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April 13, 2003 11:54 AM   Subscribe

"We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria" President Bush gets ready to liberate Syria.
posted by four panels (132 comments total)

 
Oh no he didn't!
posted by Busithoth at 11:56 AM on April 13, 2003


How 'bout finding some in Iraq first?

Or how about finding that osama guy?

Or how bout trying to do something about the economy?

2004 seems so close and yet so far away...
posted by Space Coyote at 11:58 AM on April 13, 2003


The US policy after 9-11 is pre-emptive strike against potential terror threats in particular those with WMD capability. How long is everyone going to jump up and down pointing fingers about this instead of discussing the merits of the policy?

Perle said that if the Bush administration were to learn that Syria had taken possession of such Iraqi weapons, "I'm quite sure that we would have to respond to that."
posted by stbalbach at 12:05 PM on April 13, 2003


If chemical weapons mean oil, then yes, they do have chemical weapons.
posted by fatbobsmith at 12:07 PM on April 13, 2003


The US policy after 9-11 is pre-emptive strike against potential terror threats

A look back to 1992 may be in order.
posted by four panels at 12:08 PM on April 13, 2003


"But it doesn't mean that we are readying the troops for a next military engagement. We are not." In fact they are preparing 2 or 3 Aircraft carriers to come home right away, so it's obvious that Syria won't be liberated until after Bush's reelection.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:09 PM on April 13, 2003


Perle said that if the Bush administration were to learn that Syria had taken possession of such Iraqi weapons, "I'm quite sure that we would have to respond to that."

And it's not as if Perle has anything to gain from this, right? He's only a member of the Defense Policy board, an advisor to Bush, and a venture capitalist that provides funding to defense companies. That and he also has pretty close ties with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other big defense contractors.

No conflict of interest there, right?
posted by SweetJesus at 12:14 PM on April 13, 2003


According to The Observer, the aim here is take out Hizbollah; the idea being that this will make Sharon more amenable to Bush and Blair's two state 'roadmap.' As far as I recall, the notion that all Iraq's WMDs are now in Syria was seeded in the press about a week ago.
posted by carter at 12:16 PM on April 13, 2003


so it's obvious that Syria won't be liberated until after Bush's reelection.

If I've learned nothing in the last couple of years, it's that nothing is 'obvious'.

There have been rumors that Saddam and sons and WMD (if any) are all in Syria already. Obviously.
posted by Busithoth at 12:20 PM on April 13, 2003


The US policy after 9-11 is pre-emptive strike against potential terror threats in particular those with WMD capability.

India seems to be warming up to this policy too.

"Asserting the same right of preemptive war that the United States used to justify its invasion of Iraq, Indian officials have accused Washington of failing to end Pakistan's support for guerrillas in Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir and warned that India may be forced to take limited military action against its nuclear-armed neighbor."

If Pakistan harbors terrorists, and we support Pakistan, are we with the terrorists and against ourselves?
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM on April 13, 2003


How about some actual hard evidence before invading yet another foreign country?

And I mean real evidence not some forged document from the CIA and excerpts from some college kid's thesis
posted by entropy at 12:30 PM on April 13, 2003


Hopefully we can just keep moving this invisible stockpile of weapons from one country to the next, until WE OWN THEM ALL!
posted by Espoo2 at 12:33 PM on April 13, 2003


i so can't wait to be moved by images of jubilant liberated syrians dancing in the streets.
posted by quonsar at 12:42 PM on April 13, 2003


"According to some, leading the list of people Saddam may have hidden his WMD with, were Syrian President Assad, and a 'Dwayne Shifford' of Austin Texas, whose dog repeatedly shit on then Governor Bush's lawn, and refused to clean it up, or even apologize."
posted by KnitWit at 12:43 PM on April 13, 2003


Ha ha!

All right everybody, pay up. According to my books, most of you bet on Saudi Arabia, although there was some long shot money on North Korea. Almost nobody bet on Syria, so it's your lucky day if you did, but for the rest of you.. well, better luck next time.
posted by Hildago at 12:44 PM on April 13, 2003


According to The Observer, the aim here is take out Hizbollah

Great. And then Hizbollah, who would rather have nothing to do with us, will counter-attack, possibly on our own soil. Then we'll pass some variation of Patriot II. So some Americans will die and all will lose some of their civil liberties, but hey, at least Ariel Sharon will be happy.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on April 13, 2003


No, no. We'll have to wait until Bashar becomes a household name like Saddam before there's a groundswell of support to liberate (whatever is worth liberating to this US administration in) Syria. And he's just not as charismatic as Saddam.
posted by Celery at 12:52 PM on April 13, 2003


not so fast, hildago!

i've got my money riding on the iraq-syria-saudi arabia-france parlay, so i could potentially win me some big money by the time election 2004 comes around.

in the meantime, i'm waiting for mefi's conservative contingent to jump in this thread and remind me how syria is the greatest threat to world peace ever and how everything the bush administration does or says is righteous, holy, and unassailable.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:52 PM on April 13, 2003


I was just about to put together a post on the same subject – war as a shell game. If Syria doesn't have WMD, then they must be providing safe harbour for Saddam and company.
posted by Officeslacker at 12:55 PM on April 13, 2003


I'd just like to say that the IHT has a beautiful design. Pretty and functional.
posted by bonehead at 1:07 PM on April 13, 2003


6 years ago the CIA believed Syria had Chemical Weapons. Although I can't vouch for the source.
posted by abez at 1:10 PM on April 13, 2003


<aside>carter, thank you for a comment with substance and value.</aside>
posted by tomharpel at 1:53 PM on April 13, 2003


"We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria".

