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Author Topic: Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war
philnotfil
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An interesting look at why we believed some of the things that we believed justified going into Iraq.

guardian.co.uk

quote:
Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

quote:
In a series of meetings with the Guardian in Germany where he has been granted asylum, he said he had told a German official, who he identified as Dr Paul, about mobile bioweapons trucks throughout 2000. He said the BND had identified him as a Baghdad-trained chemical engineer and approached him shortly after 13 March of that year, looking for inside information about Saddam's Iraq.

"I had a problem with the Saddam regime," he said. "I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance."

We got used? We used each other?
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edgmatt
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Let's just get rid of "Bush Lied People Died" and replace it with "Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi lied, German and American intelligence who also had information indicating WMD's were present in Iraq used this information to remove a terrorist from control of a country, and he died." [Smile]
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Aris Katsaris
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edgmatt, I find it difficult to believe that someone can be fooled so easily if they don't want to be fooled.

Are you telling me that the intelligence (hah!) agencies of America, never even consider the possibility that someone can be *lying*?

Is "lying" an unknown concept to secret agents?

quote:
"and he died"
...alongside more than a hundred thousand innocent people, but *their* lives aren't important.

I wouldn't be surprised if Iraq was the last country in the region to achieve democracy, and that this delay could be directly traced to the American invasion and the replacement of secular nationalism by the religious/ethnic sectarianism it brought.

For the sake of clarity, let's define democracy as an average score equal to or better than 4 in the Freedom House ratings. Its current score is 5.5

[ February 15, 2011, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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LetterRip
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The intelligence agencies were pretty certain the information was BS at the time, but were overridden. It was not an 'intelligence failure' or 'we were lied to' it was ignoring the analysis of the intelligence in favor of the actions the administration already wanted to take.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
The intelligence agencies were pretty certain the information was BS at the time, but were overridden. It was not an 'intelligence failure' or 'we were lied to' it was ignoring the analysis of the intelligence in favor of the actions the administration already wanted to take.

That's factually wrong. Multiple intelligence reports over a many year period stated that Iraq did have NBC's.

US intelligence
quote:
"According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons." Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) - Congressional Record, October 9, 2002
So was John Kerry lying to protect Bush?

UK intelligence
quote:
This extensive analysis of Iraqi WMD programs was produced by the British Government's Joint Intelligence Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the production of national and strategic intelligence. One part of the document focuses on Iraqi chemical, biological, nuclear, and ballistic missile programs for the years 1971-1998 and in the post-inspection era (1998-2002). Other parts of the document concern the history of UN weapons inspections and "Iraq under Saddam Hussein."

In the foreword, Prime Minister Tony Blair writes (p.3) that "In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that ... Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world."

US Intelligence
quote:
Issued a month after the British assessment (see Document 8), this CIA study is the unclassified version of a Top Secret National Intelligence Estimate completed shortly before its release. The study contains analysis, maps, tables, and some satellite photographs of apparent Iraqi WMD sites.

Among the study's key judgments is the statement that "Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in execess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade."

French and German intelligence support the existence of WMD's.
quote:
David Kay appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee shortly after he resigned as special advisor to the Iraq Survey Group. Kay states, referring to the expectation that there would be substantial stocks of, and production lines for, chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, that "we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here." He also notes that other foreign intelligence agencies, including the French and the German, also had believed that Iraq possessed such stocks and production lines.
Link


To insist that George Bush ignored multiple intelligence reports is just factually wrong.

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JoshuaD
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Aris: in 2001 and 2002, no one, not Germany or France or any credible new source, was saying there weren't weapons of mass destruction. Everyone thought they were there. It was after the fact, when it turned out this was not true, that people started rewriting history to make it appear that Bush lied.

I'm so sick of this argument. JWatt's points are just a few of the many that can be made that poke holes in your argument.

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LetterRip
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JWatts,

I know that the evidence presented to the UN was all fairly certain to be wrong.

