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Saddam Captured
December 14, 2003 3:03 AM   Subscribe

Saddam Reported Captured - So what next? A trial at the International Criminal Court (which the US does not recognise), a trip to Cuba or a trial in Iraq? And is this finally the decapitation of the resistance in Iraq?
posted by brettski (388 comments total)

 
Of course it could be one of his doubles...
posted by PenDevil at 3:12 AM on December 14, 2003


I would like to see us treat him as a roman prisoner of war. Complete with big wooden carts, trips to cities, public beatings. Finish it all off with a public execution televised on paper view. Then we could donate the proceeds from the execution towards "rebuilding" iraq. The only reason i want this, is because this is the only way bush will not be reelected.
posted by sourbrew at 3:23 AM on December 14, 2003


That's amazing brettski - my first thought was "Where will he be seen next - the ICC or Guantanamo Bay?". There's really not much real news about this at the moment, but I assume links will be added here in time.
posted by Jimbob at 3:24 AM on December 14, 2003


big wooden carts, trips to cities, public beatings. Finish it all off with a public execution televised on paper view. Then we could donate the proceeds from the execution towards "rebuilding" iraq. The only reason i want this, is because this is the only way bush will not be reelected.

well reasoned. especially the "paper view" thing. kudos!
posted by quonsar at 3:26 AM on December 14, 2003


Paper view.
posted by Jimbob at 3:33 AM on December 14, 2003


Pike?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 3:35 AM on December 14, 2003


Heard an odd comment on ABC; they said that he was identified by DNA tests. The commentator wondered how the heck they could have been conducted in what amounted to "minutes" or "hours" since the capture, leading him to speculate that (perhaps) Saddam has been in our control for much longer than is being reported.

Who knows? These early reports are too fragmentary. Don't wanna start any rumors. Still, I noted several google news links that have reported concluded DNA tests (as opposed to pending ones). Odd.
posted by RavinDave at 3:36 AM on December 14, 2003


Foreign press including bbc, and the tv5 (french) are reporting that he has definitely been captured.
posted by sourbrew at 3:38 AM on December 14, 2003


Confirmed in fact by Blair.

I'm currently listening to 'The Zen Kiss' by Sheila Chandra. For some reason it's the perfect soundtrack.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:43 AM on December 14, 2003


bbc and tv5 - last one is in french
posted by sourbrew at 3:44 AM on December 14, 2003


French defense attorneys seen en route to Baghdad in a Concorde.
posted by dagny at 3:46 AM on December 14, 2003


This is very surprising. Let's see those DNA test results!
posted by nyukid at 3:47 AM on December 14, 2003


Reports are that the leader of the Iraqi Council has reportedly said DNA has proved it (via Newsnow)
posted by brettski at 3:48 AM on December 14, 2003


where is drudge on this?
posted by sourbrew at 3:51 AM on December 14, 2003


I'm with RavinDave. There's something odd about claiming the identity is verified by DNA tests. But, I'm certain this little tidbit will be glossed over by the media and an uncritical public. Or perhaps it is an uncritical media. Who knows?

Anyway, nice little feather in the cap for W. An imminent capture was predicted a week ago by Ray Lahood (R - Ill), which you can read about on Talking Points Memo.
posted by dpkm at 4:02 AM on December 14, 2003


He was captured in a cellar in Tikrit. There is no way that he could have been leading the "resistance". The violence will continue, maybe even accelerate.

This is Good news, though.
posted by hoskala at 4:04 AM on December 14, 2003


dpkm -- ABC now reporting that all this went down yesterday afternoon, so the DNA stuff is a "bit" more plausible. At least preliminary. That's the problem with fast breaking news, I guess.
posted by RavinDave at 4:05 AM on December 14, 2003


now we'll show that bastard what we do to people who knock down our buildings! w00t!
/douchebags
posted by quonsar at 4:08 AM on December 14, 2003


Paul Bremer opening words "Ladies and gentelmen, we got 'em" applause
posted by sourbrew at 4:13 AM on December 14, 2003


He should be put on trial for his ownership of WMDs. I mean, that was the reason for the war, right?

As long as he pleads not guilty he shouldn't have to worry.
posted by shepd at 4:15 AM on December 14, 2003


While it's got to be a relief to many Iraqis to know that Saddam Hussein is captured, the fun part might be what happens next.

If there is a trial, I would *LOVE* to see the evidence that Saddam's lawyer comes public with. How can the US explain away the fact that approximately 40 US personnel worked fulltime in providing Iraq intelligence to combat Iranian "human wave" attacks and that the casualty estimates they fed the Iraqis were dependent on the widespread use of chemical weapons?!

Which is, of course, why we will somehow not be privy to it. The trial *WILL* be a joke, and that fact won't be lost on the rest of the world. Who knows... maybe Saddam's meals will be delivered with rusty razor blades, piano wire, and strychnine pills on the side. Where's Jack Ruby when you need him?

Meanwhile, I hear there's a terrorist on the loose...
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:19 AM on December 14, 2003


You know what's saddest? They found an entire 3 guns and $750k with Saddam.

I know there's a lot more real Americans who have more of both that aren't having their homes raided...
posted by shepd at 4:23 AM on December 14, 2003


shepd: Somehow I don't think the guns and money was the sole reason for him being raided...
posted by PenDevil at 4:26 AM on December 14, 2003


Well, that's one unelected despot who won't terrorize the world anymore.
posted by Eloquence at 4:26 AM on December 14, 2003


I think i just heard on cnn that today is the official iraq independance day..... go american holidays whoot
posted by sourbrew at 4:27 AM on December 14, 2003


It's Iraq Independence Day? So the occupying troops must be pulling out, then...
posted by dpkm at 4:29 AM on December 14, 2003


Royal Flush?
posted by poodlemouthe at 4:32 AM on December 14, 2003


It's Lord Lucan, it's not Hussein.
posted by vbfg at 4:34 AM on December 14, 2003


I'm amazed they didn't fly GWB out there to get pictures of him "capturing" Saddam in front of a big Mission Accomplished banner.
posted by Outlawyr at 4:35 AM on December 14, 2003


Naturally, I saw it here first. I love this place...
posted by moonbird at 4:43 AM on December 14, 2003


So... um... when do we get to catch the person responsible for the NY/Pentagon attack? I'm pretty sure it wasn't Saddam Hussein, so I'm thinking Hillary was visiting the correct country, not George Dubya.

And if the violence does stop, does that mean we can turn our attention back to Afghanistan, where the Taliban is regrouping and things haven't gotten a lick better since we left to fight our holy crusade of personal vendetta against a man that had no weapons of mass destruction, and was only a risk to his own people.

If being a risk to his people is the evidence for attacking, why are the French/Canadian/German troops (odd bedfellows, yes, no?) not at the shores of NYC?
posted by benjh at 4:43 AM on December 14, 2003


You think we'll hear about Halliburton owing us, the US people 60 million again?
posted by sourbrew at 4:45 AM on December 14, 2003




1) Walter Matthau playing a drunken Santa Claus in a Vincent Gallo underground movie?

2) A spokesman arguing for the right to receive royalties from the Bum Fights website?

3) Nick Nolte booked yet again?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:01 AM on December 14, 2003


This changes everything!......

No, this changes nothing!.....

If I were Karl Rove, I would have been very tempted to hang onto Saddam until next September or October. But I suppose his capture was considered too crucial to the not-a-war effort in Iraq.

"He should be put on trial for his ownership of WMDs. I mean, that was the reason for the war, right?" Shepd, you know Sadda, could have done a lot of damage with three guns, and what's more - 750k could buy a tactical nuclear weapon!~


Attacks on US and allied forces will drop to between 1/3 and 1/2 of previous levels for a couple months before gradually increasing to pre-Saddam levels.
posted by troutfishing at 5:02 AM on December 14, 2003


So who got the $25 million?
posted by futureproof at 5:03 AM on December 14, 2003


Miguel's caption contest:

4.) Jerry Garcia's partially decomposed body was recovered today.
posted by RavinDave at 5:15 AM on December 14, 2003


karl rove is so cute in that barney reloaded movie, all tangled up in christmas lights! OMFG! ROFL + LOL!!!1! i just want to hug this administration!
posted by quonsar at 5:17 AM on December 14, 2003


does the video show bush dropping him again?
posted by sourbrew at 5:19 AM on December 14, 2003


Miguel's caption contest:

5.) "Sitting on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent, hey Aqualung..."
posted by quonsar at 5:21 AM on December 14, 2003


Miguel's caption contest:

Rare color photograph by Mathew Brady of Walt Whitman attending an early rave club.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:23 AM on December 14, 2003


"We got him". "Red Dawn". "Wolverine Two". Good news - bad, bad scriptwriter!
posted by gdav at 5:25 AM on December 14, 2003


http://avina.best.vwh.net/sadam.mov

their movies of sadam
posted by demannu at 5:25 AM on December 14, 2003


Caption contest:

5) Tom Hanks recprises his role for the upcoming 2004 movie "Casted Away... Again" - in which his character decides that the best thing he ever did was talk to a Volley ball named Wilson 20 years after his first horrific plane crash.
posted by phylum sinter at 5:28 AM on December 14, 2003


them iraqi reporters sure are some kinda drama queens. jeebus.
posted by quonsar at 5:30 AM on December 14, 2003


corrected link.
posted by quonsar at 5:34 AM on December 14, 2003


How is showing video footage of Saddam undergoing a medical examination not humiliating and degrading, the sort of show footage that the Bush Administration were OUTRAGED about when it was American GIs on Iraqi TV screens?

You'd have thought the head of state of an occupied nation would have at least some protection from the Geneva Convention ...

Mind you, on BBC News 24 an anchorman was reporting that the Geneva Convention no longer applied as there was no war ... um, Hello? Occupied nation?
posted by kaemaril at 5:41 AM on December 14, 2003


What's that trackback...."Blogs for Bush" - do they even read these thread comments?

Anyway - Now GW Bush can call up Saddam, in his cell, or just send him snarky little notes : "Yo Saddam. GW here. That's what you get for trying to mess with my dad. So how do you like being a guest in my fine American hotel ? The bill's on me. Asshole."

If Iraqi politics resembled American politics, Saddam could now exit stage left - after a long and successful career as a tyrant and a mass murderer - and lay low for a year or two, like Henry Kissinger after tacitly condoning mass murder in Chile and ordering the "secret" bombing of Cambodia, to reemerge as a commentator on CNN and a regular guest on "Firing Line".
posted by troutfishing at 5:45 AM on December 14, 2003


kaemaril:
You seem to labour under the misconception that leaders will actually give a damn about laws when they do not suit their goals.
posted by spazzm at 5:45 AM on December 14, 2003


spazzm: I labour under no such misapprehension. Certainly not with George Bush around, anyway. However, most governments do at least try to give the impression that they are working within the framework of the rule of law (and by "law" I include international treaties...)
posted by kaemaril at 5:49 AM on December 14, 2003


"on BBC News 24 an anchorman was reporting that the Geneva Convention no longer applied as there was no war..." - kaemaril, now that you mention it, isn't the US supposed to be now in perpetual war, a War on Terror™ which will go on until the last terrorist is ferreted out of the last hole (which means basically forever) ?
posted by troutfishing at 5:50 AM on December 14, 2003


troutfishing: pretty much. A much, much longer version of Bill Hick's "Persian Gulf distraction" :)

However, it was my understanding that an occupied nation was still privy to Geneva Convention protection, even if there's no "state of war" --- otherwise what's to stop one country declaring war, immediately invading, declaring the war over and doing all sorts of nasty things that are contrary to convention?
posted by kaemaril at 5:56 AM on December 14, 2003


6) David Bellamy captured in Iraq
/britfilter
posted by chill at 5:56 AM on December 14, 2003


...what's to stop one country declaring war, immediately invading, declaring the war over and doing all sorts of nasty things that are contrary to convention?

exactly what rummy was thinking...
posted by quonsar at 5:58 AM on December 14, 2003


chill: LOL. I wonder how many non-Brits will get that?
posted by kaemaril at 6:00 AM on December 14, 2003


7)

Karl Marx
posted by sourbrew at 6:00 AM on December 14, 2003


Laws only work where there are a framework in place to enforce them. Right now there is no one that can seriously threaten USA with military action - therefore Bush can wipe his butt with the Geneva convention. The only ones that can enforce the rules of war now are the american voters, and that doesn't seem very likely.
posted by spazzm at 6:03 AM on December 14, 2003


And yes, what's with the talkback posts?
posted by spazzm at 6:04 AM on December 14, 2003


How is showing video footage of Saddam undergoing a medical examination not humiliating and degrading, the sort of show footage that the Bush Administration were OUTRAGED about when it was American GIs on Iraqi TV screens?

Well, I thought that we were dealing with a skeptical Iraqi public, which needs to know that the dictator that tormented them for decades is in custody. Actually, I would like to just drop Sadaam off in the center of Baghdad, and let the Iraqi mobs deal with him, or hand him over to the Kurds. He will receive a much fairer trial than Iraqis received under his dictatorship, and much fairer than he deserves.

This is a good morning, everyone.
posted by Durwood at 6:08 AM on December 14, 2003


I am curious to see if Bush even makes a comment on this, since he did make that statement about Saddam being irrelevant earlier this year.
posted by romanb at 6:09 AM on December 14, 2003


Durwood: 1) You don't need to show somebody having their beard checked for lice to verify their identity. 2) I have no doubt whatsoever that Saddam Hussein's trial will be the biggest kangaroo court seen since ... well, since they invented the concept. How on earth will he get a fair and impartial trial in a country that he's terrorised for decades? If I were his defence lawyer, the first thing I'd want is a change of venue. That's assuming he's even given an experienced lawyer. 3) EVERYBODY deserves a fair trial, even scum like Saddam.
posted by kaemaril at 6:17 AM on December 14, 2003


This is a good morning, everyone.

Why is that, precisely?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:19 AM on December 14, 2003


Merry Christmas!
posted by Busithoth at 6:19 AM on December 14, 2003


Now that Saddam is captured, it's likely that demands for US troops to leave Iraq will increase, which is bad when you consider the following...

"It won't affect (attacks) by Iraqi or Arab mujahidin and might increase them because those who did not want to be branded as supporters of Saddam might now join a resistance with a more nationalist dimension."

Mustafa Alani, Royal United Services Institute, London
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:26 AM on December 14, 2003


Photoshopped.

The search for WMD goes on, with Saddam's help.

Saddam is punk'd!

Saddam Claus
posted by wackybrit at 6:30 AM on December 14, 2003


great news for bush, et.al. bad news for dems.

still, i'm glad he's caught. the photos themselves are well worth the wait. :)
posted by poopy at 6:30 AM on December 14, 2003


Well, when my daughter learned the news her first reaction was "This rocks!"

It's good news. There are a few Iraqi families that would like a word with this fellow. I agree with whoever said he should be handed over in downtown Baghdad. The Iraqi people were the ones who suffered under him, and they deserve to get to deal with him.

Right now justice for the Iraqi people is all I care about. The rest will be sorted out one way or another.

One down, one to go....
posted by konolia at 6:37 AM on December 14, 2003


konolia: Justice? Sounds more like you're advocating a lynch mob.
posted by kaemaril at 7:01 AM on December 14, 2003




OMG! They found Kevin Kline!
posted by PrinceValium at 7:02 AM on December 14, 2003


This is great news for morale and public support. Especially after the debacle with the sons being killed, it's particularly good news to hear that Saddam is alive. Nothing is more important now than trying him publicly before an international body.

Actually, not entirely true. What's most important is stopping soldiers from being killed, and as some have noted already I don't think this will stop that from heppening in the long run... I hope that this celebration doesn't make the army feel like less security needs to be taken. This capture doesn't change the fact that 400 soldiers are dead but I certainly hope it prevents another 400 killings.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:07 AM on December 14, 2003


An imminent capture was predicted a week ago by Ray Lahood (R - Ill), which you can read about on Talking Points Memo.
This is the thing--did we get him earlier? is it really him, or a double? Will the DNA test be released? Will he be tried, or hung by his thumbs in a public square? Will the attacks on us stop? (that one's a no)...and more importantly, where's Osama?
posted by amberglow at 7:40 AM on December 14, 2003


According to the NY Times, Bush is going to speak at noon. To me, this means football is going to be pushed back. Couldn't they have announed the capture last night? Reminds me of when they started attacking Afghanistan and he announced that on noon on Sunday. This man seriously has something against me and watching my football.
posted by graventy at 7:45 AM on December 14, 2003


Well, we got him. Now what do we do? We can put him on trial, but that would backfire, since he's not guilty of the things we went to war over. We could shoot him in the head, but that would make us look even worse then we do now. We could turn him over to an Iraqi court, but it's obvious Bush & Co doesn't trust them at all. We could turn him over to a world court, but the world hates us, so that's not likely to go well.

Capturing Saddam alive is the worst thing that could have happened to Bush. The administration's record of dealing with these types of things is overwhelmingly bad. So far the solution seems to be holding people forever in secret without trial. Is that what we'll do here? Just carry around this albatross forever?

And what will we do about the violence if it continues? It will now be obvious to everyone that the attacks have nothing to do with Saddam and are here to stay. In other words, we can't stop the attacks., and our attempts to rebuild Iraq will continue to be a quagmire. Success depends on winning hearts and minds, and we don't seem to be doing that on a deep enough level.

So. We got him. The fun part for Bush is over. The quagmire continues. Our troops, and the Iraqi people continue to get screwed.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:48 AM on December 14, 2003


I still don't know why we went to Iraq.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:04 AM on December 14, 2003


I know he more than likely didn't have anything to do with 9/11 and that the war is a waste of American and Iraqi lives, but at the same time Hussein is a vile son of a bitch and I'm glad he's been found. If he's either executed or imprisoned forever, it certainly wouldn't break my heart, but I won't break out the party hats until Osama's brought in, and I'm not holding my breath for that anytime soon.
posted by jonmc at 8:09 AM on December 14, 2003


Has anyone considered the tinfoil hat possibility that the strange trackback reaction to this (utterly inevitable, once the news broke) thread could be by design?

Just sayin'.
posted by cortex at 8:13 AM on December 14, 2003


throw him back.
posted by quonsar at 8:13 AM on December 14, 2003


y6y6y6 :"We could turn him over to an Iraqi court, but it's obvious Bush & Co doesn't trust them at all."
If the cable news outlets are correct that is exactly what we are going to do.
posted by MikeMc at 8:15 AM on December 14, 2003


"I still don't know why we went to Iraq"

I STILL DON'T KNOW WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE MORALLY BLIND; PATHOLOGICALLY HATE THE PRESIDENT; AND THINK BEING LEFT OF CENTER MEANS NEVER USING THE MILITARY, EVEN TO REMOVE AN AGENT OF EVIL. TRULY TRAGIC.

Yeah! No more Saddam!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:19 AM on December 14, 2003


another caption: Santa was arrested today for dui, during his traditional pre-Xmas bender. Reporters noticed the Grecian Formula used to hide his appearance. ; >
posted by amberglow at 8:22 AM on December 14, 2003


The world's largest and most expensive military captures a dictator of a nation with a fouth-rate military.

It was going to happen eventually, but I sure as hell don't remember this war being sold to me as a humanitarian mission. Again, where are the nukes? The other WMD? The 'mushroom cloud' line Bush and Coni kept saying.

Hopefully, this will stabilize Iraq, but if it doesn't then we can't blame Saddam for masterminding insurgents and will have to admit the attacks may be something of a popular movement. Time will tell.
posted by skallas at 8:23 AM on December 14, 2003


and go tell it to Taiwan, or the North Koreans, or any of the millions and millions of people on earth who live under dictators, Paris
posted by amberglow at 8:23 AM on December 14, 2003


Amberglow: your depravity speaks for itself. You should move to France.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:26 AM on December 14, 2003


Taiwan? WTF?
posted by ParisParamus at 8:27 AM on December 14, 2003


I STILL DON'T KNOW WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE MORALLY BLIND

Points to the past when the US of A installed the Shaw in Iran rather than let the democracy happen.
Points to Rwanda
Points to the Columbian death squads
Points to Guatamalian death squads.

