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U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N.
October 28, 2002 6:09 PM   Subscribe

U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N. We lead. You follow. Or get out of the way. How this will play out in terms of the very existence of the UN in the near future, the EU, and our attempt to maintain good relationship with Arab countries is anyone's guess. What is yours?
posted by Postroad (84 comments total)

 
How is this different from the Bush position of 2 months ago? It isn't at all to my understanding.
posted by revbrian at 6:17 PM on October 28, 2002


I'm sure I'm gonna get flamed for saying this, but I just can't help thinking it. How am I supposed to not think that Bush wants the war for his ratings in the election when he's doing everything humanly possible to have this war before November 5?

Regardless of the actual attack, it's near-obvious to me that at the minimum Bush wants the rhetoric to be white-hot. Invasion or no invasion, it's getting near impossible to refute the notion that Bush wants everyone thinking about nothing but Saddam next Tuesday.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:19 PM on October 28, 2002


"How this will play out in terms of the very existence of the UN in the near future"

If the UN lets the US overthrow Iraq that will pretty much make the UN irrelevant. To maintain credibility UN troops will have to defend Iraq from the rogue aggressions of the US.

Somehow I don't think that will happen.

In other words...... It seems to me Bush is doing everything he can to make the UN impotent.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:31 PM on October 28, 2002


I agree with XQUZYPHYR.

I refrain from comment on my views of the actual situation on the ground, but this smacks of politics.
posted by swerdloff at 6:41 PM on October 28, 2002


Invasion or no invasion, it's getting near impossible to refute the notion that Bush wants everyone thinking about nothing but Saddam next Tuesday.

That you think this shows how detached from reality you are. The President isn't up for reelection for another two years, and what we do on Iraq has little or nothing to do with who gets elected this November.

I hope we take out SH ASAP, but even if the Administration was just aiming to get the UN to do what it's supposed to do (and had no intention of attacking Iraq unilaterally), the same rhetoric would be used.

My advice to you: simmer down, and realize Iraq is not the Soviets or the Chinese, and this is not the eve of WWIII (despite what Walter Cronkite thinks). Taking out SH will take a few weeks at most, and everyone, including the UN, will be the better for it. Even the French. Even those dellusional protesters down in Washington who would have protested a pre-emptive strike against Hitler.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:51 PM on October 28, 2002


Most sane people would have protested a preemptive strike against Hitler. One doesn't have the benefit of hindsight in assessing the appropriateness of preemptive strikes.
posted by rushmc at 6:59 PM on October 28, 2002


I think PeePee just hit a new record for bullshit. Not only did he neg someone else's detachment from reality while demonstrating his own ("what we do on Iraq has little or nothing to do with who gets elected this November"? -- tell that to the Dems and the 'Publicans), he managed to mention Hitler! Whoot! Hot stuff!
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:00 PM on October 28, 2002


I'll be thinking about Iraq when we go to the polls.

Sure, it might be nice to think a little bit about some other things once in awhile.... like Osama, like anthrax, like the economy, like Kenny Boy, like Korea, like Saudi Arabia, like the environment, like civil rights..... but hey -- the only thing the prez ever thinks about is Iraq, so that'll be what I think about on election day too.

And then I'll vote Democrat.
posted by spilon at 7:19 PM on October 28, 2002


I think PeePee just hit a new record for bullshit.

DonkeyDick: you have such fabulous credibility.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:22 PM on October 28, 2002


"Taking out SH will take a few weeks at most..."
So it'll be over by Christmas then?
posted by Catch at 7:23 PM on October 28, 2002


I'm still hoping for the Bush/Hussein duel, but the correspondence between the two, as published in the New Yorker, doesn't make things look too promising.
posted by liam at 7:32 PM on October 28, 2002


But after Chanukah.

Actually, catch, you're giving away your non-English-as-first-language nature. I specified the duration; not the timing.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:36 PM on October 28, 2002


What, my 'non-English-as-first-language' nature? I think you're dellusional!
posted by Catch at 7:42 PM on October 28, 2002


The tragic problem with the UN is that it doesn't have a fighting force. It's entire force is made up of people from other countries, who can be recalled by those countries. Each UN country needs to donate personnel, equipment, and technology to the UN, so it can actually function as a pseudo-world government. Therein lies the problem, and UN's major impediment to everything.
posted by ruwan at 7:45 PM on October 28, 2002


I am illusional.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:45 PM on October 28, 2002


Bush is an annoying bastard, one minute we hear Powell say the US is going to wait for the UN, next Bush says we're going with, or without you, meanwhile Iraq stays on the front page deflecting any harm a soft economy, a lack of a prescription drug plan for seniors, no health coverage for 41 million people, no real reform after the business scandals, the fact that tons of money has been poured into these elections, the fact that every speech Bush makes lately is from some campaign/fund raising stop(Is Bush ever in DC?), and Al Qaeda is still planning to do more harm to this country, why would we vote for any incumbents that don't have a plan to fix all of these problems? Seriously folks Iraq is not a threat, our leaders are a bigger threat to us then Saddam is, but people will go, and vote for their pathetic incumbent, and we'll keep getting the same shit. It amazes me, US politics is like Monty Burns, too sick to die.
posted by jbou at 8:01 PM on October 28, 2002


Each UN country needs to donate personnel, equipment, and technology to the UN, so it can actually function as a pseudo-world government.