Ie the mobile biological labs (the claim was known to be totally uncredible before it was presented at the UN), the aluminum tubes (they were considered most probably for rockets and the US used tubes of similar spec for one of our rockets - Powell claimed the only possible thing they could be for was Uranium enrichment - the report he had in his possession at the time of the UN presentation directly contradicted that - the anaylsts believed they were almost certainly for rockets) all directly contradicted our best analysis. The various claimed sites. Also the claim about Uranium from Africa was fairly certain to be wrong. To my knowledge, every piece of publicly leaked/presented evidence was known to be likely wrong at the time.

[ February 15, 2011, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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LetterRip
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It is possible that evidence never presented was believed to be accurate, but I can only go off of publicly presented evidence and what was known about that evidence at that time.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
JWatts,

I know that the evidence presented to the UN was all fairly certain to be wrong.

Ie the mobile biological labs (the claim was known to be totally uncredible before it was presented at the UN), the aluminum tubes (they were considered most probably for rockets and the US used tubes of similar spec for one of our rockets - Powell claimed the only possible thing they could be for was Uranium enrichment - the report he had in his possession at the time of the UN presentation directly contradicted that - the anaylsts believed they were almost certainly for rockets) all directly contradicted our best analysis. The various claimed sites. Also the claim about Uranium from Africa was fairly certain to be wrong. To my knowledge, every piece of publicly leaked/presented evidence was known to be likely wrong at the time.

No, that's just not true. You've been subject to a re-writing of history by the George Bush Lied crowd.

quote:
In the CIA briefing days before the 2003 United Nations security council presentation Colin Powell knew that all information included in the report had to be solid. "Powell and I were both suspicious because there were no pictures of the mobile labs," Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff said.[2] Powell demanded multiple sources and the two CIA men present George Tenet, then the CIA director and John E. McLaughlin, then the CIA deputy director claimed to have multiple eye witness accounts and supporting evidence. Wilkerson claims that the two said, "This is it, Mr. Secretary. You can't doubt this one"

The information behind the mobile vehicles had come from the multiple informants but the main and most important one was known as Curveball. Curveball an Iraqi asylum in Germany claimed that after he had graduated top of his chemical engineering class at Baghdad University in 1994 he worked for “Dr. Germ,” British-trained microbiologist Rihab Rashid Taha to led a team that built mobile labs to brew deadly bio WMD was never actually interviewed by the American intelligence and eventually in May 2004, over a year after the invasion of Iraq, the CIA concluded formally that Curveball's information was fabricated. Furthermore on June 26 2006, the Washington Post reported that "the CIA acknowledged that Curveball was a con artist who drove a taxi in Iraq and spun his engineering knowledge into a fantastic but plausible tale about secret bioweapons factories on wheels."

Link
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
No, that's just not true. You've been subject to a re-writing of history by the George Bush Lied crowd.

It's amazing isn't it? The Ministry of Truth is strong in that one ...
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Greg Davidson
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In the real world, the Ministry of Truth is always accusing others of being the Ministry of Truth (chew on the paradoxes of that one for a while).

France, Germany, and the IAEA guy (what was his name) were all telling the United States that there was not adequate evidence of an imminent threat that justified the "Bush Doctrine" of pre-emptive war.

When you look at the extent to which the Bush Administration was mislead by Ahmed Chalabi and Curveball, the degree to which Bush discussed an invasion of Iraq in the days after 9/11 (and the degree to which Iraq was not actually related to the 9/11 attacks, as was clearly evident to many Americans at the time including a State Senator from Chicago who spoke quite clearly on the subject in 2002), the only way you can dodge responsibility for the greatest foreign policy blunder in generations is by making lots of noise and recycling protective chaff that has been emitted by other culpable advocates of the Iraq war who are similarly committed to dodging responsibility.

And with that, I've got to run to the airport, sorry if I miss the rebuttals for a few days

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LetterRip
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JWatts,

the NYT reported that 'mobile lab' and the tubes data were both seriously questioned and that was before the UN presentation.

After the UN presentation it came out that Powell had in his possession at the time of the presentation documentation that directly contracted the information he presented at the UN.

Regarding the mobile labs, the hilarious thing is, the wikipedia article and specific paragraph you cite as proof you were right, if you go to the article itself that it references it proves you wrong.

quote:

In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration's case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell's speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.

Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.

A few days later, the lines were back in the speech. Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 and said: "We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails."

The sentence took Drumheller completely by surprise.