Well, no shit. Syria has had chemical and biological weapons since the 1970s. See here for more details. So just to forestall any Syrian WMD debate: yes, they have them, and no, they haven't used them or passed them to Hezbollah in all that time. Because Israel would nuke 'em if they did. So the notion of invading Syria over threatening the world with WMD/hiding Saddam/looking funny at the USA has an even more tenuous grounding in reality than the Iraq invasion did.
posted by Bletch at 1:57 PM on April 13, 2003


Why would a tenuous grounding in reality stop us now? The confusing messages from the White House (keep in mind that more than half of all Americans now believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for or participated in the 9/11 tragedy) have been a combination of half-truths, paranoia, and greed masquerading as urgency. We don't need anything more than a tenuous connection to anything related to terrorism (where in the HELL did this sudden need to relieve countries of WMDs come from?) is all that's needed for us to start our bluster of belligerence.
As for two or three aircraft carriers coming home, who cares? They can always come back if needed...

I hate to say this, but we're going to look back on Germany and France as the voice of reason against the frothing at the mouth that is our current foreign policy.
posted by FormlessOne at 2:04 PM on April 13, 2003


Of course Syria and Iran are next. Squeal all you want, but Islamic fascism is a global cancer, and every Islamic fascist country that is liberated, is one less tumor in the word body.
posted by Beholder at 2:07 PM on April 13, 2003


...and the best way to cure cancer is with chemicals and radiation bombardment. New bioagents also show promise.
posted by bonehead at 2:17 PM on April 13, 2003


but Islamic fascism is a global cancer

I'm afraid you have no idea what you are talking about.

In the world today, there is not one instance of 'Islamic fascism'. I suggest a good 4 year University program, or perhaps a cursory glance on the Internet at the history, definition, or culture of 'fascism.'
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:18 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder-

Of course Syria and Iran are next. Squeal all you want, but Islamic fascism is a global cancer, and every Islamic fascist country that is liberated, is one less tumor in the word body

are you serious? Because if you are, I for one would like to see how Islamic governments and fascism are the same.
posted by Stynxno at 2:18 PM on April 13, 2003


Down with Islamic fascism! Up with American fascism! Woot!





War fucking sucks. Stop doing it already.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:29 PM on April 13, 2003


Wake me up when the Bin Laden and Hussien Crazy Weapons Fun Train makes it to Libya.

If only Ron Junior could be more like little Georgie we might be able to actually bring back Jams and OP t-shirts with a second Reagan-Bush White House.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:30 PM on April 13, 2003


As I pointed out on another thread, fascism is an attempt to restore the sort of immaterial bonds that existed under feudalism in an industrialised state. The Muslim world is more a set of totalitarian theocracies or totalitarian dictatorships with theocratic backing than a proper fascism, because most Muslim countries never industrialised (Iran and Turkey, the two non-Arab states, are the exceptions, and in both cases, only they did so only half-heartedly).
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 2:33 PM on April 13, 2003


In the world today, there is not one instance of 'Islamic fascism'. I suggest a good 4 year University program, or perhaps a cursory glance on the Internet at the history, definition, or culture of 'fascism.'

Please put down the crack pipe.

Any country that denies women the right to vote is fascist. Iraq was fascist, because it was a dictatorship.
posted by Beholder at 2:33 PM on April 13, 2003


Women in the United States were given the right to vote in 1920. In Iraq women could vote (technically) starting in 1980. Does that mean that the United States was a fascist nation for ~150 years?
posted by BugsPotter at 2:52 PM on April 13, 2003


Wow, Beholder, that's a good trick: You quoted Pseud's post and responded to it (and insulted him in the process) without actually reading it. Read the line you quoted. Then do what it says. Fascism has a specific meaning -- it's not just a catch-all word for "bad people who do things I don't approve of". And it has almost nothing to do with denying women the vote. And the United States denied women the vote until 1920, without being a dictatorship. (On preview, Bugspotter beat me to that last.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:54 PM on April 13, 2003


(Er, quoted The Jesse Helms, not Pseudoephedrine.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:58 PM on April 13, 2003


Women in the United States were given the right to vote in 1920. Does that mean that the United States was a fascist nation for ~150 years?

Yes, absolutely.

As far as women voting in Iraq, elections in Iraq mean about as much as elections in Cuba, and before you crack any jokes about Florida, you really should just let that one go. You lost, get over it.
posted by Beholder at 3:01 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder: You are an uneducated idiot.
posted by delmoi at 3:02 PM on April 13, 2003


The wartards are stepping in it this time.
Syria isn't just the country next door.
Unlike the decimated Iraqi army that didn't even control
it's northern or southern regions, Syria has a very capable military with plenty of WMD within range of Israel.

The Syrian Military: A Primer
posted by 2sheets at 3:04 PM on April 13, 2003


You are an uneducated idiot.

wartards


And by comparison the folks leading the "peace" protest are a sophisticated bunch....
posted by dhoyt at 3:27 PM on April 13, 2003


You lost, get over it.

Correction. We all lost. And we continue to lose as long as apathy reigns on one side, and blind allegiance rules on the other.

You seem impassioned, but what irked you, specifically? The challenge of looking something up in the dictionary. I'm sure you could have done it.

