Rantings of a Sandmonkey
The Hostage crisis defined the line!
I have mixed emotions about this. I have no wish to see Britain in the violent guise of it’s old Empire, but neither do I enjoy seeing ruthless dictatorships, be it Saddam Hussein, Ahmedinejad or Kinm Jong-Il, act as they please while the international society/civilized part of the world spend their time discussing how to best slap their wrist and never finding consensus…
The reaction of the west should have been an immediate freeze of all Iranian assets as well as a complete mercantile embargo untill the Iranian government released the hostages with apologies or presented hard evidence that a trespass had indeed happened.
All the british (and western!) reaction to this situation has accomplished is reassure thug-states that anything goes, which, I belive, will eventually lead to a massive confrontation (see Germany in the 1930′s) which might have been avoided had we been more firm in our stance…
Not really, Sandman. What this mess has done is really wind up the folks back home. There’s nothing warm and fluffy about the strength of feeling this embarrassing episode has evoked at all. The ‘Feckless 15′ and anybody connected with the whole debacle are in the process of being quite rightly slaughtered in the British press at the moment. I tell you this; I can’t wait for parliament to return on Monday. Let’s see who’s got the bottle to ask all the right questions and nail the guilty to the floor for it then.
In the meantime, I’d invite you to take a look at the latest article from Michael Yon, American military blogger currently embedded with The Rifles of the British Army, who accompanied them on a little sojourn during the week.
Say what you want about the fifteen, but these lads define our military character a lot better than the sailors and marines did.
Times have changed indeed ! Not having served in either military of my two citizenships, my opinions are just that, but let’s be quite clear here. When a soldier is defending his own soil and the enemy is a direct threat to one’s homeland, I am quite sure that you would find a very different composure from service people of any nation, but in the case either American or British.
Many of the ranters confounded by the relatively easy cave in of those 15 sailors held captive by Iran, last served during WWII. A war that came to British shores. Any of the other ranters who have never fought in a war have no right to judge.
One must consider the availability of news and information on the vibe at home as well as the mind set of leaders. In this case, most Britains opose this war and have chastized Blair for taking them into it. Fortunately the tides have turned in the US as well.
When a soldier is crushed by the news that he feels his leaders are not really concerned for the well being of it’s service men, it must be difficult to feel loyalty and if this is coupled by the obvious discontent by your country men about the actions you are enforcing in the name of your govt then, how can we expect our military men and women to take a beating and be tortured.
I know this was Iran, but if we weren’t in Iraq, this would never have happened.
The truth of the matter is that there was a time when this kind of provocation would have quickly led to a hostage rescue at all cost. We all now know that many Western Govt’s dictate ” we will not negotiate with Terrorists “. So what does that mean to the poor souls who have been kidnapped. Certain death and I am sorry, many of these soldiers have families back home and they want to live to see them again. If British or american involvement in Iraq truly meant the protection of that very family back home, then I could expect defiance at all cost, but has been proven not to be the case at all.
All of these armchair pundits wherever they may be should shut the fuck up if they are not walking in the man or woman shoes. All of this military code bullshit goes down the drain when you govt has proven that you are nothing but another body to throw at a problem they have created.
Those sailors did not divuldge anything treasonous, they just lied and admitted to the lies they were told to by Iran as a survival instinct, knowing that they would be able to express the truth when they got home, which they are doing by way of the media. Let’s also be clear that after the govt has trumpeted the safe return of these soldiers and sucked up as many photo ops they can milk out of it, these service men go back to their pittance of a salary and being ignored by their govt’s, so who can blame them for not taking advantage of a pay day, from all of these tabloids. If the British public did not crave this kind of news, then there would be no interest. these soldiers have mouths to feed just like the rest of us. Fuck the govt, fuck the people, I am looking out for # 1.
Sorry to sound so negative but let’s face facts, Bush and Blair could give a flying fuck about the people that serve in our wars and the rest of the UK and America just continue buying toys for their kids and eating out in restaurants, every once in a while rendering an opinion on how things should be. None have the right to judge the actions of those who have given more than any of us can imagine to the service of their country. Let them eat some of the cake they deserve.
OMG, I tend to agree, (of course you know where you can put the anti UK/US rhetoric) with Frenchman. Now, I can play the veteran’s card here. Five years Regular Army, ten years, Guard, two years in Vietnam ’67 and ’70, the ’67 one in the Infantry. Right up there with my concern with being killed was being captured. Thank God, neither happened. I also drove a taxi in three US cities for 18 years and was held up five times, four of them by gun point. Being in the Infantry was not like Gunfight at the OK Corral. It wasn’t two people advancing on each other and whoever draws first is the winner. The robberies in the cab were not either. In the Infantry you basically walk around waiting for someone to start shopoting at you. Take cover and then return fire. In the cab it was gun to the head, hands up, gimme’ your money. Surprize, sneak attack, terrorist type thing. The Brits were hit with something similar. No one was fooled with what we all saw on television. No one believed that they were really happy with where they were. They got caught up in something like a botched bank robbery and hostages are taken. Not unlike a prison uprising and guards are taken hostage. Not unlike patients in a mental ward that go more beserk than they already are and hospital staff are taken hostage. The Iranian government should be in a mental institution and the Brits are now their guests? Yes, they are. They had to walk on egg shells for two weeks. Smile for the camera, wave, do a little jig, jump, how high, ‘somebody get me out of here, I’m dancing as fast as I can’. These people are nuts, I heard they chop people’s heads off, stiff upper lip. They did what they had to do to get through it. The Islamofacists are so stupid that they think they showed the world something and they think that they’re all that. Guess, again, Immadinnerjacket and you mad mullahs. Thank God they’re back in London and I hope no one gives them any shit. And they’re going to make a few bucks off it, good. Stick that in your pipe and schmoke it, mullah man. Thou you do seem to fancy flowing capes and flowing garments, maybe I should say, ‘you go you mad mullah girl’.
They were tested, and found wanting.
Imadonkeysdong has further evidence of what he can get away with.
Not good. Not good at all.
Johnny, that is indeed a piece of anthologie
note, I appreciate the lively rythm and colorful vocabulary, but not the ending message
“I know this was Iran, but if we weren’t in Iraq, this would never have happened. ”
Uh, not so, mon ami. The US and UK were patrolling the Persian Gulf, and maintaining the “no fly zone” in northern and southern Iraq since 1991. But that was mainly under a Democratic president, so I guess it was okay.
I am continually amazed by the rampant belief on the left that the USA and the UK did not actually have any policy involving Iraq until GWB was elected.
Part and parcel of that is the complete amnesia that my lefty isolationist friends have about how they lambasted GWB in 2000 for his isolationist views and his disinterest in “nation building” and “exporting democracy and freedom”. Views that they now hold.
“GWB sucks because he advocates X. And if he stops advocating it, then I’ll advocate it, and he’ll still suck. ‘Cuz he sucks, that’s why.”
I was in the Army briefly, though not a veteran, but I don’t think you need to be in the military to make a judgment call on this one. This was blatant cowardice, pure and simple. I mean, my god, one of them was talking about how he cried himself to sleep at night because one of his Iranian captors called him Mr. Bean! The whole spiel about “you can’t judge them,” “you can’t say what you would do in their position” is exactly the sort of moral relativism that leads to situations like this. We have plenty of examples of POWs who have underwent much more than these 15 (and were much less cheerful and cooperative with their captors). Any of those honorable POW will tell you that their attitude in captivity wasn’t one of “you can’t say what you would do in my position” but rather one of “you had better know what you are going to do in a position like that. You had better understand what values you intend to uphold.” The first duty of a soldier or sailor should not be self-preservation but defending his country, his comrades, and his honor.
People who have never been in the military don’t understand why military personnel must do things in certain ways. For example, to a civilian it often seems illogical that soldiers would risk their lives to retrieve the corpse of a fallen comrade. “Aren’t you just running the risk of losing more lives?” they ask. But there are reasons why the military must do things like this. If a nation’s army left the bodies of its soldiers behind where it was risky to retrieve them, then that army cannot possibly inspire any confidence in those soldiers still living that you’ll do the same for them if they should fall. You need to ask what sort of an example you set for other soldiers and sailors. In this case, we have a terrible example.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Colonel Jack Jacobs, a Vietnam vet and Medal of Honor recipient and an analyst for MSNBC, called the news conference with these fifteen the “most disgraceful thing he’s ever seen.”
You don’t have to take my word for it. Colonel Jack Jacobs, a Vietnam vet and Medal of Honor recipient and a military analyst for MSNBC, called the news conference with these fifteen the “most disgraceful thing he’s ever seen.”
