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Thread: Cindy Sheehan Unplugged

  1. #196
    Banned Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Garry-

    I don't know if you were listening back in 2002-2003, but it went something like this:

    The bottom line is that this whole thing is about making the United States of America (and our Allies in Western Civilization) more safe. That has ALWAYS been the #1 impetus since 9/11. In order to be more safe, "something" has to be done about the Middle East, because that is where the majority of the problem comes from. There are several options about what to do about the Middle East. The most daring option is to actually try to fix it. Biggest risk, biggest short term price tag, maximum payoff at the end.

    Iraq and SH needed to be attended to most quickly as they were the biggest threat to attempts to stabilize the region and were also the most anti-American state voice, and luckily SH was too dumb to sit quietly - he provided reason after reason after reason to get his country taken away from him and voila! Problem One well on its way to be fixed.

    Count in Libya and Lebanon and things are going pretty well.

    So why did we invade Iraq? To make America safer.

    Why does that help make America safer? Because it's part of a Big Plan to fix the Middle East.

    What were some of the reasons we used to justify the invasion? Well, legally we were set because of the violations of the Cease Fire from Gulf War I. Policy-wise we were set because Bush outlined the "War on Terror" as being waged against terrorists and those states that support terrorists. To try to keep the UN folks and other appeasers happy we talked about the real threat of state supported terror and WMD and ran into the brick wall of idiocy from GermanoFrancussia; as I've said - they called what they thought was a bluff and now they are pissed that they don't get to split the pot.

    -dale

  2. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    I think Shek that wrong justification lead to setting wrong goal and this turns to wrong planning and problems with implementation. We both discussed what could have been done better at the time of intervention and right after.... Many of this was due to the fact that army was set different goal and it prepared for this goal - destroying Iraqi Army.....

    However this is matter of past. What is important is that national suppot was built on the wrong reasoning. This brought wrong expectations focused on security...... and this may lead to lossing this support once a disappointment in achieved results and progress come. Most of people would love nation building projects but not when the cost of this project exceeds $ 1 trln, lasts decades and requires in around 5,000-10,000 soldier lives. For some time an argument that we can not leave from there will work good but only if people see some "turning point" ahead.

    How this may be remedied? I guess that next president must take a courage and explain to people what a hardw and long-term project Iraq is. Without a short-term tricks of a used car dealer which Bush and Rumsfeld are using now to sell the idea to people...... I hope people would agree to that and without fooling undertake this huge cost and committment. Because it will take long time.

    Tell me as a person who have been in Iraq few times and know how recovery is going on - How many years/month do you estimate it will take before USA can state that mission is accomplished?

    Second question - do you think people would agree with this period and cost?

    ps. and ofcause my next point is that setting such a vague/ideal thing as Democracy as a mission is wrong.... You already know what I think about chances of building it from outside. If lucky it is possible in 20-30 years. But before that country must come to economic prosperity with relativelly fair wealth distribution.....
    Garry,
    I'd agree that focusing more on WMD was a risk to long-term support; however, the intel at the time was a "slam dunk" whose assessments were corroborated by a large number of other nations in both the Middle East and elsewhere. The US wasn't by any means going it alone on the intel assessment on WMD.

    As far as the duration of OIF, Bush 43 has been clear many times that this could be a long, drawn out affair. While this wasn't the thought going into OIF, the creation of the CPA and beyond demonstrates that the adminstration has understood that this isn't a short-term endeavor. That's the reason that they haven't created artificial deadlines for withdrawing troops.

    As far as my experience in OIF, haven't left prior to transfer of sovereignty, election of the transnational assembly, I can't give an answer based on hands on experience. However, I think it is clear that the commitment of US resources, although on a diminishing need, will be around decade. This lines up with historical averages of COIN operations and how long it takes to develop a professional military that can sustain itself.

    As far as Americans accepting this, I'm not sure. However, I think this is because the argument has been cast in soundbites and daily scenes of violence rather than solid analysis and assessments that provide a wholistic picture of events going on inside Iraq. For example, Sunni leaders are against the current draft of the Constitution. However, do these leaders truly represent the Sunni and their thoughts? Are they bluffing and playing hardball to curry favor in the international press to pressure the Kurds and Shia? Only the October referendum will show the true answer. Has the world press picked up the comments by Al Sistani telling the TNA to bend to Sunni demands? I haven't seen it. Don't you think that comments by the leading cleric in Iraq are noteworthy of at least a mention in the Western press? As the situation develops more and more, the US press coverage of Iraq becomes more and more laughable. However, the sad news is that the majority of Americans sole source their news, and so they are driven to defeatism by these presentations of Iraq.

