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Leader
28 Nov 04,, 10:02
Why We Are In Iraq
By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 26, 2004


(This speech was given at Georgetown University on October 14, 2004 and broadcast on C-Span. It has been edited for inclusion on FrontPagemag.com -- The Editors)

My subject tonight is one that nobody really wants to talk about because nobody is really ready to confront it. It is what I call the "unholy alliance" between radical Islam and the American left, and its effect on the politics of the Democratic Party. My theme, in part, was announced by Osama bin Laden himself in one of his fatwas on al-Jazeera TV. On February 14, 2003 -- about six weeks before troops from the United States and Britain entered Iraq, bin Laden said: "The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders."

He was referring to the fact that, four weeks earlier, millions of leftists had poured into the streets of Europe's capitals and also into the streets of Washington and San Francisco and New York. Their goal was to prevent the United States and Britain from toppling Saddam Hussein. They chanted "no blood for oil"; they called the United States "the world's greatest terrorist state"; they called the American government an "Axis of Evil"; and they compared the American president to Adolph Hitler.

Of the two groups that organized the anti-Iraq protests, one was International ANSWER, a front group for the Worker's World party, which is a Marxist-Leninist party aligned with the Communist dictatorship in North Korea. The other -- a group the New York Times described as "moderate" -- was the Coalition United for Peace and Justice. It was led by Leslie Cagan, a veteran 60's leftist and pro-Castro enthusiast and a member of the Communist Party until after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Coalition itself was composed of organizations that ranged from the Communist Party to Muslim supporters of the terrorists' jihad.

When the leftist protesters in America failed to save Saddam Hussein, they marched their activist troops into the Democratic presidential primary campaigns to support the candidacies of anti-war Democrats. In particular, they supported Howard Dean, who condemned America's war in Iraq and hinted that, if elected, he would make peace at the earliest possible opportunity and withdraw American forces. It was the left's rear guard attempt to produce the result that their protests had failed to accomplish: an American defeat in Iraq. With the resources of the left squarely behind him, Howard Dean was propelled to the front of the presidential pack until his nomination appeared so inevitable that just prior to the Iowa caucuses he was anointed by the titular heads of the Democratic Party, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. So leftist had the Party become.

The moment the prospect of Dean's nomination became real, however, Democrats in the Party's hierarchy and their allies in the national media collectively flinched. The radical tone of the candidate -- not so much his agenda, which a majority had clearly been willing to embrace – caused many to wonder if a nominee so overtly radical was actually electable. Within the space of a few weeks, the decision was made by editorialists, commentators, Party leaders and Party caucuses that Howard Dean simply could not be elected. The Democrats turned to a different candidate, one who had been for the war but had spoken against it under pressure from Dean's skyrocketing campaign.

One of the troubling aspects of John Kerry's candidacy was how his views on the war changed under the pressure of the polls. Here was a man who spoke in detail and at length in support of the use of force in Iraq and reversed his position on the basis of opinion polls. Here was a man who had launched his candidacy as a supporter of the war he had voted to authorize -- indeed, as a supporter of the war that had come under attack from the left. Yet when he saw the velocity of the Dean candidacy and contemplated the prospect of losing the nomination, he was willing to abandon his beliefs and join the opposition camp. On a matter of war and peace affecting the security of 300 million Americans and many millions more around the world, Kerry was willing to betray what he knew and what he had himself supported to advance his presidential ambitions.

Since I will make many negative observations about the behavior of Democrats in the War on Terror tonight, let me take a moment to honor a Democrat who didn't do that. I speak of Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman is -- or should be -- a Democratic hero. He was the vice-presidential nominee in the election. He should have been the presidential nominee in this one. Senator Lieberman is a man of principle who understood how vital it was to the security of the United States to take down Saddam Hussein. He did not waver from this vision and was willing to sacrifice his presidential ambitions for principle -- for the security of 300 million Americans.

Patriotism and Treason

Before proceeding further, there are certain issues I need to discuss that float beneath the surface of our political conversation and are rarely directly addressed, thus having a powerful effect. I am speaking of the issues embedded in terms like "patriotism," and "treason," as well as the matter of what constitutes legitimate criticism of American foreign policy, particularly in a time of war.

To listen to the left, you would think that conservatives are just waiting to charge anyone who criticizes the President's war policy with borderline treason and worse. Liberal complaints would lead one to suspect that John Ashcroft's agents can't wait for an opportunity to indict any leftist who steps verbally out of line. Let's introduce a grain of reality here. In the first place, if the charge of "treason" is really an issue, Democrats are clearly the preemptive aggressors. Al Gore has already called the President a traitor, while President Bush hasn't even mentioned Gore's name. So far, the Democrats' attacks on Bush are that he lied to the American people and misled them into war; and that he is sacrificing American youth to line the pockets of his cronies at Halliburton. These are accusations of treason. And there is almost nobody on the left, high or low, who hasn't made them in some fashion or another.

In the second place, the fact is that nobody in America takes treason very seriously anymore -- and hasn't for a long time. In 50 years, no one has been charged with treason in the United States, not since Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally were tried for broadcasting enemy propaganda to American troops during WWII. Not the Rosenbergs, who stole atomic secrets for the Soviet Union; not Jane Fonda, who in the precise manner of the aforementioned traitors went on enemy radio in the midst of a war and called on our soldiers to defect, denouncing them as war criminals at the same time. Fonda also collaborated with the Communist torturers of American POWs. Nor were spies like Aldrich Ames, or defectors like John Walker Lindh – who fought with the Taliban against his own country -- ever charged with treason. So let's not pretend there is any real threat in the word "treason" that would serve to chill the criticism of current foreign policy. If there were, Michael Moore would be in jail instead of being on the short list for an Academy Award. When leftists complain that their patriotism is being questioned to stifle their criticism, the claim is little more than a red herring designed to stop others from thinking about issues that affect our national security, implicit in the positions they are supporting.

Not only is treason not taken seriously these days, Republicans have been extraordinarily polite in confronting their accusers over grave matters of war and peace. Thus the President in the first presidential debate chided John Kerry for attacking the war in Iraq as "the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time." That "confuses" people, the President said, and it's is no way to lead a nation that is engaged in a war, whether you like the war or not. Well, it actually does more than confuse people. If you are 19 and in Fallujah, being fired on by terrorists, and the leader of the Democratic Party who is within a hair's breadth of being your President says you shouldn't be there at all, it does more than confuse you. It demoralizes you. It saps your will to fight. It gets you killed. The reckless nature of the Democratic attacks on this war are getting Americans killed. That is a subject that the refusal to discuss issues of loyalty and patriotism and the proper tone of criticism when the nation is at war has the effect of suppressing. But Republicans are too polite to raise it.

Treason is really not that difficult to define. Treason is when your country is at war and you want the other side to win. (Of course, to be legally guilty of treason you have to commit overt acts. What I want to focus on, however, is the moral attitude of treason, which can -- but does not necessarily have to -- lead to such acts.)

Are there such people in America? Michael Moore comes to mind. Moore is on record saying that the terrorists in Iraq who are beheading our citizens and are killing our soldiers are "not terrorists." According to Moore, they are "patriots" and -- in his words -- "they will win." Michael Moore is rooting for the enemy. That's just a fact. But what are the consequences? Treason has made Michael Moore rich. Moore has rooted for the enemy all his life - in the Cold War, and now in the War on Terror, without adverse effect on his career and fortune. In fact the opposite could be said to be true.

And so have the leaders of the so-called peace demonstrations opposing the war. These national "mobilizations" were organized and led by activists who rooted for the Communist enemy in the Cold War, and then marched to undermine America's effort and to save Saddam Hussein in the War on Terror. It should be self-evident that these are not people for whom "peace" is a high priority. There were no demonstrations at the Iraqi embassy to get Saddam to disarm, just as there were no demonstrations against the genocide the Communists carried out in Indo-China after America withdrew. The priority of the leftists who organized the anti-war demonstrations during Vietnam and the anti-war demonstrations with respect to Iraq is the same: whatever the war, America should lose.

I have followed Michael Moore for many years, ever since the 1980s when he was fired from his position as editor of the leftwing magazine Mother Jones. The act that triggered Moore's firing was that he censored an article about Nicaragua by the socialist Paul Berman because it was mildly critical of the Sandinista dictatorship. Moore was too much of a Stalinist even for the leftists at Mother Jones. As a Marxist who believes that America is an imperialist leviathan run by evil corporations, Michael Moore is a self-conceived enemy of America. Michael Moore denies that there is a War on Terror. Of course he does. In his eyes, America is an aggressor responsible for the attacks upon itself. America is the root cause of the War on Terror. This is the view shared by many people on the political left and by most of the people who marched in the "anti-war"
demonstrations. This is their credo. It is what they believe.

Understand now where we are as a nation in the middle of this presidential election. Michael Moore's famous and widely viewed film, Farenheit 911, presents Iraq as a peaceful, even idyllic country cruelly invaded by a callous and deceitful invader, which is us. The opening of this anti-American propaganda film was attended by the leader of the political opposition, Terry McAuliffe, and by senators Clinton, Daschle, and Harkin, among many other celebrating Democrats. You can see how far we have slipped morally in this country, when the leaders of one its two great parties regard any attack on the sitting commander-in-chief as legitimate and don't take our enemies seriously.

If you really think about the issue of "treason," you will realize that it doesn't really end with the label itself, which is why the defensiveness of the left over the use of the term to describe actual traitors is disingenuous and just bad faith. When pressed on the issue, leftists will be the first to point out that our founders, after all, were traitors, too; that it was Benjamin Franklin who famously said, "If this be treason, let's make the most of it." In America, the founding principles form the nation first, and only secondarily the ties of blood and soil. If America is indeed the greatest terrorist state, as Moore and his leftist friends proclaim, if America is an imperialist monster, then America has betrayed its founding principle of liberty. And if that is the case, loyalty to America would demand that a true patriot commit acts of treason in order to keep the American faith. Loyalty to humanity is treason to America. This is the code that leftists like Michael Moore consciously live by.

To get a proper perspective on the issue of treason in an American context you have to first decide in your own minds whether this nation has really betrayed its founding and is worthy of destruction. If it is, then you can embrace Michael Moore and join the political left, and be comfortable with your choice. If it isn't, you'd better think twice about what they are up to.

Dissent Over The War

Let's turn now to the issue of legitimate criticism in the framework of a democracy. It should go without saying that of course it is legitimate to criticize any policy that government proposes. That is what democracy means. There is no policy that is beyond criticism, not even war policy.

But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.

In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.

Before the fighting started in Iraq, some critics voiced a concern that an armed intervention would cause the "Arab street" to erupt and inflame the Muslim world. Such a criticism was voiced by Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Adviser in the previous Bush Administration. It was obviously made from legitimate concerns for America's security and (it may be said) a substantial amount of the criticism of the war in Iraq is based on similar concerns. Scowcroft's attack on the President's policy was a harsh criticism. He said that under no circumstances should the President go to war over Iraq. But it was obvious that Scowcroft's criticism was made from legitimate concerns about America's security, concerns which proved wrong when Saddam was toppled in the swiftest and least costly victory on historical record, and without the consequences that Scowcroft imagined.

A large part of the criticism of the war, however, has been made on grounds that have nothing to do with American security. Often, it's voiced in such a way (and to such a reckless degree) as to undermine that security. It was quite another thing, for example, when the war was won, for leftist critics to launch an all-out attack on the Commander-in-Chief by calling him a liar and the war a "fraud." It is quite another thing to make these unfounded charges when our troops are still in Iraq and still in harms way, and Saddam's allies like the French are drumming up world opinion against us. It is quite another thing, in these circumstances, to say that the President lied to the American people and sent our troops to die under false pretenses. When this is done by people who supported the war it is an even more egregious betrayal. Yet that is what leaders of the Democratic Party did within two months of the liberation of Baghdad, most shamefully among them Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, but also John Edwards and Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, and of course Howard Dean.

These charges are quite different from legitimate criticism in a time of war. These attacks incite Americans to distrust and hate their own Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a conflict in which the troops under his command -- our troops -- were dying and while our country was under attack. To portray Iraq -- a country which had invaded two sovereign nations and in which a million people had been murdered -- as Michael Moore did in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, as an idyllic place into which American marauders intruded under false pretenses using their advanced technologies to blow innocent and "defenseless" people to bits is no longer criticism. It is an attack that serves to undermine the authority and credibility of the Commander-in-Chief, sabotage the nation's war on terror, and soften us up for the kill. This is no longer criticism, nor is it intended as such. It is intended to as a war within the war, directed at us -- all of us, Democrat and Republican alike, whose security it threatens.

In sum, there is criticism whose intention is to help us defend ourselves, and there is criticism whose intention is weaken and ultimately destroy us. The latter is directed at the war effort by leftists like Michael Moore.

In the real world, of course, these matters are not so easily resolved. There is an irreducible gray area when it comes to all criticism. Thus, there are incidents that are common to all wars that are regrettable and that can be exploited by the unscrupulous if they so choose. The criminal offenses at Abu Ghraib is one example. As war atrocities go -- as the atrocities committed by our enemies in this war go -- the incidents at Abu Ghraib were minor, an isolated series of indefensible but unrepresentative acts by low-level operatives. Still, we hold ourselves to higher standards than our enemies (and most of our friends) and concern was therefore in order. But when Abu Ghraib was inflated into a major atrocity that appeared on the front page of the New York Times for fifty days running and was compared by a leading senator to Saddam Hussein's own torture chambers, something else was going on. This have been just an atrociously irresponsible effort to topple a sitting President. But its clear effect was to undermine the American leadership and sabotage the war itself, and the security of all Americans was diminished in the process.

Some people will recklessly exaggerate America's deficiencies -- even in the midst of a war -- in pursuit of political power; others may do it out of habitual complacency. It hasn't really registered to them that we are in the war. Even after 9/11, they continue to think that America cannot be vulnerable. They haven't absorbed what those attacks revealed. In their thinking, America is still a free country and you can say anything you want. And you can. But saying anything you want will have consequences in the midst of a war with terrorists who want to kill you and are convinced that they will go to heaven if they do and have access to weapons of mass murder. It is my mission tonight to remind you of this.

The War Was Not About WMDs

Let's look at the nature of this war. In the first place, it is a war whose aims and purposes make it very hard to understand how anybody who believes in human rights, who believes in women's rights, who believes in equality and freedom, could be against it. In four years, George Bush has liberated nearly 50 million people in two Islamic countries. He has stopped the filling of mass graves and closed down the torture chambers. He has encouraged the Iraqis and the people of Afghanistan to begin a political process that will give all of them, and particularly women, rights they have not enjoyed in 5,000 years. How can you not support this war?

In the second place, the rationale for this war was not about stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction - a fact that half the nation under the impact of Democratic misleadership seems to have missed. This misunderstanding about the rationale for the war was the product of calculated political intended to unseat a president, but with grave fallout for the credibility and security of the nation itself. This distortion is the basis for most of the attacks on the war in Iraq.

Before addressing this issue, it is important to remember that the Democrats who are now in full-throated opposition to this war and to the President leading it actually supported the war and authorized it in the first place. The "Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq" was a resolution passed by both the House and the Senate, with Democratic as well as Republican majorities.

A congressional resolution to authorize the use of force was something that Bill Clinton never even sought when he went to war in Kosovo. This was a constitutional oversight that didn't bother Democrats at the time or since, which shows how partisan and indefensible is this aspect of their critique of the war in Iraq. The Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq that President Bush did seek and obtain in October 2002 has a total of 23 clauses. These 23 clauses spell out the rationale for the war. I invite you to go on the web and read the clauses. Out of all 23 clauses, I found only two that even mention stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. What the clauses do stress - twelve of them, by my count - are U.N. resolutions that Saddam ignored or defied.

These resolutions were passed by the majority of the nations who comprise the United Nations Security Council because Saddam Hussein invaded two countries - Iran and then Kuwait, and used chemical weapons on his own people. In passing, let me note that America's participation in the Iran/Iraq war has also been tremendously distorted by the political left in its effort to undermine American security and cause us to lose the war on terror. So let it be said that yes, we provided intelligence and some weapons to Iraq (most of their weapons came from the Soviet Union). That was to prevent Iran from winning the war, not because we were friends of Saddam Hussein or approved what he was doing, as leftists like Michael Moore and Norman Mailer and others have insinuated. It was Iran's radical Islamic government that launched the Muslim jihad against the West and coined the term "Great Satan" with which to label us. Iran has three times the population of Iraq. It was a prudent policy, therefore, to tilt to Saddam in order to prevent radical Islamists from conquering Iraq as well and controlling the Gulf and its oil. That's what our participation in this war was about, and it is just another slander of an America that is under attack to say that we "supported" Saddam Hussein. This is just one more leftist way of saying that America is an "outlaw" power and thus that there can be no moral basis for our war against Saddam.

We went to war with Saddam Hussein in 1991 to force him out of Kuwait, which his invading armies had swallowed. At the end of the war, there was no peace treaty, merely a truce that left Saddam in place. The truce was sealed by the first two of the 17 U.N. resolutions that Saddam eventually violated. These were UN resolutions 687 and 689 and they set established the conditions by which we - who were still technically at war with Saddam - would allow him to remain in power. These resolutions instructed Saddam to disarm and to stop his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. The fifteen subsequent resolutions, which Saddam defied, were to reinforce these two.

How do we know he had programs for developing weapons of mass destruction? Because he had gassed the Kurds. Because his own brother-in-law who was in charge of his nuclear weapons program defected and told us he did. Because we sent UN inspectors into Iraq under the UN Resolutions and they located his weapons of mass destruction and destroyed the ones they found. The UN resolutions -- backed by the armed power of the United States – partially worked. But only partially, and only for awhile. Saddam was forced to stop the programs the UN inspectors discovered, and he was forced to stop repressing the ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, as the UN resolutions required. But without an occupying army in Iraq, the forces of international law and order were unable to hold him to these agreements or to enforce the resolutions and the sanctions that accompanied them. With the help of France, Russia and China, Saddam obstructed the inspectors and evaded the resolutions until finally, in 1998, he threw the U.N. inspectors out altogether. This was an act of war in itself. Saddam had broken the truce.

When Saddam threw the UN weapons inspectors out, Bill Clinton fired 450 missiles into Iraq (more than the United States fired into Iraq in the entire Gulf War) and got Congress to authorize an Iraqi Liberation Act, which passed by an overwhelming majority in both parties. But despite its name, the Iraqi Liberation Act only asked for authorization to provide military help to Iraqis trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It didn't call for an American Army to do the job. Bill Clinton understood the grave threat that Saddam Hussein presented to international peace and thought Saddam should be removed and said so, because Saddam had broken the truce. Without the restrictions the truce imposed, he was a clear and present danger to his neighbors and to the world. But Bill Clinton didn't send an army to do the job, because in 1998 he was too busy with an intern and was unable to perform his duties as Commander-in-Chief.

In 1998, Bill Clinton at least understood, as John Kerry and Tom Daschle and Al Gore also did at the time, that Saddam Hussein had violated international law and was a threat to the peace. He was an aggressor twice over. He had shown that he was determined to circumvent the UN inspections and the arms control agreements he had signed. It was clear to all – that is, to every intelligence agency in the world -- that Saddam was determined to break the UN sanctions and to develop weapons of mass destruction if he could. Why would Saddam throw the U.N. inspectors out if it weren't his intention to build weapons of mass destruction and use them? (The famous Duelfer report says that in fact it was.)

Saddam expressed his loathing for the United States in innumerable ways, among them an attempt to assassinate the President and the distinction of being the only head of state to celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center after 9/11. Despite leftwing claims to the contrary, there were in fact major links between international terrorists, including al-Qaeda and the Saddam regime. You can read about them in Stephen Hayes' book, The Connection, which shows the relations between the government of Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the major world terrorist organizations. Among other gestures to the Islamic jihad, Saddam had inserted into the Iraqi flag the proclamation "Allahu Akhbar." Saddam did not adopt the mantra of Islamic martyrs because he had a religious revelation. He did it because Islamic terrorists had adopted the slogan as their war cry and Saddam wanted to join their war.

The Necessity of War

Standing between Saddam and his malevolent ambitions in the fall of 2002 was the uncertain power of the United States. It was uncertain because the first Bush administration had failed to remove him at the end of the Gulf War and the Clinton Administration was too paralyzed by ideology and circumstances to act when the need to repair the mistake became unavoidable. Clinton fired hundreds of missiles into Iraq, but you can't impress a tyrant like Saddam Hussein merely by firing missiles from the air. You have to send in the marines and take control of his outlaw state. After his defeat in the Gulf War, a still-defiant Saddam boasted that America can fight a Cold War, but America can't take ten thousand casualties. After America's humiliation in Somalia in 1993, Osama Bin Laden said nearly the same thing: America can fight a Cold War but not a hot war. When confronted by Islamic warriors, America will turn and run.

In Saddam's eyes, we were ultimately a paper tiger. This is perhaps the main cause of his miscalculations that led to the second Gulf War. But that is, in fact, what we were until 9/11 -- a power that had been unable to put an army in the field for more than four days since 1973. On September 11, 2001, the world changed. It changed because the perceptions of an American president changed. President Bush understood that this act carried out against us was a declaration of war. He understood that the world we live in is a world in which terrorists who are supported by terrorist states like Saddam Hussein's can get access to resources, including chemical, biological, and soon nuclear weapons, which they can smuggle into the United States and use to do incalculable damage. America could not wait for such an attack to respond to the threat that these regimes represented. The consequences were unacceptable. Therefore, America had to strike before the threat became imminent. It had to act to promote democracy in the Muslim world or risk the creation of regime's like Saddam's which constituted a permanent threat to its own security and peace. That is the Bush doctrine. It was to engage the war that had been declared against us by the terrorists and the regimes -- Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea, and others -- that "harbored" them.

