Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.
October 2, 2002 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. This is the text of the resolution to be voted on by the U.S. Congress.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood (61 comments total)

 
The essential point being that it authorises Bush to go to war against Iraq whenever he thinks fit, and with or without the backing of the UN.

Well, at least it's clear what they're asking for. And when they get it, I can't tell you how ashamed I'll be of my love for America.
posted by alloneword at 10:39 AM on October 2, 2002


We should be thankful that the earliest version of the resolution, which had 'the region' rather than 'Iraq', isn't going forward. Still, life imitates Onion.
posted by riviera at 10:56 AM on October 2, 2002


(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

Interesting. Since there is no military threat to the US by Iraq, only an alleged terrorist threat, I would argue that this is not a authorization of military force.
posted by goethean at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2002


GEORGE W BUSH: "If Saddam continues to co-operate....if he continues to agree to allow in UN weapons inspectors... then we will have no choice other than to attack Iraq."
posted by skylar at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2002


Go through all the "whereasi" and try to categorize them into the following types, it's fun!

1.Show us the evidence
2.Hussein is smart enough not to commit suicide
3.That's not really true now is it.
4.What does this have to do with terrorism?
5.That's a nice flag you are waving.
posted by machaus at 11:04 AM on October 2, 2002


"If Saddam continues to co-operate....if he continues to agree to allow in UN weapons inspectors... then...

That's the thing with W. You never know if those ellipses represent deleted text or absent-minded pauses.
posted by goethean at 11:04 AM on October 2, 2002


That's the thing with W. You never know if those ellipses represent deleted text or absent-minded pauses.

lol, I was thinking the same thing...
posted by stifford at 11:07 AM on October 2, 2002


heh, saddam isn't exactly "cooperating".

he's still refusing to let there be inspections at the presidential "palaces".

some of sites have hundreds of buildings, including lots of high-security ones.

in all, they cover an area the size of _paris_.

inspections are useless, if no one looks there.
posted by wrffr at 11:12 AM on October 2, 2002


he's still refusing to let there be inspections at the presidential "palaces".

From what Hans Blix reported, Iraq and the UN accepted the terms of the 1998 memo of understanding with regard to the inspection of 'presidential sites'. Which isn't a refusal as such, but an acceptance of previously-agreed conditions which prevent unannounced inspections. But the White House rhetoric is under assault here: is Saddam meant to be held to account by agreeing to terms under already-agreed UN resolutions, or on ones threatened but not formally discussed, let alone agreed? Because if it's the latter, then the US is similarly in clear violation of an infinite number of things that haven't been agreed. Talk about shifting the goalposts.
posted by riviera at 11:20 AM on October 2, 2002


Um, Rivieria, hate to break this to you but Hans Blix is clearly European.
posted by cell divide at 11:22 AM on October 2, 2002


Interesting. Since there is no military threat to the US by Iraq, only an alleged terrorist threat, I would argue that this is not a authorization of military force.

Ummm it doesn't say military threat in the resolution
It says: continuing threat posed by Iraq
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:29 AM on October 2, 2002


Let's invade Saudi Arabia and Pakistan first! Let's get y'er war on! No sense ruffling those chickenhawk feathers! Let's all sing "God Bless America" and hug a shrub!

The Saudis have oil and we have proof of terrorism there. That's a double win for the Bush cartel! The Pakistanis have WMD and terrorism too. Let's roll Shrubya!!

What? Osama's not there? He's already been "smoked out?" He's "dead'er alive?" Does Iraq look like a better place to build US military bases?

Whatever we do, no one should pay any attention to the economy behind the curtain. Wouldn't be prudent what with an election coming up and all. And let's not talk about corporate corruption whilst we're in the midst of the "CEO Administration", OK?