"We thought we had taken care of the problem," said the man who was the CIA's European operations chief before retiring last year, "but I turn on the television and there it was, again."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/24/AR2006062401081_pf.html
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JWatts
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Indeed. There were problems with the intelligence, but there is no question that there was plenty of intelligence estimates indicating that Iraq was a danger. To try and simplify this down to:

The intelligence agencies reported that there was no evidence of WMD's, but George Bush went to war anyway!

Amounts to a lie.

From the article you reference:

quote:
The warnings triggered debates within the CIA but ultimately made no visible impact at the top, current and former intelligence officials said. In briefing Powell before his U.N. speech, George Tenet, then the CIA director, personally vouched for the accuracy of the mobile-lab claim, according to participants in the briefing. Tenet now says he did not learn of the problems with Curveball until much later and that he received no warnings from Drumheller or anyone else.

"No one mentioned Drumheller, or Curveball," Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Powell's chief of staff at the time, said in an interview. "I didn't know the name Curveball until months afterward."

Curveball's role in shaping U.S. declarations about Iraqi bioweapons capabilities was first described in a series of reports in the Los Angeles Times, and later in a March 2005 report by a presidential commission on U.S. intelligence failures regarding allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. But Drumheller's first-hand accounts add new detail about the CIA's embrace of a source whose credibility was already unraveling.


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drewmie
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JWatts, are you really trying to convince yourself that many of our allies AND many Americans (myself included) weren't questioning the insufficient evidence?

We can go back and forth all day on specifics, but the bottom line was that a lot of Americans and other nations WERE NOT DUPED. You and OSC and the Bush Administration, on the other hand, were duped (or simply didn't care).

[ February 15, 2011, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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TommySama
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Intellgience agencies by Fred Reed.

To that, I would only add two things. First, I think that plenty of people knew exactly what would happen in Iraq, but let it happen anyways. Second, the dozen + US intelligence agencies collect massive amounts of data that is poorly shared and extremely difficult to analyze. Because of this, the conclusions that the "intelligence" officials draw can easily be affected by the Pentagon and the White House's policy goals. This is one possible reason that the suspicious evidence supporting the WMD assertion bubbled to the surface while the stronger evidence was neglected. The WMD fiasco could have been a bureaucratic accident or carefully planned. I'll leave it to speculation whether I think it was deliberate or not.

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LetterRip
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JWatts,

I said the intelligence was known to be at fault, even the speech was corrected to remove the faulty intelligence.

Someone had to put to approve putting back in the faulty information.

To me it is a clear pattern of behaviour that known faulty intelligence was kept in his speech.

Given the pattern of behaviour I tend to questions claims of ignorance/innocence by the higher ups.

My saying that known fault evidence was kept in doesn't entirely discount the possibility that there were legitimate beliefs about other intelligence. So trying to oversimplify my position is entirely unwarranted.

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LetterRip
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That said, my original statement regarding the nature of the intelligence - that it was known to be faulty prior to the UN presentation is correct.
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JWatts
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Was some evidence faulty or shaky? Certainly.

However, there a lot of different intelligence saying that Saddam was working on WMD's. We knew he had significant quantities in the 90's. We knew the inspectors couldn't account for all of it. So the question remained how much was left?

Some said not much, others said a lot. Everyone agreed that Saddam was a dangerous meglomaniac with a history of killing people in job lots.

Bush chose to go with the intelligence that said there were WMD's. It wasn't the only reason to go to war, so being wrong in that particular doesn't invalidate the war.

I apologize if I wrongly assumed you were blaming Bush for lying about the war. It's a common liberal meme and I jumped to a conclusion about your motives.

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TheRallanator
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While we're on dubious assumptions based on dubious intelligence, how on Earth did Bush ever convince himself that the Iraqi people would "welcome us with open arms" and that the occupation would just involve a few months of mopping up followed by a few years of upgrading the infrastructure before the whole shebang would pay for itself?
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
It was after the fact, when it turned out this was not true, that people started rewriting history to make it appear that Bush lied.
JoshuaD, the primary lie is that Bush & co gave a damn about the presence or absence of WMDs.

