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War in Iraq: Not a Humanitarian Intervention - Human Rights Watch
January 26, 2004 3:24 PM   Subscribe

In sum, the invasion of Iraq failed to meet the test for a humanitarian intervention. Most important, the killing in Iraq at the time was not of the exceptional nature that would justify such intervention. In addition, intervention was not the last reasonable option to stop Iraqi atrocities. Intervention was not motivated primarily by humanitarian concerns. It was not conducted in a way that maximized compliance with international humanitarian law. It was not approved by the Security Council. And while at the time it was launched it was reasonable to believe that the Iraqi people would be better off, it was not designed or carried out with the needs of Iraqis foremost in mind. War in Iraq: Not a Humanitarian Intervention
Human Rights Watch finds the post fact rationale for the invasion wanting. It comes from their World Report 2004 - Human Rights and Armed Conflict, where other essays therefrom include: Losing The Peace In Afghanistan, Sidelined: Human Rights In Post-War Iraq and "Glad to be Deceived": the International Community and Chechnya, to name but a few.
posted by y2karl (81 comments total)

 
In considering the criteria that would justify humanitarian intervention, the most important, as noted, is the level of killing: was genocide or comparable mass slaughter underway or imminent? Brutal as Saddam Hussein’s reign had been, the scope of the Iraqi government’s killing in March 2003 was not of the exceptional and dire magnitude that would justify humanitarian intervention. We have no illusions about Saddam Hussein’s vicious inhumanity. Having devoted extensive time and effort to documenting his atrocities, we estimate that in the last twenty-five years of Ba`th Party rule the Iraqi government murdered or “disappeared” some quarter of a million Iraqis, if not more. In addition, one must consider such abuses as Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers. However, by the time of the March 2003 invasion, Saddam Hussein’s killing had ebbed.

There were times in the past when the killing was so intense that humanitarian intervention would have been justified—for example, during the 1988 Anfal genocide, in which the Iraqi government slaughtered some 100,000 Kurds. Indeed, Human Rights Watch, though still in its infancy and not yet working in the Middle East in 1988, did advocate a form of military intervention in 1991 after we had begun addressing Iraq. As Iraqi Kurds fleeing Saddam Hussein’s brutal repression of the post-Gulf War uprising were stranded and dying in harsh winter weather on Turkey’s mountainous border, we advocated the creation of a no-fly zone in northern Iraq so they could return home without facing renewed genocide. There were other moments of intense killing as well, such as the suppression of the uprisings in 1991. But on the eve of the latest Iraq war, no one contends that the Iraqi government was engaged in killing of anywhere near this magnitude, or had been for some time. “Better late than never” is not a justification for humanitarian intervention, which should be countenanced only to stop mass murder, not to punish its perpetrators, desirable as punishment is in such circumstances.

posted by y2karl at 3:29 PM on January 26, 2004


Um, so they think the war was based on lies and deception too? Just like the rest of the country who's not got their head planted in their backsides?

By the way, I find it rather nasty to think that there has to be a certain level of slaughter before the HRW will sign off on an intervention. Not that other bodies don't have the same criteria, just that quotas were death is the count are a pretty filthy way of deciding to do something as it demeans the murdered and tortured.

What if the police did the same thing? Sorry, we can't come out to investigate your robbery because its just one time and they didn't kill your whole family so we'll come out next time if they do more damage and hurt more people.
posted by fenriq at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2004


When it comes to wars they would support to stop mass killings, there is a difference between 100 and 100,000 evidently. Saddam's real mass murdering was in the past and no sign of an imminent return to such a scale of slaughter was foreseen, nor was it claimed on invasion eve. HRW refuses to accept the contention that we can invade retroactively a country for decades past genocide we tacitly accepted at the time.
posted by y2karl at 3:49 PM on January 26, 2004


fenriq: The organization addresses this very issue. Military action is not the same as police action, regardless. It's the usual apples/oranges thing. (Police don't tend to kill innocent bystanders in their work, and if they do, a stink is usually raised about it. Their primary job is to preserve public order regardless, and as such they depend to a large degree on society and citizens to assist them in working out problems and preventing crime, or to prevent such crime before it happens.)

We understand that “mass” killing is a subjective term, allowing for varying interpretations, and we do not propose a single quantitative measure. We also recognize that the level of killing that we as a human rights organization would see as justifying humanitarian intervention might well be different from the level that a government might set. However, in either circumstance, because of the substantial risks inherent in the use of military force, humanitarian intervention should be exceptional—reserved for the most dire circumstances.
posted by raysmj at 3:50 PM on January 26, 2004


Raysmj, yeah, I know there's a distinct difference between military and police actions. I was just using the police as an example of quota based actionability.

The same could be done for janitors. Just one toilet overflowed? Sorry, until it gets to four, they won't do anything.

But thanks for the explanation and the excerpt from the site.

And don't get me wrong, I think orgs like HRW and others are doing very important and necessary work. I've benefitted firsthand from their efforts.
posted by fenriq at 3:58 PM on January 26, 2004


Interesting post. Thanks. That being said, I'm not sure that anyone in the Bush administration is seriously trying to justify the war in Iraq as a humanitarian intervention. If it's not WMDs, or "WMD program related activites," it's Iraq's supposed connection to terrorism. Even if Bush was to fall back on the "Saddam was a mean guy" justification, I think everyone recognizes that is a post hoc rationalization at best. Maybe at that level, we can argue about just how bad Saddam was prior to the invasion, but that doesn't seem very fruitful. Unfortunately, the HRW comes off as minimizing the atrocites in Iraq, even with the number of qualifiers they throw in. [Also, I miss title attributes.]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:14 PM on January 26, 2004


Your interesting post has really changed my mind about this whole war thing!

Do you have a newsletter that I can subscribe to?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:11 PM on January 26, 2004


Your interesting post has really changed my mind about this whole war thing!
Great to hear, Steve! Now, can I interest you in one of our fine Democratic candidates?

excellent post, y2k
posted by amberglow at 5:19 PM on January 26, 2004


Your interesting post has really changed my mind about this whole war thing!
See, you just misunderestimated me.

On a sidenote, here's AWOL Bush: Debunked? Hardly!strong>
posted by y2karl at 5:30 PM on January 26, 2004


Thanks. That being said, I'm not sure that anyone in the Bush administration is seriously trying to justify the war in Iraq as a humanitarian intervention.

I don't know, man. In the State of the Union speech just days ago, the President said:

"Had we failed to act... Iraq's torture chambers would still be filled with victims - terrified and innocent."