Hey, before you think I'm axe grinding just consider the good news I bring: Opium production in Afghanistan is at an all time high! That should keep Asscroft busy! Boy, we really saved that country from the tyranny of...uh... yeah...Johny Walker Lindh!!!
posted by nofundy at 11:30 AM on October 2, 2002


One of the glitches before were allegations of espionage on the inspectors by the Iraqis. Now the Iraqis have requested Indonesia to help setup a companion team for the Inspectors so the process is transparent or atleast there is some witness to the process. As of now, there are a number of people saying either Iraq has capability to make a nuclear weapon in six months (Bush's claim was refuted by the Agency quoted), or that Iraq has no more of the WMD.

I think an Independent team acting as a witness to the process is pretty much a good idea so the issue is settled for once.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:33 AM on October 2, 2002


Attack Iraq?

Chemical weapons?

From USA with Love.
posted by the fire you left me at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2002


But just to be historical, someone want to tell me how Iraq's "aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait" had anything to do with "the national security of the United States" in the first place?
posted by kgasmart at 11:56 AM on October 2, 2002


Oil, Kgasmart, oil. With a name like that, you should know!
posted by skylar at 12:02 PM on October 2, 2002


You know I thought maybe we could talk about the draft it self, but I see I am guilty of starting yet one more thread that is drifting toward BUSH IS EVIL.....


ack!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:09 PM on October 2, 2002


But just to be historical, someone want to tell me how Iraq's "aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait" had anything to do with "the national security of the United States" in the first place?

Sure. If Iraq were allowed to reap the monetary and strategic benefits of the annexation of Kuwait, they would have far greater resources to continue to develop long-range weapons. These weapons could be tipped by (also funded by expansion-by-force) nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads which could possible reach U.S. NATO allies or Israel, both of which, I'd hope you'd concede are vital U.S. interests upon which an attack with a weapon of mass destruction would be very damaging to the national security of the United States.

There is little debate that Iraq has used a great deal of its existing resources to produce and purchase military hardware and build "palaces" (read weapons depots) instead of feeding its people. It is reasonable to assume that their goal in invading Kuwait, one of the richest areas in the Middle East was to increase these resources to establish themselves as the preimminent military power in the region and increasing their ability to attack western countries.

Sure, if you want to be cute about it "oil" is the answer. But it's not because only we wanted cheap oil, it's because we don't want a brutal dictator hell bent on destroying the United States having such a huge income stream.
posted by recklessvisionary at 12:12 PM on October 2, 2002


nofundy: sure Afghanistan was certainly better off when the Taliban was suppressing Opium production -- along with women, children, and most Afghan men. Your comment is sort of like saying South Africa was much better off in the 1980's when a white minority kept things in line for the most part. With freedom comes a little chaos.

y'all don't play much poker? or less colloquially, study much game theory?

think back to the time returning inspectors to Iraq entered your mind. were you thinking about it in May 2002 or July 2002? was the world? did a return of inspectors seem likely before ... oh, say, the day Bush starting "rattling the swords"?

this seemed to me to be the end-game from day one.

the obvious compromise was/is going to be a return of inspectors.

of course, we might just have asked Iraq -- you know, real nice like -- if the inspectors could come back. only, i think we might be getting better results this way.

seems to me GW is playing his hand pretty well so far.

the boy must have played some poker in his day.
posted by probablysteve at 12:13 PM on October 2, 2002


Probablysteve: that's a bet I'd love for you to win. Seeing as I'm a college student, I don't really have anything to wager, but if you're right and we don't go to war with Iraq, I'd love to buy you a non-alcoholic beverage should you ever find yourself in Oberlin, Ohio.
posted by Ptrin at 12:22 PM on October 2, 2002


reckless, your post seems to me to be projecting the present into the past. this whole 'saddam is wacky and could attack anyone at any minute' thing is sorta new. as far as i remember, saddam wasn't considered a threat to attack with 'nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads which could possibl(y) reach U.S. NATO allies or Israel' before the gulf war. if the americans were concerned about saddam being armed in such a fashion before he invaded kuwait, it seems to me they wouldn't have helped him develop some of those capacities in the first place.
posted by callicles at 12:36 PM on October 2, 2002


I believe that the US should let diplomacy work before going to war. Getting weapons inspectors in Iraq should be our top priority. However, one would wonder why Saddam might be suspicious of weapons inspectors
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:36 PM on October 2, 2002


[You know I thought maybe we could talk about the draft it self, but I see I am guilty of starting yet one more thread that is drifting toward BUSH IS EVIL.....]

