just saying the little game of I don't believe your source no matter what they say seemed a bit childish to begin with...and should be left to some other less discriminating forum,

Citing a single source which promotes a single viewpoint and not accepting that somebody has examined other sources citing differing viewpoints IS less discriminating. I'd like some good examples of the "contradictions" clavdivs claims since I'm fairly ignorant on the subject - but I will say that the site in question had a VERY bitter tone to it and a definite agenda. Some of the other sites I searched out had commentary from other survivors from the same attack who seem to view the situation quite differently - therefor I'm hesitant to even HAVE an opinion on the subject yet!
posted by RevGreg at 2:48 AM on September 18, 2002


Concerning Liberty site:

under 'rusk rejects': ...Johnson in his memoirs called the attack a tragic mistake...

under 'johnson rejects': "We saw no need to inform Israel or any other party to the hostilities of the Libertys location since the ship was on a peaceful mission and was in international waters. I have seen the report alleging that the Israeli gov't had asked us about the presence of the ship prior to the attack, but that report is not true"

ok, is johnson saying that no doc exists concerning the IDF asking about the liberty presence...?

"their (israeli) repeated requests for a naval liaison with the americans went ignored. Beset by these factors, Rabin summoned Comdr. Ernest Carl Castle, the U.S. naval attache in Tel Aviv, and told him that Israeli would defend its coast with every means at it's disposal. The United States should either acknowledge its ships in the area or remove them. Rabin advised. All unidentified vessels sailing at over 20 knots-a speed attainable only by gunboats-would be sunk." -from Orens, 'Six days of war.'

thats a biggie.
to be fair, Orens cites this website twice but only to certain documents. Plus the website uses Orens work under "they say". the last article under this category was spring, 2000. Even then Oren says that new declassified material is now available. His 'six days of war' was published this year. 'Liberty' website was updated sept. 12, this year, but no new Oren material?

and this from Oren...."And while the IDF could have easily sunk the Liberty, the fact remained that it did not: it ceased firing the instant the mistake was realized, and offered to assist the ship. The logic of these arguments would be employed by arab and soviet commentators-ironically-who asserted that Liberty had been spying for Israeli during the war and wasonly erroneously attacked"

ok lets slap some voltaire into this debate going on here. IDF made a huge mistake, the lack of command and control and other excuses don't cut it. There are many means to I.D. a ship.

The Flag was shot off after the first run, the signal lamp were destroyed, her comm virtually destoyed. (Comm. McGonagle tried using an Alis lamp) The Liberty did return fire when ordered not too (this is to no discredit to the sailors IMO even though Comm. McGonagle ordered no return fire) Plus no semaphores, flares, or flares where used by The Liberty as Oren states.

what I am arguing against is this:

While there is evidence that it was a mistake, the vast bulk of evidence is that it was an intentional attack. Saying it was a mistake means you disregard the word of pretty much everyone involved, save the attacking party.
-celldivide.

mistake=evidense little
intentional= evidense big

mistake=only Israel has 'regard' in my view, thus validity.

i wish war was that simple.

while these are only a few RevGreg, I respect your post as always and have tried to make a cogent argument to support my eariler claims, while still only a few, i had a sleepless night and other issues to deal with. but i hoped to use the johnson letter, and the Rusk statement and contrast it with Orens new research of declassified material. If this is not enough (and it is not IMO) I'm happy to make more, it is a time factor for ole larry here.
but i make time for whom i respect as they have given me respect by asking for my time. (as in to support my claim)
posted by clavdivs at 8:09 AM on September 18, 2002


listen here elim you little.....
get a history book son. get a google bookmark you sniping little weasel.
you wanna fuck with me, take it to meta.

"76, as in the start of the gas crisis of the 70s...... when non-us gas reserves became a big 'us national interest'.'
-elim.

see oil of embargo 1973, i know, i sat through the lines as a kid. Dont rant at me when you cannot even get a simple date correct. time to go back into your hole now.
i pledged not to attack those who have given respect and i respect celldivide and do regret my sentiment towards celldivide. i did not accuse. but celldivide at least gets facts lined up where you whore words to obfusicate and i will attack that.

(sorry folks)

Also, Egypt and Yemen and Iran and Embassy have little to do with ti as well.

I'm dancing, hear no music.
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 AM on September 18, 2002


CLavdivs: personal attacks again,? and so venomous?
as in "you little.. weasel.. and of course "Fuck...." Heavens forbid, not that word? good gads man, what about the children?!?

I sat thru the same lines but 75-76 is when The Us began Strategic reserves that were in non US fields, Your are right about the date being wrong, it was actually 72 if we want to peg

<Oct 27
OPEC approves plan providing for 25 percent government ownership of all Western oil interests operating within Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia beginning on January 1, 1973, and rising to 51 percent by January 1, 1983. (Iraq declines to agree.) Agreements signed on December 21

75, Dec 22
President Ford signs the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) effective February 1976. Authorizes the establishment of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), participation in International Energy Program, and oil price regulation,
http://www.eia.doe.gov

and that is when we started to become best friends with Isreal in the region and started the downhill slide in the eyes of our arab friends......

But quibbling is redundent here. so..

as for your user of whore in referring to me...
well gosh that just deeply hurts me, in a bad way, sniff...

you haven't made fun of my mom yet so I'll assume your not reeeeeally mad yet...
posted by Elim at 9:56 AM on September 18, 2002


....and this had to do with the premise that the Liberty was intentionaly hit...how?
keep dancing.
posted by clavdivs at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2002


USS Liberty wasn't my thread...... Dance to wrong tune.....
posted by Elim at 1:10 PM on September 18, 2002


then we can rip up this dance card.
posted by clavdivs at 1:52 PM on September 18, 2002


Ripped, Next song, next channel...
posted by Elim at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2002


I just wanted to pop in to say that a considerable portion of this thread was published in the latest edition of Honolulu Weekly under the headline "Diplo-dancing" (from HTuttle above).

The Weekly is Honolulu's largest "alternative" paper, and has been around for over a decade. In the excerpt - illustrating how "free speech lives" on the web when it comes to the War on Iraq - Metafilter was described as "one of the most respected Weblogs around."
posted by pzarquon at 5:27 PM on September 18, 2002


Well so for that good name,,, On to corrupt the youth of America next I suppose...
posted by Elim at 6:20 PM on September 18, 2002


P.S. Hey, HTuttle! It's almost a googlewhack!
posted by pzarquon at 11:35 PM on September 19, 2002


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