PDA

View Full Version : Al-Qaeda, a politically-driven fantasy?



bossel
15-01-05, 03:10
Interesting piece I found on BBC, regarding a series called "The Power of Nightmares" aired last autumn. The series tried to show that much of the "War on Terror" is in fact a pursuit of a fantasy:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4171213.stm

Quote:
"As the films showed, wherever one looks for this "al-Qaeda" organisation - from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America - the British and Americans are pursuing a fantasy.

The bombs in Madrid and Bali showed clearly the seriousness of the threat - but they are not evidence of a new and overwhelming threat unlike any we have experienced before. And above all they do not - in the words of the British government - "threaten the life of the nation". That is simply untrue."

Mike Cash
15-01-05, 11:17
Fantasies usually don't commit mass murder.

senseiman
15-01-05, 12:53
Fantasies usually don't commit mass murder.

Did you even read the article? He wasn't saying that Al Quaida didn't exist or didn't commit mass murder, his main point seems to be that there is a big gap between people's perceptions of Al Quaida and the reality. Sounded pretty reasonable to me.

Bob in Iowa
15-01-05, 13:52
That is an interesting article, and I hope to be able to view the entire program although I doubt that I will have the opportunity.

I commend BBC for presenting this point of view. I have always been of the opinion that the greatest possible threat to America is not from the terrorist attacks themselves, but from how we as a nation react to them.

Shooter452
15-01-05, 14:25
That is an interesting article, and I hope to be able to view the entire program although I doubt that I will have the opportunity.

I commend BBC for presenting this point of view. I have always been of the opinion that the greatest possible threat to America is not from the terrorist attacks themselves, but from how we as a nation react to them.

I tend to agree with Bob. Despite the objectives the operatives of the Muslim "terrorists" and possibly of Islam itself, the reactions of our own government have done more to curtail individual liberties in the USA than our enemies have accomplished. The very creation of the department of "homeland security" has scared the feces out of me.

Part and parcel with that act has been the suspension of legal protections of the individual, violation of privacies in communication, and restrictions of travel (for example, I have reached the point that I will not even consider air travel any longer).

There is no prophylactic law that will stop terror, or crime, or anything else. The other side has the initiative. They will always wait to discover the flaw in our defenses and thereby the method to strike. Always. The only requirement on their side is patience. Defensive strategies always fail. The ultimate logical extension of a defensive strategy is surrender.

Mike Cash
15-01-05, 15:21
Did you even read the article? He wasn't saying that Al Quaida didn't exist or didn't commit mass murder, his main point seems to be that there is a big gap between people's perceptions of Al Quaida and the reality. Sounded pretty reasonable to me.

No, I did not read the article.

I had already heard about Robert Scheer's take on it in the LA Times:
"Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman?" http://tinyurl.com/4gkt4

Compare that with: "Richard Clarke Lays Out His Dark Vision" http://www.nysun.com/article/7487

<multiple lines of the "ayashii" smiley go here>

No-name
15-01-05, 18:49
None of the articles appear to say that terrorism is not a real threat. But they do call into question our perception of the nature of the threat and our overall reaction to it. Just yesterday the CIA reported that the war in Iraq increased the terrorist threat. The USA PATRIOT Act gave sweeping power to federal law enforcement, and now the efforts of the newly centralized intelligence agencies are focusing inward to "domestic" terrorism threats.

After 9/11 we were all clamoring for someone to do something decisive. Well they did. It's time now to question if anything we have done has had the desired effect, and if maybe we shouldn't put our resources and energy somewhere else.

Terrorism is a real threat. Domestic violence kills more Americans, as does street crime, traffic accidents, cigarette smoking, food borne illnesses, and attacks by domestic animals. And yet we don't spend billions of dollars, invade foreign countries, or curtail civil liberties over any of these issues.

senseiman
17-01-05, 07:43
No, I did not read the article.



Thanks for clearing that up, I was just curious.


I actually think terrorism is probably the biggest threat to the world today. Concerns with curbs to civil liberties are pretty minor when compared with the bigger picture. The threat is different than terrorist threats in the past even though the political, economic and social factors behind the threat are about the same as they have always been.

The big difference is that in the past weapons of mass destruction weren't attainable by these groups. But with these weapons, especially nuclear weapons, spreading from country to country you can't really say that that is so anymore. They recently quoted some anonymous CIA official as saying that a well-planned and financed plan to carry out an attack with WMD in the US would probably have a 90% chance of success. There just isn't much they can do to stop this kind of thing.

The real threat doesn't lie so much in the actual attack as it does in the US response to one. The response to 9/11 was to start 2 wars, one of which against a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks. Now, if terrorists were to detonate a nuclear weapon in, say, Washington DC and inflict 40 to 50 times as many casualties, including a large number of the nation's leaders, can you imagine what the reaction would be? The only thing you can say for certain is that it would be A) irrational, B) massive and C) nuclear. It would spark an international emergency graver than the Cuban missile crisis and I would guess humanity's chances of surviving the first 6 months after such an attack would be 50/50 at best.

With Bush going around invading countries for no valid reason and radicalizing the entire Muslim world to the point that thousands of people who wouldn't have dreamed of killing Americans a couple of years ago are now strapping explosives to themselves to kill US troops I'd say the threat to humanity is far graver than it was a few years back.

mad pierrot
17-01-05, 09:43
to the point that thousands of people who wouldn't have dreamed of killing Americans a couple of years ago are now strapping explosives to themselves to kill US troops I'd say the threat to humanity is far graver than it was a few years back.

Word.

"The message I have entered is too short."

BruceHall
17-01-05, 14:25
It is a myth that the Patriot Act greatly increased the Federal government powers. In fact, all the Patriot Act did was apply powers and tools that the US Federal government could bring to bear on other crimes, such as organized crime, to terrorism. It short the act updated the powers to the 21st century. For instance, you could now, in this age of mobile phones, tap all the phone lines a target uses not just a specific phone line.

I have heard people over and over again talk about the erosion of civil liberties, and even make rather paranoid statements about never flying again, but with little evidence or examples. What SPECIFICALLY do these people have in mind? What specific incidents can they point to? What specifics of the Patriot Act?

Defenses can always be overridden but that doesn't make defenses worthless. If a defense stops 90% of attacks, is the defense worthless? Condoms do not stop the spread of AIDS but they do slow it down. Are condoms a useless defense? Sure, terrorists can always find a way to strike but that should not mean that we make it easy for them. We need to remember (a) that terrorists are a very, very small minority of any community, (b) terrorism never has worked to gain politcal goals, and therefore (c) terrorism is an irrational reaction to a problem. There is not an inexhaustible supply of terrorists. Arresting and imprisoning terrorists, stopping their money supply, frustrating their plans, and taking numerous other political and police actions will eventually lead to the threat diminishing and disappearing.

We also must remember that success brings recruits. Sept. 11th undoubtedly boosted the recruits -- Wow, look at they did. Maybe I can do that cool thing. The fact that in 3 1/2 years they have been unable to repeat or even come close, has to hurt. No one wants to join a failure - a failed organization or a failed cause.

As for this specific documentary, I have not seen it. From the link posted, it seems to be arguing:

a. that Al Qaeda is not a super-organization -- OK. But that is now. What about in 2001? The bombings in Africa and coordinated highjacking of four aircraft demonstrate a significant level of coordination and funding.

b. that there is nothing new about Al Qaeda type terrorism -- This is clearly not the case. While there have been bombings in the past, most terrorist organizations - the IRA, ETA, etc. - targeted military or political targets. They did not attace office workers in their office entirely unrelated to any military or governmental activity. The Palestinian terrorists - also Islamic - did and do target civilians. That is unique. But they are limited to Israelis. Al Qaeda targets Western Civilization and Christianity.

c. that the politics of fear is pervasive and a problem -- frankly I see this as a myth. Certainly I don't not see a large group of fear-mongering politicians in the US. The Netherlands and Europe might be a different story. Following Sept. 11, there were no significant attacks on Muslims or Mosques, in the US. In the year following Sept. 11 more hate crimes were reported against Jews then Muslims despite the fact that their numbers are roughly the same in the US and Muslims are less well integrated. In the Netherlands following the Van Gogh murder there were several attacks on Mosques.

That is just a brief reply. If more is needed I will post more.

mad pierrot
17-01-05, 14:53
Certainly I don't not see a large group of fear-mongering politicians in the US.

Ha ha, that's funny.
--------------------------------------------------------
*edit

On second thought, I retract my mockery. You're right, it isn't a large group. It's a small group of people, but it doesn't make them any less potent.

No-name
17-01-05, 18:53
It is a myth that the Patriot Act greatly increased the Federal government powers. In fact, all the Patriot Act did was apply powers and tools that the US Federal government could bring to bear on other crimes, such as organized crime, to terrorism. It short the act updated the powers to the 21st century. For instance, you could now, in this age of mobile phones, tap all the phone lines a target uses not just a specific phone line.

I have heard people over and over again talk about the erosion of civil liberties, and even make rather paranoid statements about never flying again, but with little evidence or examples. What SPECIFICALLY do these people have in mind? What specific incidents can they point to? What specifics of the Patriot Act?


I actually had few problems with the USA PATRIOT act. I don't really care if Uncle Sam looks at my financial or medical records or taps my phone-- because I am generally boring and they won't find anything remotely interesting.

But most people probably feel otherwise. The USA PATRIOT Act is this complicated document that amends other laws in complicated ways that we are just beginning to understand. It is a significant erosion of civil liberties that unlike those powers granted on a case by case basis by an independent judge in the case of organized crime, are given to federal agencies on a sweeping "blanket" basis. Just say the magic word-- "terrorism" and banking records, school records, e-mails, medical records and consumer purchases are all fair game. The Act even lets agents "sneak and peek"-- search your home without a warrant and never tell you they have been there.

In 2002 secret court judges rubber stamped over 170 "emergency" warrants for FISA- an intelligence branch of the justice department created in 1978. Between 1978 and 2001, only 47 such warrants were issued. The justice department need not even go to the judge by issuing a "national security letter" and conducting secret searches accordingly. To this date hundreds, perhaps thousands of such letters have been issued.

To this date over 5000 people have been detained by the FBI for periods as long as three years with no charges filed and no right to habeas corpus. Another 1200 people were detained by the INS- for periods of three to six months or more. Under this act, any of us whom the government labels an "enemy combatant" can be held without charges or civil protections indefinitely. Apparently the Geneva convention and certain rules regarding torture do net even apply.

Electronic communication which needed specific warrants to ease drop on has all but been thrown wide open. Large categories of previously protected communication can now be listen to, read, or filtered-- run through sofware that identifies key words or phrases without a warrant.

If this is not a significan erosion of civil rights, what is?

Now I am certain of two things: I will not be killed by a terrorist. and I will not be subject to a USA PATRIOT Act search (that I know or care about). Statistics bears out that I am significanly far more likely to be killed in a traffic accident or in an attack by domestic animals than by a terrorist.

Censport
17-01-05, 19:41
When discussing the perception of al-Qaeda, we need to keep in mind that there have been different phases. There was our perception of the threat presented by al-Qaeda all through the Clinton administration, throught the first attack on the WTC, when Ruby Ridge and Bill Gates were the objects of Attorney General's desire, up through the first eight months of the Bush administration. But by lunchtime on 9/11, our preception changed dramatically and we saw the need to take the threat more seriously. Some have retreated to a pre-9/11 mindset, failing to see a current threat because Britney Spears is on the news instead of a burning building.

I think it's anyone's guess (and with the BBC, it's at best a guess) if we're responding appropriately. It's impossible to know now if we're reacting enough or too little. If it's too little, we'll have another catastrophe on our hands, and if it's too much then we blow our budget rebuilding countries overseas. Call me what you want (I've already heard it all), but I'd rather build voting centers in the middle east than rebuild lower Manhattan again.

The only way we'll really know is after the fact. Then all the Monday-morning quarterbacks can fight it out.

On a personal note, by lunchtime on 9/11, my sister had called to let me know she had made it out and clear and was in her husband's office in midtown, I had stopped crying and had made it in to work. I'm not going to forget that anytime soon.

No-name
17-01-05, 20:00
I haven't seen the BBC program yet, and I don't know if I plan to.
I think terrorism is a real threat and al-Qaeda a prime player. Invading Afganistan did a lot to disrupt their training and organization. But the attacks in Spain show that they are not gone.

We acted decisively. The problem with acting decisively, but without all the information is that our efforts may actually be counter-productive.
The USA-PATRIOT Act and the invasion of Iraq may not have made us any safer than we were before. If we have time to analyze the information and act intelligently rather than out of fear and anger, we can probably do better.

Osama is a multimillionaire who still maintains ties to his family in Saudi Arabia. I think our friends hold the key to his capture.

Flowerbird
18-01-05, 00:01
[QUOTE=BruceHall]
... While there have been bombings in the past, most terrorist organizations - the IRA, ETA, etc. - targeted military or political targets. They did not attace office workers in their office entirely unrelated to any military or governmental activity.

Hi BruceHall,

What you write about IRA and ETA is entirely true, they do target civilians, the only difference is that they will generally call newpapers or even the police to let them now they have planted a bomb and in which area, and how much time they have to find the bomb before it explodes. The aim of these terrorists is mainly to disrrupt and cause fear, but if they kill one or two people in the process they don't feel sorry.
I was in London in 1996 when IRA started to plant bombs again. In February, a bomb killed two people in Canary Wharf. A few weeks later I had to be evacuated from school and then a train station.
As you can see, the target was civilians, whether they were sitting in their office or waiting for the train.

mad pierrot
18-01-05, 06:18
Call me what you want (I've already heard it all), but I'd rather build voting centers in the middle east than rebuild lower Manhattan again.

Call you what? We're all well behaved here... :blush:

Seriously, I agree with you. But I'm cynical about democracy in Iraq, to say the least. You can't just build a voting center and expect democracy to blossom overnight. It has taken over a hundred years and a civil war in America, and it's still far from perfect. So, my MAIN beef with the government is the methods. I still have plenty of problems with some of Washington's motives, but that's another story.

This isn't like Japan after WWII.

Shooter452
18-01-05, 17:06
It is a myth that the Patriot Act greatly increased the Federal government powers. In fact, all the Patriot Act did was apply powers and tools that the US Federal government could bring to bear on other crimes, such as organized crime, to terrorism.
I have heard people over and over again talk about the erosion of civil liberties, and even make rather paranoid statements about never flying again, but with little evidence or examples. What SPECIFICALLY do these people have in mind? What specific incidents can they point to? What specifics of the Patriot Act?
Defenses can always be overridden but that doesn't make defenses worthless. If a defense stops 90% of attacks, is the defense worthless? Condoms do not stop the spread of AIDS but they do slow it down. Are condoms a useless defense?
If more is needed I will post more.

I am reluctant to make a foe of you but I sense that at least a portion of this was aimed at me, Bruce, so allow me to retort.

I do not recall mentioning the Patriot Act. No, after re-reading, I sure didn't. It is only one of numerous brands of Federal reaction to the atrocities committed in the name of Islam on 11 Sept 01, and before. Most were done by Executive Order and not even by legislative action in Congress. And as a retired Marine and ex-sworn LEO, I understand fully those who claim that some/all of these were/are necessary to combat illegal OC activities as well as potential terrorism. However, comma, consider this:

(a) In any effort to combat terroism throughout the 20th Century, none have been successful at ending a single example with a defensive strategy. To be successful, a terrorist campaign only need to continue to exist. Ergo, if only 10% are successful, if is usually enough for the terrorists to win. This tends to be true of wise guys, too. Soooooo, if you say 90% effectiveness is good enough, you are completely incorrect, IMHO.

(b) I think that the invasion of privacy without PC (probable cause in this case, Bruce) is potentially dangerous to the individual freedom of the American people if only because of the fact that even if all of the terrorists in the world were to cease operations tomorrow, forever, this law could (probably will) remain. It is a very powerful investigative tool for those who assemble cases based solely upon documentary evidence. The average US Attorney loves the RICO Act, too. No recent Federal law is more abused by Federal procecutors IMHO than is the RICO Act. If we can judge the future use of the Patriot Act by that, you may have sufficient cause to fret in the future.

(c) I believe that there are numerous examples of abuses but I only know of one at this moment. It was not from the Patriot Act, but from the abuse of TSA regulations at RDU. While waiting for the arrival of a friend, I was accosted in the parking lot by plain clothes security personnel, cuffed, hauled into a holding area, and detained while my personal vehicle was torn apart under a detail search. I was cavity searched and eventually questioned, but as they found nothing to justify their actions they became the more frantic to discover something and grew abusive. I was eventually released, after several hours. No explanation was offered, and I was advised that as one of the "insiders" I should understand what they had done and "forgive and forget." These are matters for civil litigation to resolve, but this is the source of my apprehension with airports, Bruce, not a rumor I heard, or some article in Newsweek.

I will dig on the Web and see if there are others examples to report to you.

Semper Fi.

PS: condoms do not work if you get AIDS in any case, do they?

No-name
18-01-05, 18:32
My brother was detained for 24 hours in Miami, but not (as) badly treated. He was asked seeming random questions, he had to sleep in a cot in some airport detention cell...he had his luggage searched, and was released with some kind of excuse/appology. During that time he was not charged or told why he was being detained and never had the opportunity to call anyone. We were worried since when we showed up to the airport, he was not on his flight and we got no call.

Censport
18-01-05, 18:51
Sue. Seriously. This random search [email protected] isn't accomplishing anything more than the dress code required of air marshalls. (the dress code makes the marshalls stand out in a "slash my throat first" manner) Even a liiittle bit of profiling (looking for the terrorists, not just weapons, as Israel's El Al airlines does) would go a looong way.

senseiman
19-01-05, 08:16
There are a few things that I have to disagree with here.




We need to remember (a) that terrorists are a very, very small minority of any community, (b) terrorism never has worked to gain politcal goals, and therefore (c) terrorism is an irrational reaction to a problem.

This isn't at all true. For one thing, military aged males will always be a small minority in whatever community they belong to. But in numerous cases, including the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza and the Sunni insurgents in Central Iraq the "terrorists" enjoy quite a broad range of popular support among their community. If they didn't, they wouldn't last long.

It also isn't even remotely true to say that "terrorism never has worked to achieve political goals". That is just ridiculous. Just about every major political change over the past couple hundred years has been carried out by people labelled as "terrorists". 20th century examples include Irish independence, the Russian revolution, Algerian independence and the dismantlement of most of Europe's colonial empires in the face of armed opposition in the 50s and 60s. Nelson Mandela's ANC which ended aparthied in South Africa was listed as a terrorist organization by the US state department too. The list goes on and on. Looking at Al-Quaida's political goals: ie to provoke a holy war betwen the Islamic and western worlds you could easily make the argument that he has succeeded there too.


There is not an inexhaustible supply of terrorists. Arresting and imprisoning terrorists, stopping their money supply, frustrating their plans, and taking numerous other political and police actions will eventually lead to the threat diminishing and disappearing.

