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Author Topic: Recent Iraq developments
LetterRip
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While looking for Hans Blix friday report I came across this
link

quote:
Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that experts had dismissed as counterfeit documents that allegedly showed Iraqi officials shopping for uranium in Africa two years ago.

ElBaradei, who made his strongest statement yet in support of Iraqi cooperation, also rejected a Bush administration claim that Iraq had tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for uranium enrichment.


Also,

quote:
"I think I have better information than the inspectors,'' Powell said in an interview with ABC anchor Peter Jennings. "I think I have more assets available to me than the inspectors do.''

However, CIA Director George Tenet has said all relevant intelligence had been passed to the inspectors.


Thus it seems that the US may have seriously damaged its credibility, in three seperate instances.

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited March 08, 2003).]


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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First things first. LR, use the "[url=" tag for really long URLs like this so it doesn't mess up the display so badly.

Secondly, every time (every time) in the past that the U.S. and the U.N. have disagreed about what Saddam had or didn't have, the U.S. was proven right in the end. With every intelligence community on Earth, and with all people that prefer facts to fictions, it is the U.N. inspectors that have damaged credibility as a result of this discrepancy.

And the reason people that actually have to make a living being right about what is really going on in the world's various militaries is made clear.

quote:
...inspectors had been unable to verify some claims about hidden Iraqi weapons and asked again for more information about suspect sites.

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LetterRip
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Chiu,

quote:
With every intelligence community on Earth, and with all people that prefer facts to fictions, it is the U.N. inspectors that have damaged credibility as a result of this discrepancy.

Proof that the US was using a forgery damages the US credibility. How does the UN discovery a forgery used by the US hurt the UN? You have serious blinders on if you think otherwise. Also, it was the US intelligence community that originally claimed the tubes were for missles and not uranium. It has only been administrative officials to claim otherwise.

Also, Powell claims to have better information, Tenet claimed that all information has been passed on - ergo One Adminsitration offical is lying.

quote:
And the reason people that actually have to make a living being right about what is really going on in the world's various militaries is made clear.

First, relying on forged documents shows either incompetence, or willful deciet. Second, our administration has shown itself willing to ignore reports contrary to its goals - ie in this instance on the aluminum tubes. Thirdly, our intelligence agencies are well known for their tendency to overestimate and exageratte. Ie Russias nuclear capabilities during the cold war.

Also, the reason for the additional information request, is due to US and Britians contradictory statements. We've stated time and again that all relevant information has been passed on, while simultaneously claiming to have better information. Essentially we are being asked to 'put up or shut up'. Either we have better information and are hindering the investigation and violating our stated obligations (and have lied about having passed all relevant information on), or we have lied about having better information and are claiming it for the purpose of bluffing or propoganda.

It is probably a mix of both.

LetterRip


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Baldar
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LR you also seem to have missed the point where some Indian nationals were arrested for selling atomic technology to Iraq.

Lets look at the statements you have cobbled together.

quote:
Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that experts had dismissed as counterfeit documents that allegedly showed Iraqi officials shopping for uranium in Africa two years ago.
ElBaradei, who made his strongest statement yet in support of Iraqi cooperation, also rejected a Bush administration claim that Iraq had tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes to use in centrifuges for uranium enrichment.


based on what?

quote:
"There is no indication of resumed nuclear activities," he said.


Seems they were underway until the inspections based on El Baradei's own statement. So is he contradicting himself or simply rejecting some evidence of Saddam attempting to build nuclear weapons and accepting other evidence. Doesn't seem strange to you? Or did you overlook that part of the article?

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I think I have better information than the inspectors,'' Powell said in an interview with ABC anchor Peter Jennings. "I think I have more assets available to me than the inspectors do.''
However, CIA Director George Tenet has said all relevant intelligence had been passed to the inspectors.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you ask me, its simply showing that the US does not like to give up key evidence. The information that the inspectors have has barely been touched by the inspectors there is so much of it.

It really has nothing to do with credibility unless you are easily moved to allow the Toronto Star to make interpetations for you.

quote:
"In the past three weeks, possibly as a result of ever-increasing pressure by the international community, Iraq has been forthcoming in its cooperation," ElBaradei said. "I do hope that Iraq will continue to expand the scope and accelerate the pace of its cooperation.''