They claimed they cared. If the went to war because of the WMDs, then once the WMDs were proven absent, they'd have instead said "the war was justifiable based on the knowledge we had, but we have to admit it a mistake in hindsight".

Is Bush now saying that the Iraq invasion should NOT have happened, even in hindsight? Is Rumsfeld? Is Cheney? Is anyone in the Bush administration?

If not, then that by itself proves that the whole WMD argument was a lie because it was *not* their reason for invading Iraq.

Whether they lied about specific evidence regarding WMDs is secondary to the more central fact that the whole WMD argument is a lie: not a reason, but a rationalization. You can tell the two apart by the fact that in rationalization you first make your decision, and *then* you seek out plausible reasons to convince others for the rightness of your action.

All the evidence now suggests that the WMD argument was caused by the decision to invade Iraq, didn't cause it.

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drewmie
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Aris, you're right, but it doesn't matter at all for those Americans who wanted to invade to topple a leader who, as JWatts said, "was a dangerous meglomaniac with a history of killing people in job lots." I shiver at the thought of how many countries we'd invade if that were sufficient justification.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Aris, you're right, but it doesn't matter at all for those Americans who wanted to invade to topple a leader who, as JWatts said, "was a dangerous meglomaniac with a history of killing people in job lots." I shiver at the thought of how many countries we'd invade if that were sufficient justification.
*That* justification would for starters also justify the United States getting invaded, as it's traditionally been ruled by dangerous megalomaniacs with a history of ordering wars and bombings all over the world. The average person has a far greater chance of being killed by a war of America's choice than by a war of Saddam Hussein's choice.

The *true* reason for the Iraq war was "Saddam is a middle-Easterner who opposed America's interests, and America has the right to depose Middle-easterners that oppose her interests".

(sidenote: this rule once was not just about Middle-Easterners, but was about the whole of the rest of the world, atleast outside Europe -- but American imperialism has lost enough power, that it can no longer believably make the claim for e.g. South America or East Asia)

If that's not the true reason, please have the supporters of the Iraq War indicate which Middle-easterner country you believe you *wouldn't* have the moral right to invade even if it refuses to cooperate with you in battling communism/islamism/whatever your current enemy of the week is.

[ February 16, 2011, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
If that's not the true reason, please have the supporters of the Iraq War indicate which Middle-easterner country you believe you *wouldn't* have the moral right to invade even if it refuses to cooperate with you in battling communism/islamism/whatever your current enemy of the week is.

So you think we have a moral obligation to leave people in slavery? Promoting freedom and democracy is immoral? You're the kind of guy that witnesses a sexual assault and tells the woman she should just lay back and enjoy it rather than try to stop it aren't you?

[ February 16, 2011, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
So you think we have a moral obligation to leave people in slavery?
No. On the contrary, you had a moral obligation to offer political asylum to anyone who wanted to leave Iraq. And a moral obligation to stop helping Saddam Hussein's regime, and to hurt his interests in any way possible that wouldn't primarily hurt innocents.

quote:
Promoting freedom and democracy is immoral?
No, it's the promoting war, murder, and bloodshed that is immoral.

Now in the instances where the utility of freedom and democracy is judged to be higher than the disutility of war and bloodshed it will require to bring it about, there are several questions you can ask to test if your judgement is indeed seeking the truth without bias.

For starters "Do I have the right to decide for another people whether their blood is worth less than their freedom?" If you claim the right to decide, then you don't believe in democracy, because the right is *theirs*. If they're in revolt already, you *might* arguably claim that they have decided and could use your help, not you.

But the Iraqis weren't yet in revolt. They hadn't yet decided that the chaos and blood required were a fair price to pay for their freedom. And people that are in actual revolutions rarely seek foreign help, exactly because they don't want foreigners to be meddling in their affairs

(Wars of independence are a different thing, so don't bring up e.g. the French helping the Americans in the American war of independence -- in wars of independence, outside assistance is often sought, in revolutions hardly ever: exactly because revolutions are about people promoting *their* will.)

Another question is "Do I truly give a damn about the freedom and democracy of Iraqis, or do I hate their guts and am just using it for a pretext?" The fact that the people most supportive of the Iraq war were the people that most *hated* Arabs and Muslims, indicates that the claims of morality on this are bull.