This I agree with completely. But it is also true IMHO that the Bush administration hasn't done a very good job with this either.


We also must remember that success brings recruits. Sept. 11th undoubtedly boosted the recruits -- Wow, look at they did. Maybe I can do that cool thing. The fact that in 3 1/2 years they have been unable to repeat or even come close, has to hurt. No one wants to join a failure - a failed organization or a failed cause.

I don't think this is at all accurate. Most people across the planet were disgusted by 9/11 and there is no evidence that recruitment for Al-Quaida went up as a result. The invasion of Iraq however has sent recruitment skyrocketing, which is exactly what the CIA said would happen before the war started, raising serious questions about the Bush administration's competency to handle the 'war on terror'. As for failing to repeat 9/11, its worth mentioning that attacks of that scale require years of planning and preperation (5 years in the case of 9/11) so it isn't a surprise to anybody that another attack of that scale hasn't occured yet. But they have had a lot of smaller attacks, like the Spanish train bombings and the attack on the British consulate in Turkey, not to mention their activity in Iraq.




b. that there is nothing new about Al Qaeda type terrorism -- This is clearly not the case. While there have been bombings in the past, most terrorist organizations - the IRA, ETA, etc. - targeted military or political targets. They did not attace office workers in their office entirely unrelated to any military or governmental activity. The Palestinian terrorists - also Islamic - did and do target civilians. That is unique. But they are limited to Israelis. Al Qaeda targets Western Civilization and Christianity.

This isn't at all true either. Terrorists of all stripes have targeted civilians throughout history, there is nothing unique about Islamic terrorism in this regard. The Israeli terrorist organizations that operated in Palestine prior to the founding of statehood regularly targeted civilians in their campaign to get the British out of the mandate - notably the David Hotel Bombing that killed aboutt 100 people. This activity continued during the war of independence and right up to the present, with Israeli settlers often targeting Palestian civilians. In 1994 an American born Jewish settler took a machine gun into a mosque and opened fire, killing 29 unarmed civilians, almost all of them women and children.

There are dozens of other examples. Hindu extremists in India have killed thousands of defenseless muslim civilians over the past few years. Or how about the American terrorist who blew up the Oklahoma federal building -- why do those innocent people who died in their offices not warrant mention in your account? Or are we to infer that in your opinion the Oklahoma federal building was a legitimate military target? Saying that targetting civilians is a uniquely Palestian (or muslim) tactic is not even remotely true.

Censport
19-01-05, 20:23
Most people across the planet were disgusted by 9/11 and there is no evidence that recruitment for Al-Quaida went up as a result. The invasion of Iraq however has sent recruitment skyrocketing, which is exactly what the CIA said would happen before the war started, raising serious questions about the Bush administration's competency to handle the 'war on terror'. As for failing to repeat 9/11, its worth mentioning that attacks of that scale require years of planning and preperation (5 years in the case of 9/11) so it isn't a surprise to anybody that another attack of that scale hasn't occured yet. But they have had a lot of smaller attacks, like the Spanish train bombings and the attack on the British consulate in Turkey, not to mention their activity in Iraq.

While those are widely repeated generalizations, they are solidly disputed. But at least we agree that al-Qaeda isn't a myth.

First, let's look at the generalization that the war in Iraq has sent al-Qaeda recruitment skyrocketing. This puts into the reader's mind an image of previously peaceful and non-threatening muslims signing up to get shot by the coalition forces. That's a romantic notion purported by a media that was already against the invasion, but it's not accurate. Take for example the Jordanian terrorist, al-Zarqawi. He already had his own network, called al-Tawhid or something. After he and his men started fighting in this conlfict, he pledged his allegiance to bin Laden and now calls his group al-Qaeda. They're still Islamic terrorists striking against American and Israeli interests, just a different name. THAT'S what is, far more often than not, swelling the al-Qaeda ranks. Besides, bin Laden would be an even bigger idiot than he already is if he wasn't trying to recruit. He lost 70% of his group to death or capture during the Afghan operation. You're expecting him to lie down and die in the face of a conflict he wanted? That's just so... Jimmy Carter.

Secondly, where do you get the idea that 9/11 was their only plan? This group has always had dozens of plans, several already well along. Remember the plans for the NY financial district? They were three years in the making and had been updated just a couple of months prior to their discovery. Do you seriously believe that this group, which numbered in the thousands, had all their efforts poured into 20 men and four airliners, and then, if successful, they would have to start from scratch before embarking on another attack?

'Splain that to me....

senseiman
20-01-05, 04:38
Censport,

I can see your point about Al-quaida recruitment coming from pre-existing groups. But there are a few qualifiers. For one thing I don't think Zarqawi had ever succesfully attacked an American target before the Iraq war gave him boundless opportunities to do so. Secondly, while most of the Iraqi insurgents don't directly belong to Al-Quaida linked groups the fact is that the vast majority of those people (estimated at 200,000 by the head of Iraqi intelligence) shooting at American troops every day probably would never have dreamed of killing Americans before they invaded their country. This isn't directly related to Al-Quaida, but when looking at anti-American/western violence in general you can't discount the huge increase in numbers created by the Iraq war. Plus while many of the insurgents/terrorists may have harbored strong anti-American sentiments before the war, there is no doubt that the invasion has had a strong effect in mobilizing those people - not just in Iraq but across the Arab and Muslim world. They say Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as the world's leading terrorist training ground. Given the vast differences in wealth, strategic importance and military training between the two countries this has not been a good trade for the US. I should also mention that Bin Ladin didn't "lie down and die in the face of a conflict he wanted", he simply got up and went off to continue fighting from a different location, which may have been his plan all along.

As for other attacks, like I mentioned above they have pulled off plenty (Spain bombings, attacks in Turkey, Iraq, etc.), so obviously I wasn't implying that "9/11 was their only plan." They have probably had dozens of attacks which each took years of preparation planned over the past decade or so, but only one of them (9/11) ever materialized into a full blown atrocity of massive proportions. What I was saying is that attacks of that scale are not every day occurences so it is not at all surprising that Al-Quaida have not followed up on 9/11 with an equally devastating attack in the past 3 and a half years. I think this is more an indication of the size, scale and difficulty of such an attack rather than an indication that Al-Quaida is finished, which is what BruceHall was implying above.

mad pierrot
20-01-05, 06:55
First, let's look at the generalization that the war in Iraq has sent al-Qaeda recruitment skyrocketing.

That generalization is incorrect. It's terrorism in general that has skyrocketed. Even the CIA has admitted this. (Not to mention countless other independent organizations.)


Secondly, while most of the Iraqi insurgents don't directly belong to Al-Quaida linked groups the fact is that the vast majority of those people (estimated at 200,000 by the head of Iraqi intelligence) shooting at American troops every day probably would never have dreamed of killing Americans before they invaded their country. This isn't directly related to Al-Quaida, but when looking at anti-American/western violence in general you can't discount the huge increase in numbers created by the Iraq war. Plus while many of the insurgents/terrorists may have harbored strong anti-American sentiments before the war, there is no doubt that the invasion has had a strong effect in mobilizing those people - not just in Iraq but across the Arab and Muslim world.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Things aren't any safer since the invasion. It's worse. Further more, the upcoming elections aren't going to change anything. It is not just the Sunnis who will boycott the elections. The Iraq National Foundation Conference will too. They're skipping the whole thing because of the lack of an international body to oversee it. Not to mention four of Iraq's 18 provinces may not be able to "fully" participate in the elections. (Which contain more than half of the population.)

Censport
20-01-05, 17:57
What you guys (senseiman & mad pierrot) fail to realize is this isn't an America vs. Iraq conflict. It's coalition forces (primarily American, British, Australian, Polish and Italian) against the old Ba'athist regime and the Jordanian, Syrian, Iranian and Saudi fighters that have been pouring across the border into Iraq. The Ba'athists aren't fighting just because it's Americans, they're fighting because they used to have a death grip on Iraq and they're losing that power. They know that if ordinary Iraqi men (and especially women) get the chance to choose their leaders, it won't be them, and they won't have the unchallenged control over those people and their money that they're used to. It just happens that the people removing them from power are mostly American (And who else would it be?).

If it was the French, the Germans and/or the Russians, we'd be looking at the same war. The Ba'athists don't want to lose their power. Now the fighters pouring in are probably wanting to fight Americans, I'll give you that. But better there than here, from my perspective.

If the Sunnis and the INFC want to boycott the elections because the UN is too scared to show up (probably not enough condoms to go around for a delegation, after sending so many to the tsunami victims), let them. They now have the freedom to remove their political significance. It's the first election where they haven't been required to show up, required to vote, and required to vote for Hussein in order to keep their heads. If they don't want to vote, it's now their choice. Let them shoot themselves in the foot!

In case you haven't noticed, most Americans don't vote. They still make the effort to b!tc#, but if they have to wait in line an hour, they consider themselves disenfranchised. Meanwhile, Iraqi ex-pats in the U.S. are driving half a day each way to register to vote and doing it again in two weeks to vote. And they're excited to do so! They're having friends take their pictures at the registration table!

Finally, al-Qaeda has lost men, financing, and structure. My guess (and this stuff is really only known by a handful people - bin Laden and his top guys and the people here working the Threat Matrix) is that they aren't capable of organizing an attack on the scale of 9/11. A dirty bomb, a truck bomb (or limo bomb) or something like that perhaps. They're not finished. And if you think the Bush administration can't take some credit for that, you need to stop getting your news from the BBC.

Are either of you guys old enough to remember the Carter administration? If you had lived through that (as I did), you wouldn't be so haste to criticize the current administration. Sure, we're not doing a perfect job. Our borders need to be more secure, the TSA head needs to be replaced, the INS head needs to be replaced, and we could sure use some common-sense racial profiling. But if you want to know what the world would be like if we were swearing in John Kerry today, go back and look at how Carter handled terrorism.

Duo
20-01-05, 22:47
Interesting piece I found on BBC, regarding a series called "The Power of Nightmares" aired last autumn. The series tried to show that much of the "War on Terror" is in fact a pursuit of a fantasy:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4171213.stm

Quote:
"As the films showed, wherever one looks for this "al-Qaeda" organisation - from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America - the British and Americans are pursuing a fantasy.

The bombs in Madrid and Bali showed clearly the seriousness of the threat - but they are not evidence of a new and overwhelming threat unlike any we have experienced before. And above all they do not - in the words of the British government - "threaten the life of the nation". That is simply untrue."

Hey bossel, nice thread, I also happend to see this documentary when it aired some time ago, I must say it was very well done, and I completely agree with it, maybe because it was so articulate and argued each point carefully with evidence and facts.

Censport
20-01-05, 23:12
...maybe because it was so articulate and argued each point carefully with evidence and facts.
Maybe it was because you really wanted to believe it. Say, did you hear about that Boeing 757 that hit the Pentagon on 9/11? Yeah, turns out it was all a hoax. No really... it was one of our Stinger missiles... what's that? Why is there still a missing airliner, flight crew and passengers? Ah well.... that is.... uh... Say, did you know that 4,000 Jews didn't show up for work at the WTC on 9/11.......

No-name
21-01-05, 00:13
Captain Kirk voice: "Must...turn...logic circuit...OFF....Will...only.....cause...PAIN..."

Duo
21-01-05, 02:25
Maybe it was because you really wanted to believe it. Say, did you hear about that Boeing 757 that hit the Pentagon on 9/11? Yeah, turns out it was all a hoax. No really... it was one of our Stinger missiles... what's that? Why is there still a missing airliner, flight crew and passengers? Ah well.... that is.... uh... Say, did you know that 4,000 Jews didn't show up for work at the WTC on 9/11.......

Funny thing, the document is on right now actually, and amongs many many things that the British and US gov fooled ppl in was the concept of a dirty bomb, something that doesn't even work, as it was tested by both the US army, iraqi army, and also the energy ministry in England and no one concluded that it work. And wat about those immense bunker networks that were in afganistan, all there were sm rat holes with old ak 47 ammunitions etc. Instead of just beleiving what the media and gov. tells u, why not try to chek out the facts.

bossel
21-01-05, 03:59
Instead of just beleiving what the media and gov. tells u, why not try to chek out the facts.
Censport checking facts? :shock:


against the old Ba'athist regime and the Jordanian, Syrian, Iranian and Saudi fighters that have been pouring across the border into Iraq
Funny, that some of the fiercest resistance originated from Fallujah, where the Baathists were not really strong. Foreign fighters seem to be vastly outnumbered by Iraqi resistance fighters. They get the biggest publicity though, esp. for their terror attacks.


They're not finished. And if you think the Bush administration can't take some credit for that
Oh well, I wouldn't take away the credit of not finishing al-Qaeda from the Bushites.


we could sure use some common-sense racial profiling
Could you elaborate on that? Sounds interesting.
BTW, which common sense? Yours? Then I'd have to quote the KLF: "Good night, America! We looooooove you!"

mad pierrot
21-01-05, 05:22
Ok, where to start?


Meanwhile, Iraqi ex-pats in the U.S. are driving half a day each way to register to vote and doing it again in two weeks to vote. And they're excited to do so! They're having friends take their pictures at the registration table!

Which is funny, contrasted to the situation in their own country, where most people are afraid to even go near voting centers. Hmm... Besides the boycotts, people are being threatened to have their familes killed if they vote for a candidate they don't like. Hmm.... This is a question of legitimacy. How can the future government be legitimate if the majority of a nation's citizens refuse to recognize elections imposed upon them by an occupying force? Democracy in Iraq is a joke. We still haven't even fixed things in Afghanistan, which has continually gone downhill. As for getting my news from the BBC, I actually get my news about Afghanistan from people who have been there before and after America's arrival. (I'm actually in email contact with a student there right now.)

About the Ba'athists? I've got some news for you; it's more than just them.


They're not finished. And if you think the Bush administration can't take some credit for that, you need to stop getting your news from the BBC.

You're right. They're not finished, thanks to the mismanagement of the Bush regime, who could have stopped them in Afganistan. :)

senseiman
21-01-05, 07:24
What you guys (senseiman & mad pierrot) fail to realize is this isn't an America vs. Iraq conflict. It's coalition forces (primarily American, British, Australian, Polish and Italian) against the old Ba'athist regime and the Jordanian, Syrian, Iranian and Saudi fighters that have been pouring across the border into Iraq.

For one thing, 90% of the international forces in Iraq are American. Secondly, the insurgency is flaring in only four of Iraq's provinces ALL of which are occupied by US forces. So its a little misleading to label this war a 'coalition' effort just because a few countries were cajoled into sending token support to it despite the wishes of the vast majority of their populations to keep out of the war.

As for the insurgent side of the order of battle, it seems that at most 10% of insurgents are foreigners, almost all of them Arabs who share the same language, religion and culture as Iraqis (as opposed to 100% of the coalition forces who have nothing in common with the Iraqis). The remaining 90% probably do contain a large number of Ba'athists, but it also seems likely that a large number of them are regular Iraqis who are seeking to avenge the loss of family members, have joined out of tribal loyalty or are simply among the 70% of Iraqis who are unemployed thanks to the war. Then there are the Shi'ite militiamen under Moqtada Al-Sadr - whose father was murdered by Saddam - who were all enemies of the Ba'ath party.


The Ba'athists aren't fighting just because it's Americans, they're fighting because they used to have a death grip on Iraq and they're losing that power. They know that if ordinary Iraqi men (and especially women) get the chance to choose their leaders, it won't be them, and they won't have the unchallenged control over those people and their money that they're used to. It just happens that the people removing them from power are mostly American (And who else would it be?).

This is probably accurate, though it isn't the "ordinary Iraqi men (and especially women)" per se that they fear. For one thing, women weren't suppressed under secular Ba'athist rule. Rather, its the fact that under free elections religious Shi'ite parties (no defenders of woman's rights) will win.


If it was the French, the Germans and/or the Russians, we'd be looking at the same war.
Actually the French, Germans and Russians would never have been stupid/arrogant enough to invade in the first place.


The Ba'athists don't want to lose their power. Now the fighters pouring in are probably wanting to fight Americans, I'll give you that. But better there than here, from my perspective.

Better there than here? How exactly would thousands of militant Islamic radicals who probably earn about a dollar a day ever be able to afford to fly to America and, better yet, how would they get into the country?


If the Sunnis and the INFC want to boycott the elections because the UN is too scared to show up (probably not enough condoms to go around for a delegation, after sending so many to the tsunami victims), let them.

Thats a cheap shot. For one thing, the reason the UN withdrew from Iraq is because their headquarters was blown to pieces in the orgy of violence brought on by the US invasion. Maybe if US forces could have restored security (which they were obliged to do as the occupying power) the UN could have returned. Secondly this war was started under US, not UN authority so why the hell is the onus suddenly on the UN to go cleaning up the US's mess?




Finally, al-Qaeda has lost men, financing, and structure. My guess (and this stuff is really only known by a handful people - bin Laden and his top guys and the people here working the Threat Matrix) is that they aren't capable of organizing an attack on the scale of 9/11. A dirty bomb, a truck bomb (or limo bomb) or something like that perhaps. They're not finished. And if you think the Bush administration can't take some credit for that, you need to stop getting your news from the BBC.

I'm a little confused, earlier you took issue with me for saying that Al-Quaida didn't have the capability to repeat 9/11 but that didn't mean they were finished. Now you are saying the same thing?

I'll give the Bush administration credit for every terrorist act he stops. But that doesn't absolve him of the blame for his numerous policy failures, notably Iraq.


Are either of you guys old enough to remember the Carter administration? If you had lived through that (as I did), you wouldn't be so haste to criticize the current administration. Sure, we're not doing a perfect job. Our borders need to be more secure, the TSA head needs to be replaced, the INS head needs to be replaced, and we could sure use some common-sense racial profiling. But if you want to know what the world would be like if we were swearing in John Kerry today, go back and look at how Carter handled terrorism.

The Carter years? My god, what a terrorist bloodbath that was! I take it you are referring to the Iran hostage taking in which a grand total of ZERO American hostages were killed? Compared with Bush where -- lets see....we've got 3000 killed on 9/11, half a dozen killed by Anthrax, about 1,500 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and over 10,000 more wounded....Yup I can sure see how much we have Bush to thank for.

No-name
21-01-05, 09:18
Okay, we're in Iraq. There are no WMD's. IED's are going off like popcorn. US credibility is running on half its cylinders. al-Qaeda has better recruiting now that the have a cause and a location to actually die in. (Who's keeping score at this point? Is the US killing more than al-Qaeda?) No mention in today's inaguaral address of either Iraq or al-Qaeda. Hmmmm maybe they don't exist. (Chant to self: Saddam was a bad guy, Iraq is better off, this is good, Saddam was a bad guy...)