And, (misogyny aside) what in the world makes you pick women's right to vote as your yardstick for measuring fascism?
posted by Busithoth at 3:37 PM on April 13, 2003


Hasn't anyone briefed Shrub on Tecumseh's Curse? I mean the guy is just tempting fate now. Actually he has passed just tempting fate and he's moved on to completely dissing it. And here I thought after the pretzel incident, GWB had old Tecumseh licked. He's gonna haveta start riding around in a PopeMobile.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:40 PM on April 13, 2003


What ever happened to that 'buy GWB a PS2" thing a year or so ago? I think it's long past time someone gets him one so he'll stop bothering the rest of the world for a while.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:42 PM on April 13, 2003


Coyote: The campaign succeeded, and the PS2 was sent last November. Unfortunately, due to a massive backlog at the White House Gift Office, it was not recieved in time to prevent the war in Iraq.
posted by Silune at 3:58 PM on April 13, 2003


Oh Jesus Christ. Please no war in Syria. I would have to line up with all the anti-war asshats. Please George, don't make me march with the smelly hippies.
posted by rusty at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2003


2sheets: Thanks, great link.

Space Coyote: Obviously even the mighty realism of the PS2 can't trump the real thing for Bush. Perhaps it's the frisson of scaring the crap out of the entire world that he's missing.
posted by Bletch at 4:03 PM on April 13, 2003


And, (misogyny aside) what in the world makes you pick women's right to vote as your yardstick for measuring fascism?

Two ways to respond to this:

1) Ever been in New York in Springtime? Oh, sugar - Sundresses! Beat that with your niqaabs!

2) The fact that half of the population doesn't have a voice automatically makes a country questionable. Not being allowed to vote is a kick in the ass, but being relegated to second-class citizens is much, much worse. It should be clear that oppression of a significant part of a population is one of the hallmarks of a bad government. If that doens't have anyhting to do with the strict definition of "fascism", then so be it. It still doens't make it any less messd up.

In summary:
Opression of women - Bad.
Sundresses - Good.
posted by Samsonov14 at 4:05 PM on April 13, 2003


And, (misogyny aside) what in the world makes you pick women's right to vote as your yardstick for measuring fascism?

I'd guess the same thing that suddenly made us all care about women in Afghanistan as an excuse to bomb the hell out of their country.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:05 PM on April 13, 2003


What I have heard various parties say about Syria in the last few days, and how the current administration views such things:

1) Harboring bad Iraqis (minor.)
2) Has WMDs (middling. Has shown no impulse to aggressively use them.)
3) Gleefully supports terrorist organizations (major.)
4) Has oil. (No. It does not. It was *designed* as a country to have no oil fields. In fact, it is now in deep oil shortage because the 1/4M bbls/daily from Iraq have been cut off.)

So, using the various criteria used for Iraq, the big issue is "Will Syria Make A Deal?" Most likely this is in two ways:

1) Pull their military out of Lebanon. Maybe with the requirement that they take all of the terrorist organizations they allow there out with them. This *especially* means to clean out the Bekka valley of the missiles aimed at Israel, of which there are lots.

and maybe, 2) Purge their country of terrorist organizations that the US advises them are up to no good.
The rationale being that Syrian troublemakers are Syria's problem, but foreigners using Syria as a base to make trouble elsewhere are unacceptable. This includes logistical and financial support networks.

Now, I am just suggesting these thoughts as what the US administration might be thinking, without any advocacy one way or the other.
posted by kablam at 4:10 PM on April 13, 2003


'Islamofascism' is a buzzword coined by Christopher Hitchens. By fascism, Hitchens means, as far as I can tell, 'bad'.

``But the bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there's no point in any euphemism about it. What they abominate about "the west", to put it in a phrase, is not what western liberals don't like and can't defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state." (Guardian)

With regards to women and fascism, I submit Women and Fascism.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:17 PM on April 13, 2003


Oh and by the way, not only can women vote in Syria, they can be voted for as well.

It's almost breathtaking how much ignorance some people can pack into a sentence or two.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:17 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder was talking about Iraq, smarty. Nice work on your two sentences.
posted by Samsonov14 at 4:26 PM on April 13, 2003


These corrupt regimes breed terrorists and need to be taken out. Syria is one of the worst.
posted by Degaz at 4:30 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder was talking about Iraq, smarty. Nice work on your two sentences.

oh?

Of course Syria and Iran are next. Squeal all you want, but Islamic fascism is a global cancer, and every Islamic fascist country that is liberated, is one less tumor in the word body.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:31 PM on April 13, 2003


Samsonov14: That's not even a good try. Women, as has been pointed out above, had the vote in Iraq as well (not that it was worth anything, obviously). Anyway, he equated Syria and Iran with Fascism, and Fascism with women being denied the vote.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:33 PM on April 13, 2003


November 05, 2002
Attack Iran the day Iraq war ends, demands Israel


April 13, 2003
Stunned Arab nations ask: who’s next?

posted by matteo at 4:54 PM on April 13, 2003


Samsonov14: That's not even a good try. Women, as has been pointed out above, had the vote in Iraq as well (not that it was worth anything, obviously). Anyway, he equated Syria and Iran with Fascism, and Fascism with women being denied the vote.


Fair enough, GS. Obviously you realize that the womens' "vote" in Iraq doesn't amount to anything, but I shouldn't have jumped on you there. My apologies, especially for being something of a dick in my phrasing.

Beholder's chain of reasoning might be a bit off, but you have to recognize that the oppression of women is a big deal in the arab world. Something needs to change in that respect. As a middle-class white male, I can't even imagine how terrible it would be to not have a voice.
posted by Samsonov14 at 4:58 PM on April 13, 2003


One Battle in a Wider, Longer War

By Michael A. Ledeen

American Enterprise Institute

Dr. Ledeen is of course one of The Men From JINSA
posted by matteo at 5:05 PM on April 13, 2003


A question for those here who equate radical Islam with fascism, or otherwise see it as a strain of culture dangerous enough to act against: Specifically what should we do to address the problem? How far should we go, and what should be our guidelines?
posted by squirrel at 5:07 PM on April 13, 2003


It the evidence is there, and I believe it is, we should welcome an attack on Syria, which is little more than a somewhat smaller Iraq. But other than near-border incursions, it's unlikely to happen for a while. Then again, "DEBKAfile reports signs of imminent US military action against Syria – striking at Iraqi and other targets."