Or the question "If I'm willing to sacrifice 100,000 Iraqi lives for the sake of their freedom and democracy, would I also be willing to sacrifice 100,000 American lives for the sake of Iraqi freedom and democracy?" The fact that the people that were *most* likely to argue about the higher worth of American lives were the ones most supportive of the Iraq war, is again a huge argument against the supposed moral justification of the Iraq war.

In short - before you actually make a moral argument about the necessity of the Iraq war, be sure to believe it yourself.

[ February 16, 2011, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
For starters "Do I have the right to decide for another people whether their blood is worth less than their freedom?" If you claim the right to decide, then you don't believe in democracy, because the right is *theirs*. If they're in revolt already, you *might* arguably claim that they have decided and could use your help, not you.

You think people willingly choose to live under a repressive and brutal dictatorship? That's what they want? [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Another question is "Do I truly give a damn about the freedom and democracy of Iraqis, or do I hate their guts and am just using it for a pretext?" The fact that the people most supportive of the Iraq war were the people that most *hated* Arabs and Muslims, indicates that the claims of morality on this are bull.

That you think the people most supportive of the Iraq war were the people that most *hated* Arabs and Muslims, is bull. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Or the question "If I'm willing to sacrifice 100,000 Iraqi lives for the sake of their freedom and democracy, would I also be willing to sacrifice 100,000 American lives for the sake of Iraqi freedom and democracy?" The fact that the people that were *most* likely to argue about the higher worth of American lives were the ones most supportive of the Iraq war, is again a huge argument against the supposed moral justification of the Iraq war.

US troop levels exceeded 100,000 so the answer to your question is an obvious yes. That you think the people that were *most* likely to argue about the higher worth of American lives were the ones most supportive of the Iraq war, is again a huge argument that you are repeating some unfounded and ridiculous meme that has no bearing on reality.

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
In short - before you actually make a moral argument about the necessity of the Iraq war, be sure to believe it yourself.

In short - before you actually make a moral argument about the lack necessity of the Iraq war, be sure to base it on reality. You've created a very warped perception of the entire situation.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
You think people willingly choose to live under a repressive and brutal dictatorship?
Yes, they always do choose them at *some* point, you moron. Dictatorships without public support at *some* point don't come into power and most of them collapse some years after they've lost public support. Where do you think the soldiers and the police come from? Are they aliens, are they not people that choose to support the regime?

Why do all *all* dictatorships have to appeal to either class-warfare sentiment (like the Soviets or the Cubans) or nationalist sentiment (like the Baathists) or religious sentiment (like the Iranians or the Taliban), or a mixture of two or three of the above?

It's to have public support, to retain public support.

If dictatorship depend on just brutal force, why do they bring all this nationalist, religious or class-warfare garbage into the mix? Why waste time and money on propaganda? Why do they seek to control the press?

So, yes, a great deal of people *choose* brutal dictatorships, at least to the other options they believe they have. That's why the downfall of one regime via uprising suddenly brings more downfalls, because the people suddenly truly see they have one more option: revolt. *That's* the domino effect. Where the more regimes fall due to public pressure, the more people realize that option is viable, the more regimes fall.

And that's why your foreign invasions did NOT create a domino effect, because it wasn't about the people suddenly realizing they could topple their regime themselves, your invasion was about *Americans* toppling the regime. So there was nothing the other Arabs were shown they could do, except wait for Americans to come and bomb them also.

What is *your* theory about why *your* invasion-desired domino effect failed to materialize, but the internal Eastern Europe revolutions and Arab revolutions did produce a domino effect? Or the wave of anti-colonial revolts, or the revolutions of 1848?

Why do *you* believe toppling a regime by invasion never creates a domino effect, but toppling it by revolution does?

quote:
"US troop levels exceeded 100,000 so the answer to your question is an obvious yes."
Don't be silly. The question wasn't whether you were prepared to send 100,000 people to war, the question was whether you are willing to lose them.

And as for the rest, if there are any polls about whether Republicans or Democrats like muslims more, I don't think the answer will be "Republicans". I'm going from what I've seen in several forums, where the supporters of the Iraq war keep going on about how it's okay to hate muslims because Muslims aren't a race, so it isn't racism, so it's okay!