That is one of the most frightening things I've heard all day.
posted by Plunge at 8:07 PM on October 28, 2002


I don't think anyone knows how this is going to play out if the U.S. invades Iraq (or starts bombing more buildings). If they couldn't get Bin Laden what makes them think they'll get Hussein? If he flees Iraq, I think he'll be more dangerous to the U.S.
posted by disgruntled at 8:13 PM on October 28, 2002


If he flees Iraq, I think he'll be more dangerous to the U.S.

I think that's completely untrue. SH sans Iraq, alive, is no more than annoying. He's no Osama. He has no charisma.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:18 PM on October 28, 2002


ruwan: Many people don't see it that way & don't want a world government. As it stands, it's a common flag for countries to gather under when something needs doing that is genuinely in the interests of nearly everybody. What's wrong with that, that would be made better with a more 'governmental' UN? If a military cause isn't good enough to get countries to send troops, maybe it doesn't need doing so badly, after all.
posted by Mark Doner at 8:19 PM on October 28, 2002


If he flees Iraq, I think he'll be more dangerous to the U.S.

But then he doesn't have any stuff. Who going to support and get behind Saddam?
posted by stifford at 8:29 PM on October 28, 2002


My advice to you: simmer down, and realize Iraq is not the Soviets or the Chinese, and this is not the eve of WWIII (despite what Walter Cronkite thinks). Taking out SH will take a few weeks at most, and everyone, including the UN, will be the better for it. Even the French. Even those dellusional protesters down in Washington who would have protested a pre-emptive strike against Hitler.

it's just nice to look at.....isn't it.

i figure i've had a few beers tonight, and why not. hey mr. paramus, what happens when 'SH' is 'taken out'? if it's not about the election, how come there is no *clear* ideas about how post-SH iraq is going to function? or how a post-SH iraq functions different then it does now?

you're so up on your history, mr paramus, but if you even answer any of the questions above the way you should answer them, in typical parisparamus fashion, you would say that this 21st century form of imperialism is 'cool'. is that what you are saying?
posted by oliver_crunk at 8:53 PM on October 28, 2002


Many people... don't want a world government

In the US, this means the UN. Outside the US, this means the US. Anyone from the US who is against a world government can therefor easily understand the rest of the world's opposition to the US acting is if it is one.
posted by chaz at 8:53 PM on October 28, 2002


Ya know, I think war will probably help my stock portfolio.

Which is, I suspect, a lot of what's driving this war in the first place. It's economical to attack Iraq.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:54 PM on October 28, 2002


I have this sinking feeling that no matter what happens, it's all going to turn into a pile of shit, and a lot of people are going to die.

Call me an optimist. I'm optimistic that my pessimistic hunches will come true.
posted by geekhorde at 8:59 PM on October 28, 2002


For you mr. Saddam
"Call me God"
Do not release to the Press

your pal,
GW

p.s. you shouldn't have tried to kill my daddy
posted by caddis at 9:46 PM on October 28, 2002


"That public virtue which among the ancients was denominated patriotism, is derived from a strong sense of our own interest in the preservation and prosperity of the free government of which we are members. Such a sentiment, which had rendered the legions of the republic almost invincible, could make but a very feeble impression on the mercenary servants of a despotic prince; and it became necessary to supply that defect by other motives, of a different, but not less forcible nature; honour and religion." --Edward Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
posted by rushmc at 9:59 PM on October 28, 2002


Somehow the We lead. You follow. comment has got me incredibly pissed off, as an Australian. Can't you US-Government-sympathisers (I'm not going to call you US patriots, because that's a COMPLETELY different thing) see that this is the exact kind of rhetoric that is pissing the world off. When Americans start coming out with arrogant little snipes like that, I start to think I wouldn't follow the US if it had me chained to the back of it's 10-mpg pick-up truck.

If the US attacks Iraq without the approval of the international community, it's going to be the US that's irrelevant, not the UN. The UN still has a job to do - it's sole (or even main) purpose is not to moderate military disputes. Heard of UNESCO? What about Human rights or Economic development?
posted by Jimbob at 10:26 PM on October 28, 2002


I believe Iraq is only the first (or second if you count Afghanistan) in a series of wars the US will be undertaking.
posted by mikhail at 10:55 PM on October 28, 2002


If the US attacks Iraq without the approval of the international community, it's going to be the US that's irrelevant, not the UN.

Heh. Where will that happen? Only in your head.

What about Human rights

They're self-contradictory, fake, and violate the very real, Individual Rights as recognized in US constitution.

or Economic development?

Few are more economically developed than the US. Few are less economically developed than the Muslim and/or African UN member states.
posted by dagny at 11:25 PM on October 28, 2002


But I thought Bush was going too busy playing Playstation 2?

Seriously, this is the same position that the administration has put forth for awhile now. Like it or not, we are done dealing with Saddam. We are not going to dance around while France and Russia stonewall us publicly yelling 'imperialism', and meanwhile make deals with Iraq behind closed doors.

The huge Russian oil company, Lukoil, has contracts with Iraq's current government, and Russia's government has $8 billion in Iraqi debt it wants repaid. The French communications company Alcatel and auto makers Renault and Peugeot have also done quite a bit of business with Iraq in recent years. And French oil company TotalFinaElf has exclusive rights to develop the Bin Umar and Manjoon oil fields.

Evil oil companies at work once again! Sounds to me like someone doesn't what to lose lucrative and exclusive deals with a co-operative totalitarian government. Maybe people won't be too happy with the company that helped keep their oppressor in power.

