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Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by edgmatt (Member # 6449) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
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
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
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 ...
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
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
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
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
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
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.


 
Posted by drewmie (Member # 1179) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by TheRallanator (Member # 6624) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by drewmie (Member # 1179) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
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]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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).
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Hannibal (Member # 1339) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
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
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
I have read similar claims that the Chinese had to bring in troops from other regions to fire on the students.
 
Posted by drewmie (Member # 1179) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by TheRallanator (Member # 6624) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
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?
You're kidding yourself if you think America's goals were even remotely altruistic dude. As exhibit A I present every arab state ran by dictatorships that America is quite happy to be bestest buds with, including Iraq prior to the early 1990s. The invasion was purely about getting rid of a government that was hostile to America's goals in the middle east, and any freedom or democracy which might magically rain down onto the Iraqi people as a result was considered a happy side effect.

And I use the word "happy" loosely, since it looks like the Iraqi people have paid in blood to have a despot replaced by a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy that's just waiting for Uncle Sam to leave the country so it can be co-opted or overthrown by militant Sunnis.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
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?
Wow, G2 actually edited his message in order to make it more insulting, more offensive and more assholish. That sentence hadn't been there when I first responded to him.

It seems that G2 is the kind of guy who when he witnesses a sexual assault, he just shoots the victim, because she must of course choose death to rape, and G2 feels authorized to make that choice for her.

To think that G2 should NOT murder potential rape-victims is to enable rape, I guess. After all, to NOT bomb everyone and call it a success is to promote tyranny, according to G2.

[ February 17, 2011, 04:23 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
Or, since he argued in favour of supporting Mubarak for 6 more months, because Egypt might find worse dictators for itself, I guess G2 is the kind of guy who argues that the spousal abuse victim shoould stay with her raping wife-beating husband, because of the possibility that the next boyfriend will be even worse.

And then he bashes me for not believing we should just bomb the house and kill the abuser and the abused alike.

[ February 17, 2011, 05:01 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
a regime that:
1. developed and used weapons of mass destruction,
2. that harbored and supported terrorists,
3. committed outrageous human rights abuses,
4. defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world

Out of these, 4 is just nonsense, an appeal to the authority of the United Nations, and an unjustified claim that its demands and that of the world are just. Since its demands are the demands of the five veto-holders, that's just nonsense, the United Nations is largely a tool to deal with disagreement between the five major imperialist powers, not a true representative of the world based on criteria of either "justice" or "freedom" or "democracy".

And the other three can be easily applied to the United States -- though in different extent: USA has supported more terrorists than Iraq ever did (e.g. the Contras) and certainly developed and used more WMDs than Iraq ever did, but you've (probably) committed fewer human rights abuses.

If the arguments can be used to justify the invasion of your own country, then said country probably oughtn't be making them.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
I have read similar claims that the Chinese had to bring in troops from other regions to fire on the students.

The Chinese did it, the Russians did it. One of the big reasons that it didn't happen in Egypt as well is that, when Mubarak gave the order on the 30th, the military basically told him to stuff it because they wouldn't fire on innocent civilians and fellow citizens.
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
As several people have noted, the following was out of line:
quote:
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?
In addition to the comparison being insulting, the whole idea that foreign invaders will usually be regarded as liberators from domestic tyranny is problematical. For the most part, people think foreign invaders have their own reasons for their actions, which are rarely for the benefit of those invaded. Certainly many governments deserve to be overthrown, but an invasion by a foreign power usually makes things worse.
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
As I have said, Bush's lie was the certainty he projected about his claims, when almost every piece of data had caveats attached in the originals.

If I read a report that says there is a 50% chance that Iraq has WMDs, and I convince Americans to go to war because we are "certain" that Iraq has WMDs, then I lied.

Report Here
 
Posted by cherrypoptart (Member # 3942) on :
 
We might have known for sure that Saddam didn't have WMDs or a program to develop them if he would have let the inspections occur as stipulated in the cease-fire agreement that left him in power after he invaded Kuwait which resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, including members of our proud military.