[ February 16, 2011, 02:23 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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Aris Katsaris
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Also: every time you "rolleyes" at an idea, start treating it as a sign that you've never considered it seriously enough to be able to judge its value.

That's the problem with fascism, that people *choose* it. That people choose to oppress other people. It's not a silly idea that people choose to live under dictatorships, it's a sad fact.

[ February 16, 2011, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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Wayward Son
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Well, as you pointed out, Aris, the choice is often between living under fascism and not living. Period.

That is not an easy choice. [Frown]

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Aris Katsaris
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But it's the choice G2 is arguing the foreign invader has the right to make for these people: to have them die in order to be liberated.

That may indeed be the choice, but why do *Americans* think they have the right to make it on behalf of Iraqis?

And the costs of life tend to be so much higher in the case of invasion: A few hundred deaths was what it took to topple the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes. How many have died in the Iraq war instead, for lesser gains?

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Aris Katsaris
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And since I'm on the record as foreseeing a fascist dictatorship on the rise in my own nation as well, let me tell you in advance that (if and when it occurs) I do *not* authorize any of you Americans to invade my nation in order to topple it, unless it also starts engaging on aggressive war or genocide (in which case I do so authorize you).
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Wayward Son
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I suspect that these recent revolutions are the exception rather than the rule. Consider the Tinnamen (sic) Square uprising in China so many years ago, or how Saddam Huissen (sic) gassed his own people to prevent an uprising. You can have an uprising, have many more people killed than in these recent ones, and still not topple the regime. [Frown]

But you point to G2 is valid. People choosing to risk their lives to overthrow a regime is quite different from having foreigners deciding to risk the people's lives to overthrow the regime. Choice does matter, for a person or a people.

It's just that sometimes the choice is not much of a choice.

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Aris Katsaris
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A crucial nitpick: Saddam Hussein didn't gas Sunnis (his own people), he massacred Shiites and Kurds.

And among all revolutions of 1989, Tienanmen square is the exception for failing, not the rule.
I believe the Chinese had to bring Mongol troops, because the Han Chinese troops actually refused to attack the students and went on strike instead.

Uprisings in multi-ethnic nations have the extra problem that unless there's some sort of cooperation among all ethnic groups, the state can use one group against the other -- like Saddam using Sunni troops against Shiites, or the Chinese using Mongols against the Han.

But it also means that if a successful uprising *does* take place, that will only be possible if the ethnic groups do find a platform to cooperate sufficiently with each other.

If an external invader topples a multiethnic regime however, the result seems to be what we get in Iraq: sectarianism, ethnic cleansing, continuing bloodshed.

So it's not as if the problem with regime change in multiethnic states is only bigger for uprisings, it's also bigger for invasions.

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JWatts
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The Iraq War was never justified on just the threat of WMD's or any one reason:

quote:

The U.S. stated that the intent was to remove "a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world".

Wiki

Notice that there are four different reasons listed?

Saddam's regime was one of the most vile government's to exist in the last century. They committed countless human atrocities and had invaded two of their six neighbors in the decade's proceeding the Iraq War. They had used chemical (and perhaps biological) weapons against their own population as well as against Iran. (I don't think they used chemical weapons against the Kuwaiti's). Furthermore, they had been periodically attacking US overflights in the No Fly zones for a decade.

[ February 16, 2011, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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Wayward Son
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And none of those stated reasons justified the invasion right then.

We could have waited another six months or a year. There was no rush to overthrow him. We didn't need to go in right then.

Except...

Except for that one reason, that one justification that was presented to the U.N. that pushed us to act immediately, before worse things could happen. Before it was too late. Before New York was a smoldering pile of wreckage.

WMD.

No, it wasn't the only reason given. But it was the best, most persuasive reason to invade when we did. Because otherwise... [Eek!]

And it turned out to be a crock. [Mad]

You may list all the other reasons given for invading Iraq, JWatts. But WMD were the one good justification for invading right away. And no amount of revisionism will change that in my memory.

We needed to invade to protect ourselves is what I heard from our government at the time.