    Another example that I've mentioned is the $1 trillion figure. That will less than 1% of US GDP. Alone, the figure sounds imposing. When you put in into perspective, if Iraq results in developing democracy in the Middle East, alienating and exposing radical Islamicists as the ideologues of hate that they are, then it's a bargain. An interesting poll question would be how has OIF directly affected you. I'm willing to bet that the results would be very interesting - a poll last week showed that those who knew someone in Iraq had a more positive view than the general public. Not an overwhelming majority for support, but they were clearly more informed and that correlated to being more supportive.

    The funniest argument is the moral authority of Cindy Sheehan and how hawks without family affected by Iraq shouldn't be allowed to set policy. That'd be a nightmare for anti-war activists. An overwhelming majority of military personnel support our actions in Iraq because they see the potential to make life better and demonstrate that terrorism is a dead end.

  3. #198
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    See No Evil, Hear No Evil
    From the September 5 / September 12, 2005 issue: What the 9/11 Commission narrative left out: Iraqis.
    by Stephen F. Hayes
    09/05/2005, Volume 010, Issue 47





    AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.

    When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his "pocket litter," in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

    These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

    The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them--Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir--went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq--Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

    Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the 9/11 Commission's final report are not. Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.

    Why? Why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who admitted his role in the first World Trade Center attack, which killed 6 people, injured more than 1,000, and blew a hole seven stories deep in the North Tower? It's an odd omission, especially since the commission named no fewer than five of his accomplices.

    Why would the 9/11 Commission neglect Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a man who was photographed assisting a 9/11 hijacker and attended perhaps the most important 9/11 planning meeting?

    And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?

    The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn't fit the commission's narrative.

    AS THE TWO SIDES in the current flap over Able Danger, a Pentagon intelligence unit tracking al Qaeda before 9/11, exchange claims and counterclaims in the news media, the work of the 9/11 Commission is receiving long overdue scrutiny. It may be the case, as three individuals associated with the Pentagon unit claim, that Able Danger had identified Mohammed Atta in January or February 2000 and that the 9/11 Commission simply ignored this information because it clashed with the commission's predetermined storyline. We should soon know more. Whatever the outcome of that debate, the 9/11 Commission's deliberate exclusion of the Iraqis from its analysis is indefensible.

    The investigation into the 9/11 attacks began with an article of faith among those who had conducted U.S. counterterrorism efforts throughout the 1990s: Saddam Hussein's Iraq was not--could not have been--involved in any way. On September 12, 2001, the day after the attacks, George W. Bush asked Richard Clarke to investigate the attacks and possible Iraqi involvement in them. Clarke, as he relates in his bestselling book, was offended even to be asked. He knew better.

    Philip Zelikow, executive director of the 9/11 Commission, started from the same assumption. So did Douglas MacEachin, a former deputy director of the CIA for intelligence who led the commission's study of al Qaeda and was responsible for the commission's conclusion that there was "no collaborative operational relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda. (Over the course of the commission's life, MacEachin refused several interviews with The Weekly Standard because, we were told, he disagreed with our understanding of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.)

    From the evidence now available, it seems clear that Saddam Hussein did not direct the 9/11 attacks. Few people have ever claimed he did. But some four years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and one year after the 9/11 Commission released its final report, there is much we do not know. The determination of these officials to write out of the history any Iraqi involvement in terrorism against America has contributed mightily to public misperceptions about the former Iraqi regime and the war on terror.

    HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW TODAY about Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. In August 1999, Shakir, a 37-year-old Iraqi, accepted a position as a "facilitator" at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A "facilitator" works for an airline and assists VIP travelers with paperwork required for entry and other logistical issues. Shakir got the job because someone in the Iraqi embassy in Malaysia wanted him to have it. He started that fall.