I love this part. What pressure from the international community. The UN? Thats a laugh. It was pressure from the US that allowed the documentation to be made available. The fact that Hans Blix refuses to acknowledge it erodes his credibility not the US's.

quote:
Proof that the US was using a forgery damages the US credibility.

What proof other than a weapons inspector states it is so? Could they have at least explained "how" it was a forgery? I might suggest LR that you be a little less trusting of news articles.

quote:
Also, Powell claims to have better information, Tenet claimed that all information has been passed on - ergo One Adminsitration offical is lying.


Dumb statement LR, you should be more careful. Powell says they have more information. Tenet says "relevant" information has been sent. In other words all information has not been sent, just what "Tenet" deems relevant to the weapons inspectors that does not impact our intelligence assets in Iraq. I certainly wouldn't give up the intelligence farm to a political body that can't keep a secret.

LR, you bias that is not based on facts is showing here. You claim that dealing with facts is how you operate but I suspect it is less so than you care to admit.

Chui is right about one thing. In almostevery previous case after the truth has come out the US has been right.

But what is a track record for someone who deals in facts eh?

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited March 08, 2003).]


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Baldar
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From Fox news

quote:
Although ElBaradei told the Security Council on Friday that three months of aggressive inspections have failed to uncover any evidence that Saddam Hussein has revived his nuclear program, ElBaradei told the AP he still hopes for another two or three months to be more certain.


Seems he's not as sure as you are LR.


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WmLambert
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There is a great deal of mis/disinformation in the news recently. Quite often this is purposeful for several reasons.

DebkaFile just posted:

quote:
Despite reports to the contrary, President George W. Bush has finally resolved to launch military action against Iraq on schedule. Here are some examples of reports that sowed uncertainty:
1. Because of logistical difficulties, the Americans have not yet attained the optimum level of troop strength for going to war at their jumping off bases. Our sources maintain that the strength present equals the assigned figure.
2. Turkey’s refusal to allow US troops bound for northern Iraq to cross its territory will delay the offensive. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources reveal that Washington presented Ankara with a 48-hour ultimatum to agree to terms for its participation in the conflict or count itself out, in which case the Americans will send their army into northern Iraq by another route. The US Treasury will also save itself a large sum in aid.
In any case, since the leaders of Iraqi Kurdistan are part of the US-led coalition, the US war command will only need enough troops to capture the northern Iraqi oil cities of Mosul and Kirkuk and surrounding oil fields - not the entire region. Those American columns can enter Iraq by way of Jordan.
3. As for the urgency of the US-UK second Security Council resolution, its only importance for the US president is as a means of drawing some of the sting from the anti-war backlash preying on such war allies as Tony Blair. Privately, Bush has washed his hands of the world body. When the time comes, he intends to settle scores with the UN as well as with Germany, France and Russia for behavior which he sees as leaving America in the lurch.
4. The negotiations for the formation of Israel’s next government led by Ariel Sharon are now mostly a charade. The Bush administration has taken a hand in the process to make sure Sharon ends up with a broad and stable coalition. That Labor leader Amram Mitzna, notwithstanding his vow not to serve in any government led by Sharon, has entered into negotiations to join the government the prime minister is forming is the result of having his arm twisted from Washington through Labor’s friends and supporters in the United States. Labor is being presented with guidelines agreed between the US President and Sharon as a fait accompli. Its chairman was also informed that a Likud-Labor partnership is a prerequisite for the US to grant Israel an economic aid package of $12 billion - $4 in military assistance and $8 b in loan guarantees for three years. This aid injection is vital for rescuing the Israeli economy from its dire straits. If the package falls through because of MItzna’s refusal to join the Sharon government, he will be blamed for the country’s economic collapse.
Quite soon, therefore, Labor can be expected to help Sharon form a centrist government capable of steering the country through the twin crises of war and economic emergency.

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LetterRip
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The washington post article goes into more detail,

quote:
based on what?