Points at ParisParamus and asks "And your excellent moral vision is focused where?"

If you are going to claim 'these actions are justified on moral grounds' then why inaction elsewhere?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:27 AM on December 14, 2003


oh, I get it now. I just needed to see it in all caps. thanks.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:30 AM on December 14, 2003


Hopefully, this will stabilize Iraq, but if it doesn't then we can't blame Saddam for masterminding insurgents and will have to admit the attacks may be something of a popular movement.

Which means what exactly? That they should be tolerated?

Again, I don't think the war is the right thing to do right now, but I can't say I have any sympathy for the bastard.

On preview: lay off the personal attacks, Paris. I've met amberglow. He's about as depraved as a ice cream social.

rough ashlar: I'm just asking, but a lot of people point to dictators in other countries as part of their arguments against the war, but I always wonder what they mean exactly. It's obviously meant to show that Bush's motives are suspect, and they are, but are they saying we should send troops to those other nations as well? or are they saying that lots of people live under tyrants and it's no big deal?
posted by jonmc at 8:34 AM on December 14, 2003


The world's largest and most expensive military captures a dictator of a nation with a fouth-rate military.

well, yeah, but considering that the largest and most expensive military runs windows and uses MSChat to coordinate battlefield communications it's really a wonder it was able to pull this off at all.

and check out the neoblogs willya?!?! i haven't seen this much morning wood since my boy scout jamboree! why, you'd think chimpy single-handedly wrassled hussein out of his hole, thereby ensuring the next thousand years of glorious trickle-down crapitalism! what a h00t!
posted by quonsar at 8:43 AM on December 14, 2003


"It's scary how well Michele can guess the reations from the tin foil hat brigade at DU and Metafilter. I've got 6-8 inches of snow on the driveway..." (trackback comment)

- Ahh, right wing ad-bloginem attacks. So predictable really.
posted by troutfishing at 8:44 AM on December 14, 2003


caption: US CAPTURES SANTA, RUINS CHRISTMAS
posted by Ptrin at 8:47 AM on December 14, 2003


Wow. I've never seen so many people tripping over themselves to try to cast a negative light on so positive a development. And for no good reason other than your hatred for Bush.

If you anti-war (or, more to the point, anti-bush) people were actually as concerned about the Iraqi people as you claimed to be, you'd realize that this is good news. The man continued to cast a shadow over the people he had previously enslaved, and as long as he was at large it was always going to be there. This is a great victory for a reborn nation. Saddam will be tried by his own people, and his shadow can finally be lifted.

But no, because this development has the side effect of being stragically beneficial to the Bush administration, you're all lining up to do your best to shit all over it, even against any shred of rationality or decency. This goes beyond "far left MeFi contingent". It's just pure bile and hatred now.
posted by tirade at 8:48 AM on December 14, 2003


Wow. Teach me to go to sleep, huh? Good news! And what jonmc said about wars and bastards.

I'm curious to see if this gets translated into a politically convenient excuse to cut and run, and I wonder how they're gonna handle his capture.
posted by furiousthought at 8:50 AM on December 14, 2003


> I STILL DON'T KNOW WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE MORALLY BLIND

Now now, Paris, don't overexcite yourself; remember where we are, and why we visit voluntarily. Checking out the political wit and wisdom around here supplies the same guilty pleasure as watching a one-legged flag hater trying to climb a flagpole. You go, guy, you'll be effective one day if you just keep trying, hee hee hee.
posted by jfuller at 8:55 AM on December 14, 2003


Yeah! No more Saddam!

Yay! PP's back!
posted by hama7 at 8:56 AM on December 14, 2003


OMG! They captured Moses! You bastards!
posted by moonbird at 8:57 AM on December 14, 2003


Well, when my daughter learned the news her first reaction was "This rocks!"

And your daughter is...? A foreign policy analyst? A military strategist? The wife of a serviceman? A voter? Help us appreciate this ringing endorsement.

Tirade I agree that everyone should be seeing some good in Hussein's capture. I wonder if you can help us understand how the Iraqis will try him, what without a constitution and legitimate courts and all. Or shall we just try him under his own laws. But wait, he was bad, so can the laws of a bad man bring justice? Such a conundrum!
posted by holycola at 9:01 AM on December 14, 2003


Wow, tirade. You rock. Well said.
posted by TheFarSeid at 9:02 AM on December 14, 2003


"...even against any shred of rationality or decency."

Whoah there cap'n....calm down now or you'll blow a gasket.

Since it's now officially unpatriotic to wonder about the ramifications of capturing Saddam, and since humour is now punishable by summary execution, can you recommend an appropriately patriotic "We got Saddam!" party I can attend?

I would rush into the street and fire my kalashnikov in the air, but I don't own one. Do you think it would be as patriotically celebratory if I just threw some rocks around in my backyard?
posted by troutfishing at 9:08 AM on December 14, 2003


Jon mc

a lot of people point to dictators in other countries as part of their arguments against the war, but I always wonder what they mean exactly. It's obviously meant to show that Bush's motives are suspect, and they are, but are they saying we should send troops to those other nations as well? or are they saying that lots of people live under tyrants and it's no big deal?

I think that the main argument that i have at least against this kind of military action is that this is the kind of action that creates future osamas. We drop a bomb with USA printed on its ass on one house to many, little kid grows up eyes filled with hate. Sometime in the future he becomes a man, remembers that american flag missile that killed his mom, iced his dad, made a pile of ashes out of the arab version of sparky, and he finally realizes that he is plenty pissed.

That said I'm glad that we got Sadam. I think it will help out the Iraqi people, what i am not happy about is that it gives support to the American idea that regime building works. I would not like to see America invest lots of its time in foreign countries attempting to rebuild the economies one after another.

Furthermore I am upset about it because it will help immensely with Bush's chances at reelection. He has already done much to undermine civil liberties and christianize our nation. Hell i might be a bleeding heart liberal, but somehow i don't see our founding fathers approving of our countries current trend towards big government and far reaching foreign policies.

I think mostly liberals are not mad because we are helping Iraq and not helping others, i would even wager that most people think that IF we can affect change in Iraq that would be a good thing. I think the left is mad because we are messing up our international relations, involving ourselves in what could be an endless stream of regime changes, and taking away the "certain inalienable rights" of our citizens at an alarming rate.
posted by sourbrew at 9:08 AM on December 14, 2003


I wonder if you can help us understand how the Iraqis will try him, what without a constitution and legitimate courts and all

...since when has that stopped any nation?
posted by aramaic at 9:10 AM on December 14, 2003


> And your daughter is...?

Try "the future."


Oh, and we're watching this with a bright beady eye to see if it is too good to be true. Fuller carefully reserves the horselaugh , pending confirmation.
posted by jfuller at 9:10 AM on December 14, 2003


So predictable really.

A predictable as predicting explicitly the contents of this thread?

So prescient, really.
posted by hama7 at 9:11 AM on December 14, 2003


"I STILL DON'T KNOW WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE MORALLY BLIND"

I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE CAN'T SEE HOW BAD THIS WHOLE THING HAS BEEN FOR U.S. SECURITY. HELLO??? WE ARE BANKRUPTING OUR COUNTRY *AND* FUELING MORE TERRORISTS.

WE'VE GAINED NOTHING, AND NEITHER HAVE THE IRAQI PEOPLE. FOR BUSH IT'S MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. FOR EVERYONE ELSE IT'S WORSE THAN BEFORE WE INVADED.

Can we stop yelling now?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:11 AM on December 14, 2003


...and he was hanging above the thames all this time in plain view... of everyone!

upon his capture: "I really want people to understand why I did it," he says. "I didn’t do it to make money. I’m not saying I’m out of pocket but I didn’t come out with very much because it cost so much to do this. I did it because I wanted to rid myself of everything that my life is about. I have two mobile phones. I read the newspapers every day. I’m always moving and rushing and I wanted to cut myself off and think and see what limits I could push my body to." :D
posted by kliuless at 9:12 AM on December 14, 2003


Taiwan (for paris)

And what everyone above said, but it's about being coherent too (morally and otherwise), especially if you're justifying our invasion and occupation on moral grounds...We "liberate" Iraqis, yet don't do a thing for the people in North Korea, or a million other places (and even fund death squads as mentioned above), and now are moving away from our longstanding defense of Taiwan (a very fragile place)...I guess we only do it when it's easy enough, and they have oil? and thanks, jon, but i know it's not me who's depraved and baying for blood, but paris
posted by amberglow at 9:12 AM on December 14, 2003


And your daughter is...? A foreign policy analyst? A military strategist? The wife of a serviceman? A voter?

Whatever dude! It like totally rocks! Party on!
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:13 AM on December 14, 2003


> Do you think it would be as patriotically celebratory if I just threw some
> rocks around in my backyard?

You got a French consulate up there in the People's Republic? Sorry, trying very hard to restrain the caveman triumphalism...
posted by jfuller at 9:15 AM on December 14, 2003


Here, here tirade!

The scenes of the Iraqi people celebrating bring tears to my eyes. They're nightmare is over and some of you here probably think they're pain is nothing compared to yours living under Bush.

The anti-war left is a infectious branch. The Democratic party must soon prune it from it's tree or the whole party will die.
posted by Mick at 9:16 AM on December 14, 2003


> involving ourselves in what could be an endless stream of regime changes,

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by jfuller at 9:16 AM on December 14, 2003


Let me summarize:

1) This is great news for Iraq, in that a horrible dictator is finally, officially out of commission.

2) This is terrible news for the US, in that it will be used as re-election ammunition by GWB et al.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:17 AM on December 14, 2003


but are they saying we should send troops to those other nations as well? or are they saying that lots of people live under tyrants and it's no big deal?

Both. And Neither.

If you are going to say 'this Saddam was a bad man, and needs to be stopped' you need to be willing to stand up to the other 'bad men' of the world also, if you wish to appear morally consistant.

Governments don't stand well on morals. You have the US of A's actions across the world as an example of 'do as we say, not as we do.' and you have Governments based on religious morals and what they have done. The Taliban as a 'current' example.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:18 AM on December 14, 2003


I wonder if you can help us understand how the Iraqis will try him, what without a constitution and legitimate courts and all.

I assume it's fairly likely that there will be by the time Saddam goes to trial. You don't go to trial the day you're charged in the US, especially with high-profile cases, so I wouldn't expect that to happen in Iraq.

Since it's now officially unpatriotic to wonder about the ramifications of capturing Saddam, and since humour is now punishable by summary execution

"Wondering about the ramifications"... I see... That's what it is, now, eh? And some light humor, too? No, I think my prior characterization of the last 80 or so posts was more correct. Read them again. It's all just venom. There's so much thinly veiled anger at this success that it'd be almost comical if it weren't so revolting.

Way to go with the hyperbole, tho. Unpatriotic? Execution?
posted by tirade at 9:19 AM on December 14, 2003


Bush on TV just now: once again he tied the War on Terror to the events in Iraq. When are we going to get off that merry-go-round?

The capture of Saddam, I hope, can bring some measure of relief to the Iraqi people and I congratulate those involved in the effort.
posted by Dick Paris at 9:22 AM on December 14, 2003


jfuller

> involving ourselves in what could be an endless stream of regime changes,

You say that like it's a bad thing.


If i thought we could do it with out creating more terrorists i might not think it was a bad thing. Sadly history seems to say that we generally are pretty bad at regime changes. Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, Columbia, Afghanistan most recently.
posted by sourbrew at 9:22 AM on December 14, 2003


Ahh, right wing ad-bloginem attacks. So predictable really.

As predictable as this left wing ad-bloginem attack, huh?
posted by Dennis Murphy at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2003


AP is reporting large explosions in central Baghdad, by the Palestine Hotel.

On preview, CNN has live video.
posted by Vidiot at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2003


Oh and the (palestine hotel?) just blew up in baghdad, no links as of yet.
posted by sourbrew at 9:27 AM on December 14, 2003


doh
posted by sourbrew at 9:27 AM on December 14, 2003


Taiwan (for paris)

Taiwan, for all intents and purposes, is a democratic country. I should know, I was born and grew up there and certainly never felt like Taiwan was part of China.
posted by gyc at 9:29 AM on December 14, 2003


hehe, i like hama7's link. then again, how could someone NOT be able to predict the reaction here? then again, i guess that's the point.
posted by poopy at 9:29 AM on December 14, 2003


...certainly never felt like Taiwan was part of China.
Well, our president certainly feels differently, matching his rhetoric to the Chinese view of "One China."
posted by amberglow at 9:35 AM on December 14, 2003


i have this strange feeling that many people here are hoping for the worst from the recent bombing. just a hunch.
posted by poopy at 9:36 AM on December 14, 2003


mostly just expecting it all morning. I was kind of hopping the iraqis would start stoning terrorists in the street.
posted by sourbrew at 9:38 AM on December 14, 2003


Reuters is now reporting that Iraqi police say the explosion was caused by fuel canisters on the truck, not explosives.

The timing and location (the Palestine Hotel is on the same street as the French embassy and many international news organizations) seem suspicious, however.

Al-Arabiya TV is reporting several more explosions. Interesting developing story.
posted by Vidiot at 9:46 AM on December 14, 2003


And your daughter is...? A foreign policy analyst? A military strategist? The wife of a serviceman? A voter? Help us appreciate this ringing endorsement.

You miss the point! It means konolia is a mother, and so, when she calls for mob violence, and cathartic hate it doesn't seem quite so bad. It's slightly upsetting to me that your moral system precludes you from lying to an insurance company while letting you freely advocate a complete disregard for justice, international law, human compassion, and everything Jesus taught.
posted by rhyax at 9:51 AM on December 14, 2003


Ya know, this sucks. Yesterday I bought four copies of Where's Saddam? to give out as Christmas gifts, and now all the funny is gone.

You probably think I'm kidding, but I'm really not.
posted by dogmatic at 9:54 AM on December 14, 2003


well, if you're lucky dogmatic, maybe they'll come out with a 'Free Saddam' card game.
posted by poopy at 9:58 AM on December 14, 2003


> The timing and location (the Palestine Hotel is on the same street as the
> French embassy and many international news organizations)

Trout, congratulations on the fast travel, I'm awed, but shame for overreacting. Just wave your flag where you are and maybe burn a sparkler, that will be quite sufficient. You could hurt somebody!
posted by jfuller at 9:59 AM on December 14, 2003


wow, we are all so stupid and predictable.

it's amazing that with so many discussion forums no doubt buzzing about this, mefi is the only one that fits the predictions.

god, we love terrorists and hate bush. thats the only reason why we're not popping like 15 boners a minute, dude.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:00 AM on December 14, 2003


Well... finally. Now maybe they can go back to looking for Osama bin Laden.
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:01 AM on December 14, 2003


Funny, in here at MeFi it's all about Equivocating. Good, but.

General Clark (my new fave of the Democrats) says, instead, "Mission well done, Troops."

The Hague - "I could not be prouder of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces for capturing this horrible despot. This is a testament to their courage and determination. I'd also like to congratulate Lt. General Sanchez and the intelligence community for the crucial role they played. We've been due good news from Iraq and the world is a safer and better place now that he is in custody."

He could get the Clinton middle with thoughts like that. And he could get the Warbloggers, with thoughts like that. (Not that they're a big contituency, but they're opinion leaders, as many more people read them than write them) A sound domestic policy and he could win.

Cool. Maybe we'd end up with Bush foreign policy without the creepy Bush administration.
posted by swerdloff at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2003


it looks like it's still funny, dogmatic--your friends will like it anyway (i would), and it's a collectible now too.
posted by amberglow at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2003


This was all staged to pull your attention from the fact that Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant are both innocent. Wake up you fools!
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:10 AM on December 14, 2003


Hmm...filthy, shaggy, and cowering in a hole? Sounds familiar:


posted by hama7 at 10:11 AM on December 14, 2003


i have this strange feeling that many people here are hoping for the worst from the recent bombing. just a hunch.



ah, it's good to see so many MeFi right-wing friends suddendly interrupt their self-imposed hiatus and reappear here with the usual slander.
plus, we missed the "you're all Pinko terrorists" elegant arguments

sadly, in the real world (as opposed to the warblogger's Islam-hating Neverland where 9-11 was an Iraqi operation and Osama and Saddam are now "irrelevant" unless you catch them, then they become key to the "war" effort) Saddam's capture is hardly a panacea.

First, in the real world, one needs to establish if Saddam had -- in his cement hole -- the necessary means to communicate with his foot soldiers and to organize the resistance -- or counterinsurgency, or whatever you want to call the very efficient GI-killing Iraqi machine. If he hadn't, it's very naive to expect attacks to stop.
it'll also be interesting to watch how -- and where, and when -- the Saddam trial will happen

memo to our neo-McCarthyite, Bush-loving friends: one can't avoid to be a little surprised by your penchant for hungrily making political hay out the (very, very few) good news coming from Iraq.
of course when Democrats use (bad) news from Iraq to make a point they're traitors.

heh.

up is down, right?

anyway, children, don't spike the ball just yet


oh, and poopy, when did you stop beating your wife?
posted by matteo at 10:13 AM on December 14, 2003


The local news station had some reactions from Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn, MI and the people they interviewed all sounded very jubilant.

And NewsMax had this interesting quote from Joe Lieberman from Meet the Press: "If Howard Dean had his way, Saddam Hussein would be in power today, not in prison." I'm taking that report with a grain of salt obviously considering the source, but that seems like a very serious charge for anyone to make.
posted by gyc at 10:15 AM on December 14, 2003


I think we should let Bush have 15 minutes in the ring with him, one-on-one. After all this was the guy that tried to kill his dad.


Oh, and some other stuff...
posted by hoborg at 10:15 AM on December 14, 2003


It does present an interesting dilemma from a criminal procedure standpoint - at least interesting to someone like myself who has studied international law.

As you point out, an ICC trial is highly unlikely, since the U.S. is not a member. I suppose they could turn him over to an ally like the U.K. (who is a member) - but that is pretty unlikely.

Nor do I think they would bring him to Cuba. The "detainees" at Guantanamo are (at least arguably) prisoners of the "war on terror" - former members of Al Queda and the Taliban. I don't believe anyone captured in Iraq has been sent there. It would put the U.S. in the difficult position of having to try and prove Saddam had solid links to international terrorist networks actively working to harm the U.S. I don't think they want to try and go there.

The most logical thing will be to try him in Iraq for his very numerous and evident crimes against the Iraqi people. Exactly who will be trying him is the real question. Iraq doesn't currently have a judicial system. Any trial set up and run by the U.S. military/provisional authority will likely be seen as a kangaroo court. So, it seems like they will have to hold him as a prisoner on behalf of the Iraqi people for a few months, until they can set up some sort of panel of Iraqi judges.