Tommy, your a sane guy, bravo to remake things in place
Nomad, I keep forgetting, I did tell you that you’re a psycho, right?
right darling, bewa
right darling, be aware if I come in your taxi
I’ll leave it to John as to how he interprets that statement
I am sure he’ll find a way of interception
I don’t know why it is that the french (and I’m generalizing here, I know) always seem to fault someone trying to topple an oppresive and tyrannical regime (unless it’s their own)…! Seriously, 99 % of people getting killed in Iraq are getting killed by other muslim, despite this being religiously completely unacceptable as far as I’ve understood. I’m sorry, but the reasons that peace hasen’t settles across the sands of Iraq are these:
1. The invasion force did not have a properly worked out plan for what to do when all military resistance had died down. This was in large due to the many people in the west who, for some odd reason, opposed the idea of removing one of the worst tyrants in the world. These people have a lot to answer for, at least to their conscience. In any case, it was a bad piece of misjudgement that we will have to pay for for many years.
2. The invasion force was not prepared to enforce it’s authority in the degree neccesary to uphold normalcy in a post-war country. If things had been handled as it had been in Germany after WW2, the situation would have looked very different indeed. People need to see that they have lost, and bad…! They also need to see that the victors are willing to sacrifice blood, sweat and tears in order to make things right for all!
3. As a result of 2, many Iraqis and even more mid-east foreigners in the country (not to mention the chronic nay-sayers of the west) has not seen a definate proof that the west is actually prepared to put it’s foot down and remove tyrannical regimes/movements of the world while helping to build up legitimate, democratic regimes in their stead. The dispute with Iran noted in this topic is a prime example of this lack of believability. Unfortunately, the west screwed up once again… badly! Then again, with a bit of luck, many nay-sayers may reconsider their arguement after this incident… Fingers crossed!
Basically, a lack of support for freedom and democracy in our own part of the world (mostly from the political left for some odd reason?) has led to the situation today. It has led Islamic fanatics to believe that there is support for their cause and a that there is a reason to keep up with their atrocities… As I said earlier, the nay-sayers of the west will have an awfull lot to answer for…!
My humble opinion, of course!
Well…….. I could have had a little fun with it, but of course there may be ladies reading
what are you imaging ? uhe, I thought only to the psycho part
I, as French, I don’t feel guilty for anything that is not in my power, and we should not, seems these wars are a “normal social phenomenum” cause of a huge demographic increase
to illustrate my purpose :
(sorry, in french, google translators are OK)
On a side note, who do you think will take the election next week?.
#13, Nomad, better put that thing away back there.
Wishbone, next sunday we ‘ll have to choose one candidat between 12 pretendants ; or better, choose one between Sarko, Sego, Bayrou, Lepen who will have the best vote percentages and the chance to be present for the 2nd turn ; Sarko will probably be present for the second turn, now ; between the 3 lates, we don’t know yet who ‘s going to sort off ; I’ll vote for Bayrou, I think he is more representative of the whole Country, our traditions, plus he knows very well EU rules, he is elected as EU deputee ; he’s got a fair knowledge in history and french litterature ; (he was a teacher in litterature) but resigned when his paysant father died from an accident and stayed at the farm to help his mother ; so, we know that is a man who can assume his duty, till now he did not care much to be on TV, that is why he is not so well known ; and he is not so excited as Sarko, rigid alike Sego, who are more preocupated by their public image, and extrem alike LePen : in anyway, nooooo!
Jonhny, I am not a moleskine one
#22, you expect me to believe that you’re only into mental masturbation?
Johnny, in any cases we are the people with the less frustations, so, be it in mind masturbation, isn’t it that the image you give us ?
#24, Nomad, yea right, I got your ‘less frustrations’. We don’t make our women walk around in a big trash bag. What’s that all about?
just a game to find a way to sort you out of your “clichés” , thanks for the fun
#26, Nomad. Hmm, must be some kind of dam fwench sense of humor. But, then they think Jerry Lewis is funny.
When I read the article about the behavior of the sailors and their quotes, at first I thought it was some kind of satire but not a real news report. It was real alright. I could hardly stop laughing about the sailor who cried himself to sleep because his tormentors said he looked like Mr. Bean.
Johnny, who is Jerry Lewis ? never heard of him here ; Mr Bean is known though !
If my Iranian overlords were calling me “Mr. Bean” in my Iranian prison cell, while the esteemed British armed forces and their NATO allies did nothing, I’d cry too. But it wouldn’t have been about the Mr. Bean part.
my crit. would be of the higher ups who did nothing, big war ship that sat there and did nothing, hilo’s and jets that did nothing. IF HEADS SHOULD ROLL IT SHOULD BE THE BRASS not the enlisted men in this case.
#29, Nomad. Your age is showing. But, than again I guess mine is also. Why is youth wasted on the young? But, that’s for another day. Lewis was part of a comedy team Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, o/a late forties early fifties. They were good together. As with most things that are good, people, eventually get on each other’s nerves and they split up. Lewis and martin split up I think early ’60′s. Dean Martin went on to bigger and better by himself. Jerry Lewis not so much. He moved to France and it became a running joke in the US whenever one wanted to take a shot at France. “See, I told you there was something wrong with the French, they think Jerry Lewis is funny”. Ah, never mind, you’d have had to have been there.
Jonhny, I was kidding, of course I have heard of him, even through Telethon charitative TV programs, his movies were sometimes on TV but I could not watch a whole one with him, I found him acting in a such annoying and manierist manner, not natural, anyway, certainly not in a french way ; funny you, americans, think we are fond of this guy ! Dean Martin left a good souvenir though, he’s got such a charming voice
I can’t find when did Jerry Lewis came to live in France
#33, Nomad. “Certainly not in a French way”. I haven’t seen that many French movies, but two that stick in my mind are “Chinois” (did I spell it right?) with Catherine Deneauve. Another “The Days of the World” with George (something). Both I saw twice because I love seeing foreign movies with sub-titles so I can get a feel for the language. Sometimes I get caught up on the picture and the language and forget to read the sub-titles. Have to go again to read what I missed. Jerry Lewis did definitely move to France. He may still be running amok amongst you. He’s ballooned up like Al Gore, you may not recognize him. They say he’s been known to be seen walking up and down the Champ d’Ellysee (did I spell that right), muttering to himself, ‘hey, lady’. Grew up with this impression of France. One of my friend’s mother was French. She married an American during WW2. In fact she helped me with a project for school. She subscribed to Match and it was real cool because it was in French. Took French in the 11th grade and passed. Next year I was able to pass for 18 and we at that time were living in a DC suburb and since I was also working I had plenty of money to party over the District line. Too much partying on school nights and slept through second year French class and, well, you can guess the rest. Excuuuuse moi! I can read French magazines with a lot of pictures, big pictures. Bon soir, mon ami.
I have made it, Wellcome to the secret and frustated France lovers ‘club
so if your going to retire soon, you may restart your studies with an objectiv, going to France and appreciate the nice people we are (humor))
“I was also working I had plenty of money to party over the District line.”
does that signify that you were dealing some sort of forbidden stuff ?
#35, Nomad, ‘does that signify…’ No, no, nothing like that. I lived in Maryland and the drinking age was 21. In DC it was 18 for beer and wine. Never got into dealing but between ’72 and Jun ’03 had a few wrestling matches with illegal substances. Have a 44 year work history, always worked for the money I spent. I would like to say Jun ’03 is my clean date, but had three one day relapses, each at 9 month intervals. Always seemed to be the longest I could ever make it in all the times I swore off. But, I can now say last month it was two years since the last time. First time I’ve managed this long since ’72. I think I finally got the message. Now, it’s just a couple of fews once or twice a week. Legal and cheaper. In Nov ’04 I was awarded an early retirement from the VA, well taken care of for the rest of my life. My life has been 180 degrees from what it was ever since. I’ve died and gone to heaven.
Brooklyn J, w/ regards to the patrolling of Persian waters, with all due respect, you are splitting hairs here. The US ( of which I am still a citizen ), prior to 2003 was not sitting in either Iraqi or Iranian waters, they we in International waters and flying into Iraqi territory to enforce the no fly zone. It was not until we took over that the ” Allied ” forces could ever have gotten into a situation like this ( this close to the ocean borders of Iran without knowing it ). Were there ocean patrols at that time. You are arguing that the situation and conditions were exactly the same then, than they are now.
On the comment regarding the ” left ” and how anything Bush says or does ” we ” will argue for the other side. Complete nonesense and you know it. On the issue of war, I may have said this before, but I will repeat it, if ever anyone breached the shores of the US, I would pick up arms in a heart beat. So I am not against war in the defense of a nation and I have also been clear that I would be first in line to gladly slit the throats of ever single terrorist ( if offered a HazMat suit ). I am a 100% supporter of the war on terrorism, but not in the trigger happy haphazard way Mr. Bush and Mr Blair have gone about it, like a couple of school bullies who picked on the weakest snivelling little brat, in order to prove their virility. I have been clear that Afghanistan was 100% the correct move and also how badly that valid effort has been botched.
Back to the left right issue, let’s also be clear here on how many ” right wingers ” now agree what a stupid move going into Iraq was. It’s effect on the world, the stability of the Middle East and most importantly on the cost, both in dollars and in it’s global moral authority. How fit is the US to defend it’s own shores at this point in time ?