    Although Shakir officially worked for Malaysian Airlines, his contact in the Iraqi embassy controlled his schedule. On January 5, 2000, Shakir apparently received an assignment from his embassy contact. He was to escort a recent arrival through immigration at the airport. Khalid al Mihdhar, a well-connected al Qaeda member who would later help hijack American Airlines Flight 77, had come to Malaysia for an important al Qaeda meeting that would last at least three days. (Shakir may have also assisted Nawaf al Hazmi, another hijacker, thought to have arrived on January 4, 2000.)

    Malaysian intelligence photographed Shakir greeting al Mihdhar at the airport and walking him to a waiting car. But rather than see the new arrival off, he hopped in the car with al Mihdhar and accompanied him to the meeting. Malaysian intelligence has provided its photographs to the CIA. While U.S. officials can place Shakir at the meeting with the hijackers and several high-ranking al Qaeda operatives, they do not know whether Shakir participated actively. (Also present at the meeting were Hambali, al Qaeda's top man in South Asia, and Khallad, later identified as the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole.)

    The meeting concluded on January 8, 2000. Shakir reported to work at the airport on January 9 and January 10, and then never again. Khalid al Mihdhar and Nawaz al Hazmi also disappeared briefly, then flew from Bangkok, Thailand, to Los Angeles on January 15, 2000.

    Shakir, the Iraqi-born facilitator, would be arrested six days after the September 11 attacks by authorities in Doha, Qatar. According to an October 7, 2002, article by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman, "A search of Shakir's apartment in Doha, the country's capital, yielded a treasure trove, including telephone records linking him to suspects in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and Project Bojinka, a 1994 Manila plot to blow up civilian airliners over the Pacific Ocean." (Isikoff, it should be noted, has been a prominent skeptic of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection.)

    Shakir had contact information for a lot of bad people. As noted, one was a Kuwaiti, Ibrahim Suleiman, whose fingerprints were found on the bombmaking manuals U.S. authorities allege were used in preparation for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Suleiman was convicted of perjury and deported to Jordan. Another was Musab Yasin, the brother of 1993 Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin. Yet another was Zahid Sheikh Mohammed, brother of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, now in U.S. custody. Shakir also had an old number for Taba Investments, an al Qaeda front group. It was the number long used by Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim, the highest-ranking Iraqi member of al Qaeda. According to testimony from al Qaeda informants, Salim maintained a good relationship with Saddam's intelligence service.

    Despite all of this, the Qatari authorities released Shakir shortly after they arrested him.

    On October 21, 2001, Shakir flew to Amman, Jordan, where he hoped to board a plane to Baghdad. But authorities in Jordan arrested him for questioning. Shakir was held in a Jordanian prison for three months without being charged, prompting Amnesty International to write the Jordanian government seeking an explanation. The CIA questioned Shakir and concluded that he had received training in counter-interrogation techniques. Shortly after Shakir was detained, Saddam's government began to pressure Jordanian intelligence--with a mixture of diplomatic overtures and threats--to release Shakir. They got their wish on January 28, 2002. He is believed to have returned promptly to Baghdad.

    I have discussed Shakir with nine U.S. government officials--policymakers and intelligence officials alike. The timeline above represents the consensus view.

    Two weeks before the 9/11 Commission's final report was released to the public, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee released its own evaluation of the intelligence on Iraq. The Senate report added to the Shakir story.


    The first connection to the [9/11] attack involved Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi national, who facilitated the travel of one of the September 11 hijackers to Malaysia in January 2000. [Redacted.] A foreign government service reported that Shakir worked for four months as an airport facilitator in Kuala Lumpur at the end of 1999 and beginning of 2000. Shakir claimed he got this job through Ra'ad al-Mudaris, an Iraqi Embassy employee. [Redacted.] Another source claimed that al-Mudaris was a former IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] officer. The CIA judged in "Iraqi Support for Terrorism," however, that al-Mudaris' [redacted] that the circumstances surrounding the hiring of Shakir for this position did not suggest it was done on behalf of the IIS.
    A note about that last sentence: The Senate committee report is a devastating indictment of the CIA's woefully inadequate collection of intelligence on Iraq, and its equally flawed analysis. It is of course possible that the CIA's judgment about al Mudaris is correct, but the bulk of the report inspires no confidence that it is.