The first was based on forensic examiniation of the documents, the second was upon examination of the aluminum tubing (and magnets, and a few other items). The Washington Post goes into more detail.

quote:
Seems they were underway until the inspections based on El Baradei's own statement.

He was refering to resumption after the last inspections ended.

quote:
So is he contradicting himself or simply rejecting some evidence of Saddam attempting to build nuclear weapons and accepting other evidence. Doesn't seem strange to you? Or did you overlook that part of the article?

It appears that you may have just misunderstood what he was saying.

quote:
If you ask me, its simply showing that the US does not like to give up key evidence. The information that the inspectors have has barely been touched by the inspectors there is so much of it.

On what do you base this statement? I've heard no claims that suggest anything of the sort. Could you point to a source please?

quote:
It really has nothing to do with credibility unless you are easily moved to allow the Toronto Star to make interpetations for you.

Usage of forgerys does affect credibility. If you are not fond of the Toronto Star, you are free to look at the Washington Post,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59446-2003Mar7.html

quote:
ElBaradei's report was even more damning to the administration's position. In recent months, the administration and Britain have alleged Iraq illegally sought high-strength aluminum tubes for a centrifuge-based uranium enrichment program and had sought uranium from Niger. He said experts had concluded the tubes were for a rocket engine program, as Iraq had said, and that the documents used to allege the connection between Iraq and Niger were fabricated. Overall, he concluded, there is no evidence that Iraq has revived a nuclear weapons program.

You stated,

quote:
I love this part. What pressure from the international community. The UN? Thats a laugh. It was pressure from the US that allowed the documentation to be made available. The fact that Hans Blix refuses to acknowledge it erodes his credibility not the US's.

It is not just the threat of war from the US. If Iraq were not under serious pressure from France, Russia, China, and the Arab nations to comply, it might well feel that war is a better option. The US threat is probably the largest consideration, but doubtfully is it the only consideration.

quote:
What proof other than a weapons inspector states it is so? Could they have at least explained "how" it was a forgery?

They may have a full report explaining how it was determined to be a forgery. Unfortunately, we get only the tidbits that the popular press publicises, or that the UN releases. However, since we don't get detailed explanations of soil analysis or lab reports explaining the detection of anthrax spores, I doubt there is publically available information on how the forgery was detected either.

quote:
I might suggest LR that you be a little less trusting of news articles.

Since the same information was reported in conservative papers such as the Washington Post, I'll assume for the moment that the reporting is accurate.

quote:
Dumb statement LR, you should be more careful.

Fair enough.

quote:
LR, you bias that is not based on facts is showing here. You claim that dealing with facts is how you operate but I suspect it is less so than you care to admit.

Check the Washington Post, Fox news, or other sources. I don't see how you can not realize that a forgery will damage our credibility. Nor do I think that the Washington Post would have used the word 'damning', if it were not a serious blow to the Administrations efforts.

My statement that Powell, or Tenent were 'lying' is perhaps going to far, perhaps the gentler word 'misleading' is more to your liking.

However, the claim of forgery and 'disinformation' regarding the aluminum tubes are from a vast arrary of sources.

quote:
Chui is right about one thing. In almostevery previous case after the truth has come out the US has been right.

I haven't inspected the US or UNs past record on claims. It is interesting the Chui is certain that 'every time', whereas you are willing to commit to the lesser claim of 'almost every time'. Are you merely being cautious, or are you familiar with specific exceptions?

quote:
But what is a track record for someone who deals in facts eh?

Track record is important, both that of the UN, and that of the current administration. Ie Powells usage of the British 'Intellgence Report', which was not from British Intelligence. Or that the Administrations claim regarding the aluminum tubes directly contradicted it's own intelligence analysis.

If facts come to light contradicting the UN Inspectors, then I'll be happy to examine such facts at that time.

quote:
Seems he's not as sure as you are LR.

Sure of what? Of the facts he presented before the UN? He is probably more sure of them than I am. I'm only sure that the newspapers reported him as saying such. It could just be a massive conspiracy <grin>.

However, I would prefer more than another '3 months' to be certain Iraq does not have nuclear weapons. Heck, I'd prefer a small team that can inspect a building at random, and can do interviews at random be a permanent fixture.