The WMDs... it looks like they weren't there. I'm probably going to sound foolish, and not for the last time either, but I think there still was the intention, the ability, and the resources both in human terms as well as equipment, to develop WMDs. All Saddam had to do was show that he gave up on that by allowing the inspectors complete access to do their jobs, and Saddam didn't do that. I'm not sure why that's Bush's fault. Okay, that's not the foolish sounding thing. The foolish sounding thing is that we still don't KNOW that Iraq didn't have WMDs or at least a WMD program because we still have no idea what was in the convoy that went from Iraq to Syria right before we attacked. All we seem to know for sure from everyone who insists Saddam didn't have WMDs or even a WMD program is what could NOT possibly have been in that convoy, which is anything that helped Syria shortly thereafter develop the nuclear weapons program that the Israelis promptly bombed into oblivion.

So this guy lied. That actually isn't proof that Saddam didn't have a WMD program. Proof of that one way or another rests in what was in that convoy. Do we still not have any idea what that was?

Nobody ever likes my analogies but I guess I'll never learn...

So there is a convicted drug dealer and he's given a suspended sentence. He meets with his probation officer erratically, is dodgy about whether he's in the drug business again, only lets inspections of his property occur on his own terms, refuses to allow inspections of some parts of his house, and in fact he often shoots at police helicopters as they fly over his property, and to top it all off the police get a report that he's in the drug business again.

Right before they go in on a raid, they catch him by video surveillance through an open window dumping a huge amount of something down the toilet, flush after flush after flush. So they wait until he's good and finished just in case it's just his business, and then they raid him, shooting up the place.

No drugs are ever found. Whatever he was flushing down the toilet is never found. In fact, no questions are even asked about it. There is never any curiosity about what that was. It's deemed to be entirely irrelevant. Obviously, he's completely innocent.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
Cherry,

quote:
ll Saddam had to do was show that he gave up on that by allowing the inspectors complete access to do their jobs, and Saddam didn't do that.
The US actually refused to complete the inspections. Exactly what you claim we wanted was allowed for the last month but the US decided to pull out the inspectors then instructed the UN to pull out the remaining inspectors.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/03/17/1047749720551.html
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Cherry,

Your analogy should include "The police get a report that he is in the drug business again, but they know the source is very unreliable. They go on TV and say they are absolutely sure that he is in business again, and that he will certainly put the safety of the populace at risk. Public pressure mounts, and the police raid his house, killing a few of his neighbors."

Here's another example. Cheney says we have classified evidence that Iraq has nukes. When ALL the evidence is examined (by Porter Goss, Republican), there is none.
back in 2003
 
Posted by cherrypoptart (Member # 3942) on :
 
> LetterRip

> The US actually refused to complete the inspections. Exactly what you claim we wanted was allowed for the last month but the US decided to pull out the inspectors then instructed the UN to pull out the remaining inspectors.

I don't want to be a complete apologist for Bush and Cheney, if it's not too late already. Someone high up thought it was too late for Saddam to come around by then. I would prefer that maybe they give him more time, one last chance. Maybe Saddam was already given too many one last chances; I'm not sure.

Part of the point of my analogy and put up against the conduct of Saddam ever since the cease-fire left him in power is that the accusations of the informant are only one part of the overall situation, a more important part to some and of lesser importance to others. I like to get to the heart of the discontent, and that seems to be it right there.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
So there is a convicted drug dealer and he's given a suspended sentence. He meets with his probation officer erratically, is dodgy about whether he's in the drug business again, only lets inspections of his property occur on his own terms, refuses to allow inspections of some parts of his house, and in fact he often shoots at police helicopters as they fly over his property, and to top it all off the police get a report that he's in the drug business again.

Right before they go in on a raid, they catch him by video surveillance through an open window dumping a huge amount of something down the toilet, flush after flush after flush. So they wait until he's good and finished just in case it's just his business, and then they raid him, shooting up the place.

No drugs are ever found. Whatever he was flushing down the toilet is never found. In fact, no questions are even asked about it. There is never any curiosity about what that was. It's deemed to be entirely irrelevant. Obviously, he's completely innocent.

What you're missing here is that they only decided to raid him at all because they wanted to distract from bad publicity over another bust that went bad, otherwise he wouldn't have been worth the time or money to pay attention to. He just happened to be on their radar when they were looking for away to shift the headlines and cover up their embarrassment.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
I'm not an apologist for George Bush. There is no need to apologize. I didn't think going to war with Iraq was worth the cost, but clearly a bipartisan Congress did. I never believed the Neo-Con account that the people of Iraq would greet us with open arms, either. There was a lot of BS coming from both sides.