    Consider the three new facts in this brief summary. One, Shakir himself told interrogators that an Iraqi embassy employee got him the job that allowed him to help the hijacker(s). Two, that Iraqi embassy employee was Ra'ad al Mudaris. Three, another source identified al Mudaris as former Iraqi Intelligence.

    All of this information was known to the U.S. intelligence community months before the 9/11 Commission completed its investigation. And yet none of it appeared in the final report.

    Two footnotes are the sum total of what the 9/11 Commission had to say about Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Here is the more substantive, footnote 49 to Chapter 6, on page 502 of the 567-page report: "Mihdhar was met at the Kuala Lumpur airport by Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, an Iraqi national. Reports that he was a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi Fedayeen turned out to be incorrect. They were based on a confusion of Shakir's identity with that of an Iraqi Fedayeen colonel with a similar name, who was later (in September 2001) in Iraq at the same time Shakir was in police custody in Qatar." The report is sourced to a briefing from the CIA's counterterrorism center and a story in the Washington Post. And that's it.

    Readers of the 9/11 Commission report who bothered to study the footnotes might wonder who Shakir was, what he was doing with a 9/11 hijacker in Malaysia, and why he was ever "in police custody in Qatar." They might also wonder why the report, while not addressing those questions, went out of its way to provide information about who he was not. Such readers are still wondering.

    There is no doubt the 9/11 Commission had this information at its disposal. On the very day it released its final report, commissioner John Lehman told me that Shakir's many connections to al Qaeda and Saddam's regime suggested something more than random chance.

    So how is it that the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report contains a substantive account of Shakir's mysterious contribution to the 9/11 plot, while the 9/11 Commission report--again, released two weeks later--simply ignores it?

    We now know even more about Shakir's Iraqi embassy contact, Ra'ad al Mudaris. The post-Saddam Iraqi government launched its own, secret investigation of al Mudaris and his activities. Al Mudaris was a "local employee" of the Iraqi embassy in Kuala Lumpur. That is, he was an Iraqi already living in Malaysia when he began working officially for the embassy. Although Shakir named him as his Iraqi embassy contact and another source noted his affiliation with the Iraqi Intelligence Service, the U.S. government never arrested al Mudaris. He continued his nominal employment at the Iraqi embassy in Kuala Lumpur even after the Iraq war, outliving the regime that had employed him. He left that position early last fall, shortly after he was named publicly in the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report. A senior Iraqi government official tells The Weekly Standard that al Mudaris still lives in Malaysia, a free man.

    BY THE END OF LAST WEEK, the demands for more information on Able Danger had reached fever pitch. The Pentagon claimed to have launched an aggressive investigation into the project. 9/11 Commission co-chairman Thomas Kean was demanding more information on Able Danger from the National Security Council. And Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, fired off a hard-hitting letter to FBI director Robert Mueller demanding answers to a series of questions about the Pentagon unit and its interactions with the FBI.

    Answers about Able Danger would be nice, but it is surely long past time for answers on Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, Abdul Rahman Yasin, and Musab Yasin. The 9/11 Commission itself and other relevant bodies should reexamine Shakir's role in the 9/11 plot and his connections to the 1993 World Trade Center plotters. The Bush administration should move quickly to declassify all of the intelligence the U.S. government possesses on Shakir and the Yasin brothers. The Senate and House intelligence committee should demand answers on the three Iraqis from the CIA, the DIA, and the FBI.

    Here are some of the questions they might ask:

    * Ahmed Hikmat Shakir was arrested in Doha, Qatar, just six days after the 9/11 attacks. How was he apprehended so quickly? Was the CIA monitoring his activities? What did the 9/11 Commission know about this arrest? And why wasn't it included in the 9/11 Commission's final report?

    * Who identified Shakir's Iraqi embassy contact, Ra'ad al Mudaris, as former Iraqi Intelligence? Is the source credible? If not, why not?

    * Have other detainees been asked about Ahmed Hikmat Shakir? If so, what have they said?

    * What do the former employees of the Iraqi embassy in Malaysia tell us about Ahmed Hikmat Shakir and Ra'ad al Mudaris?

    * Has anyone from the U.S. government interviewed Ra'ad al Mudaris? If so, how does he explain his activities?

    * Have the names Ahmed Hikmat Shakir and Ra'ad al Mudaris surfaced in any of the documents captured in postwar Iraq from the Iraqi Intelligence headquarters in Baghdad?