Also, those moronic protesters are still at it...
posted by ParisParamus at 5:22 PM on April 13, 2003


Here is an interesting article about Syria, and it's connections to the Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah.
posted by Beholder at 5:29 PM on April 13, 2003


Holy ass-chafing fuck. You shitmittens are just unstoppable, aren't you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:32 PM on April 13, 2003 [2 favorites]


Shitmittens?
posted by Samsonov14 at 5:35 PM on April 13, 2003


Metafilter: Holy ass-chafing fuck. You shitmittens are just unstoppable, aren't you?
posted by armoured-ant at 5:39 PM on April 13, 2003


"Wider, longer war" Ledeen's Iran-Contras role

"When Ledeen asked Prime Minister Shimon Peres for assistance, the Israeli leader agreed to sell weapons to Iran at America's behest, providing the sale had high-level U.S. approval".

*

Q Is it true you helped start the Iran-Contra operation, introducing U.S. National Security Council staffer Michael Ledeen to Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghobanifar?
A I knew Ghkobanifar personally. I had met him through Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian. He was a great gambler, he might still be. I also got on my team David Kimche (Foreign Ministry director general) and Yaakov Nimrodi (former military attache to Iran and arms dealer), whom I knew because we did a lot of business with the shah.
Q Was Iran-Contra a success?
A I don’t know. It accomplished some things.

*

The lynchpin between the Israelis and the Americans, Ledeen had proposed illegal arms sales to Iran in 1984 through Mossad double agent Manucher Ghorbanifar. The CIA's Deputy Director for Operations, Clair George, considered Ghorbanifar totally unreliable, and as having only his personal financial interests, and Israel's security, at heart. But George's objections were neutralized in June 1985, when Bush formed the Terrorism Task Force, at which point the illegal arms sales went forward.
posted by matteo at 6:00 PM on April 13, 2003


Samsonov14, thanks for replying so civilly.

I can't even imagine how terrible it would be to not have a voice.

It's good that you feel that way, and hopefully you do have a voice; I'm not sure you can take that on faith anymore. It's disgraceful how careless we as a population are with a right that many of our forebears gave everything they have for, and that countless millions in the world would risk everything for if they could. Barely half of us vote at all, and we're stunningly complacent about how it's done. Increasingly, the franchise could be stolen out from under the voters' noses and they literally would not be able to detect it, because the system cannot be audited, and is not subject to independent or even bipartisan oversight. You have to trust the private company that manages the election; a company that is far from apolitical itself. While we're bringing democracy to the world we might take a hard look at how we're doing it at home.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:12 PM on April 13, 2003


Man.

I wish my parents could have bought my way into a better college or university, because everything I know about fascism is apparently hooey.

Honest question, and I'm sure I either knew the answer and then forgot, or that I have been too self-absorbed my whole life to even wonder: Does the US not have any chemical weapons? Or is there some sort of qualification to be allowed to have them, or are they just across the board illegal, everywhere?
posted by padraigin at 6:26 PM on April 13, 2003


padraigin-- the US has chemical and bio weapons and is under international mandate to be rid of them by 2007.

But W has shown how much he cares about international mandates.
posted by xmutex at 6:29 PM on April 13, 2003


It's disgraceful how careless we as a population are with a right that many of our forebears gave everything they have for, and that countless millions in the world would risk everything for if they could.

Then you should be thrilled that the United States (along with a few allies) has just brought democracy to tens of millions of people, who just one month earlier, were living under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.
posted by Beholder at 6:31 PM on April 13, 2003


xmutex, thanks so much. Just what I figured.
posted by padraigin at 6:32 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder-- interesting that you define democracy by lawless anarchy, arson, looting, and military occupation.

Cheers.
posted by xmutex at 6:34 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder:

As was written a few days ago in one of the NY papers, the core of the anti-war, anti-America, anti-Bush crowd is not really political. ITS A CULT. And you can't really argue reason with cult members. They are brainwashed. If Iraq was liberated with 10 casualties, that would be enough for protest. If Saddam only has a few WMD, that's enough, and so on.

In short, give up arguing reason to people who are living in their own private domain.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:37 PM on April 13, 2003


Following quote from an article above on Syrias military strength:

At present, the outcome of a full-fledged Syrian-Israeli war is certain. Syria is not a viable threat to Israel

Syria is not a threat to the US military we took out Iraq with just 2 divisions and irregulars.

On Preview..

Beholder: yeah isn't it sick how those who fight for "no war" and "peace" are willing to let others live under tyranny.

Xmutex: cheap shot the battle is not even over yet
posted by stbalbach at 6:38 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder, Bush I encouraged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, and led them to believe that we would back them up if they did. Many Iraqis heeded that call. The ones who died fighting were the lucky ones.

So I'll believe we've brought democracy to Iraq when I see it. Looking at Afghanistan, I'm not holding my breath.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:40 PM on April 13, 2003


Let's get back to the fascism argument. It's all a bunch of semantics. You certainly can't defend these various Islamic governments, that either regulate women to second class status, or openly or secretly support terrorism, so you try to avoid that, by focusing on the definition of a single word.
posted by Beholder at 6:54 PM on April 13, 2003


According to the CIA World Factbook, Syria exports around $5 billion every year, 68% of that is crude oil. Roughly $3.4 billion/year in oil exports, then.