Right now, removal of Saddam is in America's best interest. And the interests of Americans are more important to Americans than the interests of anyone else. And any European country that says that is selfish, had out to look at their own history for the last 500 years.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:50 PM on October 28, 2002


Sounds like most people here are against a war with Iraq. After looking at several polls, I'd say you're in the minority. From what I can tell, in every poll I've seen, the majority of Americans support an attack on Iraq. Well, they support it if we don't do it unilaterally. And with America and its politics, the majority rules.
posted by Ron at 12:04 AM on October 29, 2002


Jimbob: Somehow the We lead, You follow comment has got me incredibly pissed off...

Wow, it sure has. But those were Postroad's words, not Bush's. Don't judge Bush by them.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 12:24 AM on October 29, 2002


Jimbob: The UN still has a job to do - its sole (or even main) purpose is not to moderate military disputes.

"The forerunner of the UN was the League of Nations, an organization conceived ... during WW1, and established in 1919 ... 'to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security.' ... The League of Nations ceased its activities after failing to prevent WW2." [UN]

So promoting international cooperation and achieving peace and security are fundamental to the UN's purpose. Conversely, failure in these ends doomed the UN's predecessor.

If the US attacks Iraq without the approval of the international community, it's going to be the US that's irrelevant, not the UN.

I am in no position to judge the UN's "relevance," but I can observe its actions and judge it by its own criteria: if the UN is unable to act on its own to further its ends, and unable to prevent other actors from acting, and unable even to reaffirm its own prior resolutions, then what's left? And how is the UN better than its doomed predecessor?

Heard of UNESCO? What about Human rights or Economic development?

Talk about damning with faint praise...
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 12:47 AM on October 29, 2002


And the interests of Americans are more important to Americans than the interests of anyone else.

No. Completely offensive bullshit. Don't attempt to speak for "Americans". Many real American patriots, unlike the miserable, snivelling, greedhead tribalists who care only about Amerika Uber Alles and maintaining their own pampered little SUV lifestyle, are far more concerned with justice and fairness in the world than jingoistic and selfish "interests".

But congratulations. I have no doubt you are using precisely the argument humans like Osama Bin Laden and his ilk used to justify their actions -- our "interests" trump moral considerations.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:09 AM on October 29, 2002


Don't attempt to speak for "Americans".

I'll stop when you stop... get me?

Many real American patriots...

You mean the ones like you, threatening to run to the border if duty would call? If the people you refer to are patriots, then I am a freakin' ballerina...

are far more concerned with justice and fairness in the world than jingoistic and selfish "interests".

That is fine and dandy in theory, but at the end of the day, you know that is not true... Most people (not just Americans) are more concerned with their safety, their well-being (financial and otherwise) and their families than what is going on in other countries.

But hey, you have fun with your New World Order group...

Un-oh, you compared me to bin Laden... (well at least it's not Hitler...)

and oh, I don't own an SUV...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:27 AM on October 29, 2002


[It seems to me Bush is doing everything he can to make the UN impotent.]

One does not make a dog by calling it one, it's possible he's just pointing out the obvious.
posted by revbrian at 2:01 AM on October 29, 2002


honestly ... bush couldn't make the UN any more impotent than it's already made itself.
posted by aenemated at 3:17 AM on October 29, 2002


Any impotence comes from the actions main players in the UN - China, Russia & USA. You could probably call the UK & France too but they're not really 'powerful' in any meaningful sense of the word these days.

The fact is that any country with any power will have more leverage in a 'world parliament' and because of their power they will want to act more independently.

Same old, same old...
posted by i_cola at 3:46 AM on October 29, 2002


I may be a wishy-washy middle-of-the-political-spectrum type, but I can't help but feel that this is going to turn out badly for everyone involved, if Bush makes good on his intentions -

The UN are going to look like a bunch of ineffectual Euro-knobs (so hey, what's new?)

The USA are going to look like a bunch of war and oil crazy yahoos bent on world domination (see above)

Yer average Iraqi is going to be starved, shot or blown up on a daily basis (see above * n)
posted by backOfYourMind at 3:52 AM on October 29, 2002


The question isn't if you are for or against the war.

The question here is: is the US going to play by the rules of the UN Security Council or is the US going to do whatever it wants?

As demonstrated in the past, the US backs the UN only when it aligns with US interest.

For those who are criticizing the legitimacy of the UN, I offer another question. The US is obviously the most powerful member of the UN. When the US elects not to follow the rules set up by the "international community" and strikes a more vigilante posture, isn't it the US that undermines the purpose of the UN?
posted by quadog at 4:02 AM on October 29, 2002


is the US going to play by the rules of the UN Security Council

What rules would those be? The ones we violated when NATO took action in Bosnia?

I belive the one in violation of the rules, would be the UN it-self for not following through with the resolution that it has passed.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:10 AM on October 29, 2002


while France and Russia stonewall us publicly yelling 'imperialism', and meanwhile make deals with Iraq behind closed doors.

Because the US never did any business with Iraq, right?
posted by matteo at 4:19 AM on October 29, 2002


None that is preventing us from dealing with the present dange in Iraq.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:24 AM on October 29, 2002


danger in Iraq (sorry it is very late)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:26 AM on October 29, 2002


Now there's dange fever present in Iraq?

Things are worse than I thought!