A big problem in the US, is that everything is always drawn along the lines of left and right and that somehow, especially the right, feels compelled to defend the position of it’s party as if somehow it is treasonous to do otherwise. This is not about left and right, it is about common sense analysis and no matter how much the right tries to defend the effort in Iraq, all evidence now readilly available to all, will contradict the rosie picture they draw. McCain is proof of this ” all is well and safe in Iraq “. He looks like a complete fool, living in lala land and his campaign will not survive 2007.
This is not a right / left duel, at least no to me. Despite my desire not to, I have agreed with a couple of Bush’s plans ( domestic in nature ) however, nothing he has done internationally has been good for the world or this country. If things changed, I might re-consider my position on Bush. I will always believe he is a complete buffon, but if he changed his position on a myriad of issues, and they made sense, then I would change my position. I am not, contrary to your belief, simply holding my position because I hate Mr. Bush because this is weak and mindless, which I am not.
To John, if your still reading, if you have read my response to Brooklyn, then it is pretty much the same position when it comes to your ” The damn French ” are always this and that. You act as though the French are the only ones against this war. When the French speak out in unison with so many other nations, suddenly the French are singled out as the assholes who have no right to speak out. Try most of Europe has been singing in unisone against Bush and his war in Iraq ! I know, the French were only trying to protect their investments with the Saddam regime. The US is equally guilty of such dealings globally, so let’s call a spade a spade. I always wonder why Germany has never been singled out for it’s anti-Iraq stance ?
Yes, I know, the US saved France in WWII. I just don’t know how much more acknowledgment and praise is needed to finally be rid of this guilt persistently thrown at the French. Essentially what the American people ( I am speaking as a Frenchmen now ) expect is that if the US decides to jump off a bridge, France has to jump with it because we owe you for what happened 60 years ago. In a way we do and always will and as I have said if the many Americans did not always feel so friggin entitled to French adoration, maybe they might actually see some of it, but it will never come at the cost of French lives and let’s be clear vice versa, in todays environment. The US went into Europe to save Europe, not the French. Do Americans demand the same constant thanks from the Dutch ?
Ok OK, we love you America, we kiss the very ground you walk on, so can we now talk common sense, instead of blind loyalty ?
Frenchman, funny that you should mention McCain, what with the way he’s been criticizing Bush for screwing up, aside with saying that walking in the street in Iraq isn’t as suicidal as some would like to believe.
As for Europe being against the war in Iraq, is it just me who remembers how most all European countries said that Saddam had WoMDs, and not just the US and Britian?
many Iraqis and even more mid-east foreigners in the country (not to mention the chronic nay-sayers of the west) has not seen a definate proof that the west is actually prepared to put it’s foot down and remove tyrannical regimes/movements of the world while helping to build up legitimate, democratic regimes in their stead.
Why is it the job of the West to remove the tyrants of the world? Those responsible for reforming bad governments should be the very people who live under them.
dunno if my post got through, anyway :
Johnny, I understand you had a hard time to get on with the every-day life. Hope you’ll be more optimist by now. Hehe, I bet you didn’t expect that someone alike me could discern your easy-going kindness and your hidden talent for expressing your experience. Don’t waste it in superficial rantings, unless it helps you to improve your mode of writing ; you deserve better than the appearances.
Hey pallie nomad, like you are right on ’bout the “great souvenir” that Dino left us…….his “charming voice” is like no other. Never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool. Oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth!
Hi Roman, McCain doesn’t know which side to stand on and this is a systemic problem in the US. Most politicians have become nothing but pandering drones who jump from side to side hoping that they will land on a magical square that will win them public support.
As for the Europeans calling Saddam out for WMD’s, indeed you are correct, but the difference is instead of reacting with haste, once the issue came to a forefront, the desired first step was to investigate further through UN inspections etc. I can hear the pro war critics screaming right now, typical weak Europe with their weak reactions.
I do not contest that Europe had suspicions that Iraq had WMD’s, but their almost universal chime was, let’s be 98% sure before a war is started and no one was. Time was what most of Europe asked for. There was no imminent danger and despite the horror of the assumed weapons, none had the range to hit the US directly.
Europe also acknowledged and recognized the minefield that is sectarian divide in Iraq. The pro war pundits keep pontificating about how it’s Muslims killing Muslim now, but we are still losing American soldiers and as I have repeated many times the simple fact is that, despite the evils of Saddam, before 2003, Muslims were not killing Muslims, at least not at the rate they are today. So to absolve themselfes and Bush for all of this death and destruction is simply ridiculous. Bush and his team of allies created the conditions for Muslims to kill Muslims in Iraq, it’s as simple as that.
Bush had countless reasons for wanting the war and we have proof that discussions about war in Iraq were had before 9/11. Bush, Cheny and Rumsfeld were itiching for an excuse to pound Iraq and 9/11 provided it and believed that it was the time when the world would unite and ignore common sense to prove that the world shared in the saddness of the attack on the WTC.
UN inspectors pleaded for more time. I could on and on about how there was ample proof that Saddam was weak but that is another discussion.
Bush should have stayed focused on afghanistan, Osama ( ” dead or alive ” ) and his respect worldwide would be intact. He chose to make a statement about how tough he was and how he wanted to cure the Middle East of what ill’s it, therefore annointing himself global supreme leader.
Toady, you absolutely correct. I could expand your statement to say, no one has the right globally to decided what regimes should and should not exist or to dictate what idiology is right. In fact America has made a policy of going to war to stop fascisim and communism from spreading. Many countries and their people’s believed full heartedly that communism in particular was just. In it’s essence communism should benefit the people more than democracy. The idea that we all have equal share. ANd let’s be clear that the places where Communism took root were places we poverty was rampant and the distribution of wealth was disparate.
Would I want this for my country(s), of course not, but we cannot deny the inherent good in the concept ( in it’s pure form ) of communism.
Unfortunately, very much like the democracy’s of the West have been distorted, so was the management of communism by corrupt leadership. Again, I would fight every attempt at turning my democratic countries to communism, but the Russian’s and Chinese embraced it hook line and sinker,especially the poor and disenfranchised.
The point being, many citizens like the non-democratic management of their countries. Many crave strick Islamic rule, which push women into the dark ages. Who are we to tell all of these people they are wrong ? When these ideologies turn into terrorism that reach our shores then our job is to erradicate the problem, but not to spread democracy. If Muslims want to live in the dark ages, none of our business, so long as they keep to themselfes.
Religion or Saddam? All living in Iraq have spent a life of being traumatized. The professionals that have studied PTSD have been able to get it to where they can predict people’s behavior. One-third of the traumatized population will not be affected, one-third will be moderately affected and then one-third will need help. Because of this phenomenon called the anniversary date phenomenon caused by a psychopharmocologically driven intensity of feeling of the way you did when traumatized many react to this by making the environment match the way they feel instead of making themselves feel the way they should according to their present environment. It’s something like flash backs without the sight and sound. If one has one traumatic event and they are ‘wired’ so they will feel the way they did when traumatized it would be easy to put a fix on what the problem is. I feel this way everytime this time of year. Take a population like Iraq that was traumatized day after day after day under Saddam. Take away Saddam and they have anniversary dates day after day after day. The whole country was walking on egg shells for thirty years. That is a low level of trauma. One-third of the population in Iraq is off the wall. They’re keeping it going, they’re obsessed with making the environment match them. The United States should have gone in with enough to lock down the population to get them through the first year to give them a year of being forced to not act out and keeping it going. One third of the population is acting just like a bunch of traumatized humans. They’re cloaking their actions in religion. Why isn’t the other two-thirds doing the same thing? Now, Iran is another story and they’re not helping things in Iraq. But, the Iranian government has an agenda. They’re agenda is being driven by the same phenomenon because of the fundamentalist interpretation of religion that can cause low level trauma. But, back to Iraq. The United State is doing now what it should have done when we got in. The thought was to do a light footprint (as light as the army can be) so as to not offend the senibilities of the population. We didn’t want to look like an occupying force. It didn’t work. One-third of the country is where the Kurds live. They advertize themselves to the business world as The Other Iraq. One-third of the land mass of Iraq is pretty much stabilized. The other two-thirds has some rough spots. But, one only hears of the rough spots. All depends on where one gets their information. The surge has just begun, the place will be locked down like a trauma ward. Ideally it would be nice if we could take the time to give individual counseling to each of the insurgents. I don’t think even Oprah and Dr. Phil have enough couches to take on such a task. The faster we can get to an untramatized daily routine for Iraq the faster they can start healing. It has nothing to do with religion it’s the nature of the human reaction. Once the surge is in place, one year later you won’t know the place. Better late than never. I think they’ll enjoy rendering to Allah that which is Allah’s and to Baghdad that which is Baghdad’s.
Oh, I agree totally…!
There’s just one problem though – the people stuck under one of these oppresive regimes are usually too weak and/or unorganized to do anything about it. Indeed, even with the help of outside forces, it seems nearly impossible for any of the countries of the middle east to settle down with something even remotely resembling a stabble, equal democracy, as can be clearly se4en in present day Iraq.