If you doubt the wisdom of this policy, stop for a moment and ask yourself whether in fact George Bush's policies have protected you since 9/11. Think about it this way: On 9/12/2001 nobody in this room or in this television audience would have bet one dime that we would not be attacked in this country for three more years. Why is that? It is because we all know we cannot defend ourselves against a determined terrorist enemy. And that is because we all know we have no borders. We have 11 million people who have illegally entered the United States and we don't know who they are or where they are. Of these illegal aliens, 100,000 are estimated to be from terrorist states in the Middle East. Ours is a relatively open society, and we have "soft targets" too numerous to count. The only reason we haven't been attacked in this country since 9/11 is because George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have taken the war to the enemy camp.

George Bush recognized that the only defense in a war like this that has a chance of working is an offense. The Bush Administration has taken out three-quarters of al-Qaeda's soldiers and kept the rest of the terrorists off balance and on the run. And that is why they haven't attacked us. It's not just al-Qaeda we are fighting, by the way. We are fighting radical Islam -- the Zarqawis, the Zawaheris, Hamas, Hizbollah and Palestine Islamic Jihad among others -- and they are all off balance because we are on the offensive.

In their attacks on the President, opponents of the war and even Democratic leaders who once knew better have said that Iraq was "no threat." But if Iraq was no threat, why was Afghanistan a threat? Afghanistan is a much poorer country than Iraq. It doesn't have the oil. It wasn't about to make a deal with North Korea to buy nuclear weapons "off the shelf," as Saddam was when the United States troops crossed his borders. So why was Afghanistan a threat? It was a threat because it gave the terrorists a base, and from that base they were able to deliver a devastating blow to the United States.

Since Afghanistan was a threat, obviously Iraq was a bigger threat, but so was Iran. Some sophists on the left want to know why we didn't attack Iran or North Korea. These are the same people, mind you, who are arguing that our attack on Iraq was illegitimate, illegal. There challenge is made in bad faith, but I will answer it. The difference between North Korea and Iraq is that as bad as North Korea is, it is not part of the Islamic jihad, which includes al-Qaeda and Hamas and which Saddam Hussein had joined ($74 billion from the Oil-for-Food funds that Saddam stole, with the help of top UN officials, went directly to finance Hamas, for example). The difference between Iran and Iraq is that we were actually at war with Iraq and had been since 1991. Didn't you notice that our air force was flying daily missions over the "No-Fly Zones" in Iraq in order to prevent Saddam Hussein from dropping poison gas on the Kurds? For ten years, we were in a "low-intensity" war with Iraq to keep Saddam within the restrictions created by the UN resolutions. This war failed to accomplish its task, which is why we went to a larger war to finish the job.

The Duelfer Report, made after Saddam's removal, concludes that Saddam Hussein had one overriding agenda, which was to remove the UN sanctions, remove the UN inspectors, and resume his programs to build weapons of mass destruction. That is what the war was about. After 9/11, George Bush saw that Iraq was out of control and therefore a menace. He told Saddam, "You are part of an 'Axis of Evil' and you are in defiance of the truce agreements of 1991. You had better comply with the terms of the truce you signed, with the U.N. resolutions, and disarm, and open your borders to UN inspectors and give up your ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction -- or else." The first of these ultimatums was delivered to Saddam in the "Axis of Evil" address on the State of the Union in January 2002. That was more than a year before we actually went to war.

When Senator Kerry says the United States "rushed to war," the question that comes to mind is: What in the world is he talking about? Shortly after George Bush put Saddam on notice in January 2002, Al Gore gave the first foreign policy address he had made since the election of 2000. In this speech, Gore praised Bush for identifying Iraq as one of the components of an axis of evil. He noted that Bush had come under criticism for making such statement, and he wanted to support the President's decision to do so. Saddam's regime was, in fact, evil and a threat to the peace. Gore said America had to do whatever was necessary to deal with the threat that Saddam represented, even if we had to do it alone and without our allies' approval.

Shame on Al Gore for betraying his own vision over Iraq and for risking American lives to do so. Shame on the entire leadership of the Democratic Party for betraying a war it had signed onto, just to make a political gain. Shame on them for misleading the Americans who trusts their word in matters of national policy and national security. Shame on them for damaging America's security in the process. Whatever the outcome of this election, the Democratic Party has sacrificed the safety of 300 million Americans for political gain. Shame on them for that.

There was no rush to war. In September 2002, six months before the war, the President went to the UN and said that UN must enforce its resolutions on Iraq or become "irrelevant." If the UN Security Council was not up to meeting its obligations to enforce its own resolutions and defend the peace, the United States intended to do so for them. The United States had already begun sending troops to the Gulf, which immediately caused Saddam to readmit the UN inspectors. In these months, the American president said more than once to Saddam: "You will disarm, or we will disarm you." This was not a rush to war, but a very deliberate march to a moment of truth in which Saddam's intentions would be tested a final time: disarm; open your borders to unobstructed UN inspections -- or else.

In October, following his UN appearance, the President went to Congress and got the authorization he needed to use force against Iraq if Saddam persisted in the course of evasion and obstruction he had pursued for more than a decade. The vote was 77 to 23 in the Senate, and received majorities on both sides of the aisle. On November 9 the President got the unanimous vote of the security council, 15 to 0, behind Resolution 1441, which said to Saddam: "You will disarm, and you will show that you have disarmed by making a comprehensive report on your weapons of mass destruction 'or serious consequences' will follow." The deadline for compliance was set for thirty days from then.

I have read the Chief UN Weapons Inspector's book, Disarming Iraq. Hans Blix is a Swedish leftist who, by his own admission, was against the war under any circumstances. But in his book he clearly states that UN resolution 1441 was diplomatic language for an ultimatum of war. The deadline for Saddam's compliance was December 7, 2002. On that date, Saddam Hussein delivered a 12,000 page report that was smoke and mirrors. In his book, Hans Blix himself says that it was smoke and mirrors, that the information submitted was from deceptive reports that Saddam had submitted in the past, that thousands of weapons were unaccounted for, and that it did not in fact fulfill the requirements the Security Council had laid down.

At this point, the question must be asked: How many times can the United Nations -- and more importantly, the United States -- say to Saddam Hussein, "You must do this or else?" and have no consequences follow? If there is never an "else," the entire fabric of international law is revealed as a sham. If there is never an "else," who will take the word of the UN seriously, ever? More importantly, who will respect the word of the United States? If the word of the United States cannot be taken seriously, the only way remaining to deter a future threat will be to go to war. Not acting on UN resolution 1441 would show contempt for international law (as Prime Minister Tony Blair pointed out to the French) and would increase the chances of future wars, much more deadly in their consequences than the one with Iraq.

Kerry and other critics on the left have claimed that Saddam Hussein could have been contained; that the weapons inspections would eventually work. But this is an empty claim. The only reason the U.N. inspectors were there in the first place was because the President of the United States had put 200,000 American troops on the Iraqi border, and threatened the regime's survival. How long do you think the United States could focus this kind of attention on Iraq and deploy these kinds of resources just to see that Saddam Hussein observed the promises he made? To do so would mean paralyzing the ability of the United States to deal with the rest of the world while shouldering costs of $1 billion a week and maintaining 200,000 troops as sitting targets in the Arab desert. And all this would be required for an attempt to stop Saddam Hussein from evading the sanctions and controls that he had been evading for more than a decade with the help of major powers like Russia and Germany and China and France. It could not be done, and it was dangerous to try.

John Kerry says he has another plan. But there is no other plan. You either take the dictator down, or you appease him and strengthen your enemies in the process. You prove once again that America hasn't the grit to go to war to defend its vital interests. You prove once again that America is a nation of appeasers. The Democratic Party has become a party of appeasement. That's what this domestic political conflict is about. The Democratic Party wants to persist in delusion and denial about what must be done to win the War on Terror. This is probably the most basic human psychological reflex -- to deny that there is a hard choice, in this case that we were either going to have to fight the dictator in March 2003 or fight him later when he would be even more prepared.

The Role of the Left

There was one more detour on the road to Saddam's moment of truth. When the December 7th deadline passed, America and Britain were the only major powers willing to recognize that Saddam Hussein had defied the UN a 17th time and challenged the international community to hold him to account. In January, British leftists put 750,000 anti-war protesters into the streets of London, which would be the equivalent of 4 million protesters in the streets of Washington. The protests were aimed at America's chief ally, Tony Blair, designed to force him to join Saddam's appeasers and refuse to enforce the UN ultimatum.

Four million Americans would not even be the equivalent of the appeasers who confronted Tony Blair, because it was his own party that was in the streets. The equivalent would be if millions of Republicans marched in the streets of Washington to pressure George Bush to renege on his promise to enforce the ultimatum that a unanimous Security Council had passed. Tony Blair pleaded with President Bush to go back to the U.N. Security Council to get a second superfluous resolution. Because Tony Blair was such a loyal ally - and probably because he was under pressure from Colin Powell - President Bush said yes. He should not have done so, for two reasons. First of all, as the French informed Colin Powell after the fact, they would not vote for a resolution to go to war "under any circumstances." As we now know, the French had been bribed with millions of stolen dollars from the UN Oil-for-Food program and the promise of billions of dollars in oil contracts from Saddam. And besides, the French were Saddam's allies anyway.

Going to the UN for a superfluous reiteration of resolution 1441, whose deadline had passed, was a bad idea for a second reason. In order to persuade the unpersuadable left, Colin Powell went to the UN and made his famous presentation, which tried to establish that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that should cause him to be removed. It was this presentation by Colin Powell -- entirely superfluous to the rationale for the war and aimed entirely at persuading the left -- that has allowed the left to attack the President for "misleading" the nation into war by claiming there were weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

The war in Iraq was not about weapons of mass destruction; it was about Saddam Hussein's ten-year defiance of international law, his manifest determination to break the UN's arms control arrangements and to acquire weapons of mass destruction. There was no rush to war, but rather a deliberate march to war authorized by both political parties and a unanimous vote of the Security Council (which France and Russia and China had no intention of honoring). It was not unilateral, and it was not about a "non-existent imminent threat." In his State of the Union in January 2003, right before the fighting began, the President said in so many words that we were not going to wait until Saddam Hussein became an imminent threat. We were not going to wait until Saddam already had the weapons in place and the plan to attack us was afoot. We were not going to wait until he struck us first. The President said this clearly and in so many words: We will not wait for those events to take place. Saddam will comply with the UN ultimatum. He will disarm and prove that he has disarmed, or we will disarm him. The Bush Doctrine rests on this reality: In a world in which terrorists have the means to kill 3,000 Americans in one attack, we can't wait around for the enemy to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he means us harm.

At this point, it might be appropriate to ask how the Democratic Party got to the place where it is a party of appeasement in the approach to war and a saboteur of the war when it is underway. How did the Democratic Party get to the point where its leaders would break a fifty-year tradition of bi-partisanship in foreign policy, and over matters of war and peace? How did it come so powerfully under the influence of an historically anti-American left as to allow its presidential politics to be dominated by that left?

The short answer to these questions is that the leftward slide of the Democratic Party began with the McGovern campaign, when the anti-Vietnam left marched into its ranks and assumed positions of power in its congressional party. Obviously, the circumstances of the Iraq war and the movement to oppose it have a lot to do with the Howard Dean campaign, in particular, which was funded this left and driven by its passions, and whose success in the primaries turned John Kerry and John Edwards against the war. It also has a lot to do with the fateful decision of Jimmy Carter and Al Gore to make the war a partisan issue and break a half-century's tradition. But even before this moment it has to do with the McGovern campaign of 30 years ago, which was the original "anti-war" political campaign, demanding that America abandon its ally in Vietnam and leave the field of battle. Virtually all leaders of the anti-Iraq movement, including most of the leaders of the Democratic Party who supported that movement, were veterans of or affected by the anti-Vietnam campaign.

The left has never learned the lessons of Vietnam, a fact underscored by the way in which Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy and leaders of the movement against the war in Iraq invoked the history of Vietnam as though it showed that they were right and their opponents were wrong. As you probably know, I began my life on the political left and was one of the founders of the movement against the Vietnam War. My parents were, in fact, card-carrying Communists, and my first political march was against an even earlier war. I was nine years old in 1948 and marched down 7th Avenue with my parents and their political comrades in New York chanting, "One, two, three, four, we don't want another war." "We" called ourselves "progressives" and supported the Progressive Party candidacy of Henry Wallace, who had once been Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President but was now a captive of the Communist left. The war we marched against was Harry Truman's "Cold War" to prevent Joseph Stalin from conquering more of Europe than he had already acquired. The peace movement of that time wanted Stalin to "liberate" Eastern Europe, which he had in fact enslaved. This campaign was the seed of the anti-war movements of Vietnam and Iraq, and also of the political left's influence in the Democratic Party. George McGovern began his political career in the Progressive Party's 1948 campaign against the Cold War. The Democratic Party of Harry Truman was committed to the Cold War. But as far as the peace movements are concerned, not much has really changed in 50 years.

As a post-graduate student at Berkeley in the early Sixties, I was one of the organizers of the first demonstration against the Vietnam War. It was 1962 and I can tell you as someone who was there, everybody who organized that demonstration was a Marxist and a leftist who thought the Communists were liberating Vietnam the way Michael Moore thinks Zarqawi is liberating Iraq. By that time, I was a "new leftist," disillusioned with the Communism of my parents' generation, so I was aware that the North Vietnamese Communists were not Jeffersonian democrats as people like Jane Fonda and John Kerry seemed to think they were. I avoided the Winter Soldier Investigation into American "war crimes" that John Kerry and Jane Fonda were part of. Jane Fonda was an idiot (useful, to be sure) who had embraced the Communists and committed treason. Perhaps John Kerry didn't grasp that fact. He got himself in bed with people who had a hatred for the United States as intense as their current hatred of George Bush.

It is a curious hatred, suggesting that Democrats have collectively flipped their lids in their zeal to win this election. You may say many things about George Bush, but this is a decent, capable man. You may differ with George Bush, but he is not a "moron" or a bumbling incompetent. No one runs a successful national election campaign and a successful presidential administration without judgment that is fundamentally sound. This is a man you can disagree with, but you can't belittle or hate George Bush without those attitudes reflecting on yourself.

In 1973, President Nixon signed a truce in Vietnam and withdrew our soldiers. John Kerry and Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden conducted a campaign to persuade the Democrats in Congress to cut all aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia. When Nixon went down in Watergate, the Democrats cut the aid as their first legislative act. They did this in January 1975. In April, the Cambodian and South Vietnamese regimes fell. This is a particularly important fact to remember, because this is exactly what Terry McAuliffe has proposed for Iraq now - that we cut and run. In 1975 the Democrats cut military and economic aid to the two regimes we had been defending against the Communists. As a result, the Communists won. Within three years the Communist victors had slaughtered 2.5 million people. The blood of those people is on the heads of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean and people like myself. The difference between the four of us is that I understand now what we did then, and they apparently don't. That is why I'm not going to vote for John Kerry in this election.

If we cut and run or are defeated in Iraq, there will be a bloodbath when we leave. The jihadists will slaughter our friends, our allies, and all of the Iraqis who are struggling for their freedom. But this bloodbath will also flow into the streets of New York and Washington and potentially every major American city. The jihadists have sworn to kill us all. People who think America is invulnerable, that America can just leave the field of this battle, do not begin to understand the world we are in.

The 9/11 attacks took $600 billion out of the American economy and bankrupted the airlines industry, which required a $15 billion bailout. The hotel industry has barely recovered. Suppose the terrorists had attacked again after 9/11. Suppose there had been terrorist attacks in the major shopping malls around Christmas season, as was threatened at the time. If they had carried out such attacks, the terrorists could have taken down the whole American economy and, with it, the world economy. Then you would have seen governments fall. Perhaps the government of Pakistan would have been one of them, a nuclear power with a huge radical Islamic presence. What is the Democratic Party leadership thinking when they conduct a scorched-earth war against a sitting President and jeopardize the security of 300 million Americans for political gain?

The really terrible step in this political process, as I have already mentioned, was taken by Jimmy Carter and Al Gore who made the war a partisan issue right after President Bush went to the UN in September 2002. Carter and Gore poisoned the politics of the debate over America's war policy and sowed bitterness into the nation's soul. As a result, we now confront the terrorists and the world with nation divided over the issue of the war. As it happens, the only America that can lose a war is one that is divided.

The War At Home

The root cause of the division in this war, as in the war in Vietnam, is a left that is alienated from our national purpose. It is a left that in the Cold War gave moral and political support to our Communist enemies and in this war has entered an unholy alliance with radical Islam. This left is not just at war with our efforts in Iraq; it is also at war against our homeland security defenses. It may surprise you to know that there are already more than 350 American cities which, under instigation of the political left, have signed pledges to refuse to cooperate with Homeland Security, particularly in regard to the protection of our national borders. Georgetown University, where I am speaking tonight, is a leading player in this seditious effort. David Cole is a Professor of Law at this university and an intellectual leader of both the movement against our borders and against the Patriot Act, our first line of defense. Not coincidentally, he is also a lawyer for indicted terrorists.

The inspirer of the anti-Patriot Act movement, which conducts its activities in the name of civil liberties, is Sami Al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida. In 1996, Al-Arian founded an organization called the National Coalition for Political Freedom to oppose the anti-terrorism act. This act was passed at the behest of the Clinton Administration in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Al-Arian opposed the act because it allowed the use of secret evidence in terrorist cases. It was hardly constitutional issues that motivated Al-Arian, now a leading figure in the civil liberties left. Al-Arian's real motivation for opposing the act was that his brother-in-law had been arrested under its provisions. Both Al-Arian and his brother-in-law were leaders of Palestine Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization responsible for the suicide bombing deaths of more than 100 people in the Middle East.

Sami Al-Arian is a colleague of David Cole, the ACLU, and the National Lawyers Guild, leaders of the movement against the Patriot Act. They still defend al-Arian even though he is now a federal prisoner under a 120-page indictment. Although he was exposed by journalists in the early 90's, the government could not arrest him because of legal obstacles that blocked their investigations, obstacles that were only removed by the Patriot Act. For nearly a decade, al-Arian was protected by the president of the University of South Florida, Betty Coster, who is currently the Democratic Party's candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

Sami Al-Arian is hardly alone. Lynne Stewart, a National Lawyers Guild attorney, has also been indicted by John Ashcroft. Like Al-Arian, Stewart is defended by the ACLU and the American Association of University Professors. The Middle Eastern Studies Department at this university, headed by John Esposito, has spent years throwing a smoke screen over terrorist groups, defending terrorist leaders like Sam al-Arian, pretending that they are no threat to the United States and claiming, along with Salon.com and The Nation magazine, that the head of Palestine Islamic Jihad is being persecuted by Ashcroft simply because he's a Muslim and a Palestinian.

Lynne Stewart is now under indictment by Ashcroft for helping her client, the blind sheik Abdel Rahman, who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing, to conduct his terrorist activities in Egypt. Lynne Stewart is on record saying she believes the terrorists are liberationists and freedom fighters. For Stewart, Abu Musab, al-Zarqawi and the Abdel Rahman are freedom fighters. And she collaborated with the blind sheik in conducting his terror. Stewart is a hero of the legal left, and she tours law schools like Stanford and perhaps Georgetown as a guest of their faculties. It would be a cold day in hell before Georgetown's Law School would honor John Ashcroft as a guest.

How is it possible that people who think of themselves as advocates of social justice can lend aid and comfort to Islamic radicals who behead people and blow women's heads off with AK-47s when they are suspected of having sexual relations outside of marriage? How can self-styled progressives embrace these people? They embrace them under the logic that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and their enemy is the United States. They do it under the delusion that is common to all radicals. It's the radical analog to the 72 virgins that await jihadists in heaven. Think of how sick our enemy is. The Muslim martyrs in Palestine kill their own children by strapping bombs to them, to 14-year-olds, and telling them if they blow up Jewish 14-year-olds -- and if they are lucky enough to bemale -- they will go straight to heaven and get 72 virgins. They're committing mass murder to get into paradise. That is exactly what the left does. Why does the left want to destroy America? To get into paradise. Call it socialism, call it Communism, call it social justice. It's a dream of paradise that is so enticing it will justify any crime necessary to achieve it.

The radical left does not understand that the root cause of social problems is humanity. There will never be a socially just world because the world is always going to be run by human beings, and human beings are in their nature corrupt, selfish and fallible. If you don't understand that, you are simply delusional, in denial. Thus radicals have the same goal as jihadists, which is paradise. And the same enemy, which is the Great Satan, i.e., us. You cannot read a page of Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn or Michael Moore and not understand that America is the great Satan, the root of the world's evil, worthy of destruction. It is this faith that forges the unholy alliance.

To confront our enemy we must reverse the perception. The mantra of the left is the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Out of simple consideration of self-defense, we must adopt the view that the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=16103

I know this is a long article, but I hope you will read the whole thing. It expresses a point of view that whether you agree with it on not, think it is stupid or not, is worthy of discussion. It's is not something that is lightly dismissed. Please understand that I did not write this article. So if you have some extremely asinine personal attack to make, you can go to frontpagemag.com and email Horowitz. I'm sure he would enjoy it, I would not, however, since I did not write the article, and it is not fully expressive of my opinion. I have posted my commentary on this article at The Neo-Progressive (http://theneo-progressive.blogspot.com/). So if your interested in that you can read it and then make any comment you like since you'll be commenting on something I actuality wrote.