Ok, we all make speling errors, but ICR
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:27 AM on October 29, 2002


Ah crap, too late...
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:29 AM on October 29, 2002


Steve,

so it's OK to do business with bad guys (you did not deny that, I appreciate it), and when they're not useful anymore, you can take them out in good conscience (and crap on the countries that are still doing business with them)

Cool

It's a nice manner to deal with disgruntled former employees like Saddam
posted by matteo at 4:36 AM on October 29, 2002


Matteo: Let me use an analogy -

Working with Saddam is like owning a dog. You keep the dog on a leash, you know that you control the situation. So it is okay for your kids to play with the dog. But then one day the dog gets rabies. You won't let your kids near the dog. And even though the dog is a threat, the other parents in the neighborhood are irresponsible, and let their kids still play fetch with Rover. Well unfortunately the dog is a danger to the whole neighborhoods and needs to be put down, regardless of how much the neighborhood kids cry about the dog.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:49 AM on October 29, 2002


you mean the like you, threatening to run to the border if duty would call?

Why don't you join now and beat the rush!! Be the first on Iraqi soil dude! Put your ass where your mouth is (if there's a diference.)

But then one day the dog gets rabies.

And Raygun and Poppy Bush gave the dog rabies.
posted by nofundy at 5:24 AM on October 29, 2002


Why don't you join now

Already have... I volunteered my freshman year of college of the National Guard, and I serve in a combat arms unit.

Put your ass where your mouth is (if there's a difference.)

You are hardly one to talk.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:37 AM on October 29, 2002


Well, to follow your nice analogy (I'm sure a Muslim would be delighted to read it), you like to make money off rabid dogs because you bet on their fights, so you treat them well and don't care if they bite weaker bystanders (Saddam didn't catch rabies by magic, he has always been pretty unpeasant)
When you lose a few bets you placed on your rabid doggie, then you cut its throat and deny ever betting on the fights

And also whine if other people start looking at you funny
posted by matteo at 5:43 AM on October 29, 2002


"been pretty _unpleaseant_ "

my typo sorry
posted by matteo at 5:44 AM on October 29, 2002


I'm sure a Muslim would be delighted to read it

Oh, I get it, you are attempting to say that I called Muslims dogs... Well I never said. Don't imply things that are not there.

So you are saying that companies in the United States made money by pitting Iraq against other nations? Please explain how this makes anyone money. I though we were there to pump Iraq dry of oil? You say we don't care if they "bite weaker bystanders" would this be the Israelis that we support, or the Kurds that we protect with "No-Fly" zones?

If any one cut Saddam's throat, it was him self. All he had to do is renounce the WMD, let inspectors look over all of Iraq, and it would have never came to this... His choice, not ours.

And Yes, I normally don't like people looking at me funny.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:55 AM on October 29, 2002


Steve,
Why is Iraq such an imminent danger to the USA that we need to invade? He hates the US, I agree, but what can he do? He has no self-interest in aiding Muslim fundamentalists such as Al Quaida, and the Muslim states of the Middle East dislike him because he is a secular dictator. The only thing they dislike more is a US style democracy. Sure, he may or may not have weapons of mass destruction (though he probably doesn't have nuclear weapons, or is even close to having them), but how can he get them to the US? He doesn't have ICBMs. Maybe he could sneak them in, but that would only provoke an attack which would take his power away, the one thing he doesn't want to happen. He could attack Israel, but the chance of that is even greater if he is attacked first, as in Gulf War I.

The only reason I can see to attack Saddam is his genocidal treatment of the Kurds and his own people. Considering that the US has looked the other way in other cases of genocide before, like in African states, where's our precedent? And tens of thousands of people die each day in undeveloped countries; wouldn't our money be better spent saving those lives instead of taking other lives? Or is it all about the black gold?
posted by The Michael The at 6:10 AM on October 29, 2002


He has no self-interest in aiding Muslim fundamentalists such as Al Quaida

You know this, without a doubt? You disbelief the possibility that the reports of Iraqis and al-Quaida officials meeting are true?

an attack which would take his power away, the one thing he doesn't want to happen

You know you could use the same logic, that Saddam knows that if he doesn't give inspectors full access, that we are going to remove him. One would think that he would not want that to happen. Funny, he doesn't seem to see it that way.

Considering that the US has looked the other way in other cases of genocide before, like in African states, where's our precedent?

Excellent point. The U.S. ( or the UN for that matter) has done little about the genocide in Africa. But by your logic we should continue to do nothing, right? I will say that I do not belive that the United States is going to Iraq to save the Kurds, it is just a bonus that we can help these people and protect ourselves....

Or is it all about the black gold?

I am sorry Michael, but please don't trot this old line again. This has been answered 500+ times....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:29 AM on October 29, 2002


if saddam were really some blood thirsty anti-american psuedo-terrorist, wouldn't he have struck back considering the fact that we've been bombing Iraq steadily for a few years now?
posted by mcsweetie at 6:38 AM on October 29, 2002


Yeah, they shoot at the allied planes every time they fly over, there was a whole thread on this awhile back. It is just that we have better piolts than they have anti-aircraft personal...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:46 AM on October 29, 2002


Right. It's totally the skilled expertise of the pilots that have devestated the Iraqi anti-air forces and has nothing to do with the airplanes laden with technology that costs roughly around the entire GNP of the countries they're bombing.

Granted, though, I'll credit U.S. military expertise for their preparatory and research simluation skills- such as this wargame example where Iraq defeated the U.S. before the brilliant American military strategy of "calling backsies" was enacted.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:03 AM on October 29, 2002


You know this, without a doubt? You disbelief the possibility that the reports of Iraqis and al-Quaida officials meeting are true?

I disbelieve that they are meeting, yes. Do you know, without a doubt, that he does? I'd say that the overwhelming amount of evidence points to no, he isn't involved with them, and that it's been trumped up that he has.