All that said, if faced with an aggressive Dictator with no respect for human life who was continuously shooting at my aircraft, I would have probably made the same decision. Actually, I would have ordered him assassinated by a many a metric ton of fire power and called it good.

Bush never lied to anyone. He aggressively made his case. Just like Obama has done and every President before or since. Liberal's don't like what he did, waaah. Get over it. You're probably not going to like what Obama has to do either. Or what Clinton did. Or Bush Senior or Reagan, etc.

We don't live in a perfect world and some time you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. I will never shed a tear over the loss of Saddam Hussein, his government or their army.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
The Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war was a break with prior American history, and it was based on near certainty, not on good intentions and best efforts to determine the truth. Not "oops, but we really didn't like you anyhow, so it doesn't matter that we were wrong".

quote:
I will never shed a tear over the loss of Saddam Hussein, his government or their army.
How about hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths, thousands of American deaths, a trillion dollars of additional American debt, the strengthening of Iran by taking out a regime that helped counter its strength, the plummeting of public approval world-wide, the recruitment of additional terrorists in response to American actions associated with the War in Iraq. You got any tears left for any of that?


quote:
Bush never lied to anyone. He aggressively made his case.
What is your operational definition of what constitutes a lie?
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
quote:
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?
The above personal attack got reported to me yesterday - not by Aris Katsaris - along with another post which used an obscene metaphor. Any more such posts which get reported will earn the offender a ban, whoever makes the post and whatever may have been said to him to provoke such a reply. The person who reported the remark agreed that no one would actually believe this of Aris Katsaris, but that does not justify saying so even to earn a point in a heated exchange.

[ February 18, 2011, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
"I didn't think going to war with Iraq was worth the cost, but clearly a bipartisan Congress did. I never believed the Neo-Con account that the people of Iraq would greet us with open arms, either. There was a lot of BS coming from both sides."
Both the dems and the reps that supported this should be in prison. Much more important than the 'aggressive' argument put forward was the deliberate deployment of too few troops, which assured massive civilian death and loss of homes. War is SFB. I think it is our duty to the victims of the war, and to our own self respect, to prosecute irresponsible American war criminals (perhaps recklessly or negligently war criminals, but I would not be surprised if the carnage was a desired outcome).
 
Posted by KidTokyo (Member # 6601) on :
 
I'll tell you all something -- I don't think Bush "lied" either about WMDs. I think a lot of information was filtered before it reached him, and that out of what remained (which still was open to interpretation) he heard what we wanted to hear.

The much more important fact -- and I don't know why this question is continually overlooked -- is why Bush launched an invasion when an inspection process was underway. Pragmatically speaking, this process had a better chance of answering the WMD question than an actual invasion (unless said WMDs were used right off the bat in retaliation). Everyone seems to forget that Hans Blix's report to the UN a mere 10 days before the invasion reported "unprecedented" access to sites of interest and high levels of cooperation from Iraqis.

Why invade so soon after such a positive report?

I believe Bush manipulated the public regarding the government's interest in invading Iraq. WMD was only the casus belli for public discourse. But I believe that he believed in the preceding months that WMD's would be found.

In those last few days...I dunno. Maybe he decided that the wouldn't be so easy to find, and he wanted to invade before the momentum was lost.

Okay, so he kind of lied.

Ah, well. Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, is it?

Except, actually, it is.
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
KidTokyo said
I'll tell you all something -- I don't think Bush "lied" either about WMDs. I think a lot of information was filtered before it reached him, and that out of what remained (which still was open to interpretation) he heard what we wanted to hear.
__________________________________________________________________

Should that last part be (he wanted to hear) ?
We wanted to hear he was going after Bin Laden in Aphganistan, not attacking Iraq. [Smile]

What a waste of lives, time and resources. [Mad]
 
Posted by KidTokyo (Member # 6601) on :
 
quote:
Should that last part be (he wanted to hear)
Yes. My typos are always of the "completely changes the meaning" variety.

