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And so it is.
October 10, 2002 10:24 PM   Subscribe

And so it is. At approximately 1:20 a.m., the Senate passed S.J. Res 45, a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. The vote: 77 yea, 23 nay. Some surprising yeas, including Clinton and Daschle. What happens next?
posted by damn yankee (122 comments total)

 
And I don't mean that as a rhetorical question. Obviously none of us can predict the future, but what kind of timeline and ultimate action is likely here?
posted by damn yankee at 10:26 PM on October 10, 2002


Can someone state plainly and clearly why this was necessary in leiu of a typical declaration of war?
posted by mathowie at 10:27 PM on October 10, 2002


Well, I'm sure no expert, but : I think it's the whole "first strike" thing, combined with the whole "what does a war on terror entrail" thing.

I think we just established our policy for the next 100 years. I'm not too thrilled.
posted by jragon at 10:30 PM on October 10, 2002


I never thought I'd say this, but why can't we be more like Canadians?
posted by Samsonov14 at 10:32 PM on October 10, 2002


Sorry Samsonov but.....
posted by bowline at 10:41 PM on October 10, 2002


its funny, but if you look at early islamic history, Iraq was a problem area for the Omayyad Caliphs and were considered a member of their "axis of evil". after 1400 years, Iraq is still causing problems (or being used as an excuse for a president to try and get re-elected).
posted by Stynxno at 10:42 PM on October 10, 2002


Senator Robert C. Byrd's time at the podium this afternoon nearly brought me to tears. I've been looking for a direct link but alas, have not found one yet.

This is the day our democracy/Constitutional republic has finally died. Mark it. The puppet idiot now has control. This will not just blow over. This is horrible. We enter into a new, unexplored realm of American history tomorrow. God Bless America :-(. . .
posted by crasspastor at 10:45 PM on October 10, 2002


Our democracy is not dead. Our constitution is not dead. But an empire has been born. The transition to empire began with the reconstruction of europe after WWII and the rivalry of the cold war. It was completed today.
posted by gsteff at 10:48 PM on October 10, 2002


And Byrd's speech and others can be seen here. Well worth watching.
posted by gsteff at 10:49 PM on October 10, 2002


So... how would one go about appealing the constitutionality of this decision? It shouldn't be allowed to stand, and given the weight of this decision, it should certainly be appealed.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:54 PM on October 10, 2002


Jesus. I feel like I should be standing in a circle and holding a candle. A moment of silence for the future dead and for our ability to claim moral leadership.
posted by hippugeek at 10:57 PM on October 10, 2002


I'm just chin-scratching here, but I really don't think this is the birth of an empire. I think this is the last gasp of "empire" as a concept, at least for this cycle. It may take another decade or two, but I just really don't think that one country holding all the cards is going to work. It has in the past for spells, but they eventually all fall.

That doesn't mean roll over and ignore, but I also don't think the Constitution died. It means that our government is headed for the overhaul that's been brewing for a while now. The Democrats seem pretty played out. The Republicans seem to be coasting on this pretty well, but they're just coasting, too.

And jragon, I love the "entrail" typo. Or was it on purpose?
posted by mccreath at 10:58 PM on October 10, 2002


Can someone state plainly and clearly why this was necessary in leiu of a typical declaration of war?
When was the last time someone said "Enron" or "corporate reform" on the nightly news? There's your answer. I actually don't believe war is imminent though. I think George is going to go through the UN and let Iraq simmer down through the election (and I think the Democrats will do better than forecast, though many have pissed off their base with the rollover) - then have it on the backburner whenever his numbers slide again.
posted by owillis at 11:01 PM on October 10, 2002


Can someone state plainly and clearly why this was necessary in leiu of a typical declaration of war?

When and if there's the same resolution through both houses and signed by Mr. President, that's effectively a declaration of war as far as the international niceties go. A weirdo conditional one, but still.

At this point we reserve real no-shit declarations of war for wars of total mobilization, like WW2. Declare war and there's no difference internationally, but a lot of stuff happens domestically semi-automatically -- censorship, rationing, that sort of stuff.

So we don't declare war, formally, unless we intend to do those things.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:03 PM on October 10, 2002


I've been listening to this sad debacle unfold live for the last week on my local NPR station and on C-SPAN. I thought it best not to post the results on the front page because of the polarizing, ultimately pointless thread that I was sure would follow. However, like you, crasspastor, I was very moved by Byrd's passionate, almost quixotic defense and his masterful use of the rules of the senate.

I tried to find some background detail on him, and some other famous senate speeches to maybe formulate a post, but I couldn't work up anything interesting along those lines. Maybe someone else will have better luck.
posted by Hildago at 11:04 PM on October 10, 2002


crasspastor: Right on. Was listening to the local NPR stream at the office, and listening to Sen. Byrd (despite, or perhaps partially because, of his idiosyncrasies) gave me warm-West-Wing-civics-fuzzies. "Cumbersome checks and balances," indeed.
posted by dsandl at 11:05 PM on October 10, 2002


So... how would one go about appealing the constitutionality of this decision? It shouldn't be allowed to stand, and given the weight of this decision, it should certainly be appealed.

File suit. The hard part will be establishing standing to sue.

I don't see any constitutional problem with it, though. House and Senate pretty clearly have the authority to do what they did. I don't like it, but constitutional is not a synonym of either good or wise.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:06 PM on October 10, 2002


Can someone state plainly and clearly why this was necessary in leiu of a typical declaration of war?

I'll give it a shot.

As you can imagine, Congress wants to keep Bush on a short leash. This is always the case in (American?) politics. Two branches vying for power . . . you know the spiel. So back in ???? Congress passed the War Powers Resolution which basically forces the President to ask Congress for permission to use his command of the military for anything more than a policing action (occupancy of any nation for more than 90 days). Congress will permit the President an extension on military occupation according to some predetermined goal. After a period of time, the President must report back to Congress and show he's working towards what they agreed upon and, most likely, request more time.

If Congress declares war, they no longer have the ability to reign in the President. Sure, he has to make speeches and presentations to them about the progressing war, but they don't have say in what he bombs/shoots until the war is over. Congress does not want this to happen so they don't declare war, they just authorize military force.

This is hardly new. It's pretty much the reason the US hasn't officially gone to war since Korea. Vietnam was not a war. Nor was the Gulf War.
In reality, it's probably better off this way. Truman would never have gotten off those nukes if Capitol Hill handled WWII like this.

If any of this is wrong or skewed or whathaveyou, please correct me.
posted by SimStupid at 11:06 PM on October 10, 2002


Does anybody know the best site to find the actual votes? (who voted yes or no?)

I really want to know which of my representatives to direct my seething anger at.
posted by malphigian at 11:08 PM on October 10, 2002


Dang, forgot to hit preview again before clicking post.

Please forgive all the spelling errors, and those question marks should read 1973.
More on the War Powers Resolution
posted by SimStupid at 11:09 PM on October 10, 2002


I tried to find some background detail on Byrd

You'll find stuff you don't like. He's a maaaaybe-reconstructed, maybe not ex-Klansman who spends most of his time and energy bringing pork back to WVa.

Today shows that people like that ain't without value.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:09 PM on October 10, 2002


Never mind, this looks like the place, guess I'll wait for tmrw.
posted by malphigian at 11:10 PM on October 10, 2002


Does anybody know the best site to find the actual votes? (who voted yes or no?)