Even if our conscience did not not urge us to intervene, these regimes usually have an accutely adverse affect on the rest of the world, as could be seen in the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, and presently in Iran, North Korea and Syria among others… Circumstances sometimes demands that we take action – unfortunately, not everyone has the clarity of thought to realize this, despite history being an excellent example!
Oh, we certainly CAN deny the good in a complete lack of control of your own life and choices, something inherent in communism (as any 1st year economics student will know).
We can easily agree that what has so far passed as communist countries would have had Marx roll over in his grave, but on the other hand, it has shown clearly that communism is a flight of fancy that will never work in the real world. The offshoots of the idea turned out to be living horrors and the west (mainly the US) did right in fighting it tooth and claw, as it had fascism before that. Selfrightousness and narrowness of vision kept many Europeans from realizing this, and this is true even up to this day – how many former communist leaders do you know that have faced prosecutions like those orchestrated after WW2?
In your final paragraph, it seems that you speculate that all people of a certain demographical group (in this case muslims) agree on all matters. Does this mean that every US citizen supports Bush and his policy? Does it mean that every UK citizen stands firm behind Blair? Does it mean that Chirac had the support of every single citizen in France up to this election? Hardly, and this is true for muslim countries as well, even more so as there is an inherent risk in voicing ones disagreement in a non-democratical country! I doubt most female muslims would say no to equal rights if given the choice. I doubt most poor people would give up their right to vote if someone tought them what that right could be used for.
Only thing I will give you is that the west has probably been too fast in it’s fight to promote democracy around the third world – most people outside the west unfortunately do not seem to be ready for the responsibility that is democracy. Russia may be the finest example of this. 15 years on after the revolution, the russians have elected a former KGB officer and now they’re complaining that their country is not the new USA?! It took Europe (and the US) several hundred years to produce the societies we have today, with all their faults, and they expect to copy that in a decade? Perhaps it’s time to ‘invent’ a new form of government; a semi-democracy that can pave the way for true democracy by focusing on education, health and infrastructure over all else? Problem is, who will choose this government?
Frenchman, though McCain *is* overprotective of the Republican party, his criticism is still genuine. I respect the man, his honesty is rejuvenating, and he has more strategic thinking than Bush will ever have in his wildest dreams.
And your jibes at the… “war pundits”… aside, you would have best remembered the reality of the time. Don’t you remember how Saddam was toying with the UN inspectors? Time *was* given, and Saddam used that time to publicly string the UN inspectors along to win Stupid Dictator brownie points with the other Arab states. The UN inspectors were getting nowhere, because Saddam wasn’t actually showing them anything at all! They themselves complained of it constantly.
And I suggest you read John Cunningham’s post, 45th reply. He explains what happened, and is happening, in Iraq a lot better than you. He also shows exactly where Bush and Co. failed in this venture. As for discussions on war in Iraq before 9/11… Bleh, is all I have to say to that. Before 9/11 George W. Bush had a foreign policy that could be summed up as “everyone can fuck themselves without our help”. He was completely focused on internal matters, and even his mild gesture towards Israel/Palestine was lip service at best.
As for your next reply, in number 44… Please don’t go down the path of moral relativism. It’s a dark and twisted road, best left untouched by rational people. And communism, my good sir, is nothing more than a two-penny ideal that can’t even be remotely reached. It leaves power voids all over the country management system, which in persistently resulted in what can only be called a dictatorial bureaucracy with no personal freedom to speak of. It’s a pipe dream that devours itself, and those who try to play it.
By the way, the Chinese are a nice example. They did embrace Communism. It was either that or the Empire at the time. And Communism failed 95% of the population, just like the Empire did. Fun, fun, fun. Especially the organ-harvesting camps. And the bill for the execution bullet.
And no, you’ll find that people choose extreme regimes not because they want them specifically, but simply because they don’t know better. Education is the key.
But why am I rambling? You’re in Iraq *now*. That’s what matters. You opened Pandora’s Box. You’ve unleashed the horrors. Close it, and you leave millions of Iraqis to decades of living Hell. That’s what “bringing the troops home” in full means now. Keep it open. For now, what it contains is hope. But the question is, really, are you willing to leave the Iraqis to die? Or is it irrelevant to you because it’s “Muslims killing Muslims”?
Wow where do I begin, so many assumptions about me, so little time. I will give it a shot ( hoping that we are engaging in healthy debate here ).
I will try to do this in bullets, first adressing Adam B. you say :
- ” We can easily agree that what has so far passed as communist countries would have had Marx roll “…I could say the same thing about the founding fathers of this country and you make my point for me, regarding the fact that pure communism might have worked for the right peoples and times. You will see a slight expansion on this when I address my next foe below ( joke ! ). The point is that who tapped the wand of supremacy on our heads, particularly the US’s, because the US mocks the socialism that is prominent in Europe as nothing but communism lite. We are not judge and jury of the world.
- ” In your final paragraph, it seems that you speculate that all people of a certain demographical group (in this case muslims) agree on all matters. ” Completely false. I used the word ” many ” which is very different from ” all “. Fundamentalist Islam is spreading. I grew up in Singapore and was there recently and in the 24 years I lived there, I never saw a woman in full black dress, head to toe. My mouth almost dropped in shock, not because of what I was looking at but that it had spread to the likes of Singapore. In fact, Singapore is a perfect example of people who are totally happy with a very controlling govt. Everything is completely censored, and forget political discourse, doesn’t exist. Lee Kwan Yew was the founder of independent Singapore, when he retired power went to his underling and now it is LKY’s son who runs the country. No elections, nada. Fined for chewing gum, you know the stories. Yet the Singaporeans are like pigs in shit happy about their lot in life. In high school I interviewed opposition leaders in a dark apt. It was kind of spooky, they were jailed for years for speaking out. Not a single American would tolerate this kind of govt control. Should we tell Singaporeans that they should be fighting for our democracy when they are looked after and happy ???
Now I address Roman Kalik : Your comments were riddled with assumptions. I respected McCain because of what he went through in Vietnam and despite disagreeing with him on his ideals, appreciated his statesmanship but how can you say his honestly is refreshing when the guy doesn’t know which side to fight for. Someone else on this post, stated that one minute he was chastizing Bush and the next by his side ? It smells of pandering that is all. Maybe McCain the man on the street has honorable ideals but not the politician.
- ” The UN inspectors were getting nowhere, because Saddam wasn’t actually showing them anything at all! They themselves complained of it constantly. ” MAYBE HE WASN’T SHOWING THEM ANYTHING BECAUSE HE DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO SHOW. Sorry for shouting but it has been made abundantly clear that there was no serious WMD’s, which means his playing was an attempt to hide his lack of true power.
- ” And I suggest you read John Cunningham’s post, 45th reply ” John’s review is indeed insightful but again your being presumptious that I have not thought about all of these things, but with all due respect to John, all of this is obvious. However, let us look at Darfur. If we should act as the morality police, does it not seem natural that we should choose to defend the ones most in need. The Iraqi’s have suffered horribly, I do not deny, but for the most part, if the individual Iraqi kept his head down and cheered for Saddam, life was decent. All of the infrastructure which has now been torn down, but where we see evidence existed in the near past meant that life was happening in Iraq. Kids going to school, hospitals functioning, roads built. What about Darfur, where a million have been slaughtered, millions are starving and persecuted. Why was Iraq chosen ? Were they truly in most need of democratization and saving ? Again this is not discounting the horrors of Saddam, but lets be relative here.
- “By the way, the Chinese are a nice example. They did embrace Communism.” Sorry not a good example at all. China, just in case you forgot, is still communist, very much so. Yes there are still poor suffering ( like in the US ), but look at what it has become. It’s as far from a democracy as you get, yet look at it prosper and many Chinese are along for the ride. The difference, Chinese communism has evolved finally, in step with the times. Here is where the problem lies, you call it wrong because you don’t believe in it, nor do I for that matter, but it is none of our business. Yes apply pressure on the human rights issue, but do so applying economic pressures, which the US is barely following through on anyway. Who are we to dictate ?
- ” But the question is, really, are you willing to leave the Iraqis to die? Or is it irrelevant to you because it’s “Muslims killing Muslims”? This question and vailed assumption is actually very insulting but I will hold my tongue and give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s be quite clear here, prior to our savior invasion of Iraq, Muslims were not killing Muslims. While naturally Allied service men, in particular the US’s are my first priority, I am horrified by the astronomical figures being estimated of the Iraqi death toll. We may not have pulled the trigger but we gave them the gun, by opening wounds that had been pushed underground, so please do not point fingers at me about not giving a shit about the Muslim death toll. Find another argument !
I do not subsribe to an immediate pull out and never have but something different now has to be done, most notably talks with Iraq’s neighbors, not childish ” I won’t talk to you unless you do what I tell you ” type taunts coming from the Bush camp. We are nothing but an irritant, we need Arab involvement in order to bring the flames down. Throwing more US army at the problem is not going to do a f’ing thing. Does the news not say anything to you. Sadar just pulled six cabinet members out of the Iraq govt. It’s going down hill. Something different needs to be done.