Which sounds to me like a justification on humanitarian grounds.
posted by Hildago at 5:44 PM on January 26, 2004


Saddam's 'evil chemistry' justified war: Ashcroft
posted by homunculus at 5:59 PM on January 26, 2004


I heard Saddam even had an evil veterinarian.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:23 PM on January 26, 2004


Steve, your command of ignorance intrigues me. Perhaps I could subscribe to your newsletter of mental vacancy.

(Do you have the nads to make a counter point, or are you just arrogant enough to think anyone will mistake your foolishness for knowledge. Your call, windbag ...)
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:31 PM on January 26, 2004


What if the police did the same thing? Sorry, we can't come out to investigate your robbery because its just one time and they didn't kill your whole family so we'll come out next time if they do more damage and hurt more people.

Police very nearly do this same thing sometimes, depending on who you mean. The FBI, for example, won't get involved in some crimes unless you've got more than several thousands of dollars damage and/or cross state boundaries.

And most police I know of won't do much other than take a report if there's not much hope of wrapping up a case.

I don't blame them, necessarily, because there are limited resources and, say, my stolen backback, CD collection, camera, and guitar, my roughed up car or apartment aren't as important as other things. This is freakin' LA, after all, and we tell muggers to have a nice day. But still...
posted by namespan at 6:36 PM on January 26, 2004


Wulfgar!, perhaps Steve was just voicing the frustration of those of us who have to wade past y2k's tired front page screeds almost daily? The members who eat this stuff up will just pat each other on the back, and the ones who don't aren't going to change their minds because of this stuff. So who are you so desperately trying to convince here, y2karl? Yourself? Or do the throwaway cheerleader posts keep you going?
posted by tirade at 6:42 PM on January 26, 2004


Just one toilet overflowed? Sorry, until it gets to four, they won't do anything.

so killing 9,000 to save 10,000 is ok? tell that to the families of the 9,000 dead ...

sounds like the waco approach to me.
posted by specialk420 at 7:06 PM on January 26, 2004


tirade, please. If you're Steve than answer for him. If you want to call bullshit on y2karl's post, do so. Either way, argue the thesis. Anything else is cowardice.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:09 PM on January 26, 2004


The members who eat this stuff up will just pat each other on the back, and the ones who don't aren't going to change their minds because of this stuff.

I'm not so sure you're right, tirade. I mean, are you saying that the devoted would never have a second thought about the Bush administration's righteousness regardless of anything revealed about their evil cabal? What does that say about the devoted? Should we care that we're irritating them?

I just don't think everyone's minds are as steadfast as you suggest. In fact, I've seen some changes of heart here. Haven't you? The polls certainly show that minds can be changed.

Thanks for the post, y2karl, and for the AWOL link, too.
posted by squirrel at 7:10 PM on January 26, 2004


excellent post y2karl, keep 'em coming. for everyone else questioning the quality of this post, please find somewhere else to hang out, unless you have something of value to contribute.
posted by poopy at 7:14 PM on January 26, 2004


So who are you so desperately trying to convince here, y2karl? Yourself? Or do the throwaway cheerleader posts keep you going?

Nope, just throwing up the window and shouting I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore!

This was too hard to pass--I was railing about this only recently.
posted by y2karl at 7:15 PM on January 26, 2004


Gee, Poopy... are you saying that if we happen to not tow the party line here, we just aren't welcome anymore? That if we have the obviously bad taste to not adhere to majority opinion, we just do not belong?

Hmmm. I'm thinking of two words here. One of them is a verb and the other is a definite article. Figure it out.
posted by John Smallberries at 7:23 PM on January 26, 2004


Thank you? You're welcome!
posted by y2karl at 7:26 PM on January 26, 2004


Hmmm..."humanitarian war aims"....yeah...humane...right....for humans...uh huh...

Bring ‘em on: US troops responding to helicopter crash ambushed in Mosul.

Bring ‘em on: Iraqi policeman killed in drive-by shooting in Mosul.

Bring ‘em on: Truck carrying JSDF material attacked in Ramadi. Jordanian driver killed.

Bring 'em on: US troops under rocket attack in Kirkuk.

Bring 'em on: One Iraqi killed, three wounded by roadside bomb in Baghdad.

Patrol boat founders, US helicopter crashes in Mosul. Three US soldiers missing, two Iraqi police and Iraqi interpreter killed.

Iraqi Sunni group wants elections only after US leaves Iraq. “Sabah al-Qaisi, one of the founders of the Sunni council, told the Guardian that his members would not accept any elections organised by the US-led authority. The council, formed last month, is one of the first political groups to have emerged to represent the Sunni community since the Ba'ath party was outlawed last year. It comprises around 160 Sunni clerics, from moderates to extreme Islamists, although it cannot claim to speak for the entire community.”

Analysis: “However, it is ominous that the foundations now being laid for the future appear to contain the seeds of a civil war. Iraq is made up of three main communities, and when one group feels marginalized it starts creating problems for the whole state. This was the case in the past with the Kurds and the Shi'a, and it is the case today with the Sunnis. What the current political process lacks, and it is a lack that the proposed elections will not remedy, is an initiative to bring to-gether the representatives of the main groups to reach a new social contract to replace the old one before the elections are held. To simply call for elections and draw up a political process to hand over authority to a major religious group without a clearly defined relationship between the communities would lead to disaster. What is needed today is a political process through which the three main communities can learn to compromise with each other, accommodate differences and achieve national reconciliation - before elections are held, not after-wards.”

New strategy in Iraq. "Soldiers can't give candy to Iraqi children. It's forbidden to be 'too' friendly. It's important to look tough. That's what they are being told. The strategy in Iraq has evolved. There's no talk about hearts and minds. 'They will never like us,' says one senior officer. 'We need to move on.'"


Your interesting post has really changed my mind about this whole war thing! Do you have a newsletter that I can subscribe to?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:11 PM PST on January 26

Invitation? What Invitation? Howard Dean says Jimmy Carter asked him to church in Georgia. Carter doesn't think so. Why is Dean so worried about his lead in the last days of the Iowa Caucuse that he needs to lie?
posted on by Steve@ on Jan 19, 2004 - Go to the detail view for this result


Oh. How odd. Steve@Linnwood sure apparently thought his own little recent personal political screed and link to a four paragraph editorial in Time magazine was front page worthy.

But not this one. He doesn't like this one. No, not this post about an extensive analysis done by a respected human rights organization, a post that happens to run counter to Steve@Linnwood's fragile rationale for continuing to cheerlead for a cowardly war. And now he just wants y2karl to make it all go away, 'cause he just can't deal with it anymore. Imagine that.