I'd imagine they will try and get a representative panel of at least eight or so judges. Probably a Shiite, a Sunni, a Kurd, a Turkoman, an Assyrian . . .and probably containing both Civil Law and Shari`a legal experts. How the eventual execution will take place is anyone's guess. Will is be U.S.-style lethal injection? My guess is military-stle firing squad.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:19 AM on December 14, 2003


hamasheaven,

glad you mentioned Lindh's capture -- funny how the Geneva Convention gets mentioned only when it's convenient for a certain side.
but maybe some people are more equal than others


but I agree, Lindh's beard didn't get inspected for lice in front of the cameras for the whole world to see, so he can't complain much right? and he's not even a former head of State of a former American ally nation
;)
posted by matteo at 10:23 AM on December 14, 2003


8) noriega-claus ?



while the US is preoccupied with cleaning up another one if its messes, vastly more dangerous ones persist.
posted by specialk420 at 10:24 AM on December 14, 2003


> oh, and poopy, when did you stop beating your wife?

matteo, I'll bet you a Cinzano umbrella Iraq has a constitution before Europe does. Il faut cultiver notre jardin.
posted by jfuller at 10:24 AM on December 14, 2003


matteo, well put.
posted by skallas at 10:25 AM on December 14, 2003


First, in the real world, one needs to establish if Saddam had -- in his cement hole -- the necessary means to communicate with his foot soldiers and to organize the resistance
Considering that his hiding spot was captured in part by tips of his use of a taxi that was driven to the place of his capture- the same taxis he used during the first Gulf War to travel incognito- I would speculate that he did in fact have contact with his foot soldiers.
(Then again, those are just news reports, so will have to see its really how his hiding place was found)
posted by jmd82 at 10:31 AM on December 14, 2003


Lieberman did in fact say what you quoted. (Link from Lieberman's own site here.)

Here's Dean's statement, which largely steers clear of politics.
posted by Vidiot at 10:32 AM on December 14, 2003


First, in the real world, one needs to establish if Saddam had -- in his cement hole -- the necessary means to communicate with his foot soldiers and to organize the resistance -- or counterinsurgency, or whatever you want to call the very efficient GI-killing Iraqi machine. If he hadn't, it's very naive to expect attacks to stop.


This has been said in one way or another several times in this thread, and I think it misses the point. Whether or not Saddam was directly coordinating a resistance, his impact was very real as long as he was still a shadowy figure "out there" of which the general populace was still very much afraid. Taking Saddam and his sons out of the picture will have a bigger impact on the national attitude towards actually moving forward and rebuilding the nation, as well as their tolerance for the insurgency.

quote from Joe Lieberman from Meet the Press: "If Howard Dean had his way, Saddam Hussein would be in power today, not in prison." I'm taking that report with a grain of salt obviously considering the source, but that seems like a very serious charge for anyone to make.


Serious, yes, but... well, he's right, isn't he? Howard Dean was against the war, and thus, if he had his way, Saddam would still be in power. It's not fair, and it doesn't get to the heart of the issues involved, but it is factually correct. And also probably politically dangerous for Dean and really all of the dems. Which, lets face it, is what is bothering everybody so much about this development.

memo to our neo-McCarthyite, Bush-loving friends: one can't avoid to be a little surprised by your penchant for hungrily making political hay out the (very, very few) good news coming from Iraq.
of course when Democrats use (bad) news from Iraq to make a point they're traitors.


It's really more of an issue of the lefties drowning out any successful news from Iraq with the three card monte distraction of doubt and conspiracy theories. Saddam captured? Government forming? Polls show the Iraqi's welcome the occupation? "No, no, hey look at how bad this thing is here!" The left has desperately wanted this war to fail from the get go, and entirely for political reasons. They had "quagmire" on the tip of their tongues before the first shot was even fired.

It's one thing to not have wanted to go to war. But to want it to go badly once it's started, to be so transparently overjoyed at every negative development (it's an opportunity for more Bush-is-chimp jokes, after all) is sickening.
posted by tirade at 10:41 AM on December 14, 2003


as opposed to the warblogger's Islam-hating Neverland where 9-11 was an Iraqi operation and Osama and Saddam are now "irrelevant" unless you catch them, then they become key to the "war" effort

And yet time after time I've read how the attempt for saddam's capture was now being swept under the rug as unimportant because we couldn't catch him.

Now we've got him and its suddenly "irrelevant". Funny how that works.

matteo, well put.

Translation: I agree with you completely (so therefore well put!)

ah, it's good to see so many MeFi right-wing friends suddendly interrupt their self-imposed hiatus and reappear here with the usual slander.

Slander? Are you reading this thread?

Really, if you were 'right wing' my friend I doubt you'd hang out at metafilter either. Read the thread and you might find a clue why (and slander of course).
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:42 AM on December 14, 2003


we have questions, and we ask them. it doesn't mean we want the war to go badly. I suspect you know this but are just hungry for conflict.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:44 AM on December 14, 2003


Anyone feel safer?
posted by machaus at 10:44 AM on December 14, 2003


joe lieberman is an ass. he may as well say, "if howard dean were president today, those 3,000 people killed in the WTC attack would be alive, and 10,000s of more people would have jobs." just as bogus a statement. the president of the U.S. does *not* control everything that happens in the world.

also, i don't understand the antagonism to the objective analysis of Saddam Hussein's capture. i don't see really anyone here "bashing" Bush on this issue, just talking about possible ramifications of this event.

i guess that any open discussion of recent events is enough for some to scream "YOU SUPPORT THE TERRORISTS!" sheez. what's so "terroristic" about rational discussion?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:50 AM on December 14, 2003


Lubavitcher Rebbe Found Alive And Well In Tikrit
posted by PenDevil at 10:53 AM on December 14, 2003


Summary:

"Where's Saddam? Where are the WMDs?"
"We got Saddam. Now we can hear about the WMDs from the horse's mouth."
"YOU HAVEN'T ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING! THIS IS MEANINGLESS!"
(or, specialk420 version, "THERE ARE STILL TEN THOUSAND THINGS WRONG IN THE WORLD, I CAN'T HEAR YOU, LALALA")

Nobody expects this to mean a sudden end to Ba'athist attacks, nor will a thousand years of peace and equality for all men immediately follow. But it's a pretty significant event.
posted by darukaru at 10:55 AM on December 14, 2003


I think that the main argument that i have at least against this kind of military action is that this is the kind of action that creates future osamas. We drop a bomb with USA printed on its ass on one house to many, little kid grows up eyes filled with hate.

A lot of things "create" psychopathic murderers, not the least of which are their own delusions and body of enablers.

You didn't rescue my country from the insane dictator who left us all to starve and murdered thousands for political purposes, therefore I hate you and you must die. You gave the people I don't like more than you gave me, therefore I hate you and you must die. You worship the wrong god, therefore I hate you and you must die. You have freedoms I don't like, therefore I hate you and you must die. You exist, I don't want you to, therefore you must die. Any justification that I can fabricate in my muddled mind gives me good reason to hate you and if I hate you, you must die!

Action or inaction, we will face criticisms from wildly divergent parties and someone, somewhere, on one side or other of every nation, faction, party or entity in the world will have a gripe with us. Occasionally the people with gripes will be homicidal maniacs who happen to have the charisma to stir up sympathy from those who are similarly mentally screwed and a bunch of them will get inspired to try to blow something up or otherwise kill a bunch of people.

We're damned if we do and damned if we don't, because we're the ultimate bastion of power and therefore we have a massive target plastered right over our (metaphorical) heart.

Even if we withdrew every American troop from every other foreign land, withdrew every penny of foreign aid, expelled all foreign nationals, closed our borders and ended all international trade today and became entirely isolationist in every way, we would still be a target.

And conversely, if we dug in, took every tyrant to task, demanded regime change in every non-democratic nation with the threat of military force if it could not be acheived peaceably and responded to every threat to human rights that we became aware of in some fashion or another, even if we saved millions of lives in the process, we would still be a target.

Much as law-abiding citizens of crime-ridden neighborhoods secure themselves as much as possible but cannot allow thugs to steal away their enjoyment of their own communities, we cannot let the whims of dictators, despots and cave-dwelling psychopaths determine our course for us. The kooks, or the fear of the kooks, can not and should not be the deciding factor in any policy except the specific policy of de-kookifying the world for the common greater good.
posted by Dreama at 10:57 AM on December 14, 2003


The trial question is really quite interesting. Saddam has clearly violated international criminal law, so he could really be tried anywhere with jurisdiction to apply international criminal law. But I think it would be a mistake to try him anywhere other than Iraq.

Unlike a typical trial, there's going to be no doubt at all about the outcome, wherever he's tried (although I suppose the sentence could vary in different venues). I don't think anyone really doubts that Saddam is guilty of crimes against humanity. The real purpose of any trial would be to give the victims of Saddam's atrocities an opportunity to tell their stories and have those stories validated through a legal proceeding and, ultimately, a conviction. A trial in Iraq, if done thoughtfully, could really be quite a powerful and cathartic moment for the Iraqi people---allowing the country to bring some degree of closure to a very dark period in their history.

The key is that the trial be done right. That is, that it be done entirely out in the open with transparent processes, that it have an air of legal legitimacy to it, and that it be aimed at allowing the victims to tell their stories publicly.

It's an exciting opportunity for Iraq. I hope Bush and Rummy don't screw it up.
posted by boltman at 11:01 AM on December 14, 2003


stavros: This is a good morning because a dictator who ruled a country for 30 years is no longer in power and is now captured. The fear of the Iraqis that he might come back in power is gone. Most Iraqis are thrilled by this.

sourbrew: Karl Marx, absolutely.

matteo: You put a quote at the start from and a dig at the end at poopy. But the
second line you say something about right-wingers coming back from their self-imposed hiatus. Was poopy on a self-imposed hiatus, or were you trying to tie him in with ParisParamus, a none too loved figure? Hmm, that would be "guilt by association", a McCarthyite tactic, wouldn't it?

I also liked the contrast of you writing "plus, we missed the "you're all Pinko terrorists" elegant arguments" and "memo to our neo-McCarthyite, Bush-loving friends". It pushes the hypocrisy level of your post to extraordinary heights. Congrats.

machaus: Anyone feel safer? Personally, no. I bet a hell of a lot of Iraqis do, though.

mrgrimm: I don't see anyone, besides ParisParamus, who I think most people ignore, saying "you support the terrorists". I found that reading much of this thread I got the definite vibe that some people were not happy that Saddam was captured. Even the post has digs at Bush in it. I think this can and should be discussion rationally.
posted by superchris at 11:02 AM on December 14, 2003


Anyone feel safer?

Kurds? Iraqi dissidents? Hundreds of thousands of citizens all over the Mid-East?
posted by dhoyt at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2003


THERE ARE STILL TEN THOUSAND THINGS WRONG IN THE WORLD

yoh darukaru ... want to tell the kids here what the line succession in nuclear armed pakistan would be had musharraf been smoked in that assasination attempt?
posted by specialk420 at 11:06 AM on December 14, 2003


Slander? Are you reading this thread?

Sadly, I am.
I see the usual RNC talking point over and over again -- "they attack the president for attacking the terrorists".
anti-Iraq war people actually care so much about the soldiers that they resent the White House using them as pawns in a badly-planned adventure
but I agree, reason would blow up your arguments all the time, so stick with the slander

matteo, I'll bet you a Cinzano umbrella Iraq has a constitution before Europe does. Il faut cultiver notre jardin.

a Cinzano umbrella?

nevermind.

but are you trying to argue that until the EU has a Constituion no European can discuss Iraq? On what basis?
A new low, really, even for your admittedly not-that-high standards
But I understand the American right-winger's glee at the Spaniards and Poles sabotaging the European Constitution -- it was all over the warblogs, together with extremely ill-informed analysis

If you really want to bet, wanna bet on the date of a real one-person-one-vote Iraqi election? Like, an election where right now the polls indicate that the ayatollahs are bound to kick everybody's ass? Are you willing to erase the Iraqi election's results, Algeria-style, if it comes to that?

and anyway, if you feel bad about my comments, just call me a dago, or a greaseball -- you'll feel better, mon ami

;)
posted by matteo at 11:09 AM on December 14, 2003


"Anyone feel safer?"
Anyone who thinks that the haggard man in the basement was behind the insurgents might. I actually have family at risk in Iraq, so I'll wait and see. How many of you chickenhawks crowing around here risk losing a brother or nephew over your little adventure?
I do.
How many have already lost a family member to past military adventures?
I have.
How about you Paris?
Fuck off.
posted by 2sheets at 11:13 AM on December 14, 2003


tirade: he's right, isn't he? Howard Dean was against the war, and thus, if he had his way, Saddam would still be in power.

Methinks that's a bit unfair -- jumping to the other side of the spectrum, no? Are you really essentially saying that if someone isn't 100% in lockstep with the war as it has been conducted by BushCo, then they support Saddam by default? This excludes quite a number of middle options that could have been explored, not the least of which is dealing with the situation in concert with a genuine and significant international coalition instead of doing everything we can to isolate ourselves and bare the full brunt. Is Dean against "war" or against "this war"; carried out in a reckless rush, ignoring other options, nose-thumbing the international community, playing off 911 hysteria, exagerrating WMD threats, taking the heat off OBL and tossing no-bid contracts to campaign contributers?
posted by RavinDave at 11:17 AM on December 14, 2003


Saddam Hussein: A Life of Violence (via NPR)
posted by dhoyt at 11:21 AM on December 14, 2003


superchris: I found that reading much of this thread I got the definite vibe that some people were not happy that Saddam was captured

Or maybe, some people aren't getting terrible enthused over the 2nd "Mission Accomplished" on an arguably illegal war based on lies that has cost thousands of lives. Was it all worth it? Where are the WMD?

Just focusing on Saddam is a nice short-term stragety to keep Fox News and the Warbloggers hard for a while, but the larger issue of why we're fighting in the first place should not be shoved under the rug after every victory - big or small - in this war.

Yes, its excellent news for re-building Iraq, but let us not forget why Bush rationalized destroying it in the first place. Sorry if everyone 'can't get behind the president' and bash Howard Dean because an out of power tyrant on the run with very limited support was finally caught by the world's best military in a war many disagree with.

"Let us never forget" cuts both ways, I'm afraid.
posted by skallas at 11:24 AM on December 14, 2003


> If you really want to bet, wanna bet on the date of a real one-person-one-vote
> Iraqi election?

You're on. Iraq has a one-person-one-vote election before the EU does.


> and anyway, if you feel bad about my comments, just call me a dago, or
> a greaseball -- you'll feel better, mon ami

OK, if I ever feel bad about your comments I will.
posted by jfuller at 11:25 AM on December 14, 2003


And is this finally the decapitation of the resistance in Iraq?

I would imagine it's a huge setback to Saddam's loyalists, but I fear that religious militants will spin it as God's punishment on secularism. We'll know soon enough.
posted by homunculus at 11:26 AM on December 14, 2003


What I think is more important than the capture of Saddam is to look at the flow of capital coming out of the government during reconstruction, i.e. Haliburton. Let's see what happens when former Iraqi state property and businesses become privatized and saturated with international capital and the majority of property ownership is concentrated outside of Iraq. Let's see if this war wasn't really just about opening the door for economic imperialism in the region. Sure, a sovereign Iraqi government can be setup, but but how much real power is it going to have when the majority of productive property is owned by international investment corporations? What effect will this have on Iraqi culture and it's regional neighbors economies? What if this war was really just about economics and installing a client state in order further press the Middle East to give in and be bought up by American and Western European capital?

Sorry, people. Guess I've just seen too many pictures of Marx on the web today and I'm interested in responses to the above argument.
posted by rhizome23 at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2003


Kottke says:
Unsurprisingly, the small but particularly vocal segment of the blogos-whatever that can be identified by their non-ironic use of the word anti-idiotarian, is asserting that there is only one right reaction to Saddam's capture and any other possible opinion is incorrect. It's a toss-up these days as to whose coverage of current events is worse, cable news or that of weblogs. Fox News may have Bill O'Reilly, but reading the weblog coverage lately is like watching 1000 cable channels at once, each with their own O'Reilly arguing with all the other O'Reillys. Warblogs, you've jumped the shark. Next!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:28 AM on December 14, 2003


I bet the reunion between these two old buddies is going to be awkward.
posted by homunculus at 11:30 AM on December 14, 2003


"What is the significance of the capture of Saddam for contemporary Iraqi politics? He was probably already irrelevant."
posted by specialk420 at 11:30 AM on December 14, 2003


I think this has been a remarkably sensible thread, save the usual exceptions.

There is much agreement that Saddam is captured, and this is a Good Thing.

Likewise, there is much agreement that figuring out how to try the bastard fairly is going to be a Difficult Thing.

Most people recognize that the administration was pooh-poohing the importance of Saddam just a few weeks ago; and find it frustrating that his capture is now suddenly The Most Important Thing.

Most people are also frustrated that the administration is neglecting its duties in Afghanistan, which is falling apart all around the soldiers, and is becoming an embarassing debacle.

That all seems sensible to me, and I don't see how it equates to Bush-bashing. It's just simple truth. If it runs counter to the administration's words or actions, that's a problem with the administration, not with the people who recognize the truth.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:32 AM on December 14, 2003


Damn that Gen Sanchez. He probably just wants the U.S. to fail.
posted by raysmj at 11:33 AM on December 14, 2003


"All bearded dudes look alike."

What I learned on MeFi.
posted by HTuttle at 11:34 AM on December 14, 2003


I get this heavy feeling in my solar plexus when I see people ejaculating over a propaganda victory like this. Darlings, this makes nobody safer. He was crouched in a hovel in a bricked-up section of somebody's basement. He wasn't in charge of an armed resistance, he wasn't even in charge of where he could poop. The very fact that he had to be checked for head lice ought to indicate to you that maybe he wasn't poised to play his trump card.

BUSH
"Saddam WHO-sane? Ha ha, but seriously, folks, we don't give a shit about that guy, and we never did. We came here to help the people of Iraq, and that's what we're going to do. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got an infrastructure to build."

(Bush rolls up sleeves and accepts a shovel from a tired-looking US Soldier)

PRESS
"Ewww! Ahhh! See how he rolled up his sleeves? I think he's going to rebuild Iraq himself!"

INCREDULOUS UNPATRIOTS
"But what about the nuclear weapons?"

BUSH
"WHO-cular weapons? Ha ha, but seriously folks, if you'll turn your attention back to the shovel..."

SADDAM HUSSEIN
"Yes, yessss.. all goes according to plan. I'll use that shovel to dig your grave one day. While the people of Iraq heap praise on Bush, in his fortified command-hole, Saddam waits. Saddam waits."

So, first it was about was about stopping terrorism. Then it was about protecting our country from an imminent threat of attack. Then it was about getting rid of Saddam Hussein and the Ba'athists. Then it was about helping the people of Iraq. Then, for a while, I wasn't sure what it was about. Then it was about pissing off France and Russia. Now it's about Saddam Hussein again. I'm confident that if I can only find the pattern of justifications, I will be able to derive the secret of pi and communicate with God.

You know, this may sound unpatriotic, but I was starting to think this war might have been a lousy idea. Fortunately, the loss of life and estrangement from the world community has been totally justified by yesterday's capture of Walt Whitman.

We've caught our red herring, America, now let's make a trophy out of him!
posted by Hildago at 11:34 AM on December 14, 2003


You're on. Iraq has a one-person-one-vote election before the EU does.

heh.
sorry to burst your bubble -- I don't know what you heard on talk-radio, but European Countries do have Constitutions, and do vote for their national governments AND for the European Parliament already
so there already is representation in a EU legislating body.
if you think that drafting a European Constitution is a small feat, help yourself. anyway the whole switch to the Euro went pretty well -- wanna exchange some dollars and get a strong currency?
;)

I also liked the contrast of you writing "plus, we missed the "you're all Pinko terrorists" elegant arguments" and "memo to our neo-McCarthyite, Bush-loving friends". It pushes the hypocrisy level of your post to extraordinary heights

I know it hurts, but "they attack the President for attacking the terrorists" is pure McCarthyite slander.
Deal with it.
Learn to appreciate yourself more
;)

even if we don't count FreedomParamus (I don't see why, by the way, he is a voice of the right wing in this site, he says -- Coulter-like -- what other Bush-lovers are too polite to state clearly, and his contribution makes MeFi more diverse, it's good to always have somebody here remember us NorthKoreans the right-winger's point of view) you may want to check out this thread for those users who mentioned things like people "hoping for the worst from the recent bombing" and French lawyers flying to Baghdad

but again, one wouldn't want to burst the nice bubble where the Pinkos are evil anti-Americans

fact is, the dread "peaceniks" are the ones who have a problem with hundreds of coalition soldiers being slaughtered, and they're the ones who'd like some sort of sane policy for Iraq, for the good of Iraqis and of coalition soldiers -- the peaceniks are the true patriots, I am sorry to report.
as for VietNam, History will serve those who still dream up "domino theories" -- neocons are today's McGeorge Bundys

also, I'm just curious: do you have more of a problem with the "Bush-love" or the "McCarthy part"?


did you stop beating your wife as well?
posted by matteo at 11:36 AM on December 14, 2003


"because this development has the side effect of being strategically beneficial to the Bush administration, you're all lining up to do your best to shit all over it, even against any shred of rationality or decency. This goes beyond "far left MeFi contingent". It's just pure bile and hatred now.
...It's all just venom. There's so much thinly veiled anger at this success that it'd be almost comical if it weren't so revolting"......"Way to go with the hyperbole"

Gee, Tirade - if I cut and paste your quotes and juxtapose them, you can be your own critic!