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DonaldD
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JWatts, have you ever heard of the ideas of 'above the fold' and 'burying the lead'? Let's deconstruct that statement just a bit:
quote:
The U.S. stated that the intent was to remove "a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world".
What we have here are four separate ideas in a single sentence. The nature of the way humans process information prioritizes initially introduced ideas and de-emphasizes later ideas.

Additionally, getting a reader emotionally invested in one idea generally pushes the less button-pushing other ideas out of the main consciousness.

Finally, the proximity of ideas within a sentence also links ideas together semantically.

Looking at this sentence, the first two ideas are the ones that will get the reader's main attention at the best of times (that would be WMDs and terrorists). In the context of the aftermath of 9/11 and the general obsession with the fear of terrorism at the time, however, the emotional load of these two concepts pretty much dwarfed any meaning or resonance that the end of the sentence had. Linking these two ideas by proximity at the beginning of the sentence was calculated to have just this effect. If the rationale of the government was truly the removal of an evil dictator then this sentence was a masterpiece of deceit. It really doesn’t illustrate what you think it does.

This is without even getting into the debate of whether Iraq was harboring terrorists, whether the 9/11 terrorists had anything to do with Iraq or whether terrorists would ever get access to Iraqi (or any) WMDs anyway.

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Hannibal
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Aris

"I believe the Chinese had to bring Mongol troops"

You believe ? do you have a proof or is it just your belief?

The invasion of Iraq was a blunder, not because it was wrong to invade Iraq, but because the US failed miserably in anticipating the outcome.

People like Saddam, or the current glorious leader of Iran, should not be in power. they are evil, we all agree that they are evil. but just like some one else has cancer or dies in a car crash, we just all say "thank god that its not me" and we move on with our lives.

we all suck.

P.S, do you really think that the US invaded in order to liberate Iraq ? I seriously doubt that, I seriously doubt, that the americans really thought they can instill democracy in iraq. I am sure that every living expert on earth told them that its not possible. but spreading democracy was a good reason to rally the public no doubt.

while under the radar securing all of Iraq's oil under western oil companies.
Not to mention all the money that western companies will make in rebuilding Iraq.

But alas, the americans blundered greatly in their estimations of the costs of "pacifiying" Iraq after the regime falls.

There are two types of wars, "by choice" and "no choice" , the with Iraq in 2003 was by choice.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
You believe ? do you have a proof or is it just your belief?
the reference to Mongol troops I read about here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9004 , and I've read similar, though vaguer mentions of this in other descriptions of the Tienanmen events I've read (that troops from more distant parts of China were brought in to deal with the students).

It doesn't exactly count as "proof" perhaps, but I wasn't making it up.

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Star Pilot 111
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ARIS said
The *true* reason for the Iraq war was "Saddam is a middle-Easterner who opposed America's interests, and America has the right to depose Middle-easterners that oppose her interests".
____________________________________________________

I agree, but there is a 2nd true reason.
In an interview about Saddam, W. Bush said. "He tried to kill my daddy".
He might just as well have said "This Is Personal".

I can't believe it was allowed to be on T.V.
By now it has probably been destroyed

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yossarian22c
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I have read similar claims that the Chinese had to bring in troops from other regions to fire on the students.
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drewmie
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quote:
Aris Katsaris wrote: That's the problem with fascism, that people *choose* it. That people choose to oppress other people. It's not a silly idea that people choose to live under dictatorships, it's a sad fact.
Precisely. As Gandhi said, "Oppression is sin, but submission to oppression is no less sin." Both the oppressor and the oppressed share guilt for the state of things. That doesn't mean we blame them in the same way, only that they BOTH have made choices that led to that result. The world would be a very different place if we all took personal responsibility for every situation we find ourselves in, rather than finger-pointing and pretending we can wait until someone else steps up.

Just imagine how many lives would have been saved if Americans had a culture that compelled them to tackle the 9/11 terrorists right from the beginning, and if their children had been taught not to wait the 45 minutes for the doughnut munchers outside of Columbine to save them. Such a culture would be immune to the kinds of defeat, intimidation, terrorism, and fear we currently experience.

But it won't happen. We can't be bothered to stop billing our children for our lifestyle, let alone teaching them strength against oppression. Heck, we'll enslave ourselves and our kids without anyone's help.

[ February 17, 2011, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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