PaulG
28 Nov 04,, 11:22
So informative :rolleyes:

On the bit about kicking out inspectors, many inspectors were covertly, in disregard of the UN mandate, passing information on the the US. Most were Australian and New Zealand inspectors who were working through their national spy agncies. This was admited to by Richard Butler on Australian TV some years ago.

I don't blame Saddam for his actions i would have done the same, and when i kept telling/showing you i had no weapons and you still said i did 'we are going to bomb and invade you', i would have said shove it too. What options did he have but to lose face, you don't push nutjobs into corners, it doesnt solve anything.

Put that one down to another miscalculation shall we.


BTW.The investigative report that uncovered the spy story also uncovered a practice of outsourcing spy 'work' to Australia and New Zealand because we were able to gather more info, because of a certain level of trust our diplomats etc had overseas.

smilingassassin
28 Nov 04,, 11:44
So informative :rolleyes:

I don't blame Saddam for his actions i would have done the same, and when i kept telling/showing you i had no weapons and you still said i did 'we are going to bomb and invade you', i would have said shove it too. What options did he have but to lose face, you don't push nutjobs into corners, it doesnt solve anything.

Put that one down to another miscalculation shall we.

You must be kidding me, this man was a butcher and you simpathize with him? Whats next, will you deny Hitler had a hand in the holocaust?!!

Trooth
28 Nov 04,, 11:58
Did you add the emphasis?

Its a fairly sensible speech. But it is interesting that the author criticises all nations foreign policy, but gives them impression that US foreign policy should not be subject to such criticism. That to do such a thing would in fact harm America :-



But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.


Sadly the author does not understand. "Loose lips sink ships" had nothing to do with criticism. It was to do with revealing seamingly harmless information that could be directly used by the enemy. Comments such as "Johnny set sail last night - he isn't looking forward to the northern convey route across the atlantic because of the biting cold" could lead a U-boat wolfpack. In fact David Horowitz is mis-representing stuff as he accuess Michael Moore of! Remember weather reports were used to crack the Enigma code.



In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.


Or you could argue that if the enemy has got to the stage were it is prepared to walk amongst us, perhaps it might be useful to find out why us, why not Argentina? What does it hate so much? This analysis doesn't have to assume that it is correct to make us targets, but it seems prudent to understand why they have chosen us. But it is that request for analysis that led to the accusations of traitor, of treason.

The author is somewhat disingenuous when he describes the lack of an uprising from the "Arab Street" as being because of US unilateralism being so strong, so forthright. In fact it is because Tony Blair burnt a lot of political capital around the world securing an alliance (even if unspoken) from the Arab world. He burnt a lot of political capital back at home and went too far in some areas and damaged the reputation of Her Majesty's Governemnt and, in my opinion, the authority of Parliament, but it is because he did so that "with us or against us" was not turned into a fatwa.

Its also interesting to see the idea idea that treason is immaterial that it would / is not bandied about by the right in answer to criticisms from the left. It certainly has been, even on this board.

I am not going to state my views on the WMD argument on this board again, i have done so many times, however i think the west needs to understand that if you are trying to find such things you have to use the weapons inspectors correctly. You can't use them to spy and not expect a soveriegn nation to act. You might not like Saddam, the Ba'ath regime etc. But you don't give it no choice. Unless of course you wanted the inspectors expelled and so thought the spying was a win-win situation.

Trooth
28 Nov 04,, 12:03
You must be kidding me, this man was a butcher and you simpathize with him? Whats next, will you deny Hitler had a hand in the holocaust?!!

Ouch, the hyperbole - it will be "treason" soon :)

If you are going to take an action, you have to understand its consequence. If you are serious that you want weapon inspectors in a country, you have to make sure there is no reason that can be offered against them.

If Saddam had WMD he would have found a reason to expel the inspectors. Spying is a pretty good one. If he had no WMD he would have had to expel the inspectors for spying. So, they had to go. The next question is, did we wnat them to be expelled to "prove" our point?

PaulG
28 Nov 04,, 14:44
You must be kidding me, this man was a butcher and you simpathize with him? Whats next, will you deny Hitler had a hand in the holocaust?!!

According to your film industry, law enforcement officers in the US, use psycological profiles in their attempts to apprahen purpetrators. This seems common practice in most developed nations. If anyone was listening to a profiler when considering what to do about Saddam im sure they would have said 'whatever you do, don't paint him into a corner!'

But thats what happenned and a very very unproductive consequence has happenned because of it. It was a crap strategy, too many mistakes were made, one thing led to another, bang boom guns blazin you are fighting a war.

Thats what i was saying, not what you imagined.

Julie
28 Nov 04,, 15:26
PaulG...

Have you ever been to a play before the curtain was pulled, sitting there waiting impatiently, wondering about the scurrying behind the curtain that was delaying the onset of the play? Did you have a bit of inside information that you knew, that no other person in that auditorium knew, that could hurry the situation, but were in no position to use it, or could you?

Let's go back a couple of years and look at the long and endured "bang boom" of the bodies being blow to pieces in the Palestinian/Israel crisis on a weekly basis. From a psychological view (of which I have a college study in psychology), ones would not blow up there bodies based upon a religious standpoint alone. For this to incur, there has to be some extreme motivation to instill the courage in a person to induce them to commit such a personal atrocity. Hence, a public announcement in a Saudia Arabia newspaper announced these "body bombs" were receiving $25,000.00 to their families to carry out this deed. Was the article true? Well, it sure needs to be investigated to find out. The financial focus immediately pointed at Saudia Arabia, but it was found that was not where the funds were flowing from. Saddam....where is he getting his money? Okay, so now there we have opened a can of worms and they are coming out....how do you round them up and contain the can? Two years later, and alot of mistakes, I will not argue that.

Present day, let's look back now at the Palestinian/Israel crisis today. Less suicide bombings? Oh, and look, the PLO leader has mysteriously croaked....maybe his protection money must have dried up? Whichever event occurred, the Palestinians will be holding elections in January, and Israel is fully supporting them and planning a pull-out.

Iraq....still much instability, and when will it stabilize? I predict Iraq will not stabilize until Palestine has stabilized, but, that is just my opinion since one has surely had a reverse impact on the other.

PaulG
28 Nov 04,, 19:45
PaulG...

Have you ever been to a play before the curtain was pulled, sitting there waiting impatiently, wondering about the scurrying behind the curtain that was delaying the onset of the play? Did you have a bit of inside information that you knew, that no other person in that auditorium knew, that could hurry the situation, but were in no position to use it, or could you?

Let's go back a couple of years and look at the long and endured "bang boom" of the bodies being blow to pieces in the Palestinian/Israel crisis on a weekly basis. From a psychological view (of which I have a college study in psychology), ones would not blow up there bodies based upon a religious standpoint alone. For this to incur, there has to be some extreme motivation to instill the courage in a person to induce them to commit such a personal atrocity. Hence, a public announcement in a Saudia Arabia newspaper announced these "body bombs" were receiving $25,000.00 to their families to carry out this deed. Was the article true? Well, it sure needs to be investigated to find out. The financial focus immediately pointed at Saudia Arabia, but it was found that was not where the funds were flowing from. Saddam....where is he getting his money? Okay, so now there we have opened a can of worms and they are coming out....how do you round them up and contain the can? Two years later, and alot of mistakes, I will not argue that.

Present day, let's look back now at the Palestinian/Israel crisis today. Less suicide bombings? Oh, and look, the PLO leader has mysteriously croaked....maybe his protection money must have dried up? Whichever event occurred, the Palestinians will be holding elections in January, and Israel is fully supporting them and planning a pull-out.

Iraq....still much instability, and when will it stabilize? I predict Iraq will not stabilize until Palestine has stabilized, but, that is just my opinion since one has surely had a reverse impact on the other.


Not sure what the first paragraph was about :confused:

Anyway, as you say it takes a lot for a person to do that sort of act, i'm not sure the money, if any of it got the family, was anything significant in the 'bomber' eyes. While it was a political stunt by Saddam to try to gain support from his traditional enemies in the face of an American threat, 'the enemy of my enemy' type stuff I really can't see it being a significant factor in Bush's agenda either. What do we actually know about it.

This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries.

This is a real problem the US faces when using these types of claims to justify actions. You have little moral authority in many areas, by the fact you are complicate yourselves in such actions. I would just suggest that when trying to justify things you pick your examples a little better. Imagine what sort of mileage these claims and the counter argument would get in downtown Mosul right now.

Praxus
28 Nov 04,, 20:04
Not sure what the first paragraph was about :confused:

Anyway, as you say it takes a lot for a person to do that sort of act, i'm not sure the money, if any of it got the family, was anything significant in the 'bomber' eyes. While it was a political stunt by Saddam to try to gain support from his traditional enemies in the face of an American threat, 'the enemy of my enemy' type stuff I really can't see it being a significant factor in Bush's agenda either. What do we actually know about it.

This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries.

This is a real problem the US faces when using these types of claims to justify actions. You have little moral authority in many areas, by the fact you are complicate yourselves in such actions. I would just suggest that when trying to justify things you pick your examples a little better. Imagine what sort of mileage these claims and the counter argument would get in downtown Mosul right now.

We are there because of the terrorists, the oil, and saddam's threat. These are the reasons, which order you put them in does not change the fact that it was the right thing to go into Iraq. Doing it in the manner that we are, well that's another question entirely.

Confed999
28 Nov 04,, 20:18
passing information on the the US. Most were Australian and New Zealand inspectors who were working through their national spy agncies. This was admited to by Richard Butler on Australian TV some years ago.
They should have been spying, by then it was obvious full cooperation was not to be forthcoming.

Trooth
28 Nov 04,, 20:20
From orignal article :-


So let it be said that yes, we provided intelligence and some weapons to Iraq (most of their weapons came from the Soviet Union). That was to prevent Iran from winning the war, not because we were friends of Saddam Hussein or approved what he was doing, as leftists like Michael Moore and Norman Mailer and others have insinuated. It was Iran's radical Islamic government that launched the Muslim jihad against the West and coined the term "Great Satan" with which to label us. Iran has three times the population of Iraq. It was a prudent policy, therefore, to tilt to Saddam in order to prevent radical Islamists from conquering Iraq as well and controlling the Gulf and its oil. That's what our participation in this war was about, and it is just another slander of an America that is under attack to say that we "supported" Saddam Hussein. This is just one more leftist way of saying that America is an "outlaw" power and thus that there can be no moral basis for our war against Saddam.


Saddam was not so evil that the US was not prepared to support him and keep him in power and alive. If the US is going to intervene in this manner it is going to create problems for itself and others.
The fact was that this "prudant policy" is but one of many tha tthe US and other interventionist countries indulge in. but as the CIA term it, "blowback" occurs. I guess as long as the blowback happens on someone else's watch none of us should care?

Confed999
28 Nov 04,, 20:43
Saddam was not so evil that the US was not prepared to support him and keep him in power and alive. If the US is going to intervene in this manner it is going to create problems for itself and others.
The "enemy of my enemy, is my friend" thing is often not true. He was that evil, he just wasn't attacking us then. One must remember though, many in the West were with the US in that one.

The fact was that this "prudant policy" is but one of many tha tthe US and other interventionist countries indulge in.
You're either supporting tyrants and their allies, or you live in isolation. Every counrty is "interventionist" to some degree.

Leader
28 Nov 04,, 21:51
So informative :rolleyes:

I'm sure how an article of that length could not be informative. At the very least it informs you in an in-depth way what your political opponents are thinking.


On the bit about kicking out inspectors, many inspectors were covertly, in disregard of the UN mandate, passing information on the the US. Most were Australian and New Zealand inspectors who were working through their national spy agncies. This was admited to by Richard Butler on Australian TV some years ago.

After the first Gulf war Iraq was supposed to be an book, it wasn't. Saddam continually interfered with inspectors to create an illusion of strength in the Middle East. He wanted to be the man take stood up to the United States. If you don't believe that Saddam interfered with the inspection process, just listen to Blix:


But in his[Blix's] book he clearly states that UN resolution 1441 was diplomatic language for an ultimatum of war. The deadline for Saddam's compliance was December 7, 2002. On that date, Saddam Hussein delivered a 12,000 page report that was smoke and mirrors. In his book, Hans Blix himself says that it was smoke and mirrors, that the information submitted was from deceptive reports that Saddam had submitted in the past, that thousands of weapons were unaccounted for, and that it did not in fact fulfill the requirements the Security Council had laid down.


I don't blame Saddam for his actions i would have done the same,

Thanks for proving the author's thesis.


and when i kept telling/showing you i had no weapons

That is a distortion of history. Saddam was never cooperated.


and you still said i did 'we are going to bomb and invade you', i would have said shove it too.

ROFL That decision worked out great for him didn't it?


What options did he have but to lose face, you don't push nutjobs into corners, it doesnt solve anything.

What are you talking about? "doesn't solve anything" Saddam's in a cell instead of running a country.


Put that one down to another miscalculation shall we.

We didn’t miscalculate. We thought he would force war. What we didn't expect is that he didn't realize what he was doing.


BTW.The investigative report that uncovered the spy story also uncovered a practice of outsourcing spy 'work' to Australia and New Zealand because we were able to gather more info, because of a certain level of trust our diplomats etc had overseas.

So you'd rather not have spies in dangerous foreign countries. That is what many liberals in America thought...before 9/11.

Julie
28 Nov 04,, 22:22
Not sure what the first paragraph was about :confused: The first paragraph was information the US had obtained, but could not reveal/expose the source internationally, nor use it to overthrow Saddam.


Anyway, as you say it takes a lot for a person to do that sort of act, i'm not sure the money, if any of it got the family, was anything significant in the 'bomber' eyes. While it was a political stunt by Saddam to try to gain support from his traditional enemies in the face of an American threat, 'the enemy of my enemy' type stuff I really can't see it being a significant factor in Bush's agenda either. What do we actually know about it. I believe the money was getting to the families, otherwise, they would have continued at the rapid rate they were being committed after Saddam was overthrown. Bush's agenda contains any dilemma giving him international pressure. There is pressure on the US to do something about the Palestinian/Israel conflict.


This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries. All countries sell weapons to each other. There were many Russian weapons found in Iraq. Morality? When you are dealing with suicide bombings, I would say all morality is out the window in decision making.


This is a real problem the US faces when using these types of claims to justify actions. You have little moral authority in many areas, by the fact you are complicate yourselves in such actions. I would just suggest that when trying to justify things you pick your examples a little better. Imagine what sort of mileage these claims and the counter argument would get in downtown Mosul right now.Saddam was out-sourcing the violence in the Palestine/Israel issue. Again, the issue of morality? Saddam seemed to think he had alot of moral authority while gassing his own people and burying them in mass graves which WERE found by the way.

Do me a favor, don't even mention the word morality to me with Saddam in the same sentence. They mix like oil and water.

Leader
28 Nov 04,, 22:44
Did you add the emphasis?

Yes.


Its a fairly sensible speech. But it is interesting that the author criticises all nations foreign policy, but gives them impression that US foreign policy should not be subject to such criticism. That to do such a thing would in fact harm America :-

The author answers this point:


But everyone understands -- or used to understand -- that in time of war there are other considerations that affect (or should affect) the tone of criticism and even the substance. "Loose lips sink ships" was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save their fellow citizens' lives. It was a recognition that there are expressions that support and strengthen a democracy at war, and there are those that weaken it and undermine itself defense.

In a war like the present one, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism that supports the war effort and criticism that undermines it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.

Before the fighting started in Iraq, some critics voiced a concern that an armed intervention would cause the "Arab street" to erupt and inflame the Muslim world. Such a criticism was voiced by Brent Scowcroft, the National Security Adviser in the previous Bush Administration. It was obviously made from legitimate concerns for America's security and (it may be said) a substantial amount of the criticism of the war in Iraq is based on similar concerns. Scowcroft's attack on the President's policy was a harsh criticism. He said that under no circumstances should the President go to war over Iraq. But it was obvious that Scowcroft's criticism was made from legitimate concerns about America's security, concerns which proved wrong when Saddam was toppled in the swiftest and least costly victory on historical record, and without the consequences that Scowcroft imagined.

A large part of the criticism of the war, however, has been made on grounds that have nothing to do with American security. Often, it's voiced in such a way (and to such a reckless degree) as to undermine that security. It was quite another thing, for example, when the war was won, for leftist critics to launch an all-out attack on the Commander-in-Chief by calling him a liar and the war a "fraud." It is quite another thing to make these unfounded charges when our troops are still in Iraq and still in harms way, and Saddam's allies like the French are drumming up world opinion against us. It is quite another thing, in these circumstances, to say that the President lied to the American people and sent our troops to die under false pretenses. When this is done by people who supported the war it is an even more egregious betrayal. Yet that is what leaders of the Democratic Party did within two months of the liberation of Baghdad, most shamefully among them Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, but also John Edwards and Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, and of course Howard Dean.

What he is doing is drawing a line between criticisms that helps us win the war on terrorism and criticisms that's goal is to help us lose.


Sadly the author does not understand. "Loose lips sink ships" had nothing to do with criticism. It was to do with revealing seamingly harmless information that could be directly used by the enemy. Comments such as "Johnny set sail last night - he isn't looking forward to the northern convey route across the atlantic because of the biting cold" could lead a U-boat wolfpack. In fact David Horowitz is mis-representing stuff as he accuess Michael Moore of! Remember weather reports were used to crack the Enigma code.

Let's assume you’re correct. Couldn't the enemy use irrational dissent as well? It has been in this war:


"The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders."

He is using the dissent of some in America and Europe as a much more useful weapon then when a ship is leaving.


Or you could argue that if the enemy has got to the stage were it is prepared to walk amongst us, perhaps it might be useful to find out why us, why not Argentina? What does it hate so much?

I believe that to OBL America is just a tool. Something he can rail against for whatever reason presents itself. His goal is to unite the Muslim world and then attack outward to the rest of the world.


This analysis doesn't have to assume that it is correct to make us targets, but it seems prudent to understand why they have chosen us. But it is that request for analysis that led to the accusations of traitor, of treason.

There is a difference between what you have said and what others have said. Your question is "why did they attack us?" others have said, "What did we do?" The first question implies they there is no logical reason for their actions the second assumes their actions were logical e.g. they were responding to something we did.


The author is somewhat disingenuous when he describes the lack of an uprising from the "Arab Street" as being because of US unilateralism being so strong, so forthright.

I think his point was that the war was quick and therefore the Arab street did not have time to organize.


In fact it is because Tony Blair burnt a lot of political capital around the world securing an alliance (even if unspoken) from the Arab world. He burnt a lot of political capital back at home and went too far in some areas and damaged the reputation of Her Majesty's Governemnt and, in my opinion, the authority of Parliament, but it is because he did so that "with us or against us" was not turned into a fatwa.

The Arab governments had reason enough to suppress the "Arab Street" one would think. After all, the fear was that these people would overthrow there pro-western governments.


Its also interesting to see the idea idea that treason is immaterial that it would / is not bandied about by the right in answer to criticisms from the left. It certainly has been, even on this board.

I'm sure it has been, but has the President hasn’t called his opponents traitors? No, but no less a high ranking democrat as Al Gore has called the President one. A charge of treason is never the answer to an argument. You would answer a traitor's argument the same way you answer anyone else’s argument, with logic and facts. That's not to say that I don't believe that there are traitors in this country. I like the author's definition of Treason: Treason is when your country is at war and you want the other side to win. By that definition someone like Moore is surely a traitor.


I am not going to state my views on the WMD argument on this board again, i have done so many times, however i think the west needs to understand that if you are trying to find such things you have to use the weapons inspectors correctly. You can't use them to spy and not expect a soveriegn nation to act. You might not like Saddam, the Ba'ath regime etc. But you don't give it no choice. Unless of course you wanted the inspectors expelled and so thought the spying was a win-win situation.

Can you imagine a situation that Saddam would have cooperated with inspectors short of them being completely inept?

Leader
28 Nov 04,, 22:52
This argument goes back again to the moral authority one again. While Saddam directed the money towards the families of bombers as a compensation (like buying the farm); the US has a very open history of supplying financial and material aid directly to either non-state or state actors, knowing full well that aid would be used against civilians or as terrorist weapons against militaries.

You can't justify Saddam's bad behavior by pointing to that of others.

Leader
28 Nov 04,, 23:00
From orignal article :-


Saddam was not so evil that the US was not prepared to support him and keep him in power and alive. If the US is going to intervene in this manner it is going to create problems for itself and others.
The fact was that this "prudant policy" is but one of many tha tthe US and other interventionist countries indulge in. but as the CIA term it, "blowback" occurs. I guess as long as the blowback happens on someone else's watch none of us should care?

A decision like the one you are discussing can only be seen in context. From today's view-point, it looks rather obvious that we shouldn't have given any support to Saddam, but 20-30 years ago the decision wasn't so clear. Iran had just taken our people hostage. They seemed like more of a threat at the time.

Trooth
28 Nov 04,, 23:41
The "enemy of my enemy, is my friend" thing is often not true. He was that evil, he just wasn't attacking us then. One must remember though, many in the West were with the US in that one.

Including the UK. However that doesn't make it right.

Trooth
28 Nov 04,, 23:45
A decision like the one you are discussing can only be seen in context. From today's view-point, it looks rather obvious that we shouldn't have given any support to Saddam, but 20-30 years ago the decision wasn't so clear. Iran had just taken our people hostage. They seemed like more of a threat at the time.

Perhaps, but equally the experts of the time had to be able to see the consequence of their actions. Saddam was provoking his neighbours. Aligning ourselves with him (for whatever reason) was only going to get us drawn into another problem. Exclusion of both Iran and Iraq would have been a more prudent act.