Dennis Murphy - slander? Meanwhile - "Ahh, right wing ad-bloginem attacks. So predictable really." (my statement)
"As predictable as this left wing ad-bloginem attack, huh?" (yours) - I'd actually call my statement a clinical observation.

"Metafilter - shitting on shreds of morality and decency!" OK then.

What was that quote about patriotism being the last refuge....might it apply to those who set themselves up as abitrers of morality?

"It's really more of an issue of the lefties drowning out any successful news from Iraq" - Tirade, you hit the nail on the head. I turned on my TV this morning to check the news, and the only channel I could find was this Metafilter bullshit - nothing but text and all blue - where a bunch of liberals were vomiting all over everything good and just in the world. It freaked me out. Where were all the networks?

It's a good thing that they caught Saddam, but I hardly think that the problems in Iraq are over. As I've said before, I think the US military has been sent to do a job in Iraq which cannot be accomplished with the current force levels.

And flailing around with a wide tar-covered brush - as I see some doing here - to smear invective on everyone who does not parrot the official right wing prescribed mantra "Saddam caught. Great victory for Iraqis and all humankind. Bush vindicated" (and no humor allowed either!) amounts to an attempt at bullying, sure, but it won't do anything to change the basic facts on the ground in Iraq.

The British pacification of Belfast or the French battle for Algiers took force levels 10X those the US has in Iraq - Saddam's capture will help, at least in the short term, but I think is hardly enough to insure success.

I question whether the Bush Administration is being realistic about what it will take to succeed in Iraq - this is not a criticism of the US military at all. It is a criticism of Bush policy.

On the subject of shit - well, I choose to save my invective for Bush ideologues who - like untrained dogs - are leaving godawful messes everywhere they roam, messes like the budget deficit, maybe Iraq, and certainly US energy policy, which coming generations of Americans may still be cleaning up 20 years hence. You know what they say - some dogs are just no damn good.
posted by troutfishing at 11:37 AM on December 14, 2003


kot-key
posted by clavdivs at 11:38 AM on December 14, 2003


Serious, yes, but... well, he's right, isn't he? Howard Dean was against the war, and thus, if he had his way, Saddam would still be in power.

Or, if Dean had his way, Hussein would have been captured by a legitimate international authority, mechanisms to try him would already be in place, and we could proceed in the reconstruction of Iraq with the help of our (non-alienated) allies instead of (intentionally?) bakrupting our own country in the process. OR maybe Hussein would be sitting in a palace right now, pissed off that armed UN inspectors were dismantling his weaons programs and blowing up the shit he wanted to keep hidden, and all the while their would be no guerilla war or ominous power vacuum.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:44 AM on December 14, 2003


Serious, yes, but... well, he's right, isn't he? Howard Dean was against the war, and thus, if he had his way, Saddam would still be in power.

Or, if Dean had his way, Hussein would have been captured by a legitimate international authority, mechanisms to try him would already be in place, and we could proceed in the reconstruction of Iraq with the help of our (non-alienated) allies instead of (intentionally?) bakrupting our own country in the process. OR maybe Hussein would be sitting in a palace right now, pissed off that armed UN inspectors were dismantling his weapons programs and blowing up the shit he wanted to keep hidden, and all the while their would be no guerilla war or ominous power vacuum.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:44 AM on December 14, 2003


matteo, please don't try to draw false conculsions about people just because they happen to disagree with you. it makes you look extremely ignorant. oh, and BUSH 2004!!!
posted by poopy at 11:45 AM on December 14, 2003


{YES it's sarcasm}
Well now those $3,000 brothers and sisters of mine can fonally rest in peace. *sob*
{but %50 think so... seriously}

The new "concept building" for the World Trade center should now include a glass box for Saddam's head at the tippy top. Ahhh, 'Merica... the soap opera continues.
posted by zekinskia at 11:46 AM on December 14, 2003


Well, this is good news to wake up to. I hope that it brings an end to the resistance. I don't think it will, but one can hope.
posted by moonbiter at 11:52 AM on December 14, 2003


> did you stop beating your wife as well?

I will, matty, now that I've got you.
posted by jfuller at 11:55 AM on December 14, 2003


one more thing matteo: if i was a conservative devil repulican, how the hell does that equate with me or anyone else being a wife beater? or are you just being a dick?
posted by poopy at 11:55 AM on December 14, 2003


but one can hope.

... let's hope no one is using hope as a plan this time.
posted by specialk420 at 11:57 AM on December 14, 2003


and anyway, if you feel bad about my comments, just call me a dago, or a greaseball -- you'll feel better, mon ami

Pay that mamaluke no mind, paisan. Say hi to my cousins in Gadzadda.

Again, I'm glad he's captured and I hope he'll answer for some of the stuff he's done, but I hope the American people don't let Dubya write himself a blank check based on this, but his father lost the election after gulf war 1, so I hold out hope.

But like I said, bring me Osama, then I'll be happy.
posted by jonmc at 11:58 AM on December 14, 2003


Republicans beat their spouses, while Democrats think the government should do it for them.
posted by Hildago at 11:59 AM on December 14, 2003


Pudgy for president.
posted by ginz at 12:02 PM on December 14, 2003


Meanwhile, there are reports of a document uncovered by Iraq's interim government linking Mohamed Atta to Iraq. If the document is authentic, then it's another piece of good news for Bush and his allies.
posted by gyc at 12:04 PM on December 14, 2003


gyc: its unverified and the telegraph is contradicting itself.
posted by skallas at 12:08 PM on December 14, 2003


just to add a little hard news to the pot (one hopes they're more reliable than the usual, by-now-tired, "Atta-in-Prague", "Atta-in-Baghdad" stuff):

TIME Exclusive: Notes from Saddam in Custody
Saddam is talking, but he isn't cooperative. New details on his capture and his first interrogation
By BRIAN BENNETT/BAGHDAD

...
Saddam was taken to a holding cell at the Baghdad Airport. He didn’t answer any of the initial questions directly, the official said, and at times seemed less than fully coherent. The transcript was full of “Saddam rhetoric type stuff,” said the official who paraphrased Saddam’s answers to some of the questions. When asked “How are you?” said the official, Saddam responded, “I am sad because my people are in bondage.”
...
Saddam was also asked whether Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. “No, of course not,” he replied, according to the official, “the U.S. dreamed them up itself to have a reason to go to war with us.” The interrogator continued along this line, said the official, asking: “if you had no weapons of mass destruction then why not let the U.N. inspectors into your facilities?” Saddam’s reply: “We didn’t want them to go into the presidential areas and intrude on our privacy.”

...
Saddam was bricked into his hiding place, he added. “They couldn’t get him out at first and had to dig, from either side of the hole,” said the official. The soldiers finally made a large enough passageway to drag him out. When he came out, he looked bedraggled, said the official: “He looked like a homeless man at the bus station.”
...

The official said it may soon be clear how much command and control over the insurgency Saddam actually had while he was in hiding. “We can now determine,” he said, “if he is the mastermind of everything or not.” The official elaborated: “Have we actually cut the head of the snake or is he just an idiot hiding in a hole?”
...

posted by matteo at 12:08 PM on December 14, 2003


monju_bosatsu, why would you cut and paste what kottke has to say about the war.

1)If he wanted it seen at metafilter he could come here and post his thoughts.

2)If we want his thoughts I pretty sure most people here know where his site is (and have probably already read his opinion).

Time to lose the hero worship.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2003


so, are we torturing him now?
posted by amberglow at 12:27 PM on December 14, 2003


While the Iraqis are happy that Saddam was captured, (and I, having several Iraqi friends, are happy for them) the fact remains that the war was unnecessary, unlawful, and wasteful as carried out.

I have heard plenty of arguments saying that this justifies the death of the 456 Americans. And, you know, that may be so, assuming that they were sent to war for the right reasons. What about the death of 15,000+ Iraqis though? What about the incredible costs of the war? Does it justify that?

It's all a matter of priorities. Let's face it... Saddam was in a cave of sorts, even before we started the war. Sure, it makes me glad that he's gone, but I'd be about as happy if he died of old age too.

With the amount of money expended on this war, the US could have saved a million lives through immunization and through AIDS prevention. It could have seriously combatted diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimers. It could have created major programs to clean up our rivers and restock them with fish. It could have provided financial assistance to make factories less poluting, thereby reducing our greenhouse emissions. It could have taken measures to make us far less dependent on foriegn oil. It could have funded bullet trains between our major cities, or extended existing transportation systems into more regions, as well as extending their hours of operation. It could have even spent to find Osama Bin Laden.

Getting rid of Saddam has always been on a list of potential "to do" goals for the US, but no reasonable person could say that getting rid of Saddam should've been the top (or even the second) priority in the wake of 9/11. Ultimately, you have to weigh the costs of doing so, which means you have to weigh the costs of all the other things you can't do as a result.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:27 PM on December 14, 2003


If the Messiah finally showed up, I'm sure the consensus on Mefi would be negative. Unbelievable.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:27 PM on December 14, 2003


> If the Messiah finally showed up, I'm sure the consensus on Mefi would be negative

Especially for the atheists! Paris take off your blinders, you're an embarassment.
posted by skallas at 12:29 PM on December 14, 2003


If the Messiah showed up someone would accuse him or her of aiding terrorists.
posted by drezdn at 12:36 PM on December 14, 2003


If the Messiah showed up someone would accuse him or her of aiding terrorists.

see, history repeats itself.
posted by clavdivs at 12:39 PM on December 14, 2003


if the messiah showed up and spouted some nonesense about "thou shalt not kill," ParisParamus would probably be astounded by christ's love of corrupt dictators.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:39 PM on December 14, 2003


If the Messiah finally showed up


didn't He already, 2003 years ago?

konolia?

anyway, more details about the capture, from Newsweek:

The Americans received numerous tips from Iraqis interested in the $25 million reward, but none of them panned out. So the military began to squeeze. About six weeks ago, soldiers of the Fourth Infantry Division strung barbed wire around the small farm village of Awja, where Saddam had lived as a boy, about 5 to 10 kilometers south of Tikrit--and, as it turned out, some 5 kilometers from the farm where he was finally captured. The town was a Saddamite fishbowl. About 60 percent of the village's thousand or so men were arrested and questioned. "We had number 6's father, Saddam's first cousin, quite a cast of characters that are town eld-ers," Lt. Col. Steve Russell of the Fourth I.D. told NEWSWEEK.

By the time Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Baghdad in early December, top CENTCOM officials were beginning to feel that they were finally closing in. A top aide to Rumsfeld told newsweek that intelligence was working up the food chain toward Saddam, arresting and interrogating sources who were getting close to the fugitive himself. One top official told Rumsfeld that U.S. forces were "on the heels" of Saddam. British sources told newsweek that Saddam had been driving around in a battered old cab, a clue for aerial surveillance. The pace of raids seemed to quicken last week: a series of quick hits on hideouts that revealed what one commander called a "Fedayeen candy shop," Pepsi cans rigged with explosives and bombs rigged with doorbell ringers. And more traces of Saddam.

At about 10:50 a.m. Baghdad time on Saturday, Dec. 13, military intelligence got the tip it was looking for. Saddam was hiding at one of two farms in the little town of Ad Dawr, according to the tipster. (The choice of Ad Dawr showed a certain lack of imagination, or perhaps desperation, by Saddam. In 1959, when Saddam tried unsuccessfully to assassinate the prime minister of Iraq, Abdul Karim Qassim, Saddam had fled to the same village and hid on a family friend's farm, later swimming across the Tigris River to exile in Syria, one of the only times he ever left his country.)

Quickly, the Fourth I.D. mounted Operation Red Dawn: about 600 troopers--cavalry, engineers, artillery, Special Forces--to descend on the two farms, code-named Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2. As evening fell, the soldiers surrounded the farms, cutting off all roads for about four or five kilometers around. Special Forces slipped in--and found nothing.

According to U.S. officials, the Americans had an informant working with them, a family member "close to Saddam." The tipster said, in effect, "He's there. Trust me. Keep looking." A more thorough search of every building and field commenced, and at 8:26 p.m., a soldier noticed a crack in the earth under a lean-to adjoining a mud hut on a small sheep farm.

posted by matteo at 12:41 PM on December 14, 2003


> With the amount of money expended on this war, the US could have
> saved a million lives through immunization and through AIDS prevention.
> It could have seriously combatted diseases such as Parkinson's
> and Alzheimers. It could have created major programs to clean up our
> rivers and restock them with fish. It could have etc. etc. etc

We already saved uncountable bazillions by not invading, oh, Rwanda. So I guess we must have already taken care of all the wonderful things you listed, with the savings from our previous adventures in non-interference.
posted by jfuller at 12:41 PM on December 14, 2003


I can not believe the rah-rah idiocy I see in this thread.

There probably isn't a single MeFi member that isn't glad to see Saddam captured. He was an evil man.

But being happy to see Saddam captured doesn't mean that one also has to be happy with the decisions the administration has made, nor does it mean one needs to blindly accept the lies that are coming out of the administation.

The two are wholly distinct: "Saddam is bad, Saddam is captured, Saddam will be jailed" can be said in the same breath as "Bush is an asshole who has stupidly created a misbegotten war in the name of publicity."

Both things can be simultaneously equally true.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:43 PM on December 14, 2003


there are reports of a document uncovered by Iraq's interim government linking Mohamed Atta to Iraq.

On the other hand, the Iraqi agent who they said met with Atta in Prague is denying it. Not a trustworthy source, certainly, but I don't think anyone under interogation can lie indefinitely.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM on December 14, 2003


And I'm sure Paris could actually be made to believe the Messiah had shown up.

The frothing of the right-wing--and much of the mainstream media--at this juncture reminds me of the celebration that followed the toppling of that statue. The basic sentiment was "regardless of the reasons for your opposition to the war, we have won the war, so you oppositions are invalid." No one thought that the Iraqis would "win," just as I doubt that anyone is too shocked by the idea that Hussein was eventually captured.

What I don't understand is why the fact that Hussein is in custody reflects in any way on the numerous cause/effect scenarios still active in Iraq. It hardly erases the problems with our allies needed to combat real terrorism, or changes the fact that we are bankrupting our country for generations. And we don't know at all whether it will even change things in Iraq.

The Iraqis deserve the chance to see justice done, but why that must be accompanied by a whitewashing of the broader context of the war I don't know.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:45 PM on December 14, 2003


When the messiah shows up as a homeless person at a bus station, no one will notice or care. We'll all be too busy reading blogs.
posted by troutfishing at 12:47 PM on December 14, 2003


Jesus will come back again and I promise you none of you will miss the event.

And skallas, I promise not to say I told you so.

As for Jesus showing up as a homeless person, He counts service to them as service to Him. Also prisoners, etc.
So in that sense He is here and He does get ignored.
posted by konolia at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2003


> When the messiah shows up as a homeless person at a bus station, no one
> will notice or care.

He does that every day, just as He warned He would. Very occasionally someone notices.
posted by jfuller at 12:53 PM on December 14, 2003


Look, have you people learned NOTHING from Stargate SG-1??? When the messiah shows up he'll be a grey.
posted by bargle at 12:55 PM on December 14, 2003


on the interrogation: "I can imagine at some point the man's going to be broken, psychologically," Baer said, suggesting interrogators will make Saddam dependent on them for news. "It's pretty clear now there were no WMD. So you get some statements about his intentions to build them -- I think he always had the intention to go back and reconstitute this stuff."
posted by amberglow at 12:56 PM on December 14, 2003


konolia - You sound like one of Dorothy Day's a catholic workers.

(no denominations in Jesus?)

Oh no! Thread killing religious talk.....
posted by troutfishing at 12:56 PM on December 14, 2003



posted by specialk420 at 12:57 PM on December 14, 2003


Jesus showing up... the Godwin of this thread.
posted by Dick Paris at 12:59 PM on December 14, 2003


JahSaddam ?

"I think he always had the intention to go back and reconstitute this stuff." - Oh yeah - and I really should clean my basement too. Saddam's obviously is a chronic procrastinator if I ever heard one. He wouldn't have gotten around to that WMD project in thousand years.
posted by troutfishing at 1:00 PM on December 14, 2003


five fresh fish: keep trying!
posted by shoos at 1:03 PM on December 14, 2003


how the hell does that equate with me or anyone else being a wife beater? or are you just being a dick?

*Resisting* the urge, the wife beater thing is a loaded question, toward some wry and ironic end, ostensibly.
posted by hama7 at 1:08 PM on December 14, 2003


while i agree that the reasons for going to war were wrong and that we sacrificed thousands of lives when we could have gone about it differently, it still is good news that saddam is gone. i'm happy about this. not much else, mind you, but this is good news.

and i would be happier if this meant the end of violence in iraq, even if it did mean the reelection of bush.
posted by poopy at 1:09 PM on December 14, 2003


Mmmm, this thread's gonna keep me amused all day.
Continues to munch on Marx's Magnificent Proletariat Popcorn.
I know Saddam hasn't said much yet, but when he starts raving about Gnus, I think it will be clear to all the captured man is actually Richard Stallman.
posted by Jimbob at 1:10 PM on December 14, 2003


Pudgy for president.

Punchie for president.
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on December 14, 2003


Jesus will come back again and I promise you none of you will miss the event.

Sorry, I'm washing my hair that night. Won't be able to make the date.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:14 PM on December 14, 2003


yes thanks hama7, i saw that.
posted by poopy at 1:17 PM on December 14, 2003


just wondering, but couldn't we have had him months ago when he offered to surrender before the US's ill favored invation?
posted by jmgorman at 1:25 PM on December 14, 2003


Jesus is coming back? Jesus Garcia? The guy who stole my bike when we were in 5th grade? Really?!

Well, I'm not sure what the event will be. Are we havin' a party? I mean, sure he stole my bike, but that was years ago and I think we can all let bygones be bygones, eh?

When is the party and what should I bring? How about a nice veggie quesidillia and some glazed tofu? A couple of bottles of wine be okay? Maybe three (woot!)?

Just let me know. Oh, what are we wearing?

Thanks.

Kage
posted by damnitkage at 1:27 PM on December 14, 2003


My prediction: Saddam is assassinated by an Iraqi citizen while in Iraqi custody sometime in the next few weeks, before there is any chance of an international tribunal.
posted by dpkm at 1:35 PM on December 14, 2003


dpkm - That won't happen. The US has removed Saddam from Iraq to an undisclosed location
posted by troutfishing at 1:39 PM on December 14, 2003


I think it is amusing that the internet is rife with people speaking out loud and long against the govt policies, the president and openly questioning everything in the media... yet each of them is spending a large portion of that time screaming that there is no longer any freedom to dissent.