Don’t make assumptions about my concern or my knowledge of the region. Come up with reasonable solutions and I will listen. I just did, negotiate with Iraq’s neighbors, even if it means swallowing our pride.
McCain agrees with Bush when their views overlap, he doesn’t agree with him when they don’t. In this he’s a much better politician than most as he focuses on ideas rather than “the party” or mud-slinging contests.
Yes, Saddam was just hiding his lack of power, but his game worked too well. My point is on what it made people think, not what truly was. Saddam authored his own downfall in the end.
As for China yes, it evolved. Now 5% can truly prosper, while the other 95% now have the added benefit of being factory-slaves for some foreign investor, not being allowed to turn their heads and only ever seeing their family during the New Year celebrations. I can bloody well object to that.
As for your offer to invite Syria and Iran to play in Iraq, they’re doing it already. Where do you think the men, the guns, the training comes from? And Sadr’s “resting” in Iran.
I’m sorry, Frenchman, but isn’t a matter of pride. It’s a matter of not setting up Sadr as the new dictator and leaving while pretending that all’s well. That’s a short-term solution that puts the Iraqis back in square one, and only satisfy people who want the appearance of a solution. I am not satisfied with that.
Roman, don’t you realize that if you do this, you should have done that, if you do that, you should have done this. The reality is that you can’t do everything for everybody all of the time. At least something was done and that’s the best you can do. One country at a time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if the wall on our southern border in various forms of completion is there to keep me in, then I’ll start worrying about this country. People move to the US because of the way we are and then when they get here they start telling us all about where we’re going wrong. Can’t wait until the wall’s completed.
I get my left/right orientation, in part, from living in NYC, where everything – EVERYTHING – is seen through the prizm of the left/right political divide. For the most part, the same people who say that Bush is evil now (in NYC) were saying it in 2000. Only now they’re saying it because he is an interventionalist, and then they were saying it because he was an isolationist.
If you remember, the big joke in 2000 was, when put on the spot, he couldn’t come up with Musharraf’s name. He ran against “nation building”. Now he’s trying to build a nation.
The lefties who now march against international intervention by and large supported Bill Clinton’s two-month long bombing campaign against Serbia, against civilian targets, no less. Now they march against our efforts in Afghanistan, evidently (bizarrely) prefering the Taliban to the international occupation.
As I’ve said before, reasonable people can disagree on whether we are better off for having gone into Iraq. I, for one, feel we were caught between a rock and a hard place. If we didn’t go in, would we still have maintained the sanctions regime (which were a crumbling joke, anyway)? And if we did maintain the sanctions, how many additional kids would have starved while Saddam gilded the walls of yet another palace? If the sanctions were waived, how long until Saddam armed himself with WMD? (It is clear that he maintained his WMD programs in a hibernating state, ready to resume as soon as sanctions were lifted – we know this because the NY Times has complained that the US government released that information) What about Libya giving up its WMD program? What about the developing free Kurdistan?
Once Saddam was armed with WMD, who would have been on the receiving end? Kurds? Israel? Shia? All of the above?
And the arguments made above that we don’t have the moral authority to take out a tyrant is an argument against attacking Hitler. Do you really want to make that argument?
The bottom line, Frenchie, is that it’s easy to see the ruts in the road you take. It’s less easy to see the ruts in the road not taken. Iraq hasn’t been a cakewalk, for sure. As bad as it is, I still believe that not going in would have been worse. And I believe that pulling out now would be a total disaster.
“if the individual Iraqi kept his head down and cheered for Saddam, life was decent.”
Can you please explain the mass graves, the gassings of kurds, the elimination of the Marsh Arabs’ marshes, the iron maidens, the disappearance of the Iraqi Jews, the oppression of the Assyrians and the Christians of Iraq, the subjugation of the Shiites?
“Let’s be quite clear here, prior to our savior invasion of Iraq, Muslims were not killing Muslims.”
Surely you jest. See above. The Shia majority was being kept down by the continual application of state terror.
I agree with you about Darfur. The difference is that, in Iraq, we actually had a legal right – actually an obligation – to go in since Saddam was in noncompliance with the terms of the armistice that terminated the hostilities in 1991. I said then (2003) and agree now that Iraq shouldn’t have been the Marines first stop after Afghanistan. But we actually had international law on our side in Iraq. Not so in Iran or North Korea.
But, in Darfur you raise a good question. How do you feel about the UN’s hand-wringing? Should we be sitting on our hands being good little world citizens? Personally, I say no. I say we have an ethical obligation to go in, even if it blows up in our face, like it probably will.
John, I agree. Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight is nearly blind. Nor can one change the entire world. But the US started with Iraq, so might as well do it the best way possible.
BJ, good to see that I’m not the only one who remembers the isolationist Bush. Seems like certain parties want that forgotten.
I agree with your replies completely.
49. The Frenchman:
“but for the most part, if the individual Iraqi kept his head down and cheered for Saddam, life was decent”
I have a hard time believing this arguement coming from a frenchman of all people… How about your own revolution? Apart from a few crammed-in city people, the vast majority of french farmers had a reasonable life by that time’s standards. The same can be said of the german occupation – as long as you weren’t a jew or gypsie, you were well enough off during the war years. Why then all the hype about the french resistance?
Of course there was muslim-against-muslim oppression and killings. Those kurdish villagers were muslim too, you know… So were the soldiers on both sides of the Iran/Iraq war… millions of them! Shia not being allowed to practice their religion openly? No way was Iraq a happy, multicultural, muslim paradise in any stretch of the imagination before the western intervention!
As for the right to intervene, well… Saddam WAS dragging the UN around by the nose and had been for 12 years, clearly showing the impotence of that organization. His actions were also a threat to international stability and commerce in direct conflict with international law. Finally, Saddam had countless crimes on his conscience which international law was/is well within it’s rights to trie him for…
you don’t give a shit of veracity in history don’t you as long it giive you the elegance of your biased views ?
now if youd known our history during revolution times, you should have known that there were many disettes, for a big part caused by climate deseases, freezed and heat alternatively, no crops available, misery, and regime oppression…
during the WWII, effectively our peasants did not suffer as much as the people in cities ones ; fair enough, predictable in every country too though !
tell me again in which country jews and gypsies had to pay the most for their identity pro percentage ? yeah, your good with moral, but not with facts
BJ, you make good points as always but I think you oversimplify the views of the left and only emphasize what is trumpeted by the pandering politicians on that side of the fence. First, I doubt you will find many who argue the Iraq against Iraq, who were ever against the invasion of Afghanistan or the obliteration of the Taliban. Certainly not I. Line em up and knock them off one by one and not humanely, is my perspective on this issue. I firmly believe that if Bush had kept his focus on Afghanistan and delivered on his promise of Osama, you would see a more united country and Bush would be cheered rather than demonized. I have not liked him since he came to my attention, his attitude etc. but I am mature enough to give respect when it is due, hence my attitude towards McCain, up until he decided to run for the Presidency. I will not bore you with more expansion on this issue. An interesting brief book review for any who are interested called ” Bush on the couch ” which is a book from a phsycho analyst, illustrates my view of Bush since the beginning quite nicely
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2004/book_reviews/3133bush_on_couch.html. I found this while looking up a gentlemen called Jerrold Post who recently did an analysis of Hilter and why he might have ended up how he was. Mr. Post founded an CIA division and is now a professor. The link I provided is from another source, but the very brief details provided in the review identify a man ( GW ) who has lived a horrible child hood and were he not our President, I might indeed have empathy for him.
We, the US had no more right to attack Iraq, then we do to interfere in Darfur. Yes, Saddam did play with the UN and he was a disgusting evil man, but the UN is there for a reason, and while American’s no longer give the UN credence, despite the obvious misdealings that happen in all governing bodies, the rest of the world does respect it, as would Americans, if the UN didi exactly what it was told. Do you see the pattern here ? If you do not play along with the desires and demands of the US……..! My issue goes beyond, because the Bush administration just changed their tune everytime another reason was proven wrong. First it was WMD’s, then it was this and then it was that. Agreed, Iraqi suffering exsited indeed and my points in my past post were not intended to make light of the plight of the Iraqi on the street. What good has the invasion of Iraq really done ? I keep hearing how they are better of now then they were then. I have yet to see it and at what cost has it and will it come ? The vision might be grand but the results have not been and you would not be saying the same things you are about Iraq if what is happening there were happening on the streets of NY. Have you seen ” Children of men ” ?
Yes I know Muslim have been killing Muslims for centuries, all the more reason why we should have known that any deeper involvement in the Middle East, especially involving the military could only inflame an already volatile region of the world. That anyone could believe that an invasion would solve their problems is just naive. Given your obvious knowledge of that region, I would expect you to know this.