So yes, Syria has oil.
posted by spazzm at 7:04 PM on April 13, 2003


Syria also has border disputes with Coalition buddy Turkey - is it possible that part of the deal that Turkey demanded for lending support to the Iraq invasion is support/acceptance in a Syria/Turkey war?
posted by spazzm at 7:14 PM on April 13, 2003


Okay, back to the fascism argument.

From dictionary.com:

fascism:
A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

I'm not an employee of the MeFi Leftorium, but I'll venture to say that from "suppression" through to the end describes my current American experience.
posted by padraigin at 7:14 PM on April 13, 2003


You certainly can't defend these various Islamic governments

Ergo those governments must be destroyed. Is that your argument?
posted by cohappy at 7:15 PM on April 13, 2003


ParisParamus: One could say the same things about people who are toeing the Republican party line as well, and it would be equally offensive.

My belief that the Iraq war is an illegal, immoral and unnecessary invasion is not altered by the fact that it seems to have successfully displaced Saddam Hussein.

I've said a number of times, that I might even be for this war, if only I knew what the real goal was. I've been told by the White House that it's because Saddam supported Al Quaeda, because Saddam killed his own people, that Iraq is an immediate threat to the US, because Iraq has WMD, and a litany of other excuses. What's clear to me is that the White House has never told us the truth, they've simply told us whatever might get the largest number of people on their side at that moment.

How can I support a war, when my only certainty is that my government is lying to me?
posted by mosch at 7:20 PM on April 13, 2003


It's fun to watch Goodwin's law unfold in practice.
posted by spazzm at 7:21 PM on April 13, 2003


I'm not an employee of the MeFi Leftorium, but I'll venture to say that from "suppression" through to the end describes my current American experience.

Then you should act quickly and leave the US, preferably moving to Syria, Iran, or even France.
posted by Beholder at 7:24 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder, "semantics" or not, if you don't understand the words and you don't know the facts, what's the damn point in speaking?

And by the way, nobody's defending Islamic governments. They're questioning the motives of those who would invade other countries on whatever pretext they can sell to gullible idiots like-- but I'll stop there.

Oh, and Iraq was not an Islamic government. Tariq Aziz, for example, is (was?) a Christian. You don't find that in Islamic theocracies. It gave lip service to Islam, but it was essentially just a dictatorship by a shithead. He used to be our shithead, but then he became his own shithead.

And we haven't brought Democracy anywhere that I know of since WWII. Name one damn place, I dare you. For any one you can name I'll name five where we fought against democracy. Freedom and Democracy are just slogans to the Bushies, to be used as a pretext to get the war they want. Once they get it, they fuck off and abandon all their expensive promises. That's why, once Kuwait's oilfields were restored to our compliant Emir, we didn't follow up and knock out Saddam -- not because "it would have broken the coalition" -- we'd done what we came to do, and we really have nothing against dictatorships. But now Saudi Arabia is rotting from within, and its political stability is doomed. We need new sources of oil, of known stability. We need Iraq. And it looks like we got it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:30 PM on April 13, 2003


Then you should act quickly and leave the US, preferably moving to Syria, Iran, or even France.

How to respond to this without getting banned?

There is not a way to do so that fully expresses how I feel about this line of bullshit.

Let me just leave it at this: I will stay, because my influence and that of people who agree with me, will prevent this country from becoming completely FUBAR'ed. Because I love the ideals upon which this country was founded, and am devoted to doing my part to see them realized. Because I'm not going to allow it to be ruined on my watch.
posted by padraigin at 7:35 PM on April 13, 2003


Wanting to live in a nation that is more just and equitable, and pointing to the flaws inherent in our own system of governance, is NOT akin to being a traitor. In fact, if everyone that wanted the United States to be a more equitable place in which to live took your advice and moved to Syria, Iran or France I'd venture to guess that you would be crying for them to return shortly thereafter.
posted by BugsPotter at 7:40 PM on April 13, 2003


Speaking of Afghanistan. What the hell IS going on there? It doesn't seem to be a very captivating topic for abcbsnbcnnmsnbcfox these days. I haven't really found that much online, either. Someone please tell me I'm looking in all the wrong places. Edumacate me.
posted by Zoyd Wheeler at 7:43 PM on April 13, 2003


George Orwell on the definition (or lack thereof) of Fascism.
posted by Bletch at 7:49 PM on April 13, 2003


Zoyd- check the FPP I made a few days ago.

stalbach- you're right. The battle isn't over yet. As such, no one on any side has the right to claim we've brought democracy to Iraq. Since everyone's so intent on semantics, let's do it here too. Democracy is not the same as food; you can't just drop it from an airplane onto a people. So far, we've only brought soldiers representing a Democracy. We haven't stabilized the nation, we haven't rescinded significant military control, and the Iraqi people haven't held legitimate elections. So until such time as that happens, no. We have not yet brought Democracy to Iraq.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:50 PM on April 13, 2003


Speaking of Afghanistan. What the hell IS going on there?

Google News Search: afghanistan
posted by Silune at 8:05 PM on April 13, 2003


spazzm: Syria's oil "production"(Department of Energy), was officially 525,682 bbl/d in 2002. However, this does not take into account that 250,000 bbl/d they were getting from Iraq in violation of the UN sanctions as part of the total. That would leave their national production at 275,682, which, less local consumption isn't much at all.
DOE estimates they have less than 10 years of oil left.

(FYI, on average, you get about 19 gallons of gasoline per bbl.)