I STRONGLY support the freedom to question ANYTHING... I just find it a bit odd that some posters to one of the more widely read free form discussions on the net (who have suffered no persecution as a result of past posts, nor is the site itself suffering) keep claiming that they have no ability to discuss dissent.
posted by soulhuntre at 1:40 PM on December 14, 2003


Saddam should be put on trial for camping
posted by inksyndicate at 1:40 PM on December 14, 2003


I'm ready to believe konolia. After all, Saddam got caught in 8 months, while Osama's still on the loose 2+ years later. That's a pretty clear demonstration that God looks after his flock.
posted by boaz at 1:43 PM on December 14, 2003


hehe... from inksyndicate's link:

Always remember that you HATE Counterstrike. Every time something doesn't go your way, be sure to inform everybody that you hate it with creative phrases like "I hate CS", "Fuck CS" or "I fucking hate CS". But never actually stop playing the game, simply continue to comment on how the game you've been playing for the last four hours sucks because they weakened your favorite rifle.
posted by poopy at 1:48 PM on December 14, 2003


"Jesus will come back again..."

1> in Jesus 2 - Electric Boogaloo.
2> as James Bond in Die Another Another Day.
3> "Oh, my stomach! The Jesus is really starting to come back on me..."
4> when Mohammed resurrects all the dead.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:53 PM on December 14, 2003


Yes, it's great that they captured Saddam. Personally, I don't think it will end the attacks on American soldiers at all and as such it's a rather hollow victory.

Saddam has been out of power for 8 months, and capturing him now is more an act of revenge then anything else. For people thinking this ends chances of beating Bush, remember that his father was president when the Berlin Wall came down (in some ways a much greater, more resonant victory) and still did not get reelected.
posted by drezdn at 1:56 PM on December 14, 2003


matteo: "I know it hurts, but "they attack the President for attacking the terrorists" is pure McCarthyite slander."
It is, but who posted that again? Oh, right nobody. The patriotism issue seems only to come from posters who wrote that they don't like being called pro-terrorist because they are anti-Bush. I agree with them, but don't see where sane people posted that here. The "hoping for the worst from the recent bombing" was the closest that comes to it and that was after the first patriotism thing was posted.

"fact is, the dread "peaceniks" are the ones who have a problem with hundreds of coalition soldiers being slaughtered, and they're the ones who'd like some sort of sane policy for Iraq, for the good of Iraqis and of coalition soldiers -- the peaceniks are the true patriots"
I agree "peaceniks" do truly care about the soldiers and the Iraqis and protest is a form of patriotism. But for some I wonder how much they really care. In that way, I do wonder if some people really are hoping for the worst from the recent bombing, at least subconsciously. Some write that they are happy, but... I really don't get the sense that they are happy. I think they acknowledge it rationally, but they care more about Bush.
I'm truly happy because the Iraqis now know that Saddam isn't coming back into power. I don't think he had a chance and probably didn't have much to do with the insurgents, but this guy was their brutal dictator for a long time. It might not be logical for them to fear him anymore, but I'm sure as hell they did. Their bogeyman is gone. This is a great day for Iraqis. I think that people understand that, but their legitimate gripes about Bush overwhelm any happiness about this. As one poster put it:
"1) This is great news for Iraq, in that a horrible dictator is finally, officially out of commission.

2) This is terrible news for the US, in that it will be used as re-election ammunition by GWB et al.
"

I just think that for some people, #2 is much more important than #1. I'm not saying it's true of any posters, but I do get the feeling that if given a choice if Iraq could become a stable, democratic nation or have Bush defeated, some would choose the later. This is just my vibe, though. I don't think folks are cold hearted bastards, but I do wonder how much they really care for the Iraqis.

"also, I'm just curious: do you have more of a problem with the "Bush-love" or the "McCarthy part"?"
I have a problem when you correctly chastise people for using hyperbolic name calling, but then do it yourself. You did essentially call Bush lovers McCarthite. Are some, sure. Are all repubs? Nyet.

"did you stop beating your wife as well?"
Shit, thanks for reminding me. I feel asleep drunk on the barca lounger watching foxnews last night and forgot to.

Oh, by the way, when did not listing Bush's problems when discussing Saddam's capture make one a Republican? I'm not one and hate the partisan rhetoric that when you disagree with something a liberal poster posted you become a "lover-of-all-things Bush" or whatever. I'm a liberal, but I can make up my own mind about things, thank you.

troutfishing: "dpkm - That won't happen. The US has removed Saddam from Iraq to an undisclosed location" Whaa? That sure better be temporary.
posted by superchris at 1:57 PM on December 14, 2003


Can Saddam be tried for war crimes by the ICC?

Technically, there are severe limitations. The ICC's jurisdiction is inoperative prior to July 1, 2002. Article 11 § 1. Also, neither the US nor Iraq are signatories to the ICC convention. (I know; not great company.) Conceivably, a later internationally-recognized government of Iraq could accede to the treaty, then request ICC jurisdiction under Article 12 § 3. (Whether this would override the flat statement of jurisdiction in 11-1 is an open question.) In any event, the ICC is not designed to be a catch-all court for all war crimes, nor a court of first resort; procedurally, ICC actions are only to kick in when local judicial systems fail. A war-crimes prosecution under occupation might be problematic, so I'm not sure I would expect one before a constitutional government emerges in Iraq -- but then again, war-crimes prosecutions generally take years of evidence-gathering.

Milosevic, after all, was arrested in April 2001; his trial did not begin until February 2002, and continues today, some 4.75; years after the initial indictment; and this is in a tribunal which was established in 1993.
posted by dhartung at 1:58 PM on December 14, 2003


Jesus will come back as...

A Vampire Hunting hipster...
posted by drezdn at 1:59 PM on December 14, 2003


Milosevic, after all, was arrested in April 2001; his trial did not begin until February 2002, and continues today, some 4.75; years after the initial indictment; and this is in a tribunal which was established in 1993.

And don't forget that Milosevic is running for office again.
posted by drezdn at 2:00 PM on December 14, 2003


Is it too late for an entry in Miguel's caption contest?

It's the third-place winner in the World Beard and Moustache Cahmpionships!!!
posted by wendell at 2:02 PM on December 14, 2003


but I do get the feeling that if given a choice if Iraq could become a stable, democratic nation or have Bush defeated, some would choose the later.
There's no indication that Iraq is anywhere close to becoming a stable, democratic nation, and many of us believe that appointing puppets is not the way to get there, and that billions of our dollars is not helping achieve that goal either. We see a trumped-up threat, an elective war, and blood that didn't need to be shed.
posted by amberglow at 2:14 PM on December 14, 2003


This isnt bad news for democrats. He needed to be caught for crimes against humanity, and will probably be hung.
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:16 PM on December 14, 2003


amberglow: It was a hypothetical question. I should have made it clearer by saying "if Iraq could magically become the idea state" or something. Sorry for being unclear.
posted by superchris at 2:18 PM on December 14, 2003


I would like to congratulate the people of Kentucky, on this, their day of victory.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:19 PM on December 14, 2003


sorry super--but we still don't want death and chaos in iraq, at home, or anywhere, even tho we want bush gone.
posted by amberglow at 2:27 PM on December 14, 2003


I'm amazed at how people can turn "I'm opposed to Bush because I'm opposed to the war" into "You're opposed to the war because you hate Bush, and by hating Bush you hate America."

Get it right, folks.
posted by spazzm at 2:32 PM on December 14, 2003


Great to hear this news. Hopefully Osama is caught as well.
posted by mathowie at 2:34 PM on December 14, 2003


superchris has nailed it IMO. i've always been confused how the same people who claim to be so concerned about innocent blood being shed are the same ones knocking the current US administration at any chance, regardless of the positive outcomes with saddams capture. this post and the comments within it just further illustrate the point.

the justifications for going to war were wrong. yes, we've covered this territory countless times. and yes, we've risked thousands of lives because of this decision. the US has also risked the economy and the friendship of other nations while thumbing it's nose at them. we don't need more links stating the statistics. we know them already, at least most of us do. how many threads do we need to keep repeating the same information? what is the motive of those who repeat themselves here? it's sad but i think that many people would be happy if some catastrophic event happened in iraq that would mean the downfall of bush. i found myself thinking the same thing in the past and i'm ashamed of this.
posted by poopy at 2:36 PM on December 14, 2003


Wow. This is just batty. I'm just gonna pick one thing and run with it:

I just think that for some people, #2 is much more important than #1. I'm not saying it's true of any posters, but I do get the feeling that if given a choice if Iraq could become a stable, democratic nation or have Bush defeated, some would choose the later. This is just my vibe, though. I don't think folks are cold hearted bastards, but I do wonder how much they really care for the Iraqis.

Okay, I do not hold this position. I would like to see Iraq sprout a grassroots democracy and have all of Al-Qaeda rounded up and neutralized within the month, and while I'd never vote for Bush, I'd take another 4 years of him if that's what it meant. I wouldn't like it, but I'd take it. However, I can see why someone would think otherwise, and it isn't about callousness: you can make a case that someone with vast power who is a little bad would be worse for the world than someone with a little power who is very bad. It really depends on how you calculate things. Are you willing to throw away w, x, y, and z for the sake of the Iraqis? (You've all seen various values for w, x, y, and z around here: use your imagination.) Many people think that's what's at stake, and I can see where they're coming from.
posted by furiousthought at 2:44 PM on December 14, 2003


An account from someone just outside of Baghdad.
posted by yonderboy at 2:46 PM on December 14, 2003


No matter what, this is stil funny.
posted by monkeyboy_socal at 3:20 PM on December 14, 2003


"it's sad but i think that many people would be happy if some catastrophic event happened in iraq that would mean the downfall of bush..." poopy - you may be right, but that suggestion also serves to suggest sinister, unpatriotic motives in Bush's critics.

There is a different way to look at it : I am personally very critical of the Bush Administration on the basis that - in Iraq and elsewhere - it's policies are like a slow motion train wreck. Iraq is no different, I feel - it is the catastrophic event of which you speak, and it's ongoing. I hope that if G. W. Bush loses in 2004 that this ongoing catastrophe can be halted. I think I speak for quite a few here on this : our fear is that Iraq will turn into a real disaster which far outweighs the destructive potential of a Saddam who remained in power.

Also bear this in mind - one can even be supportive of the decision to invade and yet highly critical of the way it was done - not for the performance of the USA military, which did a brilliant job, but for Bush's set-up to the invasion which contrasted quite starkly with GW's father's patient construction of a wide coalition, a truly international coalition prior to the first Gulf War - quite unlike the scrawny little one George W's people jammed together with threats and bribes. GW Bush's unilateralist foreign policies are at the root of the ongoing disaster, I feel.

" in Baghdad, the United States has no prior history, experience or associations whatsoever. And proportionately, it even has far fewer troops on the ground than the British did in Northern Ireland or the French, with their great conscript army, did in Algeria." - This article compares the US occupation to the British and French experiences in Belfast and Algeria.

I could prove to be wrong on Iraq - I thought about what would happen in terms of US politics if Bush's Iraq gambit is successful, and reached the conclusion that it could turn out very well for the Iraqis but badly for George W Bush and Americans as a whole, on the simple basis that the cost of the Iraq war and occupation is undercutting the US economy. The US dollar - one measure of foreign confidence in the US economic strength - is dropping like a rock.

Wouldn't that be ironic - a two fer one. GW Bush and Saddam Hussein driven from power by the same invasion and occupation.
posted by troutfishing at 3:40 PM on December 14, 2003


Dreama: The kooks, or the fear of the kooks, can not and should not be the deciding factor in any policy except the specific policy of de-kookifying the world for the common greater good

The common greater good being that of having kook free world , I suppose ? Delusional, I guess ; given that every day an ignorant being is born the process of creating irrational fears and fueling the fears with easy external blame targets become a decisive instrument of twisted politics and economic interests to control the masses ; very unfortunately logic, rethoric and religion debunking and basic psycology aren't taught in schools, or when they are that's done superficially.

The very sames that now hate Saddam because "he is evil" believe that he or Osama or the terrorists "ARE The ONLY evil" or that now hate anything they were led to believe is "Anti-Country" don't have the basic tools needed to understand how much they have been derailed with flag wrapping rethoric : but they DO vote and therefore somehow influence who's going to sit in power positions who is likely to keep them fed with more hatemongering in a descending spiral. How do you suggest the illusion breaker is delivered to the masses, if the ordinary communication channels are not likely to do that ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:57 PM on December 14, 2003


but this is good news.

think we'll ever get to hear anything about the following from the horse's mouth:

a. the US was complicit in saddam's acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction

and

b. and turned a blind eye while saddam committed many of his crimes against humanity.
posted by specialk420 at 4:29 PM on December 14, 2003


What I don't understand is that a few people here angrily attacking the anti-war people for not ceasing their criticisms of Bush. I find it very unlikely that these users honestly believe that the war is completely "over" with Saddam being gone.

As such, it seems to me that the ones saying how great and final and ultimate the capture of Saddam is are setting themselves up to appear shot-in-the-foot when something bad does happen in Iraq, not the anti-war folks.

I'm just thinking logically here: if tomorrow morning another few U.S. soldiers are killed (which I of course pray doesn't happen) who is actually going to look worse: the rabid yay-US'ers who are attacking those treating Saddam's capture with some cynicism, or the anti-war folks who objectively noted (just like, you know, the President did) that what happened could still happen?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:30 PM on December 14, 2003


Stavrosthewonderchicken: are you feeling sour because GW Bush captured Sadaam?
posted by shoos at 4:43 PM on December 14, 2003


I think it is patriotism of the highest order to question the motives and actions of the Bush administration.

Patriotism is of wanting the best for one's country. Blind faith is the antithesis of wanting the best.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:46 PM on December 14, 2003


Some of you are hilarious. Pathetic and predictable, but hilarious.

Tirade, thanks for the excellent posts.

Or, if Dean had his way, Hussein would have been captured by a legitimate international authority, mechanisms to try him would already be in place, and we could proceed in the reconstruction of Iraq with the help of our (non-alienated) allies instead of (intentionally?) bakrupting our own country in the process.

Oh, Ignatius. You crack me up.

OR maybe Hussein would be sitting in a palace right now, pissed off that armed UN inspectors were dismantling his weapons programs and blowing up the shit he wanted to keep hidden, and all the while their would be no guerilla war or ominous power vacuum.

That's true -- no guerilla war, no power vacuum. But don't forget to add untold thousands of future Iraqi deaths.
posted by pardonyou? at 4:59 PM on December 14, 2003


"How about you Paris?
Fuck off."

What are you saying, that your family members/friends were coerced into serving in the military? That they should only be deployed for a war with cartoon-like notions of right v. wrong (actually, I think this one pretty much is/was)?

You sir, are a a fool, a sham, an asshole and a disgrace.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:00 PM on December 14, 2003


You sir, are a a fool, a sham, an asshole and a disgrace.

A delightful quadfecta of insultiae. Delicious!
posted by pemulis at 5:16 PM on December 14, 2003


> it seems to me that the ones saying how great and final and ultimate the
> capture of Saddam is

Are you talking about a person or persons out there in External Reality or are you thinking of comments in this thread? If the latter, I missed them and I thought I was reading carefully. Could you maybe provide a linkback to some of them just to rub my nose in 'em? I myself don't imagine that merely locating one ex-dictator is going to change anything of substance, and I'm about as pro-war as it's possible to get. Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.
posted by jfuller at 5:21 PM on December 14, 2003


ParisParamus: You sir, are a a fool, a sham, an asshole and a disgrace.

Uh, pot? It's the kettle for you. Line one.
posted by Vidiot at 5:22 PM on December 14, 2003


pardonyou?-
That's all you've got? I crack you up? I'm glad to know that. Wait until I tell you the one about the farmer's daughter.

But your failure to muster a refutation speaks volumes, of course. I don't know what the hell would happen if Dean was president now. And neither do you or Joe Lieberman. For all we know, he could brutally murder half of us and buy the other half ice cream. The point is, the flat illogic of "with us or against us" is no more applicable to Dean than it is to any other thinking man or woman.

And you know that, too. And I think it is pretty damn likely that if Dean were President now we would still have our international credibility, and gaining real anti-terrorist cooperation form our allies would be much easier.

That's true -- no guerilla war, no power vacuum. But don't forget to add untold thousands of future Iraqi deaths.

Saddam was likely already becoming irrelevant (not that that in any way mitigates the importance of his capture for Iraqis), and to say that we know whether we can ensure Iraq a peaceful future is as naive as believing that they were a real threat to the US before the war. With the psychological impact of a dictator now lifted entirely and quickly, the Yugoslavia model may become relevant in ways that fear of possible Ba'athist reprisal previously made impossible.

But what do I know? I obviously love Saddam. And if that logic is solid, than basically everyone in America except Paul Tecumseh Wolfowitz loves Kim Jong Il and the house of Saud.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:23 PM on December 14, 2003


Saddam was likely already becoming irrelevant...
But what about those fine sons of his?

/devil's advocate
posted by PenDevil at 5:29 PM on December 14, 2003


Our international credibility? Which which countries should be crying that we no longer have it--assuming we no longer have it? The French? Bullshit measures of credibility are just that. Pandering et France and the other Euro-econo-whores is not something to pursue. THANK G-D We're not like them.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:36 PM on December 14, 2003


why did you say shit but censor god?
posted by mcsweetie at 5:51 PM on December 14, 2003


What a horrible day for the country's spoiled brat Libs.
posted by HTuttle at 5:51 PM on December 14, 2003


I'm just thinking logically here: if tomorrow morning another few U.S. soldiers are killed (which I of course pray doesn't happen) who is actually going to look worse: the rabid yay-US'ers who are attacking those treating Saddam's capture with some cynicism, or the anti-war folks who objectively noted (just like, you know, the President did) that what happened could still happen?

as an objective onlooker, how do you exlpain your obviously biased choice of words in asking that question?
posted by poopy at 5:52 PM on December 14, 2003


But what about those fine sons of his?

They're dead. Dead people can't hold power.

Pandering et France and the other Euro-econo-whores is not something to pursue.

Oh, so the truly important world powers are Spain, Iceland, and Micronesia. Got it. And here I thought that Russia, Europe (Don't try to say the British supported this, as their government acted against the people's wishes and will likely be replaced), and South Asia were strategically important. I thought that close to 90% of the world opposed this invasion at one point, and I also thought that stewardship of its standing in the world was a key component of leading a democratic nation.

I keep forgetting to ask my racist, jingoeist friend Paris when I need unbiased information, that's the problem. I keep forgetting that all the most basic axioms of the universe depend on the infallibility of his bizarre childish anger.

What a horrible day for the country's spoiled brat Libs.

Yeah, we have to listen to the bleating of knuckle-draggers for whom symbollic victories are infinitely more important than a cohesive national security strategy or a viable plan in Iraq. Any word yet on whether tens of thousands of gallons of botulin and anthrax were hiding in our great adversary's dirt hole with him?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:55 PM on December 14, 2003


Bullshit measures of credibility are just that.

Well you can't fault that statement: the logic is impeccable. Has the poster ever read a foreign news source on the subject? If he has, it must be that they are not "cartoonish" enough for him to understand that this US president has no international credibilty whatsoever, Poodle Blair notwithstanding.