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1072/vote_00237.html --- but it looks like it isn't up yet.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:12 PM on October 10, 2002


Perhaps a class action lawsuit filed by the people of the United States? I literally have no idea. All of the laziness excuses have been exhausted (the constituents depending upon the Constitutional balance of power afforded by their votes of their representatives). I assume many of our representaives who voted yea figured as with anything else, the people will make due somehow. As we have time and time again. We'll continue to lap up their products and the commercializtion of everything short of our toenails.

I'm sorry, but democracy in this country is DOA when it was needed most. Even those who inexplicably "want war" don't actually want it. They are mere pawns in the noisy chess match that has us dumbed down on the sliding bar of level of difficulty they want to take on. In other words we're gumshoe, beginner, ripe to be taken over. Our minds are nothing. Politcal carreers everything. Let the lives that are lost and destroyed by this be damned. Like Byrd said, this must now be fought on other fronts. Our government has forsaken us.
posted by crasspastor at 11:13 PM on October 10, 2002


If Congress declares war, they no longer have the ability to reign in the President. Sure, he has to make speeches and presentations to them about the progressing war, but they don't have say in what he bombs/shoots until the war is over.

They won't have any more direct say with a use-of-force resolution, probably.

They can always cut it off like *that* if they really want to, war or doubleplusunwar, by cutting off the funding.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:14 PM on October 10, 2002


malphigian, ROU_Xenophobe: New York Times has the roll call on their site - House | Senate
posted by SimStupid at 11:17 PM on October 10, 2002


Not the "representatives' products" mind you, but the corporate coffers who make their careers at all possible. We'll continue to lap them up in place of a populous engaged in democracy.
posted by crasspastor at 11:19 PM on October 10, 2002


So, to sum it up: we now have a president empowered to preemptively crush any nation on Earth, for any reason whatsover. Morally compelling reasons? They will be provided by propaganda mills which can churn out agitprop fast enough, and in sufficient quantity to bury all independant political discourse.

Members of this adminstration (Junta?) have recently participated in authorship of a document which, among other things, speculates about the ultility of genetically modified diseases which target certain racial groups.

The geopolitical agenda of this ruling group has been spelled out far in advance; seize control of oil resources, establish US bases in Southwest Asia, Take care of Iraq in some way (war, overthrow of current leadership etc.), then move on. Nullify all potential threats, pacify all opposition...with as much violence as a necessary.

Domestic dissent will be repressed......By the way, if you are reading this, it's too late: you have been identified as a potential dissenter
posted by troutfishing at 11:19 PM on October 10, 2002


One of the most depressing aspects of this affair, to me, is that at no point during the debate were even 10% of the members of either body on the chamber floor.
posted by gsteff at 11:28 PM on October 10, 2002


Thanks SimStupid.
posted by malphigian at 11:29 PM on October 10, 2002


I was just wondering . . . when do get to the economy? I mean, blowing shit up is good fun and all, but won't the stock market drop faster than Dubya's jaw with this news? I guess you could always go for Lockheed Martin and Schlumberger.
posted by SimStupid at 11:33 PM on October 10, 2002


Damn Yankee: two scenarios.

1) US rolls over Iraq, maybe gets mired in the process. Geopolitical stabiliity holds (No Pakistani radical Islamic revolution, for example). Lots of US casualties, but 20X that in Iraq civilian deaths. War ends (sort of...occupation is messy) but then, Lo! -- Iran suddenly becomes a threat. Maybe a timely terrorist attack demonstrates this threat. Windup of war on Iran. This happens in fall '93, just in time for the beginning of the '04 Pres. election campaign.

2) Sen. Bob Graham's "modern armaggedon" takes place.
posted by troutfishing at 11:33 PM on October 10, 2002


Troutfishing: where do you get this "any nation on earth" garbage? The resolution clearly states that these powers only apply for Iraq. Get a grip. Also, "troutfishing" is the weakest trolling joke name ever.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:34 PM on October 10, 2002


So, to sum it up: we now have a president empowered to preemptively crush any nation on Earth, for any reason whatsover.[sic]


Not really... The resolution is very specific to Iraq, and the reasons why...

The President is authorized to use all means that he determines to be appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolutions referenced above, defend the national security interests of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore international peace and security in the region.

I would post more, but I have a 'black' helicopter to board, and lots of people to oppress tonight...
[/sarcasm]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:38 PM on October 10, 2002


No Pakistani radical Islamic revolution, for example
Don't hold yer breath: Pro-Taliban success in Pakistan polls
posted by owillis at 11:39 PM on October 10, 2002


Here's the good thing that could come out of this. The debate has been largely shaped along a single ideological axis: war or no war? The precise reason why I have been no-on-war -- and I think why most people have been -- has had very little do with any benefit of the doubt for Iraq. It has to do with doubt that the U.S. will act in a principled manner as well as strategic. That the government will put principles that America is supposed to stand for (but regularly ignores in matters of foreign policy) on at least a slightly higher level than strategic interest.

Now, obviously, it's better to say "no" until you're sure the administration will do this. But once the "yes vs no" dichotomy is gone, maybe -- just maybe -- it could be easier to get people to stop looking at that question and more closely at principles by which this should be done. Maybe we can start asking questions NOW about committing to leave the damn oil alone, about plans to help shape Iraq as a rule-of-law and perhaps even democratic state, etc.

But probably not. How much media attention do we get to what kind of state is being built in Afghanistan? How much attention did we get to Iraq in 1991 when the fighting was over?
posted by namespan at 11:41 PM on October 10, 2002


I don't see what the big deal is. This is probably better for the world. Now that it appears Bush has the power to say "GO" when he wants to, the international community thinks he means business. The UN goes along, puts together a thorough inspection schedule with penalties. Iraq, scared, yet impressed with this show of power, will give in and take inspections.

Then, either we find stuff over there, or they break the rules, then you have the justification you need to start a military intervention. Then, Saddam's regime is taken out of power, the human rights violations in Iraq stop, an imminent threat to the world is gone (debateable, I know...), there's something working towards a stable democracy in the middle east, and we no longer have a terrorist holding 4 or 5 percent of the world's oil dangling it in front of us.

Ideallic, I know, but it works for me.
I'm happy.
posted by askheaves at 11:41 PM on October 10, 2002


Askheaves: I hope your right, but I think you're being overly optimistic. I think what Iraq does is irrelevant, there will be a war until Saddam is dead (and however many 1000s of other Iraqis).

For those who asked, the "any nation on earth" garbage may be referring to what the bush administration initally proposed, which was thankfully amended to just Iraq.

I'm completely depressed, both my democrat senators (NY) I voted for voted for this resolution. At least my house rep voted no (what do you know, representing the people in downtown manhattan no less).

With that said, I'd guess 77% is probably not far from public opinion on the issue.
posted by malphigian at 11:44 PM on October 10, 2002


What's with all the weeping, moaning, tearing of hear, beating of breasts and gnashing of teeth? Democracy is dead? They voted didn't they?

Maybe we should can this discussion until Hussein is at least playing tiddlywinks with Noriega in some comfy Florida "rehabilitation center".
posted by hama7 at 11:51 PM on October 10, 2002


Boys, boys--look on the bright side--the Republican candidate for Senator in Montana just bailed because he doesn't want to look like a gay hairdresser. And what's wrong with that, by the way?