The Question is so what do we do now?
I think al-Qaeda is still a real threat. But like I've said before, domestic animals kill more americans than terrorists. Traffic, drugs, domestic violence and street gangs are a far more real threat. 9/11 was very bad and we never want that to happen again, but do we live our lives like the wolf is at the door? What makes sense? What is the proper proportional reaction?

By the way, did we just okay the concept of pre-emptive war? It was the rationale the Japanese used 65 years ago. Maybe it is okay now. I wonder what else we can dig up? Canada looks kinda threatening. Iceland-- could they be next?

Duo
21-01-05, 16:06
The problem is that Al qaeda was never what the media and US gov made it appear to be, there is no such network, just people that share the same radical islamist ideology, by makin al qaeda seem like this huge giant evil monster, the US gave bin laden a great weapon against the west, in fact bin l. never used the name al qaeda only after the 9/11 bombings and that was after the US had built this hype and myth of al q. after the embassy bombings. THe biggest failure of the US was to realize that they had to fight an ideology, radical islam, instead of an evil network, and that's why the war on terror has been a failure.

Censport
21-01-05, 18:27
Which is funny, contrasted to the situation in their own country, where most people are afraid to even go near voting centers. Hmm... Besides the boycotts, people are being threatened to have their familes killed if they vote for a candidate they don't like. Hmm.... This is a question of legitimacy. How can the future government be legitimate if the majority of a nation's citizens refuse to recognize elections imposed upon them by an occupying force? Democracy in Iraq is a joke.
A joke? Nobody's going to vote? I respectullfy disagree:
Article: 80% of Iraqis plan to vote (http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050119-101413-1954r.htm)

As for the legitimacy question, I have a couple of points there too. For one thing, there is a very vocal faction of a political party in my country that calls any election their candidate doesn't win "illegitimate". Even if he wins by over 3,000,000 votes. But when their guy "wins" with only 43% of the vote in a low-turnout race, or their candidate doesn't win until the votes are counted by hand, well, that's "justice". Que sabro....

Secondly, considering their previous elections were forced by threat of beheading, I don't think it's fair to call the next ones "imposed upon them by an occupying force". I think it would be more accurate to say that they're being offered by the force that removed their dictator.


As for getting my news from the BBC, I actually get my news about Afghanistan from people who have been there before and after America's arrival. (I'm actually in email contact with a student there right now.)
Good for you. And don't assume that I get all of my news from the White House press secretary. You see, I live just south of Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne.

mad pierrot
21-01-05, 18:56
Good to talk with you Censport. I enjoy a good political discussion, and it's rare to find someone as continually respectful as you. I also respectfully disagree with you.


A joke? Nobody's going to vote? I respectullfy disagree:
Article: 80% of Iraqis plan to vote

We could trade articles back and forth all day. Take THIS (http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/print.cgi?file=/views05/0118-32.htm) for example.


I think it would be more accurate to say that they're being offered by the force that removed their dictator.

I would agree with you, but an "offer" implies that it can be refused. Were the people given any alternatives?


Good for you. And don't assume that I get all of my news from the White House press secretary. You see, I live just south of Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne.

I don't. And I'm glad you're getiting first hand accounts, too.

Check this out:A great article HERE. (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.brother19jan19,1,2911493.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true)

Whew! It's about 1:55am here now, so I better get some sleep. (Gotta get up and run in the morning.)

:relief:

Censport
21-01-05, 20:02
For one thing, 90% of the international forces in Iraq are American. Secondly, the insurgency is flaring in only four of Iraq's provinces ALL of which are occupied by US forces.
We also a larger active military than the other countries. Seondly, thank you for admitting that the conflict is only present in four spots of Iraq and not encompassing the entire country as the wolrd media would have us believe.


As for the insurgent side of the order of battle, it seems that at most 10% of insurgents are foreigners, almost all of them Arabs who share the same language, religion and culture as Iraqis (as opposed to 100% of the coalition forces who have nothing in common with the Iraqis). The remaining 90% probably do contain a large number of Ba'athists, but it also seems likely that a large number of them are regular Iraqis who are seeking to avenge the loss of family members, have joined out of tribal loyalty or are simply among the 70% of Iraqis who are unemployed thanks to the war. Then there are the Shi'ite militiamen under Moqtada Al-Sadr - whose father was murdered by Saddam - who were all enemies of the Ba'ath party.
That percentage doesn't gel with the information I've been getting. We've obviously got different sources. Also, if it's not about retaining control, then why put yourself in the sights of a Marine sniper? This "occupying force" just took out your genocidal dictator, and the quickest way to remove said force is to vote on your new constitution, elect your leaders and get your new government up and running. But noooo, you're gonna sign up for your RPG. Brilliant.


Actually the French, Germans and Russians would never have been stupid/arrogant enough to invade in the first place.
More like they're too corrupt. See: Oil-for-Food Scandal.

Better there than here? How exactly would thousands of militant Islamic radicals who probably earn about a dollar a day ever be able to afford to fly to America and, better yet, how would they get into the country?
Same way they did the last two times, with funding from bin Laden and his network of financiers. And, like last time, they would enter through that great champion of freedom in the world, Canada. Feel better about yourself?


Thats a cheap shot. For one thing, the reason the UN withdrew from Iraq is because their headquarters was blown to pieces in the orgy of violence brought on by the US invasion. Maybe if US forces could have restored security (which they were obliged to do as the occupying power) the UN could have returned. Secondly this war was started under US, not UN authority so why the hell is the onus suddenly on the UN to go cleaning up the US's mess?
Cheap? Arguably. Inaccurate? Not at all. See: Sex-for-Food scandal; Congo.

The UN ran at the first hint of danger. You know, like Clinton with Somalia. That's exactly what our enemies want, and the precedent for expecting that from us was Jimmy Carter. But more on him later...

If the UN won't stop genocide, can't prevent wars, can't or won't provide humanitarian relief, then what purpose do they serve? Why do they still exist? The UN wanted to be in Iraq to keep an eye on "American atrocities", but things got a little too hot in the kitchen. Boo hoo.


The Carter years? My god, what a terrorist bloodbath that was! I take it you are referring to the Iran hostage taking in which a grand total of ZERO American hostages were killed? Compared with Bush where -- lets see....we've got 3000 killed on 9/11, half a dozen killed by Anthrax, about 1,500 troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and over 10,000 more wounded....Yup I can sure see how much we have Bush to thank for.
Carter set the standard for appeasement and cowardice. Yes, I'm talking about the 444-day Iran hostage crisis which came about because Carter turned his back on the Shah, our questionable but reliable ally. Things have only gotten worse since then. Nobel peace prize... HA! How many people, how many countries did he liberate from tyranny? How many regimes did he end? Any progress in the Cold War? Nope. Haiti? Don't get me started. What did he do? He got Sadat killed, that's what. The one Egyptian who would sit down at the table with Israel. Carter barely protected his family from a rabbit. He shouldn't have been trusted with the country.

Things didn't get much better under Clinton. Terrorists bomb the WTC? Treat it like a criminal act and give the attorneys something to do. Prevent the CIA from connecting the dots. Take an enemy that's willing to kill themselves in an attack and threaten them with life in an American prison. Terrorists from the same group bomb US embassies abroad. Make a speech. Fire a missile. Get a hummer. Focus your AG on Bill Gates. Worked great, didn't it?

Or, you could topple a dictator who has a history of financing terror and invading his neighbors, preferably one who is violating a UN cease-fire agreement, and give the terrorists a place to die far from your citizens' homes and businesses. Will it be easy? Painless? Quick? Without sacrifice? Perfect? Will it be easy for people who are used to encapsulated sitcoms and climate control to stomach? Gee, I don't know where you got that idea. Maybe from the guy who fought wars from 15,000' in the air and ran at the first sign of blood?

Keep in mind that only 37% of colonists supported America's Revolutionary War in 1776. Also remember that ending slavery in the U.S. was seen as an impossible goal in 1860. In '81, Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq without provocation and was condemned by everyone, including Reagan. (They even did it on a Sunday to minimize the body count. It worked: Only one French scientist was killed.) The anti-war voices in this country were loud and clear against our fighting Germany prior to 1941, as they had never attacked us. Just because something is unpopular or difficult, doesn't mean it's wrong or not worth doing. Afghanistan and Iraq are only in their teething stage, and we're not done there. It's going to take a while and it won't be easy. But impossible or a joke? No.

Censport
21-01-05, 20:16
The problem is that Al qaeda was never what the media and US gov made it appear to be, there is no such network, just people that share the same radical islamist ideology, by makin al qaeda seem like this huge giant evil monster, the US gave bin laden a great weapon against the west, in fact bin l. never used the name al qaeda only after the 9/11 bombings and that was after the US had built this hype and myth of al q. after the embassy bombings. THe biggest failure of the US was to realize that they had to fight an ideology, radical islam, instead of an evil network, and that's why the war on terror has been a failure.
Ah yes, it's the "there is no spoon" theory that's now so popular on the left. If it's such a valid theory, why didn't Kerry try this on his campaign? Because Teresa was an already enough of an embarassment?

Since there was communication and coordination between these people that shared "the same radical islamist ideology", since they have a leader, since they have organized financial support, I dare say that they're qualified to be called a network. Heck, they're almost qualified to be a labor union!

A myth doesn't leave behind a trail of rubble and bodies. Period.

This is the same crap by the same mindset which has tried to call the Holocaust a myth and the Rosenbergs "patriots".

Censport
21-01-05, 21:53
Censport checking facts? :shock:
I can always count on you to take the high road, bossel. ;-)


Funny, that some of the fiercest resistance originated from Fallujah, where the Baathists were not really strong.
Ever heard of relocation? They've got more than camels and donkeys for transportation, you know.


Could you elaborate on that? Sounds interesting.
BTW, which common sense? Yours? Then I'd have to quote the KLF: "Good night, America! We looooooove you!"
Sure, I can elaborate. Did I forget to mention Israel's airline? They use profiling to look for terrorists instead of wasting time taking Grandma's nail clippers and fondling children. But what we've got is a ridiculous random-strip-search policy and a limit on the number of arab-looking men per flight that can be questioned. What's your brilliant idea?

bossel
21-01-05, 22:22
Article: 80% of Iraqis plan to vote (http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050119-101413-1954r.htm)
According to the IRI (International Republican Institute). Very funny!

[QUOTE=Censport]the conflict is only present in four spots of Iraq and not encompassing the entire country as the wolrd media would have us believe.
Which world media? Any evidence?
Anyway, "flaring in 4 provinces" doesn't mean that there is no resistance activity at all elsewhere.



That percentage doesn't gel with the information I've been getting.
Not surprising. What about offering your sources?



Also, if it's not about retaining control, then why put yourself in the sights of a Marine sniper?
Maybe because you don't like the behaviour of said occupying force?



More like they're too corrupt. See: Oil-for-Food Scandal.
What have these countries to do with the scandal? Sources?
Anyway, Russia is a special case. As Chechnya shows Putin would be stupid enough to invade. But I doubt that he would be stupid enough to try it on Iraq.


The UN ran at the first hint of danger.
Blowing up their headquarters was a "hint of danger"?


If the UN won't stop genocide, can't prevent wars, can't or won't provide humanitarian relief, then what purpose do they serve?
The UN is an organisation of independent nations & hence restricted by what these nations are willing to contribute. For the purpose of the UN you may have a look at chapter 1 of its charter.


The UN wanted to be in Iraq to keep an eye on "American atrocities"
Good to know that you're so well-informed. That was the single purpose of the UN in Iraq? Sources?


What did he do? He got Sadat killed, that's what.
Carter was responsible for that? Sources?


the terrorists a place to die far from your citizens' homes and businesses.
& BTW US forces kill a lot of innocent citizens of another country. But, hey, they're not US Americans, so who cares?


Since there was communication and coordination between these people that shared "the same radical islamist ideology", since they have a leader, since they have organized financial support, I dare say that they're qualified to be called a network.
Hamas & Al-Aqsa-Brigades communicate & coordinate as well, yet they are independent organisations. Al-Qaeda may be responsible for 9/11, but that doesn't mean that they are responsible for every islamic terrorist act that happens anywhere.


A myth doesn't leave behind a trail of rubble and bodies. Period.
Yeah, but a trail of rubble & bodies can be used to create a myth.


This is the same crap by the same mindset which has tried to call the Holocaust a myth
Nice that you know at least some history, sad that you have some problems in proportionality.

bossel
21-01-05, 22:28
Ever heard of relocation? They've got more than camels and donkeys for transportation, you know.
Ever heard of guerilla relying on support of the citizens? Baathists wouldn't get very much support or shelter in Fallujah, unless they & the citizens have roughly the same aims.


What's your brilliant idea?
Racial profiling is just crap. You have European islamist converts who turned terrorist, you have a lot of Mid-Easterners with middle European looks.

Shooter452
21-01-05, 23:15
Maybe it is me, but I do see "truths" in both of you.

Cens, while I instinctively believe you are on target, it would be easier to voice support for you if you quoted your sources or at least listed them.

Bossel, I believe if you look hard enough, you can find documentary evidence from some "authority" or another to support almost any position you wish to take.

I know a lot of things about what has happened in Iraq that I believe is utterly reliable, but I cannot quote the sources because it would jam up those same sources (if I get them into a jackpot, they'll no longer be useful as sources!). Therefore, I do not mention them. Unless everyone wants to take my word for it, I'm screwed. And most of you would be unwilling to take my word for it, what?

Let's agree that this is a briar patch and none of us are Br'er Rabbit. Know what I mean, Vern?

Censport
22-01-05, 00:00
Not surprising. What about offering your sources?
I'm in the same position as Shooter452. And unlike CNN and The New York Times, I care about my sources.


Maybe because you don't like the behaviour of said occupying force?
Compared to what, the previous occupying force? Get real.


What have these countries to do with the scandal? Sources?
Anyway, Russia is a special case. As Chechnya shows Putin would be stupid enough to invade. But I doubt that he would be stupid enough to try it on Iraq.
There's an investigation underway as we speak. Don't blame me if it's not finished and published in time for me to respond to your post. There's this thing called patience. Look it up.


Carter was responsible for that? Sources?
Documented history. Carter got Sadat to the peace table, and Sadat was killed for that. Until that second event occured, I thought that ol' Jimmy was actually going to do something productive with his term.


& BTW US forces kill a lot of innocent citizens of another country. But, hey, they're not US Americans, so who cares?
Wow, we went to trouble of traveling to other countries just to kill their innocent citizens? Sources?


Hamas & Al-Aqsa-Brigades communicate & coordinate as well, yet they are independent organisations. Al-Qaeda may be responsible for 9/11, but that doesn't mean that they are responsible for every islamic terrorist act that happens anywhere.
Never said they were. But they claimed responsibility for the ones I mentioned.


Yeah, but a trail of rubble & bodies can be used to create a myth.
So now we're planting evidence, is that what you're saying?


Nice that you know at least some history, sad that you have some problems in proportionality.
Just pointing out the pattern of behavior, not equating.


Ever heard of guerilla relying on support of the citizens? Baathists wouldn't get very much support or shelter in Fallujah, unless they & the citizens have roughly the same aims.
You mean unless they have citizens that can still be controlled by fear. These people lived under that kind of rule for 30+ years, or have you forgotten that? Remember that mosque in Najaf they were holed up in for a while? Everybody was waiting for us to storm the place, but we never did. Once we did get in though, we found piles of bodies of women and children. The "insurgents" had been dragging people in from the street and killing them. They had fully expected us to storm the place so they could blame the U.S. for killing so many innocents in a "place of worship".


Racial profiling is just crap.
I'm still waiting to hear your solution, o enlightened one.

Censport
22-01-05, 00:05
Fight nice, guys!
Bossel has been acting this way towards from the get-go. In the Left Vs. Right thread, all he kept saying was that I didn't know what I was talking about, but he never stepped up to the plate with any substantive discourse.

Besides, having worked for both Porsche and Mercedes, I'm not unaccustomed to German arrogance and how they talk down to Americans. ;-)

No-name
22-01-05, 00:27
It may be because our educational system doesn't meet German standards. :)

I've been following for a while, and I can't seem to figure out what the exact disagreement is. The documentary (which I haven't seen) says that al Qaeda is a threat of a different nature than portrayed by the United States. (I'm not certain that the Spanish would agree...) We keep talking about perceptions that are slightly different, but based on similar information. I may be inclined to believe that our reactions in curtailing civil liberties and our foreign escapades our counter productive to the war on terror. I may also be inclined to resent the dumping of resources into homeland security and war (especially while we are cutting taxes). Clarify please.

Forgive me for being dense. But clarify the points of dispute. Is anybody saying that we should simply forget the whole al Qaeda thing and go back to issuing (ineffective) sanctions? Who would you sanction for 9/11 or the train bombings? If it is about militant Islamacists- do we start some kind of religious war? (Greeeaat) Should we cancel the elections in Iraq? Should we just abandon Iraq, the Iraqis and the mess we created?

Duo
22-01-05, 03:08
I'm just sayin that al q. is not as big of a threat as it is made seem to be, the biggest threat is in people abiding to this new radical muslim ideology, and you can't prevent this with guns, you need a political solution and policy changes to resolve such threats.

bossel
22-01-05, 04:10
I believe if you look hard enough, you can find documentary evidence from some "authority" or another to support almost any position you wish to take.
That's true, actually. But if you look hard enough you usually can distinguish more or less reliability.


I cannot quote the sources because it would jam up those same sources
Can't say that I understand this sentence entirely. "Jam up" as in blocking?



Compared to what, the previous occupying force? Get real.
Which previous occupying force, the British in the 1920's?


There's an investigation underway as we speak. Don't blame me if it's not finished and published in time for me to respond to your post. There's this thing called patience. Look it up.
You showed quite some patience with your judgement that Germany, France & Russia didn't support the US in illegaly invading Iraq because they were corrupt.


Documented history. Carter got Sadat to the peace table, and Sadat was killed for that.
I don't see how this makes Carter responsible for Sadat's death. Same logic applied, you can say (with even better reason) that Bush is responsible for 9/11.


Wow, we went to trouble of traveling to other countries just to kill their innocent citizens? Sources?
Invading Iraq is a travel to you? Wow (again)!
Source:
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/


Never said they were. But they claimed responsibility for the ones I mentioned.
But some attacks don't make them a world wide network & such a big threat as the Bushites picture them.


So now we're planting evidence, is that what you're saying?
Not that I know of. Just interpreting the things in way that you can blame a big bad bogeyman & use this bogeyman to advance your geo-political aims.



You mean unless they have citizens that can still be controlled by fear.
The people in Fallujah were not really living in such a fear. Actually, it was more the other way round. Saddam never really got control over that area. That's why he even gave the tribes there a certain freedom & did them some favours. Just to keep them at bay.