Can't think why that might be....ok with his own silly post, but not ok with y2karl's excellent post....unless it's merely hypocritical tantrum time once again.... tantrum time for those unable to argue the issues. Hyposcrisy never, ever fails to amuse. Especially when the hypocrisy keeps recurring, time after time after time.

Wulfgar!, perhaps Steve was just voicing the frustration of those of us who have to wade past y2k's tired front page screeds almost daily? The members who eat this stuff up will just pat each other on the back, and the ones who don't aren't going to change their minds because of this stuff. So who are you so desperately trying to convince here, y2karl? Yourself? Or do the throwaway cheerleader posts keep you going?

This isn't the first time he's been called out for being unable to make a simple rebuttal or point, and for having yet another tantrum, or going so far as net stalking someone over some issue that challenges his worldview.

Hint: perhaps you and "Linnwood" or any of the rest of the "shut up, we just don't want to hear it and please pass more sand under which we can cover our heads" brigade could just possibly kinda maybe pretty-please think of doing exactly what Wulfgar (and many others) challenge you to do, and that is come up with a single counterpoint or rebuttal or even a marginally relevant fucking FACT on the issue presented, instead of just constantly running away in a burst of knee level wind.

Or do throwaway run-from-the-issues posts keep you going?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 7:41 PM on January 26, 2004


...happen to not tow the party line here...
I'm thinking of two words here. One of them is a verb and the other is a definite article. Figure it out.


priceless!
posted by quonsar at 7:55 PM on January 26, 2004


priceless!
posted by y2karl at 8:07 PM on January 26, 2004


"Last year's "weapons of mass destruction" are this year's "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities"? Last year's "brutal dictator" is this year's "troublesome president"?

Do you think we would have sent 500 men and women off to die to protect us from a "troublesome president" suspected of "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities"? What the hell?"
posted by specialk420 at 8:21 PM on January 26, 2004


The interview with David Kay in today's NYTimes makes it clear that the regime on its way to collapsing even without a war. Mr. Hussein had become increasingly divorced from reality during the last two years of his rule. [He] would send Mr. Aziz manuscripts of novels he was writing, even as the American-led coalition was gearing up for war.

But the best quote of the week so far comes from Krugman, who describes how the Bush administration is engaged in deficit reduction-related program activities.
posted by alms at 8:29 PM on January 26, 2004


So, philosophical question, does HRW believe that war is justified against a country that doesn't believe in human rights, if they have or are violating human rights?

Would it be okay to attack northwest Africa because they still have a slave trade; or attack both sides in a mutually genocidal war, like the Hutus and the Tutsis?
Granted, not even the US can launch a war without months of planning and good logistics, so does whatever it is have to last that long?

And nuclear proliferation: if somebody can afford nukes, says they want nukes, says they will use them when they get them, does it justify pre-emptive attack to stop them?

Does HRW believe that only "peacekeeping" is acceptable, but killing killers isn't? That is, inserting yourself between two fighting groups is okay, but if it's just one fighting group, and its victims are just victims, it isn't.

I think these are reasonable questions, and I think HRW could, and maybe has, responded to them. It would go a long way to making their argument against it having been a humanitarian concern to invade Iraq.
posted by kablam at 8:34 PM on January 26, 2004


Look, it's very simple.

Bush lied to us to benefit himself and his cronies, at the expense of the lives of some very good people.

Either you understand this, or you've had your head up your ass for the past two years.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:04 PM on January 26, 2004


So, philosophical question, does HRW believe that war is justified against a country that doesn't believe in human rights, if they have or are violating human rights?

The Standards for Humanitarian Intervention

Unusual among human rights groups, Human Rights Watch has a longstanding policy on humanitarian intervention. War often carries enormous human costs, but we recognize that the imperative of stopping or preventing genocide or other systematic slaughter can sometimes justify the use of military force. For that reason, Human Rights Watch has on rare occasion advocated humanitarian intervention—for example, to stop ongoing genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia.

Yet military action should not be taken lightly, even for humanitarian purposes. One might use military force more readily when a government facing serious abuses on its territory invites military assistance from others—as in the cases of the three recent African interventions. But military intervention on asserted humanitarian grounds without the government’s consent should be used with extreme caution. In arriving at the standards that we believe should govern such nonconsensual military action, we draw on the principles underlying our own policy on humanitarian intervention and on our experiences in applying them. We also take into account other relevant literature, including the report of the Canadian government-sponsored International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

In our view, as a threshold matter, humanitarian intervention that occurs without the consent of the relevant government can be justified only in the face of ongoing or imminent genocide, or comparable mass slaughter or loss of life. To state the obvious, war is dangerous. In theory it can be surgical, but the reality is often highly destructive, with a risk of enormous bloodshed. Only large-scale murder, we believe, can justify the death, destruction, and disorder that so often are inherent in war and its aftermath. Other forms of tyranny are deplorable and worth working intensively to end, but they do not in our view rise to the level that would justify the extraordinary response of military force. Only mass slaughter might permit the deliberate taking of life involved in using military force for humanitarian purposes.


Answer in short: Human Rights Watch will not support a military intervention unless mass slaughter is in progress. You are either dyslexic or you simply did not bother to read more than a few paragraphs.
posted by y2karl at 9:08 PM on January 26, 2004


Either you understand this, or you've had your head up your ass for the past two years.

you rock.
posted by specialk420 at 9:18 PM on January 26, 2004


I think these are reasonable questions, and I think HRW could, and maybe has, responded to them. It would go a long way to making their argument against it having been a humanitarian concern to invade Iraq.

Man, kablam, I am still reeling at your comment--that essay is an answer to every question you asked. They couldn't have laid out their position in finer detail.
posted by y2karl at 9:29 PM on January 26, 2004


What would really suck if you've got both symptoms; then you'd be a dyslexic with his head up his ass. As if reading things wasn't hard enough.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:32 PM on January 26, 2004


Well, here's a quote somewhat related to topic:

...Mr Blair told Stephens that he believed Saddam Hussein could have been ousted from power without a war if the international community had stood firm.

"I still believe actually that if we had come back together and given a proper ultimatum and an international level, we probably could have got Saddam out," he said.


That's from 'Chirac is out to get you,' UK intelligence told Blair in The Independent. Boy, I wonder if someone's going to pick that one up and run with it.
posted by y2karl at 10:05 PM on January 26, 2004


excellent post y2karl, keep 'em coming. for everyone else questioning the quality of this post, please find somewhere else to hang out, unless you have something of value to contribute

Wow. And they say metafilter only slightly leans left. Looks like it leans far enough left that you either agree with the post or find another community.