All metafilter threads do this now. Don't feel bad.
posted by revbrian at 12:42 PM on October 2, 2002


I don't really have anything to wager

If it's a bet, I'll take it.

The current US administration has proven on numerous occasions that it is not that subtle.

We are going to war in Iraq.

On preview: Bush is not evil, nor is his adminstration. They do want to organize the world in such a way that maximizes the safety and wealth of the citizens of the United States, however. Especially the rich ones.
posted by moonbiter at 12:46 PM on October 2, 2002


[You know I thought maybe we could talk about the draft it self, but I see I am guilty of starting yet one more thread that is drifting toward BUSH IS EVIL.....]

All metafilter threads do this now. Don't feel bad.
posted by revbrian at 12:42 PM PST on October 2


Mainly just the political and "breaking news" threads. One more argument for not posting them to Metafilter (may I suggest Poliglut)?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:47 PM on October 2, 2002


the boy must have played some poker in his day.

...

I believe that the US should let diplomacy work before going to war.

Hmm, it's entirely possible that this is diplomacy, albeit of the publicly very scary, cuban missile crisis, mutually assured destruction, we are the only nation that's actually used nukes in anger, sort. I mean, it's not the sort of diplomacy that's going to work, unless you present the war face.

(Bush is still evil though;)
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:47 PM on October 2, 2002


And thus begins WW3.

BTW-Someone please explain to me why it's okay for US to have nuclear and chemical weapons but not okay for anyone else.

I am so depressed. Are there ANY rational heads in the government now? Are there any people who are thinking beyond the next 6 months? Are there any people who are weighing the deaths of our young men against the macho-ness of an offensive war and the supposed threats that haven't been verified?

Thank god I don't have a child in the military. For him to die for this stupid and pointless "cause" would be rubbing so much salt in the wound, I don't think I'd ever recover.
posted by aacheson at 12:48 PM on October 2, 2002


Someone please explain to me why it's okay for US to have nuclear and chemical weapons but not okay for anyone else.

If you have to ask this question, you will never understand.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:50 PM on October 2, 2002


That's an answer?
posted by alloneword at 1:01 PM on October 2, 2002


But, Bush is a uniter, not a divider. {/sarcasm}
What a crock! Our nation is more divided than ever. He is evil AND he's a liar. (Stop the presses!)
posted by wsg at 1:02 PM on October 2, 2002


Probablysteve: So you support the resolution because you think it's a ploy (or "bluff") to get the inspectors back in and that he actually has no intention of attacking Iraq? This position does not seem to be supported by the fact that the Bush Administration has repeatedly stated that Regime Change in Iraq is U.S. Policy . Even if it were truly his plan, though this policy may get weapons inspectors back in, it's a dangerous game with or without an actual attack on Iraq.
posted by originalname37 at 1:05 PM on October 2, 2002


It's funny that so much time and energy is being wasted on this debate. We are going to war with Iraq. It's not a democratic decision, it's going to happen.
posted by cell divide at 1:11 PM on October 2, 2002


aacheson: Look at the challenges that the President has has gone through in order to get permission to "take action" & invade Iraq.... He didn't have the option of just waking up one morning an thinking "You know what lets invade Iraq today" No he had to go to congress and get permission... Now people here will disagree with me on that, but that is more of a matter of semantics than anything else....