Trooth
28 Nov 04,, 23:53
There is a difference between what you have said and what others have said. Your question is "why did they attack us?" others have said, "What did we do?" The first question implies they there is no logical reason for their actions the second assumes their actions were logical e.g. they were responding to something we did.


Equally, asking the question can cause no harm. If we did nothing that could have provoked them the answer would be "Nothing". If we find something that gave them grievance perhaps we could look to address that. Think of it as a global customer satisfaction survey.

Currently the reverse position seems to be that we are absolutely correct, in all actions and thoughts, and are, in fact, above question on all matters of our interventionist foreign policy. That all anger, hatred and action directed at us is unprovoked, irrational and without foundation. If so that would be the only time the history of human endeavour, at least on this planet, where humans have proven to be infallible (Roman Catholic views on the Pope notwithstanding). It might be that in the areas of concern we have only acted with the best of intentions, or with due consideration to all of the area in question. But until we analyse it, we won't find out. This, i don't think, constitutes treason - actually i don't think treason is the right word, heresy seems more fitting.

Leader
28 Nov 04,, 23:54
Perhaps, but equally the experts of the time had to be able to see the consequence of their actions.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree. I just don't believe what Saddam was going to do in the future was foreseeable.

Confed999
29 Nov 04,, 00:36
However that doesn't make it right.
You don't have to tell me, but since you said US 3 times in your statement I needed to keep the record straight. Especially since the only real support Saddam ever got from the US was durring the Iran-Iraq war, alot of other countries are guilty of far more than the US. Still, the one truly at fault for everything that's happened to Iraq for decades is Saddam.

smilingassassin
29 Nov 04,, 04:05
From orignal article :-


Saddam was not so evil that the US was not prepared to support him and keep him in power and alive. If the US is going to intervene in this manner it is going to create problems for itself and others.
The fact was that this "prudant policy" is but one of many tha tthe US and other interventionist countries indulge in. but as the CIA term it, "blowback" occurs. I guess as long as the blowback happens on someone else's watch none of us should care?


Trooth time and again this flawed arguement has been used to denouce the act of bringing Saddam to justice, we suported him yes, but you convieniently forget about the cold war, which is no longer on going, no need to support distastefull regeimes any more. If it was wrong to support these tyrants in an effort to maintain stability in a very volitile period of human history, why is it now wrong to take out these tyrants when the cold war has ended peacefully? Its a circular agruement that advocates doing nothing.

PaulG
29 Nov 04,, 06:23
Do me a favor, don't even mention the word morality to me with Saddam in the same sentence. They mix like oil and water.

Morality wise Saddm was an a hole. I didn't say anything to match Saddam positively with morality, im talking about the moral authority of the US, regarding certain actions.

Am i not allowed to use terms and concepts commonly used in international relations and security issues, when commenting on US foreign policy?

Any other words you don't want me to use in conversation? If so, don't worry bout engaging me in the issues, im not going to handicap myself because you can't accept what you incorrectly perceive to be a meaning of a word or concept.

smilingassassin
29 Nov 04,, 10:49
So what you are saying is Saddam was Immoral, but so is the U.S. for taking him down? If so that dosn't wash with me because if that was the case we were wrong for taking out Hitler. I look at the end result (so far), the Iraqi's will be able to vote for whoever the hell they want in power, whats immoral about that?

lemontree
29 Nov 04,, 11:18
The first paragraph was information the US had obtained, but could not reveal/expose the source internationally, nor use it to overthrow Saddam.
Julie, this statement of yours does'nt do justice to a person with a decent education like you. :) The only behind the scenes activity was about what lies have to be fed to the US population and the world. :)



I believe the money was getting to the families, otherwise, they would have continued at the rapid rate they were being committed after Saddam was overthrown. Bush's agenda contains any dilemma giving him international pressure. There is pressure on the US to do something about the Palestinian/Israel conflict.

This is an example of the lies fed to you. In time you'll will learn from where all the money went to the sucide bombers families. Besides you don't need money to motivate sucide bombers, more sinister methods are used, I can give examples but it out of place in this thread.



Do me a favor, don't even mention the word morality to me with Saddam in the same sentence. They mix like oil and water.
Neither is the US in a position to speak of morality. Please see what you have done to the island of Diego Garcia. Denied people their own homes, just because they have no power or natural resources to speak of.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/835963.stm
http://100777.com/doc/1014

PaulG
29 Nov 04,, 12:06
So what you are saying is Saddam was Immoral, but so is the U.S. for taking him down? If so that dosn't wash with me because if that was the case we were wrong for taking out Hitler. I look at the end result (so far), the Iraqi's will be able to vote for whoever the hell they want in power, whats immoral about that?


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/117670_randolphfocus20.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer67.html

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0522-05.htm

Sorry, i don't know how to link those so you will have to cutnpaste if you are interested in understanding the term 'moral authority.'

Those links are articles explaining or using moral authority in certain contexts, i was trying to find a political dictionary type explanation but couldnt, and im on dialup today, so it will take to long to find anything better. Also i got those pages randomly from a google search, although they are liberal it wasnt an intentional bias on my behalf, just what was there, i'm not sure if conservatives acknowledge it anyway.

Anyway heres my translation of what it means.

It means, you cannot expect to influence a person who has engaged in an action, to stop doing that action, if you yourself partake in a similar action.

ie, a kid grows up his father smokes, when he is 14 his father catches him smoking, that fathers reaction to this (a lecture or punishment in an attempt to influence the boy to stop) will not be as effective in influncing the boy had the father not smoked. In these situations you have a lessened degree of legitimacy to influence another. You can apply this to many situations not just social ones.

Thats what my argument was.

Trooth
29 Nov 04,, 18:06
Trooth time and again this flawed arguement has been used to denouce the act of bringing Saddam to justice, we suported him yes, but you convieniently forget about the cold war, which is no longer on going, no need to support distastefull regeimes any more. If it was wrong to support these tyrants in an effort to maintain stability in a very volitile period of human history, why is it now wrong to take out these tyrants when the cold war has ended peacefully? Its a circular agruement that advocates doing nothing.

We sided with the Russians in supplying arms to Iraq. I don't quite see your point.

My point is that we need to address our foreign policy so that we don't support or create future problems for ourselves. This level of analysis, that perhaps we might have done something wrong in the past, seems to be heresy. And yet its unlikely that we have never done anything wrong in the past.

Ray
29 Nov 04,, 18:22
I would just say this, that the reasons trotted out for the invasion of Iraq were figments of imagination!

Now, the rap is being faced by the CIA, which has throughout history stood the US good in good tiomes and bad. It is a damn shame to let a good service down to serve narrow interests. Especially a service vowed to silence.

I have seen posts here that indicate that apart from the right wing everyone in the US conspired to let the US Administration down. Very laughable.

I have seen the power of security fears on folks, who are even scared of Casper, the friendly ghost! Like it or not, we face it daily. So, don't lecture me.

Folks, what has been done has been done.

It maybe right, it maybe wrong.

There is no requirement to fish out bedtime stories to justify. Agreed the conservatives are brilliant blokes, supercharged exclusively by sudden heavenly edictal emanicaption denied to others. But the truth lies elsewhere.

Am I quibbling?

No chance.

I beleive its Que Sera Sera. Let's look beyond. Let's change a nightmare to a better dream.

Let's get this mess over and fast.

The agony of the person who posted on this website that his relative has returned from Iraq and he was rejoicing with so much of ecstacy as to share his joy is enough to tell us that this has to stop sooner than later.

That post indicates that all is not so hunky dory. NO war is hunky dory.

The sad part is that civilians in th comfort of their homes and on the website spew patriotic stuff without realise the the unfortuate reality faced by those in uniform, be it the US or be it India.

Julie
29 Nov 04,, 20:20
Im talking about the moral authority of the US, regarding certain actions.

It means, you cannot expect to influence a person who has engaged in an action, to stop doing that action, if you yourself partake in a similar action.

Well, spit fire and save the matches! By those two passages above, and for the US to display moral authority, means we would have to deal with terrorist acts through diplomacy with the terrorists. The US displayed an appropriate amount of moral authority when we sustained other terrorist attacks prior to 9/11 when NOTHING was done about it on the part of the US. Enough is enough....burn me once, shame on you....burn me twice, shame on me. :biggrin:


Julie, this statement of yours does'nt do justice to a person with a decent education like you. The only behind the scenes activity was about what lies have to be fed to the US population and the world.I was not responding to US actions based upon lies. I merely compared the rapid decline of suicide bombings in Palestine after the fall of Saddam to entertain the possibility that the probability of Saddam paying those suicide bombers substantial amounts of money could very well be true.

tarek
29 Nov 04,, 22:51
Good work, leader.

" interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide..." OBL

Infact radical islamism is a mirror image of totalitarianism, it's relationship with communism and facism is no accident -- unfortunately many are not familiar with the works of Maududi and Qutb, but you choose ot remain ignorant of these men and their works at your own risk. Below is yet another example of rejection and extremism:

Thousands protest against US-Greater ME forum in Rabat

RABAT: Tens of thousands of Moroccans, most of them Islamic radicals, took to the streets of Rabat on Sunday to protest a planned forum on US President George W Bush’s vision of a "Greater Middle East" to be held in the Moroccan capital next month. The march, which drew between 30,000 and 45,000 people according to press tallies and about 25,000 according to police, also included long lines of women wearing headscarves marching separately from the men.

The demonstration was jointly organised by the Action Group in Support of Iraq and Palestine and the Moroccan Cell Against the Forum for the Future, a project formally presented in June by President George W Bush which has been treated with reserve in the Arab world, including Morocco.

The forum, set for December 11, is an outgrowth of the US-backed "Broader Middle East and North Africa" initiative endorsed by the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised countries aimed at promoting democratic reforms in the Middle East, north Africa and nearby areas including Iraq, Afghanistan and South Asia.

Foreign and finance ministers from more than 20 countries of the Middle East and north Africa are expected at the forum along with those of the G8 countries-the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia-plus international organisations.

Protesters burned Israeli flags and several mock coffins could be seen symbolizing the "death" of the United Nations, "global conscience," human rights and "Arab regimes."

Waving Iraqi and Palestinian flags as well as portraits of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas who was assassinated by Israeli forces in March, they shouted: "Muslim Palestine, No Negotiations, No Peace, No Defeatist Solutions." "Fallujah (The Iraqi Sunni rebel bastion seized by US-led forces) Resists While (Arab) Regimes Speculate" was another slogan

Trooth
30 Nov 04,, 01:26
Are we really surprised that they take exception to us hosting conferences about their future?

Confed999
30 Nov 04,, 01:35
Are we really surprised that they take exception to us hosting conferences about their future?
So we can't fight them, and we can't talk to them. What's left? Convert and comply?

Trooth
30 Nov 04,, 01:57
So we can't fight them, and we can't talk to them. What's left? Convert and comply?

We can talk to them. But i am not convinced we deciding to host a conference on their future is the best approach. I guess we should work behind the scenes to get buy in for the conference, then ask the Arab's which, if any, of the G8 they want there. Then they can host and run, and we, or Germany, or Russia or whatever can be invited along in whatever role the Arb league want.

The way this is written is that the G8 (or perhaps just Mr Bush regarding his vision) decided it would be a lark to debate the future of someone else's part of the world and then invited the locals.

PaulG
30 Nov 04,, 03:27
Good work, leader.

" interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide..." OBL

Infact radical islamism is a mirror image of totalitarianism, it's relationship with communism and facism is no accident -- unfortunately many are not familiar with the works of Maududi and Qutb, but you choose ot remain ignorant of these men and their works at your own risk. Below is yet another example of rejection and extremism:

The same is to be said of confucianism and all semitic religions. And probably all the rest.

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 04:31
I merely compared the rapid decline of suicide bombings in Palestine after the fall of Saddam to entertain the possibility that the probability of Saddam paying those suicide bombers substantial amounts of money could very well be true.
supposition at best: it could also be because Israel had begun building 'the wall', further restricted palestinian travel, or that the PLO was trying to moderate Hamas behaviour, or that everyone's attention and focus has been placed on Iraq.

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 04:33
Are we really surprised that they take exception to us hosting conferences about their future?
nope

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 04:39
We can talk to them. But i am not convinced we deciding to host a conference on their future is the best approach. I guess we should work behind the scenes to get buy in for the conference, then ask the Arab's which, if any, of the G8 they want there. Then they can host and run, and we, or Germany, or Russia or whatever can be invited along in whatever role the Arb league want.

The way this is written is that the G8 (or perhaps just Mr Bush regarding his vision) decided it would be a lark to debate the future of someone else's part of the world and then invited the locals.
yeah, just swap the names of the countries so that the middle east, nth africa etc were proposing a forum on how best to effect democratic change in the US and Europe, then invited them along to tell them. doesn't read quite so well from a western perspective then.

Leader
30 Nov 04,, 04:51
Are we really surprised that they take exception to us hosting conferences about their future?

And doing it themselves is working great so far.

Leader
30 Nov 04,, 04:53
yeah, just swap the names of the countries so that the middle east, nth africa etc were proposing a forum on how best to effect democratic change in the US and Europe, then invited them along to tell them. doesn't read quite so well from a western perspective then.

You bet because they wouldn't be discussing democratic change they would be talking about establishing dictatorships.

Leader
30 Nov 04,, 04:57
Good work, leader.

;) I aim to please.


" interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide..." OBL

I was thinking of putting that in my signature to goad the leftists.

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 05:08
You bet because they wouldn't be discussing democratic change they would be talking about establishing dictatorships.
doesn't really matter if you call it dictatorship, democracy or great aunt fanny's political musings, it's still colonisation

Leader
30 Nov 04,, 06:34
doesn't really matter if you call it dictatorship, democracy or great aunt fanny's political musings, it's still colonisation

It's called Freedom, but if you want we can get an island all your own and put all the other people that believe there is no difference between democracies and dictatorships. You’ll have lots of nice people there with you like Saddam, Hitler, Stalin and OBL.

HOKUM
30 Nov 04,, 06:49
ok saddam was a killer, there is no doubt of that, but his attitude was that of an expansionist dictator, his wars were fought for territory and the kurds were gassed for supporting iran during the 80s, treason is always dealt with harshly. This kind of behaviour is no worse than many african regimes, and nobody is rushing to war with them. Therefore the moral stance for saving the poor iraqi people is not a principle reason for being in iraq

grandpa bush's gulf war was fought to protect saudi arabia and retake kuwait, in return the saudi's must pay america huge sums of oil and allow US troops to be based in their country which makes ofcourse makes a lot of people unhappy, the US get what they want and saddam is not finished off. He is restricted by the UN to trading oil for food with whoever he wants, so he understandable chooses france, china and russia and also does some trade with them on the side. i.e lots of money is going everywhere but the US. Then with 9/11, the economic downturn and problems in relations with the saudis, an opportunity appears for bush the younger to solve america's cash problems by sorting out his pop's mistake and make americans feel safer with a premptive strike on a country which dislikes them and may have WMDs.

These are the reasons why I think the war was fought and the reason why there are troops in Iraq

Ok here's where i add my opinions. what annoy's me is the lying and the spin doctoring, stuff like how terrorists 'hate freedom' and tony blair telling us (yes i'm british) that if saddam felt like it he could hit london with chemical or biological warhead 45 mins after he gave the order. Iraqs military was a joke and he didnt have WMDs, could the intelligence services have been wrong? unlikely. by lying this bush-bliar alliance just spreads mistrust and by saying this war was for the iraqi people just insults the public.

I hear the was was not legal because it was vetoed in the UN, this is more rubbish. france, russia and china were making cash and didnt want to change things, so it was to hell with the UN and time to slander them for not helping in the 'war against terror'. and now when the war is won and contracts are handed out ofcourse none go to these countrys. here's where the naive among us say Dam Right! their lower class citizens didnt go there to fight.

I would prefer it if I heard that we were going to war to make our countries richer and push the obesity levels higher. atleast i wouldnt feel insulted


So in conclusion, troops are dying, iraqis civilians are dying and terrorists have a front and are ironically using locals (who are willing to fight for freedom from occupation) to fight the americans for them. More people around the world dislike
america + side kick britain, relations are damaged with russia, the EU and china and for some reason oil prices are unbelievably high. Good Show!

PaulG
30 Nov 04,, 07:13
Hokum, please ad 'rectum kissing Australia' to your last paragrahp please.

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 09:00
It's called Freedom, but if you want we can get an island all your own and put all the other people that believe there is no difference between democracies and dictatorships. You’ll have lots of nice people there with you like Saddam, Hitler, Stalin and OBL.
ho hum, can you ever say anything different, ever stay on topic, ever do anything but spout drivel?

Leader
30 Nov 04,, 09:12
ho hum, can you ever say anything different, ever stay on topic, ever do anything but spout drivel?

And another piss ant goes in to the deep darkness of the ignore list.

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 09:51
And another piss ant goes in to the deep darkness of the ignore list.
ditto little boy :biggrin:

smilingassassin
30 Nov 04,, 12:39
So much for respecting the moderators eh parihaka?

smilingassassin
30 Nov 04,, 12:40
Hokum, please ad 'rectum kissing Australia' to your last paragrahp please.

Does that make you a rectum kissing Australian?

smilingassassin
30 Nov 04,, 12:43
doesn't really matter if you call it dictatorship, democracy or great aunt fanny's political musings, it's still colonisation

Colonists don't leave their colony after its proped up, try again...

PaulG
30 Nov 04,, 12:56
Does that make you a rectum kissing Australian?

I didn't vote for the kissers. But by majority, Australia did. So regardless of my vote, Australian's (in the broad sense) are rectum kissers, on an individual level i am not.

Unfortunately, its not economical, language wise, to say; 'More people around the world dislike america + side kick britain, and 51.298643328% of rectum licking Australian's.'

If this was your practice you would have to do the same for the other mentioned countries. So in this sense, im lumped in with all the other rectum kissers.

Thats democracy for ya, don't ya love it!:)

Ray
30 Nov 04,, 15:05
doesn't really matter if you call it dictatorship, democracy or great aunt fanny's political musings, it's still colonisation

It would not be colonisation because colonisation involves administration of the country captured and brought into vassalage. It is quite a headache.

Given the way the Iraq issue was portrayed when it started, it had the typical Bush signature i.e. a quick fix, wham, bam, thank you, ma'm. I am sure he didn't want to colonise and be afflicted with the headache of governance.

I am all for Bush's War on Terror. But, I don't subscribe to the Iraq War since it is only adding to the terrorist cadre. True Saddam was a tyrant, but at least he was better than the Saudi Kings.

Saudis are such freaks that short of a chastity belt, every other restriction is there to the so called Freedom and Democracy what is today's fashionable clarion call. Much talk is made about the 'Free World' and how Freedom will be brought to the oppressed. If there are anyone really oppressed, it is the Saudis.

Even the War on Terror is flawed. Saudi Arabia is the Mother of all Terrorists. It is like dead flesh spawning maggots. And yet, the Freedom and Democracy vectored on Iraq. Afghanistan had the Taliban who were the most visible terrorists. Therefore, it was right to go after them like a bloodhound, but not lose scent after the first flush.

Nisaar
30 Nov 04,, 15:57
The time has come for me to tell you guys why I think the muslims fear and hate America, I'm not saying this is true, but this is the belief amongst quite a few of them....

Remember what the promised lands are....

"From the Nile to the Euphrates is mine...."Now lets do the math.

(Nile = part of Egypt) + (Euphrates = half of Iraq) + 'From'(all that in between) = Why the mullahs are afraid of the west.

Oh BTW, don't get me wrong, I'm a mullah who prefers shagging to suicide bombing but the above is why I think my brothers fear the west.

lulldapull
30 Nov 04,, 16:06
The time has come for me to tell you guys why I think the muslims fear and hate America, I'm not saying this is true, but this is the belief amongst quite a few of them....

Remember what the promised lands are....

"From the Nile to the Euphrates is mine...."Now lets do the math.

(Nile = part of Egypt) + (Euphrates = half of Iraq) + 'From'(all that in between) = Why the mullahs are afraid of the west.

Oh BTW, don't get me wrong, I'm a mullah who prefers shagging to suicide bombing but the above is why I think my brothers fear the west.


:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Shagging mulla??? :biggrin: :biggrin:

Kiyon bay??? Londa shagging??? :biggrin:

Wahabbi or salafi? :biggrin:

Ray
30 Nov 04,, 17:21
Lull,

Back toi your laundebaji?

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 18:03
So much for respecting the moderators eh parihaka?
:confused: If you mean 'little boy' then sorry, yes over the top (not that he'll read it anyway) but then 'piss ant' which I gather is some sort of American put down ain't neighbourly either, what have the moderators got to do with it?



Originally Posted by parihaka
doesn't really matter if you call it dictatorship, democracy or great aunt fanny's political musings, it's still colonisation


Colonists don't leave their colony after its proped up, try again...

to me colonisation is an attempt to control a country or regions political and/or governmental direction over the long term, it doesn't require an invasion of people, just control. whether that control is good or bad is debatable in each instance.

Ray

"It would not be colonisation because colonisation involves administration of the country captured and brought into vassalage. It is quite a headache."

I agree, it is a headache, and thats what I see happening here.

PaulG
30 Nov 04,, 18:30
parihaka, wouldn't that be Mercantilism? controlling a coutries trade, making them rely on you for finance and imports while you sit back and bleed em dry?