Personally, I find y2karl's daily postings interesting. The iraq war has become a cross he has chosen to carry. We all have our hobbies ya know. And war filter doesn't get enough traffic for his efforts.

And then foldy appears and all seems right with the world ;)
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:54 PM on January 26, 2004


Looks like it leans far enough left that you either agree with the post or find another community.

Or you just roll your eyes and click to the next post, which might be good.
posted by kindall at 11:26 PM on January 26, 2004


you either agree with the post or find another community.

no, find another thread. there's lots of them.
posted by quonsar at 11:34 PM on January 26, 2004


Dr. Flower! So good to hear from you! I was wondering where you had been...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:42 AM on January 27, 2004


Hey, Steve, do read Orincus's AWOL Bush: Debunked? Hardly! It's your delinquent Dubya debunker debunking portal.
posted by y2karl at 3:11 AM on January 27, 2004


Has anyone seen this item before. I'm surprised that this hasn't been brought up yet.
posted by smcniven at 5:44 AM on January 27, 2004


Steve.

I'm there for you brother.
posted by Tuatara at 6:11 AM on January 27, 2004


Despite the fact that there is a sentence on the posting page explicitly requesting that MetaFilter users not post anything about Iraq, obviously some of the lofty, sneering, socialist variety consider themselves above the rules of the website that they abuse. How unsurprising.

But I see it's been noticed.
posted by hama7 at 6:19 AM on January 27, 2004


socialists on mefi???

now I'm pissed!
posted by mcsweetie at 7:28 AM on January 27, 2004



you either agree with the post or find another community.


Yeah, you wouldn't want to have your ideas challenged or engaged or anything.
posted by ednopantz at 7:36 AM on January 27, 2004


Unless Y2K was just chumming, before degenerating into a free-for-all pissing & name-calling contest this post seemingly started out as a discussion of HRW and humanitarian issues. Iraq has many things to be concerned about, but save some of your outrage for the kidnapping and slavery in the Sudan and the worldwide sex-slavery industry.
posted by Pressed Rat at 8:09 AM on January 27, 2004


you either agree with the post or find another community.

I can't endorse this sentiment standing alone but the obvious fact must be noted: poopy was criticizing people questioning the quality of the post--not suggesting a purge.

His comment was not cheerleading for my person--poopy's called me out and, indeed, called me names in the past when I've written or posted something that annoys him.

And his point stands: it is a quality link--new and not yet seen by most of the members. Before the war began, people used Human Rights Watch's work publicizing the Halabja massacre as another reason for invasion. Invasion was justified as retroactive punishment for a crime quietly tolerated by the Reagan-Bush administration when it happened, when Saddam was our monster.

Now Human Rights Watch has spoken against this invasion-as-retroactive-punishment rationale: according to their view, Saddam was a brutal mass murderer but had not been mass murdering on a scale to justify invasion for over a decade.

I don't post trash links on this topic. People get annoyed about this more than anything--it's easy to dump on a dumb link but hard to refute a solid one. You just can't please everyone.

Steve.

I'm there for you brother.


He does have a thing for that fold_and_mutilate, doesn't he?

Well, off to my cell meeting for cookies and lemonade with my fellow Trotskyites. Afterwards we go bowling, followed with karaoke in the lounge. Arise ye sons of labor... Come on everybody, sing!
posted by y2karl at 9:46 AM on January 27, 2004


save some of your outrage for the kidnapping and slavery in the Sudan and the worldwide sex-slavery industry.

Unless it's run by Haliburton no one here cares
posted by Mick at 10:07 AM on January 27, 2004


save some of your outrage for the kidnapping and slavery in the Sudan and the worldwide sex-slavery industry.

Unless it's run by Haliburton no one here cares


Yeah, we're kinda like Unka' Dick Cheney in that regard.
posted by nofundy at 10:57 AM on January 27, 2004


Okay, now that you've justified my questions with quotes from HRW, I will confess that I am appalled by their rationales. And those of you who commented even *admit* you understand, yet you do not condemn!

Why in heaven's name do they place a higher value on national soverignty than human rights? That, and they find soldiers killing civilians more acceptable then soldiers killing other soldiers.
And I am NOT twisting their words. This is what they said.

That is the horrific internationalist agenda that they are stating: "Interference in Our Internal Affairs" as justification for any horrific inhuman atrocity: the national equivalent of "I was only following orders!"

Turks slaughtering Armenians was okay, because the Turks were "administering" Armenia at the time. The Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge were acceptable, because they were the "legitimate" government of Cambodia.

Does HRW believe that bureaucrats are "elite" enough to determine life and death? Does democracy figure into this at all, or just international recognition of whatever tyrant or junta rules a "nation" and murders its hated minorities?

Disgusting. Pretending to be humanitarians.
posted by kablam at 11:20 AM on January 27, 2004


Why in heaven's name do they place a higher value on national soverignty than human rights?

That's not their point. For one thing, military intervention could cause a lot humanitarian problems in its own right. HRW --which I surely won't defend as perfect--strives to identify and analyze situations in which human rights concerns can be addressed constructively, not to crank out the purest rhetoric. Most of the time, real humanitarian and social change is best brought about by non-military means.

I'm just one person, but I would much rather see a concerted and internationalized efforts to build civil society in failed states rather than see a crazy series of wars and installations of "lesser dictators," which is really all you can hope for when you claim to bring democracy to a country with no meaningful civil society.

and props to hama7, I haven't seen anyone called a commie for a week or so.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2004


Why in heaven's name do they place a higher value on national soverignty than human rights? That, and they find soldiers killing civilians more acceptable then soldiers killing other soldiers.
And I am NOT twisting their words. This is what they said.

That is the horrific internationalist agenda that they are stating: "Interference in Our Internal Affairs" as justification for any horrific inhuman atrocity: the national equivalent of "I was only following orders!"

Turks slaughtering Armenians was okay, because the Turks were "administering" Armenia at the time. The Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge were acceptable, because they were the "legitimate" government of Cambodia.


This is total bullshit and you know it:

In our view, as a threshold matter, humanitarian intervention that occurs without the consent of the relevant government can be justified only in the face of ongoing or imminent genocide, or comparable mass slaughter or loss of life. To state the obvious, war is dangerous. In theory it can be surgical, but the reality is often highly destructive, with a risk of enormous bloodshed. Only large-scale murder, we believe, can justify the death, destruction, and disorder that so often are inherent in war and its aftermath. Other forms of tyranny are deplorable and worth working intensively to end, but they do not in our view rise to the level that would justify the extraordinary response of military force. Only mass slaughter might permit the deliberate taking of life involved in using military force for humanitarian purposes.