Yes we are there now and I don’t agree in an immediate pull out now that we have turned Iraq into hell. The Kurds were gased because Bush senior made promises he didn’t keep to them and Iraq punished them for their treason. You show concern for the effect of sanctions yet we have held sanctions on Cuba for decades and people are hurting there. When Bush turned this into a humanitarian mission, it was only at that point did I say are there not places more deserving ? Again, in my view without the UN’s backing, given the US used the UN’s rules for Iraq as it’s reasoning, I do not see how the US had anymore right to invade Iraq then it does Darfur. The US went above the UN, therefore making it irrelevant and short of a direct act of agression from Iraq, there were not legitimate reasons. In this regard, it begs the question, what about Iran and North Korea, these guys have been pissing all over the world forever, yet we leave them alone. Why ? because that is a whole different kettle of fish. A war with either would be catastrophic. Iraq was easy mark and Bush just wanted to make a statement that he was a tough guy, not satisfied with the even bigger push over of Afghanistan, which is returning to the hands of the very people we seeked to erradicate.
We could argue forever on this issue and my first post refered to the plight of those 15 British soldiers and how I could empathise with their reaction to their capture.
Adam B ” I have a hard time believing this arguement coming from a frenchman of all people… How about your own revolution? Apart from a few crammed-in city people, the vast majority of french farmers had a reasonable life by that time’s standards. The same can be said of the german occupation”
French Revolution = revolt from within to change the state of affairs, quite different. Change of this nature needs to be made from within, which in fact entirely makes my point regarding the Middle East. Change will only happen if it is born by the people.
German occupation = invasion by a foreign entity. I am sure you will all bark, ” then, in your view, the US should have just left Hitler in control or Europe ” Again different entirely. The entire world supported Bush senior when Saddam invaded Kuwait. This is an act of war and deserves global reaction in the harshest way. Bush could have finished the job then. I don’t blame him for not doing so and have many times shown my respect for Bush sr. because he knew the consequences. The French thank America for saving us, it’s been said and I will say it again. We cannot simply tow the line because of this. France is an independent nation, with the right to it’s own policy, which I agree has it’s own flaws. Restitution has been made in spades.
So I fail to see your point in how I should view things differently because I am French. Neither of your examples come near to the causes of action in Iraq.
You have certainly pissed Nomad off with your opinion. Vive la France =)
Frenchman, the UN is hardly respected worldwide. We’d *like* it to be, sure, but it isn’t. The West minus the US is hardly the entire world.
And speaking of Kuwait, weren’t there protests back then against the “US War for Oil”? I seem to remember reading that there were in Europe, certainly.
Roman, ” The West minus the US is hardly the world “, I have to disagree with you full heartedly on this, not the statement but the meaning behind it. You could include, almost all of Asia and whenever there is questions on the Middle East, the statement I hear most often is ” if it is a UN force then we will accept “. Where they not UN forces in Lebanese territory. I have been clear that the UN is not perfect and that this is is complete tune with every single other governing body I know, but I do not understand how it is not understood that in each seat are representatives from almost every nation on earth and that these representatives only express the views of their leadership through a mouthpiece in the UN. For there to be an expectation that the UN is some magical power that can wave it’s want and cure the world of it’s evils is just ridiculous, given that in most cases it’s difficult enough to get two independent nations to agree, imagine 200++ Regardless your view that only Europe supports the UN is not true. You think you can do better, but if you were confronted with all of this worlds ills you would quickly realize what a monumental job it is trying to manage the world. It ain’t perfect but it is better than any one country deciding what is best for another region, like the US has decided for the Middle East.
speaking of Kuwait, there will always be protesters against war, this will never change but what was important was that the US had the full support for that war from almost the entire world. The motives might have been to protect a partner and their oil but the end result was saving the Kuwaiti’s from the agression of another nation. You do not see the difference between that war and the current war in Iraq ? If you don’t then our discussion is pointless, with all due respect. If India attacked Pakistan or vice versa there would be public outcry. If China attacked Taiwan, the same, Malaysia Singapore, the same. This is very different than reacting to unproven fears that someone might pose a threat. In this case Israel should have the right to attack everyone and the Palestinians Israel. You see my point ? Very different ! In any of these cases I would be on the ” attack them ” side of the fence and would mock the protesters. I am not a tree hugging pacifist.
If you have never seen people protesting the American involvement in Afghanistan, then you need to come to Brooklyn so you can understand the left-wing hell in which I live. The alliance between Islamic fundamentalists and hard left wingers is alive and well in the formerly Dutch town of Brooklyn. Pim Fortuyn is turning over in his grave, I’m sure.
As for Iraq, I believe the US did not have a right (read, option) to invade Iraq. Rather, I believe the US had an obligation to invade, as did every other member of the UN security council. The first gulf war ended with a conditional armistice, not a peace treaty. As such, if the terms of the armistice are not met, the war resumes. Particularly in the case of war waged by the UN, an organisation whose tenacity is inherently suspect, the members have a great obligation to take up the battle, to make further armistices signed in the UN’s name easier to enforce.
The armistice conditions had degenerated into a farce, and the UN into a laughing stock. Far from going over the head of the UN, the Yanks and Brits were actually restoring to the UN a measure of respect that it arguably does not deserve. It was not a right. It was an obligation. And yes, without naming names, several UNSC members grossly and famously shirked their duty.
As for the rotations of reasons for the invasion, this is something that the press likes to discuss, but I believe it is actually a rotation of what the press reported. Among us neocons, we were having debates on whether freedom and democracy were wasted on Iraqis since before the war began. The WMD issue was twofold. First, there was concern that Saddam would resume his hibernating WMD programs once sanctions were lifted (and he had been promised by two UNSC members that because of their exertions, the sanctions would be lifted soon – for the sake of peace, I won’t name these UNSC members, but one of them rhymes with “pants”), and then transfer the WMD to terrorist groups. The other was that Saddam refused to fully comply with the WMD inspections that he previously had agreed to as terms of the armistice. These were discussed long, long before the war.
The actual presence or absence of WMD could never have been a serious pretext for the war, as it would be pretty easy to hide the stuff in another country, as many people suspect happened. The issue was the past (the legal basis) and the future (which was in fact true, though the New York Times has actually tried to get the government to suppress that information, incredibly).
Ultimately, the question I put to my lefty friends all the time: If I grant the illegality of war without the UN’s explicit blessing. The immorality of intervening in another nations internal affairs, and in their external affairs that do not involve or threaten us. The unacceptability of attacking a country without WMDs. And of preemptively waging war against a country that has not attacked us. Granted all of this, is it possible to justify our having waged war against Hitler’s Germany? I argue that no, you cannot justify our having attacked Germany granting all of those as axioms. Therefore, logically either the USA should feel shame for our unprovoked attack in the 1940s, or those axioms are not true.
“speaking of Kuwait, there will always be protesters against war, this will never change but what was important was that the US had the full support for that war from almost the entire world.”
Interestingly, the Senate voted to authorize the use of force by a 52-47 vote in 1991. In 2002 it was 77-23. The world may have liked Gulf War I better, but it seems that the American left liked Gulf War II better.
“If India attacked Pakistan or vice versa there would be public outcry. If China attacked Taiwan, the same, Malaysia Singapore, the same.”
I suspect very strongly that the world would yawn, as it did in many real conflicts this past century. With a few notable exceptions, if the USA doesn’t object, no one else will bother.
BJ, I respect your opinion and more so the honorability of your arguments but, not being as mentioned a tree hugging passifist, my honest opinion is that I did not see the reason vs cost justification for our incursion into Iraq, nor did I see the sudden need to rush in their given Saddam had been contained for this long, so why now ? when we so obviously had other very much more important fish to fry, literally Osama. Al Q. and the Taliban. How did we lose our grip on that goal ? As a New Yorker ( as mentioned my wifes family is all there and her father lost 13 guards in the towers and many friends who were fire fighters and cops ) I have to wonder why your main goal was not the extinction of all of the above mentioned parties first before taking care of an exisiting fungus like Saddam. Please don’t launch into me because I am by no means trying to make light of your experiences or how 9/11 effected you, because I know it must have been visceral. I still have a taste in my mouth for that MF and I know that you want his head on a platter as much as I do, but given this, do you still not question the timing and the distraction of Iraq War 2. By the way the answer to your quantification of support for Iraq 1 & Iraq 2 are easilly explained….9/11 and the Bush teams very succesfull campaign to ties Saddam to this horror. As I have said before, it was common knowledge, long before 9/11 that Saddam was a secularist. Yes AQ and Saddam may have had contact but it was brief and non-eventful and I believe Saddam just kept contact with them, so that they didn’t come into Iraq and take over. Anyway Iraq 2 was supported in Congress because if 9/11 simple as that. Your comment regarding most not giving a shit if India went to war with Pakistan can be applied to Iraq war 1, except for the oil.
I am not so sure about your statement ” yawn ” though. If China attacked Taiwan……… ? The ever growing global village means all industrialized nations including the US have very big investments in all regions of the world and these need to be protected.
Again I am confused at the comparison to the US attack on Hitler. This was a result of a succession of invasions of other countries and allies. Was it the US’ responsibility to interfere, absolutely not, but let’s also consider the consequences to the US, if Hitler had simply been left alone and amassed all of the power that was inherent to all of these nations. The US would have been next on his list of targets.