You know you could use the same logic, that Saddam knows that if he doesn't give inspectors full access, that we are going to remove him. One would think that he would not want that to happen. Funny, he doesn't seem to see it that way.

Come on, he's toeing the line! Isn't it obvious? He doesn't want the inspectors to come in because he doesn't want to seem impotent to the world. It gives both the appearance of moxie and the appearance that he has something that he probably doesn't. He's been successful with this tactic in the past and hasn't been attacked, so why not do it some more?

Excellent point. The U.S. ( or the UN for that matter) has done little about the genocide in Africa. But by your logic we should continue to do nothing, right? I will say that I do not belive that the United States is going to Iraq to save the Kurds, it is just a bonus that we can help these people and protect ourselves....

My logic doesn't preclude the possibility of action. Yes, something should be done, but the international community should work together to solve these problems. Yes, the UN doesn't work well enough to allow this, but it should and can be fixed or a new international body can be created. And I repeat, how is this protecting ourselves? If you can give a cogent, convincing answer to this question, I will be happy.

I am sorry Michael, but please don't trot this old line again. This has been answered 500+ times....

Then what is it about? You already said it's not about human rights. Please, tell me, instead of speaking in vague cliches.
posted by The Michael The at 7:15 AM on October 29, 2002


Re: the UN's efficacy (or at least, the security council's)
The UN seems fond of trotting out all sorts of resolutions that it has no intention of "enforcing" even with sactions, much less military action. For example, there are a number of them that israel has been studiously ignoring for decades, but the UN hasn't even seen fit to send some blue-helmet observers to the west bank, much less do anything. If the UN Sec. Council is to be something more than a place for posturing, it needs to show a little backbone: either not give countries orders if it has no plans for doing something when those orders aren't obeyed, or commit to the things it is (allegedly) resolved on. This whole business of france and russia wanting a resolution that doesn't allow any enforcement is silly; if they don't want to deal with the saddam problem, they shouldn't bother passing resolutions he will ignore. Especially if the content is more or less the same as another resolution he has already blown off.

Everybody knows the sanctions have failed; continuing them is just a cruelty to the iraqi people. There are three realistic options: kick saddam out now (or at least, soon), or continue the sactions til saddam dies of old age, or end the sactions & let him do his own thing. The latter would look good, except its pretty clear that he'll just build up his military, and start causing trouble again. In any case, "sitting on our hands and passing resolutions" doesn't seem very good at all.
posted by Mark Doner at 8:16 AM on October 29, 2002


Mark, you've hit the paradox right on the money.

The U.S. wants to invade because it can't simply admit that Sanctions have failed and if anything have caused more hatred of the U.S. and greater support for Saddam. Saddam can't give in to the U.N. because he will seem weak- even though he has a high quantity of supporters, like Yassir Arafat the support is weak and easily swayed at the sign of submission to the Great Satan. Additionally, it's proven that at least some of Iraq's initial accusations of the UNSCOM inspectors illegally spying on Saddam were true; as such there is mutual mistrust eliminating either side from being able to make the first move.

Both sides are touting military action because frankly, both sides seem to care little about the loss of Iraqi lives. Bush's fallacy lies in thinking that bombing and killing Iraqis is a major threat, when frankly people like me here in the U.S. care more about Iraqi civilians than Saddam does. Saddam doesn't have to worry about approval ratings because as we've already seen, he gets 100% of the vote, and Bush doesn't have to worry because in the event of any military actions, the majority of lives lost are going to be Iraqi and very possibly Israeli- neither of which vote in American elections.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:33 AM on October 29, 2002


Do you know, without a doubt, that he does?
I don't need to know, without a doubt, I will error on the side of caution.

Isn't it obvious? He doesn't want the inspectors to come in because he doesn't want to seem impotent to the world. It gives both the appearance of moxie and the appearance that he has something that he probably doesn't. He's been successful with this tactic in the past and hasn't been attacked, so why not do it some more?

You are both correct and incorrect in this statement. Yes, it has worked in the past. The past is over. A new administration has taken office, and is not going to play the games of the last. Where you are incorrect is in believing that this shows moxie. This shows that he is not a realist, and has little clue as to what works are now in motion. As for 'some thing he probably doesn't' have I am guessing that you are talking about nuclear weapons, right? Well the point is to stop him from getting nuclear weapons, not having to deal with two North Korea type situations. (Thank you very much Carter and Clinton)

how is this protecting ourselves?

Do I really need to explain to you how removing a terrorist friendly dictatorship in an already unstable area, that seeks revenge for its embarrassment in the gulf war, is protecting ourselves? I hope not.

You already said it's not about human rights. Please, tell me, instead of speaking in vague cliches.

Okay here I'll be really clear:

IT IS NOT ABOUT OIL!
IT IS ABOUT ELIMINATING THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY
YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO KILL YOU & ME

Is that clear enough for you?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:15 AM on October 29, 2002


I have yet to see any credible evidence that SH is of any threat to the United States. Let's look at what we know without a doubt:

The United States helped put SH into power.

During the Reagon Admin the United States was trying to normalize relations with Iraq and completely ignored the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds. Don Rumsfeld was sent over as part of a special envoy to Iraq to achieve normalized relations.

I.E. The dog is decidely rabid and yet we didn't see to care then that he had WMD.

The Gulf War slapped SH's hands for attempting to annex the Kuwaiti Oil Fields. The US had UN backing for the Gulf War and a large part of the costs for the war was paid for by other countries. (In a sense, the U.S. acted as paid mercenaries to contain SH, an act that happened to serve U.S. interests at the time.)