Parihaka
30 Nov 04,, 18:57
parihaka, wouldn't that be Mercantilism? controlling a coutries trade, making them rely on you for finance and imports while you sit back and bleed em dry?
it's a fine line indeed, I guess to use an historical example, when Elgin enforced the Treaty of Tientsin in Beijing (Peking) in 1860 he was asked to interceed against the Taiping rebellion on behalf of the Imperium. He declined saying that he didn't want another India. So I would categorize that as mercantilism, as he was only interested in trade (however slanted and unfair).
India however I would call colonisation despite no large scale settler activity (correct me if I'm wrong) as Britain controlled the political administrative arms of government, exactly what Elgin was trying to avoid in China. Thats why I see the above article as representative of colonialisation, because it's an attempt to control the political administrative arms of government.

DonJasper
30 Nov 04,, 19:22
Cool, I thought I'd have to start another thread.

First a personal perspective: I’m one of the Combat Mission refugees, and we’ve pretty much done the Iraq war / War on Terror into a dead horse. So I thought I could carry on here, but find that my desire to “get to the bottom” of it has be satisfied, and my melancholy my own resulting conclusions enough that I don’t want to do it anymore. On the other board I did a blog-like Islam 101 thread where I documented my research into Islam and UBL (Usama Bin Laden). So I’ll do a much much shorter version here, and if anyone has any questions or wants to compare notes – I’ll do what I can. I’ll post some of the most relevant web sites for the topics, but will not document each point.

And if you want to write me off as someone who hates American and is anti-Semitic Arab bigot – feel free. Your belief doesn’t make it so, but if you’d rather chant “USA” at the ‘They hate us because we’re free” rally – then stop reading now and live a full and happy life. I always wondered how a car mechanic in Podunk Saudi Arabia grew to hate us – after all most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi’s. And some of the figures I’ve seen make the Saudi’s the most common of foreign fighters in Iraq. (Foreign fighters make up about 5% of the insurgents killed in Iraq). PS I sometimes yield to my temptation to digress. Anyway I think I’ve found the answer to the mechanic.

During WWI (waiting for the groans to die down, and the “USA” chanters to leave) there was a Brit names Lawrence of Arabia. The Ottoman Empire was aligned with Germany, and Lawrence told the Arabs – “Help us fight the Ottomans, and Britain will help you gain your freedom”. The Arabs did, the Brits didn’t. The terms ‘backstab’ springs to mind.

During the 20’s and 30’s the Brits and French where busy putting down Arab rebellions on their newest colonies. The British tactic of using aircraft against the Arabs was some sort of innovation – first use of British aerial bombardment (? I forget now).

In the deserts of the Arabian peninsula, the tribe of Saud was busy militarily taking over the place in the 20’s. While on paper the Arabian peninsula was part of the British mandate – they didn’t really care what happened. Nothing but sand there – nothing interesting to the British Empire. Interestingly – it wasn’t until the late 30’s that the last of the reluctant Arab states finally recognized the realities of Saudi Arabia.

Now these Saudis didn’t spring from the sand, and they came with baggage. About the 1800’s a cleric called Wahhabi something or other, and his clan joined with a dirt poor Saud family. He preached a version of Islam that basically said: “All I ever needed to know was known in the 3rd century (about 900 AD by our calendar)” and “Austerity is a virtue”. The Sauds took to this ideology as a duck takes to … sand? If it was one thing they had in abundance it was austerity.” The outsiders called this “Wahhabism”, they referred to themselves as Unitarian.

So the official state religion of Saudi family, is and has been for centuries – Wahhabism. PS – Digression into Arabic spelling. Arabic words are spelled phonetically so kafeer, kafir, k’fer are all the same word, in this case “us”. Makes it tough comparing sources sometimes. It’s hard to put Wahhabism into a bottle. But I’ll try.

First Islam. The five pillars of Islam are
1 Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;
2 Establishment of the daily prayers;
3 Concern for and almsgiving to the needy; (I’ve heard something like 2.5%)
4 Self-purification through fasting; and (Ramadan)
5 The pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) for those who are able.

The Jews and Christians have come to terms with the separtation between church and state. The Jews because so often in history they were without a state, and the Christians have all this “Give onto Ceaser” stuff. Islam has no such concept. Muhammad ended up running a government before his death. So there’s all kinds of governmental type stuff. Rules of war and all that. Now in general the standards set are both decent and pragmatic. After all there’s over a billion Muslims in the world and we’re not having trouble with all of them.

A pretty good web site: http://www.islam101.com/

Now there are some rather nasty passages in the Christian bible, but even extreme followers balk at the endorsement of slavery (as one example). Wahhabism don’t believe that their religion should adapt. Allah said it – it’s in the Quran (Koran) – end of story. Saudi Arabia has “moral police” on the government payroll that do things like wander in the shopping malls and remind the girls and boys they’re not to talk to each other. No music is allowed.

A good web site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saudi/

Now we tend to focus on the most extreme aspects of Wahhabism, but they view themselves as loving caring people. They want to help each other in their attempts to follow Allah’s way. But at it’s core it’s all about purity. So it’s rigid. While we struggle with modern issues like stem cell research –they are dealing with:

In the event that the punishment of amputation is carried out, is the criminal entitled to have the amputated hand reattached by means of a surgical procedure?. (http://63.175.194.25/index.php?ln=eng&ds=qa&lv=browse&QR=13926&dgn=4)
(My favorite) No.

Good site for that:
http://63.175.194.25/index.php?ln=eng


But I got a little ahead of myself. After WWII comes that disaster of biblical proportions – Israel. From here on out everything – I mean EVERYTHING is viewed through the Israeli Palestinian lens. Is it healthy? No. There’s something pathological about it. Perhaps the unified front put forth by the state controlled media of the Arab dictators “Don’t blame us – it’s Israel’s fault.” And since the Internet and satellite TV weren’t around – that’s all there was to know?

So the Cold War comes along, and the Saudi’a are our friends. They have tons of oil money. What to do with it all? Fund ostentatious public works programs glorifying man? Hardly. Build ever larger and more luxurious mosques. Nope. You spread the “Good News” of Islam. Build and fund schools teaching the virtues of Wahhabism to all who care to attend.

The Iranians get rid of the US backed dictator the “Shah of Iran”. Turns out that the rank and file Iranians weren’t too happy with the Shah’s torture chambers, secret police and all that. Who knew? And once they came to power – they weren’t too happy with the Superpower that kept the Shah in power. The USA. The Shah’s weakness is that he couldn’t control what was said inside mosques. So he was able to crush all other opposition political groups – except those based in mosque’s. No dictator can completely control what is said in mosques.

Time passes. The Saudi princes jail anyone who gets out of line. Saddam thinks Iran is a push-over. We like that idea. Blah Blah. The Soviets invade Afghanistan. Well this is too good an opportunity to pass up, and we organize the opposition. We’d like a prominent person to organize a pan-Arab resistance movement. Someone from the Saudi royal family, but not too high. Usama Bin Laden wants the job, and he gets it.

“Afghanistan the Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower. “ by Mohammad Yousaf and Mark Adkin. is a great book. Yousaf was the Pakistani doling out the “goods” to the mujaheedeen. Weapons was currency – the cooler the weapon the higher the prestige of the warlord. However turns out only the hard core religious types were actually shooting the guns. The moderates tended to wage war from London. Made no difference to Yousaf – he was just interesting in running the war. So through patience and toughness – the muhahadeen convince the Soviets to go home.

Everyone is happy. Then Saddam invades Kuwait. He gets his ass kicked. There’s this little matter of the US encouraging the Shia to revolt, then watching Saddams helicopter gunships shoot them up, but no harm no foul. In order to make the Saudi’s feel better – we end up stationing our troops out in the desert. There are some awkward feminist issues as we try and ‘blend’ with the Wahhabis. Pious Wahhabis (like UBL) point out that having any non-Muslim community on the Arabian peninsula is a sin. Foreign contractors is bad enough, but now we’ve got foreign troops! This cannot stand.

So in 1996 UBL has had enough. He’s tried for a couple of years to get rid of the foreign invaders through Saudi channels, and now he takes things into his own hands.


"Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places." http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1996.html

Islamic law says you can’t kill another person unless a war is declared. Well a fatwa is a legal opinion written by a cleric – UBL is not a cleric. So technically it’s invalid, but it gains traction. In any case it’s a license for those that want to start killing Americans.

Later, in 1998, he and a bunch of other people write a fatwa they say “We’ve tried for seven years to get the American’s off our soil. This is not a temporary deployment like they told us it was going to be. This is an attack on Islam”. So now the Saudi royal family is put on notice.

http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

Themes:
The West (aka the USA) has always given the Arabs the shaft.
The only political opposition to survive dictator crackdown is religious.
As such it gains traction – the Islamic parties had tremoundous gains in the Pakistani elections in 2002.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/2337675.stm

Which is Ok, since Musharraf has made it clear he’s not interested in elections anymore.

The same thing in Yemen. The US can’t strong arm a government to loosen up. So our allies tighten up. Gaining us lots of friends in their citizenry. I wish we’d have used our Gulf War mojo to strong arm Kuwait into allowing a free press. And we’re busy p*ssing all over the only free press there is: Al jazeera

It’d be happy to further explain myself – upon request. My time is up today.

PSS - Please don't try and convince me. My opinion means nothing. If you want to do some good, flag down that Iraqi hoofing it across the street carrying the RPG and talk about the balance of powers with him. And be prepared to get an earful about furthering the Zionist cause in return.

Ray
30 Nov 04,, 19:42
DonJuan

Wow, that was something.

Allah ho Akhbar. Islam in Danger!

Impressed.

Journalist?

smilingassassin
30 Nov 04,, 20:04
I didn't vote for the kissers. But by majority, Australia did. So regardless of my vote, Australian's (in the broad sense) are rectum kissers, on an individual level i am not.

Unfortunately, its not economical, language wise, to say; 'More people around the world dislike america + side kick britain, and 51.298643328% of rectum licking Australian's.'

If this was your practice you would have to do the same for the other mentioned countries. So in this sense, im lumped in with all the other rectum kissers.

Thats democracy for ya, don't ya love it!:)

Sounds like your a little bitter about being the minority in Austrailia, thankfully most Auzzies are level headed and are steadfast allies and not the ass kissers you call them simply because they disagree with you.

smilingassassin
30 Nov 04,, 20:05
I didn't vote for the kissers. But by majority, Australia did. So regardless of my vote, Australian's (in the broad sense) are rectum kissers, on an individual level i am not.

Unfortunately, its not economical, language wise, to say; 'More people around the world dislike america + side kick britain, and 51.298643328% of rectum licking Australian's.'

If this was your practice you would have to do the same for the other mentioned countries. So in this sense, im lumped in with all the other rectum kissers.

Thats democracy for ya, don't ya love it!:)

Sounds like your a little bitter about being the minority in Austrailia, thankfully most Auzzies are level headed and are steadfast allies and not the ass kissers you call them simply because they disagree with you. Perhaps you should move to Europe?

Leader
01 Dec 04,, 01:32
Does that make you a rectum kissing Australian?

:biggrin: Nice.

smilingassassin
01 Dec 04,, 06:07
to me colonisation is an attempt to control a country or regions political and/or governmental direction over the long term, it doesn't require an invasion of people, just control. whether that control is good or bad is debatable in each instance.

Ray

"It would not be colonisation because colonisation involves administration of the country captured and brought into vassalage. It is quite a headache."

I agree, it is a headache, and thats what I see happening here.

So in other words you have created your own meaning for colonization then....

smilingassassin
01 Dec 04,, 06:08
:biggrin: Nice.

When someone sticks their foot in their mouth, I'm all too happy to point it out.
;)

Confed999
01 Dec 04,, 06:16
and tony blair telling us (yes i'm british) that if saddam felt like it he could hit london with chemical or biological warhead 45 mins after he gave the order.
I stopped reading at this point. This never happened. Stop getting your information from left wing extremists and tabliods.

Leader
01 Dec 04,, 07:31
Sounds like your a little bitter about being the minority in Austrailia

He's not bitter about that. He's just plain bitter.

smilingassassin
01 Dec 04,, 08:34
I stopped reading at this point. This never happened. Stop getting your information from left wing extremists and tabliods.

You mean the tabloids are not a repitable news source? *heavy sarcasm*

lemontree
01 Dec 04,, 09:58
DonJasper,
Nice discourse. Happy.
But we (Indians) still believe that the war in Iraq needs to be won by the US. We have discussed the reasons in other threads, hence I sha'nt repeat them here.

Parihaka
01 Dec 04,, 10:20
So in other words you have created your own meaning for colonization then....
so would you not regard India during the time of the Raj a colony of the British empire then?

smilingassassin
01 Dec 04,, 10:27
Canada has a governer general, does that make us a Colony?

lemontree
01 Dec 04,, 12:28
Canada has a governer general, does that make us a Colony?
Your head of state and that of Australia is the Royal Monarch of Britain. So technically the British monarch is the C-in-C of your respective armed forces.

DonJasper
01 Dec 04,, 17:23
DonJuan

Wow, that was something.

Allah ho Akhbar. Islam in Danger!

Impressed.

Journalist?

Thanks. Programmer actually. So I likes military history, got a desk job and have a lethal combination of curiosity and a short attention span.

Officer of Engineers
01 Dec 04,, 19:01
Your head of state and that of Australia is the Royal Monarch of Britain. So technically the British monarch is the C-in-C of your respective armed forces.
No, technically, she is the Queen of Canada. We do not recognized her authority as the Queen of Great Britain.

Parihaka
01 Dec 04,, 19:01
Thanks. Programmer actually. So I likes military history, got a desk job and have a lethal combination of curiosity and a short attention span.
the post didn't read like 'short attention span' to me ;)

DonJasper
01 Dec 04,, 19:15
DonJasper,
Nice discourse. Happy.
But we (Indians) still believe that the war in Iraq needs to be won by the US. We have discussed the reasons in other threads, hence I sha'nt repeat them here.

I trusted that the deep thinkers within the government to take Iraq seriously. Now when I mean serious (for a military operation) I mean planning for the worst, preparing for the worst, and if the worst doesn't happen - then you happily refund the difference to grateful taxpayers. I thought winning Iraq was important enough to do it right the first time. Period. If the public didn’t support the necessary measures – then reluctantly pass on the war.

I've raged. And I've cried. Did everything but vomit in my trash can. That’s what I do when I want to win more than the neocons (or be more Catholic than the Pope??).

I look forward to the day when the US government figures out a way to show the average Joe Arab something other than the pointy end of our spear. Instead of shooting they might be yelling: "I think your lifestyle is decadent, immoral and disgusting!" (whisper) "So how much do you want for your x-ray sunglasses?"

I wish some ancestor of mine had bothered to write down their experiences whenever they lived through some historic event. Either they're the most boring people on the face of the earth, or the most illiterate. :)

Parihaka
01 Dec 04,, 19:32
Canada has a governer general, does that make us a Colony?
I've no idea, I know nothing about Canada's political status, every commonwealth country must make up their own minds about how much authority is vested in 'The Crown'

Parihaka
01 Dec 04,, 19:34
. Instead of shooting they might be yelling: "I think your lifestyle is decadent, immoral and disgusting!" (whisper) "So how much do you want for your x-ray sunglasses?" :)
LOL:biggrin:

DonJasper
02 Dec 04,, 21:59
DonJasper,
Nice discourse. Happy.
But we (Indians) still believe that the war in Iraq needs to be won by the US. We have discussed the reasons in other threads, hence I sha'nt repeat them here.

Yea know I've been thinking about my response to your point. There's someone else who articulated where I'm coming from better than I can. I tried to find a transcript of it, but couldn't. So I had to do it myself. On 9/15/2004 Sen. John Luger, Chairman of the Senate Forgeign Relations Committee, read a letter he received from an unnamed Marine. A 2nd Lt. platoon leader In Iraq.

“My guys never fail to step up to any challenged we are given as a platoon. It is pretty awe inspiring to roll up on what you suspect to be an IED, that’s an improvised explosive device, on the side of the road. Common here. And to hear one of your PFC’s say “No problem sir” when you say to him you need to take a closer look before the platoon can pass through the area. Then to watch him sling his rifle across his back crouch dangerously close to the suspected device with a set of binoculars in his hands to confirm whether or not it’s an explosive. Makes you feel very proud.

This war one that cannot be won by Marines and Soldiers. The only thing we can do is to keep a lid on it and buy time. We chase the mujahideen around and in doing so catch and kill a few, or at least deter their actions. However in a society with no jobs, faltering economy and little or no infrastructure there is plenty of incentive to fight. The incentive needs to be removed. Marines and soldiers don’t remove it. Civil Affairs teams and NGO’s do. And there are not enough of these people in Iraq. And they are not organized in such a way that they can respond to specific needs. You are less likely to shoot the guy who is trying to building a school for your kids and turn on your water. These individuals need to take greater risks and be out there with us.

That same PFC that who will run up dangerously close to what could be a command detonated explosive will less willingly and adeptly build a school or turn on the power for a village. It is not in his job description. However he will do a superior job providing security for the civilians who do perform these tasks.”

You can find the video on CSpan.org

If we had a chance to win this thing: Falluja would be buzzing with generators, circular saws, carpenters, tile setters, brick layers. Leave the bulldozer at home - hand out shovels and pay 100 Iraqi's to clear the streets. There would've been a construction forward observer - calling back the stuff that's going to be needed to fix whatever he sees being damaged. We’d leave the place in better shape than we found it.

Professional soldiers know soldiering. They know prepare a firing position in a house. But they don't know how to turn a firing position into a house (at least one that I would want to live in! :biggrin: ) Carpet cleaners, Painters. (No need to repair the furniture is there :rolleyes: ) Windows.

Where's all the other government departments? Defense is well represented in Iraq - how about Transportation, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy. Iraq needs all that stuff - where are they? The Iraq war is a half-measure of the US Government, and I don't know why that is. < insert range of emotions here >

So when I say I think that the military has been put in a no-win situation, and is making a d*mn fine attempt to make the best of it - I'm not faulting the military. "It is not in his job description." (Well not the Indians anyway - their bosses are another matter, but let's get the Indians home first.)

Confed999
03 Dec 04,, 01:30
Defense is well represented in Iraq - how about Transportation, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy.
Those other departments are domestic, they do not operate beyond our borders. Independant contractors and military engineers do the rest of the work, and there are billions of dollars worth of them in Iraq right now.

lemontree
03 Dec 04,, 11:27
Those other departments are domestic, they do not operate beyond our borders. Independant contractors and military engineers do the rest of the work, and there are billions of dollars worth of them in Iraq right now.

Confed,
You are referring to the PMCs. Their job is to suppliment the tasks of the US forces, they don't do development work. I think DonJasper, was talking about the civil servants who specialise in development work.

Confed999
04 Dec 04,, 19:06
Their job is to suppliment the tasks of the US forces, they don't do development work. I think DonJasper, was talking about the civil servants who specialise in development work.
There are civilian contractors there from many trades, masons, carpenters, electricians, etc.. Our company was offered a place among them, but I won't go, nor will I send any of my guys, there without a rifle on my sholder and a pistol in my belt.

mididoctors
13 Dec 04,, 12:59
Horowitzs piece is weird.. the main thrust of it appears aimed at those who are opposed to the war..

Which is odd as the reason we are in iraq appears to be a decision to fight some internal political battle with-in the US. The reason we are in iraq is because we want to prove you wrong.

this applies to many anti war positions as well..

Over time it is becoming increasing clear that the politics of the situation was dictated by a battle for the agenda in the US rather than embracing any reality outside it.

Boris
london

Nisaar
13 Dec 04,, 14:20
I stopped reading at this point. This never happened. Stop getting your information from left wing extremists and tabliods.

Yes it did, I even saw it on television and heard him saying it. (even heard him say something about 15 min weapon deployment....)
Where are you getting your news from ?

mididoctors
13 Dec 04,, 18:22
I stopped reading at this point. This never happened. Stop getting your information from left wing extremists and tabliods.


BBC link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3466005.stm)


24 September 2003

The dossier is published with a foreword from Tony Blair, which says: "The document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."

The prime minister tells MPs the intelligence concludes that Saddam Hussein "has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population".

London's Evening Standard carries the headline: "45 minutes from attack".


I can attest to validity of this item as i watched the debate live

the issue really boils down to why campbell didn't contact the standard to "clarfy" over the "claims" as opposed to his intervention over gillighan.. ie when the press overplayed and distorted the danger they allowed this to continue but when it was that they are liars they reacted..

there was no good faith to present a balanced assetment to the public


Boris
london

Ray
13 Dec 04,, 20:28
The Dodgy Dossier?

Confed999
14 Dec 04,, 04:06
Yes it did, I even saw it on television and heard him saying it. (even heard him say something about 15 min weapon deployment....)
Where are you getting your news from ?
Please show me the quote/speach/whatever, where Blair said "that if saddam felt like it he could hit london with chemical or biological warhead 45 mins after he gave the order".

The dossier is published with a foreword from Tony Blair, which says: "The document discloses that his military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them."

The prime minister tells MPs the intelligence concludes that Saddam Hussein "has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population".
I still don't see where Blair said London was gone in 45 minutes if Saddam felt like it.

I can attest to validity of this item as i watched the debate live
I read the transcript. ;)

when the press overplayed and distorted the danger
That's what the press does.

they allowed this to continue but when it was that they are liars they reacted..
Yep, that's about how it works everywhere.

mididoctors
14 Dec 04,, 08:48
Yep, that's about how it works everywhere.

therefore its not lying?

Are you basically saying you support this misrepresentation as a necessary evil?


Boris
london

mididoctors
14 Dec 04,, 08:57
I still don't see where Blair said London was gone in 45 minutes if Saddam felt like it.



he didn't... deliberating creating speech that has a broad interpretation while specifically avoiding definitive claims is a highly skilled and premeditate form of lying.

the 'cover" built into Blair's speech is appalling inditement to the depths spin has brought the standard of public debate.

If you wish to defend this behavior I think it reflects badly on your integrity.