And [sic] ? For a guy who only yesterday was wasteing his life away, that's chutzpah.
posted by y2karl at 11:53 PM on October 10, 2002


I know it's optimistic, but I'm a hell of a lot more pessimistic about what would happen if we took no action, or delayed too long.

The way I see this vote, it's based on a set of conditions. They've outlined a bunch of stuff that has to happen first (UN turning us down, Iraq thumbing their nose at us, Iraq launching some attack, etc) before Bush can use military action. Most people here seem to take the conditions as a list of forgone conclusions. And, if these conditions were to happen, then you know congress would have no choice than to vote for military action at that time.

So, what this vote does is firstly, show the world that we will act if Saddam or the UN hold out. And second, it keeps us from having this 5 week debate after Saddam has one of our weapons inspectors shot or something.

This doesn't give him any new powers. All it does is speed up the process and put more emphasis behind Bush's or Powell's words when they talk abroad.

And the fact that roughly 60-70% of congress (house and senate) voted for this, even with issues about whether this vote takes power away from them, AND this close to an election where all of them are real touchy about doing what their constituants want, tells you that it's probably the right thing.
posted by askheaves at 11:58 PM on October 10, 2002


malphigian, how was the resolution amended to "just Iraq"? As I recall, the problem with Bush's inital proposal was that final phrase: "and restore international peace and stability to the region." That phrase is still there--or at least it was on the amended resolution I read on thomas.loc.gov.

It might seem pedantic, but this administration would, I believe, dare to be just that pedantic. Is it truly that difficult to imagine Bush's legal team reinterpreting this resolution as authorizing him to use force to restore peace and stability in the "Middle East" region? After all, PNAC's war plans go beyond Baghdad.
posted by jbrjake at 12:06 AM on October 11, 2002


For what it's worth:
Iraqi-Canadians want an invasion:
'Regime has got to go'

posted by hama7 at 12:45 AM on October 11, 2002


askheaveS: And the fact that roughly 60-70% of congress (house and senate) voted for this, even with issues about whether this vote takes power away from them, AND this close to an election where all of them are real touchy about doing what their constituants want, tells you that it's probably the right thing.

This tells me its probably the wrong thing. I don't see how pushing this so close to election time can be helpful. Its looks like Congress is just hedging their bets. If Iraq or some group that is even remotely connected with Iraq pulls off a destructive act in the US there will be simply too many "peaceniks" with egg on their face. Better to attack an unpopular adversary abroad than threaten political careers at home, eh?
posted by skallas at 12:58 AM on October 11, 2002


None of this will even become an issue for quite some time if Saddam brings himself into compliance with UNSC resolutions and opens up all of his palaces (like the dozen or so he's built in the last decade while his people starved -- though that, of course, is the fault of sanctions) and strongholds to inspectors. Are we all just presuming that Saddam won't comply? If so, aren't we conceding that there is some validity to the Administration position that Saddam is dangerously flounting conditions rightfully imposed upon him after his most egregious show of unilateral and dictatorial force?
posted by Dreama at 2:20 AM on October 11, 2002


I can’t believe people actually thought Congress wouldn’t pass this. “Oh, maybe we can count on the Democrats!” Please don’t be sheep folks.

dreama: “Saddam brings himself into compliance with UNSC resolutions..."

Oh, okay. Does that mean the US will also comply with UN mandate and stop sending spies in with the weapons inspectors?

dreama: “Are we all just presuming that Saddam won't comply?”

Are we presuming the US won’t comply?
posted by raaka at 2:46 AM on October 11, 2002


In my opinion, Saddam will not be *allowed* to comply.

lf he tries to fool the inspectors=war.

If he lets the inspectors in and they find weapons=war.

If he lets the inspectors in and they don´t find weapons=war.

Yes, I believe that war is the only thing that interests Bush, certainly more than the failing economy and corporate scandals for which his administration has done NOTHING.

Does anybody here really believe that Bush's team isn´t going to take the "and restore international peace and stability to the region" line and use it to wage war everywhere they possibly can? Take a look at the members of this administration. The only "peacenik" is a former chief of staff general! Now that is a narrow ideological and moral band. Theses guys are foaming at the mouth and chomping at the bit. There will be war and lots of it.

Oh yeah, and if this first war doesn´t go off without a hitch, it may just push the world economy into depression. Cool!
posted by sic at 3:08 AM on October 11, 2002


Look-I don't want war. I really don't.
But what should we do since Saddam has "weapons of mass destruction"?
I had my smallpox vaccine years ago. I understand it will no longer work. And the idea that Saddam has nuclear weapons doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy either.
Not to invoke Goodman's law or anything...but I wonder what would have happened if we had done something preemptive with Hitler's Germany?
Again let me repeat-I don't want war. I really really don't want war. But what should we do? Nothing?
This isn't a rhetorical question. I really want to know what some of you think.
posted by konolia at 3:29 AM on October 11, 2002


But what should we do since Saddam has "weapons of mass destruction"?
He doesn't have them yet. And we can destroy his weapons infrastructure without "invading".

Pakistan has nukes, ditto North Korea. There are nukes running wild over the former USSR.

But then again, none of those countries tried to assasinate "his dad".
posted by owillis at 4:31 AM on October 11, 2002


Ok, how's this scenario...

Saddam fails to comply/complies and they find stuff/complies and they find nothing invade anyway...and the regime is removed. Free elections for everyone?

Ok, what if the people they free elect a new secular government, say a fundamentalist Islamic government friendly with Osama, what now? Go in again?

"Iraqi people, you now have democracy, so go out and vote for whoever you want...no not them....and you can elect....no, we said don't vote for them....and whoever you want as a liberated people. You voted for fundamentalists? Ok, we're leaving"

Remember this very, very, VERY important fact... while the people of Iraq hate and despise Saddam, they hate the USA MORE. At least Saddam is held in check, a democratically elected Iraqi government hostile to the US is no better.

The dictator/King in Iran was removed, and now they hate the US, Pakistan is electing (not 100%) people that preach the destruction of the USA and non-Islamic states, Kuwait who was freed BY the USA praise the person who shot that US soldier, the list is endless.

Last country that was invaded and "regime-changed" by the US that is still friendly? Germany, and that was over 50 years ago.

I'm not suggesting that Saddam isn't a evil dictator and isn't a potential threat to the region and everyone else, but what's worse? The devil you know or the devil you don't.

I can understand what motivates Saddam...greed and power. That's something most people can relate to. Fundamentalist Muslims are a different story, they are reading from a different book, which says: Everyone else is the devil and are not only are they going to hell, but will bring you with them unless you kill them all. Everyone. Period. Now grow a beard and live in a cave.

Solution? I can honestly say I have no freakin idea, this one is way over my head. The region has been in conflict since the beginning of recorded history, and to think that anything can be fixed in less that a year is foolish.
posted by CrazyJub at 4:34 AM on October 11, 2002


Jesus. I feel like I should be standing in a circle and holding a candle. A moment of silence for the future dead and for our ability to claim moral leadership.

How many candles have you held for those who have already died and/or been tortured in Iraq, courtesy of Saddam? And will die, if the US doesn't act SOON.

I am very proud of the deliberative process which led up to the votes.


Also, MH: declarations of war are the exception, rather than the rule.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:44 AM on October 11, 2002


bowline:

That dude is talking out the one side of his mouth, and he's no where near doing what you think.

He has no governmental approval....it hasn't even been considered yet....

He also said that Canada would back a UN action...not a US action.