Ever since then SH has been doing everything he can to circumvent the economic sanctions, oil smuggling, and hold on to his power base. He may be a nut but to have maintained control this long he has to have some grasp of his reality and how power works.

His only "real" enemy is the United States and he knows that the only way to defeat them/us is via political gamesmanship/public relations that keeps him/Iraq looking like a victim and the U.S. as a bully. (I base this assumption on the timing of SH's agreement to allow weapons inspectors into Iraq which came as a complete surprise to the Bush Admin and took away the moral high ground from the Bush Admin.)

This delays the attack, gives SH more time to garner support from the World Community, and the citizens in the U.S. that are against any preemptive strikes.

Now tell me, what has SH DONE that can be argued as a real and credible threat to the United States since the Gulf War? What has SH done that can be without a doubt interpreted at a direct threat to the United States?

Firing anti-aircraft guns at patrol aircraft doesn't count for squat. He could be firing squirt guns for all the effect they are having. It is the equivalent of a prisoner running his tin cup across the bars in an attempt to get on the nerves of the prison guards.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 9:21 AM on October 29, 2002


How is he a threat to our National Security? So far all we have are allegations that his admin met with Al Quaeda. Give me some evidence based on his actions that SH is a threat.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 9:23 AM on October 29, 2002


Tell you what, give it about 6 mouths... and the USMC will bring you all the proof you want...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:29 AM on October 29, 2002


I look forward to the liberation of Iraq. For the Iraqi people whose lives will be saved and improved. For the increased stability it will bring to the region. For the threat the liberation will pose to the other disgusting regimes in the area, such as Syria and Saudi Arabia. And for the blood vessels it will burst in the heads of so many feckless, dictator-trivializing leftist Metafilter delusionists.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:31 AM on October 29, 2002


"IT IS ABOUT ELIMINATING THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY
YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO KILL YOU & ME"

in the unlikely even that this "war on terrorism" is ever over (i have yet to hear any achievable goals), that may be pretty much everyone.
posted by muppetboy at 9:33 AM on October 29, 2002


S@L: IT IS NOT ABOUT OIL!
IT IS ABOUT ELIMINATING THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY
YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO KILL YOU & ME


No, it's not. It's about the oil.

There. I have presented just as much evidence to prove my point as you have presented to prove yours.

Shouting doesn't make it "more right," it just makes you look like a spoiled child who wants desperately to believe what his Uncle Dickie is telling him, meanwhile me and lots of the other children on the playground remain bound and determined to make up our own minds and not be dictated to by the likes of you. Given the backgrounds, interests and investment portfolios of Cheney, the Bushes and the men who put them where they are today, to think that it's about anything other than the oil is just ridiculous, and completely ignorant of how business and politics work in America.
posted by JollyWanker at 9:37 AM on October 29, 2002


Steve,

As the bastion of the right here on Metafilter, at the least the bastion that has my respect, I didn't expect such a weak dodge from you on my question.

You are saying that I should base my decision on whether we should go to war on proof that we might get when the war is over? So you are saying that the ends justifies the means then right? So morals don't apply to our country then just to others? Is this what you are saying?

It sure seems that that is what you are suggesting....
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 9:41 AM on October 29, 2002


Steve,

Have fun playing in the sand! Don't expect any rich kids to be there "defending the peace" beside you.
250,000 Reservists to be called up for Iraqi war.
posted by nofundy at 9:50 AM on October 29, 2002


IT IS NOT ABOUT OIL! IT IS ABOUT ELIMINATING THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO KILL YOU & ME

Is that clear enough for you?

Clear as mud, Steve, and your denial of this painfully blatant coincidence is staggering. My good friend Tom Tomorrow explained this, actually, this very morning:

So why are we so focused on Iraq, when there are abuses and outrages and oppression all over the world? What sets Iraq apart, and necessitates a commitment of billions of dollars and untold lives?

Well, gosh, this isn't rocket science, is it?

Iraq has the world's second largest oil reserves, and U.S. oil companies are already salivating at the prospect of divvying them up. A study sponsored by Council of Foreign Relations (which I mentioned a few posts back, and can be read in PDF format here) easily refutes the canard that since most U.S. oil comes from sources other than the Middle East, this war can't possibly be about something as mundane as oil, noting that "The global nature of oil trade and pricing means that it matters little if Gulf oil flows to Asia or the United States. Middle East Gulf pricing and supply trends will affect energy costs around the globe regardless."

It's also worth noting that Ahmed Chalabi, the "silk-suited, Rolex-wearing" London-based leader of the Iraqi National Congress--and Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle's puppet-leader-of-choice for a conquered Iraq--is not only busily drawing up plans to parcel out Iraq's oil to U.S. multinationals, but is also "spinning scenarios about dismantling Saudi Arabia, seizing its oil and collapsing the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)." (The American Prospect has a long article on this guy, and it's well worth reading.)