You wish to associate yourself with this crap?

Boris
london

Ray
14 Dec 04,, 10:03
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jan2004/wmd-j29.shtml

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/10/13/1097607294014.html?from=storylhs

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3719468.stm

Now, you figure.

One could bring more of these links. The sad part is Blair tried to outBush Bush.

A most pathetic man, even though I still like him.

The idiot should ahve understood it was an US war and he is only a supprt group. He tried to show it was the British who are upfront and Bush was pussyfooting. A very confused man.

Compare the British effort with the US. Chicken feed,

The British Empire is dead and gone, It is time to realise that UK is second fiddle. if indeed that fiddle can be heard!

LOL.

Hanging on to coat tails.

Or Momma's aprong string!

smilingassassin
14 Dec 04,, 10:16
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jan2004/wmd-j29.shtml

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/10/13/1097607294014.html?from=storylhs

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3719468.stm

Now, you figure.

One could bring more of these links. The sad part is Blair tried to outBush Bush.

A most pathetic man, even though I still like him.

The idiot should ahve understood it was an US war and he is only a supprt group. He tried to show it was the British who are upfront and Bush was pussyfooting. A very confused man.

Compare the British effort with the US. Chicken feed,

The British Empire is dead and gone, It is time to realise that UK is second fiddle. if indeed that fiddle can be heard!

LOL.

Hanging on to coat tails.

Or Momma's aprong string!

Oh yeah thats right, anyone who supports Bush is an idiot....common you'll have to do better than that Ray. Please try and remember the only ones NOT on board were the French and Germans. You can try and argue and say that the majority of the world is against Bush but 49-51% of each nations population (the most vocal being the left who don't want a war and are not getting what they want so they whine) that is not a majority of the world. The war for Oil or to finnish Daddy's war just dosn't cut it for arguements anymore either.

smilingassassin
14 Dec 04,, 10:20
he didn't... deliberating creating speech that has a broad interpretation while specifically avoiding definitive claims is a highly skilled and premeditate form of lying.

the 'cover" built into Blair's speech is appalling inditement to the depths spin has brought the standard of public debate.

If you wish to defend this behavior I think it reflects badly on your integrity.

You wish to associate yourself with this crap?

Boris
london

I could care less if he lied to the left, they are the ones who needed some sort of excuse to find their Kahuna's and go to war for a just cause against a reasonable world threat. They are also the most vocal because we are no longer appeasing dictators anymore. Now the going gets tough so they whine.

To them I say tough.....

mididoctors
14 Dec 04,, 10:31
I could care less if he lied to the left, they are the ones who needed some sort of excuse to find their Kahuna's and go to war for a just cause against a reasonable world threat. They are also the most vocal because we are no longer appeasing dictators anymore. Now the going gets tough so they whine.

To them I say tough.....

there is an contradiction here as they have lied to the "right" as well..

you have just established in admission there is no reasonable threat... unless you think he wasn't lying???????

which is it?

this sort of thought process is baffling as the inference to my mind is" i don't care if was lying as I believe we should have acted on a lie even if it isn't true and we know it "

surreal

do you think there were any WMD or not?

if you think not where is the threat they needed to be lied about to to get their kahunas together for?

Boris
london

Ray
14 Dec 04,, 18:58
Oh yeah thats right, anyone who supports Bush is an idiot....common you'll have to do better than that Ray. Please try and remember the only ones NOT on board were the French and Germans. You can try and argue and say that the majority of the world is against Bush but 49-51% of each nations population (the most vocal being the left who don't want a war and are not getting what they want so they whine) that is not a majority of the world. The war for Oil or to finnish Daddy's war just dosn't cut it for arguements anymore either.
Smiling,

I support Bush. I hope I am not an idiot.

I support his war on terror. But I don't have blinkers and I don;t buy the justification for Iraq. Had he said regime change was the issue, I sure would agree.

Blair is a wimp. At least, Bush is straight.

Stop being Blair. Your statistics of world opinion is pretty wrong. Just check the threads out here. You don't have to go very far to check.

I support Bush but I don't hallucinate to justify. Please note, I don't say you do. I am just speaking about myself.

I am as clear like Bush. Bush has gone into Iraq. Good or bad? Who cares. Now, do what you want and say what you want. Too bad. If some folks don't like it? Go fish.

But sure, such folks can debate and maybe some good lessons learnt can surface. No harm in that.


The war for Oil or to finnish Daddy's war just dosn't cut it for arguements anymore either.

From the point of strategy Oil is an issue. The sulphur content of Iraq oil is lowest and it means cheap refining. But that is just a side issue. Iraq is the spring board for CAR oil which is being sent through to Rumania without touching Russia but bordering it. Also remember Shanghai Five.
Therefore, a safer route is required. Further, Russia has to be encricled. Oh well, there are many reasons.

It is not Daddy's war. That is childish. The bloke Cheney is the real Rasputin. He is a clever DiCk. Heard his speech about two Americas? Master stroke. While I salute his Machiavellian style, I don't like devious blokes. If he were the President, then much that the world would dislike him, he would make US the greatest.

smilingassassin
14 Dec 04,, 20:09
I don't think my stats are wrong at all, the left are the most vocal, they should be. We are not conforming to their defeatist strategy. Why would those on the right scream bloody murder? We agree on the Bush doctrine.

Its split down the middle, and those who are not getting their way are whining, giving the appearance of "overwhelming opposision".

Besides France and Germany who else would you expect to back us up? Does that mean when Jordan, Syria and Eygpt attacked Israel, Arabs overwhelmingly supported destroying Isreal?

Ray
14 Dec 04,, 20:21
Well India was about to give a Division. That 30.000. And well experienced in handling this type of muck.

Confed999
15 Dec 04,, 03:36
therefore its not lying?

Are you basically saying you support this misrepresentation as a necessary evil?
I still don't see where Blair lied. If a "media" source misrepresents what was said, it seems you should be mad at the media.

Nobody will clairify themselves, unless they're challenged to do so, was my point in the bit you quoted. (You see, I understood completely what I had said, and wouldn't have spoken about it again, if I hadn't been challenged.)

he didn't...
That's what I said! LOL

deliberating creating speech that has a broad interpretation while specifically avoiding definitive claims is a highly skilled and premeditate form of lying.
It's not a lie, if you just misinterpret what is presented. I understood what was said, so I guess American public schools weren't so bad in my day. You could allways prove he was deliberately lying, Otherwise my original position still stands, Blair never said that.

is appalling inditement to the depths spin has brought the standard of public debate.
You do realize, without proof of the lie, you are playing the spin game as well...

If you wish to defend this behavior I think it reflects badly on your integrity.

You wish to associate yourself with this crap?
Read back through this thread, all I said was that Blair never said what HOKUM said, and then Nisaar backed up with an I saw it. BTW, how does it make you feel about your own integrity to call someone a lyer without proof. Or to try and insult the integrity of one who stated a fact, a fact you had just agreed with. Either way, questioning a person's integrity just because you percieve they don't share some opinion of yours detracts from your argument, and will leave you quite lonely, as no two persons' opinions are exactly the same.

if you think not where is the threat they needed to be lied about to to get their kahunas together for?
Even if most of the world lied and said Saddam had WMD knowing he didn't, I still find it sad that a direct threat was required to get him out. All of my reasons for supporting the removal of Saddam have turned out to be true, but then WMD do not scare me in the least.

Ray
15 Dec 04,, 05:26
I watch Bitrish TV extensively and also read some of their news.

Blair's credibility is very low on Iraq with the British public. But his domestic agenda is popular, even though the financial effects would be showing in the next to next govt.

Blunkett, I believe has delivered.

The British economy is very good after a long time.

So Blair will win, and may even squeak through since the Conservatives have no charismatic leader nor are they sounding credible to the British public.

I wouldn't say Blair lied, but I would say he is guilty of terminological inexactitude.

I saw the debate on TV. He did cleverly put actoss the point that Saddam was a immediate threat and his WMD and reaction was very dangerous to all. I don't remember if he said London was a target but his eloquence didn't say that it wasn't.

The beauty of Blair is that he is suggestive and leaves issue in a rhetoric way.

Blair is an excellent orator.

smilingassassin
15 Dec 04,, 07:40
there is an contradiction here as they have lied to the "right" as well..

you have just established in admission there is no reasonable threat... unless you think he wasn't lying???????

I didn't state that, you should read things more in detail before making assumptions. I said I could care less if he lied, I didn't state that he did or didn't and at any rate I agree with the choice to go into Iraq. I also did not establish an admission that there wasn't a reasonable threat, prewar intel, be it true or not, stated that Saddam was attempting to aquire WMD's to add to those he was already susspected of having.

He also supported terrorist groups hell bent on destroying Israel. The U.S. is dispised for its mere support of Israel in the face of terrorist attacks so Saddams actions are all too clearly aimed at the U.S. as well.
Saddam did not want to see peace in Palestine, while the U.S. did everything in its power (under a democratic president I might add) to resolve the issue PEACEFULLY for both sides. We also have a Republican president calling for the creation of a Palestinian state, while Saddam funds suicide bombers family's.

Saddam clearly was content with keeping the cycle of violence sustained in the ME, but wait!!! We supported him durring the cold war we can't do the right thing now!!!!




this sort of thought process is baffling as the inference to my mind is" i don't care if was lying as I believe we should have acted on a lie even if it isn't true and we know it "

surreal

Not as surreal as people like you dispising the U.S. for backing Saddam durring the cold war and then dispising them equally for doing the right thing and removing a moster they partly created.

Surreal is knowing that You can sleep at night opposing the removal of Saddam because of a mere technicality...."I was lied to...the horror!!!"


do you think there were any WMD or not?

In short yes, IMO events prewar allowed their relocation to other supportive regeimes, there already are enough unusual programs that have been discovered in Iraq. Call it a conspiracy theory if you like (and I'm sure you will) but there is enough evidence to make it a distinct possibility.

Its sad when people have to be lied to to spur them to do the right thing, but unfortunately it happens all the time in polotics, something those on the left are just as equally guilty of.

Ray
15 Dec 04,, 09:01
Smiling,

Fir Christ's sake, don't think the world is against the US.

And anyway, let the American decide and talk and not Canadian speak for them as if they are dumb and stupid. They are not. They can fight their own battles and pretty well too.

Are you suggesting that they require a Candian for pearls of wisdom? It is too much Balir like. Trying to find a place in the sun when the Sun has set on the British Empire. Piggybacking into the sunset of glory on the US back?

You are entitled to support the US and why not? But keep it from the Candian perspective.

Now let's have a look at what Indian's think and this guy is no fawning US lover like some of us.


The pieces of peace
In the post-Arafat era, the ‘road map’ awaits new travellers
G. PARTHASARATHY

Visiting the Old City of Jerusalem is an enthralling experience. It is the only place in the world where some of the holiest shrines of the three great Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, can be seen together. Emerging from an Arab marketplace one enters a large open area where Jewish people are praying before the historic Wailing Wall. Behind the Wall is the Dome of the Rock, one of Islam’s three holiest shrines. Opposite the Wall is one of Christianity’s two holiest shrines, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — the site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.

Christians and Muslims have fought for centuries for control of these holy shrines. It was, however, during Ottoman rule that it emerged that in view of the squabbling between rival sects involving the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Coptic Christians, the Custodian and Doorkeeper of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre would be a Muslim. Even today, when one enters this shrine, one would be admitted by a Muslim, Wajeeh Y Nuseibeh, whose family has for long held this post. Samuel Huntington, who forecast the “clash of civilisations”, ignored centuries of enlightened rule when religious freedoms and the right to worship were respected in Jerusalem.

As the Palestinians and Israelis prepare to deal with each other in a post Yasser Arafat era, the future of Jerusalem will be a key issue. At the Camp David summit convened by President Clinton in the summer of 2000, Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yehud Barak came close to reaching an agreement. The summit failed, but the contours of a settlement for Israeli-Palestinian peace were broadly agreed upon. The Camp David summit was followed by negotiations at Taba on the Egyptian-Israeli border. Finally, amidst increasing violence by Palestinian terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and severe reprisals by Israeli forces, a “quartet” comprising the US, the European Union, Russia and the UN came out with a “road map” for peace on September 17 2002. The road map, which will follow up on broad understandings reached in Camp David and at Taba, would lead to Israeli withdrawal from about 95 per cent of territories captured on the West Bank in 1967 and from the entire Gaza strip. The Palestinians are to be “compensated” for territory not returned by Israel with a “land swap”. Jerusalem is to be declared an “Open City’. While the Palestinians have demanded the “right of return” for all refugees to Israel, it is acknowledged that while Israel may accept those who have familial ties with Israeli Arabs, the bulk of the refugees will have to be settled in the new Palestinian state, or in Arab countries where they are currently resident. There was an understanding at Camp David that there would be Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem including the Muslim, Christian and Armenian Quarters of the Old City, with Israel retaining sovereignty over the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter.

The road map for peace, however, requires the Palestinian Authority to decisively end all terrorist violence against Israelis. Israel, in turn, is required to end punitive action and attacks on civilians. The road map also requires the Palestinian Authority to democratise its style of functioning. The peace process, therefore, depends on the will of the Palestinian Authority to end terrorist violence — a task Arafat was unwilling to undertake. Even though he played a historic role in focusing world attention on the plight of the Palestinians, he was far too tolerant of corruption and maladministration. Stories of how leaders of the Palestinian Authority have amassed wealth and live in splendid villas regularly appear in Palestinian journals. There is hope that if the interim PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas is elected to replace Arafat on January 9 2000, things will change for the better. Abbas, however, faces a formidable challenge from the charismatic Marwan Barghouti who is undergoing a 100 year prison term for involvement in killings of Israeli civilians. Even if Abbas wins, as is now predicted, he will face a formidable challenge in moving ahead on the peace process by acting to effectively curb terrorist violence, even though recent Israeli actions have damaged the capabilities of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

While the Arab and other Islamic states pass resounding resolutions in the OIC condemning Israel, many of them are regularly dealing with Israel even on sensitive issues. Egypt’s intelligence chief Omar Sulaiman is a regular visitor to Israel. Both Egypt and Jordan have close intelligence ties with the Jewish state. Arab countries like Morocco and Tunisia also have periodic meetings at ministerial level with Israel in international and regional meetings and Turkey has close strategic ties that cause more than a little discomfort in Arab capitals. China follows a policy of keeping silent on Middle East developments. It builds relations with major oil suppliers like Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia by supplying them with military hardware and missiles and even nuclear technology through Pakistan. Libya received the design of a nuclear weapon tested by China in 1966 from A.Q. Khan. China simultaneously befriends Israel and obtains huge amounts of military hardware from that country. Our Communists can perhaps learn a lesson or two on diplomatic pragmatism from their Chinese comrades!

India has to recognise that it lacks the economic clout to contribute meaningfully like the Europeans to the Middle East peace process. Further, in view of the dominant role of the Americans and the supporting role of the Europeans, Russians and the UN in the “road map”, there is little that India can do to influence the course of negotiations, especially if we are seen by either the Israelis or Palestinians as being partisan. There is much we can learn from major Asian powers like Japan and China about the virtues of sobriety in commenting on developments in the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia should also be made to realise that they cannot condemn us in forums like the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and accord OIC recognition and support to the Geelani faction of the Hurriyat Conference on the one hand and expect us to unquestioningly back them on Middle East issues the other. Friendship is not a one way street

So see, much that the present govt is an Arafat fan, yet, we know he did nothing to change the situation.

All I say, don't look at the world without 'fashion glasses' coloured and that too at night after a few drinks! ;)

Even this bloke thinks Arafat has done fanny Adams.

Parihaka
15 Dec 04,, 10:19
he is guilty of terminological inexactitude.
.
LOL:biggrin: :biggrin:
Ray, I love this quote, do you mind if I use it? :biggrin:

mididoctors
15 Dec 04,, 10:35
It's not a lie, if you just misinterpret what is presented. I understood what was said, so I guess American public schools weren't so bad in my day. You could allways prove he was deliberately lying, Otherwise my original position still stands, Blair never said that.


If you think they construct there speeches without this in mind you are naive?




Even if most of the world lied and said Saddam had WMD knowing he didn't, I still find it sad that a direct threat was required to get him out. All of my reasons for supporting the removal of Saddam have turned out to be true, but then WMD do not scare me in the least.

Why didn't they make this argument then?

Boris
london

smilingassassin
15 Dec 04,, 20:10
Smiling,

Fir Christ's sake, don't think the world is against the US.

Ray, thats my whole point, leftwing cronies continuously proclaim that the world is resoundingly against the war in Iraq, I don't call 49-51% a "resounding" opposition. The real problem is complacancy, being far removed from war most don't recognize it as a nessassary evil, and will egnore solid facts to back up the choice to go to war because it hinders their arguements.


And anyway, let the American decide and talk and not Canadian speak for them as if they are dumb and stupid. They are not. They can fight their own battles and pretty well too.

Are you suggesting that they require a Candian for pearls of wisdom? It is too much Balir like. Trying to find a place in the sun when the Sun has set on the British Empire. Piggybacking into the sunset of glory on the US back?

You are entitled to support the US and why not? But keep it from the Candian perspective.

Now let's have a look at what Indian's think and this guy is no fawning US lover like some of us.

Lemmi Guess you as an Indian have the right to chastise blair, but I as a Canadain do not have the right to suport him? Quite an arrogant stance indeed.

Ray
15 Dec 04,, 20:25
Parihaka,

That's not mine.

It is Winston's Churchill's to say that a guy is a LIAR and not have it expunged from the proceedings. I love it.

Please use it.

Ray
15 Dec 04,, 20:33
Smiling,

You do exactly as you mind tells you. Do it with finesse and not otherwise (if you know what I mean). Justify as I do (hopefully!).

I doin't want to go through with the hassle of finding out how the world likes the US poilcies, but I think you are rather out in the 49-50 pizzaz.

Let me tell you that it is not because they are against war on terror. It is because the rationale to attack Iraq doesn't appear honest and transparent. That's all. Thart Saddam was a pain, of that there is no doubt. That the Arab leaders all are pains, of that too there is no doubt.

Take a poll on war opn terror and Bush's policy. It will be 89% for Bush, leaving the Islamic countries.

Broken
17 Dec 04,, 01:33
Horowitzs piece is weird.. the main thrust of it appears aimed at those who are opposed to the war..



Thats because Horowitz is weird. He went from being a nut-case on the far left to being a nut-case on the far right. It just goes to prove leftwing and rightwing extremists are two sides of the same coin.

In the '60s Horowitz was buddies with Tom Hayden of the SDS and Huey Newton of the Black Panthers. He was editor of the Berkeley Radical rag "Ramparts" and wrote a book "The Free World Colossus" (you can buy it on Amazon) blaming the Cold War on the US.

The reason Horowitz hates Michael Moore so much is because MM is Horowitz's mirror image. In fact, MM is exactly what Horowitz was 30 years ago. It wouldn't surprise me if, in a few decades, MM is also writing far-right columns or filming right-wing movies branding those on the left as "traitors".

Horowitz, in his piece, cannot conceive of anyone opposing the Iraq war except if they are traitors who want to see victory for fundamentalist Islam. The thought that a war in Iraq would be counterproductive to US interests is beyond his imagination.

Confed999
17 Dec 04,, 02:23
If you think they construct there speeches without this in mind you are naive?
So, when they say something that makes them look bad, it's "constructed" too? Sorry, I'm not into conspiracy theory, I'm interested in what can be proven. As I said, Blair did not say that, and I have yet to be proven wrong.

Why didn't they make this argument then?
I've heard that argument since the late 80s. Often made by the UN and other human rights organizations. You tell me why nobody cared enough to do something about it. Like I allready said, direct threat was the answer, and Saddam made himself look like a threat. He should have complied, but I would still have supported his removal by anyone from anywhere.

tito
02 Sep 08,, 17:45
frankly i find this whole report as silly..
its more rhetorical, with blaming everything on leftist.. i mean its not the coldwar era any more.. blame it on someone else!

Officer of Engineers
02 Sep 08,, 19:13
Please do not resurrect threads from 2004 or even 2006

RoccoR
20 Oct 10,, 22:31
et al,

However it was that we wound-up in Iraq, we are there.



Why We Are in Iraq[indent]

(COMMENT)

[indent]

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archiv...y_nov2005.html
[list]
Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

Iraq making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces, are KEY to even the most basic short term objectives. What we find today is something somewhat different.

The Iraqi Constitution calls for Islam to be the source of all legislation. (Islamic State) All we need is a radical cleric to be in charge.
Iraq had its elections late.
Iraq’s elections were 7 months ago with no government in place yet.
Former PM wins, but is blocked-out.
Current PM loses, but is still in power.
Current PM makes a deal with Terrorist Cleric via Iranian intervention.
Currently, SOI/Awakening element are slipping away (from the GOI/ISF) back to the insurgents.

This puts in question the most basic Democratization Efforts (GOI), and the military up-grading of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).


DOD is considering selling Iraq and addition $4 Billion in arms; as the US attempts to usher in a new-era for the Iraqi military. Additional Military Sales to provide other nations in the Persian Gulf region with massive infusions of advanced weaponry to stand up to Iran.

And it opens up an entirely different discussion on how the US should proceed; given the greater influence of the anti-American Cleric Moktada al-Sadr, and the internal reach of Iran.

In any event, given the intent the US originally had for Iraq, how does this alter the decisions now being considered?

Most Respectfully,
R

CommiCzar
21 Oct 10,, 00:53
Thread: Why We Are in Iraq

To answer the original question:......................>

There are many reasons why the War in Iraq came about; and I will share
my own personal opinion, which is based upon personal observations:............>

As is the case with almost all wars....there are those who's needs and greed
require that their fellow citizens take up arms against a declared enemy;
thereby, the "Prophets of Profit" keep the military industrial complex going
full-steam...at least until the masses begin to voice objection strong enough
to put the fear into their hearts.