So....there's hope for us Canadians yet.
posted by Sage at 5:00 AM on October 11, 2002


He doesn't have them yet.

owillis please show me this proof you have to make a dead on declarative statement...
I doubt you would make such a statement with out something to back it up, right?

Belittling the fact that a nation attempted to assassinate a POTUS is asinine. No matter whose "Daddy" he is, it is something you don't do. The people who are keep bringing this up are childish. Maybe you are so much a simpleton that you would risk our servicemen's lives over a grudge, but I highly doubt the President and his cabinet are.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:17 AM on October 11, 2002


CrazyJub: Remember this very, very, VERY important fact... while the people of Iraq hate and despise Saddam, they hate the USA MORE.

While I agree with much of your comment (and your conclusion), I have to question this part of it. Do the Iraqi people hate the US? Do they really hate us MORE than they hate Saddam? I think it's probably difficult to say, either way, with certainty.

On another note, I see that chicken little is out in full force today. Constitution's dead? Democracy's dead? Would someone care to explain how these statements make even the slightest bit of sense, whatsoever? Maybe I missed something important along the way...
posted by syzygy at 5:17 AM on October 11, 2002


The Democrats proved to be spineless cowards once more.

Why don't they just pass an Enabling act since they love Bush so much?

Argh
posted by RobbieFal at 5:19 AM on October 11, 2002


How many candles have you held for those who have already died and/or been tortured in Iraq, courtesy of Saddam?

Maybe you actually care about those people Paris, I don't know you in real life to know - but what I do know is that it's such a pile of horse poo 9/10 when our leaders trot out the "but what about the oppressed people" hullabaloo.

America didn't give a shit about the Taliban before 9/11, liberal or conservative (and I count myself among this ignorant group). But after we attacked Afghanistan, it was all "look at us, look how we liberated these people". I was and am totally for the attack on Afghanistan, but the freedom of their people is no more than a byproduct of our just war. It's "nice" but I hate the way people recast it as "the goal".

When GWB and his crew wrote up the plans for New Iraq, I can guarantee that the people suffering under Saddam's thumb were a few hundred notches towards the end of the list.

I am very proud of the deliberative process which led up to the votes.

If by "deliberative process" you mean "sign here, pussy".
posted by owillis at 5:23 AM on October 11, 2002


owillis please show me this proof you have to make a dead on declarative statement...

CIA. Tony Blair.

Maybe you are so much a simpleton that you would risk our servicemen's lives over a grudge, but I highly doubt the President and his cabinet are.

Considering his post-9/11 activities, George Bush has done nothing to earn my trust that he had. His legacy will be cronyism, and a motto of "Bush First, American People - Sometime Later. Maybe."

Wow, look mom, I can have a discussion without calling people names like 'simpleton'. I'm a big boy now!
posted by owillis at 5:29 AM on October 11, 2002


Right, because "Big Boys" like to curt the issue.

Did you read the Blair Dossier? If you didn't, I have it in PDF, I can send you a copy....

As for the CIA, are talking about the half that says Saddam has weapons or the other half that says he doesn't...?

You know it comes down to this: I say Saddam has WMD, You say he doesn't... So lets play "what if"
  • What if we invade Iraq had he does indeed have WMD? We destroy them and the threat is gone
  • What if we invade Iraq and he doesn't have WMD? Well the Iraqi people are free, and Saddam can't ever get WMD
  • What if we don't invade and Iraq has WMD? Bye Bye NYC, London, LA etc ...
  • What if we don't invade and Iraw dosn't have WMD? Well then Iraq has time to gets WMD. (Saddam has stated many times this is he goal) Then see above...
Oh wait my fault, I forgot this is all about oil and revenge for trying to kill "Pa".... Shucks.....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:15 AM on October 11, 2002


Owillis, you didn't even need to answer that, it's a ridiculous request. How can you ask someone to prove that Saddam doesn't have nukes? The burden of proof lies in the accuser, Steve. While you're at it, prove that you don't have any.

I can say that there's no proof George Bush didn't kill a man with his bare hands while doing a line of coke off of a naked Lynne Cheney's rear end... does that make it cause to investigate (or invade) until you prove to me other wise? Come on now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 AM on October 11, 2002


Excuse me, I re-phrase my question:
Please disprove what the The assessment of the British Government on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction has to say...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:31 AM on October 11, 2002


While you're at it, prove that you don't have any

Well, I'll let you come look in my house XQUZYPHYR, all you want...

As long as you promise to call at least an hour before you come, and you swear not to look in the closet or under the bed...

Then yes, you can look all you want in my house for nukes....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:37 AM on October 11, 2002


"Domestic dissent will be repressed......"

Wrong. I was marching in the street to protest this last week. Where were the rest of you? We need to be in the street, marching peacefully, and screaming this stuff rather than just posting it on a message board.

If your elected officials are acting like idiots, you owe it to democracy to get out in the streets and protest. I marched with 3500 people last week in LA. If we can get that number up to 35,000 things will happen in Congress.

Let's preempt news about how spineless Congress is with news of people willing to march in the streets to protest. Do not sit and wring your hands - Congregate in the streets and scream.

"But what should we do since Saddam has "weapons of mass destruction"?"

The same thing we do with all of the other nations who have weapons of mass destruction (which by the way includes countries who have supported terrorism [Pakistan], nations who have violated UN resolutions [Israel], and nations that have massacred their own people [China]).

Iraq hasn't threatened us and I don't see any motivation for them to attack us. This is about oil and a family grudge.

I am a patriot. I love this country and the ideals of freedom and democracy it was built on. I support the military. If they go into Iraq I hope they get the job done and come home safe.

But I see nothing but tyranny and xenophobic paranoia coming from the Bush administration. Our economy is failing, our reputation around the world is worsening, our elected officials are failing to ask hard questions. We sit gap-mouthed as our representatives act like they've been hit by some sort of mind-ray telling them to obey.

Meanwhile our president, a man who lacks the mandate of a popular vote, stays fixated on a war in the middle east. Is this what *anyone* wants the president to be fixated on?

We need to march in the streets. I hope to see you there.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:44 AM on October 11, 2002


Please disprove what the The assessment of the British Government on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction has to say...


Steve, I'm glad you took Tony's dossier seriously because over here in the UK everybody recognised it for what it is - a piss poor, highly subjective assessment of previously known information.

and if you want to take it seriously perhaps you could tell us why the link between Saddam and Al Quaeda isn't in there - even Blair can't sell that much snake oil.
posted by niceness at 6:50 AM on October 11, 2002



America didn't give a shit about the Taliban before 9/11, liberal or conservative (and I count myself among this ignorant group). But after we attacked Afghanistan, it was all "look at us, look how we liberated these people".


Even if this is true--and you can't prove by even a preponderence of the evidence that it is--so what? Is the state of mind of the US government a reason to oppose action when the objective reality of the outcome is salutary? Really, you're going to try harder if you want to convincingly oppose going to war with Iraq.

Today's NY Post has a piece suggesting our invasion--AN INVASION I WILL BE PROUD TO PUT "IN MY NAME"--will be closer to a cake walk than a Stalingrad(sp?). And it looks like we will be occupying Iraq for a few years, which is a good idea: we can pay for the invasion with an oil revenue tax.

Whether President Bush is a geopolitical genius, or just has good people around him, I don't know, but kudos to him. Now it's onto the UN, to show, amongst other things, how feckless the anti-war camp is.