By that, intervention in Turkey during the Armenian holocaust and in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge would be justifed. You didn't read it the second time either. You ARE twisting their words and you know it.

Again, from Human Rights Watch:

There were times in the past when the killing was so intense that humanitarian intervention would have been justified—for example, during the 1988 Anfal genocide, in which the Iraqi government slaughtered some 100,000 Kurds. Indeed, Human Rights Watch, though still in its infancy and not yet working in the Middle East in 1988, did advocate a form of military intervention in 1991 after we had begun addressing Iraq. As Iraqi Kurds fleeing Saddam Hussein’s brutal repression of the post-Gulf War uprising were stranded and dying in harsh winter weather on Turkey’s mountainous border, we advocated the creation of a no-fly zone in northern Iraq so they could return home without facing renewed genocide. There were other moments of intense killing as well, such as the suppression of the uprisings in 1991. But on the eve of the latest Iraq war, no one contends that the Iraqi government was engaged in killing of anywhere near this magnitude, or had been for some time. “Better late than never” is not a justification for humanitarian intervention, which should be countenanced only to stop mass murder, not to punish its perpetrators, desirable as punishment is in such circumstances.

And,

Another factor for assessing the humanitarian nature of an intervention is whether it is reasonably calculated to make things better rather than worse in the country invaded. One is tempted to say that anything is better than living under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, but unfortunately, it is possible to imagine scenarios that are even worse. Vicious as his rule was, chaos or abusive civil war might well become even deadlier, and it is too early to say whether such violence might still emerge in Iraq.

Still, in March 2003, when the war was launched, the U.S. and U.K. governments clearly hoped that the Iraqi government would topple quickly and that the Iraqi nation would soon be on the path to democracy. Their failure to equip themselves with the troops needed to stabilize post-war Iraq diminished the likelihood of this rosy scenario coming to pass. However, the balance of considerations just before the war probably supported the assessment that Iraq would be better off if Saddam Hussein’s ruthless reign were ended. But that one factor, in light of the failure to meet the other criteria, does not make the intervention humanitarian.


In simple words--invasion is justified when mass killings are under way or about to begin. Invasion is a last resort and should not be undertaken unless it clearly makes things better--not worse. The invasion of Iraq did not fit this frame for Human Rights Watch.
posted by y2karl at 11:42 AM on January 27, 2004


Time to invade North Korea.
posted by Plunge at 2:08 PM on January 27, 2004


Plunge: exactly. HRW *could* constantly and justifiably complain about NK. HRW *could* petition and lobby members of the UN to put more and more pressure on NK. HRW could even make the case for the US, or even China, for that matter, to invade and conquer NK to free its people from a horrible tyranny and restore food, at least, to its citizenry, not just exclusively to its enormous army.

But HRW spends its time and money complaining about a country that no longer has a murderous tyrant, persecuting hundreds of thousands of hated minorities, using chemical weapons against its own people, etc.

Which is like them complaining that Canada isn't liberal enough because some Canadians still use bad language and crack crude racial jokes.

[rhetorical questions]
So what, exactly is HRW trying to achieve here? Toeing the UN line that "might makes right"? Bashing the US for freeing the now-meme number of "50 million people"? Bashing the US because nobody cares unless you bash the US?

Human rights violations are terrible. Some may be justified, like executing murderers and killing soldiers that kill civilians and removing governments that engage in genocide and other inhuman practices.

Others have no justification, like ignoring terrible evil because its perpetrators don't care what you think.
posted by kablam at 3:50 PM on January 27, 2004


kablam, while I agree that HRW is somehow trying to over-simplify the duty that the strong have to the weak, I would argue that we are all implicit in this moral crime. I favored an invasion of Iraq ... in 1991. One of the reasons that GHW Bush pissed me off so very much was his cowardice in not doing so then. Many would argue that consensus wasn't approved, but it is my firm belief that he didn't order such an action because of his family ties, the ties of his wealth, to the Saudis, who didn't favor such action at the time.

That alone gives others cause to bash the US ... that its leaders will follow the profit before the concern. What confuses me are the people who will willingly deride HRW and others because they argue against the justification of an action in Iraq NOW, when they know that such action was brought by the same imperative ... profit. Forget NK, why haven't we acted against Mugabe? Why so trepidous in our reaction to Liberia? Holy and timely rightiousness against Saddam Hussein looks pretty shallow in the light of the bigger global picture.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:22 PM on January 27, 2004


Wulfgar!: okay, let's examine the US motivations. First of all, the US intervenes to prevent nuclear exchange, large or small, or its threat, proliferation.
Second, the US intervenes to prevent economic catastrophe. It can be derided by calling it "blood for oil", but that is *exactly* right. Oil that runs western civilization. Oil that we, for at least a decade or two more, *must* have. And it *is* worth it to kill or conquer to keep the supply flowing. Western civilization is worth it.
Third, other reasons to include humanitarian ones, peacekeeping one, and balance of power ones. And unlike most other nations, the US is willing to project force for humanitarianism and peacekeeping--not just small contingents that require grand consensus; but committing large numbers of our people to good causes, and fairly quickly, if we can.

The US doesn't want to see the rise of another Hitler. It doesn't like to see genocide. It doesn't like to see starvation inflicted on hated minorities by local dictators. But unlike other many other countries, we do try to stop it, not just argue and deplore in committee. The US can't do it all, though, or even take on more than one or two major problems at the same time, directly.

So the US uses many means to stop the awfulness. Lots of diplomacy. Lots of coercion. Lots of incentive, out of our own wallets. Sending food to NK, even though we know that it only goes to feed their army. We tried.

So why not Mugabe, or Liberia? In some ways they are like what HRW says, not *acute* problems, no "active" slaughter ongoing. Tactically or logistically or practically, they may not be something the US can take on, spend the money on. Strategically they may not be as important. They may not threaten their region. Lots of other reasons.

But the US does try to make change there, anyway. Not with armies, but with diplomacy (war by other means). And even if it doesn't solve the problem, it might help alleviate some of the more troubling aspects of it.
posted by kablam at 6:58 PM on January 27, 2004


The invasion of Iraq did not fit this frame for Human Rights Watch.