So, no, it's in no way about oil... it's about defending ourselves from those who oppress... let's continue:

It's nice to imagine that this buildup to war is motivated by nothing other than our concern for the Kurdish people, just like it's nice to imagine that our little intervention in Afghanistan was about nothing more than our concern for the poor oppressed women of that country--especially given that our stated goals, destroying al Qaeda and capturing Osama bin Laden, were not realized. But in the case of Afghanistan, even if your recollection of recent history is so fundamentally shaky that you are able to accept the revisionist version of events at face value, things aren't looking so good. Also on Salon yesterday (in the Premium section, unfortunately) was an article by Phillip Robertson which is also well worth reading:

"The seeds of the current government's destruction were sown by the American-backed victory over the Taliban, and nourished by the Bush administration's failure to devote the necessary resources to rebuilding Afghanistan. Before the bombing ever started, those knowledgeable about Afghanistan warned that massive postwar reconstruction would be necessary to prevent the nation from once again becoming a terrorist breeding ground. They warned that ancient ethnic and tribal tensions, in particular between Tajiks and Pashtuns, could quickly rage out of control. All of their grim predictions of postwar anarchy are coming true -- and America is doing nothing."

The point is, war is always subject to the law of unintended consequences, and the onus must always be on those who desire war to justify its need. And, for god's sake, to learn from the lessons of the past. Remember what happened after we installed the Shah of Iran? You know, that business with the fundamentalist Islamic uprising, which pretty much leads in a straight line to the current jihad against the West? Gosh, that one worked out well, didn't it?

So let's see... we just happen to be inading the second-largest source of oil and just happening to be aiming to install a new ruler that just happens to be actively pursuing U.S. oil interests with the new government should he become a leader, all while we just happen to be ignoring everywhere else that just happens to not have any oil.

Yet you claim to be sick of the "war for oil" argument when you scream at us that it's all about evil Saddam and his gassing the Kurds- a heaping mound of bullshit considering we were told about it when he did it and didn't give three-fifths of a fuck about it. Easy to take higher ground when we've allowed a mountain of bodies to accumulate, ain't it?

Your counter to this is... what? That it's just one big fucking coincidence? Saddam has just been waiting for the right moment? "We'll get evidence in six months" that we haven't had for eleven years? There's a lot more people that "want" to kill you and me, Steve, and although the Iraqis might one of those groups, they haven't done it, and aren't as likely to do it as others who have, and who we've done a piss-poor job of trying to stop from doing again.

I am damn sick of being told that the ridiculously obvious backed with a mountain of evidence is bullshit simply because you say so, or allegedly plan to say so "in six months." In other words, right now you don't have a leg to stand on and you know it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:55 AM on October 29, 2002


I don't need to know, without a doubt, I will error on the side of caution.

no offense, but thats one of the most painfully stupid things I've heard in a while. "error on the side of caution" is precisely why this war shouldn't happen.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:58 AM on October 29, 2002


"Do I really need to explain to you how removing a terrorist friendly dictatorship in an already unstable area, that seeks revenge for its embarrassment in the gulf war, is protecting ourselves? I hope not."

How do we know SH is terrorist friendly?
How do we know SH is seeking revenge and is going to attack us at his soonest possible convenience?

Unless SH is completely suicidal he is going to want to hold onto his powerbase no matter what his current course of action. As a maniacal dictator that would be my first priority. So, unless he manages to destroy the United States with one blow, he has to know that if we can link any attack to him that we will retaliate, that the United States would nuke him and his country, given a reasonable amount of provocation, until he glows.

Based on your thinking he should have hit us with some sort of chemical weapons attack via a terrorist by now. How many years has he had to develop a chemical weapon that he could have passed onto a terrorist now?

Because this has not happened I am forced to deduce that he is not suicidal or not that competent. This lowers his threat level to that of any one of several different dictators around the world that is more concerned with his own backyard than ours.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 10:02 AM on October 29, 2002


Tell you what, give it about 6 mouths... and the USMC will bring you all the proof you want...

Yeah, and the cops can be pretty good at "providing proof" of people's guilt 6 months after they arrest them, too. If we let them.
posted by rushmc at 10:14 AM on October 29, 2002


Bullshit JollyWanker...

But who cares anyways... I am sick of going round and round with people who belive this myth out there that this is all revolving around oil... Fine if you want to live in your delusional fantasy world go ahead.

You are saying that I should base my decision on whether we should go to war on proof that we might get when the war is over? So you are saying that the ends justifies the means then right? So morals don't apply to our country then just to others? Is this what you are saying?

No Wong, I am not saying that you need to wait until the war is over for proof. You are right that was weak, but hey I haven't have any sleep in 30 some hours*, so I get sloppy...

Look, there was proof that the inspectors found when they were in Iraq the last time that SH was pursuing WMD. And they have admitted that they did not destroy everything. There are the reports of the Germans selling them centrifuges, the kind use in bringing uranium and plutonium to weapons grade levels. There have been many reports that al-Queda is meeting with SH. Though many trivialize it, SH did attempt to assassinate a former U.S. President.

All of that aside, the biggest risk, as I see it anyways, is the concept of Nuclear Blackmail. Lets play "what if":

Unlike North Korea, Saddam is sitting on top of a gold mine, and is not in economic crisis. He has no need to 'play ball' to receive foreign aid.

SH already has a recent history showing his desire to invade his neighbors and take their oil fields. What would have happened in '91 if Saddam would have had a nuke, and threatened to use it? He could have used it on Israel, killing millions. He could have set it off in the Kuwaiti oil fields, rendering it use less for generation, sending the world economy in to depression on fears of fuel prices.

And if the Allies did nothing because he had this weapon? Then the Arab states fall one by one, until Saddam controls all of the oil in the Middle East. Is that a situation you want to deal with?

So ignoring all of the Terrorism issues, though I think they are important, Saddam is positioning him self to take control of the Middle East and therefore control of a major source of fuel for the world.