P.S.: I would strongly recommend that future US funding of the UN be contingent upon most of its proceedings being open to the public and available to C-Span, etc.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:57 AM on October 11, 2002


Snakeoil schmake oil. Who cares if there's a sold link between AQ and Saddam? Terrorism is terrorism. Wake up.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:58 AM on October 11, 2002


Well niceness I am glad you can speak for all of the people of the UK...

How much does national spokesperson pay a year?

As for al-Quaeda link to Saddam.. I have nothing more than a suspicion... and I feel that that is a weak way to sell this to the people... But, just because we don't any evidence, doesn't mean that not evidence exists....

America didn't give a shit about the Taliban before 9/11

So we should continue to not "give a shit"?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:00 AM on October 11, 2002


False Alarm: Why Liberals Should Support the War

From the New Republic. Interesting article. (registration might be required)
posted by Tin Man at 7:04 AM on October 11, 2002


America didn't give a shit about the Taliban before 9/11

Look where that got us...
posted by syzygy at 7:06 AM on October 11, 2002


Paris, didn't there used to be a time when you would put forward an argument for your opinions? Let me try the same "Bush is an arsehole - get a life!" Didn't convince you? Hmm.

Steve: Well niceness I am glad you can speak for all of the people of the UK...

Before the dossier the majority of the UK disagreed with non-UN sanctioned war, after the dossier was released an even greater majority disagreed with it. Tony's dossier was predictable, with no new facts (which is why it was released just 2 hours before the Parliamentary debate) and it harmed his case for war which is why we've heard no more about it since.

"just because we don't any evidence, doesn't mean that not evidence exists."

That is the most ridiculous statement I've read on here for a long time (and I don't mean the grammar).
posted by niceness at 7:11 AM on October 11, 2002


"Oh, okay. Does that mean the US will also comply with UN mandate and stop sending spies in with the weapons inspectors?"

I say, load up the inspection teams with spies. Hopefully they can get updated and accurate inteligence, and lessen the chance of hitting hospitals or Chinese Embassies in bombing raids. Also, maybe people involved in espionage would be better suited for finding hidden sites.
posted by stifford at 7:15 AM on October 11, 2002


Apparently, lots of people can't deal with the idea of the United States liberating a country. That's a shame, for while our foreign policy is hardly perfect, it's, relatively speaking, pretty damn good.

Instead of attending "Not in Our Name" rallies, a lot of you should proceed forthwith to a psychoanalyst's office: you need to understand why strength scares you to the degree it does.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:19 AM on October 11, 2002


I don't see how pushing this so close to election time can be helpful.

What if we'd waited until after the election, and let people vote for their congressional representatives based on their position on Iraq? Isn't it pretty to think so?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:25 AM on October 11, 2002


"Trust us" is the best argument you have?

Did you know 'gullible' is the hardest word in the dictionary to spell?
posted by niceness at 7:25 AM on October 11, 2002


after the dossier was released an even greater majority disagreed with it.

Can you point me to something other than your opinion that shows this?

A quick search finds a BBC poll from from Tuesday, 1 October:
"In the UK, however, just 44% disapproved of action against Iraq, a drop of two per cent in the last week."

That means that 56% of those polled support action in Iraq, and that is gaining momentum, it is up 2% form last week.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:32 AM on October 11, 2002


What happens next?

The Muslim Pacification Campagins, and then the Asian Pacification Campaigns.
posted by moonbiter at 7:40 AM on October 11, 2002


"you need to understand why strength scares you to the degree it does."

Pure troll.

And rather illogical. I work for a defense contractor. I directly help build a strong military. But I see our president sending troops into combat, and miring them in yet another endless police action, for no good reason. Iraq is no threat to the US. If they are we need to invade China as well. American troops will be killed for political gain. The war they fought and died in will only breed more terrorism.

I support this country and our troops. Thus I march in the street against this family feud turned ugly. I won't stand by as they're sent to fight just for the sake of fighting.

I hope our military can annihilate any country that threatens us. Of course Iraq hasn't threatened us and I don't think they ever will.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:44 AM on October 11, 2002


"Trust us" is the best argument you have?

69% of US congressional representatives agree.

What do you know that they (and I) don't?
posted by syzygy at 7:46 AM on October 11, 2002


And jragon, I love the "entrail" typo. Or was it on purpose?

Oh, heh heh. Whoops.
posted by jragon at 7:49 AM on October 11, 2002


Iraq is no threat to the US. If they are we need to invade China as well.

For all its evil, China has not gassed its own people, and isn't run by a wacko. It's akin to the Soviet Union: evil but rational.
Iraq is not.

And merely working in the boiler room of a ship doesn't give you clairvoyance.

By the way, once we invade and clean out the place, the hardware of destruction up on display will be devastating to the "no war" argument. It will be gratifying.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:50 AM on October 11, 2002


For the sake of historical accuracy, I'd like to amend my FPP to state that what the Senate passed was actually H.J. Res 114. Entirely irrelevant to the more topical debate that has ensued, but I just realized my error after a full night's sleep.
posted by damn yankee at 7:53 AM on October 11, 2002


y6y6y6:
"I work for a defense contractor" therefore I know that "Iraq is no threat to the US."

Well by the same token:

I am a member of a field artillery platoon in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, and I feel that Iraq is a threat...

I am in a combat arms unit....

What do you do at this defense contractor?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:55 AM on October 11, 2002


*My* Senator voted against the resolution. I wrote him and thanked him.

Can anyone tell me what the biggest problem the United States is facing right now?

Is it *really* the threat of Iraq attacking us?

Personally, I don't think so.

As far as foreign relations and policy, I don't think Iraq attacking us is the most important issue there, either.

The economy I would probably rate number one issue, overall.

Domestic-specific, it would probably be the environment, although the D.C. shootings are kinda up there for immediacy.

Foreign policy-wise, I would say tracking active terrorist cells and active terrorist plans. Next, the Israel-Palestine conflict. Although, right now, the elections in Pakistan would be rating pretty high.

Personally, I'd like to see the SPAM issue addressed and solved before we attack Iraq.

(on Preview: Paris - Iraq gassing its own people, while horrible, doesn't threaten *me*. Also, are you completely unaware of China's human rights issues, or are you playing dumb? China regularly executes 'undesireables'. Is Iraq evil just because it uses gass and not bullets?)
posted by rich at 7:56 AM on October 11, 2002


y6y6y6: But I see our president sending troops into combat, and miring them in yet another endless police action, for no good reason.

If I remember correctly, I heard this same whiny complaint about sending troops into Afghanistan on this very website.

Iraq is no threat to the US. If they are we need to invade China as well.

They may or may not be a threat to the US today. They very well could become a threat in the near future, if allowed to continue on their current path.


- this family feud turned ugly.
- American troops will be killed for political gain.
- they're sent to fight just for the sake of fighting.


So, which one is it? Oh, and you forgot to mention the part about the oil resources. My head's spinning here, trying to figure out exactly WHICH crazy, sinister motivations are actually behind this proposed war.

It doesn't seem that those against the idea can agree amongst themselves. Hell, it doesn't even seem that you can make up your own mind.
posted by syzygy at 7:58 AM on October 11, 2002


Steve and y6y6y6.. while not discounting your involvement in the military:

retired military personel, with years more experience than both of you in ACTUAL COMBAT situations, who I wager are probably ranked higher than either of you in military rank and intelligence clearance have come out against attacking Iraq.