    * How long was the phone call between Ahmed Hikmat Shakir and the safehouse shortly before the 1993 World Trade Center attack?

    * Does the U.S. government have other indications that Ahmed Hikmat Shakir and the 1993 World Trade Center bombers were in contact, either before or after that attack?

    * Vice President Dick Cheney has spoken publicly about documents that indicate Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing upon his return to Iraq in 1993. The FBI is blocking declassification of those documents, despite the fact that Yasin is on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list. Why?

    * Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir were all believed to be in Iraq. Where are they today?



    Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.




    © Copyright 2005, News Corporation, Weekly Standard, All Rights Reserved.
    But you believe what you like, Garry. Them pesky ole facts need not shake your faith in what you believe, should you choose to close your mind to the Truth.

  4. #199
    Banned Defense Professional Bluesman's Avatar
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    Oh, and just so's ya know: I am uniquely-placed to know that there certainly WERE aQ // Iraqi connections prior to the War.

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    I'm not as uniquely placed, or even uniquely placed at all and I can list 10 connections off the top of my head and provide the links that back them up.

    One of the biggest misnomers, falsehoods and out right lies of the left is that the 9/11 Commission said there was no connection.

    The facts are out there as Stephen Hayes piece outlines. The left continues to ignore them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker
    I'm not as uniquely placed, or even uniquely placed at all and I can list 10 connections off the top of my head and provide the links that back them up.

    One of the biggest misnomers, falsehoods and out right lies of the left is that the 9/11 Commission said there was no connection.

    The facts are out there as Stephen Hayes piece outlines. The left continues to ignore them.
    MTNBIKER is correct - the only thing about Saddam Hussein that the 9/11 Commission report states is that it didn't find any evidence to suggest that SH knew about 9/11 before hand. It makes no statement about the links betweeen SH and terrorism and AQ in particular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingassassin
    Man we should call you flipper, first you insinuate we supported terrorists and now you say we are right for stomping a mudhole on their arses, which is it?
    If you think US always stood for righteousness, well the rest of the whole world doesnt think so,

    But according to your logic the rest of the whole world is wrong and it is all propoganda. They all are a bunch of idiots who are just jealous of American success.

    Josh

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    Exchange between Christopher Hitchens and Ron Reagan.

    CH: Have you ever heard of Abu Nidal, the most wanted man in the world, who was sheltered in Baghdad? The man who pushed Leon Klinghoffer off the boat, was sheltered by Saddam Hussein. The man who blew up the World Trade Center in 1993 was sheltered by Saddam Hussein, and you have the nerve to say that terrorism is caused by resisting it? And by deposing governments that endorse it?

    RR: No, actually, I didn't say that, Christopher.

    CH: At this stage, after what happened in London yesterday?

    RR: What I did say, though, was that Iraq was not a center of terrorism before we went in there, but it might be now.

    CH: How can you know so little about...

    RR: You can make the claim that you just made about any other country in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

    CH: Absolutely nonsense.

    RR: So do you think we ought to invade Saudi Arabia, where most of the hijackers from 9/11 came from, following your logic, Christopher?

    CH: Uh, no. Excuse me. The hijackers may have been Saudi and Yemeni, but they were not envoys of the Saudi Arabian government, even when you said the worst...

    RR: Zarqawi is not an envoy of Saddam Hussein, either.

    CH: Excuse me. When I went to interview Abu Nidal, then the most wanted terrorist in the world, in Baghdad, he was operating out of an Iraqi government office. He was an arm of the Iraqi State, while being the most wanted man in the world. The same is true of the shelter and safe house offered by the Iraqi government, to the murderers of Leon Klinghoffer, and to Mr. Yassin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. How can you know so little about this, and be occupying a chair at the time that you do?

  9. #204
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry
    In Japan and Germany it evolved as a result of a Marshal Plan under a direct rulling of occupying forces.....

    and after these nations went through a deep political crisis..... everybody in the society felt that much must be changed....
    That's true of Iraq as well.

    as you may notice in occupied Germany and Japan there were no insurgencies and partisan activities like you have in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.....
    That is COMPLETELY untrue especially in Germany.

    as yourself why? Why population of Japan and Germany did not support those who would fight with occpants?
    Maybe because there countries were leveled from one end to the other. Would you like us to try that in Iraq? Do you think they'll be more reseptive.