Remember that mosque in Najaf they were holed up in for a while? Everybody was waiting for us to storm the place, but we never did. Once we did get in though, we found piles of bodies of women and children. The "insurgents" had been dragging people in from the street and killing them. They had fully expected us to storm the place so they could blame the U.S. for killing so many innocents in a "place of worship".
Maybe I'm going for the wrong event, but it seems you show your misinformation again. You're talking of the Sadr militias who occupied the Imam Ali Mosque? Then there are several points you are wrong in:

1) The Sadr militia is largely unrelated to the Sunni insurgents in Fallujah & since they are Shia most probably even more unrelated to the Baathists.
2) You didn't get in. It was the Iraqi police who entered there, after the US troops had pulled back & the militia had left.
3) There was one woman killed by the militia, I never heard of any children killed. An AP correspondent reported to have seen around 10 bodies. Iraqi police said they had been policeman & civilians, while the militia claimed them to be insurgents killed in the fighting.


I'm still waiting to hear your solution, o enlightened one.
Simply don't use racial profiling.


Bossel has been acting this way towards from the get-go. In the Left Vs. Right thread, all he kept saying was that I didn't know what I was talking about, but he never stepped up to the plate with any substantive discourse.
My very 1st post in that thread was in response to you wrongly claiming that no other country had such an issue with illegal immigration as the US. Which I corrected. Then I asked where you would see free market capitalism realised. Your response to my correction was what you'd probably call "condescending". Hence you can't really moan about me starting it, I just adapted to your style (as I usually adapt to those I talk to in discussions).

BTW, I'm still waiting for your enlightenment regarding what makes Tenncare exemplary for (which particular form of) socialism. You never showed that you had any knowledge of socialism beyond some buzz words.

Shooter452
22-01-05, 04:27
To put into a difficult situation.

When you get "jammed up" you are usually in serious trouble. That is what is meant by being in a "jackpot" also.

Sorry, but I talk like that and I forget that some people do not understand me. Thanks for your patience. Sometimes we forget that despite our differing points-of-view, we all intensely believe in what we believe. I hope that you guys all understand that despite my opinions, they are merely opinions. I know things, but not everything. I listen, I learn, I share. But I never assume that I am in position to judge...necessarily. In some things, I know more than you. In other things I am abyssmally ignorent.

'Know what I mean?

mad pierrot
22-01-05, 05:03
Why are the elections in Iraq a joke?

Ok, take a country that has been traditionally ruled by a theocratic despot for say, oh, the last few hundreds of years. Then throw in the a previous occupying force (Britian) to help build mistrust of foreigners. Now let's speed up to recent times. Your country is ruled by a brutal dictator. His key support has come from America. (I don't know if you know this, but many Iraqi's I know blame America for Saddam. Afterall, we did supply him with many of the weapons he used on his own people.) Next, your dictator is removed by the same outside force that supported him. This outside force also happens to be traditionally your enemey for the last 1,000 years or so. Now, this outside force want to place a new person in power. For your point of view, would you trust them? Since their arrival, your country has been destabilized. Basic amenities that were around under the dictator are no longer available. Moreover, the occupying force threatens some of your customs and offends your religious beliefs. At least the previous regime didn't do that. So, you are faced with a worse economic situation and standard of living, streets (ironically) are less safe then they were before, and even if you don't hate America by this point your options for choosing your own candidate, (one who will not bend to US interests) are zero.

Oh year, I forgot to mention this: Iraq is full of different ethnic and religious factions that have been fighting as long as anyone can remember. But wait! We've actually helped this situation! They're fighting less now! Instead, their putting aside their differences to fight us! Great, isn't it?

senseiman
23-01-05, 05:21
We also a larger active military than the other countries. Seondly, thank you for admitting that the conflict is only present in four spots of Iraq and not encompassing the entire country as the wolrd media would have us believe.

Yes, the US does have a larger military but that still doesn't explain the huge discrepency in forces if we are to understand it as a "coalition" in anything but name only. And yes, I do recognize that the conflict is present in only four of Iraq's provinces -- which contain more than 50% of Iraq's population.





Same way they did the last two times, with funding from bin Laden and his network of financiers. And, like last time, they would enter through that great champion of freedom in the world, Canada. Feel better about yourself?
Excuse me? NEWS FLASH: ALL 19 9/11 HIJACKERS WERE GRANTED VISAS BY US IMMIGRATION!!!!!! Feel better about yourself?




The UN ran at the first hint of danger.
First hint of danger? Like having their headquarters blown up and their cheif representative killed? Yes, cowards indeed.

You know, like Clinton with Somalia.

Hmmm...seems to me it was the Republicans shouting the loudest for US troops to get out of Somalia....




If the UN won't stop genocide, can't prevent wars, can't or won't provide humanitarian relief, then what purpose do they serve?
Please name one instance of genocide the Bush administration has stopped. Or a war they have prevented. They didn't stop genocide in Iraq or Afghanistan and they turned a stable country into a killing field in the former's case. As for providing humanitarian relief I'd refer you to the activities of UNICEF and the UN's lead role in organizing relief to Tsunami victims as examples.

Why do they still exist? The UN wanted to be in Iraq to keep an eye on "American atrocities", but things got a little too hot in the kitchen. Boo hoo.

I see, the UN wanted to be in Iraq to keep an eye on American atrocities? Exactly how many US atrocities did the UN report to the world during their stay in Iraq? Don't recall them saying a thing, which isn't surprising given the fact that the US, as a permanent member of the security council would have the ability to veto any UN mission that didn't accord with its own views. Its also surprising given the fact that the Bush administration WANTED the UN to stay. Why on earth would Bush want the UN to stay if, as you say they only wanted to be there to keep an eye on American atrocities, presumably with the purpose of embarassing the US?



Carter set the standard for appeasement and cowardice. Yes, I'm talking about the 444-day Iran hostage crisis which came about because Carter turned his back on the Shah, our questionable but reliable ally. Things have only gotten worse since then.

Interesting take on events, especially considering it was REAGAN who entered into negotiations with the hostage takers and later sent weapons to the Ayatollah's government in Iran. But Carter, who authorized military action against Iran to free the hostages is the one who set the standard for appeasement?


How many people, how many countries did he liberate from tyranny? How many regimes did he end?
How many countries did Nixon liberate? Or Bush for that matter, who has so far toppled two viscious dictatorships but only to replace them with violence, economic collapse and chaos that are arguably just as bad if not worse than the situation that existed before the US intervened.
Any progress in the Cold War? Nope. Haiti? Don't get me started. What did he do? He got Sadat killed, that's what. The one Egyptian who would sit down at the table with Israel. Carter barely protected his family from a rabbit. He shouldn't have been trusted with the country.


Things didn't get much better under Clinton. Terrorists bomb the WTC? Treat it like a criminal act and give the attorneys something to do. Prevent the CIA from connecting the dots. Take an enemy that's willing to kill themselves in an attack and threaten them with life in an American prison. Terrorists from the same group bomb US embassies abroad. Make a speech. Fire a missile. Get a hummer. Focus your AG on Bill Gates. Worked great, didn't it?

What exactly was Clinton supposed to do, fly off the handle and start invading countries even though the vast majority of the American public, not to mention the Republicans in congress, would have been opposed to such action? It was easy for Bush to make the case because 3,000 people had just been killed and the public was willing to go along with pretty much whatever he wanted. The political situation did not afford Clinton the same flexibility.


Or, you could topple a dictator who has a history of financing terror and invading his neighbors, preferably one who is violating a UN cease-fire agreement, and give the terrorists a place to die far from your citizens' homes and businesses.

1) Hussein's "history of financing terror" consisted of sending money to the widows of Suicide bombers who had attacked Israel. Did the US go to war to save Israelis from a bunch of old Palestinian women?

2) His history if invading his neighbors all occured while he was being supported by the US. Saddam even believed (obviously incorrectly) that his invasion of Kuwait had tacit US support. The Iraq that the US invaded in 2003 did not even have a functional air force. It posed a threat to nobody, as evidence by the fact that not a single one of Iraq's neighbors felt at all threatened by Saddam.

3) Giving terrorists a place to die far from your home is a pretty damned stupid rationale for the war, no offence intended. For one thing, Bin Ladin sitll has the money and the volunteers to send attackers against the US if he wants to. The collapse of the Iraqi government also meant that huge sums of money and weapons also found their way into the hands of terrorist who now have even more ways of reaching out and attacking America.

I'll repsond to the rest later,

senseiman
23-01-05, 09:07
Keep in mind that only 37% of colonists supported America's Revolutionary War in 1776.

That is true, but would that not be a stronger argument AGAINST the US staying in Iraq, as it seems to argue that despite the low support for the insurgency outside of the Sunni community the rebels may prevail in the long run? Like the British in the late 18th century, won't the Americans simply get tired of fighting a costly, apparently unwinnable war that provides them with no concrete returns?


In '81, Israel bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq without provocation and was condemned by everyone, including Reagan. (They even did it on a Sunday to minimize the body count. It worked: Only one French scientist was killed.)

Yes! It worked! Proving what exactly? Earlier in this very same post you were condemning Clinton for using air strikes, but here you are a few lines later praising Israel for doing the same thing. Yet another internal contradiction in your arguments.


The anti-war voices in this country were loud and clear against our fighting Germany prior to 1941, as they had never attacked us.

Yes, the big difference being that Germany actually posed a legitimate threat to the US whereas Saddam didn't even pose a threat to the Kurdish rebels that had set up an autonomous government within Iraq's own borders, let alone to anyone outside the country.


Just because something is unpopular or difficult, doesn't mean it's wrong or not worth doing.

This is true as well. It isn't the fact that the war is unpopular or difficult that makes it wrong. There are plenty of other reasons. Its not hard to make the case that a war that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, laid entire cities to waste, destroyed the economy of an entire country, turned public sentiment across the world against the US and cost 200 billion dollars so far is wrong, given that the original justification for the war has proven to be completely wrong. A simple look a the cost/benefit ratio should reveal the war as the worst folly since Vietnam. The only benefit one can think of from this war is that Saddam will face justice. You could make the case that bringing democracy to Iraq is another benefit, though that is a project whose future is at best very uncertain at this point.

Afghanistan and Iraq are only in their teething stage, and we're not done there. It's going to take a while and it won't be easy. But impossible or a joke? No.

The teething stage is a bit of an understatement. It'll probably take a full generation for the damage caused (and the damage yet to come) to be undone. If I were an Iraqi, I think I would have preferred the status quo.

bossel
23-01-05, 18:31
When you get "jammed up" you are usually in serious trouble. That is what is meant by being in a "jackpot" also.
Interesting, never heard of that meaning. Thanks for the explanation!


In some things, I know more than you. In other things I am abyssmally ignorent.
Well, I suppose, those words count for pretty much every human being. I'm interested in quite a lot of things, but still "abysmally ignorant" of others.

Censport
24-01-05, 17:54
Excuse me? NEWS FLASH: ALL 19 9/11 HIJACKERS WERE GRANTED VISAS BY US IMMIGRATION!!!!!! Feel better about yourself?
I'm not saying mistakes weren't made on our side. The difference is OUR policies have changed since then. Changed enough? No. Are we seeing any help from Canada?


First hint of danger? Like having their headquarters blown up and their cheif representative killed? Yes, cowards indeed.

Exactly. They don't know how to tough it out.


Hmmm...seems to me it was the Republicans shouting the loudest for US troops to get out of Somalia....
Why, those war-mongering Republicans!


Please name one instance of genocide the Bush administration has stopped. Or a war they have prevented. They didn't stop genocide in Iraq or Afghanistan and they turned a stable country into a killing field in the former's case.
Didn't stop genocide in Iraq? Ask the Kurds.


As for providing humanitarian relief I'd refer you to the activities of UNICEF and the UN's lead role in organizing relief to Tsunami victims as examples.
:lol: OH MY GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT!!! :lol:
A little reading for you:
No relief for the Lincoln (http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=DefenseWatch.db&command=viewone&op=t&id=762&rnd=573.4574367016919)
UN Rushes Condoms to Tsunami Victims (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/1/9/100232.shtml)
And my favorite -
The USA responds, and the UN? (http://diplomadic.blogspot.com/)
"the UN's lead role..." Hahahaha! What, twenty days after the US military had already been providing relief?!? Oh yeah, great leadership.


I see, the UN wanted to be in Iraq to keep an eye on American atrocities? Exactly how many US atrocities did the UN report to the world during their stay in Iraq? Don't recall them saying a thing, which isn't surprising given the fact that the US, as a permanent member of the security council would have the ability to veto any UN mission that didn't accord with its own views. Its also surprising given the fact that the Bush administration WANTED the UN to stay. Why on earth would Bush want the UN to stay if, as you say they only wanted to be there to keep an eye on American atrocities, presumably with the purpose of embarassing the US?
Okay, so it wasn't their sole official purpose, but there are certainly those in the UN (and CNN/CBS/BBC, etc.) who would be more than happy to publicize any such occurances. (What was the name of that prison again? Abu-something, I'm sure you've got it memorized....) Besides, we were still under the impression that the UN was still good at humanitarian work. Silly us...


Interesting take on events, especially considering it was REAGAN who entered into negotiations with the hostage takers and later sent weapons to the Ayatollah's government in Iran.
How did Reagan enter into negotiations? The outgoing Cater people told the Iranians that a new administration was coming in January, and that negotiations would have to begin anew, and the next guy wasn't known for taking crap. As Reagan was walking down the inaugural parade route, the news reporters announced that the hostages were being freed. So Reagan was president what, 45 minutes? Amazing negotiation skills. I wonder if he used the same technique during the Air Traffic Controller strike?


How many countries did Nixon liberate? Or Bush for that matter, who has so far toppled two viscious dictatorships but only to replace them with violence, economic collapse and chaos that are arguably just as bad if not worse than the situation that existed before the US intervened.
There was no call for Nixon to liberate any countries. The Vietnam War was so unpopular, and so pourly run before he inherited it, that there was nothing he could do to within even two terms to win it. And even if he could've, by the time he had it wouldn't have mattered to anyone but the Vietnamese.

And just how fast do you expect peace and prosperity to grow after a war? It took Germany and Japan decades to get back on their feet. It will take more than a few months for stability to return to that region. Just because it hasn't happened already, doesn't mean it never will.


What exactly was Clinton supposed to do, fly off the handle and start invading countries even though the vast majority of the American public, not to mention the Republicans in congress, would have been opposed to such action? ... The political situation did not afford Clinton the same flexibility.
Political situation? You mean the public opinion polls that decided everything down to where the Clintons went on vacation?

No, what Clinton wasn't supposed to do was tie the CIA's hands. But that's exactly what he did. From keeping the CIA's counter-terrorism division out of the investigation to passing legislation which prevented our intelligence agencies from getting info from "unsavory characters" to Jamie Gorelick's intelligence "wall", preventing agencies from sharing information, Clinton made al-Qaeda's mission a lot easier. Maybe build up and de-regulate our intelligence resources? Yeah, he coulda done that. And that could've prevented our current situation in more ways than one. More on that in a moment.


1) Hussein's "history of financing terror" consisted of sending money to the widows of Suicide bombers who had attacked Israel. Did the US go to war to save Israelis from a bunch of old Palestinian women?
It wasn't "old Palestinian women" who were strapping bombs on themselves and blowing up Israelis. IT WAS THEIR SONS. Nice attempt to put a "basket of puppies" face on terrorism. Ever thought of working PR for al-Jazeera?


2) His history if invading his neighbors all occured while he was being supported by the US. Saddam even believed (obviously incorrectly) that his invasion of Kuwait had tacit US support. The Iraq that the US invaded in 2003 did not even have a functional air force. It posed a threat to nobody, as evidence by the fact that not a single one of Iraq's neighbors felt at all threatened by Saddam.
Once again, you're expecting the US to be clairvoyant when it comes to foreign policy (and everything else). Our previous support of Hussein was when we faced a greater foe. Oh well. I promise we'll never help Saddam attack another country ever again. :)


3) Giving terrorists a place to die far from your home is a pretty damned stupid rationale for the war, no offence intended. For one thing, Bin Ladin sitll has the money and the volunteers to send attackers against the US if he wants to. The collapse of the Iraqi government also meant that huge sums of money and weapons also found their way into the hands of terrorist who now have even more ways of reaching out and attacking America.
Have you ever considered the alternative? Our enemy was spread out to 60 countries. A few dozen here, a half-dozen there. What were we going to do? Send our military to each country and go door-to-door? Have a horribly time-consuming process of diplomatic tap-dancing with each country, either to allow our men to find and kill the terrorists on their soil or have them do the work for us? One, that would've taken longer. Dangerously longer. Two, we didn't have the resources. Remember, we'd have to use the same CIA that told us Saddam had stockpiles of WMDs. How confident does that make you now?


Yes! It worked! Proving what exactly? Earlier in this very same post you were condemning Clinton for using air strikes, but here you are a few lines later praising Israel for doing the same thing. Yet another internal contradiction in your arguments.
I wasn't condemning Clinton for using air strikes. I was condemning him for using only air strikes.


Its not hard to make the case that a war that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, laid entire cities to waste, destroyed the economy of an entire country, turned public sentiment across the world against the US and cost 200 billion dollars so far is wrong, given that the original justification for the war has proven to be completely wrong.
Nothing has been proven either way on the WMD issue. The UN inspectors were there to determine if Saddam had lived up to his claim of having destroyed his WMDs. They never found the WMDs, but they also never found any evidence that he had destroyed them.


If I were an Iraqi, I think I would have preferred the status quo.
How nice of you to speak for the Iraqi people. I'm sure they appreciate it. Let's check in with an actual Iraqi, eh?
Naseer Flayih Hasan (http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=16513)

Censport
24-01-05, 18:16
Is anybody saying that we should simply forget the whole al Qaeda thing and go back to issuing (ineffective) sanctions? Who would you sanction for 9/11 or the train bombings? If it is about militant Islamacists- do we start some kind of religious war? (Greeeaat) Should we cancel the elections in Iraq? Should we just abandon Iraq, the Iraqis and the mess we created?
Good questons. You should start a poll.

I think sanctioning would be impossible. Ineffective, too. BTW, anybody have the latest on what actions Spain has taken on the train bombings?

No religious wars. War is bad enough to go through, adding "holiness" to it would divide the world further. It's bad enough the other side already thinks they're fighting a holy war.

Absolutely not on cancelling the elections or abandoning Iraq. It's imperative that we help the Iraqis get their country back up and running.

No-name
24-01-05, 18:38
Did someone say Haiti? How many times in the last century did we invade Haiti to "restore" democracy? How successful were we at giving the Haitians this gift? How do the Haitians percieve these invasions? (Extrapolation to situation in Iraq. What are the chances that this little adventure will end in freedom, democracy and good will to Uncle Sam?)

Just heard that Congress is raising the price on bin Laden's head to $50 million dollars. The Saudis and the Yemenis and possibly the Kenyans also have some reward money.
Does anyone know where we can find him? Anyone for a field trip?

Censport
24-01-05, 18:54
Which previous occupying force, the British in the 1920's?

No, I was thinking of the guy that threatened beheadings if he people didn't vote for him. Sounds more like occupation by force than what we're doing.