I am quite sure you and many others will balk at the thought, but I can assure you that if the US was attacked by a foreign army, like China, North Korea etc, you would see a unparalleled response from the French and any others that America claims is no longer an ally because they refused to run into a knee jerk reaction war. Again, I understand that you will refute this full heartedly.
As a final thought, if any of the supporters of the war were actually living in Iraq, losing loved ones, no matter at who’s hands or you had a brother, close family member who was mamed or died in Iraq, you might think differently about all of this. Let’s not forget how many on the right wing now feel it was not worth. You cannot deny the changing tide, even if the polls are not perfectly accurate. The Dems are now in control of Congress.
In addition you cannot seperate the dislike for Bush, by so many new hatters, and the war in Iraq / War on terrorism. Bush has done little else, so there is little else to judge him on. Of course, his preference for protecting the very wealthy does not help his cause. No matter which way I turn things in an effort to see the other side, I cannot simply dismiss the calls of so many from so far across the globe as insignificant and uninformed simply because the neo cons in this country feel otherwise. All of the naysayers cannot simply be stupid passifist. Those idiots you elude to in Brooklyn against Afghanistan, they fall into the latter category and I am shocked that anyone in NY thinks like this, but Iraq is another story all together. I would have to jump fences if there was a united march against both wars.
You definitely know your facts and have my respect for this and I also firmly believe you believe in the cause in Iraq and if there were not so many ripple effects, I completely see the honor in wanting to save the Iraqi’s from a disgusting human being like Saddam, but again at what cost and was it really the right decision to split the focus and essentially divert most resources to Iraq instead of Afghanistan ? In my opinion, no. Nothing, given 9/11 and I mean nothing should have taken our focus on this objective until it was achieved. Saddam could have been contained for a little longer. Where is that MF Osama ? Why isn’t he and his entourage dead yet ? Why are the Taliban given the space to regroup ? These are the direct and proven culprits of 9/11.
As always I enjoy discussing events with you. I won’t even say “debating”, because I think we actually agree mostly.
I agree that the Iraq adventure was not absolutely essential at that time, and as I’ve said many times, reasonable people can disagree on whether going in was the right thing to do.
I’m not entirely clear how much longer Saddam could have been contained. Looking into my “Way Back” machine, I seem to recall a tremendous amount of pressure, including some applied by the same “peaceniks” who’ve been hooting and hollering all along, to remove the sanctions. Remember all the blather about how America was taking food and medicine out of the mouths of children? Of course, little mention was made of where exactly the “Oil for Food” food was going. And little mention was made of the lavish palaces that Saddam was building, complete with that charming “rape room” amenity favored my many dictators. And no mention was made of the bounties he paid human explosives willing to give their lives for the sake of killing Jews in discos and pizza parlors. France and Russia were being, well, France and Russia. And the US and UK were continuing to patrol the No Fly zones, occasionally taking flak, occasionally bombing the flak givers. I doubt the sanctions would have continued in any useful form for much longer. For sure, Saddam doubted it also.
As for the timing, it certainly could have happened somewhat later. It also could have happened earlier. If fact, it probably would have, if only Bill could have kept his fly zipped. It has been official US Government policy to pursue “regime change” since 1998, over two years before George the isolationist (he’s never even been to Europe! And he doesn’t know the name of the current Generalissimo in Pakistan!) was elected on a platform that included, among other things, never deploying American troops abroad for any purpose other than killing the bad guys and getting the hell back home.
In fact, Bill did do some sustained bombing, but then Wag the Dog came out, and he had to focus on the fact that he had made a fool of himself and of the Presidency.
Ah Hitler. The point in bringing him up is to note that no one seriously contends now that the American entry into the European Theater of WWII was anything but a good thing. But looking at it through the prizm of 2003, it’s a bit of a challenge to see the substantive differences between Hitler’s Germany and Saddam’s Iraq. Killing ethnic minorities? Check. Religious persecution? Check. Agression against neighbors? Check. Brutal crushing of political dissent? Check. Hates Jews? Check. Bad mustache? Check. Fond of poison gas? Check. Developing nuclear weapons? Check. Didn’t actually have any nuclear weapons? Check. Managed to spend a lot of time hanging in Paris? Check. Ill-fated invasion of neighbor to the west? Check. Iconic first name? Check.
The real substantive difference between Hitler and Saddam is that Hitler’s violence was directed at a bunch of nerds. Saddam’s violence may actually have been necessary. Of course, this is a wildly racist and politically incorrect, but that doesn’t make it false.
I believe you tend to agree that Saddam’s violence was necessary (looking at the mess there now, it’s hard to argue contrariwise). I, personally, noted that century-old vendettas were likely to boil to the surface, and wondered if we were lifting the lid off of Pandora’s Box. While I can’t recall the pres. saying this, I heard plenty of neocon pundits asking that question before the war. The buffoons who insist that no one saw this coming are either daft or disingenuous.
In any event, the point – and I do have one – is that if making war against a Germany that was not agressing against us in the 1940′s was a good thing in retrospect, then how can we so quickly discard the rationales for going in to Iraq, when they are substantially the same?
By the way, am I to understand that you approve of the attack on Nazi Germany in the sense that it “preempted”a future potential attack on the US? I believe preemption is not considered legitimate by the left, so you’ll have to come up with something else.
As for the “ties” between Saddam and 9/11, not only do I know that there was no significant relationship, I don’t recall much of a linkage alleged anywhere. I know no neocon I know seriously considered Saddam as having much to do with 9/11.
I’ll close (as it’s after 2AM and I have yet to do my taxes) with some links to “stupid pacifists”
Thanks for playing, Frenchie!
Yes, I can see the difference between the two Gulf Wars. Though I don’t draw the same conclusions from this because, as BJ said, casus belli existed. The only true argument in the matter is whether or not it was worth persuing it. I believe that with what the US knew at the time, that yes.
I brought up the protests mainly as a matter of idle curiosity.
Speaking of the UN now, it’s liked in the middle-east because it is useless.
To expand on that, UN forces in the middle-east are the first to be thrown out, blown up, or simply used as human shields when the shit hits the fan. This you would know if you knew a little recent, and historical, knowledge of the ME.
As for Asia, last time I checked the two largest and most powerful nations there were treating the UN like a game and little more.
I think you confuse ‘using the UN’ with ‘supporting the UN’. Or with ‘supporting the UN as a constructive body rather than a distraction’.
Nomad and Frenchman:
It doesn’t matter how or who instigates the fall of a tyrant as far as “should a tyrant be allowed to continue his oppresion of a people any longer than neccesary?” is concerned. The french revolution may have been started by the french (might have been hidden european politics, as have so often been the case) and the weather might have been bad/good/whatever – it doesn’t matter when it comes to removing someone like Saddam. If the people isn’t capable of removing him themselves, should we just sit back and watch them suffer?
And Nomad, where the h… did your objection to my comment about the treatment of jews and gypsies come from?! It seems you are being a bit oversensitive on behalf of your country (nothing new…) – jews and gypsies were treated badly in occupied Denmark too, if that makes it easier for you…?
fairly honest then, we could burry the quarrel hatchet
Adam B, WW2 casualties
Staggering and depressing numbers. And it seems that we have learned little.
“I believe that with what the US knew at the time, that yes.”
I agree with you, although I also feel that reasonable people of good faith can disagree. That does not mean that I think that everyone who disagrees is reasonable and of good faith. A lot of it is just bare anti-Americanism. A lof of it is repackaged Marxism. A lot of it is based on a non-rational hatred of Bush (which I experienced in 2000, myself – I just hated his face and his smirk). But there is room for a fair disagreement there.
I also believe that, with time, we’ll find out that Saddam was a much greater threat than Reuters, AFP, and the BBC currently want to let on.
My wife went to a peace rally in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. She naively believed that the people there felt as she did, that the troops should stay until the situation is stabilized and then leave the country to the Iraqis. The peaceniks did not allow any room for that sort of opinion. Only “Troops Out NOW!” I wanted to march with signs that said, ironically, “Bring ‘em home! Screw the Kurds!” and “Who cares if they kill each other?” (I emphasize IRONICALLY). My wife told me that it was a good thing I had to stay home with the kiddies, as the peace-loving crowd probably would have torn me apart. C’est la vie in the People’s Republic of Brooklyn.
I agree, at least as long as I see good arguments for the conclusion. And no reality shifting to suit them.
And man, that peace rally sounds like good fun. Well, if you can get enough football players and construction workers to hold the irony-enabled signs.
seems we are programmed to make regulary wars, it’s a regulation for surpopulation, unemployment, social problems… and if we take enough back perspective, it means also progress in technologies, medecine, new human ideals… till the next stress is getting too heavy ; thus that so was from the begennings, and, I am afraid, till the ends.
BJ and Roman, if either are still interested I will respond tomorrow. Crazy day !
I’m always interested in what you have to say.
Ready and willing.