Power, money, influence -- yes obviously and unfortunately. We may all be Euro-econo-whores (wetf that means) but we are not on the whole stupid and gullible enough to fall for BushCo's imbecilic rhetoric, unlike, it seems, the majority of God-fearing Americans who continue support this neverending "war".
posted by cbrody at 6:04 PM on December 14, 2003


YHWH, McSweetie. He whose name can not be uttered.
posted by Dick Paris at 6:06 PM on December 14, 2003


So prescient, really.

child 1: "nyah nyah nyah"
neocon blogger: "i bet the other kid says "neener neener"
child 2: "neener neener"
gushing neomoron 1: "very astute! you are so right"
gushing neomoron 2: "how prescient"

how amusing.
posted by quonsar at 6:07 PM on December 14, 2003


Children, children, you're all missing the real issue here. We all know Saddam dyed his grey hair black. His hair is still black in all the photos we're seeing today. Now this concerns me greatly.
- Did Saddam Hussein have access to black hair dye while hiding out in the cellar? Did he have access to a copy of The Godfather?
- Or, was there some kind of temporal disturbance down that cellar that caused his hair to go through an age reversal process over the past months?
- Could this temporal disturbance be used to hide weapons of mass distruction?
- What other as-yet-undiscovered futuristic technology did his regime really possess?
- Most shocking of all - were the media lying to us about Saddam's dyed hair all this time!
posted by Jimbob at 6:25 PM on December 14, 2003


Stavrosthewonderchicken: are you feeling sour because GW Bush captured Sadaam?

Not at all, although it's odd to be asked my opinion directly. Me and Kottke, man, me and Kottke.

The reason I asked for someone to tell me why this is such a great day is that I honestly don't understand.

It's no secret that I loath Dubya with a white-hot passion and believe him and his goons to be destroying the last shreds of anything that is still good about America. It's should be obvious that I loathe Saddam as well, because who wouldn't loathe a murderous sack of shit like that?

There's no point in railing against Hussein. It's like recess-time taunting, as quonsar characterises above. Everybody knows he's a Bad Man. It's not in question. There is, however, in my opinion, a point in railing against Bush and Cheney and their crew - not everyone seems to be aware of what deeply Bad Men they are.

What I have trouble understanding is what the point of triumphalism about capturing Saddam may be. It's meaningless. The fact that a positive collateral result can come of an illegal and venal war started by a ideology-blinded group of American criminals does not in any sense erase the original venality and illegality of the action itself. Nor does it mitigate my loathing for the current American administration in particular, or the current state of American politics in general.

Does that answer your question?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:33 PM on December 14, 2003


-_-/

I just wanted to post in this thread!!
posted by Slimemonster at 6:33 PM on December 14, 2003


The fact that a positive collateral result can come of an illegal and venal war started by a ideology-blinded group of American criminals does not in any sense erase the original venality and illegality of the action itself.

Um, don't you have a TV, man? Mine says it totally does!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:41 PM on December 14, 2003


What a horrible day for the country's spoiled brat Libs.

I, like every other spoiled brat, based the entirety of my objection to this war on the false belief that the US armed forces had no chance of capturing Saddam.

But there he is being paraded in front of me... how could I have got it so hideously wrong?

*fade to black*

*roll credits*
posted by Tuatara at 7:24 PM on December 14, 2003


I get this heavy feeling in my solar plexus when I see people ejaculating over a propaganda victory like this.

I'm with you there. On my way home today, I couldn't reach the CD case and was trapped flipping through stations trying to find music...and the DJ's were practically masturbating on the air with glee. One clear channel dj suggested that we should suspend the constitution and all international treaties so that we could torture him on live TV.

Yay...we got Saddam! So. Freaking. What. It impacts nothing, it means nothing to the war or the resistance on the ground. It's just propaganda...empty, fluffy, feel good propaganda. The people who are attacking the US weren't doing it to bring Saddam back...they're doing it to make us get out.

From the Bush's perspective, I can't imagine that the timing could be much worse. Saddam is mostly irrelevant and finding him means that there is very little pretext to keep troops on the ground. After all, we've eliminated the threat, no? We have the dictator, there are no WMD apparently, and the locals want us to pack up and go home.

So now all Bush has to use for campaign stumping is the nation building part...which he campaigned against in 2000. If they had just waited...and captured Saddam right before the 9/11 Republican Convention on the site of ground zero...they could have rolled all that nationalistic fervor up into one sweet jingoistic slalom run for the election.

But I'm sure they have something really great planned for that...or whenever the President's popularity starts to sag...or anyone notices the absolute horror of the deficits being piled up...or the stunning amount of job losses...but for now, it's all ok, cause we found a bad man hiding in a basement.
posted by dejah420 at 7:29 PM on December 14, 2003


but for now, it's all ok, cause we found a bad man hiding in a basement.
That's really it, in a nutshell. But even asking--was it worth it to go to war, to spend billions, to risk american lives, etc when the people who we invaded aren't the ones who actually attacked us and they're still loose..is now depraved or treasonous somehow. It's sad.
posted by amberglow at 7:44 PM on December 14, 2003


in the spirit of fairness and balance - who was directly responsible for more deaths in the period saddam was in power (1968-2003)? saddam or the collective string of US presidents (good and bad) from lyndon johnson to george w. bush?
posted by specialk420 at 7:49 PM on December 14, 2003


From the Bush's perspective, I can't imagine that the timing could be much worse.

The timing and the pacing will be perfect if they catch you-know-who during the campaign.
posted by homunculus at 8:07 PM on December 14, 2003


Actually, I've been wondering if they've got Osama in a secret prison somewhere and are saving him for the 2004 Republican Convention. Right before Bush accepts his party's nomination for a second term, they're going to say "Hey! We found a Dean supporter" and walk Osama across the stage, dragging his shackles the whole way.
posted by Vidiot at 8:12 PM on December 14, 2003


Meanwhile, the message you take should home from this is: Saddam is caputured. You know what this means! Go out and Go out and buy as much crap before Christmas as possible. Or rather, it's been predicted that most Americans might think that way. And isn't that good news! All hail his capture for helping American capitalism before a theoretically religious holiday! (I say this even while I'm wearing a Santa hat.)
posted by raysmj at 8:15 PM on December 14, 2003


Does that answer your question?

Not explicitly, but I think I can make something out.

So my question was odd. Your first comment was rather peculiar itself. It was a good morning because one them "murderous sacks of shit" was captured. Now go drink some alcohol.
posted by shoos at 8:39 PM on December 14, 2003


in the spirit of fairness and balance - who was directly responsible for more deaths in the period saddam was in power (1968-2003)? saddam or the collective string of US presidents (good and bad) from lyndon johnson to george w. bush?

Look, I hate Dubya as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is one of a few people here) but even I know that Bush was up at Yale snorting coke harmlessly away from others while Saddam was a general killing hundreds of civilians before breakfast.

No offense, specialk, but this debate, not to mention the 2004 campaign, should be shaped on the rational understanding that there's more than enough bad things remaining with Bush's term in office without needing to make simplistic comparisons to Saddam Hussein. Running around, even jokingly, saying Bush is as bad as Saddam is the easiest way to prevent anyone from wanting to listen to real issues about the damage he's done to America.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:42 PM on December 14, 2003


stavros - "What I have trouble understanding is what the point of triumphalism about capturing Saddam may be" - study the monkeys
posted by troutfishing at 8:44 PM on December 14, 2003


homunculus: I bet the reunion between these two old buddies is going to be awkward.

I'll bet there are people more worried than Rummy about what Saddam will say.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:49 PM on December 14, 2003


Running around, even jokingly, saying Bush is as bad as Saddam is the easiest way to prevent anyone from wanting to listen to real issues about the damage he's done to America.

A-men.
posted by dhoyt at 8:57 PM on December 14, 2003


on the other hand, anyone who needs that explained is a dolt.
posted by quonsar at 9:41 PM on December 14, 2003


A-men.

wait a second ... no comparison (between bush and saddam (however apt it might be)) was made in my last post - a question was asked ... if we are parade this saddam around as our generations hitler ... perhaps a look in the mirror is due as well, does anyone here remember el salvador? how many iranians remember the fact that it was the US that was supplying saddam and iraq the chemical weapons used against them in the their war?
posted by specialk420 at 9:42 PM on December 14, 2003


SpecialK: You certainly have a point, but why not wait to present it in a relevant thread? Otherwise it just seems bitter and contrarian. The topic at hand is Saddam's capture. The thread is not, and should not be, about the failures of the US gov't. Plenty are celebrating--why not let them?
posted by dhoyt at 10:14 PM on December 14, 2003


the audience for the saddam capture certainly is the undecided voters in 2004 ... first and foremost for those in the whitehouse, the secondary audience is the arab world which i'm guessing views these events through a vastly diffrent lens than the flag wavers in this crowd... please save your sanctimonious comments about "relevance" for a more relevant thread.
posted by specialk420 at 10:34 PM on December 14, 2003


Here's a subjective view - my wife, at the gym, saw footage of a US soldier inspecting Saddam's mouth repeated over and over and over again with an accompanying commentary of "After fighting so long against the US, a country which he has long called the 'Great Satan', how does Saddam feel to have the US almost literally in his mouth ?" - It sounded as if there was a strong undertone of implied psychosexual sadism, not on the part of the US military but by the US television media which repeated the footage and commentary over and over and over again. "It was like some sort of weird and creepy propaganda", she said.

Was this really necessary? And - after the initial rush of triumphalism fades - how will Americans feel about Saddam's capture a month or two from now, especially if the Iraqi resistance/terrorism continues at anything even close to pre-Saddam capture levels?

Meanwhile, more bombings in Iraq today - one day later. So Saddam's capture : the key to it all, or merely a sideshow? Time will tell.
posted by troutfishing at 2:33 AM on December 15, 2003


So predictable really.

A predictable as predicting explicitly the contents of this thread?

So prescient, really.


- Hama, why do you hate free speech.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:42 AM on December 15, 2003


It sounded as if there was a strong undertone of implied psychosexual sadism

Oh my god. Step away from the keyboard. Really, it's for your own good. ;)
posted by Dennis Murphy at 3:20 AM on December 15, 2003


Dennis - If you don't think the media coverage of an event as big as Saddam Hussein's capture would have been stage managed by the Bush Administration then you haven't been watching them for the last three years.

I think it was done quite purposefully. To quote Dan Rather : "America....almost inside his mouth!" (not a direct word-for-word quote). I do find this a bit bizarre. But there was a clear point to allowing the media to film the medical examination of Saddam Hussein - to stress his utter humiliation, his reduction to a pitiful old man (of a mass murderer). He has been a symbol in the arab and Islamic street for at least a decade, regardless of his human rights violations, as a symbol of resistance to the US and Israel.

So, Geneva Conventions aside, there certainly was clear reasons for the way Saddam's capture was presented - both as an emotional catharsis for the Iraqis, as a way of destroying a symbol of resistance to the West (for many in the Mideast), and, of course, as a theatre of triumph for the US public.

Regardless of whether it's acknowledged or not, the US is fighting a sort of low grade war in Iraq, and so the usual imperatives of war apply : this was, at the least, psychological warfare against the terrorists and insurgents fighting the US occupation....

But what was it to the American public ? That was the context of my last post, and the first words that come to my mind about the particular media coverage in question are "bizarre" and "creepy". I think the Iraqis themselves probably deserved the spectacle - they have suffered under Saddam for decades. But I'm just not sure that I see that same coverage, served up to the US public by American media in a way that strikes me as a bit fetishistic, as a positive expression of American culture.

I turned on my radio today to hear the latest poll taken of Americans - how did they think Saddam's capture would effect the war in Iraq ? (they were calling it a war) The poll had about five different questions along those lines. I was struck by the fact that the US pollsters hadn't thought to poll Iraqis themselves, as if US public opinion were somehow influencing events inside Iraq more than Iraqi opinion. And I think that is, in itself, telling.
posted by troutfishing at 4:41 AM on December 15, 2003


Metafilter: internment camp for depraved leftist Americans.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:33 AM on December 15, 2003


First they came for the depraved leftist Americans,
and I did not speak out....
posted by amberglow at 5:35 AM on December 15, 2003


Who are calling American!
posted by brettski at 5:38 AM on December 15, 2003


> But what was it to the American public?

Among other things, it was the conclusive reply to the question that has been asked so often about Bush I since the inconclusive end of Gulf War I: why didn't he take out Saddam when he had the chance? With 20-20 hindsight we know that was a mistake, and Saddam's behavior after being chased out of Kuwait but otherwise left undisturbed should be an object-lesson in what happens when such a man is not taken out with finality, namely continued genocide.

I expect Saddam is not now of any military importance. Nevertheless, since the question why he was left in power back then has been asked so often, it's naive to wonder why such a fuss is being made over hauling him in now.

As for voyeuristic fetishism, man it's really wild to hear anybody in this forum complain about porn! Who knew trout was a prude?
posted by jfuller at 5:41 AM on December 15, 2003


That's all you've got? I crack you up? I'm glad to know that. Wait until I tell you the one about the farmer's daughter.

OK, let me try it this way. You crack me up because if we had "President Dean," Hussein would not have been "captured by a legitimate international authority." Think back to early 2002. The debate at that time was over whether to lift the sanctions. If I may generalize, prevailing Liberal wisdom (and the wisdom of France, Germany, etc. and the vast majority of MetaFilter), was that the sanctions should be lifted, without requiring Saddam to admit UN weapons inspectors. I feel fairly comfortable assuming that Dean would not have opposed lifting the sanctions. It wasn't until President Bush began talking about invading that the debate changed to stronger UN inspections vs. military action (and you never heard another peep about just lifting the sanctions, did you?)

So, it seems to me that if we had "President Dean," Saddam would still be in power, the sanctions would have been lifted, and there would be no U.N. inspections. Leaving Hussein free to continue his tyranny against Kurds and political opponents, while continuing to rebuild his military. So you'll excuse me for cracking up when you claim that "President Dean" would have gone in with an international authority and captured Hussein.

Here's another question that's always confused me for those of you who wave the "international coalition" banner. What if Bush had amassed a big international coalition, and we had marched into war with Germany, France, etc. None of those are great military powerhouses (and we didn't use all of our capability). So presumably the war would have been about the same -- same number of coalition forces killed, same number of Iraqi soldiers killed, same number of Iraqi civilians killed. Are you saying that would have been acceptable to you?
posted by pardonyou? at 6:49 AM on December 15, 2003


But what about those fine sons of his?

Ignatius: They're dead. Dead people can't hold power.

Um, I think you proved his point. They certainly didn't die of natural causes, or fright from UN weapons inspectors.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:52 AM on December 15, 2003


stav: What I have trouble understanding is what the point of triumphalism about capturing Saddam may be. It's meaningless.

dejah: Yay...we got Saddam! So. Freaking. What. It impacts nothing...

I'm not sure if you two were being deliberately obtuse or what, but the capture of Hussein -- particularly alive -- means a hell of a lot to the families of the hundreds of thousands he killed. Maybe living in the Detroit area (the largest Arab community in the U.S.) gives one a unique perspective, but when you see local news coverage of Iraqis dancing in the streets -- nearly every one of whom had a brother, or an aunt, or an uncle, or a parent killed by Hussein -- it becomes pretty clear that "So. Freaking. What" is just a petulant, western-centric response. Your hatred of Bush is so all-encompassing you only see this news in the context of U.S. politics and the U.S. reason for war.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:01 AM on December 15, 2003


Pardonyou?: Your words read, to me, like the way the teacher in "Peanuts" cartoons sounds. Wankkk waaaank whaaaa wha wha whhhhaaaaa wank whaaa all-encompassing hatred of whaaaa.
posted by raysmj at 7:31 AM on December 15, 2003


Pardonyou?: Your words read, to me, like the way the teacher in "Peanuts" cartoons sounds. Wankkk waaaank whaaaa wha wha whhhhaaaaa wank whaaa all-encompassing hatred of whaaaa.

I apologize -- if you were trying to make a point, I can't seem to find it.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:51 AM on December 15, 2003


The point is: Your posts were so filled with bile that I couldn't get through them.
posted by raysmj at 7:52 AM on December 15, 2003


Pardonyou, why do you hate America Metafilter so much? ;)
posted by boaz at 8:06 AM on December 15, 2003


I am sick of seeing Saddam's mouth invasion, and I only watched one news/analysis programme. It is clearly the image that 'they' want us to see.
His only crime that I am aware of, was invading a country whose borders were defined by the British without the tacit approval of the West. His country and people have suffered for this indescretion in a wholey disproportionate way.
pardonyou? - 'hundreds of thousands he killed'
I have said it before and I'll say it gain, no doubt, but Saddam Hussein cannot compete with the killing power of the US/UN sanctions in causing deaths in Iraq.
There is celebration, especially in the Kurdish lands in the north, which I have seen repeated on the news a few times. I haven't seen any long views of crowds in Baghdad, I would be interested.
The situation in Iraq, as an Iraqi was telling me on Friday, was on the verge of disaster following the 12 years of sanctions. It is now a disaster.
posted by asok at 8:07 AM on December 15, 2003


The point is: Your posts were so filled with bile that I couldn't get through them.

That's odd. I didn't feel any bile when I was typing them. Must have seeped out. But thanks for trying to get through them!

Pardonyou, why do you hate America Metafilter so much? ;)

Good question. Maybe my bile's getting the best of me.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:12 AM on December 15, 2003


mmmmm, bile.
posted by agregoli at 8:24 AM on December 15, 2003


Bush promises Saddam a fair trial and Iran wants Saddam Hussein to be tried before a "competent international court."
I see a problem here.
$10 bucks that Saddam dies before things get too ugly for the West.
posted by ginz at 8:57 AM on December 15, 2003


I have said it before and I'll say it gain, no doubt, but Saddam Hussein cannot compete with the killing power of the US/UN sanctions in causing deaths in Iraq.

You really believe this, don't you?

You truly think that the sanctions (not how Saddam hoarded money, food and medication for political purposes) were a far greater evil than the torture, rape, and mass graves?

Your hatred has blinded you and made you a fool.
posted by Mick at 9:10 AM on December 15, 2003


Thank you, Mick.

I loathe GW Bush, but implying that he (and the American people by extension) is somehow worse than Saddam Hussein goes beyond stupidity into insanity. I never thought I'd say this unironically, but why do you hate America so much?

You're free to hate us, of course, but don't insult my intelligence by painting Saddam Fucking Hussein as a victim.

I am sick of seeing Saddam's mouth invasion, and I only watched one news/analysis programme. It is clearly the image that 'they' want us to see.
His only crime that I am aware of, was invading a country whose borders were defined by the British without the tacit approval of the West. His country and people have suffered for this indescretion in a wholey disproportionate way.


Besides torture, rigged elections, oppression of the Kurds, etc. (none of which justifies the war as we're fighting it, IMO). And you're upset that his tongue and molars got exposed on TV. Boo-fucking hoo.
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on December 15, 2003


Here's another question that's always confused me for those of you who wave the "international coalition" banner. What if Bush had amassed a big international coalition, and we had marched into war with Germany, France, etc. None of those are great military powerhouses (and we didn't use all of our capability). So presumably the war would have been about the same -- same number of coalition forces killed, same number of Iraqi soldiers killed, same number of Iraqi civilians killed. Are you saying that would have been acceptable to you?

The point of wanting an international coalition wasn't really because we thought we might not be strong enough to defeat Iraq. It was first of all to make the action more lawful and bolster our position as the good guys: a lot of Americans think the U.S. is so self-evidently right that it needs no justification, while others of us realize U.S. reputation depends on its actions, and after all, the fight against terrorism is half PR, right? If you want the world to side with you against terrorist threats (or to remake the Middle East, or to spread democracy, massive undertakings all) getting as much of 'em involved as you can is a good idea. It would have had military benefits such as opening up other fronts in Turkey, etc., but the way things turned out that's neither here nor there. Futhermore, it isn't clear we have enough forces there to police the country or that we're doing what we need to in order to rebuild their society, and again, help is good and why take the chance if you don't have to?