The question really comes down to: Do you want to deal with this now, or later?

nofundy: I have no issue going if I am called. It is some thing called Selfless Service. I do wonder why you assume two things:
1. I am rich (Though I wish, completely not true)
2. That it will be poor 'kids' going to war? (There are quite a few 'rich kids' in my unit, as well as I have met in my time in the service)

XQUZYPHYR: Dan Perkins is a fool. This is the same blathering idiot that thought it would be funny to poke at Daniel Pearl's wife with in days of him being beheaded.

*Not that anyone cares, or I want them to, but I have been up finishing a lengthy paper for my British History class, the reason for my lack of sleep, and am rather cranky.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:21 AM on October 29, 2002


The beginning of a return to sanity, or a temporary aberration?
posted by rushmc at 10:28 AM on October 29, 2002


Dan Perkins is a fool. This is the same blathering idiot that thought it would be funny to poke at Daniel Pearl's wife with in days of him being beheaded.

You're referring to Ted Rall, and you made the lame rhetoric that everyone else did. You're recalling the outrage expressed by Rall's strip which referenced the someone being killed by having his throat cut (the method in which Pearl was murdered) though ignoring it's absence of actually claiming it was Pearl or his wife. Of course, the outrage towards what was, essentially, a tragic yet tasteless coincidence completely removed any attention to the actual point of the strip, which was about the discrepancies in aid for the families of tragedy victims.

Dan Perkins (aka Tom Tomorrow) publicly came out in opposition to the tone of the strip, though no mention was made in your tone about how someone having an opinion, even a tasteless one, negates future factual information from outside sources they link to on their websites. Oh wait, that's right- they have nothing to do with one another. Thanks for playing.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:54 AM on October 29, 2002


Saddam is positioning him self to take control of the Middle East and therefore control of a major source of fuel for the world.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??? That's ridiculous. Please support this with more evidence than the weak statements you already made (SH already has a recent history showing his desire to invade his neighbors and take their oil fields. What would have happened in '91 if Saddam would have had a nuke, and threatened to use it? He could have used it on Israel, killing millions. He could have set it off in the Kuwaiti oil fields, rendering it use less for generation, sending the world economy in to depression on fears of fuel prices.). Less "could haves", and no shouting this time. I reject your claim, because Saddam has no illusions about being able to defeat Western forces, or for that matter, the combined forces of the Muslim fundamentalisms, which he would have to face if he tried taking over the region. He was already defeated by Iran, if you'll remember, and thoroughly trounced by the Allies in Gulf War I.

About serving: have you ever read Catch-22? I'm certainly not going to serve, as I have no direct personal stake in this war (don't even have a car), and I refuse to take orders from people that think like you. It's not my duty to serve, hence the notion of a volunteer military.
posted by The Michael The at 10:56 AM on October 29, 2002


Part of the Bush strategy is to play rope-a-dope with France and Russia, and the other obstructionist members. Why? Because these countries opposition to taking out SH is not based on principles. It's just diplomatic stink bombing.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:00 AM on October 29, 2002


As opposed to the pure and moral principles upon which Cheney intends to cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war upon Baghdad, no doubt... Yes, it's a stink of some kind or other...
posted by JollyWanker at 11:31 AM on October 29, 2002


Okay,

Thanks for the reply.

I understand what you are saying as far as the deal with it now or deal with it later statement. I don't mean to take advantage of a guy who's had no sleep but here I go. I don't believe that nuclear weapons change the equation, just the possible death toll. I don't believe SH's acquisition of nukes guarantees an attack on the United States. He still has to destroy our entire country and face retaliation. (See our guys in bunkers waiting to push the button.) It doesn't look like SH is willing to take the bullet for the rest of the Islamic fundamentalists/Nationalistic movement.

If SH starts trying to annex Middle Eastern Countries then the United States will get the backing of the World Community to put him in his place again just like the first Gulf War. If he has a nuke we might be less likely to try and completely depose him, other than that I don't think it is a factor.

If he nukes Israel then Israel will nuke him back or we will. I am assuming that they (Israel) have guys in bunkers prepared for just this eventuality, as I know that we do. War on this scale will be bad for the world economy. I am not disputing that.

War on the scale you are arguing for will only be bad for our economy, unless we take control of the oil there. We will be funding this operation mostly by ourselves. England will be helping but I don't know of anyone else chipping in.

Best case scenario for preemptive attack on Iraq, of course in my opinion, is that we depose SH with the minimal amount of effort time and casualties, and fuel the formation of generations of Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists that will not rest until our country is dead. We then become Rome and they become the barbarians.

What you are not seeing is that this is an "Does the ends justify the means question?". If we don't answer correctly I believe our country will be heading down the path of it's extinction.

If we attack without real proof/justification then what is to stop us from doing it again? Why would the rest of the world believe that this is a 1 time event and that we would never preemptively attack someone again?

I gotta stop now and get some work done.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 11:44 AM on October 29, 2002


From today's Slate:

. . . the CIA and the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency have dismissed the connection [between Iraq and Al Quaida] as tenuous at best.

It's all right here.
posted by The Michael The at 11:47 AM on October 29, 2002


Ever wonder 'how on earth did Iraq rebuild all those oil wells after the Persian Gulf War?' Well, the answer my friends is that a company called Halliburton did the job for them, that's right folks, Dick Cheney's very own Halliburton.

I don't know what this war is about, but I hope that a playstation and my lack of republican votes next Tuesday will help put the kibosh on it.
posted by mosch at 1:21 PM on October 29, 2002


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