You showed quite some patience with your judgement that Germany, France & Russia didn't support the US in illegaly invading Iraq because they were corrupt.
Thanks! I wanted to start before the investigation was even thought of. It took great restraint to wait this long.... ;-)


I don't see how this makes Carter responsible for Sadat's death. Same logic applied, you can say (with even better reason) that Bush is responsible for 9/11.
You call that logic?!? How did you get from one to the other, GPS?


Invading Iraq is a travel to you? Wow (again)!
So you're saying that we invaded Iraq for the sole purpose of killing its innocent civilains? That was what I had asked for examples of, so if that's your example, you've got a pretty sick sense of reality.


But some attacks don't make them a world wide network & such a big threat as the Bushites picture them.
So how big a threat would you like it to grow into before action is taken?


Not that I know of. Just interpreting the things in way that you can blame a big bad bogeyman & use this bogeyman to advance your geo-political aims.
Ah, like blaming neo-cons? "Ignore the man behind the green curtain...."


The people in Fallujah were not really living in such a fear. Actually, it was more the other way round. Saddam never really got control over that area. That's why he even gave the tribes there a certain freedom & did them some favours. Just to keep them at bay.
Sources?


Maybe I'm going for the wrong event, but it seems you show your misinformation again. You're talking of the Sadr militias who occupied the Imam Ali Mosque? Then there are several points you are wrong in:

1) The Sadr militia is largely unrelated to the Sunni insurgents in Fallujah & since they are Shia most probably even more unrelated to the Baathists.
2) You didn't get in. It was the Iraqi police who entered there, after the US troops had pulled back & the militia had left.
3) There was one woman killed by the militia, I never heard of any children killed. An AP correspondent reported to have seen around 10 bodies. Iraqi police said they had been policeman & civilians, while the militia claimed them to be insurgents killed in the fighting.
That could be the same event. I'm working from memory here.

1) Relation, shlamation. If you go up against the US military in Iraq, don't expect them to take the time to read your name tag.
2) It was a cleric who got them to stand down. We followed. We still refrained from storming the mosque.
3) Only ten? Oh well, then no big deal. Is that what you're saying? How many would've been enough for you?


Simply don't use racial profiling.
That's our current plan, and it isn't working. Just look to the first page of this thread for a couple of examples.


You never showed that you had any knowledge of socialism beyond some buzz words.
You left the thread, so I didn't follow up with any Tenncare articles. Also, telling someone "You obviously don't know what you're talking about" sounds pretty condescending. If you're going to say something like that, then that's your cue to step up and define socialism. After all, if you're gonna claim to have more knowledge on a subject.... prove it.

Censport
24-01-05, 19:01
Did someone say Haiti? How many times in the last century did we invade Haiti to "restore" democracy? How successful were we at giving the Hatians this gift? How do the Hatians percieve these invasions? (Extrapolation to situation in Iraq. What are the chances that this little adventure will end in freedom, democracy and good will to Uncle Sam?)

Just heard that Congress is raising the price on bin Laden's head to $50 million dollars. The Saudis and the Yemenis and possibly the Kenyans also have some reward money.
Does anyone know where we can find him? Anyone for a field trip?
We've been to Haiti too many times. I hear Carter has a suite in his name...

There's no guarantees about Iraq, other than the odds are better now than they were with Saddam's sons inheriting power.

Quick, what's $50 million after taxes?!?!? Enough to get a couple more bikes, I hope.

Heard on the news that we captured someone responsible for 75% of the car bombings in Iraq. Anybody wanna defend his rights to interrogation without torture?

No-name
24-01-05, 23:17
When Yousef what's his name had a $2 million price tag on his head, I could not believe that he wasn't caught faster. For $50 million, you should be able to find almost anyone (except maybe that guy Carl that lives under the bridge in the wash behing the 7-11).

You could spend lots of dough and still have plenty left over. Does it seem reasonable that if some ignorant American spent lots of money in and around Pakistan and Afganistan that Bin Laden could be found? I suppose you would have to have cash, and IOU's don't count. You would also need a plan, and some knowledge of the region, people, culture, politics... or you could pay someone with knowlege.

I would argue against torturing Sami ...al Jaaf, primarily because you won't get the highest quality information (unless there is some time constraint.) On the other hand, I won't lose much sleep if some un-justifiable unethical behavior turns up later.

Whatever happened to the Taliban leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar?

I also hear that Ayman al-Ziwahiri is actually more dangerous than bin Laden, that bin-Laden was more of a spokesman and poster boy than a leader.

mad pierrot
24-01-05, 23:47
Damn. Lots to reply to here. I wish I wasn't at work. :)

You'll here from me later.

babar-san
25-01-05, 04:01
i just read the article you posted bossel, it re affirmed my belief that the us government is living in a "fantasy" land surrounding the events mentioned. i have long felt that there was an underlying tone of distrust involving the current administration, and bush's personal endeavors and goals. i guess the phrase to best describe the tone would be, "blowing the situation well out of proportion, to gain popularity among american voters and countries abroad.
bush's Inaugural address last week made it very clear, without saying so directly, that he was planning to make a global stronghold centered around american beliefs and values. i thought to myself after hearing the address, how absurd, who buys into this crap? apparently, less than i anticipated. our traditional allies, (not all) are among those that feel that bush's re-ellection is a threat to world peace, while india, the philipines, and poland, were the only nations who felt completely content with bush's re-ellection and policy making. hmmmm.....suprisingly, or not suprisingly, however you want to view it, Not long ago, the American dream was a global fantasy. Not only Americans saw themselves as a beacon unto nations. So did much of the rest of the world. East Europeans tuned into Radio Free Europe. Chinese students erected a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Tiananmen Square, but the undelying realism of american ideals spreading accross the globe was undoubtedly shot down after the bbc polls came in. they speak for themselves. 70 percent of all nations excluding the nations mentioned above do not adhear to the idea of american ideals spreading into their countries. hmmmmmm......you can draw your own conclusions.
here is an interesting article i found on msnbc, that parallels the article that bossel posted in many ways. hope you enjoy > http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6857387/site/newsweek

senseiman
25-01-05, 05:57
I'm not saying mistakes weren't made on our side. The difference is OUR policies have changed since then. Changed enough? No. Are we seeing any help from Canada?

No, you were just trying to lay the blame for terrorist getting into the US on Canada's doorstep. Canada HAS changed its immigration policies since 9/11 BTW.



Exactly. They don't know how to tough it out.

Tough it out? The UN presence in Iraq was a civilian one, they don't have a huge army to protect them like the US. So it isn't really surprising that they, like every other foreign civilian organization, withdrew from Iraq when the violence got out of hand.



Why, those war-mongering Republicans!

You were the one criticizing Clinton for withdrawing from Somalia. The Republicans (whom you seem to be supporting here) were in favor of withdrawing too and in fact were the most vocal in doing so. So which party is the coward, exactly? The Democrats for supporting withdrawal from Somalia or the Republicans for....supporting withdrawal from Somalia? I don't follow your logic at all.



Didn't stop genocide in Iraq? Ask the Kurds. These would be the same Kurds who had set up an autonomous government in northern Iraq and had US and British warplanes protecting them? The same Kurds who Saddam's forces hadn't fired a shot at in over a decade? The invasion saved them from genocide? I'm sure that would be news to them.



"the UN's lead role..." Hahahaha! What, twenty days after the US military had already been providing relief?!? Oh yeah, great leadership.

What do you expect, exactly? The UN to send its navy to Sumatra? They dont' have a military. Its an international organization whose role is to COORDINATE relief assistance, the actual job of providing immediate assistance is dependent on the contributions of member states. While the US can take all the publicity from having its helicopters drop supplies on the victims while the tsunami is still a hot topic on the news, in the coming years when these people are going to have to rebuild their homes and lives its the UN that is going to be playing a lead role in helping them.



Okay, so it wasn't their sole official purpose, but there are certainly those in the UN (and CNN/CBS/BBC, etc.) who would be more than happy to publicize any such occurances. (What was the name of that prison again? Abu-something, I'm sure you've got it memorized....) Besides, we were still under the impression that the UN was still good at humanitarian work. Silly us...

So...now it was the UN that broke the Abu Ghraib torture scandal? Funny, I thought it was the American media that did that.






There was no call for Nixon to liberate any countries.

I see. So there was no call for Nixon to liberate any countries but - if we are to follow your logic - there were pressing calls for Carter to liberate countries that he failed to heed. So this just begs the question as to what exactly happened in the world between Nixon's leaving office in 1974 and Carter's taking over in January of 1977 that caused this radical change of circumstances. And, indeed I might ask why president Ford isn't singled out by you for criticism as a lot of these earth shaking changes must have occured on his watch.

I'm a little confused about how you arrive at these conclusions. Was Carter supposed to liberate Iran by invading it and giving the Shah - who was every bit as viscious a dictator as Saddam Hussein - back his throne? Interesting definition of 'liberation', if that is what you were trying to get at.



And just how fast do you expect peace and prosperity to grow after a war? It took Germany and Japan decades to get back on their feet. It will take more than a few months for stability to return to that region. Just because it hasn't happened already, doesn't mean it never will.

This is exactly what I meant when I said it would probably take a generation for Iraq to recover from the damage inflicted on it. What you have just written above supports what I was saying and I find it amusing that you feel it somehow contradicts my point.

While what you have just written conforms to my own opinion, it directly contradicts the statements of the Bush administration in the run up to the invasion when they predicted Iraq would, in fact, make a speedy recovery from the war. Wolfowitz even predicted that the US wouldn't need to spend any money on reconstruction as the Iraqi economy would be healthy enough to rebuild itself.






It wasn't "old Palestinian women" who were strapping bombs on themselves and blowing up Israelis. IT WAS THEIR SONS. Nice attempt to put a "basket of puppies" face on terrorism. Ever thought of working PR for al-Jazeera?

I'm not trying to put a nice face on terrorism, I'm trying to take a rationale look at things. The point in question wasn't 'who is killing Israelis', you were talking about Saddam's alleged financing of terrorism as a rationale for invading Iraq. Saddam didn't give money or weapons to terror groups, he in fact just gave money to "old Palestinian women", as I said above. I'm not defending Saddam's action, it probably did act as an indirect incentive for people to volunteer for suicide attacks that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians. But strictly speaking as a rationale for the US to start a war that has so far claimed tens of thousands of lives, including over 1300 US troops it is pretty damned thin.



Once again, you're expecting the US to be clairvoyant when it comes to foreign policy (and everything else). Our previous support of Hussein was when we faced a greater foe. Oh well. I promise we'll never help Saddam attack another country ever again. :)

I'm not expecting anyone to be clairvoyant. I'm just asking you to take a rationale look at what you are saying. You said said Saddam's history of invading other countries provided a legitimate rationale for invading Iraq because it was an indication of what kind of threat he posed. Look at the history. Saddam invaded two countries, Iran and Kuwait, during his rule. He did so at the height of his power while he was a US client state (though he quickly lost that status after invading Kuwait). I'm not mentioning the fact that he was a US client state at the time as a way of criticizing the US, I only mention it because it is relevant as an indicator of Saddam's power. In the 12 years between the destruction of his army in the Gulf war and the invasion in 2003, Saddam posed a threat to no one. He had no air force or navy to speak of, his army was equipped with Soviet weapons from the 1960s for which he could import no replacements or spare parts. Meanwhile all of his neighbors that the US cared about (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan) had upgraded their military power with the latest US equipment. Even if we accept that Saddam may have had WMDs the case is extremely weak. For one thing it was a known fact that 95% of his weapons had either been destroyed or decayed beyond use. There was a certain amount of suspiscion that he may have kept some of the unnacounted weapons or developed new ones, but it was also known that even in the worst case scenario whatever WMD Saddam may have possesed would NOT have been significant enough to alter the military balance in the region. His only possible motivation for seeking them would have been for defensive purposes and even in that narrow field they would have been of limited use.

So given that he no longer had the ability to invade anyone (even the Kurdish regions within Iraq's old borders), how is his history of invading other countries at all relevant to the US invasion of Iraq? It didn't defeat an existing threat and with sanctions and no fly zones in place there was no reasonable concern that he would become a threat in the forseeable future. The argument is completely superfluous.



Have you ever considered the alternative? Our enemy was spread out to 60 countries. A few dozen here, a half-dozen there. What were we going to do? Send our military to each country and go door-to-door? Have a horribly time-consuming process of diplomatic tap-dancing with each country, either to allow our men to find and kill the terrorists on their soil or have them do the work for us? One, that would've taken longer. Dangerously longer. Two, we didn't have the resources. Remember, we'd have to use the same CIA that told us Saddam had stockpiles of WMDs. How confident does that make you now?

So...the answer is to invade a country that doesn't harbor terrorists with the deliberate purpose of attracting terrorists to that country so that you can kill them? And at the same time you are supposedly trying to promote democracy and freedom in that country? And this doesn't strike you as being at all contradictory?


I wasn't condemning Clinton for using air strikes. I was condemning him for using only air strikes.






How nice of you to speak for the Iraqi people. I'm sure they appreciate it. Let's check in with an actual Iraqi, eh?


Excuse me but I was quite specific in stating that I was speaking for myself, unlike the Bush administration which felt so comfortable speaking for the Iraqis that they went ahead and invaded their country for them. The Iraqi people are quite capable of speaking for themselves. I just happen to notice that the 80% of them who want the US troops out of their country agree with me.

Censport
25-01-05, 20:42
No, you were just trying to lay the blame for terrorist getting into the US on Canada's doorstep. Canada HAS changed its immigration policies since 9/11 BTW.
I wasn't laying all the blame on your country's doorstep, that's putting words in my mouth. I just reminded you of how they got here.


Tough it out? The UN presence in Iraq was a civilian one,
What about the civilian contractors, truck drivers, construction workers, teachers, etc.? What about the civilian media? How many news organizations were in that same building?


You were the one criticizing Clinton for withdrawing from Somalia. The Republicans (whom you seem to be supporting here) were in favor of withdrawing too and in fact were the most vocal in doing so. So which party is the coward, exactly? The Democrats for supporting withdrawal from Somalia or the Republicans for....supporting withdrawal from Somalia? I don't follow your logic at all.
Then you're not paying attention. I never claimed to be in lock-step agreement with every Republican in congress. Stop trying to hold me accountable for the words of other Republicans.


These would be the same Kurds who had set up an autonomous government in northern Iraq and had US and British warplanes protecting them? The same Kurds who Saddam's forces hadn't fired a shot at in over a decade? The invasion saved them from genocide? I'm sure that would be news to them.
Was Saddam in power? Yes. Who was going to have the power after him? His murdering, rapist sons. As long as the Husseins had power, the threat was there.


What do you expect, exactly? The UN to send its navy to Sumatra? They dont' have a military. Its an international organization whose role is to COORDINATE relief assistance, the actual job of providing immediate assistance is dependent on the contributions of member states.
You clearly didn't read a single one of those articles. What I expect is for the UN to make immediate use of the helicopters provided to it and postpone the photo ops, delegate-hosting, condom distribution and worrying about their hotel's catering until AFTER they've saved some lives! What the UN has is a bunch of pompous, spoiled blowhards who are in love with their authority and status in the world community, and productive results apparently come second to all that.


So...now it was the UN that broke the Abu Ghraib torture scandal? Funny, I thought it was the American media that did that.
Now you're not reading my posts.
(and CNN/CBS/BBC, etc.)


I see. So there was no call for Nixon to liberate any countries but - if we are to follow your logic - there were pressing calls for Carter to liberate countries that he failed to heed.
Nixon didn't lobby for a Nobel Peace Prize or go around pretending to be a great man of peace. Did Nixon travel the globe overseeing dubious elections? Carter did and does exactly that.


So this just begs the question as to what exactly happened in the world between Nixon's leaving office in 1974 and Carter's taking over in January of 1977 that caused this radical change of circumstances. And, indeed I might ask why president Ford isn't singled out by you for criticism as a lot of these earth shaking changes must have occured on his watch.
Gee, sounds like you've already got all the answers. Time to step up to the plate...


I'm a little confused about how you arrive at these conclusions. Was Carter supposed to liberate Iran by invading it and giving the Shah - who was every bit as viscious a dictator as Saddam Hussein - back his throne? Interesting definition of 'liberation', if that is what you were trying to get at.
No, Carter wasn't supposed to create a problem by waffling back and forth between supporting him and pressing for reform. Make a decision and stick with it, that's what a leader does.

In the Spring of '78, Carter had three choices ahead of him:

-Back the Shah to the hilt as the policeman of the Persian Gulf: The traditional U.S. policy.

-Disassociate the United States from the Shah and seek a dialogue with Khomeini and other radical Moslems in the region.

-Continue to support the Shah while pressing Tehran and other governments for reform.

So what did Carter do? Shortly after the Shah declared martial law, President Carter called him to voice support. In November of 1978, security advisor Brzezinski called the Shah from the Iranian embassy in Washington to express his assurance that the United States would "back him to the hilt". Late in December, Carter dispatched the aircraft carrier Constellation to the Indian Ocean. Then Carter countermanded his own order. He then tried to press the Shah for some lucrative deals. Carter started by pressuring the Shah to release "political prisoners" including known terrorists and to put an end to military tribunals. The newly released terrorists would be tried under civil jurisdiction with the Marxist/Islamists using these trials as a platform for agitation and propaganda. Then there was a formal country-to-country demand that the Shah sign a 50-year oil agreement with the US to supply oil at a fixed price of $8 a barrel.

Ramsey Clark, who served as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson, held a press conference where he reported on a trip to Iran and a Paris visit with Khomeni. He urged the US government to take no action to help the Shah so that Iran "could determine its own fate." Clark played a behind-the-scenes role influencing members of Congress to not get involved in the crisis. Perhaps UN Ambassador Andrew Young best expressed the thinking of the left at the time when he stated that, if successful, Khomeni would "eventually be hailed as a saint."

Now while most of Iran didn't want extremist Khomeni to come to power, Carter responded that Khomeni was a religious man -as he himself claimed to be- and that he knew how to talk to a man of God. Carter's mistaken assessment of Khomeni was encouraged by advisors with a desire to form an Islamic "Green belt" to contain atheist Soviet expansion with the religious fervor of Islam. Eventually, all 30 of the scenarios on Iran presented to Carter by his intelligence agencies proved wrong and totally misjudged Khomeni as a person and as a political entity. Khomeni was allowed to seize power in Iran and, as a result, we are now reaping the harvest of anti-American fanaticism and extremism.

Did Carter try to negotiate the release of the hostages? Yes, he tried to arrange the release to coincide with the November 1980 elections. Talk about your October surprises!

But hey, what do I know? I only lived through it.


This is exactly what I meant when I said it would probably take a generation for Iraq to recover from the damage inflicted on it.

Ah, it must've been somebody else complaining that Iraq was devastated and that the idea of starting democracy there was a joke.