Plus, people overseas in the armed forces that are actually going to go into the combat you all talk about (Steve, no offense, but the Nat'l Guard isn't going into the ground assault) that I know don't think it's a good idea to attack Iraq.
posted by rich at 8:00 AM on October 11, 2002


No, offense taken....

My point was that y6y6y6 was attemping to use his ethos as "someone in the business" to give credibility to his viewpoint...

I am a only a SPC-4, but I have alot more contact with the Military than most people. Do you think that makes me more "correct" in my view on Iraq, than anyone else? No.

The only people who can use that are people who are in "the know" and those people don't talk to the media....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:17 AM on October 11, 2002


So let me get this straight...the duly elected representatives of our government voted overwhelmingly to support the plans (endlessly debated in the national press and apparently supported by a majority of the citizenry, BTW) of the executive branch with respect to Iraq, and this cabal (MeFi) of whiny kneejerkers has its panties tied so tightly in a knot that its eyes are about to pop out. It seems that a majority of the members of this community don't like the President or the way he was elected and that's fine, but all this silly demagoguery about the "the beginning of empire" and "death of our Constitution/democracy" is just ridiculous. This country survived Fillmore, Grant, Hoover, Johnson, and Nixon. (the last two back to back)

For cripes sake, we survived a hellish civil war, a world war that killed many tens of millions, and a 40 year global nuclear faceoff that could have ended it all. Whether the president and his policies are right or wrong will be revealed to us in time but for those of you screaming "THE END OF THE WORLD!!!"...you just look foolish...and the melodrama is killing me.

If you have a problem with the way this turned out, you need to talk to your congressman or better yet to your neighbor. The voters, both those who voted for the President (less than a simple majority I concede) and the current Congress, and those who will vote for the next Congress approved this course of action. Either use the system to change it or deal with it, but give the rest of us a break with the doomsday routine.
posted by cyclopz at 8:30 AM on October 11, 2002


"My point was that y6y6y6 was attemping to use his ethos as "someone in the business" to give credibility to his viewpoint..."

No. I was countering ParisParamus's claim that I needed treatment for my distaste of a strong military. I thought I was doing so rather pointedly. I spoke as a patriot. I'm sure others will disagree. And being in the military doesn't lend any credibility to either side. But repeatedly I hear the ridiculous assertion that being against the war = being against a strong military. Which is silly.

The only credibility I claim is that of a proud American.

I supported the Gulf War, and I supported the war in Afghanistan. Very loudly and very publicly. But I think a war on Iraq is bad on almost every level. I think it will do my country great harm. And I'll be marching in the street in protest. If pacifists and tree huggers want to join me, I'll be happy to march shoulder to shoulder with them.

Steve_at_Linnwood - Thank you for your service to our country. If you end up fighting in Iraq you'll get nothing but support from me, no matter what happens. But I feel your commander in chief is wrong. You and I will disagree on this.

So I'll be marching in the street on the weekends to protest this war. At my day job I'll be supporting weapon systems designed to blow up anyone who threats you. That's my point. I'm a patriot rather than a pacifist.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:44 AM on October 11, 2002


It amazes me how quickly Congress bent over and abdicated their role in government and their power to accommodate Bush's demands. Relinquishing all checks and balances in order to play rhetoric on tv—it's utterly appalling. Why did they defeat the 2-year limit on this resolution? And ever other proposed check on giving Bush a BLANK check? Are they fucking nuts?!?

Bush is a shallow, self-interested, short-sighted little man, but I don't care if he were George Washington himself, the entire point of our government is not to empower a dictator to follow his whims. I will be writing everyone in my district who voted to destroy our system of government, and voting against each one, regardless of party affiliation, but it's too late. The party is over. I don't think it is within the power of anyone to repair the damage to the United States that has been done in the first 2 years of the 21st century, and I don't really even see anyone with the will to do so.

I wash my hands of it. People (like Peter Jennings pushing his new book on the Daily Show) keep touting the U.S. as the only nation in the world based on an idea. Well, it's no longer the idea that I valued and esteemed; rather, it has become one which revolts me to the deepest fibers of my being, and I reject it, and will no longer support it in any way. Let the cowards and yes-men reap the fruits of their lack of intellectual rigor and moral fiber.

If anyone has an interesting situation overseas for a fast-learning generalist, please drop me an email.
posted by rushmc at 9:07 AM on October 11, 2002


How many candles have you held for those who have already died and/or been tortured in Iraq, courtesy of Saddam?

Two, ParisParamus. I'm not denying that there are some things seriously wrong in Iraq, and that Saddam Hussein is one of the worst. I would love to see him out of power. But, like an awful lot of people, I don't think the way to do it is with an unilateral, offensive strike that the government is playing off as defense.

y6y6y6: Yes. To just about everything you've said today.
posted by hippugeek at 9:31 AM on October 11, 2002


Fish in barrels:

Today's NY Post has a piece suggesting our invasion [...] will be closer to a cake walk than a Stalingrad(sp?). [PP]

"It is interesting that the oligarchy presents Iraq as (a) a terrible threat to the world with unlimited capacity for raining down death and (b) a nation with a demoralized and scattered army that we can take over in a matter of weeks using our fine new weapons systems and maybe a soldier or two."
Jon Carroll
(Not that I'm calling you the oligarchy, Paris. But the quote sure seems germane...)

And it looks like we will be occupying Iraq for a few years, which is a good idea: we can pay for the invasion with an oil revenue tax. [PP again]

Last time I checked, our fiscal policy didn't include exacting tribute on conquered peoples. Will you be offering the Iraqis some representation to go along with that taxation?

As for al-Quaeda link to Saddam.. I have nothing more than a suspicion... and I feel that that is a weak way to sell this to the people... But, just because we don't any evidence, doesn't mean that not evidence exists.... [S_a_L]

"The Iraqis sent millions of young men to their deaths in the 1980s fighting exactly the kind of fundamentalist Islamic mentality that we so dread now. As much as they hate their dictator, Iraqis hate the Islamists even more. As a Sunni Muslim, so does Saddam. As in the 1980s, this creepy strongman is standing between Iraqis and the jihad." Nina Burleigh

Enough of that.


I would really like to hear an argument in favor of invading Iraq, that doesn't boil down to simply "Hussein is a bad, bad man and might be a threat to us someday." I listened to almost all of the floor debate, and I didn't hear it there. I read almost all of the MeFi threads on the subject, and I don't see it here.

The arguments against the war are many: it could trigger exactly the sort of situation it's supposed to prevent. It will cost a tremendous amount of money. There's no indication that regime change would be an improvement in terms of US interests. It could create a whole new generation of terrorists with good reason to hate the US. And so on.

And even if you skip all that, even if you believe that Hussein is such a bad, bad man, worse than all the other bad men in the world, that we have no choice but to invade, why do we need to do an end run around the Constitution to do it? Why not let Congress declare war, the way it's supposed to, instead of giving the executive branch a blank check? What purpose does that serve, besides making it easier for the executive branch to act without proper oversight, without the checks and balances that make America a functioning democracy?
posted by ook at 9:34 AM on October 11, 2002


But, like an awful lot of people, I don't think the way to do it is with an unilateral, offensive strike that the government is playing off as defense.