ADD + dyslexia=KidT needs to check each post like 4 times.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
We don't live in a perfect world and some time you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. I will never shed a tear over the loss of Saddam Hussein, his government or their army.
At least one of my friends has some pretty nasty PTSD from having had to kill people in that war. Got any tears for him?

The "at least" is because I have other friends who saw combat.

[ February 18, 2011, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
Liberal's don't like what he did, waaah. Get over it.
I'm not a model of grammatical perfection on here either, but 's would not be used to denote plurality in this statement. A simple s will suffice.

Now having said that, that's a terrible argument. What if Obama started rounding up the tea party leadership and sending them to concentration camps? "Conservatives don't like what he did, waah. Get over it." Our president doesn't govern by divine right. People have the right and even the duty to object to the things he does if they disagree with them. Just mind blowingly bad argument.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
We don't live in a perfect world and some time you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet.
Let me say, by the way, that I hate this analogy for a variety of reasons, not least that it is terrible.

See, an omelet is made of eggs. The end goal of eating an omelet is to consume eggs; an omelet without eggs is not an omelet. It's like saying, "to make French fries, you have to slice a few potatoes." So, yeah, duh.

But this statement is regularly used to justify acts which are not definitionally or even logically required by the end goal. "You can't win a war without killing innocent civilians," for example, is not necessarily a true statement. "You can't convince the American people to invade a foreign country without lying to them," is again not self-evident. "You can't prevent terrorist attacks without implementing sweeping domestic police powers" is also not an axiom that's likely to roll off the tongue.

And, sadly, no one ever says "you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs" when it's an equivalent case. I mean, if I were stepping out of the house and my wife were to complain about my opening the door to let cold air in, I could legitimately say "you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs" to observe that, in similar fashion, one can't go outside without opening the door. But it would never occur to me, because the only time people use that old saw is when it's inappropriate.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Now having said that, that's a terrible argument. What if Obama started rounding up the tea party leadership and sending them to concentration camps? "Conservatives don't like what he did, waah. Get over it."

You mean what if Congress had a vote authorizing Obama to roundup people and send them to concentration camps and it passed with a bipartisan vote. And then later, Republican's decided to villianize Obama for doing what they authorized?

Yep, my reaction would pretty much be, waah? Get over it. If you didn't want him to do it, you shouldn't give him specific authorization.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
JWatts,

quote:
You mean what if Congress had a vote authorizing Obama to roundup people and send them to concentration camps and it passed with a bipartisan vote. And then later, Republican's decided to villianize Obama for doing what they authorized?
I think you are missing a step in the argument. If Obama had made public statements and provided 'proof' that tea party members were planning a massive terrorism campaign, then congress based on those statements and that proof had authorized rounding up tea party members. Then at a later point it was revealed that the proof was fabricated, and public statements were false or misleading.

quote:
If you didn't want him to do it, you shouldn't give him specific authorization.
If deliberate misinformation has to be used to achieve the authorization then how is it really authorization.

If your child asks you for funds to fly to a college interview and you give them the funds, and actually really wanted the funds for hookers and blow. Do you then conclude that you should 'waa, get over it' since they did after all ask for the funds, and you authorized them to receive the funds.

I'm pretty sure that authorization under false pretenses and other deceit most individuals find it entirely reasonable to be upset. Indeed it is something that in many cases is a felony offense by the individual who provided the false pretense or engaged in the deceit.

Pretty sure that most of the votes would not have been there if congress and the public had not been given false and misleading information.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Now having said that, that's a terrible argument. What if Obama started rounding up the tea party leadership and sending them to concentration camps? "Conservatives don't like what he did, waah. Get over it."

You mean what if Congress had a vote authorizing Obama to roundup people and send them to concentration camps and it passed with a bipartisan vote. And then later, Republican's decided to villianize Obama for doing what they authorized?

Yep, my reaction would pretty much be, waah? Get over it. If you didn't want him to do it, you shouldn't give him specific authorization.

No, now you're attempting to change the terms of the debate. If you want to say to people like John Kerry or Clinton, "You voted to authorize this, get over it" you'd have a point. You said liberals need to get over it. Anti-war liberals, along with Paleo-cons and Ron Paul style libertarians who opposed the war before hand have every right to make an issue of this.