There are those of us who don't mind deposing dictators in principle but don't think we needed to go for broke doing it.
posted by furiousthought at 9:32 AM on December 15, 2003


furiousthought, thanks for the answer. And I understand those arguments, and agree in principle that it's better to have international support. My question is, if we had that broad international support, would you have supported the war (assuming that the war itself would have been roughly the same -- same numbers of soldiers and civilians killed, no WMD found, etc)? Am I to take it from your last sentence that you would have?
posted by pardonyou? at 9:44 AM on December 15, 2003


Well, given that the primary casus belli advanced by the Bush Administration was Saddam's purported possession of WMD, a broad international coalition wouldn't have materialized, because there was significant international disagreement about the best way to verify and respond to the threat of Iraqi-held weapons.
posted by Vidiot at 9:55 AM on December 15, 2003


Oh the ironies. The war hawks get their man, and lead headline from State is Colin Powell's prostate surgery.
posted by alms at 9:56 AM on December 15, 2003


Vidiot, you may be right, but my question is a hypothetical -- I'm asking people to assume there was international support, and that the war itself was essentially the same (only fought by troops from many other countries).
posted by pardonyou? at 10:09 AM on December 15, 2003


If I may generalize, prevailing Liberal wisdom (and the wisdom of France, Germany, etc. and the vast majority of MetaFilter), was that the sanctions should be lifted, without requiring Saddam to admit UN weapons inspectors. I feel fairly comfortable assuming that Dean would not have opposed lifting the sanctions.

You're just making shit up. If pardonyou? were president, he would have taken us to war against Mars. That is obvious.

Dean, in 2002, stated his support for Hussein's oustre, that's why Kerry et al were smearing him as pro-war until Sunday. You don't know what you're talking about, and you get defensive when I suggest that it undermines your position. I would guess that Dean would not organically cook up an Iraq invasion, but in the political context of late 2002-early 2003, a President Dean would most likely have spent more time assembling a real coalition. If that took a lot of time, we could have taken comfort in the fact that the cause for concern (WMD, threat to the US) was a complete sack of lies.

Ignatius: They're dead. Dead people can't hold power.

Um, I think you proved his point. They certainly didn't die of natural causes, or fright from UN weapons inspectors.


Did I? His point was that Saddam's capture was more important because of his sons. They are dead and therefore not important. It is true that they used to not be dead, but that is no longer the case. Yes, I'm aware of how they died. I saw the same masturbatory national snuff shots as you did.

Fine. You're right. You have a direct portal into the thoughts of the time-travelling Howard Dean, and what he would do in various theoretical historcal circumstances. What's more, this special ability of yours trumps the written record. Cool. Don't let it bother you that you are basing your claims on nothing more than your general impression of "lefties" as gleaned from Metafilter.

This thread is stupid, and I'm sure the "Howard Dean lacks the sounds judgment and genuine leadership of W" meme can be debated later.

My question is, if we had that broad international support, would you have supported the war (assuming that the war itself would have been roughly the same -- same numbers of soldiers and civilians killed, no WMD found, etc)?

If the war had gone the same as this one? I would have supported at first, but around now I'd be changing my mind, probably. I just can't get excited about Hussein being gone until it's clear that he'll be replaced by something better, and anyone who says to know that right now is lying or foolish.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:14 AM on December 15, 2003


...marched into war with Germany, France, etc. None of those are great military powerhouses...

Not to pick nits, but it has long been said that Germany has the best military in the world on a per-soldier basis, perhaps tied with Israel.
posted by Ptrin at 10:22 AM on December 15, 2003


Well, I think even the current quasi-anarchy is probably better than having Saddam there. But that doesn't do away with the need for real reconstruction, even nation-building (which Bush campaigned against, as I recall), because most Iraqis' lives are pretty crummy right now. The United States removed stability (if even a stability that came at the price of being ruled by a despot) and hasn't done much toward replacing it with anything.

And pardonyou, that's a hell of a hypothetical stretch -- if there was broad international support? Does that mean: if there was conclusive, real proof of Saddam's WMD? if the United States hadn't been trying to hamstring Blix's weapons inspectors? if Saddam were demonstrably and convincingly linked to al-Qaeda? if the entire UN (or even just the Security Council) decided that it was suddenly time to enact UN resolution 1441 with military force? (While ignoring other UN resolutions against the US, Israel, Turkey, and many other countries?)

As has been observed repeatedly in this thread, almost no one is a Saddam apologist. But to make that extreme a hypothetical argument is to forget the entire context of the buildup to the war. Sorry, but it's so far removed from what actually happened that it's ludicrous to speculate.
posted by Vidiot at 10:38 AM on December 15, 2003


Fine. You're right. You have a direct portal into the thoughts of the time-travelling Howard Dean, and what he would do in various theoretical historcal circumstances.

No, of course I don't. Thus illustrating the limitations of arguing about some of these things. The best we can do are predictions based on stated beliefs, etc. And maybe it's a fool's game to even try.

But your argument about Dean supporting the war in 2002, and my assumption going against the "written record" are a bit off the mark. I was asking what Dean would have done if he, instead of Bush, had been elected in 2000. I'm specifically not referring to his position after it became apparent that Bush was serious about military action against Iraq (which, as I stated above, really drove the debate from then on out). That's a totally different ball of wax.

The question is this: If Dean was sitting in the oval office in 2002-2003, and the status quo was sanctions and the occasional intrusion into the no-fly zone, do you really believe he would have been the first to suggest military action against Iraq with an international coalition? I'm sorry, I just can't buy that.

For what it's worth, I like Dean. If he's the nominee, I'll probably vote for him (mostly because there are issues more important to me than Iraq). I just wish he didn't pander to the hate Bush crowd -- it doesn't become a candidate for the Presidency, and as effective as it may be during primary season, it will be hugely detrimental to winning over the undecided/swing voters for the general election
posted by pardonyou? at 10:42 AM on December 15, 2003


Dean's national security address in LA today will be interesting to see how he addresses this sort of thing. (I believe it's happening as I type.)
posted by Vidiot at 10:53 AM on December 15, 2003


But to make that extreme a hypothetical argument is to forget the entire context of the buildup to the war. Sorry, but it's so far removed from what actually happened that it's ludicrous to speculate.

Obviously it's removed from "what actually happened." That's why it's a hypothetical. And I'm not asking for "speculation" -- I'm asking you to assume, not speculate. I crafted this hypothetical for people who object to this war based primarily on the fact that the U.S. didn't have international cooperation. My question is: for the purpose of this hypothetical, assume that for whatever reason we had that cooperation (maybe the other countries just believed as the U.S. and Britain did). Then assume the war was prosecuted the same way. Would you have supported it?

If not, it seems to me that the "international" banner is a bit of a red herring. It's not the fact that the force was or wasn't international -- it's the fact that the countries who didn't participate believe the same way you do. Those are two different things. Not that one's "right" and one's "wrong" -- I'm just trying to get a sense of what the true belief is. Hence, the hypothetical.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:59 AM on December 15, 2003


the true belief

pardonyou?, despite all the wet dreams of the tinfoil hatted right, there is no unified anti-war agenda. there are endless reasons from endless perspectives to be against the war. so, yes, international support would certainly get some more people on board the pro-war train, but by no means would it get all. further, that certainly doesn't mean that those still "unconvinced" are unthinking knee-jerk morons either.
posted by badstone at 11:11 AM on December 15, 2003


I just wish he didn't pander to the hate Bush crowd
He panders the blogging crowd per CNN.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:31 AM on December 15, 2003


badstone, totally agreed on all points. I didn't intend for my use of "the" to suggest that there is only one belief for anti-war people as a group -- instead, I meant "the true belief" for each individual person. I certainly wasn't implying that everyone felt the same, or that one group is necessarily better than the other. Just trying to get a sense of how the numbers would sort out.

Frankly, at this point, my question was way more trouble than it was worth, and I wish I could take it back.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:35 AM on December 15, 2003


He panders the blogging crowd per CNN.

He does? I just thought he was the first to set up a blog and connect with supporters that way. All the (Dem) candidates are pandering to the blogging crowd now... ;-)
posted by Vidiot at 11:39 AM on December 15, 2003


Saddam has been found and will be made accountable for his actions. Frankly I wouldn't have cared if Osama bin Laden found him and turned him over-or if Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, or Rush Limbaugh found him. Or Gore, or John Edwards. Name your political poison.

Can you all let go of your political agendas for one freaking minute and just be glad that this man will answer for the horrors he inflicted on his own people?

As Bush himself said today-there will be plenty of time for politics later.

Meanwhile I rejoice that this man will answer for his evil. Period. End of sentence.
posted by konolia at 11:41 AM on December 15, 2003


This IS a good day for the families of those Iraqis who had relatives killed, imprisoned, or tortured under Saddam Hussein's regime (a regime formerly heavily supported by the United States).

And on this good day, I wonder what those families and our resident Bush apologists would like to say to the hundreds of thousands of victims of sanctions who lay dead across Iraq, and the thousands of civilians outright shot down in Iraq by the United States in a criminal war. Please tell them when they can expect their "good day"....their day of justice....will you?

You owe them that on this "good day"....because your silence to this point has been absolutely deafening.

Once again, the cowardly rhetoric that our actions may/might/possibly/could save countless lives in a nebulous future is tragic and moronic, given the definite finality of the thousands of lives WE Americans have destroyed, and continue to destroy in our vengeance and fear and economic rape. This is, of course, the exact same rhetoric used by the terrorists themselves, who, like our own chickenhawks, always justify bloodshed based on some marvelous future they alone can magically see, and which never materializes (the only difference between "terrorists" and many of our own hawks is that the "terrorists" actually seem willing to get their hands dirty at something besides a computer keyboard).

What ever changes? Gassed Iraqi children from U.S. assisted chemical attacks. Business-suit-clad bodies in the rubble of skyscrapers. Whole families gunned down by frightened American teenagers at checkpoints. Frightened American teenagers improv-bombed by frightened Iraqi teenagers. Chickenhawks and "the terrorists" chanting "MORE MORE MORE!" in blind chorus. The same stinking bodies. The same unholy chorus. The same stinking bodies. The same blindness and cowardice from those shortsighted or simply idiotic enough to think that killing stops killing. The same stinking bodies.

We helped create the terror that was Saddam Hussein, when it suited "our interests." We helped create the terror that raised Al Quaeda, when it suited "our interests." We reaped what we sowed. We will continue to reap what we sow.

Invading Iraq was a great wrong, and it continues to be a great wrong. Those who continue to support that war have blood on their hands, and as I have often maintained, there will be a reckoning....just as there has been a sad reckoning every day for the young American troops we cravenly sent into harm's way for a fool's errand.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:51 AM on December 15, 2003


The question is this: If Dean was sitting in the oval office in 2002-2003, and the status quo was sanctions and the occasional intrusion into the no-fly zone, do you really believe he would have been the first to suggest military action against Iraq with an international coalition?

Honestly, no. An armed inspections regime? Yes, I think. But he doesn't seem to have that Clintonian trait of only liking something when it can seem like his idea. If the framework of prosecuting the UN Res. 1441 led to that point, nothing about his foreign policy positions suggests he wouldn't have led a real coalition.

Answer me this: How would George W. Bush react in your same hypothetical if Don Rumsfeld and the PNAC crew were not whispering in his ear?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:56 AM on December 15, 2003


Can you all let go of your political agendas for one freaking minute and just be glad that this man will answer for the horrors he inflicted on his own people?

You are talking to the Weekly Standard, right?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:59 AM on December 15, 2003


> As has been observed repeatedly in this thread, almost no one is a
> Saddam apologist.

We had a specimen just a few posts back. Quoth asok:

His only crime that I am aware of, was invading a country whose borders were defined by the British without the tacit approval of the West.

Allow me to indulge in the first of the hundreds of linkbacks I plan on providing to this superior piece of complicity during Saddam's trial. Every time a new atrocity is described by survivors and witnesses, we link back to asok's I-didn't-know-vot-vas-happeningk. Gracious me, Christmas did come early this year.

posted by jfuller at 12:01 PM on December 15, 2003


You owe them that on this "good day"....because your silence to this point has been absolutely deafening.

Foldy, what silence are you talking about? Politically speaking, on MeFi we rarely hear about anything else.

The same blindness and cowardice from those shortsighted or simply idiotic enough to think that killing stops killing.

Right. Platitudes stop killing. Seriously, are you ever going to offer an alternative idea, or just spew? NTM, your cute little quotation marks around "the terrorists"..what's that about? Are you implying we're imagining them?

We helped create the terror that was Saddam Hussein, when it suited "our interests." We helped create the terror that raised Al Quaeda, when it suited "our interests." We reaped what we sowed. We will continue to reap what we sow.

(the only difference between "terrorists" and many of our own hawks is that the "terrorists" actually seem willing to get their hands dirty at something besides a computer keyboard)....

Those who continue to support that war have blood on their hands, and as I have often maintained, there will be a reckoning....

As per usual with ideologues, half of what you say is true (the top qoute), the other half is self-serving, narcissistic, holier-than-thou bullshit(the rest).
posted by jonmc at 12:13 PM on December 15, 2003


Gracious me, Christmas did come early this year.

Hey, if you're into sucking personal political glee out of decades of death and tragedy, you should try reading the Weekly Standard.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:16 PM on December 15, 2003


His only crime that I am aware of, was invading a country whose borders were defined by the British without the tacit approval of the West.

So what you're saying is that you're not aware of a whole lot?
posted by dhoyt at 12:17 PM on December 15, 2003


I never heard of the Weekly Standard till you linked it.

That little rant was trademark, me.
posted by konolia at 12:21 PM on December 15, 2003


> Invading Iraq was a great wrong, and it continues to be a great wrong.

What gets me is how you can live with yourself, knowing what a monstrous wrong is being done, by your lights, and how little you're doing to stop it.

Suppose you're right. Suppose one day your kid asks, "Parental unit, what did you do to stop the horror that was Iraq?" And you say, well uh, I posted some sanctimonious messages to a message board.

Get off your ass, foldy. Get off your ass and go over there and stand up in front of a helpless civilian! Show your courage of conviction! Just because the first boatload of human shields wet themselves and slunk home doesn't mean you would.


> you should try reading the Weekly Standard.

Already bookmarked, but thanks anyhoo.
posted by jfuller at 12:23 PM on December 15, 2003


> Hey, if you're into sucking personal political glee out of decades
> of death and tragedy,

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by jfuller at 12:28 PM on December 15, 2003


furiousthought, thanks for the answer. And I understand those arguments, and agree in principle that it's better to have international support. My question is, if we had that broad international support, would you have supported the war (assuming that the war itself would have been roughly the same -- same numbers of soldiers and civilians killed, no WMD found, etc)? Am I to take it from your last sentence that you would have?

Back from lunch now. I guess I did duck your question, didn't I? The answer is yes, but with the benefit of hindsight I'd also ask for:

a) some kind of plan for what we'd do after, or significant progress in Afghanistan; if we had a track record it would have helped us out enormously, but as is we have two countries in low-key disarray

and b) I also would not want the war to be sold as a WMD hunt the way it was, not just because lying is bad, but because crying wolf about weapons proliferation is horribly reckless. Though if everyone bought it... I don't know. Weapons proliferation is a very important issue.

I don't want to make light of the casualties suffered on all sides, but they are much smaller than we had reason to expect.

The neocon agenda of remaking the Middle East for democracy is something I would approve of in principle, actually. It just seems wildly unrealistic, and it isn't helping that it's being conducted by an administration that is just horrible at diplomacy; the worst I can remember or even think of.
posted by furiousthought at 12:37 PM on December 15, 2003


I'm waiting to see what Fark does with this.
posted by RakDaddy at 12:50 PM on December 15, 2003


furiousthough, pardonyou?:
furiousthought's a) & b) are just the tip of the iceberg, insofar as what would happen if we actually had international support. That's why this is such a difficult hypothetical - you can't change that one fact of reality (international support) without a galaxy of other changes wheeling around with it. So much is rolled up into "gaining international support" that at the end, it just would not be anything remotely resembling what has happened in the past year.
posted by badstone at 12:51 PM on December 15, 2003


Dude, jfuller, f&m was in Vietnam. Vietnam! He's already suffered for the sins of America, and continues suffering to this day. It almost makes you want to cry.

By the way, if we cannot impose economic sanctions against dictatorial regimes (because citizens will starve), and we cannot use military might to remove dictatorial regimes (because civilians may die), then what diplomatic options do we have left to lessen the suffering caused by dictatorial regimes (who starve and kill their own citizens regularly)? Furthermore, if we create a monster, are we then not responsible for putting it down?
posted by darukaru at 12:53 PM on December 15, 2003


Invading Iraq was a great wrong, and it continues to be a great wrong. ...
So true, and yet, to illustrate differences among those of us on the left, i supported our Afghanistan thing, and am really pissed we let it fall down to go to Iraq--the Taliban were far more destructive and evil in my judgement than Saddam, and they harbored and helped Osama--also far more destructive and evil than Saddam. I would also even be in favor of removing the House of Saud--financier to Osama, and breeder of terrorists. Saddam was a two-bit nothing, and this war was a sham that's cost us many lives on both sides, and billions and billions of dollars needed at home.
posted by amberglow at 1:03 PM on December 15, 2003


badstone, thanks. You said what I was trying to say, albeit much more more successfully and succinctly.
posted by Vidiot at 1:06 PM on December 15, 2003


Well, pardonyou?, since you singled me out as being 'petulant, western-centric response' and blinded by an all-encompassing hatred, I feel beholden to make some response.

You see, I'm not blinded. I'm don't dislike Mr Bush because of who he is. I don't dislike and denigrate him because he is a simpleton, or clownish, or the worst kind of love-talking killer Christian, all of which he may or may not be. I hate him because of what he does, and what he has done, to America and the rest of the world.

It seems to me that a reasonable rejoinder to the constant accusations from those who inexplicably support Mr Bush's policies (and who, therefore, truly do hate America, in my opinion) that people like myself who take a principled (and sometime vociferous stand) against his crimes are merely consumed by hate to say that on the converse, those who blindly support the misadventures and misdeeds of he and his administration are blinded by some sort of unreasoning desire to love the man, and afford him respect and admiration based not on what he has done, but on the office he (unjustly) holds.

This is the worst kind of political stance to assume, this weak, pathetic replacement-father-figure hero worship that so many seem to be smitten with, and leads to evil, every time.

With regards to your hollow claim that those who are leaping for joy at Saddam's capture are really full of a love and respect for the Iraqi people, I have to suggest that you are so full of shit as to make me giggle like a narcotized schoolgirl. Honestly, such brazen fabrication is precisely the thing that Rove and company are so good at, it shouldn't be a surprise that those who support their American Coup would try it on for size too.

It's laughable that anyone might think it to be true -- first in the sense that compassion has or had anything to do with this war, and that 'caring for the Iraqi people' was anywhere on anyone's radar before it became the latest in a series of cack-handed justifications for murder -- and laughable second in the sense that capturing the old killer fuck is going to change anything for anyone on the ground there.

Wishing something were so does not make it so, I'm afraid.

(apologies for incoherence - it's very early in the morning here)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:13 PM on December 15, 2003


In conclusion, San Deimas high school football rules!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:17 PM on December 15, 2003


By the way, if we cannot impose economic sanctions against dictatorial regimes (because citizens will starve), and we cannot use military might to remove dictatorial regimes (because civilians may die), then what diplomatic options do we have left to lessen the suffering caused by dictatorial regimes (who starve and kill their own citizens regularly)?

You frame the issue incorrectly. Intelligent sanctions targetted at the regime, along with humanitarian aid delivered by armed peacekeepers is one approach, and a well-planned military intervention executed after reaching the assurance that the necessary economic and political resources had been marshalled would be another possibility.