Of course, this does not mean that a nation always goes to war for economic
reasons, or without just cause at times; fore, there are times which demand
retribution and retaliation; however, regardless of the circumstance that take
a nation into war....the "Prophets of Profit" are always there to seize the opportunity,
and squeeze every single red-cent that they can out of the treasury.

Uncle $am ( a.k.a. / d.b.a. "BIG Brother"...i.e...*Corrupt Corp-Govt* ) is what drove the
U.S. into this current Iraq War; in spite of the fact that Saddam Hussein was a ruthless
dictator, and would have to eventually be "taken care of"....one way or another.

Once again, merely my own personal opinions.

__________________________________________________ _____________________

RoccoR
25 Oct 10,, 13:49
CommiCzar; et al,

I actually like the phrase.





"Prophets of Profit"


(COMMENT)

Aside from the the industrial military complex (defense industries and contractor services), what keeps the gravity holding a huge commitment in Iraq?

There is the question of Iraq, and its right to choose thier own destiny. Should the West (particularly the US) stay out of the internal affairs of the Iraq government?

If Iraq falls under the influence of Iran, would that pose any significant threat (militarily, economically, or otherwise) to any nations outside the Region?

Most Respectfully,
R

Shek
26 Oct 10,, 02:44
Aside from the the industrial military complex (defense industries and contractor services), what keeps the gravity holding a huge commitment in Iraq?

There is the question of Iraq, and its right to choose thier own destiny. Should the West (particularly the US) stay out of the internal affairs of the Iraq government?

If Iraq falls under the influence of Iran, would that pose any significant threat (militarily, economically, or otherwise) to any nations outside the Region?

Most Respectfully,
R

Look at who's won the contracts in Iraq and tell me how the US is dictating what's going on?

Julie
26 Oct 10,, 02:51
CommiCzar; et al,

I actually like the phrase.



(COMMENT)

Aside from the the industrial military complex (defense industries and contractor services), what keeps the gravity holding a huge commitment in Iraq?

There is the question of Iraq, and its right to choose thier own destiny. Should the West (particularly the US) stay out of the internal affairs of the Iraq government?

If Iraq falls under the influence of Iran, would that pose any significant threat (militarily, economically, or otherwise) to any nations outside the Region?

Most Respectfully,
RIf yu would, stop by the intro thread and tell us a little about yourself. Thanks.

RoccoR
27 Oct 10,, 12:49
Shek, et al,,

Yes, this is a common theme.



Look at who's won the contracts in Iraq and tell me how the US is dictating what's going on?
(QUESTION)

Do you believe the “contractor” is the energy behind the centrifugal power that keeps US involvement active in Iraq?

Do you believe that the contractor (not the PNAC or Ruling Elite) has a legacy influence that has an imprinted on the Foreign Service and DOD to desperately cling for military and diplomatic solutions in achieving the desired outcomes in the National Strategy for the Victory in Iraq (NSfVI)?

Is it still possible to achieve the desired outcomes in the NSfVI?

(POINTS of CONSIDERATION)

There is the question as to whether the force is driven because the US Government does not want to see Iraq democratization efforts fail. Such a failure would place into question whether such evangelistic effort should be similarly implemented in the future.

There is the question as to whether the US should intervene in the internal matters of an stagnant nation whose general indigenous population shows no effort in confronting or correcting there own government; which is protected by elements of the indigenous population.

There is a question as to whether the US should be involved in “nation building” as a non-recoverable major investment?

(SIDEBAR)

There is the sidebar issue as to whether the US has the knowledge, skills and abilities in the Foreign Service and Department of Defense, to pursue post-conflict restoration efforts in the aftermath of a regime change. Many believe that the US should NOT engage in these efforts as the US has not been able to adequately demonstrate the required leadership and management skills to affect a viable, democratic nation following the removal of a dictatorial government.

Most Respectfully,
R

Shek
30 Oct 10,, 01:14
RoccoR,
You didn't answer the question.

RoccoR
30 Oct 10,, 06:30
Shek, et al,

That is because I don't understand the question.



RoccoR,
You didn't answer the question.
(COMMENT)

Tell me who won the contracts and the implied inference. I don't understand if this is a serious question or a conspiracy question.

Most Respectfully,
R

Officer of Engineers
30 Oct 10,, 06:59
Shek, et al,

That is because I don't understand the question.



(COMMENT)

Tell me who won the contracts and the implied inference. I don't understand if this is a serious question or a conspiracy question.

Most Respectfully,
ROk RoccoR,

You are before my time but not before Pearl Harbour. If you have read through this subforum, you would know my arguements but let me rephrase them.

Saddam never disarmed.
11 Sept 2001 taught Saddam that he actually hurt the US.
Saddam WANTS to hurt the US.
Saddam had every intention to lie to everyone.
Saddam hid, not stop, his WMD programs.

I can prove each and every single point that I just posted. Will you evaluate your position?

RoccoR
30 Oct 10,, 19:09
Good Morning Officer of Engineers, et al,



Ok RoccoR,

You are before my time but not before Pearl Harbour. If you have read through this subforum, you would know my arguements but let me rephrase them.


Saddam never disarmed.
11 Sept 2001 taught Saddam that he actually hurt the US.
Saddam WANTS to hurt the US.
Saddam had every intention to lie to everyone.
Saddam hid, not stop, his WMD programs.


I can prove each and every single point that I just posted. Will you evaluate your position?
(COMMENT)

These are adjudications you have made based on your knowledge and experiences. Mine differ based on my knowledge and experiences.


Saddam never disarmed.

IMO this is partially true. He did NOT intentionally disarm. But he was effectively disarmed.

11 Sept 2001 taught Saddam that he actually hurt the US.

Iraq and Saddam had no effective part in the planning or execution of the 9/11 Attacks, while he (as well as others) might have been sympathetic to the effort.

Saddam WANTS to hurt the US.

Politically, Saddam wanted to be the strongman in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Confronting the US (a recognized external power) was merely a badge of honor.

Saddam had every intention to lie to everyone.

Agreed!

Saddam hid, not stop, his WMD programs.

Saddam effectively halted (not because of US or UN demands) his WMD R&D in the early 1990s. He effectively hid the fact that he had no productive WMD R&D Effort for Regional Political reasons.


There were other Regional players that had every reason to promote a confrontation between the US and Iraq. And they often worked, both independently and in concert, to project the impression that Iraq was a significant threat; conventionally, unconventionally, and in the realm of terrorist WMD. But the hegemonic push was primarily driven by US domestic concern correlated to the PNAC. Coupled with poor intelligence collection, poorly framed analysis, and myopic tunnel vision - together with a broken National Security Decision Making Process, circumstantial and anecdotal evidence lead the US to its fateful decision to go to war.

But these are more orbital issues pertaining to the reasons for going to war, and not really relevant to the issues of the day: The conduct of post-combat and post-occupation activities emerging now in Iraq.

My experience has shown, that it is futile to attempt to change peoples minds on these types of highly charged and emotionally entangled perceptions. I've discovered that once formed rather than try and change them, it is better to move-on to what might be done to correct ongoing unintentional outcomes.

Most Respectfully,
R

Shek
31 Oct 10,, 01:38
Shek, et al,

That is because I don't understand the question.

The Iraqi government has awarded contracts. Companies from what nations have won these contracts?

RoccoR
31 Oct 10,, 03:01
Shek, et al,

I don't see a connection.



The Iraqi government has awarded contracts. Companies from what nations have won these contracts?
(ANSWER)


KOGAS (South Korea) and KazMunaiGas (Kazakhstan) to develop the Akkas gas field in the western province of Anbar

Kuwait Energy and TPAO (Turkey) to develop the Siba gas field in southern Iraq

TPAO, Kuwait Energy and KOGAS to develop the Mansouriya field in Diyala province, near the Iranian border

Iraq awarded a dozen service contracts to international oil companies including Exxon and Shell as it aims to more than double its current crude output of 2.3 million barrels a day.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which won contracts to develop Iraqi crude deposits, is working to capture and use about 700 million cubic feet of gas that’s currently being burnt at oil fields in the country’s south.


What is the correlation you are making?

If you are suggesting that the US has lost it's influence over the events in Iraq, I tend to agree.

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
31 Oct 10,, 03:17
Shek, et al,

I don't see a connection.



(ANSWER)


KOGAS (South Korea) and KazMunaiGas (Kazakhstan) to develop the Akkas gas field in the western province of Anbar

Kuwait Energy and TPAO (Turkey) to develop the Siba gas field in southern Iraq

TPAO, Kuwait Energy and KOGAS to develop the Mansouriya field in Diyala province, near the Iranian border

Iraq awarded a dozen service contracts to international oil companies including Exxon and Shell as it aims to more than double its current crude output of 2.3 million barrels a day.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which won contracts to develop Iraqi crude deposits, is working to capture and use about 700 million cubic feet of gas that’s currently being burnt at oil fields in the country’s south.


What is the correlation you are making?

If you are suggesting that the US has lost it's influence over the events in Iraq, I tend to agree.

Most Respectfully,
R

You made the comment over least three posts that the reason for the US attack of Iraq was profit. How is it that the US and especially those who profit from it's war with Iraq are so competent as to prosecute the war but so incompetent as to secure any of the lucrative post-war contracts? Are they machiavelian or hopeless? It seems odd that they could be both.....

RoccoR
31 Oct 10,, 04:50
Parihaka, et al,

No, I apologize if I gave that impression. In fact, I believe something entirely different. I believe that the Administration was pushing an agenda of a Hegemony over the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

I don't recall making such a claim.



You made the comment over least three posts that the reason for the US attack of Iraq was profit. How is it that the US and especially those who profit from it's war with Iraq are so competent as to prosecute the war but so incompetent as to secure any of the lucrative post-war contracts?
(COMMENT - THUMBNAIL VIEW)

I believe that US Forces, did an OK job in the conventional war aspect. I believe that the US, post-conflict Administration was exceptionally poor (militarily and politically).

I do not believe that the US, given the hundreds of Billions of dollars, will receive any return on its investment in either peace, stability, or otherwise (politically, militarily, economically). In fact, I believe, even after the investment, that our military is now much weaker, our diplomacy, as a fair arbitrator and broker of peace is compromised; and I believe that as a result of what we've done, we will be economically hurt domestically.

I do not believe that the Iraq intervention did anything to suppress terrorism. In fact instead of the anti-Saddam elements of Iraq helping to build a new nation, it actually ignited an anti-American and anti-GOI insurgency.

If I have lead you to believe that we went into Iraq for "profit" motives, I apologize my poor communicative skills.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
31 Oct 10,, 15:29
et al,

Just as a side note, I heard this today.



The National Alliance, Iraq's main Shia bloc, has turned down a Saudi offer to host all-party talks to resolve months of deadlock over forming a new Iraqi government.

The offer was turned down on Sunday after some politicians voiced fears over foreign interference. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah had a day earlier volunteered to host the talks in November.

The National Alliance, a coalition of Shia blocs, including that of incumbent prime minister,
Nouri al-Maliki's coalition, said that a deal in Baghdad was close after the highest court ordered parliament to resume sessions last week.

"Though we express our appreciation to Saudi Arabia for its concern about the situation in Iraq and its
willingness to provide support, we would like to confirm Iraqi leaders are continuing their meetings to reach a national consensus," a statement issued by the alliance, said.

A senior member of al-Maliki's bloc said that the Kurdish Alliance also supports this statement.

The Kurdish alliance has 57 seats in parliament and al-Maliki's camp is working closely with them to form a coalition government

Iraqi Shia bloc rejects Saudi offer - Middle East - Al Jazeera English (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/10/2010103183433616942.html).

(COMMENT)

This is one of those case that makes you wonder. Do the Iraqis really want a solution? Or do they want a manipulated outcome?

Most Respectfully,
R

Parihaka
31 Oct 10,, 22:39
Parihaka, et al,

No, I apologize if I gave that impression. In fact, I believe something entirely different. I believe that the Administration was pushing an agenda of a Hegemony over the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

I don't recall making such a claim.



(COMMENT - THUMBNAIL VIEW)

I believe that US Forces, did an OK job in the conventional war aspect. I believe that the US, post-conflict Administration was exceptionally poor (militarily and politically).

I do not believe that the US, given the hundreds of Billions of dollars, will receive any return on its investment in either peace, stability, or otherwise (politically, militarily, economically). In fact, I believe, even after the investment, that our military is now much weaker, our diplomacy, as a fair arbitrator and broker of peace is compromised; and I believe that as a result of what we've done, we will be economically hurt domestically.

I do not believe that the Iraq intervention did anything to suppress terrorism. In fact instead of the anti-Saddam elements of Iraq helping to build a new nation, it actually ignited an anti-American and anti-GOI insurgency.

If I have lead you to believe that we went into Iraq for "profit" motives, I apologize my poor communicative skills.

Most Respectfully,
R
no indeed, it's me who must apologise, I mistook your approval for CC's witticism 'prophets of profit' as agreement.

Lets then replace the word 'profit' with 'hegemony' in my original post and try again.

Shek
01 Nov 10,, 02:27
I believe that US Forces, did an OK job in the conventional war aspect. I believe that the US, post-conflict Administration was exceptionally poor (militarily and politically).

Agreed.

I do not believe that the US, given the hundreds of Billions of dollars, will receive any return on its investment in either peace, stability, or otherwise (politically, militarily, economically). In fact, I believe, even after the investment, that our military is now much weaker, our diplomacy, as a fair arbitrator and broker of peace is compromised; and I believe that as a result of what we've done, we will be economically hurt domestically.[/quote]

The military is much stronger, in terms of equipment, training, and experience. Where it is weaker is in domestic political will to use it. I think too that our international standing has waned, but believe that that aspect is overstated. As far as being hurt economically, that has nothing to do with Iraq and everything to do with the 1930s and 1960s.


I do not believe that the Iraq intervention did anything to suppress terrorism. In fact instead of the anti-Saddam elements of Iraq helping to build a new nation, it actually ignited an anti-American and anti-GOI insurgency.

Yes and no. Did it spawn some additional terrorist movements? Yes. Has it resulted in increased terrorist activity against the homeland? Not anything effective. As to the anti-GOI insurgency, that was a result of Shia ascendancy initially and then a intra-Shia power play. Even if the US had got it right during "Phase IV," I'm not sure if you wouldn't have still seen the elements of insurgency, although probably without the long slide into 2006 like we did.

Shek
01 Nov 10,, 02:29
et al,

Just as a side note, I heard this today.


.

(COMMENT)

This is one of those case that makes you wonder. Do the Iraqis really want a solution? Or do they want a manipulated outcome?

Most Respectfully,
R

Face is very important, and politics is very much in play. Why would a Shia element turn to Sunni Saudis to help with their own domestic disputes?

RoccoR
01 Nov 10,, 14:20
Parihaka, et al,

Yes, well - now that I know the point of confusion, maybe I can explain a little better.



no indeed, it's me who must apologise, I mistook your approval for CC's witticism 'prophets of profit' as agreement.

Lets then replace the word 'profit' with 'hegemony' in my original post and try again.
(COMMENT)


(THUMBNAIL): From a political point-of-view, there were very strong elements (within the Administration) that came together, as a "Ruling Elite," that was interested in establishing US leadership to exercise diplomatic influence over the complex region of the Middle East & Persian Gulf. This was the hegemonic piece; predominance in the regional affairs to create an environment that was both politically stable and economically prosperous. The idea was to clear away the anti-American Saddam influence Iraq (a country that was strategically located in the middle), and install a very US-friendly institution that would would invite a US-Military base. This was to be the stick to match the carrot. And in helping to re-order the stability, the US diplomacy would be persuasive, with a credible military force right in the middle of the belligerents.

(THUMBNAIL) I loved the 'prophets of profit' comment, but from an entirely different view. With every war/conflict that comes along - there is a necessary evil. Wars cost money. And in the huge exchanges of money, comes war profiteers. The US was not the only country in the region to have war profiteers speculating on arsenal sales. In addition to the above ground military-industrial complex, Baghdad happens to be the crossroads for that region in the underground dealing in arms; and has been for hundreds of years. And there are plenty of non-state actors in the mix, dealing in arms. When you see in the news, pictures of weapons caches with the weapons in parts, this is the indicator that you are looking as supplies received outside state sponsored activity. When a state sponsor (either Iran or the US) covertly supplies weapons, they generally don't do it on the "some assembly required" basis. I was sitting in the Palace a couple of years ago, when I saw a picture of "EFPs" in parts, from a weapons cache. MNF-I gave it to the press as evidence of Iranian involvement. In every good piece of propaganda, there is some truth. The truth was, the EFPs were Iranian. The unspoken catch was, that even in Iran there are arms dealers operating and corrupt official out to make a dime. Weapons, when the are QA'd and counted are counted after they are assembled and serialized. These were parts taken from the assembly line, and not a final product shipped to the state sponsor. In this way, the manufacturer sells some to the arms dealers for retail sales. Covertly making a little extra money themselves. Hence the phrase 'prophets of profit' had so much more meaning to me when it comes to the threat analysis of the actual number of non-state actors engaged in the various insurgencies aspect angles.

Most US military and diplomatic officials, in an attempt to simplify the equation, tend to discuss the various activities (armed actions) in an US 'vs' THEM on the state level. That is, they seldom discuss the hidden mechanism behind the curtain that actually effects the transfer and sale of arms (supplies, weapons and ammunition) to the non-state actor insurgent, terrorist and para-military forces. But none of it is free and it just doesn't magically appear on the battlefield.

It is also the case that US military and diplomatic officials, in an attempt to simplify the equation, would never suggest that some of the events that were attributed to re-igniting conflict, were actually accomplished by arms dealers, and not the belligerents themselves. When arms dealers want to to escalate fighting, to spur sales, they were not beyond making a significant emotional event occur.

But this is a completely different discussion and I apologize in deviating from the thread.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
01 Nov 10,, 16:07
Shek, et al,

We agree to an extent. In the limited space here, I will try to outline my opinion.



The military is much stronger, in terms of equipment, training, and experience. Where it is weaker is in domestic political will to use it. I think too that our international standing has waned, but believe that that aspect is overstated. As far as being hurt economically, that has nothing to do with Iraq and everything to do with the 1930s and 1960s.
(COMMENT)

The economics is one debate, deferred for the moment.

The military is exceptionally weaker is several regards.


First is the persuasiveness of the Armed Forces in a conventional format. Much of the hardware associated with US strike capabilities is depleted and needs either a tremendous maintenance effort to be brought back online or replaced.

Heavy Weapons are not in a location or condition to rapidly deploy.
Aircraft have reach significant flight hours thresholds.
Deployment schedules for human forces are overextended.
Contingency supplies nearly exhausted.


Second, C3I systems are totally compromised. There are a significant number of allied forces that have seen our C3I capabilities in close proximity, from the inside. Granted, a certain number of these countries already had a certain amount of significant access as to how the US operates inside the command, control and intelligence structure. But now, our entire method of operation and decision making processes are compromised. There are no SECRETS left in the toolbox. All points of vulnerability are known.


United Kingdom
South Korea
Australia
Poland
Romania
Denmark
El Salvador
Georgia
Azerbaijan
Bulgaria
Latvia
Albania
Czech Republic
Mongolia
Lithuania
Armenia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Estonia
Macedonia
Kazakhstan
Moldova


Third, critical pathways are comprised. nearly everyone understands that is certain communication networks go down, it will cripple the C3I for entire force sectors. Nearly everyone knows how the intelligence systems work and what their capabilities and resolutions are.





Did it spawn some additional terrorist movements? Yes.

Has it resulted in increased terrorist activity against the homeland? Not anything effective.

As to the anti-GOI insurgency, that was a result of Shia ascendancy initially and then a intra-Shia power play. Even if the US had got it right during "Phase IV," I'm not sure if you wouldn't have still seen the elements of insurgency, although probably without the long slide into 2006 like we did.
(COMMENT)

The "Homeland" was never under any real threat from Iraq. But that is all perception and it will be judged in history.

While we had a Phase VI Plan, it was never really activated as intended. We were dead reckoning both militarily and diplomatically. Today, the illogical outcomes we see in the transfer under the elections is a predictable result in our poor leadership; given the nature of those being lead.

The true nature of the mistakes made and the unintended consequences realized are in the forensics of the National Security Decision Making Processes (NSDMPs) that were corrupted by internal manipulation of the "Ruling Elite" and the latent follow-on contamination of the Military Decision Making Processes (MDMPs).




In the short term:

An Iraq that is making steady progress in fighting terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency, meeting political milestones; building democratic institutions; standing up robust security forces to gather intelligence, destroy terrorist networks, and maintain security; and tackling key economic reforms to lay the foundation for a sound economy.

In the medium term:

An Iraq that is in the lead defeating terrorists and insurgents and providing its own security, with a constitutional, elected government in place, providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region, and well on its way to achieving its economic potential.

In the longer term:

An Iraq that has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency.
An Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country.
An Iraq that is a partner in the global war on terror and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, integrated into the international community, an engine for regional economic growth, and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region.

The corruption and contamination of the Decision Making Processes (NSDMP & MDMP) lead to the inability of the US to attain even a Short-Term victor under the National Strategy --- to date.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
01 Nov 10,, 16:37
Shek, et al,

Yes, everyone seems to be worried about saving face.



Face is very important, and politics is very much in play. Why would a Shia element turn to Sunni Saudis to help with their own domestic disputes?
(COMMENT)

This was an unfortunate event.