LetterRip


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WmLambert
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Baldar, I predict that LetterRip will be more right than wrong on this one, for the simple reason that it is scientifically unrealistic for Iraq to try to build a bomb. Far off down the road maybe - now? No way.

I also predict we are going in within the next week and a half at best and will work to build a non-theocratic confederation of at least three former Iraqi geographic and cultural areas. The UN will be a part of it, but because of their poor track record, will be more watching from the wings than an integral part.

As we go in, there will be examples of WMD found - planted or not - There will also be a new alliance formed between us and several nearby nations that will become a counter force to the Muslim states. We will stress the right of freedom of religion in spite of Muslim insistance otherwise, and we will win out.

I think it will be an interesting few weeks ahead.


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seagull
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quote:
ElBaradei's report was even more damning to the administration's position. In recent months, the administration and Britain have alleged Iraq illegally sought high-strength aluminum tubes for a centrifuge-based uranium enrichment program and had sought uranium from Niger. He said experts had concluded the tubes were for a rocket engine program, as Iraq had said, and that the documents used to allege the connection between Iraq and Niger were fabricated. Overall, he concluded, there is no evidence that Iraq has revived a nuclear weapons program.

The claim was that: "Iraq illegally sought high-strength aluminum tubes …"

LR, can you explain to me why the claim that they could be used for missiles contradicts the "illegality" of supplying tubes with these tolerances?
I don't have the details so I am open to reasoned argument in either direction, but please quote facts rather than reports by UN officials. I would be specifically interested if there is any way to show that the tubes could not be ordered for "dual use" using the missiles as a cover for another long term purpose.

I heard part of ElBaradei's oral report on NPR while driving. It sounded too much like "presumed innocent until proven guilty" and we are not really trying that hard to actually prove anything because if we did we'd lose our job. Between the lines it sounded like, we are getting tidbits from Saddam but if we don't make him look good we'll stop getting even those tidbits.

As to the credibility of the US, I don't think it was that high to begin with, so while I agree with LR that it may "look" bad (especially in the press), I don't think the US had that much to lose in the first place. In fact, it would be so foolish for the US to give the UN inspectors "everything" they know that I doubt anyone that foolish would be able to survive even in DC politics

Having said that, I have to say that the US is still looks saintly in comparison with the UN (which has negative credibility).

LR, if you want to see an example of the UN "track record" on cooperating with terrorists look up their refusal to turn over UN tapes that show Khizbullah using vehicles with UN markings (presumably without UN cooperation) to take Israeli soldiers as hostages. After denying the existence of the tapes for months, they finally agreed to give Israel copies of the tapes under some conditions. IIRC, one of these conditions was editing the tapes to protect the identity of the Khizbullah kidnappers.


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LoverOfJoy
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What I find odd is that most reporting of this news is more of a side note than a big headline. The Star version is the only one I've seen where that comment was the focus. The Washington Post and other articles I've read that also mention the article tend to have a focus on how Blix is somewhat upbeat in his assessment of Iraq.

You'd think more news agencies would jump on that one quote. Maybe they eventually will. But why haven't they yet?


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seagull
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On second thought, I wonder what they meant by illegal?

I assume it is illegal under US and British law to sell the technology to Iraq regardless of the intended use. However, that does not mean that it is illegal under Iraqi or international law. This would explain the large gap between the US and UN position without resorting to calling anyone a liar.

Basically this whole thing may boil down to a question of spin rather than credibility.


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Baldar
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quote:
Time magazine reported Sunday that a nuclear power facility at Natanz in Iran is closer to enriching uranium than previously thought. The magazine reported that the plant has hundreds of gas centrifuges ready to produce enriched uranium that could be used in advanced nuclear weapons.

"We have seen this week Iran has got a more aggressive nuclear program than the [International Atomic Energy Agency] thought it had," Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a televised interview.

"Here we suddenly discover that Iran is much further along, with a far more robust nuclear weapons development program than anyone said it had," Powell said. "It shows you how a determined nation that has the intent to develop a nuclear weapon can keep that development process secret from inspectors and outsiders, if they really are determined to do it, and we know that Saddam Hussein has not lost his intent."