    Because they've seen no point in doing so, they did not trust old rullers nor their supporters any more.
    The Iraqis trust Saddam? No.

    My explanations is that Germany and Japan were ready for the changes after loosing a VERY VERY bloody war which almost put their nations on verge of survival.

    Unfortunatelly the situation in Iraq was internally stable under that brutal regime....
    It was far from "stable." The country was under consistent aerial bombardment. The north was out of Saddam’s control. The countries economy was in the shiter.

    the crisis of the regime was in 1991!!!
    And we should have taken him out then. Now we're paying for it, but it's a price that had to be paid or it was just going to get higher.

    Too many suporters of Saddam are still left.... too many consider this occupation illigal and want to fight with it and ready to sacrifice their lifes.
    There are plenty of those people among the 20% of the Sunnis. The rest of the country has no motive in doing that. The Shia benefit from a democracy since they are the majority. The Kurds just want to be left alone, and since we are, they have no problem with us. You analysis is far too simplistic. 80% of the country is more then ready for democracy.

    So little similarities could be made between Iraq and Jappan.....
    I disagree.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

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    "The vice president is saying, I think, that there were connections between Al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein government. We don't disagree with that. What we have said is what the governor (Commission Chairman Thomas Kean) just said, we don't have any evidence of a cooperative, or a corroborative, relationship between Saddam Hussein's government and these Al Qaeda operatives with regard to the attacks on the United States." -
    - Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic congressman who is the 9/11 commission's vice chairman

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    Banned Senior Contributor dalem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh
    If you think US always stood for righteousness, well the rest of the whole world doesnt think so,
    The rest of the world is wrong then. We have done far, far more good for this planet in our short history than we have done bad. It's no contest.

    But according to your logic the rest of the whole world is wrong and it is all propoganda. They all are a bunch of idiots who are just jealous of American success.

    Josh
    Pretty much yes.

    "Annoyance, mistrust, scorn, derision, weariness. The above-average level that America receives is of course partly due to simply being a taller lightning rod - we're bigger, stronger, faster in many ways and we are also quite penetrative, like socio-cultural Liquid Wrench.

    I think the rest of it is simple resentment; "Short Man" Syndrome sporting a Trojan Magnum condom. And it is understandable to a degree. We sort of stumbled into the Royal Flush of nation-state concepts and have managed to keep it going for a small while with relatively few hiccups. This makes some people angry. Some people want to be as successful as the U.S. without either the means or the effort. They can't, and they resent that we have what they cannot.

    Also, some people want their own way of doing things to be correct - I'm sure die-hard Marxists want true Communism to work. It hasn't yet and here's the old US of A pooping along doing great, waving happily as we pull away. Likewise monarchists, collectivists, socialists, and tribalists all want good standards of living and stable, happy, wealthy populations, but most just can't crack it, and there we go again, waving happily as we pull away.

    Lastly, I think some folks just fear power they feel they can't control. America has an economy that on its bad days can still counter the rest of the planet put together. We have a military that, when used properly, is the proverbial "Finger of God". We've lost more Mars probes and space shuttles than anyone else has ever built, and we stopped walking on the face of the Moon because we were too busy to find a reason to stay. Plus, we have five separate brands of caramel-coated popcorn snacks.

    Maybe I wouldn't trust us completely either."

    -dale

  12. #207
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker
    "The vice president is saying, I think, that there were connections between Al Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein government. We don't disagree with that. What we have said is what the governor (Commission Chairman Thomas Kean) just said, we don't have any evidence of a cooperative, or a corroborative, relationship between Saddam Hussein's government and these Al Qaeda operatives with regard to the attacks on the United States." -
    - Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic congressman who is the 9/11 commission's vice chairman
    Shame on you for telling the liberals what they don't want to hear! Some poor lib is going to have a stroke over that one.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

  13. #208
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh
    If you think US always stood for righteousness, well the rest of the whole world doesnt think so,

    But according to your logic the rest of the whole world is wrong and it is all propoganda. They all are a bunch of idiots who are just jealous of American success.

    Josh
    You do realize you're making an illogical argument. Namely, that because the whole world agrees on something that they are right. At numerous times in history the whole human population has thought thinks that weren't true. That the Earth was flat for example.
    "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    NEVER FORGET

  14. #209
    Patron
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    "Credible reporting states that al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire WMD capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."