Point being.... The US uses Nuclear and Chemical weapons as a deterrent from other countries to attack us. We have them, they know it, most sane people would think twice before attacking the USA.....

But Iraq on the other hand, is not using these weapons as a deterrent, but has the intent of using them.

It is the difference of the guy who goes and buys a gun and keeps it in his night stand drawer to protect his home from a burglar, and a guy who buys a gun on the black market so he can rob a liquor store... Both guys have guns... But there is a difference in intent of use.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:17 PM on October 2, 2002


callicles, thanks for responding. If we weren't concerned about Iraq posessing and using chemical and biological attacks before the gulf war, why did we bring chemical protective suits for our troops? If you're saying that we never thought he had delivery capability to hit allies, I guess I'll concede, but my point was more that our national security was threatened by him attacking Kuwait because of the consequences that would allow Saddam to produce those capabilities, not that the capabilities existed. I'm not meaning to imply that the State Department or some official used that as a justification at the time, they didn't I don't think. But the question was does aggression against Kuwait have anything to do with the national security of the US. I would argue, absolutely.
posted by recklessvisionary at 1:19 PM on October 2, 2002


Interesting point, cell devide. Gurdjieff said: "Wars are not caused by Man. The sources are extra-terrestrial - such as two planets crossing each other and causing a tension, a certain vibration. Mechanical mankind translates this vibration into violent emotions and so war results. "
posted by skylar at 1:23 PM on October 2, 2002


BTW-Someone please explain to me why it's okay for US to have nuclear and chemical weapons but not okay for anyone else

From the American point of view?
  1. Because we won't intentionally use them on ourselves.
  2. Because we might want to use them on someone else.
  3. Because if someone else had them they might use them on us.
posted by moonbiter at 1:24 PM on October 2, 2002


It is the difference of the guy who goes and buys a gun and keeps it in his night stand drawer to protect his home from a burglar, and a guy who buys a gun on the black market so he can rob a liquor store... Both guys have guns... But there is a difference in intent of use.

That metaphor kind of bites it when the "black market" vendors those chemical weapons were bought from are... the United States and Britain... and the liquor store is... who, exactly?

Really, I think a lot of our conservative friends would be conservatives if they were Middle Eastern too. "Country first" would line you up on a whole different set of nationalist terms if you were born in Syria or Iran or even Pakistan.

This joint resolution, as they all are, is very seductive. It all seems to make so much sense when they put it like that.

Of course it doesn't all hold up. Iraq was, for at least four years, technically in violation of its 1991 agreement. So we technically may go to war. And what goal does this war have? The removal of Hussein? The removal of Iraq's chemical and nuclear weapons? Complete regime change? When does this war end? How will we know?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:43 PM on October 2, 2002


That metaphor kind of bites it...
No I will stand by my metaphor... We developed our own Nukes and Chems, we didn't just buy off the technology...

The "liquor store" is the Western World, but I don't need to tell you that.

you missed the big point: intent of use.

"Country first" would line you up on a whole different set of nationalist terms if you were born in Syria or Iran or even Pakistan.

Well I wasn't born in Syria or Iran, Thank God.
I guess your view then, is that it is fine for everyone, including Saddam, to have these types of weapons?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:52 PM on October 2, 2002


The US uses Nuclear and Chemical weapons as a deterrent from other countries to attack us.

I'm sure the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki appreciate that sentiment.

Oh, and cell divide: what exactly was your point? That Hans Blix has no authority in his position as chief weapons inspector for the UN because he's European? Or something else? The chaotic rhetoric at the White House is obvious enough: Saddam is initially bad because he doesn't follow the rules set by the UN; then, when he accepts those rules, he's bad because the rules have become insufficient. Eventually, Ari Fleischer's going to say that Iraq delendo est because Saddam won't cut out his bowels live on CNN.
posted by riviera at 1:54 PM on October 2, 2002


Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region;

What?
Since when did peace in the "Persian Gulf region" become a component of securing the land mass of the U.S. located on the continent of North America?
posted by yertledaturtle at 1:59 PM on October 2, 2002


I'm sure the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki appreciate that sentiment.