By the way Iran also allows inspectors and ostensibly is more cooperative than Iraq.


quote:
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice sidestepped a question about whether Israel would be justified in attacking the Iranian plant.

"I'm not going to speculate on what might be the right thing here," Rice said. "What is the right thing is for the international community to get serious about the problems of proliferation, to recognize that there are states that are determined to try and acquire weapons of mass destruction, to deny them the means."


Any bets Israel won't?

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited March 10, 2003).]


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Baldar
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William,

I agree it doesn't make sense for Iraq "at this moment" to be developing nuclear weapons. But I wonder at what exactly LR's and other proposals are? Give peace a chance when force has been the only thing that has gotten the Iraqi's this far? Does anyone doubt the outcome when the US withdraws?


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Baldar
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Whoops!
quote:
NEW YORK — International weapons inspectors have stumbled upon a new kind of bomb in Iraq that could be filled with chemical or biological agents and strewn over populated areas, Fox News has confirmed.
......................
Baghdad also may have in its possession a drone aircraft capable of spraying harmful agents over its enemies.

Armed with this new information, U.S. officials are expected to press chief weapons inspector Hans Blix to admit he has found a "smoking gun" -- the irrefutable evidence many countries have been looking for before they agree to wage war against Baghdad -- in a closed-door session of the U.N. Security Council on Monday.

American officials hope this will help the U.S. and its allies garner more international support for military action against Iraq after March 17, the deadline proposed in an amendment to a U.S.-British resolution before the Security Council.



It goes on to mention the drone that Blix left out of his report to await further explanation.

fox news



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LetterRip
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Baldar,

my opinion is that we should wait at least until the end of month. generally following Canadas UN proposal. Canadas proposal sounds like it would get a yes vote from every Security Council member except the US, although the US might veto it.

This gives adequate time for the destruction of the remainder of the identified missles. Thus greatly increasing our troop safety if we do go to war. It also gives the Saddam adequate time to respond, since the full Security Council would be supporting the resolution.

As to an earlier question regarding the forged documents.

On CNN

quote:

MR. BLITZER: [F]orged documents suggesting that Niger was
providing some sort of uranium to Iraq. Who forged those documents?

SECRETARY POWELL: I have no idea, and if that issue is resolved, that
issue is resolved.



CNN and Powell

So, it appears that the US government indirectly acknowledges that they were forged.

As to the Aluminum tubes, Powell stated

quote:
I know that Dr. ElBaradei has said he doesn't see any evidence that the centrifuges, the aluminum tubes, were being used for centrifuges -- but we still have an open question with respect to that and we see more information from a European country this week that suggests that that is exactly what those tubes were intended to be used for. Our CIA believes strongly, and I think it's an open question.

First, what El Baradei reported was that the aluminum tubes were not of a type and quality that could be used for a centrifuge. Ie their specifications were such that they could not be used for that application.

Secondly, the CIA seems to have reported the opposite of what Powell has stated and be in agreement with El Baradei. Admittedly the report regarding the aluminum tubes that was made public is quite a few months old now, so it is possible that a reassessment has been made.

As to the drone aircraft, I believe Blix should have included it in his oral report, and I was annoyed that he didn't. I'm curious what sort of range it has.

I did find Blixs transcript
Blix Transcript

As to the cluster bomb..

Here are links with more information
Rutland Harold
fox news

quote:
Senior U.S. officials confirmed to Fox News on Monday that the inspectors initially found just one of these munitions, then another, and eventually uncovered the manufacturing capability.

LetterRip

Edit - corrected stupid typos, and shortened the links

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited March 10, 2003).]


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Baldar
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LR if we wait until the end of the month, then we wait eight more months. France knows this, and is disengenuously playing for time. That is why they offer April 17 as the date. Or are you unaware of the tactical military needs for Iraq?

The cost would be prohibitive too.


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Kilthmal
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Baldar,

The cost shouldn't be too bad. Slap a couple of these on our boys and send them in!