I'm not sure what defense is when it comes to WMD. In any case, how can the United States not act unilaterally in 2002? As it, Europe demonstrated its inability to act, even on a small scale when it have to wait for the US to deal with Serbia. And Europeans see little wrong with coddling Yasser Arafat. And the vast majority of what will be destroyed when the US attacks will be Made in Europe. So I think it's rather amazingly noble that the US will attack and liberate Iraq. Europe, Israel and Iraq's neighbors will benefit significantly more than the US once Saddam is gone.

Any speculation on what they'll call the campaign? And no,, it won't be called Operation Obscure Enron.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2002


Uh, Paris.. how does Serbia relate to the current Iraq situation *at all*?

cyclopz: I would challange that this course of action is supported by the majority of the citizenry. Polls indicate what polls ask. When asked if epople are worried about Iraq, the majority say yes. When asked if something should be done about Iraq, people say yes.

When asked if the US should invade Iraq if weapons inspections are not continued and weapons of mass destruction are known to be there, of course people say yes.

No one has been asked, in a poll, "Should Bush be given powers to attack Iraq at any point in time, regardless of lacking international support, regardless of the lack of unchallenged proof of any immiment threat, and commit the US to occupying Iraq, and spending billions of dollars in supporting Iraq once Saddaam is put out of power, even while those dollars are spent at the further cost of the current flagging US economy, as well as potentially increasing the possiblity of terrorist action against the US?"

Of course not. Because it might influence the poll's outcome by forcing people to think about the consequences of their answer.
posted by rich at 9:46 AM on October 11, 2002


What if the White House never really intended an actual war? This could all be just a ruse to take back a solid majority of Congress in the Nov. 5 elections (hence the timing of this madness).

After his August month-long vacation, now we should watch for Junior's 14-day marathon of congressional campaigns paid for by you and me, according to The Washington Post. So much for the urgency of invasion.

Everything stinks of Karl Rove and his (admittedly ingenious) strategy to take over the executive, judicial, and finally the legislative branches, all for the greater glory of criminal CEOs, family oil dynasties, theo-bureaucrats, and 2nd Amendment sniper support networks.
posted by skimble at 9:47 AM on October 11, 2002


Steve at Linwood: A quick search finds a BBC poll from from Tuesday, 1 October:
"In the UK, however, just 44% disapproved of action against Iraq, a drop of two per cent in the last week."

That means that 56% of those polled support action in Iraq, and that is gaining momentum, it is up 2% form last week.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:32 AM PST on October 11


Can you provide a link to your poll? The British public has never been in support of US (and British) unilateral action, but has supported the UN throughout. Which is another reason why all Paris's "if you're not with us you're for Saddam" is bullshit. Your assessment is wrong anyway - if 44% disapprove of action, it doesn't automatically mean that 56% support action, there are plenty who are confused by the mixed messages being sent by both govts.

The latest poll I've seen is here: October 8th, (yes it's in The Guardian but the poll is independent) which points to a consistent level of support for the UN but not for Bush or Blair, far from it:

"Support for military action against Iraq among British voters has fallen to 32%, the lowest level recorded during the five weeks that the Guardian/ICM weekly tracker survey has been running."

At the same time, opposition to military action has dipped over the past three weeks from 46% on the third weekend in September to 41% now.

Don't be fooled by Blair's enthusiasm:

...a senior cabinet minister warned that a quarter of Labour party members will resign if Britain goes to war against Iraq alongside the United States without explicit support from the United Nations in a fresh resolution.

Blair is a pragmatist, his 'morals' soon disappear when necessary and if he has to choose between his own position and supporting the US he'll back down.
posted by niceness at 9:55 AM on October 11, 2002


Wow - so there are people posting in this thread who think a war with Iraq might actually result in freeing the people of Iraq from an oppressive dictator.

I would be very surprised if that happened. We don't want that even as an incidental result of war. US foreign policy likes to have centralized control in regions like this. We say we support and advocate democratic principals, but when it comes down to it, it's easier to predict and control strong central authorities. If we oust Saddam, we'll do very little nation building, and what we will do will be geared towards getting some general somewhere into power.

Oh, and that general - yeah, he's probably going to make developing weapons of mass destruction a priority because it's not hard to see that the US will eventually turn on him, and because that's what countries/generals do.
posted by willnot at 9:57 AM on October 11, 2002


Well if all the opposition is as lame as that exhibited on this thread, it's no wonder Bush wins. The state of the left is truly pitiable. I only hope Saddam will crumble as fast as has the loyal opposition.
Too bad- I believe a strong left wing is required for checks and balances purposes. I have my own theories, but when and how did the modern American left become so irrelevant?
posted by quercus at 10:19 AM on October 11, 2002


owillis
Quote:"If by "deliberative process" you mean "sign here, pussy"
That's beautiful. Thank you for the only laugh I've had in two days.

Crasspastor,
I'm inclined to experience this nasty turn of events similar to yourself. I think this is a dreadful change in constitutional protocol. I'm absolutely furious at representatives who received overwhelming word from their constituents to oppose this resolution and turned around and did it anyway (Jesus--what a smack in the face!). If they're going to express some unity with an administration--at the expense of the citizens who keep them in office--why this one? Its very legitimacy is questionable for Christ's sake!
Now, we're going to be straddled with an extremely costly invasion and decades worth of nation building that will probably fail. And I'm sitting here wondering which half of the country is certifiably bonkers.

Our democracy is definitely in trouble here. But we won't have time to address if these twisted screws send us into a perpetual war scenario.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 10:37 AM on October 11, 2002


Quercus, nice strategy. If you can't win the argument by logical or rational means, simply declare your opponents "irrelevant" and you'll magically be in the right. On the right. Whatever.
posted by ook at 10:52 AM on October 11, 2002


"but when and how did the modern American left become so irrelevant?"

Having spent most of my life hanging out with the Left I tend to think they've made themselves irrelevant by embracing some of the stupidest reasoning and most violent movements.

In short - the loud minority are a bunch of destructive idiots. They are irrelevant because they are out of touch with reality. A couple signs I saw at the protest march last weekend - "Stop capitalism now!!!" and "Give the Middle East back their land"

Huh? Does this seem relevant to anyone?

There are plenty of intelligent voices, but they can't seem to lead or build a movement. Which is sad, because I think the Right is Orwellian and dangerous.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:53 AM on October 11, 2002


Agreed y6y6y6. Somehow the modern American left came to despise America, despite the fact that the left has as strong a claim on America and its development as anybody. Yet right here in this thread you can see intelligent leftists proclaiming America over and expressing a desire to leave the country. From one stinkin' vote! What is with that? There's going to be a new Congress elected in 4 weeks! There could be new votes-if the left would take some sort of actual action-get with the program ferchrissakes.

Ook-we're no longer in theory my friend-in reality the argument is over (for now)-Bush won-the left lost-check the vote via the link this thread concerns. I'm curious to see how the left reacts. So far i am not encouraged.
posted by quercus at 11:32 AM on October 11, 2002


Wow - so there are people posting in this thread who think a war with Iraq might actually result in freeing the people of Iraq from an oppressive dictator.

Naw, we'll go from one dictator to another:

"My dear Colette, don't worry," said Tom Lantos, the California congressman, as he tried to calm MK Colette Avital of the Labor Party, who was visiting Capitol Hill last week as part of a delegation of the Peace Coalition. "You won't have any problem with Saddam," the Jewish congressman continued. "We'll be rid of the bastard soon enough. And in his place we'll install a pro-Western dictator, who will be good for us and for you."
posted by laz-e-boy at 12:02 PM on October 11, 2002


Tiger_lily...