And surely no more than the U.S. servicemen at Pearl harbor, Iwo Jima, or the ones who have had to die on the invasion of Japan..... Or maybe we should ask the Chinese about how the Japanese treated them during the occupation....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:00 PM on October 2, 2002


Our nation is more divided than ever.

You make the error of assuming that what you think applies to a great % of the rest of the population.

Recent polling data indicates a decline from the highs of post-9/11 but much stronger than the spring of 2001. See also the other "data" linked below.

So you support the resolution because you think it's a ploy (or "bluff") to get the inspectors back in and that he actually has no intention of attacking Iraq?

Not exactly. I think the plan is a little further developed. You're certainly right about regime change being our policy for some time.

It's not entirely a bluff. Inspections are just the natural compromise position that was going to result from all of the "saber rattling." After all, the same people, in the US and otherwise, that wanted the US to wait for the sanctions to take effect in Gulf War 1, are still around. And they seem to have backed off the viability of sanctions as a solution. Haha. A return of inspectors is the only compromise position they have to offer.

Is there an intention of attacking Iraq?

Sure. If the rest of the world "wins" a return of inspectors to Iraq, the inspections either take place in a reasonable, unrestricted manner or they don't. If they do, that's cool. The inspectors are back in and everyone is pretty happy, except the Saddam regime.

If not, if Saddam thwarts the inspections again, what's the compromise position? I'm not sure there is one, so support for an invasion is likely to be fairly strong (or, at the least, opponents will be much less vocal).

One could argue that this is the administration's preferred result, and I would not argue against that, except to say that they probably understand the pragmatic reasons Saddam was left in place in the first place.

It's not a democratic decision

since we have a representative democracy, it's not purely democratic.

what do you want? a direct vote on the issue? it's not constitutional, but here is some polling data on the question.

it doesn't look like you want a purely democratic decision either. no, you want what you want. that's fair. just don't go casting dispersions on the representative democratic process.
posted by probablysteve at 2:03 PM on October 2, 2002


Riviera I have the distinct impression that you, too, are European (if not continental) and therefor I shall from now on refer to you as Chamberlein the Second. I also sense that your humor faculties have been greatly impaired by years of Usenet and MeFi sparring.

And for probablysteve, I am not casting "dispersions" on the representative democractic process, the decision to go to war is for the most part outside of this process. What I mean is that in general war has to do with needs and wants which cannot possibly be fed into a democratic process, especially when such wars happen thousands of miles away and there is little to no danger of the citizenry being adversely affected by them.
posted by cell divide at 2:32 PM on October 2, 2002


And surely no more than the U.S. servicemen at Pearl harbor blah blah blah mumble blah

All of which has nothing to do with my actual point, which you missed by a light year: that your argument about 'intent of use' when it comes to the USA and 'weapons of mass destruction' isn't so clearly borne out by the historical record.
posted by riviera at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2002


yertledaturtle: In many important respects, that is a restating of the following policy:

An attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

This policy has a name which will undoubtedly surprise a few MeFites: The Carter Doctrine. It was thought that the strategic purpose of the USSR in occupying Afghanistan was to threaten the cutoff of the West's oil supply lines. But generally, it is in the national security of the United States to [maintain] international peace and security, in every region of the world; and the stability of the Persian Gulf remains a "vital interest" of the world generally. We're not the only country that runs on oil. Whereases, though, are pretty much truisms (is instability in any region in our strategic interest?), and aren't the meat of a resolution.
posted by dhartung at 4:39 PM on October 2, 2002


Or maybe we should ask the Chinese about how the Japanese treated them during the occupation....

Hey, I thought maybe we could discuss the draft of the resolution. Instead, someone turned this into another of those "America can do whatever it wants as long as its in our interests...but no one else can" kinds of threads.