    "We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs."
    --CIA Director George Tenet in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee on October 7, 2002
    "Evan Bayh, Democrat from Indiana, has described the Iraq-al Qaeda connection as a relationship of "mutual exploitation." Joe Lieberman said, "There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda." George Tenet, too, has spoken of those contacts and goes further, claiming Iraqi "training" of al Qaeda terrorists on WMDs and provision of "safe haven" for al Qaeda in Baghdad. Richard Clarke once said the U.S. government was "sure" Iraq had provided a chemical-weapons precursor to an al Qaeda-linked pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. Even Hillary Clinton cited the Iraq-al Qaeda connection as one reason she voted for the Iraq War."
    -- Stephen Hayes
    * Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large in the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, that show that Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and monthly salary.

    * Bin Laden met at least eight times with officers of Iraq's Special Security Organization, a secret police agency run by Saddam's son Qusay, and met with officials from Saddam's mukhabarat, its external intelligence service, according to intelligence made public by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was speaking before the United Nations Security Council on February 6, 2003.

    * In 1998, Abbas al-Janabi, a longtime aide to Saddam's son Uday, defected to the West. At the time, he repeatedly told reporters that there was a direct connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

    * Mohamed Mansour Shahab, a smuggler hired by Iraq to transport weapons to bin Laden in Afghanistan, was arrested by anti-Hussein Kurdish forces in May, 2000. He later told his story to American intelligence and a reporter for the New Yorker magazine.
    -- Richard Miniter's book
    A Federal grand jury in Manhattan returned a 238-count indictment yesterday charging the Saudi exile Osama bin Laden in the bombings of two United States Embassies in Africa in August and with conspiring to commit other acts of terrorism against Americans abroad. [...]

    Both indictments offer new information about Mr. bin Laden's operations, including one deal he is said to have struck with Iraq to cooperate in the development of weapons in return for Mr. bin Laden's agreeing not to work against that country.
    -- Nov 5, 1998, reported in the NYT
    lkj

  15. #210
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    There was a time not long ago when the conventional wisdom skewed heavily toward a Saddam-al Qaeda links. In 1998 and early 1999, the Iraq-al Qaeda connection was widely reported in the American and international media. Former intelligence officers and government officials speculated about the relationship and its dangerous implications for the world. The information in the news reports came from foreign and domestic intelligence services. It was featured in mainstream media outlets including international wire services, prominent newsweeklies, and network radio and television broadcasts.

    Newsweek magazine ran an article in its January 11, 1999, issue headed "Saddam + Bin Laden?" "Here's what is known so far," it read:

    “Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas -- assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer.”

    ....NPR reporter Mike Shuster interviewed Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA's counterterrorism center, and offered this report:

    “Iraq's contacts with bin Laden go back some years, to at least 1994, when, according to one U.S. government source, Hijazi met him when bin Laden lived in Sudan. According to Cannistraro, Iraq invited bin Laden to live in Baghdad to be nearer to potential targets of terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait....Some experts believe bin Laden might be tempted to live in Iraq because of his reported desire to obtain chemical or biological weapons. CIA Director George Tenet referred to that in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said bin Laden was planning additional attacks on American targets.”

    By mid-February 1999, journalists did not even feel the need to qualify these claims of an Iraq-al Qaeda relationship. An Associated Press dispatch that ran in the Washington Post ended this way: "The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against Western powers."

    Where did journalists get the idea that Saddam and bin Laden might be coordinating efforts? Among other places, from high-ranking Clinton administration officials.

    In the spring of 1998 -- well before the U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa -- the Clinton administration indicted Osama bin Laden. The indictment, unsealed a few months later, prominently cited al Qaeda's agreement to collaborate with Iraq on weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton Justice Department had been concerned about negative public reaction to its potentially capturing bin Laden without "a vehicle for extradition," official paperwork charging him with a crime. It was "not an afterthought" to include the al Qaeda-Iraq connection in the indictment, says an official familiar with the deliberations. "It couldn't have gotten into the indictment unless someone was willing to testify to it under oath." The Clinton administration's indictment read unequivocally:

    “Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.”
    aaa

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