While what you have just written conforms to my own opinion, it directly contradicts the statements of the Bush administration in the run up to the invasion when they predicted Iraq would, in fact, make a speedy recovery from the war. Wolfowitz even predicted that the US wouldn't need to spend any money on reconstruction as the Iraqi economy would be healthy enough to rebuild itself.
Okay, they made an error. And you're helping how, exactly?


I'm not trying to put a nice face on terrorism,
Yes you are.


I'm trying to take a rationale look at things. The point in question wasn't 'who is killing Israelis', you were talking about Saddam's alleged financing of terrorism as a rationale for invading Iraq. Saddam didn't give money or weapons to terror groups,
Yes he did.


I'm not defending Saddam's action, it probably did act as an indirect incentive for people to volunteer for suicide attacks that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.
Indirect?!? Oh that's right, their main incentive was killing Jews. The fact that Ma got $25,000 compensation... well, I guess that was the icing on the cake, eh?


But strictly speaking as a rationale for the US to start a war that has so far claimed tens of thousands of lives, including over 1300 US troops it is pretty damned thin.
Then you'll be comforted to know that Saddam had relationships with al-Qaeda members. Well, not in the Biblical or Michael Jackson sense...


In the 12 years between the destruction of his army in the Gulf war and the invasion in 2003, Saddam posed a threat to no one.
Except the ability to harbor and finance terrorists.


He had no air force or navy to speak of, his army was equipped with Soviet weapons from the 1960s for which he could import no replacements or spare parts.
Oh really? According to the military, Congresswoman (-person?) Marsha Blackburn, and my own (admittedly anecdotal) sources, we've destroyed over 400,000 tons of weapons that Saddam had that wasn't allowed under the '91 UN cease-fire agreement.


For one thing it was a known fact that 95% of his weapons had either been destroyed or decayed beyond use.
Wrong. Statements and known facts are two different things. Saddam stated that he had WMDs then stated he had destroyed them. The UN inspectors couldn't find any evidence that he had destroyed them, nor could they find them (in mass quantities, anyway). The question is: Where the *%&$ are they now?


His only possible motivation for seeking them would have been for defensive purposes
Or to pay the Kurds another visit.


So...the answer is to invade a country that doesn't harbor terrorists with the deliberate purpose of attracting terrorists to that country so that you can kill them?
He in fact did have a history of harboring terrorists and financing them.


The Iraqi people are quite capable of speaking for themselves. I just happen to notice that the 80% of them who want the US troops out of their country agree with me.
Which is why I posted the article you didn't read from that Iraqi and what he thinks of your political ilk. Also, I posted the article earlier about 80% of Iraqis strongly wanting those awful free elections we imposed on them. Maybe that's the same 80% that wants the US military to leave? Could be, since the fastest way to get the US military out is, as I stated before, to get their country up and productive again. But then does that mean that the 20% that wants the US military to stay are the ones fighting them? Think they took time out to answer a poll? And if that 80% are the want both free elections and US troop withdrawal, what are they planning to do, fight the terrorists -ah, insurgents- themselves? Where is your logic coming from?

By the way, McGovern was completely wrong about Vietnam, and you're sounding exactly like him.

No-name
25-01-05, 22:52
I think we can all agree that Sadam was a bad guy. A very bad guy.

But ties to al-Qaeda? Osama hated Sadam and said so in a couple of taped addresses. Sadam was definitely from the wrong end of Islam, and according to bin Laden, he was too tolerant of Jews and other infidels within his borders. Many of the islamacists are shiites, and they haven't forgotten or forgiven the war with Iran or the attacks and massacres after the gulf war. Getting rid of Hussein was good news for Bin Laden.

I'm uncertain about what you think we should have done with Vietnam? Are you saying that that war was right and we should still be there fighting? Are you saying that Kerry didn't actually see what he says he saw, or that he should not have spoken against the war. Is this a my country right or wrong kind of thing? Remember that it was a Republican that cleaned up the mess that two democrats got us into.

My mom always told me not to leave a mess. If you make a mess, clean it up. Withdrawing from Iraq right now would be irresponsible. Dr. Rice said that we need to fix things, to widen support and our coalition with our allies in support of a new Iraq... and I am unable to disagree.

Censport
25-01-05, 23:00
I'm uncertain about what you think we should have done with Vietnam? Are you saying that that war was right and we should still be there fighting?
I'm saying it should have been won before LBJ left office.


Are you saying that Kerry didn't actually see what he says he saw,
Yes.


or that he should not have spoken against the war.
No. If he really saw, first-hand, what he said, then yes, he should've testified. But testifying about what someone else said they saw or did? Even Mark Geragos could win a case against that.


My mom always told me not to leave a mess. If you make a mess, clean it up.
Mine too! Just don't tell her about my desk.... :blush:

No-name
25-01-05, 23:12
I'm saying it should have been won before LBJ left office.

Oh if only it were so....

Yes.

No. If he really saw, first-hand, what he said, then yes, he should've testified. But testifying about what someone else said they saw or did? Even Mark Geragos could win a case against that.

Fair enough. Domo Arigato.


Mine too! Just don't tell her about my desk.... :blush:
I don't have to clean my desk until I die. I haven't left it yet.

Censport
25-01-05, 23:36
Here's another article for those who consider themselves experts on Nixon:

Nixon foresaw terrorist attacks (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050123-112456-3780r.htm)

I found the comment about Giuliani in the last paragraph especially interesting.

senseiman
26-01-05, 07:42
This will be my last post here, I don't have the time to carry on. Feel free to get the last word in though.


I wasn't laying all the blame on your country's doorstep, that's putting words in my mouth. I just reminded you of how they got here.
And exactly how many of the hijackers entered the US through Canada?






Then you're not paying attention. I never claimed to be in lock-step agreement with every Republican in congress. Stop trying to hold me accountable for the words of other Republicans.

OK, so you just think that everyone who supported withdrawing from Somalia is a coward (which is what you called Clinton)? That means that pretty much every US politician must be a coward, does it not?



Was Saddam in power? Yes. Who was going to have the power after him? His murdering, rapist sons. As long as the Husseins had power, the threat was there.

Yes but seeing as how there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that the US would end the no fly zones if Saddam's sons took over its kind of besides the point, isn't it? The US controlled the skies and could effectively deter any military incursions into the Kurdish areas. Unless the US relinquished that control, and there is no reason to believe they ever would, the Kurds were safe.



You clearly didn't read a single one of those articles. What I expect is for the UN to make immediate use of the helicopters provided to it and postpone the photo ops, delegate-hosting, condom distribution and worrying about their hotel's catering until AFTER they've saved some lives! What the UN has is a bunch of pompous, spoiled blowhards who are in love with their authority and status in the world community, and productive results apparently come second to all that.

You've got a point there, the UN certainly does have alot of problems. But just about any powerful body, including the US government for that matter, is going to be run by a bunch of "pompous, spoiled blowhards who are in love with their authority and status" so I don't see why it is fair to single out the UN for criticism here.



Now you're not reading my posts.

I'm reading them, but I'm just not following your thinking very well. Why did you even bring up Abu Ghraib in a paragraph about the UN's allegedly seeking to uncover US atrocities if you weren't trying to imply that they had something to do with that? It seemed to me that was your purpose, which I found a bit misleading. I may be mistaken though.



Nixon didn't lobby for a Nobel Peace Prize or go around pretending to be a great man of peace. Did Nixon travel the globe overseeing dubious elections? Carter did and does exactly that.

Actually Nixon did do a lot of globe trotting in his role as an elder statesman after he left office too. If you don't like Carter's grandstanding I can understand that but I don't see how you can fault Carter for trying to make a difference in his retirement.






No, Carter wasn't supposed to create a problem by waffling back and forth between supporting him and pressing for reform. Make a decision and stick with it, that's what a leader does.

Here we'll have to agree to disagree. In my opinion stubbornly sticking to a decision you have made even though events beyond your control are changing the situation makes no sense at all. A leader need to respond to changes and update policies when they no longer accord with reality. This "sticking to your guns" policy is one of the biggest weaknesses of the Bush administration, IMHO. For months after the insurgency in Iraq began the Bush administration stuck to its line that the war was over and they were just in the process of sweeping up a few regime "dead enders". This was long after it had become obvious that the insurgency was growing and would pose a major problem in rebuilding Iraq. If they had been willing to alter their approach early on they may have been able to head it off before it reached anywhere near the proportions it is now. Only recently, way to late to make a difference, has the Bush administration begun to quietly admit they have made mistakes. Better to admit your mistakes early on rather than to pretend they don't exist and wait until they become so big that you are forced to change your policies.


In the Spring of '78, Carter had three choices ahead of him:

-Back the Shah to the hilt as the policeman of the Persian Gulf: The traditional U.S. policy.

-Disassociate the United States from the Shah and seek a dialogue with Khomeini and other radical Moslems in the region.

-Continue to support the Shah while pressing Tehran and other governments for reform.

So what did Carter do? Shortly after the Shah declared martial law, President Carter called him to voice support. In November of 1978, security advisor Brzezinski called the Shah from the Iranian embassy in Washington to express his assurance that the United States would "back him to the hilt". Late in December, Carter dispatched the aircraft carrier Constellation to the Indian Ocean. Then Carter countermanded his own order. He then tried to press the Shah for some lucrative deals. Carter started by pressuring the Shah to release "political prisoners" including known terrorists and to put an end to military tribunals. The newly released terrorists would be tried under civil jurisdiction with the Marxist/Islamists using these trials as a platform for agitation and propaganda. Then there was a formal country-to-country demand that the Shah sign a 50-year oil agreement with the US to supply oil at a fixed price of $8 a barrel.

Ramsey Clark, who served as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson, held a press conference where he reported on a trip to Iran and a Paris visit with Khomeni. He urged the US government to take no action to help the Shah so that Iran "could determine its own fate." Clark played a behind-the-scenes role influencing members of Congress to not get involved in the crisis. Perhaps UN Ambassador Andrew Young best expressed the thinking of the left at the time when he stated that, if successful, Khomeni would "eventually be hailed as a saint."

Now while most of Iran didn't want extremist Khomeni to come to power, Carter responded that Khomeni was a religious man -as he himself claimed to be- and that he knew how to talk to a man of God. Carter's mistaken assessment of Khomeni was encouraged by advisors with a desire to form an Islamic "Green belt" to contain atheist Soviet expansion with the religious fervor of Islam. Eventually, all 30 of the scenarios on Iran presented to Carter by his intelligence agencies proved wrong and totally misjudged Khomeni as a person and as a political entity. Khomeni was allowed to seize power in Iran and, as a result, we are now reaping the harvest of anti-American fanaticism and extremism.

Did Carter try to negotiate the release of the hostages? Yes, he tried to arrange the release to coincide with the November 1980 elections. Talk about your October surprises!

So what would you have had Carter do? You tell us that Carter had three choices and that the one he made was wrong, but you don't specifiy which one you think was right save to say that he should have "Made a decision and stuck to it", implying that his main sin was to change his mind. You have pretty much proved that Khomeini was a worse person than Carter though, but you haven't shown how Carter could have kept him out of power or even that if he had kept Khomeini out the alternative would have been any better. At that same time Saddam Hussein was coming to power in Iraq and he was recognized as an important US ally in the region and we all know how he turned out. Is there not an equal possibility that the Shah (or some other dictator Carter may have supported) would have turned out the same?


But hey, what do I know? I only lived through it.

Lived through it as in you were somehow personally involved in these events or lived through it as in you watched them unfold on your TV screen at home? The former might impress me, the latter doesn't really worth mentioning as in that sense I and half the population of the US "lived through it" too.





Okay, they made an error. And you're helping how, exactly?

Yes they made an error, a rather costly one at that. How exactly am I supposed to help? Am I somehow obliged to help the Bush administration conquer Iraq just because I'm discussing the subject on a message board? How exactly are you helping? Have you enlisted yet?



Yes you are.

Am I? Please show me where I have put a happy face on terrorism. If there has been any misconception let me be clear: terrorists who go around blowing up innocent women and children are a much of sick F--ks who deserve to be killed. The fact that I disagree with the Bush administration's way of doing that DOES NOT mean that I sympathize with the terrosists.



Yes he did.

I'd be interested in the names of these terror groups that Saddam was financing and how many attacks they have carried out against Americans because this is the first I've heard of that.



Indirect?!? Oh that's right, their main incentive was killing Jews. The fact that Ma got $25,000 compensation... well, I guess that was the icing on the cake, eh?

So...you are saying that Saddam's 25,000 dollars was the MAIN reason these people were strapping explosives to themselves and blowing up busloads of women and children? Does that make any sense? If someone came up to you, or anyone you know, and said "If you blow yourself up on that bus over there I'll give your mom 25,000 dollars" would you do it? If you did I would have to say that the 25,000 dollars to your mom would be pretty incidental because you would have to have been one pretty screwed up individual to begin with to do something like that. Its also worth mentioning that suicide bombings were going on well before Saddam started giving money to their moms and have continues well after Saddam's overthrow. So whatever impact that money had on suicide attacks would have to be described as pretty "indirect" by any reasonable standard.



Then you'll be comforted to know that Saddam had relationships with al-Qaeda members. Well, not in the Biblical or Michael Jackson sense...
Yes, his ENTIRE relationship with Al Quaida consisted of Al-Quaida asking Saddam for help and Saddam telling them to get lost. End of story.



Except the ability to harbor and finance terrorists.

Every country in the world has the ABILITY to harbor and finance terrorists. I believe Abu Nidal is the ONLY terrorist known to have been in Iraq prior to the invasion and as he hadn't been involved in an attack in nearly 20 years his presence there couldn't have been that high a priority that they absolutely had to invade Iraq to remove him as a threat.



Oh really? According to the military, Congresswoman (-person?) Marsha Blackburn, and my own (admittedly anecdotal) sources, we've destroyed over 400,000 tons of weapons that Saddam had that wasn't allowed under the '91 UN cease-fire agreement.

I'd be interested to know exactly what KIND of weapons were included in this 400,000 ton figure as they obviously weren't of the WMD or ballistic missile type.



Wrong. Statements and known facts are two different things. Saddam stated that he had WMDs then stated he had destroyed them. The UN inspectors couldn't find any evidence that he had destroyed them, nor could they find them (in mass quantities, anyway). The question is: Where the *%&$ are they now?

Wrong, the UN inspectors found evidence that Saddam had in fact destroyed most of his weapons and it was only a small portion that were unnacounted for. The inspectors themselves had overseen the destruction of most of the weapons. Furthermore of that unnacounted portion it was also known that a significant quantity of it would have decayed in the 12 years since the Gulf war and been completely unusable. The Cheif UN weapons Inspector stated that of the remaining unnacounted weapons there were numerous possible explanations for the discrepancy, only one of which being that Saddam had them hidden. And of the weapons he was suspected of harboring it was KNOWN (they did have a list) that even if he DID posses them they would not have been significant enough to alter the military balance in the region.


Or to pay the Kurds another visit.



He in fact did have a history of harboring terrorists and financing them.

Yes, you've said that before without providing any details. And of course its somewhat of an irrelevant point, isn't it? If we are to accept that stopping Iraq's financing and harboring of terrorists was a main reason for the war (or even a minor reason for it) it must also follow that the post-Saddam Iraq that the US had a plan for creating would NOT harbor or finance terrorists. And yet both of these activities have increased exponentially in the new Iraq, which either indicates that stopping terrorism in Iraq was never really considered part of the plan or the Bush administration has been grossly incompetent in handling things. The third possibility is that it was the Bush administration's policy all along to draw terrorists to Iraq to kill them as you implied earlier, though this theory conflicts with every other Bush objective in Iraq so directly that it must be dismissed as ridiculous.



Which is why I posted the article you didn't read from that Iraqi and what he thinks of your political ilk. Also, I posted the article earlier about 80% of Iraqis strongly wanting those awful free elections we imposed on them. Maybe that's the same 80% that wants the US military to leave? Could be, since the fastest way to get the US military out is, as I stated before, to get their country up and productive again. But then does that mean that the 20% that wants the US military to stay are the ones fighting them? Think they took time out to answer a poll? And if that 80% are the want both free elections and US troop withdrawal, what are they planning to do, fight the terrorists -ah, insurgents- themselves? Where is your logic coming from?

Yes, you posted an article presenting the views of ONE Iraqi whose views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of everyone in the country. It wouldn't be particularly difficult for me to find an article written by an Iraqi supporting everything I've argued here either, but I didn't think it would serve any purpose so I haven't bothered.

I don't at all doubt that 80% of Iraqis want elections. But as I'm sure you are aware, the statistics gained from polls can be extremely subjective. For one thing, your argument is based on the assumption that having elections is THE most important issue to most Iraqis. That is, you feel that Iraqis are willing to make the significant sacrifices in other areas for the sake of voting. Voting means keeping the US troops in their country, which also means that the war between those who accept and reject the US presence and the associated violence will continue to tear significant portions of Iraq to pieces for the forseeable future. I don't have any accurate data, though intuition would suggest that if you asked Iraqis to prioritize their wants then ending the violence would probably be a higher priority than holding elections that will only sharpen the divide within Iraqi society and probably cause the violence to spread.

The Iraqis themselves have not been a part of the political process leading towards elections, all of the major decisions have been made by Washington, right down to the date the polls were going to be held. That isn't an insignificant point, the Occupation authority made significant, permanent changes to Iraq's legal and economic systems that severely limit the power of any future "soveriegn" government to actually govern the country.

My position is that the US should withdraw soon. They can't defeat the insurgency militarily and their efforts to do so over the past year and a half have only made matters worse. It seems that the issue of US troops is the biggest driving force behind the insurgents and by removing that issue it would be possible to defeat or co-opt them politically.

Crap, I've written too much. Feel free to respond but I don't think I can make any more posts here.

No-name
26-01-05, 08:57
I think we have connected Sadam to Islamic Jihad and Hamas, but definitely not to al-Qaeda. Does anyone have sources?

Censport
26-01-05, 19:28
This will be my last post here, I don't have the time to carry on. Feel free to get the last word in though.
How can I resist? :-)


And exactly how many of the hijackers entered the US through Canada?
15 of the 19, I think. I'm working from memory here.


OK, so you just think that everyone who supported withdrawing from Somalia is a coward (which is what you called Clinton)? That means that pretty much every US politician must be a coward, does it not?
In that instance, yes. If you're gonna do it, finish it. Bin Laden & co. refer to Somalia as proof to them that the U.S. was a paper tiger.


You've got a point there, the UN certainly does have alot of problems. But just about any powerful body, including the US government for that matter, is going to be run by a bunch of "pompous, spoiled blowhards who are in love with their authority and status" so I don't see why it is fair to single out the UN for criticism here.
Because you brought them up.