In any event, they are not worth "invading for oil", as some suggested, and compared to the Saudi's 1.5 Million bbl/day, not much at all. However, this administration has lots of other reasons they would use.
posted by kablam at 8:09 PM on April 13, 2003


Scuse me if this is repetitive, but didn't word from Israel that Iraq had transferred its WMD to Syria emerge during the weapons inspections process? Yeah, it was in December. So what's all this mumbo-jumbo about whether they'll find the smoking gun in Iraq or not? Somebody explain this to me, I'm getting that jerked-around, lied-to feeling again. I bet Blix feels the same way.
posted by hairyeyeball at 8:48 PM on April 13, 2003


I wouldn't say that $ 3.4 billion is "not much at all" (according to the CIA world factbook link I provided above), but that might be just me.

Also, the reason for the decline in oil production seems to be ineffective management that hinders exploration of new oil reserves.

Besides, there is no need to invade Saudi Arabia for oil - they willingly export it in exchange for weapons to prop up their unstable dictatorship.
posted by spazzm at 8:50 PM on April 13, 2003


"the core of the anti-war, anti-America, anti-Bush crowd is not really political. ITS A CULT." WTF?
I have made it a point to ignore your usual spewings because it eggs you on, Paris, but this goes over the edge. Anti-war protestors are a CULT? Come on. That is the most sily and ignorant thing said in this entire thread. While we're on the definitions of words: in the dictionary Cult is described as:

-A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. (Uh, nope-that doesn't describe the anti-war movement at all.!)

-The followers of such a religion or sect. (Uh, no again.)

-A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
(Umm, no particular universal religion in the anti-war crowd.)

-A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease. (Not unless the disease is Bush)

-Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
(this is the closest thing..but still not close enough.)

-An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest.
(Um wrong again.)

Paris, I know you hate all things Islamic and are dancing up and down every day we kill more Iraqis. In fact, you probably wish we would take over the whole Middle East and hand it over to Israel. But anti-war, anti-bush, and anti-America protesters are spread all over the world. In every nation on this earth. And just because they don't agree with your buddy Bushy doesn't mean they are unthinking zombies worshipping some wacky god and are deluded. They happen to feel passionately about peace and find this war repulsive. They disagree with you, and that definitely doesn't make them a cult.
posted by msacheson at 9:18 PM on April 13, 2003


Whoops, I didn't realize my husband was logged in. I posted the above comment, not msacheson. Sorry!
posted by aacheson at 9:19 PM on April 13, 2003


All my money's still on Iran. Can't go wrong with a longshot.
posted by graventy at 9:25 PM on April 13, 2003


Edumacate me.

Call me old-fashioned, but I find that phrase remarkably racist.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:31 PM on April 13, 2003


Speaking of Afghanistan. What the hell IS going on there?

The last place we liberated
posted by homunculus at 9:34 PM on April 13, 2003


Or just watch this.
posted by homunculus at 9:35 PM on April 13, 2003


A note on Islamic Fascism.

And msacheson, I would certainly call the anti-war protestors a cult. After listening over and over again to nonsensical Chompsky-like rantings from all angles, they simply don't want to hear anything that conflicts with their nihilistic world view. Try to reason with a cult member and you get the same response.
posted by MarkO at 9:43 PM on April 13, 2003


Forget Goodwin. How about Ed's Law, in effect since 9/11: Any Usenet, Metafilter or other online thread will ultimately result in a reference to Orwell.
posted by ed at 9:44 PM on April 13, 2003


spazzm: $3.4B (would that it were mine), is really puny in the oil bidness. *And* I'm real suspicious of the word "exports" in this case, since oil is a very value added product, facing either a controlled cartel market or a spot market even before distillation, at any point of which you can jump in a valuate the stuff. Also, even so, their GDP is about on a par with most other third-world countries.

The bottom line is that Syria is a puny country afflicted by the habitual lust of many Moslem leaders for the re-establishment of a Moslem empire, with them as the big boss. On its own that doesn't justify invading them, but with the other previously mentioned factors, I'd give it a 50/50 chance.

If they want peace, they had better haggle. The US would prolly go away if they just cool their visitors' jets for a few years. It really wouldn't even cost them too much.
posted by kablam at 9:45 PM on April 13, 2003


Syria is not an oil nation. It is not an OPEC member. It is not and never has been an important source of petroleum. unfortunately, I cannot link to anything because all my information is fee-only, but production information is published in the Oil and Gas Journal if you're curious. The O&GJ is usually in public libraries.

Syria is clearly being sized up because of its long support of guerillas in Lebanon and Palestine and its opposition to Israel. It is relatively weak and friendless. I'll bet it looks easy from the view around the conference tables in Washington.

That said, it is highly aggravating to be mislead and prevaricated to by your leadership. This star chamber dance seems designed to piss the whole world off. If the Whitehouse came clean about their real motivations, apparently the restructuring of the Islamic world and the stabilization of the oil supply, and had an honest debate, much of the present acrimony could disappear. Why should the world trust the States, if Ashcroft & co. keep gaming us?

Their inability to keep their eye on the ball in Afganistant does not inspire confidence in their apparent plans either.
posted by bonehead at 10:14 PM on April 13, 2003


...Moslem empire...

There's a lot of ignorant bullshit filling this godwinforsaken thread, and I doubt anyone with any sense is reading it, but... All of the ignoramuses who used the word "Islam(ic)" anywhere near "Syria" should kindly eat some crow. Syria's government (like Iraq prior to Saddam's lame 1990's PR campaign) is ruthlessly secular. In Syrian domestic politics, the only Islamists are ones who want to overthrow the government. Maybe the USA would like to help them out, I dunno.