In a statement posted on a Web site operated by militants late on Sunday, the Islamic State of Iraq took responsibility for the attack, calling the church “ the dirty den of idolatry.” The posting said its actions had been prompted in part by the behavior of the Coptic Church in Egypt, which it accused of detaining two women who converted to Islam. It added that the fuse of a campaign against Iraqi Christians had been lit.

In the same event, the MOI suggests that the terrorists are affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant organization connected to al-Qaeda-in-Mesopotamia.

The question here, is there a new front opening between one ideology and another, in a violent fashion?

Most Respectfully,
R

Shek
02 Nov 10,, 01:59
Rocco,

To find the kind of experience that the military has right now, you'd have to go back to Vietnam. However, that experience had a half-life of a draft enlistment. The current experience has a much greater half-life since it has been retained through reenlistments. No other nation-state has that kind of experience right now. At the battalion level and below, there's no dullness to the edge. Where there's rust is at the brigade level and higher in having to conduct high intensity operations not from a hard stand. However, the optempo has just now slowed to where units are starting to return to training across the full spectrum of operations.

As to the decision making process, based on what you've written, I don't think you really understand it at either level (whether at the national level or within the military). Bottomline, few administrations do it well, and in fact, it's almost something that's hardwired into our democracy. As to the MDMP, your confusing that with JOPP, and even then you're missing the boat.

RoccoR
02 Nov 10,, 03:09
Shek, et al,

It is possible that I don't agree. But I doubt that I don't understand.




As to the decision making process, based on what you've written, I don't think you really understand it at either level (whether at the national level or within the military). Bottomline, few administrations do it well, and in fact, it's almost something that's hardwired into our democracy. As to the MDMP, your confusing that with JOPP, and even then you're missing the boat.
(COMMENT)

Oh, I think I understand it alright. I'm just not satisfied with the idea that the NSDP has to be done so poorly. Just because one administration has corrupted it, does not mean that every administration has to be mediocre at one of the most important processes there is for our nation, or any nation. A dysfunctional NSDMP puts the nation at risk. I am not alone on this thought, but I think the reformation process is in questionable. Securing the State: Reforming the National Security Decisionmaking Process at the Civil-Military Nexus | Military Review | Find Articles at BNET (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PBZ/is_5_88/ai_n31201139/)

As for the MDMP 'v' JOPP, I understand the processes and don't have them confused. I'm just applying the principles at echelons above SECDEF; connecting to The National Security Advisor and Presidential Decision Making.


This monograph examines the need to retool the military decision making process (MDMP) as the U.S. Army transforms to the future force. Although the MDMP is the current doctrinal framework to decision making and planning at the tactical levels, it represents an analytical approach to problem solving with the concerted efforts of a commander and his staff. This monograph compares the current MDMP as an analytical process with the emerging science and theory of naturalistic decision making (NDM).
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/sam/intuition_vowell.pdf

An orderly, analytical process that consists of a logical set of steps to analyze a mission; develop, analyze, and compare alternative courses of action against criteria of success and each other; select the best course of action; and produce a joint operation plan or order. Also called JOPP. See also joint operation planning; Joint Operation Planning and Execution System. (JP 5-0)


I am talking about processes that allowed the Iraq Campaign to get out of hand. How it was that the advices of CSA was dismissed, how the decision was made to allow the Iraq Army to be disbanded, how it was that decision was made to allow a secular Constitution to be adopted. All these things are decisions (plus many more), were all claimed by the Administration to have been sound and valid. Although in the minority, I believe that the Military Leadership abdicated its role in the decision making process.


NOTE: Dr Rice claimed only that the decision to invade Iraq was only valid (not sound).

While I do think the Armed Forces had forgotten many of the lessons learned out of Vietnam, I believe that the military could have avoided many of the post-combat phase mistakes though a critical thinking process (part of the MDMP).

I believe you think I'm addressing military (joint forces or otherwise) dogma; but, I'm not. I'm talking about focused and clear reason exercised up and down the entire decision line.

Most Respectfully,
R

Shek
06 Nov 10,, 01:56
Rocco,

The MDMP (JOPP on the joint side) is geared towards creating a plan when you have a well defined mission statement. Breaking Iraq and putting it back together is not a well defined mission statement. You need to frame the environment and problem first before even developing a mission statement. In the case of OIF, this required the civilian leadership to do this and get it right. Because they didn't, the military was boxed in with the odds stacked against them (but I would agree that we then played that hand badly). However, the bottom line is that you can't compare policy decision making with MDMP. They get at two different things.

As to corrupting the NSDM process, while the Bush 43 Administration didn't run a smooth oiled machine, your rarely find that among administrations. You can look to the Eisenhower Administration as a example, but after that, I'd challenge you to show me one that wasn't dysfunctional. In fact, by the very nature of war and the American republic, you expect it to be somewhat dysfunction as opposed to developing "pure" strategy without the constraints of domestic politics. It wasn't that voices weren't able to be heard - the problem was that the wrong voices won out and they made the wrong decisions.

Next, the NDM is crap. As an approach, it opens up military decision making to errors due to systemic biases. It relies on the fallacy of "expert" decision making. The list of social psychology/behavioral economics/etc. literature is long on this topic. As a only when time is constrained and any decision is better than no decision, then it simply describes what happens in an abbreviated MDMP anyways.

Finally, your attributing failure to military leaders for decisions that are clearly those that the civilian leadership should make. Non-starter. Furthermore, if you look at the disbanding the Iraqi military and cutting deep into Baath Party membership, read the books that show that Petraeus pretty much calls Bremer an idiot for doing this (along with some other military members).

I'm happy to criticize the folks for making poor decision, to include the military, but don't blame process when it's the people, and blame the people who actually have the authority to make the decision.

S2
06 Nov 10,, 08:24
I see the genie is out of the bottle and we've resurrected this thread-if somewhat morphed.

Defining the environment and problem would seem relatively easy WRT Iraq in 2002/2003. If that is the point-of-departure for development of the Iraq Intervention Mission Statement then that portion seems easily framed. What should follow would seem the prescription to the problem which recognizes the temporal conditions specifically imposed by Iraq's particular environment, the near and long-term desirable end state, and the set of requirements to be accomplished between elimination of the problem and achieving that end-state.

Powell's maxim--"If you break it, you own it" deserved examination prior to initiating hostilities. Is it true? What if we'd simply "broke it" and left? Could anybody stop us from doing so? Naturally, we'd have likely issued the admonishment for Iraqis to fix it in a manner to our liking lest we break it again, and again...and again under this assumption.

Let's presume our underlying intent was to establish hegemony throughout the Persian gulf. Wouldn't this demonstration of will and means have been sufficient to establish our dominance? How did remaining in Iraq help us given the Coalition Authority's subsequent dithering? In preference, wouldn't the memory of our latest visit instead left our image untarnished?

Reconstruction aid? What did we really destroy in the march up that Iraqis couldn't repair versus what was subsequently destroyed in the following years of conflict? Let Iraq do so sans our help and money. Part of the price for wandering astray as a nation.

Would we not have achieved our goals-removal of the baathist regime, neutering of its armed forces, removal of any actual or latent WMD threat, removal of Saddam from power, etc? We wish for more from Iraq such as establishing a democratic political system? Dangle the carrot of heretofore undelivered help/aid if they show the requisite eagerness to do so.

A slide back to more of the same? Beat on them again. Maybe with our army (in Kuwait or Kurdistan). Maybe simply by our air force and navy at levels far beyond tit-for-tat no-fly-zone slap on the hands.

Perhaps it's the process. Maybe the people. Perhaps both but we've demonstrated an abject inability to project our power through to acceptable political/social end-states.

Let's be fair. We're not the first nation proved incapable of accomplishing such nuanced outcomes. Only the first hyper-power to show this vulnerability. With the brightest minds and most coherant thinking, however, we're still only half the equation. There are other players possibly acting as wild-cards.

If part of victory includes choosing the battlefield and form of combat, should we not recognize our flaw as an element to be avoided and simply stick to what we do exceedingly well-breaking things? Do we, alternatively, simply avoid conflict altogether since we've demonstrated an inability to execute the processes correctly or identify a leadership mix able to formulate coherant strategy?

Shek
06 Nov 10,, 18:27
Steve,

A fair question about what the endstate should have been. My question would be how do you balance the potential endstate you offer with the need to have someone to balance Iran and to prevent terrorists from operating from their soil? A weak and ineffectual Iraqi state (which isn't forgone conclusion, but I think a high probably in a punitive raid only scenario) would have issues doing either.

The whole essence of design vs. MDMP is that war is an inherently social phenomenon, and as such, is a complex environment where the flap of a butterfly's wings in one place can result in a storm in another, metaphorically speaking. Thus, while the OPLAN to remove the regime might fit well into the MDMP process, how to achieve an endstate that goes beyond regime removal and instead is regime change (to what regime? how? how long?) is something that falls under the rubric of design. This is the thrust of where I was going with Rocco.

RoccoR
07 Nov 10,, 05:28
Shek, et al,

We are not that far apart.



The MDMP (JOPP on the joint side) is geared towards creating a plan when you have a well defined mission statement. Breaking Iraq and putting it back together is not a well defined mission statement. You need to frame the environment and problem first before even developing a mission statement. In the case of OIF, this required the civilian leadership to do this and get it right. Because they didn't, the military was boxed in with the odds stacked against them (but I would agree that we then played that hand badly). However, the bottom line is that you can't compare policy decision making with MDMP. They get at two different things.

(COMMENT)

When I said the NSDMP corrupted the MDMP, it is true, that "this required the civilian leadership to do this and get it right." When the NSDMP got this wrong, it corrupted the planning and execution of the MDMP. The unintended consequences were born at this point.



As to corrupting the NSDM process, while the Bush 43 Administration didn't run a smooth oiled machine, your rarely find that among administrations. You can look to the Eisenhower Administration as a example, but after that, I'd challenge you to show me one that wasn't dysfunctional. In fact, by the very nature of war and the American republic, you expect it to be somewhat dysfunction as opposed to developing "pure" strategy without the constraints of domestic politics. It wasn't that voices weren't able to be heard - the problem was that the wrong voices won out and they made the wrong decisions.
(COMMENT)

I do not disagree with your history lesson. However, I don't accept the idea that we should expect or accept a leadership that is "dysfunctional" as a matter of course. Nor do I expect a failure at all the various levels that were suppose to provide oversight on such decisions.

Our leadership (The Administration, Congress, DOS, DOD) failed to do the critical thinking. And those that did, did not stand-up to be counted, except for a few generals. And they were dismissed.




Summary


U.S. Army Chief of Staff Erik Shinseki said Feb. 25 that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed in Iraq following a war. However, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz contradicted that statement on Feb. 27, saying Shinseki's estimates were "wildly off the mark." When two important figures like this contradict each other, it always has strategic significance.

Analysis


An interesting fight has broken out over the U.S. Army chief of staff's contention that Iraq would be occupied by hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops following a war. Gen. Erik Shinseki made that statement Feb. 25 at a Congressional hearing, without any immediate contradictions. Then, at hearings on Feb. 27, Democrats began attacking Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on the question of the war's cost -- at which point Wolfowitz broke with Shinseki, saying that his estimate was "wildly off the mark" and that the actual number of occupation forces would be closer to 100,000 troops.

My thought here is that, in terms of the plan and oversight, CONGRESS fell prey to the old Burke adage: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." They were over confident in the leadership which lead to a cascade failure.



Next, the NDM is crap. As an approach, it opens up military decision making to errors due to systemic biases. It relies on the fallacy of "expert" decision making. The list of social psychology/behavioral economics/etc. literature is long on this topic. As a only when time is constrained and any decision is better than no decision, then it simply describes what happens in an abbreviated MDMP anyways.
(COMMENT)

I agree, the NSDMP was broken when I was in Vietnam.

There was no eminent threat, no need for a rushed decision. It was an elective invasion.



Finally, your attributing failure to military leaders for decisions that are clearly those that the civilian leadership should make. Non-starter. Furthermore, if you look at the disbanding the Iraqi military and cutting deep into Baath Party membership, read the books that show that Petraeus pretty much calls Bremer an idiot for doing this (along with some other military members).
(COMMENT)

I did not blame the Military Leadership any more (or any less) than I blame the Civilian Leadership.

And I don't consider GEN Petraeus holding any special insight on the conduct of the war. But he was a genuinely good follower of Administration Orders. Like GEN Casey before him, by keeping his mouth shut, he made his 4th Star.



I'm happy to criticize the folks for making poor decision, to include the military, but don't blame process when it's the people, and blame the people who actually have the authority to make the decision.
(COMMENT)

Now here, you may (and I'm not totally convinced), have a point. Possibly a very significant point.

I might concede on this point, relative to the political leadership.



Listen, I'm a politician which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops. But it also means I keep my options open.

This is the question of whether the evolutionary process that develops poor leadership? Or, whether the quality of the stock is poor?

I sat on the veranda at the Baghdad Embassy, one night, with four O-6's. It was Cigar Night. All four were Academy Graduates. It was a tradition that dated, at least back to '04 and the ORHA Palace days. We would discuss the topics of the day in concept form. One night, we discussed the way we formulate strategies and policies and related the true nature of the situation. How we mold the truth to fit the agenda. I asked two simple questions to the table that brought a dead silence.



Q1: I asked if everyone remembered the Honor Code from the Academy.
A1: One AF Grad pumped it out in a heartbeat. "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."
THEN
Q2: If any of you were to be brought before the Honor Committee for some of the presentations, situational testimonials, and releases made to Administration or Congressional Officials, Diplomatic Corps, or Media, what would the outcome be?
A2: Dead Silence.

Slowly the discussion began to suggest that sometimes it is imperative to craft a picture intended to convey an alternative impression to reality, or to omit critical information that does not help the case one is trying to defend or promote. It was clear that as one ascends in rank and responsibility, the vision of what is a "lie or falsehood" begins to change.

This conversation evolved to the impact this has on the integrity of the military as it's honesty and integrity begins to be questioned; and if this is a quality the military wanted to foster. Like most questions and discussion, of such import and dynamics, while it was generally agreed that the military wanted to foster honesty and integrity, it could not resolve the imperative to project the image most favorable to the position they needed.

Did the process create the dilemma? Or --- did the people it promoted?

I don't suspect that this question will every be resolved. I tend to believe that the process, that does not honor truth through the life cycle of a career created the people. It was an unintended consequence of career development --- a lifetime of placating superiors.

Whatever the truth is, the image that the military is projecting has mixed reviews; both inside and outside of uniform. It creates an environment which fosters disclosures from anonymous sources and leaks to outright espionage.

Most Respectfully,
R

RoccoR
07 Nov 10,, 06:02
Shek, et al,

Yes...



Thus, while the OPLAN to remove the regime might fit well into the MDMP process, how to achieve an endstate that goes beyond regime removal and instead is regime change (to what regime? how? how long?) is something that falls under the rubric of design.
(COMMENT)

Exactly, the post-Conflict activity (political or military) did not meet the either the criteria to meet the established definition and objectives; or the criteria for legal occupation.

This was an unintended consequence of unprepared and unqualified leadership. These weaknesses should have been picked-up and addressed prior to the invasion. But the nature of the cascade failure also serves to demonstrate the quality and competence of the decision making at all levels.

But both of these processes have another evolution of failures that affects even more than the early post-Conflict phase. It is the outcomes we are experiencing now and the implication for the future.

It is unlikely that we can correct the mistakes of the past. But can we still correct the outcomes in the future.

Most Respectfully,
R

Shek
07 Nov 10,, 12:56
And I don't consider GEN Petraeus holding any special insight on the conduct of the war. But he was a genuinely good follower of Administration Orders. Like GEN Casey before him, by keeping his mouth shut, he made his 4th Star.

****

Our leadership (The Administration, Congress, DOS, DOD) failed to do the critical thinking.

Rocco,

Sorry, but time is tight and I don't have time go point by point, so I'll just do a drive by.

If Petraeus was such a good lap dog as you imply, then why did he defy Bremer's de-Baathification orders as a 2-star? why did he tell Bremer he was stupid for disbanding the Iraqi Army? why did he simply open up the Syrian border without any clearance from Washington? why did he place conditions on taking MNF-I to get his 4th star?

As to DOS not doing critical thinking, what do you call the Future of Iraq Project?

Sorry, but much of your narrative simply doesn't match the facts. Also, you continue to conflate process and outputs. Invalid or wrong inputs don't "corrupt" MDMP - it is a process. As with any process, you can execute it flawlessly, but if inputs are wrong, then outputs will be wrong.

Lastly, you state that the military got it wrong because the civilian leadership got it wrong. I would even challenge that. The military with the leaders in place would have still have gotten it wrong even in the civilian leadership had gotten it right. We've got some points of agreement, but a still worlds apart in many areas of analysis here.

RoccoR
07 Nov 10,, 16:46
Shek, et al,

I realize that I have the minority opinion. I don't deny that.



If Petraeus was such a good lap dog as you imply, then why did he defy Bremer's de-Baathification orders as a 2-star? why did he tell Bremer he was stupid for disbanding the Iraqi Army? why did he simply open up the Syrian border without any clearance from Washington? why did he place conditions on taking MNF-I to get his 4th star?

As to DOS not doing critical thinking, what do you call the Future of Iraq Project?

(COMMENT)

Yes, the 4th Star dilemma. Did you ever wonder why they had to promote a 3-Star to a 4-Star in order to get a Commander? Both Generals Petraeus and Odierno had to be given the promotion to take the job and Petraeus had some bargaining room. But the real question is, where were all the other 4-Stars and why were they not fighting for command. One thing I learned, while listening to the CG's Staff was, that almost to a man, every Staff Officer believed in their CG; whether it was Sanchez, Casey, Petraeus or Odierno. They all believed in what they were doing and worked extremely hard to accomplish the commander's goals and objectives. Having said that, the outcomes are what they are. If we agree that the men and women of the command (CJTF-7, MNF-I, USF-I) ALL did what they were suppose to do - then why such a miserable outcome? And to the best of my knowledge, nearly every service member accomplished their assigned mission in exemplary fashion overall. (There were some command anomalies, the occasional scandal - but given the enormity of the effort - nothing to outside what might be expected on any other project of comparable scale.)


Please let this be clear: I would never call GEN Petraeus a "Lap Dog." He does find himself in an inferior position relative to Civilian Leadership; it is the nature of the beast. (This is a different subject relative to the "Cloning Effect" and the "Ostrich Effect." I sincerely apologize if I my poor communicative skills might have transferred that implication.
In the matter of the DOS FIP (Future of Iraq Project), it dates back to late 2001 and early 2002, and was never really resourced or funded properly. While it was a huge outline for ORHA (covering a whole shelf), its objectives were largely overshadowed by ground developments. It was based on some assumptions that were not actually true (some predictable and some not), it was never successfully implemented. However, the silver lining here was the attempt...



Sorry, but much of your narrative simply doesn't match the facts. Also, you continue to conflate process and outputs. Invalid or wrong inputs don't "corrupt" MDMP - it is a process. As with any process, you can execute it flawlessly, but if inputs are wrong, then outputs will be wrong.
(COMMENT)

Yes... We agree here, to an extent.

If the process is wrong, then it is not unreasonable to assume a high probability that the out will be wrong.

If the process is right, but based on poor assumptions, the one might expect that it will probably yield unsound and invalid outcomes.

If the process is right, but implemented poorly, then it is reasonable to expect a poor outcome.

Your assumption (if I understand it) is that the process is/was right; that other factors caused the outcomes we have accrued to date. This is where we differ.



Lastly, you state that the military got it wrong because the civilian leadership got it wrong. I would even challenge that. The military with the leaders in place would have still have gotten it wrong even in the civilian leadership had gotten it right. We've got some points of agreement, but a still worlds apart in many areas of analysis here.
(COMMENT)

Yes, agreed, it is possible that:

If the Civilian Leadership "had got it right" - it was still possible for the military to get it wrong. Yes, this is possible.

But given that the military accepts civilian leadership (an American Imperative), if the military stays inside the civilian guidance and focused agenda - it would be highly unlikely that they would implement effective operations that would achieve the desired outcomes.
Given that: VICTORY IN IRAQ DEFINED (The Desired Outcomes)


In the short term:

An Iraq that is making steady progress in fighting terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency, meeting political milestones; building democratic institutions; standing up robust security forces to gather intelligence, destroy terrorist networks, and maintain security; and tackling key economic reforms to lay the foundation for a sound economy.

In the medium term:

An Iraq that is in the lead defeating terrorists and insurgents and providing its own security, with a constitutional, elected government in place, providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region, and well on its way to achieving its economic potential.

In the longer term:

An Iraq that has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency.
An Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country.
An Iraq that is a partner in the global war on terror and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, integrated into the international community, an engine for regional economic growth, and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region.

My contention is that, given these desired outcomes, after a Trillion Dollars, and 8 years, and over 4000 Dead (5000 counting the contractors) that we have not completely achieved "short term" objectives. And haven't done so, how could this be if:

The Process was both sound & valid.
The Military did what it was directed to do.
The Foreign Service did what it was suppose to do.
The Civilian Leadership did what it was suppose to do.

I believe that none of the four points above are completely true, and that there were weaknesses in all four areas. I am not prepared to take the "Processes" off the table. Part of the process is to verify the premise used (they must be "true") in any deductive reasoning. The output of the first process (NSDMP) is used, in part, as an input (unvalidated) in the next process (MDMP). This is a two-stage serial process.

As I said at the outset, I know that I am in the minority here. But I don't believe that we can learn from our mistakes and improve the prospects for better future outcomes, if we don't examine the nature of the errors that have brought us to the ground truth we see today in Iraq.

Most Respectfully,
R