If this "representatives who received overwhelming word from their constituents to oppose this resolution and turned around and did it anyway " is true, please explain to me why politicians staring an election in the face would defy those constituents... It just doesn't make sense. Maybe the noisy minority (apparently heavily populated by MeFi posters) was burning up the fax lines and emails...but these guys (the Congress) are facing voters in less than a month. If majority opinion were truly running against the Iraq vote, every challenger in the country would be screaming their opposition at maximum volume and the bums would be thrown out. You know that ain't gonna happen.
posted by cyclopz at 12:03 PM on October 11, 2002


"I'm curious to see how the left reacts."

This will not be a "feel good" war by any stretch. Once again we will bomb a Moslem country into rubble and then putter around for decades because we have no exit strategy. This will be the war on terrorism. People will get very tired of this.

The economy will continue to flounder. No one will be able to retire.

The justice department will continue to hold people without trial and trumpet the arrest of people who are little more than terrorist wanna-bes.

Contempt for the US will grow. New terrorist groups will rise to resist what is seen as bullying and empire building.

In the face of this even leaders as boring and tired as Gore will start to appeal to a wider and wider voter base. People will start looking for alternatives and reject the idea that we are a nation under attack. Leaders will emerge to take advantage of this shift.

In short, the Left won't react at all. It will just wait for the house of cards to fall and then pick from the bones (I love to mix metaphors).

Despite my cynicism I'll be marching in the streets and I encourage others to join me.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:10 PM on October 11, 2002


How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

How do you bring justice, enlightenment, basic human dignity and the American Way Of Life to the Middle East? By ruthlessly squashing one fundy raghead at a time.

"Inside every Vietnamese, there is an American trying to get out." - Full Metal Jacket.
posted by blogRot at 12:19 PM on October 11, 2002


Last time I checked, our fiscal policy didn't include exacting tribute on conquered peoples. Will you be offering the Iraqis some representation to go along with that taxation?

Actually yes, from Day 1, a helluva lot more than they have now.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:20 PM on October 11, 2002


raghead? You sure are an enlightened person!
posted by drstrangelove at 12:26 PM on October 11, 2002


I especially like the rhetoric I've been hearing on Christian radio...they're lusting for war! Of course, their stated hope is for "peace and democracy" for the Iraqis, but it boils down to this: access to their precious oil for our bloated SUVs, and unrestricted proselytizing to convert their heathen souls.
posted by drstrangelove at 12:28 PM on October 11, 2002


Has France has surrendered yet?
posted by blogRot at 12:32 PM on October 11, 2002


They tried to, but nobody would take 'em...
posted by JollyWanker at 12:38 PM on October 11, 2002


Cyclopz,
That's the weird thing... Certainly Dems said as much, but I've even heard Republicans say (I want to say this was on Bill Moyers' NOW, a few weeks ago) that they were averaging @ 2 to 1 opposed or more--but that they intended to support the resolution because they didn't have the heart to break rank with the president. The only explanation is that they're banking on the deafening quiet from the rest of their constiuents to translate into support.
I hope they get their asses creamed at the polls in November--but I'm not holding my breath.

I feel like I'm living in some surreal version of the America I once knew. Thought has become dissent. Dissent has become treason. And everybody's standing around clapping each other on the back.... And has anybody else noticed the disturbing trend of calling the U.S. a "republic" instead of the old "democracy"? I know that it's technically correct, but when did we stop identifying with our democratic mechanism of self-governing?

Forgive my rambling... I'm officially freaked out. I want to petition to repeal this foul resolution and walk it to Washington myself. Grrrrrrrr.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 12:47 PM on October 11, 2002


for those looking for the text of sen. robert c. byrd's speech on 10 oct, it can be found on his website, here.

i hope his faith in democracy-- at least as expressed in these words-- is strong enough for us all.
posted by ronv at 1:20 PM on October 11, 2002


Can someone state plainly and clearly why this was necessary in leiu of a typical declaration of war?

Very few declarations of war in American history. Two or three, I think.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:07 PM on October 11, 2002


Wasn't Byrd a fascist once himself? Wasn't he in the KKK?
posted by drstrangelove at 2:08 PM on October 11, 2002


I made sure to write my representatives, both Democrat and Republican, and thank them for their support of this issue. I am a very happy to see that a slate of officials, all of whom I've voted for repeatedly, have lived up to my expectations.
posted by RevGreg at 3:21 PM on October 11, 2002


Can you provide a link to your poll?

Yeah, I did... The link is the little green "BBC" but here it is again...

I am sorry... That might be true, But I don't belive a thing in "The Guardian"... One might as well go to NewsMax for as accurate and unbias information...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:22 PM on October 11, 2002


The voters, both those who voted for the President (less than a simple majority I concede) and the current Congress, and those who will vote for the next Congress approved this course of action.

Gee, that's funny, they must have forgotten to print the candidates' views on this particular issue on my ballot.
posted by rushmc at 5:16 PM on October 11, 2002


Ook-we're no longer in theory my friend-in reality the argument is over

I'm well aware of that. What I'm trying to do is get someone to give me a rational explanation of why it came out the way it did, or more importantly why any sane person would have wanted it to.

If "the left despises America" represents the subtlety of your grasp of the situation, you're probably not the one I want to be looking to for that, though.
posted by ook at 5:20 PM on October 11, 2002


We speak of bringing democracy to Iraq. Does anybody realize that the newly minted Nobel Laureate's Carter Center wouldn't even supervise an election in Florida, its fraudulency so rife that it wouldn't even meet the Carter Center's standards of at least trying to behave as a democracy?

It would be nice were this all just an evil, evil, yes, evil dream.

Florida=Bush/Cheney2000=Coup=Media's Lassitude=Everything post 9-11=Corporate Chicanery briefly brought to light=Congress writes Dubya carte blanche war making powers (bringing "democracy" to Iraq)=The Carter Center wouldn't even supervise a fucking election in Florida it's system so corrupt.

I assume that is all plain to everybody. Regardless of your favorite political flavor, you do see the corruption at work here, do you not?

Ostensibly, it all started in 1918. Read about it.
posted by crasspastor at 5:49 PM on October 11, 2002


I watched the Senate vote, and was reminded of Jar Jar Binks in Episode II.

that is all.
posted by casarkos at 6:08 PM on October 11, 2002


i think it's awful the congress has abdicated their responsibility to make and declare war. they're giving the executive branch a power it's not supposed to have!
posted by jasontromm at 2:28 PM on October 12, 2002


lots of people can't deal with the idea of the United States liberating a country. That's a shame, for while our foreign policy is hardly perfect, it's, relatively speaking, pretty damn good.

Look how well we liberated Guatemala. Or Vietnam. Or the phillipines. Look at how well we've economically liberated Argentina. In fact, the only semi prosperous nation in South America is Brazil, and they've been one of the few to stand up to the IMF, World Bank, and U.S. when they thought it suited them.

To be fair, there's Germany and Japan. We worked hard to make them 20th Century first world productive industrial democracies who could feed their people, let them vote, and most of all, actually disagree with us. Our record since WWII isn't near so good.
posted by namespan at 11:12 PM on October 15, 2002


A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Edward Abbey

- perhaps a little cliched but no less true.
posted by johnnyboy at 6:38 AM on November 6, 2002


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