Kilthmal

[This message has been edited by Kilthmal (edited March 10, 2003).]


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LetterRip
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Baldar,

quote:
LR if we wait until the end of the month, then we wait eight more months. France knows this, and is disengenuously playing for time. That is why they offer April 17 as the date. Or are you unaware of the tactical military needs for Iraq?

I am aware of the considerations of temperature. I highly doubt it would delay the operation for 8 months, instead it would probably shift it to night operation instead of day operation.

An annoyance, but note that most of our infantry battles with Iraq were during the night. The night gives us serious tactical advantages due to our superiority in equipment and training for fighting in the dark.

LetterRip


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Baldar
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Your dismissing it as an annoyance does not make it so. Its an important issue and yes, unless we wish to risk many more lives we would be waiting for eight months. I suppose on the balance, the lives for another month (after 12 years of non compliance) is acceptable to you?


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LetterRip
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Baldar,

why do you believe it will increase risk? I've looked at some analysis regarding an April versus March deployment date. I haven't seen any suggestion that a change to night operations would result in a higher loss of life. If you are aware of such analysis, please point to it,

Here is a relevant article for you
link

quote:
"Weather is not a factor," Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday, telling reporters that he has raised the issue of the "brutally hot" desert climate with Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region. "We could do better in that environment than any adversary."

I'd rather trust the opinion of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, than yours, but perhaps you have information which he is not privy to?

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited March 10, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited March 10, 2003).]


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KenBean
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Sorry LR

You are speaking through your kiester, on the night vs day thing. Never been there have you?

Your computer screen can't begin to help you conceive of how hard it is to function there...day OR night., when spring and summer comes.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.........

Bottom line, we are going in, SOON, unless Saddam leaves. There it is. All this agonized lip flapping, and breast beating is making me tired.

All it does is set you guys up to be scolds and "see, I told you sos" if things go badly.
second guessers...finger pointers...negative voters.
It's a done deal...for better or worse.

Please pray for the best of a "bad case".

Bean


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Everard
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The issue regarding an iraq invasion during summer/winter is in regards to chemical gear. The chemical gear is too heavy to wear when temperatures start to soar over 100 degrees. Of course, the window of opportunity temperature wise is already past. We would have needed to launch an invasion about 2-3 weeks ago, at the latest, in order to benefit from the "cool" season.
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LetterRip
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Ken,

more difficult does not neccessarily mean greater casualties, which Baldar was claiming. I've never stated it would not be more difficult.

Also, I'm talking of a difference of two weeks, which likely will not make a critical difference in the weather conditions, but have the potential for a critical difference in UN consensus, and perhaps (though less likely) a possibility for peaceful disarmament.

quote:
Bottom line, we are going in, SOON, unless Saddam leaves. There it is.

Quite likely. I stated my belief, that we'd go to war with Iraq in March, last year. So, I'd be surprized if we were to deviate from that timeline.

quote:
All it does is set you guys up to be scolds and "see, I told you sos" if things go badly.

If one believes an action is not in a nations best interest then one should speak out against it. I didn't disagree with Bushs tax cut and or the ridiculous economic growth predictions, so I could say 'I told you so', when our deficeits skyrocketed. I spoke out against them because I believed that they were wrong, and would have results against the best interests of our nation.

LetterRip


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Baldar
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Being in Alaska LR may not have experienced the desert. In the desert two weeks can mean the difference of 30 degrees in temperatures. You can only stay in those suits a few hours LR in the spring and summer. Yes, there will be casualties because heat stroke becomes a strong possibiilty. And if there is the possibilty of chemical weapons what can you do to cool down in a potential combat situation? Take it off?

LR its is not a question of inconveniance, were it so our military leaders would not have made it such an important issue. I suggest you double check your knowledge of the facts on this one and revise your opinion. The plan is to kill as few of our people as possible in a military operation, not give an extra month after 12 years to someone who is showing no signs of compliance. Why do you think Saddam is delaying LR if not for the same reason the US does not want to delay?

Actually LR, I think the tax cut will do well, and no, I do see it as little more than an attempted "I told you so". And again it is NOT and inconveniance, it is a danger.


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