Nomad, perhaps you are correct. Conflict of any kind certainly appears to be a driving force for civilizations, but then again social science is grossly undeveloped and fairly unreliable. The necessity of large-scale conflicts is purely a deduction from what historical data we posess, and that doesn’t really *prove* much beyond the fact that we share several rather fatal flaws, but it also shows that we can improve on them.
In any case, on the scale of several decades people hardly see the process.
Roman K, yes of course, we need more than a few decades to sort out the “benefits” of a conflit, but since history has writings, we can visualize the interactions of diverse cultures ; in any case, medecine has always progressed during wars till 20th century, (dunno now, cause of computers helps) . as far as social science, agree with you, it’s still undevelopped or unreliable, cause we judge through the prism of our ideologies (or beliefs) ; we should let more our instinct and intuition lead our head
Horrid statistic, though nothing new for me – I’ve been fascinated with WW2 since I was a kid.
WW2 is certainly the absolute low-point of humanity so far, but in many ways our finest hour as well, and maybe the most remarkable thing is that the aftermath of the war has been one of the most positive and reassuring experiences in history, at least as seen from the eyes of the western allies and the axis powers. Perhaps this came from the absoluteness of the war and how it was brought to an end – there certainly hasen’t been any such aftermath to any war since!
Nomad, on the one hand you are correct about instinct and intution, yet on the other hand it is our instincts that lead us to become part of a herd and think as part of a herd. And while detachment, neautrality and above all admission of falliability in any scientific are the only way to go forward, the end goal of social science is not just understanding but the shaping, ergo how to better move towards a chosen ideal. Thus it’s quite difficult to seperate the ideals from the science.
BJ and Roman, After an evenings deliberation ( sleeping ) I have decided, that is if your still listening ) that we have probably all said what we needed to say for now on these related issues and that the discussions have pretty much run it’s course. Funny how in the forum there seems to be a natural ending where, at least, I need to recharge the political discourse batteries, for 370 =). Would certainly be cool if we could start our own topics because it would be interesting to hear all of the views on the Imus thing and the shootings in Virginia ( pros and cons of gun control / is the health care system doing it’s job with the mentally ill of this country ). Alas, this is SM’s domain. I have been thinking about starting my own blog on a completely unrelated subject ” decoding electronic music ” but might throw a side forum in there on current events, so I can control the topics, for fun. Stay tuned !!!
To summize, been a pleasure chatting with you both and the others. Let’s get this shit in Iraq fixed one way or another so our US boys and girls can come home and get back to their families and so that the Iraqi children can stop having to dodge car bombs on their way to school. Were there now, so debating the who, what, where, when’s only really end up satsifying our own agenda’s. Every day is a new day but for each new day judgement must be passed on those in control and what they are actually doing to get this objective accomplished.
A la prochaine mes amis
Until later then, Frenchman. It was a pleasure, really, though I must admit that I am too argumentative for my own good.
The capacity to disagree civilly is a critical element in the proper functioning of a democratic society. You give me hope. But electronic music? You lost me there.
P.S. My $.02 in a nutshell:
Imus has been a jerk for a long time. But even jerks shouldn’t necessarily be censored.
Funny how the shooting happened at Va Tech, rather than VMI, which is laden with guns and people who know how to shoot. We need to be more selective about who gets to have a gun, but keeping them away from all lawful people is not the answer either.
We treated the mentally ill shoddily for centuries. We are now overreacting to that by not treating them at all. That, and the general climate of political correctness, multiculturality, and fear of lawsuits causes a situation in which dozens of people realized this guy was crazy and potentially dangerous, but no one did anything substantive about it (afraid of trampling his rights, afraid of insulting his foreign culture, afraid he’d sue, a la the six flying imams).
What’s up with the whole “Ismail Ax” thing?
Roman K, the difficulty is to be conscient of our herd instinct, and it helps when we take care of our natural environnement ; since and till there is no better way than science for our “undeveloped” minds to make our ideals valuable, then let’s choose this best current way
Adam B, not sure that there certainly hasen’t been any such aftermath to any war since!
, since we know that civilisations are mortal, and that we had crossed many in our western worlds
The Frenchman, I can’t wait for your ” decoding electronic music ” blog
since we are at it, some boards on murder, crime, assault statistics per capita by country :
What I mean is, since WW2, no one has really ‘lost’ a war… As in realized that they were beaten, whether they accept their mistakes (like most germans) or close their eyes to past wrongdoings (like many japanese).
The realization that you have definitively lost seems to be the factor that determines whether you country can start down a new path or continue down the old one. Since WW2, most ‘losers’ have continued down the old road, ignoring their defeat and continuing the behaviour that caused the war in the first place. Post Desert Storm Iraq and present day Lebanon are great examples of this.
At the risk of being accused of ignoring the facts, I’d like to point to what I consider absurdities in those statistics:
New Zealand, Finland and Denmark as number 2,3 and 4 on number of crimes per capita? That’s the biggest joke in a long time! I’d put those 3 countries at the exact opposite end of the scale in the real world…
Norway and Denmark way up on the scale compared to, say, Costa Rica Georgia, Thailand or Rumania on number of assaults per capita? Yeah right… ´Cause you can hardly venture out during the dark hours up here! Come on, few cities in the world are as safe as Copenhagen or Oslo!
Not bashing you, Nomad, but those statistics are clearly screwed up!
Adam B, # 92, I swear, I didn’t order these stats, wether they fit your own opinion is out of concern ; eheh, may -be you don’t read the diverse facts reported in your papers, or you just read the cartoons
# 91, Post Desert Storm Iraq and present day Lebanon are great examples of this.
yes, but not major in a wider perspective alike a new geopolitical project, that, may-be, China, will start
BrooklynJon, political correctness is wonderful at solving issues! If you never mention them, then there aren’t any, right? /Sarcasm
PC destroys debate. It’s a very bad factor in present-day Western society.
“The realization that you have definitively lost seems to be the factor that determines whether you country can start down a new path or continue down the old one.”
Yes, yes, YES! Nations commonly delude themselves into thinking that they won even when they didn’t. It’s only when the evidence that your side lost is so absolutely convincing that even the deluded can’t deny it that you’ll be willing to give up the fight. It also helps to believe that life as a loser is better than death while trying to win.
Defeat – crushing, pulverizing, total defeat – is what leads to peace. Cease fires and Armistices are what lead to war.
Quick check back, leaving town so will have to wait for next round, but wanted to answer back to Roman, it was an equal pleasure. Would boring here if everyone agreed =) Til the next.
Merci Nomad, this is good news that you are interested in my blog idea. Will advise when I get it off the ground. I will find a topic here which I know you will be commenting.
BJ, thanks for you comments on the two subjects I raised. I want to get into these but would be here for another hour, time I don’t have. As for my ” decoding electronic music “. I have been a DJ. ,musicians composer for 25 years. I have a home studio and create electronic music ( or club music ). Through the course of all of these years I have run into countless people with whom I have mentioned all of the above. If they are completely unfamiliar with this form of music, they immediately think of one thing, the junk noise club music that makes it to the airwaves, the Britney Spear’s of the electronic world, almost all of which is just irritating noise. I counteract these notions by giving them one of my mix’s and also some compilation CD’s 9 times out of 10 the listener is floored and asks for more.
Like Rock has now got sub categories, like Metal, Emo, Southern etc. So does electronic music, which more. The goal of my blog is going to be to share what I know and provide names and definitions to all of these sub categories in terms that someone who is not familiar can understand.
I will also provide weekly examples of my choices for each, which I will make sure are available on Itunes. It took me a long time to use Itunes because in the beginning very little of what I was after could be found there, but today is a very different story. In fact many very underground artists now have access to a huge market thanks to Itunes and these are usually the artists with the best product. I will provide reviews etc.
It will be a primer to anyone who is unfamiliar. It will of course evolve as time goes by.
Et voila !
The frenchman, Did you know, I got a son who makes music (with PC help) and video clips, though as a musician, he is more “hard rock) ? so, if I don’t want to be left in rest, I have to follow the “stream”
Nomad, Very cool that your son makes music. I have played drums for 25 years and have played in a number of bands, and have played plenty of Hard Rock, so I am very open to all kinds of music, so long as it is quality and sonically beautiful. The best music is made by independents who are not tied to big record companies, because they force good artists to play shit music.
Envoie moi un e-mail est je t’indique quand j’ai lancer mon blog : email@example.com. My e-mail address should anyone want to be notified if but hopefully when I decide to launch my blog ( send me a note saying I want to know when ) Pour les autres au cas ou.
Ciao Nomad !
cool, I’ll do it, my son had a band too, he was “lead guitar” and “rythmic” ; at the moment, he is living in Paris and works for movies business, he has not much time left for his “passion” anymore, but he is still on with it
Frenchman, you have called Metal a sub-genre of Rock. You deserve no mercy, especially from the leather-clad men who will explain this to you if you ever utter this in a biker bar.
Metal started out of Rock, that much is true, but most music genres have such roots. Today the Metal genre is so diverse that has earned its independance.
As for electronic music, I heard a few good tunes but, alas, what I mostly heard was the club rubbish you mentioned.
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