"In May 2001, for example, according to the U.S. Human Rights Report: "The government reportedly tortured to death the mother of three Iraqi defectors for her children's opposition activities."
According to the 2001 U.S. Human Rights Report on Iraq:

The government has for decades conducted a brutal campaign of murder, summary execution, and protracted arbitrary arrest against the religious leaders and followers of the majority Shi'a Muslim population. Despite nominal legal protection of religious equality, the government has repressed severely the Shi'a clergy and those who follow the Shi'a faith.

As in the case of other armed conflicts, Human Rights Watch thus does not support or oppose the threatened war with Iraq. We do not opine on whether the dangers to civilians in Iraq and neighboring countries of launching a war are greater or lesser than the dangers to U.S. or allied civilians - or, ultimately, the Iraqi people - of not launching one. We make no comment on the intense debate surrounding the legality of President George Bush's proposed doctrine of "pre-emptive self-defense" or the need for U.N. Security Council approval of a war.
posted by clavdivs at 7:12 PM on January 27, 2004


Others have no justification, like ignoring terrible evil because its perpetrators don't care what you think.

Could you maybe say that in English?

But HRW spends its time and money complaining about a country that no longer has a murderous tyrant, persecuting hundreds of thousands of hated minorities, using chemical weapons against its own people, etc.

Once again, HRW won't countenance retroactive invasions of countries where there were massacres and chemical weapons used--with a wink and a nod from the Reagan-Bush administration--ten years ago but Where there are not mass killings being conducted now.

Why? Because more people would die in the invasion and aftermath than would be killed by Saddam in the same time. Not ten years ago--NOW.

It's like this--Saddam is brutalizing by the scores--can we come in and kill by the thousands, and we're talking about civilian lives here, to depose him for mass killings he committed ten years ago? Not by HRW's count. Not when we kill more Iraqis than he's killing. Ten year old massacres can not be excuses for invasions--that's what they think. Else they'd insist we occupy Chile.

Plunge: exactly. HRW *could* constantly and justifiably complain about NK. HRW *could* petition and lobby members of the UN to put more and more pressure on NK.

Well, guess the fuck what? They *do*

UN Commission on Human Rights Passes Resolutions on North Korea for First Time

For the first time ever, the UN Commission on Human Rights, which was meeting in Geneva, adopted a resolution condemning abuses in North Korea and calling for access by UN and private human rights monitors. HRW pushed for this resolution over a period of months, beginning with the publication of HRW's report last November on North Korean refugees in China.

That's from HRW's North Korea section.


You are pathetic--you are so hot to make yourself right by making HRW wrong that you can't be bothered to read a word HRW wrote. No, you keep insisting they re saying something they are not, something youmake up so you can tilt at a windmill of your own device--and declare yourself the winnah... You know there's a name for this.

You are way too deep into your Tom Clancy fantasy world when you're so hot for sending other people's children to die in battle in other countries when we don't have the money or mapower for the two wars we are in now--let alone fight another war.

And same to you, plunge--invade North Korea. Hah! With whose army? We don't have the manpower. And same story goes as with kablam--where do you get off suggesting we send American kids to die in your video game wars of choice?

We're in the mess we are in now because of chickenhawk fantasies like yours and kablam's. Iraq--the stable beacon of democracy and Arab friend to Israel. What the fuck were they thinking?
posted by y2karl at 7:21 PM on January 27, 2004


Wulfgar!: okay, let's examine the US motivations. First of all, the US intervenes to prevent nuclear exchange, large or small, or its threat, proliferation.

If this were at all factual, our targets would be Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and North Korea ... not Iraq.

Second, the US intervenes to prevent economic catastrophe. It can be derided by calling it "blood for oil", but that is *exactly* right. Oil that runs western civilization. Oil that we, for at least a decade or two more, *must* have. And it *is* worth it to kill or conquer to keep the supply flowing. Western civilization is worth it.

This is a well debunked straw man. Our oil supply has not suffered from the Iraqi invasion, nor would it have suffered had we NOT invaded Iraq. The necessity of oil for western civ is not a justification for attacking Iraq now, nor an impediment to attacking Iraq in 1991, when world concience was on our side. Profitability, on the other hand ...

Third, other reasons to include humanitarian ones, peacekeeping one, and balance of power ones. And unlike most other nations, the US is willing to project force for humanitarianism and peacekeeping--not just small contingents that require grand consensus; but committing large numbers of our people to good causes, and fairly quickly, if we can.

With this I would agree, except that much of the world doesn't agree. Excercise of power is not an exhibit of strength if you frighten those you mean to aid. Shock and awe is poor international relations, wouldn't you agree?

The US doesn't want to see the rise of another Hitler. It doesn't like to see genocide. It doesn't like to see starvation inflicted on hated minorities by local dictators. But unlike other many other countries, we do try to stop it, not just argue and deplore in committee. The US can't do it all, though, or even take on more than one or two major problems at the same time, directly.

What we want and what we do are entirely different things. You speak as if there are common views of our motives. There aren't, as the HRW report affirms.

So the US uses many means to stop the awfulness. Lots of diplomacy. Lots of coercion. Lots of incentive, out of our own wallets. Sending food to NK, even though we know that it only goes to feed their army. We tried.

Couldn't agree more.


So why not Mugabe, or Liberia? In some ways they are like what HRW says, not *acute* problems, no "active" slaughter ongoing. Tactically or logistically or practically, they may not be something the US can take on, spend the money on. Strategically they may not be as important. They may not threaten their region. Lots of other reasons.

Precisely the moral relativism that causes others to distrust us, to fear us. If we can't be trusted to stand for the good in all cases (only those that threaten our profit margins) how can we be trusted as the self-proclaimed world power? What seperates us from an imperialist state if we are the ones to choose our international goals, wrongly cloaked in moral superiority? If we are self interested with our violence, than let's say so and be done. Anything else is a lie, and others are watching to call it out.

But the US does try to make change there, anyway. Not with armies, but with diplomacy (war by other means). And even if it doesn't solve the problem, it might help alleviate some of the more troubling aspects of it.

It is my fervant prayer that we follow this path more, and the path that lead us into Iraq less.
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:23 PM on January 27, 2004


And, um, clavdivs?

In sum, the invasion of Iraq failed to meet the test for a humanitarian intervention. Most important, the killing in Iraq at the time was not of the exceptional nature that would justify such intervention. In addition, intervention was not the last reasonable option to stop Iraqi atrocities. Intervention was not motivated primarily by humanitarian concerns. It was not conducted in a way that maximized compliance with international humanitarian law. It was not approved by the Security Council. And while at the time it was launched it was reasonable to believe that the Iraqi people would be better off, it was not designed or carried out with the needs of Iraqis foremost in mind.