Acording to the Washington Post 4,424 coalition troops have died in Iraq . Over 30,000 physically wounded and who knows how many with psychological wounds. Iraqi civillians killed, estimates in the hundreds of thousands. How many Iraqi civillians wounded but not dead? How many Iraqi civillians with permanenet psychological damage?

I'm not going to just "get over it" because I don't want it to happen again. I also don't see why I should shut up now about a war I opposed before it started and has gone even worse than I predicted.

[ February 20, 2011, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
If deliberate misinformation has to be used to achieve the authorization then how is it really

Really? So deliberate misinformation from the Bush administration is responsible for every reason sited here?


quote:
The resolution cited many factors to justify the use of military force against Iraq:

* Iraq's noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 cease fire, including interference with weapons inspectors.
* Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, posed a "threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region."
* Iraq's "brutal repression of its civilian population."
* Iraq's "capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people".
* Iraq's hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the alleged 1993 assassination attempt of former President George H. W. Bush, and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War.
* Members of al-Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq.
* Iraq's "continu[ing] to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations," including anti-United States terrorist organizations.
* The efforts by the Congress and the President to fight terrorists, and those who aided or harbored them.
* The authorization by the Constitution and the Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism.
* Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.

Iraq War Resolution


And I suppose George Bush was responsible for the "deliberate misinformation" leading to the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 also:

quote:
The Act found that between 1980 and 1998 Iraq had:

1. committed various and significant violations of International Law,
2. had failed to comply with the obligations to which it had agreed following the Gulf War and
3. further had ignored Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

The Act declared that it was the Policy of the United States to support "regime change." The Act was passed 360-38 in the U.S. House of Representatives [3] and by unanimous consent in the Senate.[4] US President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on October 31, 1998. The law's stated purpose was: "to establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq." Specifically, Congress made findings of past Iraqi military actions in violation of International Law and that Iraq had denied entry of United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) inspectors into its country to inspect for weapons of mass destruction. Congress found: "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

On December 16, 1998, President Bill Clinton mandated Operation Desert Fox, a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets.

Iraq Liberation Act
 
Posted by velcro (Member # 1216) on :
 
Democrats did not give Bush specific authorization to attack Iraq.

Bush publicly asked for authorization. If Congress denied it, the US would have zero bargaining power, so they were backed into a corner. Bush could have continued the status quo of no explicit authorization until the inspections were exhausted, or the situation became clearer. But he jumped the gun because he did not want to give Congress a real choice.

From the Iraq Resolution:
quote:
(The President shall) make
available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the
President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or
other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately
protect the national security of the United States against the
continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to
enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council
resolutions regarding Iraq;

So according to the law, Bush should not attack until diplomatic means were exhausted. They were not, so the attack was not authorized.

Hillary Clinton said at the time of the vote
quote:
Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.
By no stretch of the imagination did Bush seek to avoid war if at all possible. Shame on Clinton for trusting Bush, but not for authorizing attacks.
 
Posted by LetterRip (Member # 310) on :
 
JWatts,

quote:
Really? So deliberate misinformation from the Bush administration is responsible for every reason sited here?
Pretty sure no one has claimed that. The only reason anyone viewed Iraq of significant concern was over WMD and in particular the potential of Iraq to achieve nuclear capabilities, everything else was window dressing.

If there were no concern over WMDs and nuclear WMDs in particular no one would have considered Iraq to be urgent, and probably not worth invading.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Don't forget the original campaign to convince the American people that Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein had close links (I think it was something like 58% of Fox News viewers still had that belief as of 2005)
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
By no stretch of the imagination did Bush seek to avoid war if at all possible. Shame on Clinton for trusting Bush, but not for authorizing attacks.

So you are saying that she didn't expect Bush to attack Iraq even though her husband attacked Iraq 4 years earlier? That seems a pretty big stretch.
 
Posted by KidTokyo (Member # 6601) on :
 
"Attack" and invade are worlds apart.
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
-------------------------------------------------Some one said:-------------------------------
We don't live in a perfect world and some time you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. I will never shed a tear over the loss of Saddam Hussein, his government or their army.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Starpilot says
Looks like you're trying to get rid of gilt by saying the "end justified the means"
If you have to put it that way it's mostly never true, and something is being covered up. [Wink]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longship said:
At least one of my friends has some pretty nasty PTSD from having had to kill people in that war. Got any tears for him?
______________________________________________________________________

That's the saddest thing of all. The men, and some women who are physically and emotionally messed up,
FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.
I've shed tears for them. Tears of anger for the lack of medical care our wounded military get. They should get better care than congress and the prez combined, instead some of them got sick from mold and rat infested wards. This is a world wide embaressment, and the gov acted like it didn't care.