One can not be accurately branded an appeaser simply because they reject our current "pointless sanctions followed by a hasty war dreamed up by radical policy intellectuals who fired all the career military leaders who kept telling them to get a real plan" policy. Essentially, any strategy for which more forethought had gone to the success of the effort than to the perception of success of the effort would be preferable.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:43 PM on December 15, 2003


Saddam's Capture May Fuel Islamist Insurgency
posted by homunculus at 1:58 PM on December 15, 2003


In conclusion, San Deimas high school football rules!

stavros, are you so blinded by your hatred of Bill & Ted that you can't see how their excellent adventure has made the world safe from terror from now until the end of time?
posted by gompa at 2:01 PM on December 15, 2003


Psychological Blow: Saddam's Humiliation is Iraq's Victory
posted by dhoyt at 2:08 PM on December 15, 2003


You know stavros, don't pretend like I tried to call into question every belief you hold, or that I think you're completely irrational. I made one point and one point only: That your claim that the capture of Saddam Hussein was "meaningless" was objectively false, and that the only way to explain why you might have made such an objectively false remark is your (admitted) hatred for Bush.

That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. But it sure gave you a springboard to imply that those of us who support the war do so out of ignorance and father-figure love (even, apparently, those like myself who don't like Bush).
posted by pardonyou? at 2:19 PM on December 15, 2003


pardonyou?, are you so blinded by your hatred of stavros that you can't see how his angry tirade brought to an end the MeFi debate over the merits of the Bush administration once and for all?
posted by gompa at 2:23 PM on December 15, 2003


Why is it a good thing to have captured Saddam?

1) Cause he is (to quote an Izzardism) a "mass murdering fuckhead".

2) His continued freedom was a sourse of constant gleeful finger pointing "see! you can't even capture one man! you people suck!"

3) See #1, its worth listing twice

4) His capture will no doubt whip some folks (at home and abroad) into an anti-us frenzy... but his freedom was also bolstering anti-us fervor.

Will his capture feul some more attacks? No doubt... but you knwo I don't really think it is useful for the policy of the US to be decided by how best to appease and crawl to every zealot who knows how to strap a bomb to his sons and send the out to blow up some western devils.
posted by soulhuntre at 2:31 PM on December 15, 2003


every zealot who knows how to strap a bomb to his sons and send the out to blow up some western devils.
But saddam never did that; osama did.
posted by amberglow at 2:41 PM on December 15, 2003


> Dude, jfuller, f&m was in Vietnam. Vietnam! He's already suffered for
> the sins of America, and continues suffering to this day. It almost makes
> you want to cry.

While the Vietnam war was in progress, no Movement types I ever encountered gave any particular respect to their veteran elders who got shipped off to Europe and shot up and who fought Hitler--Hitler! Despite their experience and their sacrifices those guys got one vote each just like everybody else.

Nevertheless, being conciliatory, fuller recites Pledge of Allegiance and (sincerely) salutes all returning vets, V.V.A.W.-style equally with Ramboesque flag-wavers; and the very same sentiments apply if f&m was there as a journo or a radical-chic tourist or mislaid French colonialist or whatever. It's all patched up and smoothed over now, by U.S. Presidents and by decorated vets like Kerry and McCain, and by the Vietnamese themselves.

All the more reason, then, not to use Iraq as a time warp through which to work out left-over guilt and anger about Vietnam, either militarily or culturally.

Finally, being unconciliatory, if you think there's a horror going on you either care enough about stopping it to fly or walk or crawl to the place of horror and stand up in the line of fire and clamor like a champion--or you don't. Every day is a new day, past deeds don't help with present needs, penance and reparation for your own sins (and the sins of your neighbors, which are yours too) is never over, they keep going on right up to the day you drop dead and indeed unto the seventh generation thereafter. It's tough, it's not fair, but there it is.
posted by jfuller at 3:01 PM on December 15, 2003


no, it's not the zealots we need to focus our policy on, it's their countrymen who so strongly concur with the zealots' message, if not quite their methods, that we need to make nice with.
posted by badstone at 3:01 PM on December 15, 2003


World leaders are popping up all over. /lighthearted irrelevant "dig" *snicker*
posted by Dick Paris at 3:12 PM on December 15, 2003


Not attacking you, pardonyou, at all. If that was how it sounded, I apologize.

I would dispute your claim that my characterization of Saddam's capture as 'meaningless' is objectively false, though. I hadn't realized that's what the subject was. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2003


jfuller, I haven't any interest in debating the Saddamy of this thread, but I do have to point out that you're being an anti-democratic sadistic ass. You've just suggested that if any really believe the war to be immoral they should stand, unarmed, before boys with guns who have an intention to shoot them at the opposition.

That wouldn't be commited or heroic; that would be stupid. But your illogical suggestion that the only people really commited to opposing your view would be that stupid is ... just ... stupidly mean.

We're Americans. Most of us act our conscience by dialectic, arguementation and voting. One doesn't need to die to prove their Patriotism to you ... do they?
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:46 PM on December 15, 2003


people like myself who take a principled (and sometime vociferous stand) against his crimes are merely consumed by hate

"Principled"? "Merely"? What the heck are you talking about?? (Besides a mental illness)

Of course, you'd rather see more American casualties and a cowardly exodus about which the typical lefty femocrats fantasize?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Or maybe that just *blinkered of me to say.

This is a Great Time to be an Iraqi.

*Heh, Heh, Heh.
posted by hama7 at 4:08 PM on December 15, 2003


Rather: What the heck are you talking about??

Heh, Heh, Heh.
posted by hama7 at 4:14 PM on December 15, 2003


"Principled"? "Merely"? What the heck are you talking about?? (Besides a mental illness)

Go rent a sense of humour, fuckwit. Hell, if you want to really make a point, why not link this?

Of course, you'd rather see more American casualties and a cowardly exodus about which the typical lefty femocrats fantasize?

You've already had your ass kicked over misrepresenting my words (those very ones, in fact) once in Metatalk. I'll have to track down the link to remind you, I guess. Persistent, at least, if not clever, aren't you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:16 PM on December 15, 2003


a cowardly exodus ...
Admitting you might be wrong is a sign of weakness! Better to kick ass instead. Rawk on America! Fear This!

femocrats
and girls are stinky!
posted by badstone at 4:17 PM on December 15, 2003


why not link this?

Ah, I see you already did. (Warning for the faint of heart : Presidential porn is there.) Well done, son.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:19 PM on December 15, 2003


The last time hama7 attempted to misrepresent the exact same words he links to above, with exactly the same intent to defame. Nice try. He must have that comment bookmarked. Nice to know my words play such an important role in his fevered imaginings.

(Apologies for the hama7-shit-flinging-defense derail, but this thread is probably petering out anyway, I hope.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:33 PM on December 15, 2003


(...and my previous response. I'll try and shut up now.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:49 PM on December 15, 2003


> We're Americans. Most of us act our conscience by dialectic,
> argumentation and voting. One doesn't need to die to prove their
> Patriotism to you ... do they?

Wulfgar!, you certainly read the post I was responding to, but I'll link back to it for your convenience.

the cowardly rhetoric that our actions may/might/possibly/could save countless lives in a nebulous future is tragic and moronic, given the definite finality of the thousands of lives WE Americans have destroyed, and continue to destroy in our vengeance and fear and economic rape.

That's not dialectic, that's an impassioned sermon. That's testifyin'. That's a scream of emergency on the order of "My God, that truck is about to hit that child!" Well, if a kid is really about to be killed by a truck you don't indulge in dialectic; you either 1) run out in front of the truck and save the kid, or 2) run out in front of the truck and fail and die trying, or 3) don't run out in front of the truck, and spend the rest of your life in shame, guilt and self-recrimination. It's not a time for dialectic, dialectic is a sop and an evasion, it's a time for radical action.

So foldy issues his clarion call for desperate emergency radical action, and I'm cool with that, but I do want to know what desperate emergency radical action he plans to take--or is he gonna lead from the rear on this one?


Invading Iraq was a great wrong, and it continues to be a great wrong. Those who continue to support that war have blood on their hands, and as I have often maintained, there will be a reckoning....

OK, I'm tight with that, too. But it leaves a bit unsaid, and I'll supply the missing part. Those who put Saddam in power have blood on their hands. Those who maintained Saddam in power have blood on their hands. Those who removed Saddam from power have blood on their hands, says says foldy and I daresay he's right, because having blood on your hands is a pretty damn common condition, particularly if you count guilt by inaction, which I do. It can't possibly be that the way to remain unbloody-handed in this situation is to pull out, stop your ears, look the other way and let whatever happens happen. No, sorry, if we let the Shiites and the Sunnis and the Kurds and the outside freelancers fight each other to a standstill we'll have blood on our hands! You want purity such as foldy possesses? ("Those who continue to support that war have blood on their hands," note the third person) You've got one and only one option, namely to go and stand in front of some other victim like the good kind of martyr who doesn't carry bombs. If this doesn't appeal to you, fine, but in that case you're no damned glowing bodhisattva, you're just another wretch fumbling your way through the bloody muck toward some remotely decent resolution with your bloody hands.

P.S. you say foldy was in Nam? and has clean hands? I presume he was there as a conscientious objector medical corpsman, or maybe on a Swiss passport meditating with Thich Nhat Hanh? Because if he was there carrying a gun he's a bloody-handed wretch like all the rest of us. You can repent, but you can't go back and undo.

P.S. foldy, I've been taking your name in vain quite heavily lately. If you were there as a c.o. corpsman then I humbly apologize and you can shout and testify all you want and I'll say nothing but Amen.
posted by jfuller at 5:35 PM on December 15, 2003


And a well-said to jfuller. We all have bloody hands, warhounds and doves, either by our actions or our lack of action. We're drenched and dripping, in fact, like Carrie up on the stage.

Each of us (and I quote it because it was beautifully said) is 'just another wretch fumbling your way through the bloody muck toward some remotely decent resolution with your bloody hands.'

The place that I can see that I would diverge from what jfuller says, though, is that I believe (and this belief is predicated on an assumption that personal action can accomplish anything to stem the tide of blood and killing that is our birthright, and that assumption is one I'm far from certain about) that there is a wider spectrum of actions one can take to defend what one feels is right, beyond standing 'in front of some other victim like the good kind of martyr who doesn't carry bombs.'

(Like writing and posting pornographic mock fanfic pieces about the president, for example? Well, yeah, in part.)

I fear I'm missing the gist of what jfuller is saying, for some reason, maybe. Please feel free to elaborate if that is the case.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 PM on December 15, 2003


Sure, we all have blood on our hands - those who have pulled triggers or not. This is in our biological natures, as violent tribal primates.

So what can we do?

Well - for one thing, we all apparently have a strong instinct for fairness that can be harnessed in the same way as democracy yokes self interest to the greater good.

So back to Iraq......regardless of their merits, in terms of justness or whatever, unilateral actions will always have a corrosive effect on the greater good - for the suspicion they create. Unilateral actions will always be seen as "unfair" simply for their unilateral nature, and unfairness upsets us monkeys.

Meanwhile.....does anyone here have any head lice which need to be picked?
posted by troutfishing at 7:16 PM on December 15, 2003


ook.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2003


To those who have been against the war in Iraq:

Say GW Bush never existed and no WMD/terrorism claims regarding Iraq ever came up. What would your stance towards Saddam be?

(and leave Bush and his about-to-reap-the-whirlwind cohorts out of your response if at all possible. And no pussyfooting.)
posted by shoos at 7:45 PM on December 15, 2003


shoos - So anyone who objects to the status quo has to craft a studied position on this worthy of a presidential candidate? (otherwise you'll obviously precede to pick any weakly formed position apart) - well then, in my administration, Iraq would be but one of many foreign policy demons to be dealt with. There are many such demons in Latin America, for example, which are now curently ignored. We would deal with them all.
posted by troutfishing at 8:16 PM on December 15, 2003


Say GW Bush never existed and no WMD/terrorism claims regarding Iraq ever came up. What would your stance towards Saddam be?

I don't have any idea. You?

If your answer is tht you would still favor toppling on principle, I wonder if you ever actually said that out loud before the fall of 2001.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:17 PM on December 15, 2003


Say GW Bush never existed and no WMD/terrorism claims regarding Iraq ever came up. What would your stance towards Saddam be?

I would support, with money and weapons, organized, humane groups of Iraqi rebels on condition that they commit themselves to (1) peacefully democratize Iraq and (2) hand over Saddam to the UN for trial for the '88 gassing of the Kurds. As these groups prove their commitment to these ideals, I would reward them with gradual lifting of sanctions and diplomatic recognition.

And if those groups don't exist, we leave it the fuck alone. You didn't need a genius in March 2003 to tell the world that when you go in to a country where everyone hates you, you not only get shot at a lot, but then you have to actually run the country. And that's no fun.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:25 PM on December 15, 2003


troutfishing: a "studied position on this worthy of a presidential candidate" would be nice, but even a quick one-sentence summary would be better than merely condemning someone else's position (I'm not accusing you of that). I just wanted for people against the invasion/occupation to stick their own necks out and say what their thoughts about dealing or not dealing with Saddam are/were. It's far easier to talk about how the invasion was bad than it is to defend an alternative action or inaction.

IJR: no, I don't have much of an idea now.
posted by shoos at 9:22 PM on December 15, 2003


I'll throw up my hands and say that I honestly have no idea what to do with an intransigent dictator who doesn't pose an immediate threat. Except for possibly getting the UN or other multinational bodies involved in cases of genocide or other extreme human rights violations.

Alas, as troutfishing points out, there are tons of these guys everywhere, from Uzbekistan to Cuba.
posted by Vidiot at 10:27 PM on December 15, 2003


Ladies and gentlemen, start your conspiracy engines. Debka theorizes that Saddam wasn't in hiding at alll he was held prisoner at the time of his apprehension by American Troops.
posted by psmealey at 9:52 AM on December 16, 2003


uh, they're not the first psmealey, sorry to say. that conspiracy has been around since before they actually caught (or produced :) ) him.

re: shoos' hypothetical -
I'm with troutfishing, and furthermore, with Vidiot. We don't (didn't) need a "what to do about Saddam" policy, we need a "what to to about cruel dictators in general" policy. As Vidiot says, that's a job for global government, not national government. When southern states decided they wanted to secede from the Union, it wasn't Illinois and Indiana's job to bring them back, it was the job of the federal government. This doesn't mean "leave it to the UN", it means work hard with the UN, be an active player in the UN and ensure it has the means to achieve globabl justice and security. There's also no generic litmus test for who should be ousted and who shouldn't. As the Pew Global Attitudes survey shows, some countries genuinely prefer the "security" of a dictator.

The most proactive thing I could possible imagine the UN doing in this vein is to create a mechanism for citizens of an oppressed country to petition the UN for assistance. If said citizens could somehow demonstrate that a majority of their countrymen want their leadership ousted than the UN would be obliged to step in. The nigh-impossible problem there is how to collect evidence of such a majority while under a brutal free speech and public gather squashing dictatorship. I've got no good answer to that.
posted by badstone at 10:10 AM on December 16, 2003


Ladies and gentlemen, start your conspiracy engines.
The electricity was off when captured: he would have suffocated if he had been in their any longer...oh wait they had to get him out.
Then add; the conspiracy: The republican party put a criminal in a "spider hole" then creating the debatable web that the Democratic Presidential Candidates are arguing over now. Thus turning The Democratic Candidates, Liberman & Kerry into "black widows" devouring Presidential Hopeful Candidate, Dean. (can't find any good links, Liberman & Kerry are atacking Dean for his stance on Iraq)
posted by thomcatspike at 10:17 AM on December 16, 2003


Badstone, I believe that there already is a mechanism in the charter of the UN whereby members of the security council must act in the event of a genocide anywhere on the planet. Sadly, this isn't invoked nearly as often as it should be.

This easily could have been used to intervene much earlier in Iraq, in light of the regime's genocidal treatment of the Kurds, but then this would have opened up very difficult cans of worms in Turkey in addition to opening up the Reagan/Bush administrations to embarassment, as they were closely aligned with Saddam during the height of the attrocities his regime committed against them.

In the spirit of non-partisanship however, one of the most egregious things the Clinton administration did was to cast a similarly blind eye to the atrocities occuring in Rwanda in the 90s.
posted by psmealey at 10:32 AM on December 16, 2003


News flash: Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam
posted by thomcatspike at 12:22 PM on December 16, 2003


And also for a time by the US government.
posted by troutfishing at 1:43 PM on December 16, 2003


But this quote is pure gold -"...Thus turning The Democratic Candidates, Lieberman & Kerry into "black widows" devouring Presidential Hopeful Candidate, Dean." Heh heh.
posted by troutfishing at 1:49 PM on December 16, 2003


Well only sort of. For them to be metaphorically accurate black widows, Lieberman and Kerry would have to mate with Dean first. No one wants to think about that.
posted by psmealey at 2:29 PM on December 16, 2003


I don't think anyone wants bush to win in '04 more than Lieberman. except maybe FreedomParamus.
posted by mcsweetie at 3:49 PM on December 16, 2003


thomcat, the document in the story also mentions the niger stuff, and wasn't that already discredited? I don't trust the Telegraph anymore regarding this stuff.
posted by amberglow at 3:55 PM on December 16, 2003


44 Million Demand Free Healthcare: "Doctor's Examinations Not Just For Saddam" Says Liberal Activist
posted by homunculus at 4:29 PM on December 16, 2003


ooo..very good homunculus--I hope one of the candidates is smart enough to make the connection.
posted by amberglow at 4:34 PM on December 16, 2003


this is good too.
posted by amberglow at 5:13 PM on December 16, 2003


I have no idea why the 'left' on this thing called metafilter cry free speech anytime they are criticized and yet trample on what they call the 'idiocy' of the few who are on the right side in these sorts of threads. It always seems free speech here means 'the speech that i agree with.'

It's pointless to argue the goodness of capturing Sadaam with people who think that 'he may not have been such a bad guy', or with people who think 'yes he was bad, but [insert democrat here] could have done the whole thing better', or with people who think, truly believe, that Sadaam tells the truth and our president lies - with people who think that not only has the world not changed, but that it doesn't matter if it has.

I think most of the comments here are petty lefty ego/arrogant dreams and some are just sadly ignorant. I, for one, like robust debate on the war on terrorism and such, but when the other side won't even stipulate to real facts and wolrd events... it seems impossible to have that debate.
posted by alethe at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2003


Where is this hypothetical wingnut claiming "he may not have been such a bad guy"?

As far as I can tell, that is an entirely strawman construction.

Talk about not even stipulating real facts.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:29 AM on December 17, 2003


FFF, right here.
posted by Snyder at 2:17 PM on December 17, 2003


Ouch. Okay, so we have one wingnut.

I think it's rather unfair to paint the entire "the other side" with the same brush as asok's painted himself with, though. Altethe rants on about "the left" and "most of the comments" and "with people who," instead of ranting about that one user in particular.

asok, wtf were you thinking when you wrote that?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:02 PM on December 17, 2003


the Atta in Iraq story is fake, says MSNBC--he was here when the training was supposed to take place. (This is happening all the time--a story comes out, gets big play, then a day or 2 later, is debunked)
posted by amberglow at 5:50 AM on December 18, 2003


...and my previous response.

And my previous response to that rambling, unnecessary, and pointless reiteration.
posted by hama7 at 12:05 PM on December 18, 2003


I don't trust the Telegraph anymore regarding this stuff.
Agree amberglow;The news flash, seemed odd to me. Not having the best memory about which news groups write "crap", linked it as Daypop Top 20 links showed the article being a "highly" viewed link that day.

Lieberman & Kerry into "black widows" devouring Presidential Hopeful Candidate, Dean." Heh heh.
Thanks Troutfishing, wanted to make an FPP about it, yet wasn't successful finding links that supported the news cast I saw that sparked the idea. As I have a feeling "Iraq" may be the "abortion issue" for the Democrats, breaking up its party's consensus.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:44 PM on December 18, 2003


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