Now, where have you seen that before?
posted by y2karl at 7:27 PM on January 27, 2004


Well, I'm just too grouchy now to stay around. S'later.
posted by y2karl at 7:52 PM on January 27, 2004


y2karl: Don't be an ass. I was just following the suggestions given in article you quoted by HWR. Following what they give as recomendations for intervention by foreign countries, North Korea is ripe for invasion. North Korea has been starving and torturing its population for a long time now.

Where will the troops come from? Well, maybe Europe if the US can't come up with enough. I mean, it is the HWR, shouldn't we follow what they say?

BTW- It damn well took them long enough to recognize this atrocity.
posted by Plunge at 9:26 PM on January 27, 2004


Lotsa people reading history by halo light. Wish I could get me one. Do they come with corporate logos? I'd like a portable one that I could wear like a gimme cap so's everything I see would be shiny and clean, and then maybe I could shave and cheer up and date a rich man's daughter.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:44 AM on January 28, 2004


It's always easy to suggest sending someone else's kids...

On a related tip: Bush Backs Away From His Claims About Iraq Arms

Such statements were important then because Mr. Bush had to convince the country and his allies that, especially in the post-Sept. 11 world, he could not wait to build a broader coalition against Mr. Hussein.

Moreover, international law has been far more forgiving of "pre-emptive war" against a country about to begin a strike of its own than it is of "preventive war" against a country that may, some day, pose a challenge to another state. That is seen more as an act of raw power than of self-defense.

posted by y2karl at 4:35 AM on January 28, 2004


This is a painful thread to read: so much stupidity and myopia. And Y2Karl: why don't you just fill up the entire FP with your text? How insecure are you?

Iraq was liberated because it was, or at least reasonably believed to be, a threat to the world. Similarly, the Cold War was fought because the Soviet Union was a threat to the US and the West; NOT because there were millions imprisioned in Soviet jails.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:51 AM on January 28, 2004


Um, Karl, are you to blind to see that i supported your (thesis) ((unoriginal and obvious as it was))

Paris is right, your data dumps are dumps. Craft something more substantial from them so us whackos can at least reply point by point.

Besides, you would not like the "real" reasons we are in Iraq.
posted by clavdivs at 8:05 AM on January 28, 2004


Take that chip off your shoulder,
Read more Guns and Ammo, cla-vy,
Remove the hair from ass, clav-y,
Take that chip off your shoulder...

posted by y2karl at 8:28 AM on January 28, 2004


done with your little jig?


but i can call you names like an insecure over the hill scared powerless man who searches to oppose (which is fine, oppose away) something that has already happened.
chip? please, your the chip master karl. I talk to you and you nah-nah which is your point. you understand when i mean to be understood or you would not post a flurry of rebuttals to my points.

"so, get up on your pony and scoot down to the general store and get some flour and corn meal cookie, git now"
posted by clavdivs at 12:42 PM on January 28, 2004


Well, back aways, in answer to Wulfgar!, oil is *not* debunked as a rationale. Your assumption is "oil on" or "oil off", like with the oil embargo of the 1970s.

However, disruptions to the oil supply, resulting in significant fluctuations of supply and cost, can cost hundreds of billions of dollars overnight--not something to be ignored. Not immense changes in supply or cost, but "marginal" ones.

(I might add that the US let the Venezuelans know, before the Gulf War 2, that it would tolerate NO stoppage or slow down of Venezuelan oil. As much as Chavez dislikes and distrusts the US (who keep trying to overthrow him), he realized the US wasn't kidding, and assured them that there would be NO problem delivering oil.)

For example, depending on the time of year, a marginal increase in oil prices could have a devastating effect. Say, just before a major winter storm front hits 2/3rds of the US, causing home heating oil to skyrocket. Hundreds of thousands of people might suddenly not be able to afford to heat their homes, just because the price rose by 25 cents a gallon. How many would that kill? As many as 9-11? Presidents have tapped the National Reserve during high demand times like this. They take it very seriously.

Then, as far as transportation goes, raising the price of diesel fuel, or again, a marginal shortage, might cause shockwaves through the entire US economy. A marginal rise in the price of diesel has a multiplying effect on prices in the US. Think of it as a VAT added at *each and every* level of production and distribution. A recession is one thing, but the idea of being forced into a depression really pisses the US off.

Yet another problem is refining. Hiccups in supply and cost open and close refineries. But once they are closed, they cannot be quickly reopened. They are also specialized, with one making jet fuel, another few making gasoline, another two making diesel. The oil companies spend tens of millions of dollars just trying to project refinery use--more gambling then mathematics. You may have lots of crude oil, but if you can't refine it...

So oil is a material essential to the US economy, yet much of it in hands that the US cannot entirely trust. AND, with Saddam, who demonstrated his willingness to destroy oilfields in Iraq and Kuwait (maybe in Saudi Arabia?), it is in some ways like a madman waving a gun at you.

*******
As to US unwillingness to invade Zimbabwe or Liberia, or that the US is hypocritical for not invading them; once again I disagree. While Iraq, Zimbabwe and Liberia are or were humanitarian disasters, Iraq was much more, it was a threat.
Not just a threat to the US, but to Israel, a nuclear power with, I suppose, few reservations about using those weapons if attacked, unless the US agrees to protect them by proxy. It is also a threat to the majority of the world's currently available oil reserves. It also threatens other Arab nations, *and* Kurds and Turkomen and Shiite and Marsh Arab minorities.
In other words, by its obnoxiousness, Iraq moves to the head of the list of countries the US would wish to change.
And, I could add, militarily *only* after many other means had been exhausted. (No, not ALL other means, that would be silly.)