Arguements for the war, for any war is just an insult to these people. Most of them (without judging the correctness of the war) did their duty. Put their futures on the line because of the heartless cowardly elected leaders who mostly never served in the military and who just had wild hairs up their wazoos. There are so many things not right with how this all went down, it's pathetic. [Mad]
 
Posted by Daruma28 (Member # 1388) on :
 
The liberal/conservative ideological battle lines are so OLD already.

Good lord, some variations of all these arguments have been going on since 2001. Did Bush lie or not? Doesn't matter. If he didn't lie, there would have been some other convenient event or excuse used to justify the war.

Let me quote a former President...one who gives the ULTIMATE reason of why we are at war in the Middle East, and it really is the only real cause underlying all of these arguments.

quote:
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

That potential has been realized.

War is a Racket.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
So what are you doing about it, Daruma?
 
Posted by Daruma28 (Member # 1388) on :
 
The only thing I can...getting away with paying as little taxes as possible.

Starve the beast.

The only other thing I've been trying to do -- which is quite futile, but I keep doing it...so I guess I'm insane... be we all already knew that. [LOL] -- but what we really need, is for everyone to quit playing their stupid divide-and-conquer game called 2-party politics.

Obama is every bit the warmonger Bush was, that Clinton was, that Bush Sr. was that....

Quit trying to play this navel-gazing, pin the tail on the donkey or the elephant blame game.

Supporting one side or the other is really just supporting the status quo.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
See, I consider the whole "starve the beast" approach to be dangerously irresponsible, because starving beasts are not good things. If your goal is to kill the beast, and lose a few villagers to it while you're at it, starving it might work -- but we want a well-trained, obedient beast, and beasts (and governments) don't respond dutifully or sensibly to starvation.
 
Posted by Daruma28 (Member # 1388) on :
 
Ah, but Tom, feeding this beast makes it grow bigger, Instead of terrorizing a few villagers here at home, it's now terrorizing a crap load of villagers all away on the other side of the world...

I have no illusions that my "starve the beast" approach will work.

I just take personal satisfaction in doing my best to not pay for the beasts actions that I find so objectionable.
 
Posted by The Drake (Member # 2128) on :
 
Recapping briefly:

There was no concrete evidence of WMD, clear even in the UN presentation (which may also have had other problems).

Hans Blix clearly stated that Iraq was not cooperating. They failed to prove that they didn't have WMD, or even look like they were trying to prove it.

Iraq did finally admit to having illegal rockets, which it destroyed just before the invasion. The extra range made it possible for Iraq to strike Israel.

Iraq's own top military leadership were convinced that there were WMD in the form of poison gas (just not in their commands).

France's objections pretty quickly were linked to their self-interest in keeping the Oil-for-Food program going and protecting their illegal trade with Iraq, not due to superior intelligence.

Iraq was an unabashed state sponsor of terrorism in the West Bank, which helps to constitute a threat of delivery against American interests in the region - specifically Israel.

I'm not going to argue right and wrong here, because everyone likely has made up their mind long ago.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
As several people have noted, the following was out of line:
quote:
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?
In addition to the comparison being insulting, the whole idea that foreign invaders will usually be regarded as liberators from domestic tyranny is problematical. For the most part, people think foreign invaders have their own reasons for their actions, which are rarely for the benefit of those invaded. Certainly many governments deserve to be overthrown, but an invasion by a foreign power usually makes things worse.
I disagree, I believe the analogy I'm drawing is apt. Maybe it's a little rough and a hard to face truth but people often see an attack on an entire population as merely a statistic where an attack on a person is horrific. I am making the abstract personal with this analogy. What is happening to entire populations under the oppressive regimes that rule them is, in my opinion, equally horrific. Doing nothing when we have the power to stop it is just as morally reprehensible as the situation I use in the analogy. If some find that insulting, it's because they've worked themselves into a morally bankrupt position and it's much easier to lash out than face the truth.