Actually Nixon did do a lot of globe trotting in his role as an elder statesman after he left office too. If you don't like Carter's grandstanding I can understand that but I don't see how you can fault Carter for trying to make a difference in his retirement.
"Making a difference" for the sake of having an impact of any kind may carry noble implications in some people's minds (journalists, liberal activists), but there is a profound difference between acting as an elder statesman in the best interests of your country (Nixon) and inserting yourself into situations to create a legacy for yourself (Carter). Also, Carter had a habit of catastrophic indecisions, such as the wheat deal with the Soviets that bankrupted so many American farmers and more minor ones such as yes-we-will/no-we-won't be sending athletes to compete at the Olympics. I saw the same "leadership qualities" in Kerry.


So what would you have had Carter do? You tell us that Carter had three choices and that the one he made was wrong, but you don't specifiy which one you think was right save to say that he should have "Made a decision and stuck to it", implying that his main sin was to change his mind.
My apologies. I should have made it clear that I supported the last option listed, supporting the Shah while pressing for reform. I feel that it would've had the best potential for short-term and long-term results.


You have pretty much proved that Khomeini was a worse person than Carter though, but you haven't shown how Carter could have kept him out of power or even that if he had kept Khomeini out the alternative would have been any better.
We would've stood a better chance of keeping Khomeni out of power, at least out of absolute power, had Carter taken the option I supported. And no, I can't guarentee that the alternative would've been better than what happened, any more than you can prove that Carter made the right decision(s). Sorry, my crystal ball is in the shop.


At that same time Saddam Hussein was coming to power in Iraq and he was recognized as an important US ally in the region and we all know how he turned out. Is there not an equal possibility that the Shah (or some other dictator Carter may have supported) would have turned out the same?
Saddam was a lesser-of-two-evils choice at that time. No, there was not an equal opportunity that the Shah would've turned out the same. And you can see how the man Carter supported, Khomeni, turned out.


Lived through it as in you were somehow personally involved in these events or lived through it as in you watched them unfold on your TV screen at home? The former might impress me, the latter doesn't really worth mentioning as in that sense I and half the population of the US "lived through it" too.
While I'm from a politically active family, we didn't have connections on that level, and certainly not during the Carter administration. I didn't take the time to look up your profile, so I don't know your age.


How exactly am I supposed to help? Am I somehow obliged to help the Bush administration conquer Iraq just because I'm discussing the subject on a message board? How exactly are you helping? Have you enlisted yet?
You could start by not telling the troops that they're wasting their time in Iraq. I'm too old to enlist.


I'd be interested in the names of these terror groups that Saddam was financing and how many attacks they have carried out against Americans because this is the first I've heard of that.
Okay, here's a start. (http://www.insightmag.com/news/319351.html)


So...you are saying that Saddam's 25,000 dollars was the MAIN reason these people were strapping explosives to themselves and blowing up busloads of women and children? <snip> Its also worth mentioning that suicide bombings were going on well before Saddam started giving money to their moms and have continues well after Saddam's overthrow. So whatever impact that money had on suicide attacks would have to be described as pretty "indirect" by any reasonable standard.
I'm not saying that. I'm saying it was an extra incentive. Also, you're confusing "indirect" with "insignificant". He was directly involved, and contributed directly. He did not make up the bulk of suicide bombings nor did he invent the process.


Yes, his ENTIRE relationship with Al Quaida consisted of Al-Quaida asking Saddam for help and Saddam telling them to get lost. End of story.
Not quite.
Salman Pak (http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iraq/salman_pak.htm)
Iraqi funds, training fuel Islamic terror group (http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0402/p01s03-wome.html)
another connection (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp)
and another (http://www.intelmessages.org/Messages/National_Security/wwwboard/messages_02/3819.html)
and finally, one from an Iraqi news outlet (http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP59203)


Every country in the world has the ABILITY to harbor and finance terrorists.
Yeah, but Sweden wasn't on our short list.


I'd be interested to know exactly what KIND of weapons were included in this 400,000 ton figure as they obviously weren't of the WMD or ballistic missile type.
Okay, here's a few:
French weapons, cluster bombs, Russian bombs (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/10/22/154815.shtml)
This anti-runway bomb, 1 of 30 (http://www.newsmax.com/images/headlines/FrenchDurandal.jpg)
AA-8 "Aphid" missile (http://www.newsmax.com/images/headlines/RussianRocket.jpg)
South African cluster bomb (http://www.newsmax.com/images/headlines/SAfricanBomb.jpg)


Furthermore of that unnacounted portion it was also known that a significant quantity of it would have decayed in the 12 years since the Gulf war and been completely unusable.
Someone at the CIA disagrees with you. (http://www.fas.org/irp/gulf/cia/960715/72569.htm)


Voting means keeping the US troops in their country, which also means that the war between those who accept and reject the US presence and the associated violence will continue to tear significant portions of Iraq to pieces for the forseeable future. I don't have any accurate data, though intuition would suggest that if you asked Iraqis to prioritize their wants then ending the violence would probably be a higher priority than holding elections that will only sharpen the divide within Iraqi society and probably cause the violence to spread.
That's some pretty interesting intuition you've got there. How would holding elections prolong the violence? I see them as a step towards ending the violence.


The Iraqis themselves have not been a part of the political process leading towards elections, all of the major decisions have been made by Washington, right down to the date the polls were going to be held.
Wrong. The decisions have been made in conjunction with Iraqi principals.


My position is that the US should withdraw soon. They can't defeat the insurgency militarily and their efforts to do so over the past year and a half have only made matters worse. It seems that the issue of US troops is the biggest driving force behind the insurgents and by removing that issue it would be possible to defeat or co-opt them politically.
Right out of the McGovern playbook. (See: Paper tiger, above) They can defeat the terrorists -ah, insurgents- militarily, and should. After all, you know where their attention is going to be directed if the US military isn't there, don't you? The civilian populace. Zarqawi even made a public statement a few days ago that their enemy is democracy. His exact words? "We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology." I remember the entire South Vietnamese population was enslaved, millions sent to re-education camps, and the Hmoungs were wiped out as a culture in Vietnam. Is that what you want to see happening in Iraq? It's interesting that you claim to be against terrorists, you would basically be handing them Iraq as a bigger base of future operations if we pulled out now. Unless you're trying to tell me that Zarqawi and the insurgents are just dying to start rebuilding bridges and feeding children...

It's been fun. I'm sure we'll be talking about other subjects in other threads. Buh-bye! :wave:

No-name
26-01-05, 21:09
senseiman...come back! come back!

(kind of like that last scene in Shane)

Censport
26-01-05, 21:15
mad pierrot too.... :(

No-name
26-01-05, 21:49
Ya'know our muslim friends have been quiet about this whole thread. I don't see any Spanish flags either. Australia? Indonesia? (don't forget the Bali bombings)

Is it only know it all North Americans who care about this issue?

mad pierrot
27-01-05, 00:54
I'll be back! Soon!
(On a short trip right now, still at a hotel...)

myjp
27-01-05, 02:21
Ya'know our muslim friends have been quiet about this whole thread. I don't see any Spanish flags either. Australia? Indonesia? (don't forget the Bali bombings)

Is it only know it all North Americans who care about this issue?

-yes & no- hello!?
yes, quiet for that not more than those words written here needed for blowing
more bubbles in to the air without resolving rather than clarifying
any ratio of war. (and this a bubble of me here now)
no, because not only NA#s do, Euros either do care.
and, hello :wave: ->one other fact lies also a while ago back in time, but President Dwight D. Eisenhower said it all as a other the moderate policies of "Modern Republicanism" pursuing northern american, and from Texas as well: 'America is a military industrial complex.'
words reflect - acts protect.

mata ne

No-name
27-01-05, 05:32
-yes & no- hello!?
yes, quiet for that not more than those words written here needed for blowing
more bubbles in to the air without resolving rather than clarifying
any ratio of war. (and this a bubble of me here now)
no, because not only NA#s do, Euros either do care.
and, hello :wave: ->one other fact lies also a while ago back in time, but President Dwight D. Eisenhower said it all as a other the moderate policies of "Modern Republicanism" pursuing northern american, and from Texas as well: 'America is a military industrial complex.'
words reflect - acts protect.

mata ne
Thanks for replying.
I'm not clear on everything you are saying here, but I think I got the main point.

I still need clarification on what the exact intellectual conflict is- Is al-Qaeda just a figment of our imagination? Is that what the documentary argues? Do you think we are overreacting? Sorry for being thick in the skull, but give it to me in small words.

senseiman
27-01-05, 05:42
Sorry, I know I said that would be my last post but you asked a couple questions and raised a few points that needed responding to.

1) I'm not telling the troops they are wasting their time, there aren't any troops here (AFAIK) and as a former soldier myself I know how tasteless and insensitive it is to say things like that to service members.

2) I don't see how the US is going to defeat the insurgents militarily. They've had the most powerful military machine in the world in there for almost two years now doing everything they know how and at every corner they've turned where it looked like the situation might improve it has only gotten worse. The only possible way to defeat the insurgency militarily now would be to take out ALL the stops and just carpet bomb all four provinces into oblivion. But the amount of collateral damage inflicted and the ripple effects that would have elsewhere would mean that while solving one problem it would create numerous others, so it isn't really a viable solution at all.

Its misleading to imply that somebody like Zarqawi would take over Iraq if the Americans left. The Islamic militants like him have no political base in Iraq and are only there for the purpose of fighting the Americans. When the US troops leave, they would probably follow - as you yourself admit - with the intention of fighting the US elsewhere (admittedly that may include the US itself but with US troops stationed across the globe there are probably a lot of handier targets for them). Withdrawing US troops would also deflate the political power of the insurgents as ridding their country of the foreign presence is their main rallying cry. The insurgents are sunni who only make up 20% or so of Iraq's population, they are no match for the Shi'ite who outnumber them 3 to 1. With the withdrawal of the Americans sapping their political strength and being unable to challenge the Shi'ites militarily for supremacy, the leadership of the insurgency would be forced to enter negotiations. If they could turn the bulk of the Sunni community against the armed uprising it would be relatively easy to root out the hardliners. As long as the Americans remain though, this is not going to be possible as it is the active support of Sunni society that allows the insurgency to flourish in the 'Sunni triangle'.

I didn't want to bring it up, but the Vietnam parallel is actually worth considering. In the aftermath of the fall of Saigon about 50,000 people were killed in purges, 1 million people fled the country as boat people and most of the rest of the population were sent off to indoctrination camps for periods ranging from several weeks to several years for members of the former regime.

Bad as that is, compare that to the cost of the war itself. 3 to 4 million killed, 10 million turned into refugees, three countries left in utter ruin. If the US simply hadn't gotten involved in the first place almost none of that destruction would have taken place. Not only would the violence of the war itself been avoided, but the Vietnamese communists wouldn't have had the power nor inclination to carry out the purges they did following the war if it hadn't been for the massive damage just inflicted on their country as a result. Or, to take a more close parallel, lets say the US withdrew in 1967 when it was first becoming apparent that the war was a lost cause. That would have saved 30,000 US lives, over a million Vietnamese lives and prevented the war from spreading to Laos and Cambodia. In Cambodia the reign of terror by the Khmer Rouge who rose to power as a direct result of the bombing campaign in their country would never have happened. And the end result, Vietnam being unified under Hanoi's rule, would have been the same, only the Vietnamese themselves could have gotten on with rebuilding their country about a decade earlier.

In the end "staying the course" in Vietnam just prolonged the destruction and made the end outcome even worse than it needed to be. I fear that doing the same in Iraq may have the same results. There is no telling how long this war will drag on or what the ultimate costs will be if the US stubbornly insists on staying in until they have militarily defeated the insurgency, a task that the Bush administration has already proven itself woefully incapable of handling.

Sorry to break my word about that being my last post (the Jimmy Carter in me showing through) but I wanted to sum up my position a bit better. Perhaps you could do the same as a way of formally ending the debate.

mad pierrot
27-01-05, 12:58
Actually, I've been back for awhile. But I've been abnormally busy, and I wanted to wait until I had time to sit down and write a coherent response. After looking at this thread, I think Senseiman has more or less said what I wanted to, and probably better than I could have put it. Maybe I should do this more often...

:D

Rather than take respond point by point, as Senseiman has, I'll just try to sum things up as best I can.

I have 2 points.

1. Our rationale for entering this war was to A) capture WMD and B) prevent Saddam from aiding Al Qaeda.

Both of A) and B) are and were bogus.

2. I agree with, "You break it, you buy it." Now that's we're in Iraq, we have are responsible for setting up a legitmate government and guaranteeing civil liberties.

I think we're doing a horrible job of both and going about it in the wrong way.



First let's deal with the weapons of mass destruction that aren't there. Yes, I have read plenty of articles claiming to have found evidence of their existence. I've also read plenty of news about bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. If people believe they exist, what's so hard about believing Iraq had WMD? And the "link" to Al Qaeda... For those of you who believe Saddam was in cahoots with the Taliban, let me know. I have a few magic beans to sell you.

THE WEAPONS THAT WERENfT
But donft take my word for it.

Colin Powell, recent CIA reports, the UN, and various other independent sources can vouch for that. Ifll give a few worth mentioning, but anyone with a keyboard and head to bang it on can do a search and find more. I think it's also important to note that the search for WMD in Iraq officially ended. I know a few parents whose kids are in Iraq who aren't to happy knowing their son got sent to secure something that wasn't there.

UN: IRAQ HAD NO WMD AFTER 1994 (Tuesday, March 2, 2004 by USA Today)

Ex-Arms Hunter Kay Says No WMD Stockpiles in Iraq (LINK) (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0123-12.htm)

Truth About Iraq Known; Fallout Isn't (LINK) (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0112-04.htm)

Again and again, I keep hearing how it was up to Saddam to prove he didn't have weapons. That's right. Guilty until proven innocent.

THE AL QAEDA LINK

Taken from the NY times we have Powell yet againc


Secretary of State Colin L. Powell conceded Thursday that despite his assertions to the United Nations last year, he had no "smoking gun" proof of a link between the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and terrorists of Al Qaeda.
"I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection," Mr. Powell said, in response to a question at a news conference. "But I think the possibility of such connections did exist, and it was prudent to consider them at the time that we did."

And to add some irony to the mix:

US Contractor in Iraq Helped Fund Al Qaeda! (LINK) (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031110&s=rozen)

Herefs the funny part!
Some quotes from the Bush administration:


National Security Advisor Rice
The New Republic (June 30, 2003)
September 25, 2002

"There clearly are contacts between Al Qaeda and Iraqc There clearly is testimony that some of the contacts have been important contacts and that there's a relationship there."

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld
The New Republic (June 30, 2003)
September 26, 2002

In Washington on September 26, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed he had "bulletproof" evidence of ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda


Tell me these don't sound like scare tactics...


National Security Advisor Rice
The New Republic (June 30, 2003)
September 8, 2002

"There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly [Saddam] can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Secretary Rumsfeld
The New Republic (June 30, 2003)
September 8, 2002

"Imagine a September eleventh with weapons of mass destruction. It's not three thousand – it's tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children."

Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz
Council on Foreign Relations
January 23, 2003

"And, of course, there is every reason to believe that things are being moved constantly and hidden. The whole purpose, if you think about it, for Iraq constructing mobile units to produce biological weapons could only have been to be able to hide them. We know about that capability from defectors and other sources, but unless Iraq comes clean about what it has, we cannot expect the inspectors to find themc


That's most of it for part 1. I'll be back with part 2 later.

On a side note, speaking as a moderator, this has been a great thread. I think we've all seen political discussions go bad and know how ugly that can get. So far, no name calling, no bashing, and intelligent responses. Let's keep it up!

Censport
27-01-05, 17:16
2) I don't see how the US is going to defeat the insurgents militarily. They've had the most powerful military machine in the world in there for almost two years now doing everything they know how and at every corner they've turned where it looked like the situation might improve it has only gotten worse. The only possible way to defeat the insurgency militarily now would be to take out ALL the stops and just carpet bomb all four provinces into oblivion. But the amount of collateral damage inflicted and the ripple effects that would have elsewhere would mean that while solving one problem it would create numerous others, so it isn't really a viable solution at all.
I disagree that it's gotten worse. I know, it's only my opinion...

Things have been quieting down lately in several key areas. Does that mean the insurgents are just preparing for major attacks this weekend? Could be.

But I strongly disagree about carpet-bombing the areas. In my opinion that is exactly what the insurgents want us to do. Stay with me for a minute here... I think it was you or mad pierrot who said that the four main areas of conflict held 50% of Iraq's population, no? Okay, now remember the mosque in Najaf? I think that the insurgents are concetrating their efforts in these areas in order to wreak the most collateral damage by U.S. troops. If we carpet bomb (especially before the elections), we will only prove their propaganda (and the BBC's, NPR's, NY Times', al-Jazeera's) etc.) that we're a callous, bloodthirsty regime bent on wiping out Islam. It's not unlike Saddam putting anti-aircraft guns on top of school buildings.

More troops would be a good idea, if that's what the field commanders want. They'll run out of forces before we will. It'll also help us rotate the troops home more often.


Its misleading to imply that somebody like Zarqawi would take over Iraq if the Americans left. The Islamic militants like him have no political base in Iraq and are only there for the purpose of fighting the Americans.
I wasn't saying that Zarqawi wants to run for office (Campaign slogan: "A bomb-laden Toyota in every garage and an aid-worker's head in every pot!"), I'm saying that the people Zarqawi represents - those who oppose free elections as much as he does - will try to rule Iraq if we pull out. Not lead Iraq, rule it.


When the US troops leave, they would probably follow - as you yourself admit - with the intention of fighting the US elsewhere (admittedly that may include the US itself but with US troops stationed across the globe there are probably a lot of handier targets for them).
You're almost putting words in my mouth there, but not quite. Besides, didn't one of you guys claim that non-Iraqis made up less than 10% of the insurgency? Following your train of thought above, there wouldn't be many fighters following the US troops out. Might as well kill 'em where we've got 'em.


Withdrawing US troops would also deflate the political power of the insurgents as ridding their country of the foreign presence is their main rallying cry. The insurgents are sunni who only make up 20% or so of Iraq's population, they are no match for the Shi'ite who outnumber them 3 to 1. With the withdrawal of the Americans sapping their political strength and being unable to challenge the Shi'ites militarily for supremacy, the leadership of the insurgency would be forced to enter negotiations. If they could turn the bulk of the Sunni community against the armed uprising it would be relatively easy to root out the hardliners.
Good idea, but something of a risk. It seems like everytime we leave work up to the Iraqis (or Afghanis in the previous conflict), someone somewhere is easily bought and corruption undermines their efforts.


I didn't want to bring it up, but the Vietnam parallel is actually worth considering.
As poorly managed as Vietnam was, it did serve a purpose. We were fighting the spread of communism (Not that every American agreed with that, but they've never lived under communist rule.). Now while we didn't stop Vietnam from being run by communists, we did contain the spread somewhat. Of course, there were critics during the Cold War who said that the threat of communism was overhyped. Many, like Carter, said that communism could never be defeated and that we'd just have to learn to live with a communist superpower.