So, in the final analysis, HRW complains about the US war against Iraq because *some* in the US and Europe might agree with them, despite the pettiness of the charge. And while they may complain to the UN that NK must be stopped, why not specifically request that the US do the stopping? The US would be the one, unless China does it, so why not go to the source? The UN has proven itself impotent and immobile in the past, why expect anything better from it in the future.
posted by kablam at 3:43 PM on January 28, 2004


you understand when i mean to be understood

Not true. The admission in passing that you write gibberish intentionally at times is noteworthy, but apart from the maggoty rancor--name calling is the one and only transmission always wholly in the clear--and the pitiful I have R3FutOrzed you's, you don't make sense. I'm sorry to have made fun of you but, aside from the exceptions above, you really don't make much sense. Seriously.
posted by y2karl at 8:51 PM on January 28, 2004


I'm sorry karl.
by the way, are you not a pacificist. I recall you saying something about that a ways a back. Pacifism is good, don't (get) me wrong. The question is, why are you so aggressive towards something you cannot control. Ah, I may be wrong, you may not be a pacifist.

so look forward to my visiting your posts and you can play hide the answers.
posted by clavdivs at 9:21 AM on January 29, 2004


A one vigilante posse ready to leap on any awkward phrase--and you, John Q. Incomprehensible, of all people! What chutzpah!--and construct a straw man to defeat with pure gibberish. Oh, you poor pitiful stalker.
posted by y2karl at 8:14 PM on January 29, 2004


A roller coaster of hope and dread, satire and horror, the 14th HRWIFF presents stories that alternate between the two. Not only are these elements a smart way to structure a movie, the oppositions reveal the purpose of Human Rights Watch: to expose injustice and then try to do something about it.
posted by clavdivs at 7:46 AM on January 30, 2004


I talk to you and you nah-nah which is your point

Did I say gibberish?
posted by y2karl at 9:47 AM on February 1, 2004


On topic: Juan Cole disagreed with HRW's report:

I deeply disagree with the way the Bush administration pursued the war against Iraq. The hyping of unfounded 'intelligence,' the backroom deals with corrupt or authoritarian expatriates, the spying on the UNSC
ambassadors and then the discarding of them, the disregard for the United Nations Charter, the undermining of international law and the law of occupation--all of these steps and policies made our world so much more shoddy and dangerous and mistrustful.

That said, I simply must disagree with HRW and Mr. Roth that there were no humanitarian grounds for such a war. I believe that what Saddam was doing to the Marsh Arabs from the mid-1990s could legitimately qualify as a genocide. Likewise, the Anfal campaign against the Kurds. Although the latter was carried out some years ago, the former had been recent and ongoing. Moreover, there is not in most legal systems any statute of limitations on murder, so I am not sure why there should be one on genocide or mass murder.


In short, I believe that the United Nations Security Council was obliged to remove Saddam Hussein from power on the basis of egregious violations of the UN Convention on Genocide.

The proper way for the Bush administration to have proceeded was to apply to the UNSC under Article 8 of the convention.

"Article 8 Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they
consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3."

In so saying, I do not mean to give the Bush administration a pass on its behavior, since vigilanteism is not the same as lawful prosecution. Bush lynched Saddam, when in fact his regime should have been put on trial and
removed by the Security Council.

I do not believe most Iraqis would agree with HRW on this one, and
they are the ones who had to live with that regime.

He is right about the Marsh Arabs. I agree with most of his points but while, morally speaking, there should be no statute of limitations on genocide, it could be argued that, practically speaking, one could make the case for invading the US for what it did to the Native Americans in the 19th Century, as well any number of nations in the world today for similar atrocities committed in the past. At any rate, the invasion was sold on the threat of the nonexistent WMDS--not Saddam's genocide against the Marsh Arabs. It was sold as part of the War on Terror.

As HRW noted, Intervention was not motivated primarily by humanitarian concerns. It was not conducted in a way that maximized compliance with international humanitarian law. It was not approved by the Security Council. And while at the time it was launched it was reasonable to believe that the Iraqi people would be better off, it was not designed or carried out with the needs of Iraqis foremost in mind.
posted by y2karl at 11:29 AM on February 1, 2004


one could make the case for invading the US for what it did to the Native Americans in the 19th Century

true i suppose. but the genocidial actions of the British and the French should also be factored in to your supposition because they controled the continent (for the most part) before the United States. You said 19th Century. ok, that is the the united states action of genocide.

but do the Brits and french get a free pass from this invasion for what they did to the native americans?

...not Saddam's genocide against the Marsh Arabs.

So Saddam ordered the marshes drained. Using a blueprint drafted by the British in the 1950s as an irrigation bypass, the regime dug new rivers and built dams and levees to divert water around the lowlands.

maybe this had something to do with the silence.
posted by clavdivs at 11:59 AM on February 1, 2004


As desperate and incomprehensible as ever.
posted by y2karl at 2:04 PM on February 1, 2004


really?
hmmm, and some theoretical invasion of the U.S. is even debatable?

you have shown time and time again your dismissal of anything that challenges your assertions.

As I said before, while American-citizen Moslems are a very moderate bunch, as a whole, their Imams are mostly Wahabbi-trained and far more radical.

This is undocumentable wishful thinking. At best. Googling Wahabi trained American imans led first to Little Green Footballs---a source of assertions as "credible" as yours which deserve the same "respect" and "consideration".
posted by y2karl at 1:13 PM PST on February 2


Another Saudi-financed group, the North American Islamic Trust controls most mosques in the United States, the report said. The group was said to have aided in the construction of between 50 and 79 percent of the mosques in North America.

can you understand that karl?
posted by clavdivs at 8:03 PM on February 2, 2004


Paraphrased, your comment above was But What about the French and English? Oh you, said, 19th Century. Well, anyway, what about the French and English? Then you provide a link buttressing Juan Cole's comment about the Marsh Arabs. Then you write maybe this had something to do with the silence. You make no sense.

Then you come and comment here again and bring up a side topic from another thread entirely !

As to the quote you provide - Mosques are buildings. Imans are clerics. Thank you for your time and attention.

You have a problem. Seriously. Can you understand that, my little stalker?
posted by y2karl at 12:23 AM on February 3, 2004


what do you mean karl. I have no idea what you mean. I tried to
never mind, you go have little fantasies about the country be invaded one could make the case for invading the US for what it did to the Native Americans in the 19th Century

because to even posit that is work of
an idiot. your as stupid as obfuscating.

see, i mirror you, guess it works karl.
have a fun day.

and if i am a stalker, your a terrorist.
posted by clavdivs at 7:33 AM on February 3, 2004


You, a guy who usually can't or won't be bothered to write a simple clear sentence obeying the rules of spelling and grammar known to the average sixth grader--because to even posit that is work of an idiot. your as stupid as obfuscating.--try to bust me for a simple turn of phrase.

Now that is chutzpah.

You are so desperate to prove me wrong on anything that you are grasping at straws and getting nastier and nastier in the process. Being that you are another brave soul with no email listed--I have to ask you here again: Why am I so important to you?

That's what's coming across here.

Well, I am sorry that your feelings are hurt but, point in fact, I do have an email listed. If you're so pissed off at me, feel free to abuse me in private. I won't even write back. God, you are making such a fool of yourself that I'm getting embarrassed by your self-inflicted humiliation here.
posted by y2karl at 12:15 PM on February 3, 2004


could you repeat that?
posted by clavdivs at 6:46 AM on February 4, 2004


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