Unfortunately, if anything in Syria is Islamist, that would have to be what would take the place of the Assad regime if democracy were instituted. In a paradox we owe it to ourselves to know well, Syria is basically a country of modern, secular, well-educated people, but where even the doctors, engineers, etc., are so disgusted with rule by a Baathist regime that disappears/tortures its enemies and razes a whole city in case of rebellion, a regime moreover that is controlled by a minority widely regarded in Syria as a tribe whose religious traditions are pseudo-Islamic (the Alawites), that they think a good "moral" Islamic revolution would be just grand. (Keep in mind, the Muslim Brotherhood, though largely wiped out by the late Assad's regime, stands in Syrian minds as the only serious resistance to a tyrannical and immoral police state that has made "secularism" smell pretty bad to them.)

I don't want to exaggerate. The support for real Islamism (Sharia law, Iran-style theocracy, etc.) is very shallow in Syrian society. This is the paradoxical part. Basically, it's a country/society ideally suited to political, economic, and social liberalization. But it's also a place where the U.S. has zero moral credibility. Bashad al-Assad is not enough of a maniacal devil to inspire the apathy that paralyzes the Iraqis.

We can overthrow the disgusting regimes of the middle east very simply: we could grow some cojones and stand behind something like the "Road Map." Of course, Ariel Sharon will never agree to the necessary mechanics of peace, a known fact among Israeli insiders, and no American administration will be willing to apply real pressure on Israel until things get much worse. So the enemies of democracy and friendliness to the U.S. in places like Syria can sit comfortably for now.

Meanwhile, any change in Syria will actually unleash more hostility among its people towards the U.S. (Think Egypt, which has a real problem with disillusioned poor who really are committed to Islamofascism in their desperation.)

I write this reluctantly, as I would personally love to see Assad tumble and civil society flourish in Syria. But the U.S. will not like the attitudes of democratically empowered Arab nations as long as its image is tainted as now.
posted by Zurishaddai at 10:17 PM on April 13, 2003


P.S. I just googled "godwinforsaken," and I hereby claim the coinage as my own. :)
posted by Zurishaddai at 10:20 PM on April 13, 2003


This is a very good thread.
posted by crasspastor at 10:44 PM on April 13, 2003


After listening over and over again to nonsensical Chompsky-like rantings from all angles, they simply don't want to hear anything that conflicts with their nihilistic world view.
I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.

John Stuart Mill
letter to the Conservative MP, Sir John Pakington
March, 1866
posted by y2karl at 10:44 PM on April 13, 2003


Zurishaddai speaks wisdom. The rest of this thread, well, at least we got the word "shitmittens" out of all this.
posted by furiousthought at 11:18 PM on April 13, 2003


why is "Edumacate me" racist?
posted by kv at 11:18 PM on April 13, 2003


What ever happened to that 'buy GWB a PS2" thing a year or so ago?
He got the PS2 alright, plus an advance copy of Risk to play on it! ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:44 AM on April 14, 2003


On fascism from the master:

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

On cults:

As was written a few days ago in one of the NY papers, the core of the pro-war, anti-rights, pro-Bush crowd is not really political. ITS A CULT. And you can't really argue reason with cult members. (attribution - PP)

Don't make me have to post another "O' Defenders of All Things Duhbya" polemic! I mean it!
posted by nofundy at 6:09 AM on April 14, 2003


As was written a few days ago in one of the NY papers, the core of the anti-war, anti-America, anti-Bush crowd is not really political. ITS A CULT.

And the Bush-worshippers aren't?

I was on a train having a nice coversation about New York and food with these two people and then I casually cracked a joke about Dubya being not too bright, and they looked at me like I said I spent the weekend torturing bunny rabbits. One of them, some woman who had seemed pleasant until that moment said that "if gore had won, this country would be fucked*."

And yeah, I know(probably better than most) that there's idiots on the anti-war side as well. I've just come to the conclusion that there's a certain type of person who needs their politics spoon fed to them. It's just a matter of who gets to them first. After that, don't question or criticize their beliefs(right or left) or they get very agitated and paranoid.

*probably true. but al would've at least taken our pants off and kissed us first.
posted by jonmc at 6:27 AM on April 14, 2003


ummm....Chomsky is our cult leader...I don't know this Chompsky fellow...
posted by rainbaby at 7:41 AM on April 14, 2003


Edumacate me.

Call me old-fashioned, but I find that phrase remarkably racist.


Oh for goodness's sake, Jesse Helms, don't you watch the Simpsons?
posted by jokeefe at 7:54 AM on April 14, 2003


What sucks is all this terrorism on the US that is a result of the Iraqi Freedom. ...and this World War III thing, oh the humanity.
posted by tomplus2 at 8:09 AM on April 14, 2003



Don't make me have to post another "O' Defenders of All Things Duhbya" polemic! I mean it!


Sadly, this is a real and potent threat (certainly moreso that any real threat we faced from Iraq or Syria). Can't you chickenhawks point the army at Fundy for a minute?
posted by thirteen at 9:28 AM on April 14, 2003


I'm sure we'll stop invading countries after Syria though. I mean, come on, it's not like we're trying to take over the world or anything...
posted by zekinskia at 10:09 AM on April 14, 2003


I just would like to add that women are not allowed to vote in U.S.-liberated Kuwait. The measure was rejected again a few months ago. Also, Benazir Bhutto (a woman) ruled in Pakistan, which is considered a pretty Islamist-leaning country. Anyway, back to the culthouse ... but which one?
posted by magullo at 10:10 AM on April 14, 2003


countries are like potato chips, zekinskia. You can't invade just one.
posted by crunchland at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2003


I see Syria as more of a pretzel.
posted by eddydamascene at 11:30 AM on April 14, 2003


I see Syria as more of a pretzel.