I still don't know why you can't consider winning as an option. We could've won Vietnam in a convincing fashion, but didn't. Before this war, you weren't one of those who agreed with predictions of 10,000 American troops dead in the invasion alone, were you?

Censport
27-01-05, 17:39
1. Our rationale for entering this war was to A) capture WMD and B) prevent Saddam from aiding Al Qaeda.

Both of A) and B) are and were bogus.
Hmmmm. Granted, we haven't captured WMDs, but we may have prevented Saddam from aiding al-Qaeda in the future. We don't know if he was going to or not, and may never know.


2. I agree with, "You break it, you buy it." Now that's we're in Iraq, we have are responsible for setting up a legitmate government and guaranteeing civil liberties.

I think we're doing a horrible job of both and going about it in the wrong way.
I agree that we should help clean up and builld, not just shoot and run. But as I've stated before, I disagree that we're going about it all wrong.



I've also read plenty of news about bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.
Hey that's nothing... I've read claims that 7 of the 19 hijackers are still alive and working for the US government! BWAhahaha! So we're supposed to believe that not only was it possible for ANYONE to survive ANY of the plane crashes, but that the ones who did were all hijackers. I'd trade those 7 hijackers to have Barbara Olsen back any day of the week (she was on the 757 which crashed into the Pentagon).


And the "link" to Al Qaeda... For those of you who believe Saddam was in cahoots with the Taliban, let me know. I have a few magic beans to sell you.
I thought I provided links on that. I'll go back and look.


And to add some irony to the mix:

US Contractor in Iraq Helped Fund Al Qaeda! (LINK) (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031110&s=rozen)
Irony? An Iraqi businessman had financial ties to al-Qaeda prior to 9/11? That's irony? Sen. Teddy Kennedy was on the "no-fly" list and called Ashcroft three times before he was removed. That he was on the "no-fly" list when he should've been on the "no-drive" since 1968 is ironic.


On a side note, speaking as a moderator, this has been a great thread. I think we've all seen political discussions go bad and know how ugly that can get. So far, no name calling, no bashing, and intelligent responses. Let's keep it up!
Aside from regularly getting sidetracked from the original topic (Oops! Sorry boss!), it's been going good.

No-name
27-01-05, 21:35
I have 2 points.

1. Our rationale for entering this war was to A) capture WMD and B) prevent Saddam from aiding Al Qaeda.

Both of A) and B) are and were bogus.

2. I agree with, "You break it, you buy it." Now that's we're in Iraq, we have are responsible for setting up a legitmate government and guaranteeing civil liberties.

I think we're doing a horrible job of both and going about it in the wrong way.



I agree. see my previous post as to why 1B is bogus.
I think we need broader support in the world community to accomplish #2.

senseiman
28-01-05, 03:15
Censport, Mad Pierrot and Sabro: I'd like to thank you all for letting me take part in this very civil debate, I really enjoyed it.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on most of these things, censport. In no way am I not considering winning an option. I just think that the best way for the US to win this war ("win" being understood as establishing a stable, democratic government in Iraq) is for the US to withdraw its forces and let the majority Shi'ites - who have no love for the insurgents - take care of business themselves.

Shooter452
28-01-05, 11:36
I think that that the reasons for squashing Saddam's regiem were not quite so obvious.

Rightly or wrongly, we entered into this "war on terrorism" by seeking Osama bin Laden in order to punish him for the WTC disaster, invading Afghanistan to get the job done. That was our stated objective, but he proved to be a much more elusive target than we expected.

The present administration had lots of reasons of their own to rack back the Ba'athist Party government in Iraq along with their most visible member. None of them, however, could really justify open warfare and naked aggression (come on, gang, that is exactly what it was).

On the other hand, the fact that they couldn't bag bin Laden was an big embarassment. I think that since they couldn't get the Muslim radical leader that they wanted, they decided to settle for the secular Muslim leader they could reach, who was vulnerable and staked-out just waiting to get pinched. "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with."

So, like Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby, we're stuck fast with no way to disengage...at least that is the way that it seems to me. And Osama bin Laden is still at large, in case anyone forgot about him.

Now, about the WMD's.

Whether or not Saddam had long-ranged ballistic missiles (he almost certainly did at one time), chemical and bio-tech weapons (also likely at one time or another), or a nuclear weapons R&D program (also likely, but quite some time ago, IIRC) was unimportant to US security. None--repeat, NONE--of the weapons he had could have possibly reached CONUS, so even if he had them all, they were of no threat to us. These weapons surely would have been a threat to Israel, and that was the reason that the US went to war over WMD's real or imagined. To make the that part of the world safer for Israel.

No one is willing to talk about that for fear of being labled an anti-Semite by the ADL, but that is the word around the water cooler up at the Puzzle Palace on the Potomac.

I am not against helping out the Israelis (to hear the MOSSAD talk, they don't need our help, only our money and lots of it), but if we are going to be an arm of the Knesset's foreign policy, I would prefer that we were honest about it.

I don't like our involvement in Iraq any more than any of you do, but my reasons are different. Those are my kids over there with 1st Marine Division playing policeman. And they are my kids from the 2d Marine Division who are on their way over to Iraq to relieve them. Everytime one of them is maimed or killed, I am losing friends and comrades. They are not just names in the paper or on a DoD/NavMC casualty list. And I have seen this kind of feces before. It was in another part of Asia, and happened in 1961 thru 1975.

No one knew who we were or really cared about us then. No one knows who we are or really cares about us now. But that's my kids who are just as dead and just as injured when it is all said and done.

I do not mind that they are being killed or wounded so much as I mind this happening for no reason. And I think that when all is said and done, it will have been for no reason

Lina Inverse
29-01-05, 17:35
Well, it should be crystal clear to anyone by now that the reasons for the Iraq war were all just a fantasy born in the sick brain of the Bush-man :okashii:
WMD: The only WMD you'll find in Iraq are the bombs 'n' stuff thrown by the US.
Husseins: The Husseins were for a long time close friends to the Bushs, often getting a lot of help (also financially) in the past. However, apperently they outlived their usefulness in they eyes of the Bushs, so they want to dispose of them now at this occassion - swat two flies with one swatter.

Shooter452
30-01-05, 00:11
Well, it should be crystal clear to anyone by now that the reasons for the Iraq war were all just a fantasy born in the sick brain of the Bush-man :okashii:
WMD: The only WMD you'll find in Iraq are the bombs 'n' stuff thrown by the US.
Husseins: The Husseins were for a long time close friends to the Bushs, often getting a lot of help (also financially) in the past. However, apperently they outlived their usefulness in they eyes of the Bushs, so they want to dispose of them now at this occassion - swat two flies with one swatter.

You may be correct, Lina. But like all simplistic answers, it just a bit too simplistic for my tastes.

That Saddam had weapons of mass destruction is beyond question. "Silly rabbit, Tricks are for kids!" *rolls eyes* Were you alive when he used them on the Kurds, when he had his fast-breeder nuclear reactor destroyed by the Israelis before it could turn out plutonium in mass quantities (a reactor sold to him by the *drum roll* West Germans!)? Perhaps he did not have them two years ago, that I grant you, but it is beyond rational opinion whether he had them ever, at all.

In the world of global power-politics, no nation has friends (to paraphrase Charles de Gaulle) it has interests. Few if any of the US interests are wrapped up in Jordan or the Hussein family, and if the Iraq war has proven anything it is that the US is not slave to the interest and opinions of their "friends" (such as Germany, France, etc.). But in oil, aha, there is an interest we can all agree upon.

When you dispose of your presupposed bias and assumptions, you find out that the Bush Administration is not as nefarious as you want to believe. But that does not make them correct, moral, or even politically sound. The things that they do are stupid. That is far worse than being evil. For it is possible to do stupid, incredibly harmful things while still doing them with the best of intent. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

However, for all of your righteous indignation, perhaps it would be useful to remember that it is the people of the USA and the UK who are paying the butcher's bill for all of this. It is not the Bundesrepublik Deutschland who is sending their sons and daughters to die and be maimed. Take the advice of Jackson Browne and Glen Fry: "...lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand, and take it eeeeaaaassyyyy!"

You are of course free to express any opinion that you want (however wise or foolish). That is what a Forum is all about. But in my humble opinion, this ain't the place.

bossel
30-01-05, 01:29
(a reactor sold to him by the *drum roll* West Germans!)
Just a little *drum roll* today, maybe more tomorrow:

Where did you get the information that the West Germans sold the nuclear reactor to Iraq? If I am correctly informed, Iraq at that time had 3 reactors, 2 of those French built & another Russian built test reactor.
Later on, though, there were some German companies & individuals selling some stuff to Iraq that could be used in nuclear plants (for what I know, most of it illegaly). Just like US companies, BTW.

*drum roll* subsiding...

Shooter452
30-01-05, 06:26
Just a little *drum roll* today, maybe more tomorrow:

Where did you get the information that the West Germans sold the nuclear reactor to Iraq? If I am correctly informed, Iraq at that time had 3 reactors, 2 of those French built & another Russian built test reactor.
Later on, though, there were some German companies & individuals selling some stuff to Iraq that could be used in nuclear plants (for what I know, most of it illegaly). Just like US companies, BTW.

*drum roll* subsiding...

*GRIN*

Well, maybe I was misinformed, but I will await your evidence.

*knowing wink*

And everyone made a buck from Saddam, that is true, but sometimes the "my feces don't stink" attitude from that side of the Big Pond gives me a case of chapped posterior, if ya know what I mean.

I am sure that the reverse is also true on your part.

Like I said before, some things you know more than do I....etc.

bossel
31-01-05, 01:47
Well, maybe I was misinformed, but I will await your evidence.
Just one source for now (again no time):
http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Iraq/IraqAtoZ.html

Quote:
"Hamza travelled to France to open negotiations on an agreement for the MTR in June 1974. This reactor was a derivative of the French Osiris reactor which was a pool-type reactor fueled by 93% enriched - that is, weapon grade - uranium. Since the French were selling the reactor to Iraq, they dubbed this export model the "Osirak" reactor (in French orthography, Os + Irak, sometimes given as "Osiraq" using English spelling), the name under which it is commonly known. The Iraqis didn't call the reactor "Osirak" however, the proper name for it was "Tammuz-1", named after the month of the Islamic calendar when the Baath came to power in 1968. Along with Tammuz-1 Iraq also contracted for a second lower power reactor called Tammuz-2 (or Isis to the French).
[...]
The agreement for the reactors was finally concluded in 1976. France began to have second thoughts about the wisdom of putting this much HEU in Iraqi hands, or in providing such an efficient irradiation facility. France tried to amend the contract and provide a model using a lower enrichment fuel, called "caramel" fuel with an 8% enrichment. Iraq insisted on the HEU fueled version [Evron 1994; pg. 26]."


I am sure that the reverse is also true on your part.
Yeah, I always find it a bit strange that many US Americans seem to think that the US was always on the right side regarding Iraq.
BTW, in this regard just another link about the reactor bombing:
"But the bombing was widely condemned at the time, even by Israelfs traditional ally the US, which backed a UN resolution censuring Israel." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/02/iraq_events/html/israeli_bombing.stm)

Shooter452
31-01-05, 05:16
I had a talk with a friend over the telephone yesterday after reading your post. We discussed the Osirak "power generation plant" and its origins. My friend works up at Langley, VA and has been there since Reagan was president, so his experiences and opinions are much more varied and eclectic than one would expect.

He says that if you really want to know the "rest of the story" about Osirak, you need to put all of your research skills to work--I told him that yours were formidable, and he said that you would need them. He recommended that you employ the same techniques as do US Attorneys and the FBI when they are working RICO and other OC cases: follow the money.

He told me to tell you that you will need to run down the long list of shell corporations in Belgium and the Netherlands, and through Swiss holding companies, and all the dummy firms through which the geld is funneled. You will need to patiently wade through this network that was designed to obfuscate the naked facts and conceal the trail left by the French to their suppliers, subcontractors, and their consultant firms.

He says that when you get to the part where the paychecks are signed, that all of the wrench-turning technicians, all of the pocket-protected theorists and scientists, all of the salesmen and managers, some/most/all will have German names on them, employed by German companies. And that when these citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany returned back to their homeland, they came back with deep suntans and pockets stuffed with dollars, francs, and Deutschmarks.

He also says, and this is his opinion, since I have not the competance to say, that either your government is the most incompetant this side of the Potomac (I really find that hard to believe), or else this is the worst case of willful blindness in history (I doubt that also, knowing my own government).

Now about the arrogance of Americans...as a foreign traveler, nothing shames me more. But after seeing Paris in the Seventies, and after listening to Germans in this decade, I no longer fear that we are in a class by ourselves.

Do not get me wrong, I do not defend the Bush people. They are my government and it is my people who are living--and dying--with the results of their foolishness. But I think it is the folly of irresponsible juveniles and unthinking dogmatic radicals to base your critisims on crimes and offenses imagined when there is proof abounding on those that we all should know exist.


Quaere verum

bossel
31-01-05, 10:36
Hmmph, can't sleep. So just as well, I give a short response here.


You will need to patiently wade through this network that was designed to obfuscate the naked facts and conceal the trail left by the French to their suppliers, subcontractors, and their consultant firms.
The naked fact is that in the 70s the French energy industry was state controlled. There may have been some German suppliers (although not too many, remembering the French pride esp. regarding their nuclear achievements) but no German company or probably even individual had any say whatsoever in selling French reactors to Iraq.


He says that when you get to the part where the paychecks are signed, that all of the wrench-turning technicians, all of the pocket-protected theorists and scientists, all of the salesmen and managers, some/most/all will have German names on them, employed by German companies.
Some, maybe. Most or all, highly improbable.
For what I know there were no German technicians in Osiraq. Perhaps your friend confuses that with Iran, where Germans actually helped to construct a reactor (BTW, destroyed by Iraqi forces, afterwards the German government forbade any further German involvement in Iran).

If there would have been any substantial involvement of German companies in Osiraq we would know. We have some very competent news media here, which would enjoy to jump on this (thinking esp. of Der Spiegel) & I haven't found any reference to German involvement.


either your government is the most incompetant this side of the Potomac (I really find that hard to believe), or else this is the worst case of willful blindness in history (I doubt that also, knowing my own government).
Well, the German customs seemed a bit lax on technology exports, as can be seen by the fact that a whole bunch of companies was able to sell (dual use) stuff to Iraq during the 80s.


But I think it is the folly of irresponsible juveniles and unthinking dogmatic radicals to base your critisims on crimes and offenses imagined when there is proof abounding on those that we all should know exist.
Sorry, what do you mean? Which imagined crimes & offences?

Shooter452
31-01-05, 15:25
Hmmph, can't sleep. So just as well, I give a short response here.


The naked fact is that in the 70s the French energy industry was state controlled. There may have been some German suppliers (although not too many, remembering the French pride esp. regarding their nuclear achievements) but no German company or probably even individual had any say whatsoever in selling French reactors to Iraq.


Some, maybe. Most or all, highly improbable.
For what I know there were no German technicians in Osiraq. Perhaps your friend confuses that with Iran, where Germans actually helped to construct a reactor (BTW, destroyed by Iraqi forces, afterwards the German government forbade any further German involvement in Iran).

If there would have been any substantial involvement of German companies in Osiraq we would know. We have some very competent news media here, which would enjoy to jump on this (thinking esp. of Der Spiegel) & I haven't found any reference to German involvement.


Well, the German customs seemed a bit lax on technology exports, as can be seen by the fact that a whole bunch of companies was able to sell (dual use) stuff to Iraq during the 80s.


Sorry, what do you mean? Which imagined crimes & offences?
Your faith in the Fourth Estate exceeds my own. While they are adept and rooting out cases of sloppy corruption in government officials, they do not often unearth the facts in cases involving this level of financial obfuscation. I do not suggest that Der Spiegel or any other German publication has had their integrity compromised, only that such investigative reporting requires much more investigation than most editors are willing to invest with no guarantee of return. They are, after alll, first a business.

No, he is not at all confused. He mentioned Iran as an example publicly known in comparison to this case in Iraq. And he stated that in matters of commerce the French were practical businessmen less than nationalist ideologues. But perhaps you know them better than he does...one must at least allow for the possibility.

If you are convinced that you know all there is about the subject, then I would not presume to insist that you look further. Rest on your convictions and seek no more. I am sure that German industries would never grovel so low merely for the billions of petro-dollars that Saddam dangled before them. I know that the companies in the USA are not above such greed, but things might be different in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

The last comment about "imagined crimes & offences" was not aimed at you, but at those others who insist on conspiracies where none exist. I did not number you amoung them. They are hardly all European since we have thousands of home-growns here. My apologies if you took offense.

bossel
01-02-05, 00:40
If you are convinced that you know all there is about the subject, then I would not presume to insist that you look further. Rest on your convictions and seek no more. I am sure that German industries would never grovel so low merely for the billions of petro-dollars that Saddam dangled before them. I know that the companies in the USA are not above such greed, but things might be different in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
I did not say that. If you read my posts again, you will see that I already mentioned that several German companies sold stuff that could be used for nuclear power generation or even to produce weapons-grade plutonium. I wonder how you can get the impression that I'd think German managers are beyond doubt.
Only thing is, they most probably were not directly involved in selling & building Osiraq. Can't see how this leads to the conclusion that no German company was ever involved in any questionable business in Iraq. :clueless:

I can give you a quite complete (?) list of the companies involved in Iraq's nuclear programme, if you want.

Shooter452
01-02-05, 01:29
I did not say that. If you read my posts again, you will see that I already mentioned that several German companies sold stuff that could be used for nuclear power generation or even to produce weapons-grade plutonium. I wonder how you can get the impression that I'd think German managers are beyond doubt.
Only thing is, they most probably were not directly involved in selling & building Osiraq. Can't see how this leads to the conclusion that no German company was ever involved in any questionable business in Iraq. :clueless:

I can give you a quite complete (?) list of the companies involved in Iraq's nuclear programme, if you want.

My apologies, again. Perhaps I misread your response. And I was only interested in the Osirak reactor, not with other questionable activities of German companies. I know for a fact that US companies sold materials that were used in much of the construction binge in which Saddam indulged. I assume that some dealt directly with the Osirak project. I know that Osirak was primarily--in Saddam's mind--a source of weapon's grade plutonium. I assume that US companies knew more than they admitted as to its construction and its purpose.

I just did not think that your suspicions ran in the same direction. I am willing to believe that they do, if you say so. I am not trying to engage in a pissing contest over this, but I thought we had primary disagreement as to the involvement of German companies--if only as subs and consultants. If we do not, we do not.

I do have great respect for your abilities to do the research and I believe that if evidence there is, you might want to find it. If it can be found in the public domain, I think you've got a shot. Like I said, my friend suggested that you follow the money. You may run up a lot of blind alleys, but persistance is omnipotent and I would think that it is a primary tool in your box.


Omnium rerum principia parva sunt