I am not saying we should invade every country with a maniacal dictator. However, we can do many other things diplomatically, clandestinely and economically and we should. And yes, as a final option, we should be willing to use the military to remove those from power that would enslave their people. Despite the prevailing belief here, everybody desires to live in a free society.

Now, if it was personally insulting to Aris, well, he fired back didn't he? It's not likes he as pure as the driven snow. And did I further escalate? No, why would I? We took our shots at each other and moved on. No big deal IMHO (although I did not edit my post to add anything, I think he just missed it the first time). We're big boys, we can take it. "Other people" believe it's out of line only because I'm not a liberal. "Other people" are upset because I treat them the way they've always treated anyone that disagrees with them. "Other people" are frightened because the politics of personal destruction are failing to work for them any more. If these oh tho thenthitive "other people" don't like our more heated and passionate exchanges, don't read them. It's not rocket science for god's sake.

But if Aris does indeed personally think I crossed the line and would prefer to demand an apology instead of what he ultimately responded, I'd offer it. Let him back on the forum now and we can kiss and make up if that's what "other people" need to see and it's what he wants. Same for any of you here, I've done it before. Am I not magnanimous?
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
Daruma28 said
The liberal/conservative ideological battle lines are so OLD already.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Great ideas on how to fix things come from both sides. But,if a good Idea comes from the consevative side it most likely will be rejected by the other side just because of the label (consevative) And it works the same way if a liberal comes up with the idea. Those labels are stupid!

It's the prejudice we can't get rid of.
The idea that we're better than them, we're smarter than them.
Both sides in the extreme areas are, not ready for prime time.

If people can't be civil with people they disagree with it brings down everyone.

We need to find a way of not labeling the person. The idea could be bad but if the person has good intentions they are not a bad person. Sad to say though some people are in it just to cause trouble and contention. Eliminate them and the system will work much better.

I just said Eliminate to get a reaction, to show that is what they do. They say things a certain way on purpose so it will disrupt the train of thought. Derail our thinking so to speak.
So if we just learn to ignore them, they will eventually go away (in theory).

Eventually there could be a drastic change, brought about by millions of frustrated people. There are already millions of frustrated people,but there isn't the one truely noble and caring person who wants to get involed. And I don't blame him/her.

This country is unique. But it is slowly losing it's greatness and respect.
The elected few in charge who can do something to fix it are stuck in the contention covering their own behinds and are to busy thinking about something else. They have lost focus while the country slowly becomes some sort of aristocracy.

I just blabed on to much. Later [Razz]
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Star Pilot 111, I agree with your call to civility.

But I am not sure about your message of decline: "This country is unique. But it is slowly losing it's greatness and respect" There have been many ups and downs over our history; were not at the best point but we are not at the worst, either.
 
Posted by KidTokyo (Member # 6601) on :
 
Drake said:

quote:
Hans Blix clearly stated that Iraq was not cooperating. They failed to prove that they didn't have WMD, or even look like they were trying to prove it.
This simply incorrect. Hand Blix clearly stated -- twice -- that Iraq was cooperating more than they ever had before, and that the level of cooperation had substantially increased as the investigation went on. He did not say that the cooperation was absolute, but I believe he used the word "unprecedented." This is all in the record. Look it up.

Blix also expressed surprising optimism that the issue could be resolved in a period of months, and that there was every reason for the inspection process to continue.

He did say that there were many hurdles that still needed to be overcome. But he most emphatically did *not* suggest pessimism about the process. He was astonished and outraged when, a mere week after his second report, noting substantial improvement in Iraqi openness, the inspectors were kicked out to make way for air raids and troops.

[ February 25, 2011, 12:35 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
Greg you're right it isn't the worst it could get.
I think, though, we can't get out of the, your way sucks mode. And many people are becoming frustrated.

An example of something that seems bizzare to me is, voting for workers to not have a union to bargain for them. The take away.
We don't have six year old working in mines any more because of unions. The working conditions are, mostly, much better because of unions. Some states don't have unions and that's fine as long as the worker gets a fare share of the booty.