Occupations? Maybe we should ask Native Americans....or the Vietnamese... be kind of uncomfortable if terrible occupations justified the nuclear bombing of cities. Particularly if they were American cities, right?

This godammed pinko would like to discuss the resolution, even if no one else does. Maybe Shrub and his chickenhawks (or one of you Shrublings) could take a crack at the answers, eh?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 5:04 PM on October 2, 2002


All of which has nothing to do with my actual point, which you missed by a light year: that your argument about 'intent of use' when it comes to the USA and 'weapons of mass destruction' isn't so clearly borne out by the historical record.

(Use of WMD on hostile, aggressive enemy threatening scorched earth tactics) != (Use of WMD on political/religious dissidents who oppose your rule)

I suppose it doesn't occur to you that we've sat on chemical weapons for nearly 100 years without using them yet Saddam's restraint in such matters was considerably less than a decade?
posted by RevGreg at 5:13 PM on October 2, 2002


I forget RevGreg, what's Agent Orange again?
posted by X-00 at 6:19 PM on October 2, 2002


It was thought that the strategic purpose of the USSR in occupying Afghanistan was to threaten the cutoff of the West's oil supply lines.

I always thought it was to try to get a warm water port.
posted by goethean at 6:26 PM on October 2, 2002


I suppose it doesn't occur to you that we've sat on chemical weapons for nearly 100 years without using them yet Saddam's restraint in such matters was considerably less than a decade?

I suppose it doesn't occur to you that the US didn't bother sitting on nuclear weapons in the few weeks after learning they worked? (And I also believe that the 'WMD' definition is just a marriage of convenience, as right now it doesn't measure destructive power, but the capacity to horrify.) My point stands: Steve_at_TouchWood's claim that 'intent of use' especially distinguishes the US from any other nation just isn't borne out by history.
posted by riviera at 7:34 PM on October 2, 2002


In 1936, George Orwell wrote, "The vile moral equivalence of the adulterers is little more than duplicity." "What's so civil about war, anyway?" says Albert Gore. Such libs would have you believe that they could magically neutralize the Libyans with hypocritical irrelevance alone. Refusing to stand behind the President, liberals would rather engage in breathtakingly bitter disgrace as usual. "Going to war is fine, but how about maybe giving people jobs," as Al Gore said last week.

At some point, when you look around and realize that your co-workers are weaseling and ideological, you have to break rank and become a Republican, if only for the sake of patriotic democracy and good hygiene, morally speaking.

Refusing to stand behind the President, criminals would rather engage in unmistakably execrable smear campaigning as usual. "You know, Saddam hasn't actually invaded anything for a while," as Al Gore said last week.

Jazzercized as it may be, some notice should be paid to the speech that the ideological Jesse Jackson delivered Monday. "Is there any evidence that Iraq 'thinks they might want to team up with terrorists,' as the President said?" he said. For shame! Didn't anyone hear President Bush's pledge to share the peace? Tom Daschle, cunningly, is a formerly important loser. Last week Ted Kennedy went so far as to leave the mainstream completely and enter a kind of handwringing alternate universe of anti-war insouciance. Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Rob Reiner has managed to cheat those limits, and excuse beyond that pale.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:39 PM on October 2, 2002


I have just one major problem from the William Safire article:

Chemical and biological weapons, Williams argues, are not weapons of mass destruction. "They are very inefficient and unpredictable and hard to use effectively. Casualty-producing, yes, but not on a large scale."

I would hate for him to be proven wrong by diseases such as smallpox, typhoid, and ebola.

I forget RevGreg, what's Agent Orange again?

It's an herbicide that causes health problems, not technically a chemical weapon, like Sarin gas or other chemical weapons.

Refusing to stand behind the President, criminals would rather engage in unmistakably execrable smear campaigning as usual.

Well said inksyndicate.
posted by hama7 at 11:13 PM on October 2, 2002


I forget RevGreg, what's Agent Orange again?