We can only hope.
posted by jokeefe at 11:43 AM on April 14, 2003


Thank you Zurishaddai for a post that actually talks about Syria in a knowledgeable way. Have read through most of this trying to get my head around the idea of Syria as an "Islamic state" much less as an "Islamic fascist state". Amazing how many posts it took before somebody caught that one. Added to which, Syria has an extremely vibrant, creative, mostly westernized and basically pro-American (people, not policy) society known for its tolerance of ethnic and religious minorities, an incredibly rich history -- and yeah, a pretty lousy government, which has nevertheless cooperated with the US more times than otherwise in recent years -- providing solid help in catching terrorists, and most recently in the famous unanimous Security Council vote on Iraq at the UN last fall. And, oh yeah, Syria and Iraq are not best buddies, haven't been for ages. When Iraq invaded Kuwait it was Syria that said "told you so" and then joined the coalition. So no, Syria does not make the "top ten democracies" list, but there's a world of difference between the totalitarian and megalomaniacal thuggery that was Saddam Hussein's regime, and what you find in Syria today. So if there's an issue here, let's deal with it diplomatically, not try to take down another country just because the troops don't have so much to do now. (and for you femino-fascists out there, yes women vote in syria, and hold office, and run ministries). ....... but they're not reeeeeeally gonna go after syria now, are they??????
posted by dharmamaya at 12:47 PM on April 14, 2003


I wonder when the world will start dealing with the United States weapons of mass desruction?
posted by cmacleod at 4:42 PM on April 14, 2003


cmacleod: Do you remember Mutually Assured Destruction? That horrible, awful thing that kept the US and the USSR from destroying each other? Well, since it's virtually impossible to prevent other nations from developing nuclear weapons, what if those nations mature enough to never, ever use nukes aggressively, THREATEN everybody else by saying, "Fine, you can have your nuke, but if you use it on your hated enemy, WE shall utterly exterminate you. We shall use neutron bombs to KILL every lifeform in your stinking country, and give all your STUFF to your hated enemy as reparations."

The threat of nuclear annihilation to keep the peace. Sure works a HELL of a lot better then just sniveling about how things *should* be.
posted by kablam at 7:42 PM on April 14, 2003


Are you saying it is US policy that if India nukes Pakistan, the US is going to nuke India? When the hell was that passed into law?
posted by thirteen at 10:05 PM on April 14, 2003


When the hell was that passed into law?

It was a rider in the Amber Alert bill.
posted by eddydamascene at 3:53 AM on April 15, 2003


Re: Iraq + Fascism

Bernard Lewis

Saddam's Regime is a European Import
. . .In 1940, the French government accepted defeat and signed a separate peace with the Third Reich. The French colonies in Syria and Lebanon remained under Vichy control, and were therefore open to the Nazis to do what they wished. They became major bases for Nazi propaganda and activity in the Middle East. The Nazis extended their operations from Syria and Lebanon, with some success, to Iraq and other places. That was the time when the Baath Party was founded, as a kind of clone of the Nazi and Fascist parties, using very similar methods and adapting a very similar ideology, and operating in the same way -- as part of an apparatus of surveillance that exists under a one-party state, where a party is not a party in the Western democratic sense, but part of the apparatus of a government. That was the origin of the Baath Party.
posted by dgaicun at 7:45 AM on April 15, 2003


For Passover, lets resolve to clean out the remaining crumbs of WWII and the Cold War, Syria and North Korea. And, perhaps, the UN.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:53 AM on April 15, 2003


For Passover, lets resolve to clean out the remaining crumbs of WWII and the Cold War, Syria and North Korea. And, perhaps, the UN.
Who on Earth are you talking to?
posted by thirteen at 9:56 AM on April 15, 2003


You know, anyone wise enough to know that the UN is a lingering artifact of Nazism... Oh boy, Paris just fills me with the sort of emotions I always try to cultivate for Passover!
posted by Zurishaddai at 5:39 PM on April 15, 2003


I'm talking to anyone who will listen (which, from my e-mailbox, is quite a few!). My point re Passover is that it's about liberation from arrogance and tyrannies, both political and otherwise.

As for the UN, well, lets see: Iraq, Syria (and their Russian and European econowhores)...North Korea...they're all a threat due to the beneficence of the Soviet Union. So, time for a SPRING CLEANING of sorts.

Or, perhaps, a reverse domino effect: the fall of Iraq causes the fall of Syria, which causes the fall of terrorism upon Israel. Then France, Germany and Russia realize that being an econowhore is much less lucrative than it used to be. And the UN ceases being the world's political/economic red light district.

GET IT?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:18 PM on April 15, 2003


By the way, the Baath party was a big supporter of the Nazis. BIG.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:23 PM on April 15, 2003


By the way, the Baath party was a big supporter of the Nazis. BIG.

No, PeePee, you're thinking of the Stern Gang under Yitzhak Shamir in 1941. Silly boy.
posted by riviera at 7:54 AM on April 16, 2003


I'm talking to anyone who will listen (which, from my e-mailbox, is quite a few!).
^30 mailings from Postroad do not count!^ Seriously, I do not doubt you have minions, but I am agog that you think a post here would rally them. A call to arm for your position on Metafilter looks insane, like you are talking to ghosts. The country may support the war (for the moment) but MeFi so obviously does not.
posted by thirteen at 8:16 AM on April 16, 2003


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