I understand because of budget problems there needs to be some cut backs but if the employers agreed to something and now because they (the employers) have money problems they want to resind the legal agreement, there is something wrong with that. So now to see it doesn't happen again the employers want to elliminate the unions. It's gone on for years, the bosses hate the unions and the unions hate the bosses. But in every agreement the employer benifits also. they aren't stupid (or are they). The employer (I'll call "Boss")now is trying to make the Worker look like the bad guy, while the Boss is just as responsible for the problem. Maybe even more so, because they didn't anticipate their last agreement would to cause a problem.
There are concessions both sides make in every brgaining process. Both sides get something from it. They didn't balance their books well enough, and now their causing a big scene getting the media involved and saying the Worker is the cause of it all. When in reality it takes two to tango (tangle). Here we have another example of one side demonizing the other.
The Boss makes more money than the worker in most cases. If the Boss takes the same percent of pay or benifit cuts as the Worker that would solve the anger and disputes. But very rarely will the boss do that.

This economy sucks, wall street is back and they are making money, while the mid and low class are still losing ground with the prices of everthing goin up. The trickle down B.S. does not trickle down fast enough to be a viable economic strategy for the mid and lower classes(the worker bees).

So the Aristocrisy still looms forebodingly for those below the clouds. [LOL]
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
That [LOL] represents the evil conditions of contention and mis-trust
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Star Pilot 111:
Some states don't have unions and that's fine as long as the worker gets a fare share of the booty.

I'm pretty sure every state in the country has multiple unions in the state. So I'm not really sure what you mean there?

quote:
Originally posted by Star Pilot 111:
I understand because of budget problems there needs to be some cut backs but if the employers agreed to something and now because they (the employers) have money problems they want to resind the legal agreement, there is something wrong with that.

When a politician obtains office, due in no small part, to the influence of the public service unions and then gives the Unions generous benefits that will affect state finances for generations, eventually the system will become unaffordable.

What you are implying is that a future politician should never be allowed to reduce promised benefits, once made. If that were the case, every time a politician favoring the public service unions got elected, he could grant evermore benefits that will far outlast his term in office. If there is no ability to reduce these benefits then eventually the entire state budget will do nothing but service the public service union's pension funds.

Now I believe Walker is taking the wrong approach here. Instead of trying to change the negotiation rules, what he should be trying to change is the pension schemes. The state should change over to a defined contribution plan instead of a traditional pension, both for retirement and health care. This would prevent a future politician from indebting the state for generations to come.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
What you are implying is that a future politician should never be allowed to reduce promised benefits, once made
Unilaterally.

That's the important word that you're missing there.

If benefits need to be reduce, that reduction should be negotiated so that it can happen on fair and even terms. Like already happened in Wisconsin, but was blocked in favor of setting up an excuse to strip bargaining rights.

quote:
The state should change over to a defined contribution plan instead of a traditional pension, both for retirement and health care.
Yeah, now that we've let the private sector be robbed that way, we may as well toss everyone to the dogs.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
An important note: Wisconsin state employees already pay their own pensions; the 5% of their salary that goes into their pension is in the form of deferred compensation.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Star, if we reduce the power of labor relative to capital, then the likely outcome would be that in the negotiation between those representing laborers and those representing capital (or owners/management) would result in owners capturing a progressively greater share of wealth than laborers (this sounds like Karl Marx, but it also sounds like Adam Smith if you have actually taken the time to read The Wealth of Nations). And this is precisely what the American experience has been, to a remarkable degree over the past 30 years.
 
Posted by Star Pilot 111 (Member # 1972) on :
 
Greg said
..if we reduce the power of labor relative to capital(owners/management)
.....precisely what the American experience has been, to a remarkable degree over the past 30 years.
__________________________________________________________________________

Marx/Smith I don't know the details of either. But I do feel the populous should not be sacrificed for the sake of the economy which is exactly what has gone on since and during the Reagan administration. Hmm, I guess that's about 30 years.

Civility and respect are keys
And because by nature business men with tons-o money tend to want the upper hand, self-regulation is a joke.

Labor and capital can equally co-exist indefinitely. I, just, don't think any of the economic wizzes have tried without letting their philosophies clash.

I'll try to read "...Wealth of Nations" again. But it's just so boring.
That was years ago. It's probably still boring, but maybe I can last longer. [Roll Eyes]
 


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