It was used as a defoliant and herbicide - the medical issues were not fully understood until much later. In contrast, I'm sure Saddam was well aware of the effects of what he had dropped on his own people BEFORE he did it. Having been exposed to runoff from an Agent Orange dump site accidently while camping at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia in 1981 I'm pretty familiar with it's history...
posted by RevGreg at 11:21 PM on October 2, 2002


Silly me, I was using the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention "Chemical weapons: what's what" definition for chemical weapons, I'll go back into my cave now and stop asking questions.
posted by X-00 at 2:11 AM on October 3, 2002


X-00, no, you weren't. Did you read the page you linked to? The definition of 'chemical weapons' on that page does not mention anti-plant agents like Agent Orange.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 3:36 AM on October 3, 2002


Refusing to stand behind the President, criminals would rather engage in unmistakably execrable smear campaigning as usual.

Unlike, say, Ari Fleischer, standing behind the President by dodging the question of whether Bush engaged in unmistakably execrable smear campaigning not once, not twice, but ten times? Keep taking the tablets.
posted by riviera at 6:54 AM on October 3, 2002


Oh well, seeing as this thread is drifting steadily along a tangent towards some sort of 'debate' on chemical and biological weapons, and given certain contributors' (you know who you are!) swipes at non-American views on the inspections issue, it seems like a good time to have a look at this site from the FAS, which - along with loads of other interesting and relevant stuff - makes the point that Americans have a far more distorted and exaggerated view of the threat posed by B/CWs than Europeans and others.

"It is notable that no other government apart from the United States – none of the European allies of the US, most of whom maintain analytic and defensive BW research establishments (UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden among others) – assess the likelihood of a BW domestic terrorism threat as the US does, despite several years of US government efforts to get them to adopt a similar view point, or at the least, to profess a similar rhetoric. In the United States, however, official influence and funding largess have had a profound effect. Many pages could be filled with a record of the past five years of contracted studies, conferences, media reports, and fictional popularizations. "

It might not only be those pesky, complacent Europeans that are getting it wrong after all. Just a little food for thought....
posted by Doozer at 7:31 AM on October 3, 2002


Actually Slithy_Tove, the page does mention defoliants, Agent Orange [under Orange, Agent] and the definition of chemical weapons does include the sentence or deny access or use of area, facilities and materials.
Maybe I'm just crazy then, thinking that a chemical agent that is toxic to plants and crops, used against an enemy isn't a chemical weapon.
posted by X-00 at 2:12 PM on October 3, 2002


The reason chemical and biological weapons are inefficient and unpredictable is obvious: they are indiscriminate killers. A stray wind or other random factor may cause the instigator more casualties than the target. Once unleashed, the weapon may act in unpredictable ways. It is not a bullet that travels in a predictable trajectory.

I'm sure I'm stating the obvious.

At least the resolution specifies force and not a nebulous any-means-necessary approach. Not that it will matter - this resolution will pass and the US will be invading Iraq.
posted by infowar at 5:06 PM on October 3, 2002


Actually Slithy_Tove, the page does mention defoliants, Agent Orange [under Orange, Agent] and the definition of chemical weapons does include the sentence or deny access or use of area, facilities and materials.

Technically, a defoliant does not deny access or use of an area, facilities or materials. What it does do is eliminate the use of foliage for cover. The idea is that you can use the area but you can be observed while doing it. While it is a chemical and it is a weapon, ranking it as being the equivalent of nerve agents and human toxins is a bit specious for this discussion.
posted by RevGreg at 2:20 PM on October 4, 2002


X-00, the definition of chemical weapons on that page mentions four specific categories. All of them are anti-personnel. None of them are defoliants.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:26 AM on October 5, 2002


« Older Ontarians wait up to 30 weeks for key tests...  |  TRAPPED, CUFFED & BUSSED... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments