January 26, 2003

WAR

The internet is a wonderful place. I almost wrote 'invention,' but it is, in fact, a landscape, a space to explore. We have, at our fingertips, all of the combined wisdom (and idiocy) of our species throughout our long struggle up towards enlightenment.

The internet is also a horrible place, for there are dark rooms and hidden sewers where all of the festering evil we humans commit upon each other are exposed for those with the stomach to witness it.

I have spent much time in these disgusting realms in the days since September 11th, 2001. I have forced myself to endure many videotaped nightmares. I have seen Africans hacked to pieces with machetes, watched mere boys shot in the street and left there like dogs by other Kalashnikov-wielding children. I've seen a mass execution by firing squad, men tied to poles set against a gorgeous beach while picnickers cheered and danced. I've seen a man's hands cut off in front of his very eyes.

I've seen photos of blackened lumps in a morgue in Bali, the charred and twisted remains of happy young men and women in the prime of their lives. I've seen the unimaginable carnage in the few seconds after a suicide bombing in Israel, dead and dying old men and women looking down at their shattered bodies in disbelief, and yonder the head of the perpetrator smiling joyously on the sidewalk. I've seen the rage and joy of pre-teen children as they throw stones at their murdered neighbors accused of collaboration in Palestine.

I've seen emergency workers with shovels cleaning up what's left of people after a Serb mortar attack on a marketplace. I've seen the almost unimaginable cruelty of Chechens screaming Allahu Ackbar! as they decapitate a Russian civilian with a small axe in a forest clearing, and I have watched them cut the throat of a Russian boy soldier with such horror and disgust that I was sick for the rest of the day. I have seen these things, and more.

There are two images I will never forget, and I expect I will think of them often in the days and weeks to come. For in the front row of this parade of horror and depravity, I have watched a fundamentalist Islamic crowd stone two women to death. They were covered head to toe in shockingly white linen ' the better to see the bloodstains. Taken into a field and buried up to their waists, they looked like odd white sails on a sand horizon, until the stones began to fly, leaving red carnations where they landed. One of the women just crumpled, bent at the waist, and I still pray that this person was knocked unconscious within the first minute or so. The other did not go peacefully into that good night. She died fighting and struggling, enduring the most sickening lurches as the unseen stones fell on her, twisting under that now-scarlet hood, trying to protect her face as best she could, as hundreds of her friends and relatives vented their rage, calling out the name of their god as we would cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Allahu Ackbar! Allahu Ackbar! Allahu Ackbar!

I will not forget that image.

And I will not forget another one, either. As long as I draw breath, I swear I will never forget the sight of two people holding hands, and leaping from 108 stories above the hard concrete sidewalks that I myself have walked, gawking skyward at one of the wonders of the world. I will not forget them. I will not forget their fall, the spin that finally tore their hands apart as they fell forever, forever down that quarter-mile. I will never stop wondering what they said to each other in that last moment, or their cries to each other as they launched themselves to their deaths, having watched their friends take the same leap a few moments before. I will never forget what an unimaginable hell that their cozy office, full of coffee mugs and pictures of grandchildren, had become in order for them to make that choice, with the ruins of their friends visible on the streets so far below them.






Now let me explain why I have sought out such despair and horror, endured again and again the rising bile, the nausea, the sickening unclean sense that is cured only by a long, hot shower.

I do it because I want to see what is, not what has been fed to me. I have worked as a scientist and a television editor, and both of these professions have driven me to seek out the reality, the raw data, the source footage. I want my worldview and my opinions to reflect facts, not wishes ' no matter how unpleasant the facts, or how comforting the wishes.

One of the reasons that September 11th remains so shocking and clear to us today was that it was all raw and unedited during those first few hours. Bland, chatty newsmen were rendered speechless, a tough-as-nails mayor broke down and wept, congressmen spontaneously broke into God Bless America because they didn't know what else to do, and people sent in video of jets flying into buildings, broadcast unedited as their friends screamed Jesus F------g Christ!! on network television. It was raw. It was real. It stayed that way for perhaps 48 hours, until people like me (but not me) got a hold of it and turned it into America Mourns with slow-mo flags snapping and moving dissolves of weeping bystanders superimposed over somber musical chords.

Now that awful, enraging footage is being held back, so as not to inflame public opinion. We are about to launch a war in which people will die at our hand, and we have done a dreadful job of making the case for such an action. No cold-blooded, clear-eyed look at what we oppose in this conflict could do anything but inflame public opinion.

Those who criticize the United States from within clearly have not seen any of these horrors I have mentioned, for if they had it could not but mitigate their rhetoric, and put some perspective into their arrogant and affluent lives. Those who actually endure such daily horror as can be found in the world want one thing and one thing only: they want to come here. They want to come here NOW.

We never see these grotesque realities on US television, and yet our news media has not been shy about reporting the effects of US bombing campaigns, never missed a chance to show us the weeping civilians wailing over children lost in US air attacks, never blanched at showing charred Iraqi soldiers hanging out of tanks destroyed by our weapons.

However, by showing only our actions, by showing only what we did to Iraqis without presenting the horrors they inflicted on Kuwait, we have made an editorial decision, that being: The US is the cause of, and not the remedy to, much of the suffering in the world.

That said, in a democracy we are responsible for the actions of our military. Reporting on the consequences of our actions is disturbing and demoralizing, and yet it is well and proper that they do this. We cannot turn our backs on the actual consequences of our actions as Americans. We need to see and hear the result of our military operations, for if we do not we will lose the shock and outrage, the human compassion and decency that so often stays our hand. We, as a nation, learned in Vietnam that war is not jingoistic glory. It is also not a videogame. It is concentrated, unleashed pain, agony, grief and horror, and real people, people who love their children as much as we do, are going to suffer and die because of the actions we are about to take.

Unlike our political opponents both here and abroad, we need to fully and completely understand and accept the consequences of our position. And those consequences, when making war, are the most solemn and heavy responsibilities we can bear as a people.

Those protesting this war do not seem to get this at all. Not only have they failed to make an argument based on fact and historical precedent, they have stooped to the most childish and infantile posturing and rhetoric imaginable. Their chanting has all the mindlessness and cruelty of a kindergarten cabal; their slogans and slanders and taunts seemingly exclusively ad hominem. Watching them on C'Span for as long as you can bear, you rapidly become convinced that they have no point to make at all, other than that the United States is, by definition, the source of all evil and injustice in the world. Conscientious liberals admit in private, and indeed, more frequently in public, to the paucity of thought, the irrationality and sheer lunacy of those who march in our streets in opposition to war with Iraq. I see the absurd posturing of these suburban socialists, listen to the inane chanting from these mall Marxists, watch them return to their Lexuses and their minivans and their SUVs and find myself stuck with Life During Wartime running over and over in my head:

This ain't no party
This ain't no disco
This ain't no foolin' around

This ain't no Mud Club
No CBGB
I ain't got time for that now






As we enter the eve of this war, I am myself torn by a paradox in human nature that has confused and baffled minds far greater and more refined than mine. How can human beings be both so good and so bad? How can the SS and the Salvation Army be staffed by the same species? What exactly is our nature, anyway?

This has been debated for ages, but to me the most cursory look at the world can quickly and clearly provide a powerful clue. The single definitive trait of Homo Sapiens, our greatest ' indeed, only -- strength as a species, is our limitless adaptability. No other creature before or since can live anywhere, (or eat anything) and thrive. From the bleached sands of the Sahara to the ice floes of the pole, we can adapt and prosper. We can be found in every latitude, in the far reaches of space, and at the bottom of the ocean. We appear to be infinitely programmable, and so we adapt to anything.

In societies where cruelty and domination rule, we are capable of the most unspeakable acts of torture, repression and murder. In the streets of revolution-torn Africa, in torture chambers in South America, in the killing fields of Asia, the Gulags of the steppes, the European death camps and the Confederacy's cotton plantations we see refined and perfected barbarism and inhumanity.

Some say this is just human nature. And yet, and yet, in those few historical moments where freedom and prosperity and democracy are allowed to flourish and grow, we are startled by the near total absence of such plagues. No democracy has ever declared war on another. They may have endured hunger, but no true democracy has ever faced actual famine. Individual crime and atrocity have sadly not been banished, but bloodshed and massacre in the streets day after day are unimaginable. Entire communities and nations have been built and survive on deeply cherished ideals of liberty and freedom.

Where the people rule, soldiers do not come jackbooted in the night. Decency, trust, respect and cooperation are the coin of such a realm, and their by-products are equality, prosperity, and happiness. And by any measure, the most free and prosperous and inventive of these societies may be found in the United States of America.

We have managed, as a nation, to build and maintain what might best be thought of as a bubble of freedom, safety and opportunity. We have paid for this privilege through two and a half centuries by wars that have taken the best of our sons and fathers, and now our mothers and daughters as well. We have for two hundred and fifty years found our voice and our memories intact, and now stand at the doorstep of a new millennium facing a world that has once again largely chosen to ignore the lessons of history.

We and two or three other nations, old and true friends who have stood by each other in the presence of such enemies before, now face an adversary in the full bloom of romance with death and destruction; an enemy willing ' eager -- to spray our cities with a virus it has taken armies of scientists and doctors, working diligently through centuries of research and learning, to eradicate from the blood-soaked rolls of history. We face fanatics who would bring down the entire world, themselves included, in a radioactive Armageddon, secure in their own twisted souls of the heavenly rewards of sexual gratification and revenge for their many abject failures. We face people such as this, people who are so far beyond the pale of human mercy and so corrupted by black and bitter rage that they must be killed, for nothing else will stop them, nothing ' as they tell us at every opportunity.

We have blithely ignored them for many years, turned a deaf ear to their warnings and fatwahs, turned an even more blinded eye to their procession of assassinations, massacres, bombings and attacks. Despite our recent and proven record of aiding and defending innocent Muslims in Kuwait, the Balkans, and elsewhere, we have been singled out as a Satan, a nation of sub-human infidels, and been the target of slander and incitement to murder that would have shamed the most fanatical Jesuit in the Spanish Inquisition.

There are those of us who have the courage to actually listen to their unedited rhetoric, view the video records of their atrocities, and face the fact that these people are sworn to kill as many innocent civilians as they possibly can. Some of us, in the months since September 11th, 2001, have chosen to take them at their word.

So let us gather the moral courage to take a factual, cold-hearted look at the reasons why this war with Iraq is the necessary next step in this conflict; one that needs to be undertaken without delay.






First, and most importantly, we can plainly state the prima facie cause that makes up our first argument in favor of invasion:

1. The impending military action is not the pre-emptive opening of hostilities against a sovereign nation, but rather the continuation of hostilities begun by Iraq in 1990 with their invasion of Kuwait; said resumption being a direct result of repeated and flagrant violations of the ceasefire signed by Iraq in 1991.

So much for the 'pre-emptive' attack criticism. This upcoming military action is indeed the product of a pre-emptive attack on a sovereign nation'that nation being Kuwait. Saddam Hussein took his country to war in a naked grab for oil and glory. He was handed the worst military defeat in modern history, a defeat so complete and total that US forces began to hesitate to fire on Iraqi units that were so spectacularly and completely routed.

The United States acquiesced to international law in the form of the UN resolution limiting military action to the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The Iraqi leader, facing complete and total defeat, entered into agreements as a condition of ceasefire, and has failed at every turn to honor those agreements, bringing his country to ruin and starvation by doing so.

It's really just that simple.

Second, the current resolution is clearly worded so that the burden of proof regarding disarmament is on Iraq, and not on the success of the weapons inspectors. UN 1441 makes it clear that anything less than full and complete cooperation ' this means things like meeting us at the airport and handing over the uranium-enrichment centrifuges that we know they have ' is a material breach of UN1441 and will be met by 'serious consequences' (and we should perhaps rename the Nimitz the USS Serious Consequences.)

So:

2. Failure to turn over known WMD components, and not the failure of UN Inspectors to find them, puts Iraq in material breach of UN Resolution 1441 and authorizes the US and her allies to enforce previous UN resolutions by means of military force.

So much for the legal niceties. Now let's get down to brass tacks.







On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by forces of Islamic extremism in an act of barbarity that stunned the world.

In order to grasp the full meaning of that attack, we would do well to change our terminology to better reflect the reality we face. We should be thinking and discussing the upcoming conflict not as the War on Iraq, but as the Battle of Iraq. For it is indeed that: a major ' hopefully, the major ' battle against Islamic fundamentalism and the tactic of terrorism that they have employed against the US and others in their rage and shame at their own manifest failures.

Let us then examine the evidence and motivation that firmly places Iraq as the key component in an alliance of terror directed against the West in general and the United States in particular.

We should begin by having the honesty and integrity to admit that the direct connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda prior to the events of 9/11 are tenuous and murky at best. We should also acknowledge that despite feverish claims to the contrary, Saddam Hussein is a totalitarian dictator exclusively concerned with his own power and in no way is he the Muslim Saladin he makes himself out to be. It does indeed seem likely that Osama bin laden and Saddam Hussein detest each other (and soon we shall be able to refer to both of them in the past tense.) But to say that this is enough to prevent them from allying themselves against the United States is self-delusion of the highest order.

For the full horror of a terrorist nuclear attack upon the United States to come to fruition, our enemies need both the means to produce an atomic bomb and a delivery system for it.

Anyone who doubts the willingness and ability of Al Qaeda to deploy and use such a weapon has frankly not been paying attention and is unworthy of this debate. They have, in public statements, on web sites, in training videos and operations manuals, shown a persistent and desperate attempt to obtain such a weapon. We have only to look back to that clear blue morning should we have any doubt whatsoever that such people would do everything in their power to kill as many of us as possible. Let us not forget that without the heroism and professionalism of our police and firemen, and the most well-managed, successful emergency evacuation in history, that death toll that day could have easily reached twenty or thirty thousand. There is a great deal of evidence that other terrorist teams, both here and abroad, were thwarted by the quick grounding of the commercial fleet by the FAA. Who knows how many others might have been killed that day, and where? Or how many unsung victories we have won in the months since that terrible day?

A small nuclear device can be fit into a suitcase. We need to face the stark, brutal fact that in a free society there is no defense against such a weapon. This war cannot be won, and our cities and people saved from nuclear annihilation, by playing defense.

Fortunately, constructing a nuclear weapon is not easy. In fact, it took the United States the better part of several years and billions of 1940's dollars to construct an operational nuclear device, using the full resources of the world's richest nation and the best theoretical and practical minds on the planet.

Not only must the bomb maker get his or her hands on large quantities of a rare and tightly controlled substance ' uranium or plutonium ' they must also overcome huge engineering problems in terms of hardened materials and exquisitely timed explosions needed to implode the fissile material to critical mass.

A finished nuke can fit in a suitcase, but to build one takes a factory, indeed, takes a nation: money, massive equipment, large work areas, armies of scientists. These things, unlike suitcases, can be found, targeted and destroyed.

There can be no question whatsoever that Saddam Hussein has been desperately seeking the means to build such a weapon. Let's make sure everyone heard that: There can be no question whatsoever that Saddam Hussein has been desperately seeking the means to build such a weapon. Really astonishing piles of independent records and sources confirm this without question. From Iraqi defectors who actually had hands-on experience with the programs, to intelligence reports of the import of the required equipment and raw materials, to the reams of evidence that prior inspectors discovered in their seven years of investigations, to the unabashed statements of Saddam Hussein himself' Saddam has brought his country to ruin for no other reason that his obsession with owning a nuclear bomb.

Had the Israelis not bombed the Osirak reactor in 1981 (and endured world condemnation for it at the time), then without question Iraq would have had a nuclear weapon during the 1991 Gulf War. It is impossible to imagine a man such as Saddam not using such a weapon when faced with the greatest defeat in military history. Whether he used it in a Scud attack on US troops, to contaminate Kuwaiti or Saudi oilfields, or, more likely, to use against Tel Aviv to ignite a holy war against the hated Jews, the result would have been catastrophic, indeed, in the likely case of a nuclear response from Israel, unimaginable.

We can therefore sum up the next argument for attacking Iraq as follows:

3. Saddam Hussein has the means and the motivation to develop nuclear weapons, and there is irrefutable evidence that he has tried to do so. He has shown staggering errors in judgment and a belief in his own personal infallibility by attacking Iran, Kuwait, and Israel. Iraq attaining nuclear capability therefore provides a potent and immediate threat to our allies in the region and the vital interests of the United States.

Like all dictators, Saddam runs a state apparatus ruled by fear. There is no one in his military command structure, or indeed among his party or even his sons, who are willing to give him real information, because most of that information will be bad news. This, coupled with his clinical paranoia and narcissism, have led him to absolutely appalling errors in judgment, such as assuming that the Iranian people would join him in his war with Iran, the miscalculation over Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent evasion of his obligations in the years since.

Furthermore, the people who have had first-hand contact with Saddam Hussein all speak of his messianic complex. He cares not a whit about world opinion, and indeed seems preoccupied with how the people -- particularly the Arabs -- of 500 years hence will record him. Saddam, to put it plainly, plans to make a big splash on the pages of world history. In this he is no different than Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot. There are no legal or behavioral inhibitions on totalitarians such as Saddam. He does whatever he wishes, and every action is met by terrified praise and false adulation from a population cowering in fear.

Therefore, it is not only likely but probable that Saddam will be tempted to use such weapons to strike back at those who have committed the unthinkable crime of embarrassing him before the world. And this is where Al Qaeda can provide him with not only the delivery mechanism, but also, to Saddam's irrational and misinformed mind, a form of plausible deniability. His success with The Big Lie these past 11 years has emboldened him to believe ' with ample justification ' that there are legions of useful idiots ready to rally to the defense of anyone who dares attack America.

So we may summarize our fourth cause as follows:

4. Saddam Hussein shows irrefutable signs of mental impairment in the form of Clinical Paranoia and Narcissistic Disorder. Given control of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, his temptation to use them against the US on American soil is not mitigated by normal behavioral inhibitors, and indeed is amplified by his aberrant mental state. This poses a potent, immediate and intolerable threat to the safety and security of the people of the United States.

A close corollary to this argument can be made from the fact that Saddam routinely tortures, murders and gasses his own people. We may disagree violently with the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis and the French, among others, but we do not unduly fear nuclear attack from such nations because each of them can be deterred by the unimaginable rain of destruction we would unleash upon them in return.

A self-absorbed Narcissist such as Saddam does not see people ' even his own people ' the way we do. They are objects to men like Saddam, props and extras that enhance the panoply and glory of their own lives. Brave German generals disobeyed Hitler's orders to destroy everything that remained intact in Germany during the final weeks of the Third Reich. Like all dictators, he saw the impending end of his own life as the final curtain on his nation's history'and what happened to the extras in his biopic was completely irrelevant.

Saddam has taken the cradle of civilization, one of the most enlightened and educated populations in the middle east, and driven it to utter ruin in the service of his own vainglorious ambitions. The money designated to feed and care for his people under the UN sanctions he has used to build mad palaces of sickening opulence under the noses of his starving children. And yet there are those that say the threat of reprisal against his nation is sufficient to keep him in line.

Nonsense. Saddam has to die someday. And when he goes, he clearly means to take whatever he can with him. Therefore:

5. Saddam has repeatedly shown his contempt and bitter disregard for the welfare of his own people. He has totally neglected all of the misery they have endured since his ascension to power, and is therefore undeterrable and immune to fear of reprisal against his nation and his people.

No one disputes that nuclear weapons are dangerous. No one disputes that Saddam is dangerous. So why do legions of people argue that Saddam with nuclear weapons is somehow not dangerous?







Those, as I see them, are our primary casus belli. Now let's deal with some of the reasons why people oppose this war.

Innocent people, innocent children will die in this war.

That is true. Innocent people will die at our hand. But let us never forget that action is visible and direct, but that inaction also bears consequences.

We will do everything in our power to limit civilian causalties in this war. In fact, during the days and weeks ahead, we will see something unheard of in military history: a campaign designed not only to minimize civilian casualties, but one aimed at killing as few enemy soldiers as possible. We have already dropped leaflets on Iraqi regular army units, telling them that if they remain in their positions they will not be harmed, but if they mass for a counterattack, we will destroy them. The Iraqi army has recent experience in this matter, both with our destructive capabilities and our generosity and kindness to prisoners of war.

Saddam's miserable, poorly-fed and disgracefully-led conscripts have no love for the man. That is why he consolidated what loyal soldiers he had into the Republican Guard. This body, too, became understandably unreliable after Saddam's bloodthirsty and paranoid purges, so he created the Special Republican Guard, a further decimated cadre that may in fact fight for him, since they are the predators at the top of this dictatorial food chain, and therefore have the most to lose and, certainly, the most to fear from an outraged and oppressed populace.

I fervently hope that Iraqi regular-army conscripts decide to sit this one out. No one who watched them surrender, kissing the garments of American sergeants, could feel anything but compassion and pity for these men. I do believe that those that do choose to fight will be the hard core element of Saddam's blood-stained police state, the sadists and executioners who have tortured and murdered their own people on Saddam Hussein's orders for decades. Don't forget that. Don't forget the number that have disappeared in the night during his monstrous reign of terror. Don't forget well-documented, disgustingly common accounts of the children tortured to death in front of their parents, of girls raped in front of their fathers, not to mention the roll-calls of horror that will emerge when that evil is finally swept away.

And finally, don't forget your friends and family, the good people you work and play with, the innocent men, women and children of New York or Los Angeles or Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, or whichever city we may condemn to radioactive vapor because we were too cowardly and indecisive to act on what we knew to be a threat.


We have thousands of nuclear weapons'it's hypocritical to say Iraq can not have them also.

We have had nuclear weapons for almost sixty years now. They have been used, twice, within the first days of that ownership to end the most horrible war in history and prevent many times the number of casualties, on both sides, that would have been lost had the war continued through the invasion of Japan. Despite many provocations, they have not been used since then. We have had chemical weapons for even longer.

Saddam, on the other hand, used his chemical weapons the instant he got his hands on them: first on the Iranians and then on his own Kurds ' this after not once being used by any nation during all the desperate years of World War II. What does that tell you?

Many adults are given alcohol, credit cards, automobiles, guns and jet aircraft, once they have shown themselves worthy of the responsibility. We do not put these things in the hands of four year olds, and with very good reason. It may seem hypocritical to you; to me, the idea of keeping a drunken second-grader from waving around a loaded automatic while behind the controls of a hurtling 747 just makes sense.

This war is all about oil.

Demonstrably false for the reasons listed above. Nevertheless, let's grant the premise. Oil is the only power source currently available to meet the needs of our post-industrial society. Not only our automobiles depend on this oil: it is also a primary source of electrical energy in this country, and is essential to the plastics we use in everything from MRI machines to CD players.

To say this war is all about oil is factually identical to saying that this war is all about maintaining our society and lifestyle. If that is not worth fighting for, what is? One may find that offensive ideologically, but as I see it, to be true to such a philosophy you must either drive a solar-powered electric car, ride a horse or a bicycle, or walk. You must remove your home from the city power grid. You must discard all plastic items. You must also abandon television, radios and movies, all of which rely on electricity generated by oil. You must forgo modern medicine, surgery and dentistry, likewise driven by oil-fired electricity at many stages. You must grow your own food.

Do all of these things, and you will have my frank admiration for your dedication to a moral cause. Do anything less and you are a hypocrite mouthing an easy lie in an attempt to strike a pose of moral superiority.

Furthermore, people who apply this argument are usually accusing us of stealing the oil. Now I suppose it's theoretically possible that everyone else at the gas station gets a wink, a nod and a don't be silly hand gesture when they try to pay for their gas -- me, I'm shelling out $1.83 a gallon for the privilege.

There has been a river, a Mississippi of our fives and tens and twenty-dollar bills flowing into the middle east for decades now. The idea that most of this has been squandered on scores of madly extravagant palaces, solid-gold toilets and leggy hookers should only further direct all fair-minded people toward the cause of Invasion. One of the many reasons I support this action in Iraq is because the people of that nation are sitting on a significant hunk of loose change. It is indeed being stolen from them -- and I for one am convinced that once we deal with the thief that stole it, those revenues will be of enormous benefit to the people of Iraq, and aid them in the rebuilding of their country.

It is true we depend on oil for our lifestyle. However, if you look at it objectively, you might agree that oil does no one any good hundreds of feet below a barren desert. For us it helps power our society; for them it is a valuable commodity and a legitimate means of transferring a lot of our cash into their pockets. My car does not care where that oil comes from, but I do. And if my $1.83 / gallon can in the future go to the people of Iraq, I would find that both a blessing and a relief.

Still, the whole point is, as I mentioned, logically flawed -- fatally flawed. Gas is cheaper now, in adjusted dollars, than it has ever been. Evil Oil KKKorporations don't need more oil on the market: it depresses the price. More of something makes it cheaper; less of something makes it more expensive. Although I do understand why this confuses some people -- the whole supply / demand concept does seem to give the far left a great deal of trouble.

When gasoline is $13 dollars per gallon and lines stretch for miles around empty service stations, THEN will I begin to reasonably suspect this political decision has oil-based overtones.

We need a 'smoking gun' from the UN inspectors.

The problem with a smoking gun is you can't find it until it's gone off.

It is clear from documented reports of bribery attempts on UN Inspectors on the part of the Iraqis, to French inspectors tipping off Saddam about team destinations, that to accept this argument we de facto lose the game. This is why it is so popular. It ignores reams of testimony from defecting scientists, and all of the other evidence stated above. In fact, it raises the question that ignoring such a mountain of existing evidence requires such a willful burying of one's head in the sand as to make any proof insufficient. To such people, the smoking gun they require is a pile of radioactive rubble where Tel Aviv once stood, or legions of dead commuters in the London Underground, or the wildfire spread of smallpox through greater Chicago and beyond. Scores of independent sources repeatedly and emphatically demonstrate that Iraq has massive quantities of biological and chemical weapons, and is working frantically to attain nuclear ones.

Those unconvinced by the existing evidence will be convinced by nothing less than their actual use against our military or civilians.

To hell with those people.

North Korea admits to having nuclear weapons and is threatening the region. They are a greater threat and must be dealt with first.

That a rogue nation can threaten the three most prosperous economies of Asia with nuclear blackmail (although, admittedly, China would not likely be as threatened as South Korea or Japan) does indeed raise a troubling question. And that question is, with such a clear example before our eyes, who can not believe that removing such a powerful lever from the hands of Saddam Hussein should not be job #1? North Korea already has these weapons. We cannot undo that. We can only prevent that from happening in the future.

Our options are dramatically reduced, and the consequences of miscalculation on either side astronomically raised, by such weapons in the hands of such an unbalanced, isolated and desperate regime. This is precisely why we must intervene in Iraq.

It is hypocritical and contradictory to negotiate with North Korea, which already has nuclear weapons, and advocate war on Iraq, which does not.

I will grant that it may appear so at first glance. But consider these two points:

First, we relied on negotiations, diplomacy and signed agreements in order to prevent North Korea from obtaining these weapons. They developed them despite these negotiations and in direct violation of these international agreements. There are those who oppose this war, who say we should try this spectacularly unsuccessful strategy with Iraq. I would like to sell these people their next automobile.

Second, North Korea thinks they can pressure us while we are preoccupied with Iraq. They are betting their empty, crop-free farm on this. They want us to become alarmed, right now. They hope to blackmail us before the last vestiges of their state collapses around them. That is a trap we have so far avoided.

There is a reason we treat Iraq in one fashion and North Korea in another. It is a very simple reason. In the case of North Korea, time is on our side; with Saddam, time works against us. This is not hypocrisy, it is sound and cogent strategic thinking.

And finally,

The United States has no right to launch a pre-emptive attack; we can only respond if we are attacked.

This is the most pernicious and dangerous argument of all, because it plays directly into our natural revulsion at being an aggressor and causing the deaths of innocent civilians.

As I mentioned, I see both Iraq's attack on Kuwait, and the Islamicist attacks on 9/11, as the pre-emptive attacks that started this pending conflict. But perhaps you do not buy that argument. Well, consider this:

We were attacked before, on December 7th, 1941, by a vast navy that had been assembling for years. We watched the Japanese build the Pearl Harbor fleet. We did nothing. We ' the French and English especially ' also did nothing as a bitter and vengeful Germany grew stronger and more daring. Appeasement was all the rage back then.

In the years following that naval sneak attack, and after a war in which unchecked militarism nearly brought civilization to ruin, it made sense to think that we could stay free by being strong enough to deter or repel any invasion. We would do ' indeed, we have done ' whatever it took to create a defense so formidable that the mere idea of defeating it has become unthinkable, and to willingly provoke it becomes an act of state suicide.

Those days are gone.

We face an enemy willing ' eager ' to carry a suitcase into Times Square, press a button, and in one millisecond inflict more casualties on the United States than we have seen in all the wars of our history, combined.

It is an image so horrible that many simply refuse to believe it.

Believe it.

We ignore September 11th at our mortal peril. We no longer have the luxury of watching an enemy build military and naval strength over years or decades. We no longer face uniformed divisions massing at the borders. We face instead a group of depraved murderers to whom nothing is off-limits, who fear no earthly retribution, who love and glorify death for its own end and who hate not only all that we do, but all that we are with a black bitterness that we cannot begin to imagine.






I believe we are standing at a doorway in history, squinting at forms we can barely make out in a dark room. We will, in the years to come, look at the confusion and doubt of the present hour as a turning point in the history, and indeed the identity, of our nation and ourselves.

For we are waking up to a simple reality. In a new millennium where a few diseased people can carry a suitcase with the power to kill millions, the lesson we must learn is simply this: the only way we will be safe, prosperous and free is when everyone is safe, prosperous and free.

Critics of this War on Terror call it 'eternal' and 'never-ending' as a means of discouraging us from fighting it at all.

But there can be an end to this war. It will end when all people are inside the bubble we have built for ourselves and our children ' warm, well-fed, free to pursue their dreams and ambitions, their minds and bodies and women liberated, racial and tribal hatreds put aside, and so on.

The quiet idealist that resides deep inside in me, on a speak-when-spoken-to basis, actually believes such things are possible. After all, it works -- pretty well -- for us, and we Americans are children of all the world. We know what such a society looks like, and we have documents of such stunning clarity and hope as to show anyone the way.

The conservative I have become, however, is certain that if it happens, it will happen because of the actions and sacrifice of US Marines and not because of middle-aged naked hippies spelling PEACE on a golf course. It will take decades. It may take centuries.

Can we force freedom and democracy on people? It seems, from the example of Germany and Japan, that indeed we can. These societies once harbored fanatics no less dedicated to our destruction than the ones we face today. Now they are our trading partners, and often our friends and allies. The point at which it becomes necessary to force such a regime change will be determined by how ugly the swamp has become. And can anyone seriously argue that the people left after the defeat of the Nazis, Japanese Imperialists or American Confederates are not far better off today than they would have been if they had won?

I am not an ideologue in this regard, and I certainly don't want to send our sons and daughters out to fight and die for anything less than our safety and survival. But that, to me, is looking like what it might come to. Each success makes the next case easier, and each triumph further shames and silences our critics.

Sixty years ago, we were willing to sacrifice millions of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to keep our homeland safe. Such a task may be before us today. With our soldiers' skill, training and professionalism, and our unparalleled technical innovation and creative genius, we will not need anything like millions of soldiers. But it will not be without cost ' it will only be necessary.

In this, I am guardedly optimistic due to our recent victory in Afghanistan. Not the military victory, magnificent though it was.

No, I am thinking of things like the reopening of their soccer stadium, the field where I have seen -- through the camera obscura of the internet -- women in burqas forced to kneel and then shot through the back of the head for the crime of adultery. Kids play football there again. That's a win, Noam Chomsky, you lying son of a bitch.

Little girls march to school in the morning, singing. That's a win, Robert Fisk. Old men wept as the Afghan national flag was carried by an actual Afghan army during their first free National Day in two generations. That is a win for the Good Guys, too, Harold Pinter. I hear of Special Forces sergeants organizing little league teams and I just smile like a little kid.

I'm smiling because, at last, we have dragged ourselves back from the mud and filth of the Cold War, from allying ourselves with what was only marginally the slightly lesser of two great evils in our proxy wars in Asia and South America and Africa. I'm smiling not just because of my bursting pride in the dedication and skill of our military, but in the essential kindness and compassion of these kids of ours who just want to do the right thing and come home. I'm smiling because I start to see before us an age where, in the words from the 1963 movie The Ugly American, we are no longer 'so busy telling people what we are against that we forget to tell them what we are for.'

We have a long and difficult road to travel in these coming years, and there will be ample opportunities for us to fall off the path. But I reflect on our own greatest peril, the dark days of our own Civil War, and I draw comfort from something not often remembered about that turning point in our history.

In the early days of that conflict, Abraham Lincoln saw one objective, and one only: he must save the Union. That was what marched the men in blue off to Bull Run: Save the Union. Lincoln said as much when contemplating the Emancipation Proclamation:

'My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.'

But as the war dragged on and victory continued to recede, Lincoln found a new voice. Southerners could be counted upon to fight because it was their homes and institutions under attack. One poor captured Rebel, when asked why he was fighting on behalf of the rich plantation owners' right to keep slaves, replied, 'I'm fighting because you're down here.' Lincoln needed something with that emotional imperative, and he found it.

He found it after brave Negro soldiers -- like the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, immortalized in the movie Glory --showed to their northern skeptics that they were as gallant and effective soldiers as any in the Union Army. He found it in the words of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. He found it by turning the dirge 'John Brown's Body' into the inspirational 'Battle Hymn of the Republic.'

Lincoln turned the Northern cause into a crusade to set men free.

If we have the courage of our convictions, if we do indeed feel that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is worth fighting and dying for, then we may find that freeing the world is in our national interest, regardless of the cost.

So on the eve of this new tempest, let us remember, together, a final image ' to me, the most hopeful of all.

Let us remember Afghanistan.

Let us remember that the brutal Soviets we so sullied ourselves fighting during the Cold War had installed in their southern neighbor a puppet dictator, who ruled small enclaves at the point of a tank cannon and tore their nation into civil war that culminated in the atrocities of the Taliban. Let us remember the million Afghan civilians who died forcing off that yoke.

Let us remember an image from that ruin of a nation, in June of 2002, at a meeting hall in Kabul. Inside were all manner of warlords, refugees, opposition leaders, even their old king. Women demanding positions of power, wizened old tribal leaders opposing them at every turn, mullahs and warlords making veiled threats and all the rest of the unruly, loud, preposterous accoutrements of democracy that make up a Loya Jirga or a US Congress.

And let us remember the image of US soldiers, forming a cordon, a bubble of security around this howling, screaming catfight. Not inside. Not dictating terms. Not so much as laying a hand on a gavel. But rather outside, armed and powerful, seeing to it that the future of that tortured country rested in the hands of their own people, protecting this newborn, imperfect, and astonishingly fragile proto-democracy against the legions of Taliban, Al Qaeda and petty warlords who would like to see nothing so much as its failure. Remember them guarding the life and pure, undiluted courage of Hamid Karzai. And remember our soldiers giving them, day by painful day, another week, another month without torture and repression so that they in all their infinitely adaptable humanity have the time to come to find such things intolerable.

Remember that, and smile. Because that is America at war.

Posted by Proteus at January 26, 2003 8:20 PM







Welcome to the Eject! Eject! Eject! commenter community. Please read and understand the following:


1. This is not a public square. This is a dinner party on personal property. Good conversation is not only tolerated but celebrated here. But the host understands the difference between dissent and disrespect, even if you do not. Louts will be ignored until the bouncers can show them the door.

2. This is a voluntary online community. Your posting of any material, whether in comments or otherwise, grants to William A. Whittle, Aurora Aerospace, Inc. and their affiliates, a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, sublicense, reproduce or incorporate into other material all or any portion of the material posted, for commercial or other use.

3. If a comment does find its way into a main page essay, print, or other media, every effort will be made to credit the individual making the comment. So chose your screen name accordingly, SLNTFRT33@yahoo.com!

Now let's see some distributed intelligence and basic human decency! Don't make me come down there every five minutes!




Comments



Proud to link to this one, Bill.



Well, I promised I'd tried to be more brief in the future and I just couldn't do it. I just really wanted to nail this one to the wall.

Better bring that pack lunch after all. Sorry.




This is now officially one of my reference articles. I have never seen the case so beautifully made and I have never seen a clearer, more appropriate or more beautiful vision of our future as Americans, if only we dare choose it.

BRAVO!



Bill, write us a book already!



Thank You
May God bless us everyone.





The first eight paragraphs had me near tears, the remainder left me glad I know of someone named Bill Whittle who shares himself with all of us and asks for nothing in return...except, perhaps, that we share in his hope and vision for the future.



Bill, a note for you. Typo, 3rd paragraph, "did no go peacefully" and then you can erase this.



whoops, 6th paragraph, story about women stoned...



Bill,
I could go on and on about what a great, great article this is, but instead I'll just pose a question:
Would you object if this article was printed, photocopied multiple times, and then left about (properly attributed to the author, of course) in dorms, coffee shops, bookstores, etc., in a small college town in the Midwest?



Bill, these same thoughts run rampant through my head, and I write them down, but not near as well, not even close.

Before the Vietnam war, there were always stories about communists visiting small villages, then publicly executing the mayor or village elders, hanging the body where it could be seen. Reporters visited there, but the photos they must have taken never were published.

When, during the Vietnam war, the pictures in the local papers contained only photos of bodies of those we killed, I wrote the LA Times and asked why these other 'real' atrocities were never shown. No answer, of course. My Lai (sp.?) was there, but never, never what the enemy did.

The picture emblazoned in the minds of the world later...the angry, tortured Chief of Police in Saigon putting a bullet through the head of a captured terrorist! He was condemned for that, when all around the city were bodies of the innocent civilians who died at the hands of this man and his cohorts. Would that I had been there and had the courage, even if it took anger, to do the same thing.

Twelve days before the towers fell, we were up there at night, enjoying the beautiful sight of an innocent city, the George Washington bridge to the north, and the bridge across the Narrows to the south, the Lincoln Tunnel just below us. We were driven there by an Arab, a man who came to this country to enjoy 'freedom', and you are right, half of the nation of Iraq would probably leave, if they had somewhere to go. Many are here now, a huge colony of them in San Diego, people who fled the tyranny of Hussein.

You've got a touch, Bill. I hope thousands get to read your material.



Just wanted to say thank you, for all that you have written here. You express wonderfuly what the best of America is, and help to remind us all of it.



Bill, I know you've said that all these people have a right to say all these silly things about "No War For Oil" etc., and intellectually I agree with you.

Yet, viscerally, I'd like to have your essay, every single word, tattooed on their worthless hides, so that they have to read them every single time they have a bath or take a shower (in Harrelson's case, I'm told, that would only be once a year, but never mind).

You should send this essay to the Telegraph in London, so that others might be exposed to it. I bet they'd print it.



Brilliant! You need to put all these essays together and release them in a book! I'd also like to know (like Xenophon) if you'd allow us to reprint this essay (properly cited and sourced) to distribute (in my case at a major university in Los Angeles).



I'm Speechless. (Even more than usual.)



Bill, thanks for this moving essay, I think few people will read this without occasionally fighting their tears. I'll have my wife and family read this, and anyone around me who does not understand yet.

There's a great dearth of good info and arguments in Europe: this piece is invaluable.

Great work!

Wijnand van de Beek
Amsterdam



Terrific!! Thank you once again, Mr. Whittle. You said it all.
If _this_ doesn't convince the peaceniks, then only piles of corpses and the rubble of our cities will. And then they'll only be convinced to be Quislings under the tyranny they'd have us surrender to. To Hell with them.



Dear Mr. Whittle: What a master of eloquent argument you are. You say so much that needs to be said, and so well. Are you a reincarnation of G. K. Chesterton?



Bill

Excellent, as is your usual. I'll be linking to it. By the way, the UNSC resolution is 1441, not 1440.



First off, I should preface this by saying no-one has to give an argument *against* an attack on Iraq, but that those that want one have to give reasons *for*. Plainly, such reasons are hardly convincing, or Bill's piece I'm replying to wouldn't exist. Moreover, there would be no need to "redouble efforts" to "win the propaganda war" (senior advisor to Tony Blair) in face of stern opposition all around the world if the original reasons stood up to any kind of scrutiny. Keeping that in mind, I'll bite. Comment is interspersed.

>

A bit like the US invasion of Panama, although that didn't have a remotely credible pretext. And the Israeli invasion of Lebanon makes Kuwait look like a tea party.

>

The United States is required to follow international law by virtue of the constitution. So, no cookies and milk for that piece of back-breaking flexibility.

>

No, the sanctions have performed that duty (the Gulf slaughter you no doubt praise didn’t help). Saddam Hussein hasn’t killed nearly a million of his own people. The UN oil-for-food programme is one of the “best run programmes [the UN] has seen in almost 40 years” according to the previous head of it (who incidentally, resigned in protest like his predecessor, calling them “genocide”).

>

Explain how you can prove a negative please.

>

UNS/RES 1441, actually. So much for “facts” which you supposedly laud.

>

"Evidence" which you haven’t presented. In fact, any evidence which has been presented has been shown to be utterly false. Rational people should then take that into account when considering the veracity of any “evidence” which is alluded to by the same people who produced such “evidence” in the first place.

>

“Serious consequences” which are to be defined by the Security Council, not the US alone. After “all peaceful means have been exhausted” according to the UN Charter, which obviously hasn’t happened, since the United States is blocking those, which are readily available.

>

"Known"? See above.

BTW, arguing that the US is upholding UN resolutions by breaking the UN Charter and ignoring the UN is pretty hilarious. For that reason alone, you cannot be taken seriously.

>

Nice attempt to link Sept 11 with Iraq (which had nothing to do with it). I’m afraid rational commentators require a little more evidence on that score than rhetoric. Therefore, I’m ignoring the "Sept 11 is Iraq" chatter as I could discern no demonstrable argument within it. After all, none of the hijackers were Iraqis (nor Afghans), and 19 were from Saudi Arabia, an ally.

>

Sounds a lot like Iraq. Oh, wait a minute, that's a ruined Third World country.

>

Since Israel isn’t in ruin (nor Pakistan, India, China or the rest), just on sane analysis alone, this cannot be the “reason”. Therefore, we look for the other, actual reasons, which are pretty clear.

>

Thanks to the help of the West, when he was a favoured ally and trading partner.

>

He doesn’t have “the means”, for obvious reasons. The motivation is thus largely irrelevant.

Addressing your points, he attacked Iran with the support of the United States. Therefore, that wasn’t against the “vital interests” of the “United States”.

[NOTE: By the way, if you want to the taken seriously, you should define “United States”. Do you mean the geographical US, the people of the US, or small sectors of “special interest” (i.e. weapons manufacturers, oil companies etc)? Because certainly, only one sector gained from supporting Saddam in the 80’s. Strangely enough, that is precisely the sector now calling for his removal. That ought to raise some questions about their motivations, unless of course, you operate on blind faith]

He invaded Kuwait when he thought he had tacit approval to do so from the US (looking at the record, that doesn’t seem unreasonable). He attacked Israel after the invasion.

Since, a) he doesn’t have that support now, b) doesn’t believe he has tacit approval to invade anyone and c) understands that attacking or invading anyone would bring about his immediate destruction, it follows de facto that d) he isn’t a threat to anyone in the region.

Plus, with the exception of Kuwait and Israel, the “region” overwhelming opposes war. By simple logic alone, the US cannot claim to be defending a region that is opposing that defence voraciously.

>

For any of the above to make the slightest sense, you’ll first have to provide evidence that deterrence wouldn’t work. That will be difficult, since it worked even in 1991, when he was exponentially more dangerous. I’m assuming the reason you haven’t mentioned any such evidence is because you feel the psycho-babble suffices. I’m afraid it doesn’t.

>

Justifying war on the basis of counselling? That’s a new one.

>

To keep himself in power, which is routine for dictators. Also, the US supported all three then, so it cannot possibly care about such atrocities now.

>

As can Saddam (was in fact, as I’ve stated and as even US intelligence analysis agrees).

>

I assume this debris is thrown in simply to make this piece longer and give the impression it is well thought out. Unfortunately, such efforts are ridiculously transparent.

>

This is repetition. For the third time, I believe.

>

The actual record reveals that the UN oil-for-food programme is described as “excellent” and the UN-SG has reported no problems with it. Regardless, the system actually only provides for about $100 per year to feed and provide medical treatment etc for every Iraqi. Hardly sufficient by any reasonable measure.

>

Actually, the threat of reprisal is against him and his position (a fact you are studiously avoiding with laudable delicacy), not the Iraqi people (although of course they will be slaughtered to achieve it). One is a lot different and you know it.

In addition, your use of the phrase, “there are those” (a group which includes all of US intelligence) simply demonstrates where you place yourself on the spectrum of rational debate.

>

As did Stalin, when he died. He of course immediately shot off the nukes… oh wait, no he didn’t. Nukes and a delivery system Saddam doesn’t have of course, so the analogy isn’t entirely accurate, but it suffices to make swiss cheese out of this ridiculous justification.

>

A non sequitor which is also, happily, yet another repetition.

>

Well, I’m not sure who these “legions of people” are. Ignoring them (since I haven’t seen anybody sane pose such an argument), I guess you might be referring to the same sorts of people who were vigorously opposed to the Rumsfeld Reaganites (the same ones in power now, with remarkable continuity) in the 80’s, who were providing Saddam with the means to develop nuclear weapons. I assume such people would be opposed to allowing Saddam to develop nuclear weapons now, for the same principled reasons.

Strikingly, they also haven’t altered their positions 180 degrees without a word of contrition, which cannot be said for some.

>

That's it? See preface.

>

Huge numbers of innocent people will be killed by the United States and Britain, consciously. Just as much as they have under murderous sanctions, which are acknowledged to have strengthened Saddam Hussein whilst weakening political opposition. A fact the "liberators" have yet to apologise for, which blows a hole in their claim not to have any quarrel with the "Iraqi people".

>

Interesting. Will targeting water supplies and sewage treatment facilities etc be on the menu again? Oh, I say targeted in the sense that they were deliberately destroyed, as the factual record reveals amply reveals. You can choose not to look at it, but that’s your problem.

>

Not wanting soldiers to fight an invasion of their country is not the same as not wanting to kill them, which is altogether different. The psy-ops are used for the former, not the latter. Also, the record of 1991 (and elsewhere) so massively documents the exact opposite of what you're arguing I'm surprised you can do it with a straight face.

>

Actually, I will forget that, since it is utter nonsense. The soldiers of Iraq’s army are almost overwhelmingly conscripts, who likely despise Saddam Hussein. Those will be the people killed. Others may be attempting to defend their country from foreign invasion. Those will be the people killed as well. To slur that anybody killed is basically a puppet of Saddam is grotesque. Likewise, the victims of Saddam's "blood-stained police state" are also the victims of sanctions, which were imposed by the same people now trying to invade Iraq.

>

Which the US gladly supported when it was occurring on far worse levels. Therefore the US cannot be concerned about it, since virtually the same people who didn’t care then are in power now.

>

“We” again. Please define, since US intelligence does not believe that there is a threat from Saddam, except in the event of a US attack. Therefore, the “threat” which you say needs to be countered would actually be brought about by an invasion. Again, just on presupposition you have no argument to speak of. Consequently, until you present an argument that is even remotely convincing that Iraq poses a threat to the United States (beyond dismissible rhetoric), there is not even the remotest shred of argument contained herein, as far as I can see.

>

Again, nobody wants Iraq to have nuclear weapons, so you're "refuting" an argument that doesn't exist. Everyone sane wants UN resolutions to be upheld, in particular, UNSC/RES 687 paragraph 14, which stresses the need for a “nuclear-free” Middle East. Israel flouts this with impunity (backed by the US), and until that hypocritical stance is resolved, naturally US motives will be called into question. Once again, this is exactly why virtually everyone is vigorously opposed to Saddam being allowed to develop nuclear weapons and also the reason why they rightly stressed that the West and those currently in power in the US shouldn’t have helped him to do so in the first place.

>

Actually, Japan was on the verge of surrender and the US rejected the same ceasefire terms before the bombs that it actually accepted after the bombs. Any honest person would also separate the two attacks, since even if you could argue the first was justified (I don’t think so, but you could argue it), the second clearly wasn’t and obviously timed to threaten the Soviet Union which was due to enter the war 60 days after the surrender of Germany. Nagasaki was 58 days after. The declassified record is quite clear on this, which again, you could ignore, but that doesn’t make for rational argument.

>

That since he had US support to do both, he felt he was immune from any punishment.

>

I assume that this childishness is meant to mask the lack of argument.

>

What reasons? You can delude yourself by hoping no-one will notice US oil companies drilling and exploring the 2nd largest reserves in the world after the end of Saddam, but saying "nyah nyah nyah it's not about oil!" is hardly convincing.

>

Right, go on...

>

....so it is about oil. I'm glad that one was cleared up. I enjoyed the intellectual dance around it by the way. Again, very transparent.

>

Or rather, it is so popular because previous inspections resulted in finding and destroying roughly 85-95% of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and its means to produce them. It therefore follows that a tougher inspections regime would discover at least some evidence of WMD, if it remained. The fact that it hasn’t ought to, again, raise some interesting questions about the basis for war.

>

And when such people pass information to the inspectors, it is funny how there is never anything there isn’t it?

>

You’re jumping from step (1) to step (27). Firstly, if Iraq is burying biological or chemical weapons in the sand (even assuming it has them, and no-one thinks it has nuclear weapons), that isn’t a concern. Secondly, before you get to “actual use”, you’d have to demonstrate, a) that Iraq wants to attack the US, b) Saddam Hussein wants instant annihilation, because that would surely result, and c) that it has the means and ability to do the former. You haven’t even come close to that, for obvious reasons: you can’t.

>

It doesn’t. Article 51 of the UN Charter says “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”. This is conventional international law, which is US is obligated by “solemn treaty” to uphold.

Customary (as opposed to conventional) international law would perhaps be flexible enough to accept a response to a demonstrably immediate and perilous threat, where the UN-SC has no time to react. For example, you could argue Israel’s attack on neighbouring Arab states in 1967 fits this definition. I wouldn’t agree with that argument (I think the documentary record and even public statements by Israeli officials show differently), but you could at least argue it. Clearly, that isn’t the case with Iraq. Therefore, conventional law applies, and the US has no right to a “pre-emptive” attack.

Furthermore, if you don’t want to follow the UN Charter, fine – have the honesty to say so, withdraw from the United Nations and the rest of the world can be spared the ignominy of having to endure all the lying.

>

It is called “appeasement” now, but it was “support” then. The US actually sat back and had a nice period of profitable neutrality from 1939-1941 while most of Europe was embroiled in a life-or-death conflict and Russia suffered horrendous casualties. Britain and the US gave support to the Nazis all throughout the 30’s, and supported fascist tendencies after the war (Greece etc). Still does in fact (see Chile, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia etc). Since no such support (or “appeasement”) exists vis a vis Iraq, sensible people can disregard this woefully lacking historical analogy.

Oh yeah, a wake-up call: Saddam isn’t Hitler.

>

Actually, it made sense to create the United Nations, which is what was done. What doesn’t make sense is undermining the UN, which is what the US is doing.

>

Which has nothing to do with Iraq.

>

Rather, I presume the CIA can imagine pretty well, since it was fermenting that bitterness and hatred when it suited its own ends. Oh, and that has nothing to do with Iraq.

>

Which has nothing to do with Iraq.

>

Precisely why the United States should reverse its policies of supporting harsh regimes which “block democracy and development”, resulting in a “campaign of hatred against us” (according to the National Security Council declassified record, answering the question “why do they hate us?”, posed by President Eisenhower).

I’m ignoring the rest because it has squat to do with Iraq (which is supposed to be the point). If there is any argument there which you could clarify, I'd be glad to address it.



Magnificent! You don't come up to bat that often, but when you do, you belt it out of the stadium...



This is the first time I've visited your site. What a tremendous experience it was to read your essay. It takes a great soul to see great things. You've given voice to our best hopes and motivations. I only hope this view can be communicated far enough and often enough that we as a nation and then the world "have time to adapt to it."



Just one (among dozens) of factual inaccuracies in Mark Tinsley's comment: The US constitution does not "require" the United States to follow international law. Rather, what the constitution says is that international law is applied by the courts as part of the law of the land but, as the Supreme Court has said on numerous occasions, this application is expressly subject to subsequent acts of congress and to the constitution itself. Accordingly, for purposes of the US constitution, the act of congress authorizing the use of military force against Iraq governs, regardless of any international law to the contrary.

Mark Tinsley should perhaps take steps to apprise himself of the relevant legal position before seeking to argue that it supports his position.



Whoever "Mark Tinsley" is -- I see no e-mail address or webpage -- he's plagiarizing Robert Fisk; see http://www.atlanticblog.com/archives/000504.html#000504.

Anyway, the argument seems to rest on:

1. Iraqi suffering is caused primarily by sanctions, which were imposed by the US/UK.
2. Since the US has been reluctant or inconsistent in fighting authoritarianism in the past, it has no right to do so now.
3. It's all a put-up job by sinister forces in the Bush Administration.

One lie, one non sequitur, and one paranoid conspiracy theory.

Is attacking Iraq the best risk-management strategy? Probably not. It's just the best one we're going to get out of this Administration. It will all be over with very soon, and there will be very few civilian casualties. Some people are more afraid that it _will_ work than that it _won't_. Watch for their reaction after we've won.



"And can anyone seriously argue that the people left after the defeat of the Nazis, Japanese Imperialists or American Confederates are not far better off today than they would have been if they had WON?"

Well, we do have the case history of a nation that defeated the US at war: Viet Nam. What's the communist government there doing? Everything it possibly can to get on the good side of America. Are the Vietnamese better off or worse off by defeating the US?



Harusprex,

"The Constitution of the United States declares that treaties approved by the Senate are the "supreme Law of the Land" and requires the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed". The UN Charter is a "solemn treaty" ratified by the Senate in the aftermath of World War II"

I'm quoting from memory the Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale, BTW.

The US cannot authorise actions which violate the UN Charter without first abrogating pro tanto the treaty it signed to establish the charter.

As for the "dozens", point 'em out.



One thing that amazes me about people like Mr. Tinsley is that they can simultaneously decry the cost of the sanctions AND say that we should continue to avoid war until "all peaceful means have been exhausted". Sometimes, the peaceful means have a higher cost than the war ever will. Whether you place responsibility for the cost of the sanctions on the US (as Mr. Tinsley does) or on Mr. Hussein (as I do), it is clear that their usefulness has been exhausted. Mr. Tinsley, if you have another option that isn't even more naive and morally bankrupt, I'd love to hear it.

I'm sure everyone will feast on this post, but a few of Mr. Tinsley's comments hit me as being particularly hilarious...

>>Firstly, if Iraq is burying biological or chemical weapons in the sand (even assuming it has them, and no-one thinks it has nuclear weapons), that isn’t a concern.

...and my hovercraft is full of eels.

>>Saddam Hussein hasn’t killed nearly a million of his own people.

I suspect that between the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, Shiite rebels, and various political opponents, this statement is already false on its face, even if you don't blame Hussein for the cost of the sanctions. Add in the cost of the Iran-Iraq war, and he's responsible for several million deaths. Pip-pip, cheerio -- we can work with the chap! He opposes the U.S., so he must be a man of the people, what?

>>Or rather, it is so popular because previous inspections resulted in finding and destroying roughly 85-95% of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and its means to produce them.

Hmm. So the original resolution only required 85%-95% of the weapons to be destroyed? Seems like an oversight to me...at least we're clear that he has the weapons.

>>To keep himself in power, which is routine for dictators. Also, the US supported all three then, so it cannot possibly care about such atrocities now.

Bzzzt! Wrong again, bonzo...I care. No doubt we did deal with some unsavory people in the past. With the Soviet Union gone (no doubt to Mark's dismay), we have a unique opportunity to put things right.

>> For example, you could argue Israel’s attack on neighbouring Arab states in 1967 fits this definition.

Hmm. If armies of countries who have called for your people's extermination massing on your borders isn't sufficient rationale for a preemptive attack, what is?

>>Precisely why the United States should reverse its policies of supporting harsh regimes which “block democracy and development”, resulting in a “campaign of hatred against us”

News flash: The Cold War is over, and we don't need those dictators as allies anymore. Good to see we're on the same page, Mark!

At least try to be coherent.



What is soul destroying is that the opinion formers of our society are so keen to espouse the cause of the enemy. I can understand Muslims in our midst when they do so; they are after all required to do so by their religion. But why are academics, church leaders etc blaming the US for threat to world peace, while supporting brutal regimes in the world?

What these people do not realise is that if a rogue state like Iraq gets nuclear capability, then Iran, its sworn religious enemy will surely acquire it as well. And both of them have made publicly clear that they will nuke Israel, given the opportunity. Given this, it is most likely that Israel will use its nukes while it still has the chance. Hello nuclear war in the ME, with a good chance of it going global.

I have often wondered if WWII and the attendant 60 million deaths could have been averted, if the Allies had forcibly prevented Germany from re-arming , as was required by the Armistice agreement.

A very similar situation pertains today, except that now we have nuclear weapons. Iraq is required by the Gulf war armistice agreements to disown all WMD capability. I dread to think what would happen if the US, the only nation capable of shouldering grownup responsibilities, was to listen to these half-baked students and political/social studies academics.

History does not always repeat itself but those who do not learn from it, may find themselves condemned to a much worse fate.



I inadvertently left my name off of my earlier post -- the 6:24 am post is mine.



Jay Manifold,

>

I wasn't aware identification was required to supply an argument.

http://www.atlanticblog.com/archives/000504.html#000504. >>

No doubt the fact I read that article *today* (and on Sep 2001) means it was fresh in my mind. Regardless, the point stands, unless of course, you'd like to critique the argument, rather than the source? I wasn't aware footnotes were required (this comment piece doesn't seem to have any), or I would have supplied them.

>

You disagree with both previous heads of the UN humanitarian programme, UNICEF and Save the Children? Fair enough.

>

On the contrary, the US has every right. But due scepticism should be applied when virtually the same people who were in charge supporting authoritarianism in the past are in charge now. Especially when not a word of contrition about that past behaviour has been heard. Of course, as I said, you can operate on blind faith if you like.

>

Fair enough, but since you concocted the argument you are deriding out of thin air, I don't believe I need to comment.

>

Again, on the contrary, it will likely be a pushover. You can only believe there won't be massive humanitarian consequences by dismissing all rational studies on the matter. Sane people, however, do not do so.



Bill: Sweet! ;)

As for "Matt Tinsley," I figured him for a fool when he said "define 'United States'." Oh, hah hah, how clever and postmodern.



Your article brougth shivers to my spine! Very well said, and duly linked to... Let's get this to the top on blogdex!



I really IS hard to admire or countenance a hit 'n run fisk posted on somebody else's weblog, without the stones to leave an email address. Makes you wonder how confident "Mark Tinsley" really is in his arguments. And if he truly sought to persuade, snide quips and rhetorical cheap shots -- um, aren't the way.

I wonder how he would run a country?



I hate being wrong. (see last post) In a way, it's good that I don't have your talent, cause I'd be too busy being happy to blog. :)

As for Mr. Tinsley: let's review.

The United States does NOT need to justify the defence of itself and its interests against an individual whose desire for aggression towards the United States and its interests are well- documented. Even if they did, I would certainly hope they would rely on a less corrupt institution than the UN Security Council, which is now an official joke on the scale of the League of Nations.

Saddam has stolen as much money as he can from his people, taking the cash they need to buy food and use it to build weaponry. If the sanctions were removed, he would no doubt accelerate his weapons program, as opposed to feeding his people. To believe otherwise is incredulous.

The terms of the Gulf War and UN Resolution 1441 dictate that, as the loser of the Gulf War, Saddam must meet conditions. He has failed, and this failure will be documented shortly after the United States commences its attack on Iraq. Fair warning has been given to the Security Council that we possess this evidence, and we no longer care for their desire for firther evidence, especially given that even during the Kosovo conflict, NATO "allies" were passing our information to other interests, information which made its way back to the Serbs. Thank you, but no. The United Nations can do NOTHING to stop America, and seeing as how America pays most of its budget, this is as it should be.

Building a nuke is difficult for individuals, as Bill pointed out. HOWEVER, given advances in science and help from current nuclear powers, to say nothing of research, it is possible for billionaires with illegal nuclear fuel (ie. SADDAM) to eventually build a bomb. You seem convinced that only superpowers can build the bomb, and only little wit can excuse your ignorance about the scientific capabilities of Iraq. They have SMART PEOPLE with OIL MONEY and a PSYCHOPATH DICTATOR, and are thus a THREAT.

Saddam destroyed the Kuwaiti oilfields, causing massive environmental devastation and risking the further wrath of the United States: doesn't this give you even the SLIGHTEST hint about his murderous ability to spite his neighbours, even if it means his death?

You seem to regard Saddam: and more importantly, his psychopath kids, as people who can possibly be contained and from whom a threat of war in the future, one with megadeath weapons, is not possible. This contemptible idiocy seriously makes me question your connection with reality. The United States HAS NOT used megadeath weapons since Nagasaki, and, as you will notice, generally only kills monsters. There is no South Korea to balance off Saddam's maniac ambitions save Israel, and even that will lead to substantial political problems for all concerned. We're invading Iraq, and putting down their dictator. Let the world pick sides as they wish.



Mark Tinsley may have been quoting a Yale professor correctly, but he was not quoting the US constitution completely, or at least in a manner consistent with US Supreme Court opinions on what the "supreme law of the land" clause means. These opinions make clear that treaties, as US law, can be superseded by subsequent congressional legislation.

But one doesn't even need to get that far: According to the UN's own records, more than two-thirds of UN member states have engaged in no fewer than 261 armed conflicts since the founding of the UN. Of these conflicts, only two (Korea, Kuwait) have been conducted with the authorization of the UN security council. If the US should "abrogate pro tanto" the UN Charter by commencing hostilities against Iraq, it will be in good company, including the company of virtually all of its European allies. Of course, Resolutions 687 (1991) and 1441 (2002) provide the US with sufficient authority to commence hostilities, so US action will actually present far less of an affront against the Charter's prohibition on the use of force that have other actions, notably NATO's action against Serbia ion behalf of the Kosovars, of which I suspect Mark Tinsley approves.

Finally, Haruspex is a busy professional and does not have time to refute all the errors in everything he reads. But Tinsley's arguments regarding the effects of sanctions seem particularly misplaced -- child mortality and other welfare indicators have actually improved since the introduction of sanction in those parts of Iraq not subject to Saddam's control. It is only the areas where Saddam is in control that show deterioration. Logic dictates that something other than sanctions is responsible. Could it perhaps be Saddam's rule?



R. Devlin,

>

Presumably you would agree that since East Timor has experienced massive atrocities on behalf of Indonesia, it therefore follows that we should support Indonesia grinding the East Timorese into dust, in order to prevent them experiencing further atrocities.

>

Precisely why the sanctions should have been lifted when it was clear they weren't disrupting Saddam Hussein but slaughtering the Iraqi people. Nobody other than the US and Britain see any point in continuing them just for that reason alone. Of course, military sanctions and trade and legal barriers preventing the development of weapons of mass destruction (thanks to Western companies) are a different matter. Those can be easily implemented, as can reducing the "inspiration" (in the words of the former head of the US nuclear command) for other nations in the Middle East to attain WMD - just tell Israel to sign the NPT and accept inspectors.

>

"I" don't place the cost of the sanctions on the US. I'm simply quoting others, since I haven't been to Iraq. I rely on such radical outfits as Save the Children, UNICEF and left-wing heretics such as Madeline Albright and the former heads of the UN humanitarian programme in Iraq.

I'm sure everyone will feast on this post, but a few of Mr. Tinsley's comments hit me as being particularly hilarious...

>

So you *are* concered if Saddam buries weapons in sand?

>

Glad you put "suspect" in there. Try counting the figures.

>

I assume the childish language masks the insecurity of having no argument to speak of.

>

100%.

>

85-95% were destroyed and *accounted* for. There is no proof that the other 5-10% exist, and no proof they doesn't exist. Hence the inspectors.

>

And present.

>

First, apologising for supporting Saddam would be in order. Since that hasn't been done (by the same people who are in power now), I see absolutely no reason to take them seriously. Again, you can operate on blind faith if you like.

As for the Soviet Union, the comment is so childish as to barely merit laughter on my part.

>

"The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him." (Menachem Begin)

>

The Cold War has nothing to do with it. Hence why after the collapse of the Soviet Union when Congress was asked to ratify a military budget just as large as the one preceding it, it was justified on the basis that the money was to protect against threats in the Middle East which "could not be laid at the Kremlin's door".

As for "dictators as allies", what percentage of the vote do you think the Egyptian President achieved?

98%.

And this is of course, the same moral adminstration which derided the 100% by Saddam. Furthermore, I see no need to point out "democracies" such as the likes of Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and all the rest. Again, choose not to look at the record if you like, but I see no reason to take you seriously if you don't.



Oh, and Bill? As for your comments on Frank's blog...

Let's just say, we'd probably DONATE our blood mixed with Pepsi and rum if we thought it would make you live longer. ;)



Bill...as you say, many people argue that "We have thousands of nuclear weapons…it’s hypocritical to say Iraq can not have them also."

What's interesting is that the what is in effect the *exact same argument* was made by those who opposed taking action against Nazi Germany (specifically, during the Rhineland crisis of 1936). See my article "Baghdad on the Rhine" at:
http://www.photoncourier.blogspot.com/2002_10_20_photoncourier_archive.html#83479766



No, the sanctions have performed that duty (the Gulf slaughter you no doubt praise didn’t help). Saddam Hussein hasn’t killed nearly a million of his own people. The UN oil-for-food programme is one of the “best run programmes [the UN] has seen in almost 40 years” according to the previous head of it (who incidentally, resigned in protest like his predecessor, calling them “genocide”).

"Hmmm . . . build another outrageously lavish palace, or buy food and medicine for the people of Iraq? Gosh, it's a tough choice . . . both have their merits, really . . . and I can always use another palace . . . Yeah, I think I'm gonna go with 'palace.'"




Mark Tinsley writes:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Of course, military sanctions and trade and legal barriers preventing the development of weapons of mass destruction (thanks to Western companies) are a different matter. Those can be easily implemented, as can reducing the "inspiration" (in the words of the former head of the US nuclear command) for other nations in the Middle East to attain WMD - just tell Israel to sign the NPT and accept inspectors.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes--this "easy" implementation really worked with India and Pakistan, didn't it? But then again, they weren't signatories to the NPT either. Lord knows that treaties are sancrosanct. No one dares violate them. That's why North Korea doesn't have nukes; it DID sign the NPT. All it takes to solve any problem is laws and treaties. That's why we don't have a heroin problem in the US. Its illegal to import the stuff. Right?



The post at 7:28 was mine. Sorry.



>

I presume the lack of attributable argument suffices to further codify what I wrote earlier. Unsurprising, since it was factual.

>

Needless to say, nonsense. There have been around 40-50 interstate conflicts between 1946-2003. I can cite you sources if you like.

>

Quote me the UN/S/RES document which says Iraq should be attacked please. Exact words will do.

>

You'd suspect wrong. I have no opinion on the matter either way. There were however, ample alternatives to bombing, which were not pursued. Depending on how they were following (they weren't) would affect my opinion on whether bombing would be justified.

>

But has time to reply, naturally. I'll dismiss the "I don't have time to attribute facts" argument with the contempt it deserves.

>

Rather, logic dictates paying some attention to the facts. Kurdistan has roughly 12-15% of Iraq's population and 14% of OFF revenue. Central-Southern Iraq has the remainder of the population, but gets only 57% of oil-for-food income. Oil smuggling is also rife in the Northern areas, with probably turnover for the KDP of $200m, which is spent on the local economy. Northern Iraq also gets a cash component from the OFF and INGO work is more broad there, and has been working for longer.

Again, the fact that Saddam is a horrible dictatatorial monster doesn't need to be argued. But simple sanity would conclude that this cannot be the reason for the current "crisis" since the same was true back when the US and others were supporting him, right through his worst atrocities. In fact, most of those people are the ones currently in charge.

The real reasons are ample, well documented and it takes remarkable tenacity not to look for them, IMO.



>

With meaningful provisions, backed by some teeth. I presume you're opposed to the US gutting the Biological weapons convention, and voting against the entire world on putting nuclear weapons in space? If so, why would you trust the same people to stop prolifieration of WMD, since they voted for both actions and both will bring about the exact opposite?

Oh, and threatening to attack other countries so that they are forced to develop WMD as a deterrent doesn't help either. If you seriously want to argue that "might makes right", why not call on the US to do what I suggested - namely, withdraw from the UN and abrogate all international treaties? Then I would credit you with honesty.



Jabba the Tutt writes:

: "And can anyone seriously argue that the
: people left after the defeat of the Nazis,
: Japanese Imperialists or American
: Confederates are not far better off today
: than they would have been if they had WON?"

: Well, we do have the case history of a
: nation that defeated the US at war: Viet
: Nam. What's the communist government
: there doing? Everything it possibly can
: to get on the good side of America. Are
: the Vietnamese better off or worse off
: by defeating the US?

Jabba, it's arguable, but I think the Vietnamese are worse off for defeating the US, particularly if you compare them to the South Koreans, Taiwanese, or Japanese. (North Korea is, IMHO, a better case study of defeating the US at war - it's practically a twin study since we have South Korea to compare it to). The world as a whole might be a little better off because the *Cambodians* are better off for losing a war to the Vietnamese, but that's awfully complicated.

Of course I'll grant that there are certainly some situations in history where a people would be better off not being conquered by the US. (That's a funny sentence to write, and obviously true).

Still, it might be instructive to answer the original question -- do you think that the people ruled by the Japanese, German, or Confederate goverments (including, of course, the Chinese, French, Jews, Romani, and American slaves) would have been better off if those governments had beaten the US.



Bravo.....Bravo.....Gut wrenching. Tear Jerking. Morale Building.

I want to say more, but mere words fail me.



Mark, All arguments from bothsides don't mean anything. The telling words are"Battle for Iraq" NOT "War with Iraq." Iraq is just another part of the WoT. If you can't see look at a map. Bottom line - Iraq is next and the Iraqi peole will be the ones who most benefit after their liberation. Why do you have a problem with that? What's wrong with liberating a nation from a violent nasty dictator, helping the larger WoT, and taking control away from said dictator any WMD he has? The rest of your hyperbole can't answer this one (no parsing its a package) simple question. I have yet to here anything logical from the peace activists that refutes this. What is wrong with doing what is right now?
Bill - outstanding post! You will never convince the hate-Bush and anti-American crowd. Just will not happen.



Mark Tinsley is sane, which makes a nice change for "ejectejecteject". Keep going, Mark.

"Bill Whittle is the reincarnated G.K. Chesterton"; man, that tongue-in-cheek Catholic-cum-heretic would be revolving in his wise and self-mocking grave. Whoever wrote that...well, words can't say.

M.g.



Mark Tinsley should read read resolution 1441 more carefully. Recital 10 (in exact words):

"Recalling that in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that a ceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of that resolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein,"

And Section 1:

[The Security Council] "Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions 687 (1991)."

Now, think like an international lawyer for a minute. If Iraq is and has been in material breach of its obligations under 687, and 687 is the basis for the ceasefire, then what is the current state of the ceasefire? Still in full force and effect, despite the fact that its factual underpinnings have been destroyed? That is an extremely difficult position to defend, and can only be defended by those who take the position that public international law binds only the United States but not other countries.

Mr. Tinsley might also wish to consult Section 13 of Resolution 1441, which speaks of "serious consequences" as a result of continued violations of its obligations.



I have to express my admiration at the fortitude and perseverence that you all have displayed in actaully *reading* "Mark Tinsely." Frankly, he lost me after this little bit o' fiskin':

">

A bit like the US invasion of Panama, although that didn't have a remotely credible pretext. And the Israeli invasion of Lebanon makes Kuwait look like a tea party."

I'm not going to respond to, or refute, such foolishness. I'm not even going to read the rest. Any piece that starts in this manner is clearly worth less than it's weight in lark's vomit.



Excellent, Bill, excellent!



Bill, you are a brilliant man.

You must let me write the intro to your book, which you WILL write some day. :)



Bill -

Marvelous piece, and long overdue in some quarters.

You should seriously consider excluding any further discourse from "Mark Tinsley" - he's had MORE than his fair bite of the apple, and has pretty clearly shown himself to be a troll - a troll with access to some lawbooks, fairly erudite, but still a troll. His spurious "fisking" has so many holes and misstatements, it's obscuring rather than enlighteneing, which appears to be his primary objective.

Again, great piece - when do you publish your book?



A nice long post, and you should rightly be proud of it. But it doesn't get you to the other side, it just gets you to take the leap.

Most of the noise over Iraq misses the key points. First, the anti-war guys: our President has said this guy has got to go. That may not have been smart. (Our President booted North Korea so badly, no intelligent person should cut him slack. He's a knucklehead. But he's OUR knucklehead.) When an American President says of a dictator whom we defeated in a war but let survive, that THIS time, he's gotta go -- he's got to go. Next question.

Second, the pro-war guys. It is a helluva lot easier to start a war then to end it well. Ask the Daddy Bush's advisors why we didn't take out Saddam the first time -- we didn't have support from NATO or Japan or Saudi Arabia, not even the Gulf States. Hell, Kuwait was ambivalent. All that planning and wargaming, but nobody could work out how to handle an Iraq without Saddam: what about the Kurds? If there was a new Kurdistan in Iraq, what happens to Turkey? What about Iraq's Shiites? Do they get help and support from Iran -- and what happens to the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia.

The same guys who couldn't solve these problems 12 years ago, are telling the President that they can solve 'em now. Riiight.

Finally -- Bush isn't rushing to war. He doesn't want to go to war at all. He'd never admit it, but I bet Bush read Xun-dze when he was getting his Harvard MBA, or at least sat through lectures about military strategy applied to business, which was popular at the time. Plus, he's his father's son and Saddam tried to kill the old man: in a sense he has shown remarkable restraint. He wants this guy gone -- and he's been squeezing him since before 9-11.

But if he doesn't go on his own -- and I'm betting he won't, and the guy who got his start as a hit man has good personal security -- that just makes the second graf more important than the first.

But not overwhelming. This is gonna be rough, folks.



Okay, the third person is bugging me. :)

Anyway, whether there is or is not a "ceasefire" is not the point. Are you saying a breached resolution, or a non-existent cease-fire declared in a resolution to expel Iraq from Kuwait ten years ago retroactively justifies an invasion of Iraq in the present? If so, why don't you just say that so I can ridicule it?

Just to show the absurdity, were you calling for the invasion of Israel and the overthrow of the regime because the demands of UN/S/RES 425 were not met? ("Calls upon Israel immediately to cease its military action against Lebanese territorial integrity and withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory" - Israel stayed for two decades and killed approx 20,000 people. Like I said above, Kuwait was a tea party).

How about the invasion of Israel because the UN/SC condemned it for "armed aggression" in "flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and norms of conduct"?

And so on and so on. Quite clearly, if UN resolutions are being upheld for an invasion (Kuwait) on the one hand, but tolerated (Lebanon), on the other, again sanity dictates that the resolutions themselves cannot be the reason for the actions being contemplated. More so since the disparity is not acknowledged by those proposing to implement the resolutions in hand.

Therefore, you have to look for the other reasons. Again, assuming you want to be taken seriously, which you plainly don't.



Tinsley is doing a bad Chomsky impression.



Methinks I smell a Troll with Mr. Tinsley...His arguments lack real substance and are based upon some really flawed logic and some very silly premises.

I've done the same thing to provoke discussions when it was plain that the argument presented made a bit too much sense. See, that takes the fun out of it - so you have to put on another ID and then come in from WAAAYY out in Left Field to start the fun. That could be why there's no e-mail ID....

I mean c'mon people - his posts are childish, illogical, inaccurate, and not terribly cohesive...Rather than supplying a counter-argument, he's simply attacking individual portions of individual points. That's not the writing of someone really presenting a counter argument but it IS a fun way to make people crazy.

Let me try to play Devil's Advocate and present a case AGAINST war in my next message...

Orion



With meaningful provisions, backed by some teeth.

...as long as we never actually use those teeth. That's bound to impress 'em, just watch how compliant Saddam has been over the last 12 years. We already HAVE provisions, backed by teeth. It's called a "ceasefire agreement". These things are built along the lines of "you no want to get hurt further, you do this, we cease fire. You NOT do this, we pound you into dust". (Simplified for Idiotarian reading comprehension).

Oh, and threatening to attack other countries so that they are forced to develop WMD as a deterrent doesn't help either.

"I didn't WANT to do it, officer, but he MADE me do it!"

Never heard THAT one before. Listen, if you do it anyway, then you force US to turn you into ground meat, capice?

why not call on the US to do what I suggested - namely, withdraw from the UN and abrogate all international treaties?

Would work for me, since the UN has no authority over us, is made up of mainly dictatorships, is an unelected body and furthermore a complete and utter waste of breath. So let's get on with it. Shove the bastards into the East River already.

Ah... Trying to teach Idiotarians to argue is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It won't work, it'll still sound like a squeal and it annoys the shit out of the pig.



I recommend reading the article found at http://www.aijac.org.au/review/1998/233/linkage2.html. It helps to answer the question of "Why Israel is not like Iraq" in the context of UN resolutions.



"Methinks I smell a Troll with Mr. Tinsley...His arguments lack real substance and are based upon some really flawed logic and some very silly premises"

well duh ! I am guessing that this troll was rah rahing in 1996? when the leftest in charge of the US was saying basically the same thing as current leadership - blame America 1st folks like him have no credabilty - which is why the GOP now controls the US Government -



>

Clearly :) In case you the part you read in um, clearer language:

The US invasion of Panama did not have a remotely credible pretext. That killed at least 5,000 people. Kuwaiti casulties in Gulf War 1 were roughly between 2-6,000, and that it did have a remotely credible pretext. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon had widespread torture, kidnapping, assasination, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, massacres and slaughters by proxy armies etc. That killed at least 20,000 civilians. For two decades. Therefore, Kuwait was a tea party in comparison. Simple, no?



tl;dr



That was me at 8.43.



Mark Tinsley writes:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>

With meaningful provisions, backed by some teeth. I presume you're opposed to the US gutting the Biological weapons convention, and voting against the entire world on putting nuclear weapons in space? If so, why would you trust the same people to stop prolifieration of WMD, since they voted for both actions and both will bring about the exact opposite?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I submit to you that the threat of military invasion is indeed the "teeth" of the original cease fire arrangement made with Iraq. The very fact that the UN inspectors were thrown out in the first place should have provoked a response, but President Clinton was just too, too busy doing--whatever the Hell he did when he was president. The teeth are poised to bite Iraq now. What would you have us do? "Negotiate" yet another treaty that Iraq has no intention of honoring? What "teeth" other than the threat of force do you think he would respect?

As to the rest of your post, I am somewhat bewildered. Once again there seems to be an underlying assumption that just because someone says they will refrain from action X that they will actually honor the agreement. When it comes down to countries like the US and the UK treaties do mean something. But why would any country agree to be bound when it suspects to the verge of certainty that the other side has no intention of keeping up its end of the bargain? That country which honors its obligations is merely confering an advantage upon the predators. Believe it or not there is a difference between morality and stupidity.



Haruspex,

An excellent "fisking" of Tinsley. FWIW, Saddam wants to -be- Hitler/Stalin in the worst way, and is quite open and honest about this ambition, which is more than can be said for his defenders. However, I feel that -your- nome de plume is more appropriate for "Matt," given his avowed misology.

E. Brown



Orion,

>

Ah, addressing line-by-line each argument is *not* counter-arguing? Right. Again, I assume the lack of any argument on your part (other than childish nonsense) is simply oversight?



">

With meaningful provisions, backed by some teeth."

I think we all agree with that statement. The problem is, when you implement international laws and treaties and someone (Saddam) flagrantly violates them for over a decade, don't you think, that perhaps, it's time to show just how sharp those teeth are?

If you never bare your teeth, if you never bite, you loose that backing.



Mark:

1) You claim to be a man of facts. Having had the facts of the US constitution laid out in front of you, are you willing to admit your error?

2) Is it your contention, with regard to bin Laden and Hussein, that until our political leaders apologize for their former support for those two, that it is morally unethical for them to attack him now? I just want to be sure that is what you're saying.

3) With regards to the UNICEF comments on sanctions, based on a reading of these two documents: Hussein-controlled Iraq and Uncontrolled Iraq, it is fairly clear that the mortality rate in Hussein-controlled areas has doubled, while the mortality rate in uncontrolled areas has declined. I have certainly drawn my own conclusions as to the "cause" for this discrepancy, but I would like to understand your view on the subject as well, based on these UNICEF studies.

4) Based on these comments of Hans Blix's, it would appear that a) Iraq is not cooperating fully with 1441, and that b) Iraq is successfully importing weapon components despite the military sanctions. Given these two facts, it would appear that Iraq has violated the treaty agreements it has signed. Since economic sanctions are falling most heaviily on the children of Hussein-controlled Iraq, and the presence of these weapon components indicates the failure of military sanctions, what is the appropriate action to take to effectively
"tame" Iraq from the development of WMD, the execution of political prisoners and the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds?



Okay...Playing Devil's Advocate here....

America should not be fighting the 'Battle of Iraq' as Mr. Whittle puts it for several reasons:

1: There are greater threats currently present.
Even our own analysts agree that North Korea quite probably has at least one nuclear weapon - and the means to deliver it. Further, they are an active and on-going threat to South Korea and the 37,000 US troops stationed on the Korean penninsula. Finally, there has been no treaty with North Korea - only a cease-fire. Either side can choose to break that cease-fire at any time. Indeed, North Korean forces have invaded South Korean territory and seas several times including Special Forces raids kidnapping members of friendly states.
Clearly they are the more signifigant threat and should be dealt with first.
However, this is only an argument for delaying action against Iraq...

2: Iraq's ability to develop any nuclear weapons has been severely curtailed. Even their chemical and biological capability has been greatly reduced. The facilities necessary to create these weapons do not exist in a vacuum. But they can be found more easily during peace-time than during war time.
Therefore, there is no real need to do anything other than continuing aggressive inspections. These do not require war. In fact, war may interfere with our attempts to locate and destroy these facilities. Whoever we place in charge AFTER the war may very well turn out to be as unstable as Hussein - our track record in creating puppet states is somewhat poor.

3: Iraq is unlikely to again attack her neighbors. Her Air Force is nearly non-existant, her Army outmoded and outgunned. Further, as has been pointed out, Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was based upon a miscommunication. Namely that America would have no interest in such an action. With existing Saudi (500+ M1A2's) and Kuwaiti (350+ M1A2's) forces being more than equal to the best Iraq has to offer the odds of any new aggression by Hussein are low - with or without an WMD's that he might develop in the future. Please note that he did NOT use his WMD's during the Gulf War.

4: Hussein won't live forever - and his regieme will die with him. Patience and Time will win without the expenditure of a single drop of blood or a single dollar of our treasure. All that is needed is to contain and to monitor Hussein until that time.

5: If we are to accept the argument that Iraq is a clear and present danger to the US due to it's possible (although unproven) support of Islamic Terrorism, we must look to many other countries who present a clear and present danger to the US in the same fashion. This requires that we then also attack North Korea, Libya, and many other nations who also seek our destruction. That's a long list of targets....

Sorry - waxed a bit long there. One thing that popped into my mind. If Hussein REALLY wants to get Israel to wet their collective pants and REALLY wants to establish himself as a great Arab leader - he should work to be our best friend and ally in the region. Nothing would horrify the Isrealis more...

Orion



Emperor Misha I,

>

It has precisely the same authority as it has over any other state. Unless you consider yourself a Holy State, of course. Naturally, the rest of the world doesn't share that view, nor should it.

>

A lot of which the US supports, so that can't be a problem, and there are more democracies in the UN than dictatorships.

>

I agree.

>

I disagree.

>

At least then you can cease the lying, like I said.



Mr. Troll...er I mean Tinsley...
No, that's not counter-arguing. That's reduction. Similar, but different.

And I see no point to add to the list of people who have already done a fine job of ripping your posts to pieces. Continuing to do so would only be flogging a dead horse.

Orion



Mark Tinsley:

Do you have any ideas on how to rid the Iraqi people of the yoke of Saddam? For the moment, forget the WMD/terrorism matter, forget Israel, and all the rest. How can we help the people of Iraq be free of Saddam?

I would like to see the US commit itself to deposing dictators and fostering democracy the world over, including such wretched "allies" as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan. It is true that we have aided unsavory and brutal regiems in the past, but here is a chance to break away from that history. Why can we not start be liberating Iraq?

By the way, I am not entirely convinced that it was wrong of the US to support the anti-Soviet tyrants. The alternatives were even worse. There is no need to apologise for choosing the lesser of two evils. With the end of the Cold War, we have a chance to choose again.



Rais Jaleel:
(Again playing Devil's Advocate) - I would answer your post with one mis-spelled Latin quote:
Ips custodiat ispo custodias...Which, for those of you who can't translate my hideous latin spelling is "Who's to guard the guardians?"

Who decides who's 'right' and who isn't? Part of our philosophy is the right of self-determination - the right of a people to choose their own government. Who are we to go in and force them to choose anew?

Orion



Mark Tinsley makes an elementary error in his comparison of Iraqi defiance of UN resolutions with Israeli defiance.

There are two kinds of UN Security Council resolutions. Those taken under Chapter VII have the force of international law -- they are binding. Those taken under Chapter VI are issued by the UNSC as an attempt to help parties to a dispute negotiate a peaceful resolution -- they are not binding, but advisory only.

Guess which Chapter governs the Iraq resolutions --if you guess Chapter VII (binding), you'd be right. (Anticipating Mark Tinsley's request for a source, here's one: Final Recital to Resolution 1441). Now, guess which Chapter governs the resolutions on Israel. That's right -- Article VI (not binding). (If Mark Tinsley wants a source for this, he might check with the Palestinian Authority -- it is constantly complaining to the UN that anti-Israel resolutions aren't passed under Chapter VII.)

This isn't just a pure technicality. Because the two sets of resolutions are taken under Chapters that have different purposes within the schema of the UN Charter, the resolutions themselves differ in their content. How? Compliance with the Chapter VII resolutions lies entirely within the power of Iraq -- it needs no action by any outside party for it to comply. The situation is entirely different with the Chapter VI resolutions -- these call on the parties to the dispute to enter into negotiated solutions. In other words, Israel cannot comply by itself; it needs another party to comply with, as it were. Yet the Palestinian Authority has proven anything other than a credible negotiating partner. (Don't wilfully misinterpret this argument -- Haruspex is not arguing that Israeli behavior has been blameless. Haruspex merely points out that Israeli compliance with the UNSC resolutions has not been possible for lack of a credible counterparty).

Mark Tinsley's other arguments are equally feeble, but Haruspex has tired of shooting fish (or perhaps that should be "Fisks"?) in barrels.



"Mark Tinsley"'s comments have a touch of reality in them - just enough to make them dangerous..... But its only a touch.

"And the Israeli invasion of Lebanon makes Kuwait look like a tea party."

Would you please reference me what groups were using Kuwait to launch military strikes against Iraq, and fire artillery and missiles into Iraqi cities from inside the border of Kuwait?

I'm sure that you won't, and can't... because facts are something that I think you mangle, not cite.

>

"The United States is required to follow international law by virtue of the constitution. So, no cookies and milk for that piece of back-breaking flexibility."

Please cite what part of the Constitution requires this for your cookies and milk.

>

"No, the sanctions have performed that duty (the Gulf slaughter you no doubt praise didn’t help). Saddam Hussein hasn’t killed nearly a million of his own people."

And the sanctions are there because? " The Iraqi leader, [has failed] at every turn to honor those agreements, bringing his country to ruin and starvation by doing so. " Exactly.

And the _latest sanctions_, the ones put in place after 1991 - were _agreed to by Saddam as part of the cease fire_.

But they're not his responsibility? Food and medicine aren't sanctioned. Any claim for "starvation" should cause the question to be directed at Saddam (who is the government), why with the billion's of $ he's allowed to sell, he can't afford to feed people. What you are saying is that it is the US's fault that Saddam chooses to spend his legal (And money from smuggled oil) on _not feeding his "people"_. I _hope_ that you're trolling. I really do. Because I can't think of a single rational person who can realistically say that the US has a damn thing to do with any problems in Iraq - Iraq has all the money needed to deal with its problems. The fact which you sneer at and that Bill Whittle accurately pegged - that they DO NOT DEAL with them, instead spending their resources on a mad dash to Weapons of Mass Distruction - is why we _must_ stop them.

But I fear that after I read this, I totally gave up on you:

"Actually, Japan was on the verge of surrender and the US rejected the same ceasefire terms before the bombs that it actually accepted after the bombs."

No. That's revisionist history on a par with Holocaust Denial.

There _were_ members of the Japanese government trying to work out surrender terms, yes. They were failing. Even they weren't willing to give up "unconditionally". Further - they did not have control of the Army. And the Army was still of the opinion (which is what Iraq, Al Queda are, as well) that the Americans were weak and decadent, and smashing the first invasion wave would send them reeling back, and begging for an end of the war, with the Japanese having the upper hand.

Add to that that there was no direct link usable for negotiations, and the "claim" that they were "willing" to surrender is shown for the paucity of fact that it is.

"Any honest person would also separate the two attacks, since even if you could argue the first was justified (I don’t think so, but you could argue it), the second clearly wasn’t"

Again, for someone who claims the record is so clear, you appear never to have read it.

The Army was still refusing to surrender after Hiroshima - which you also might note, didn't seem "that big" initially to Tokyo. August 6, the claims that only 3 bombers were there were being brushed off - it wasn't until the 7th that atomic experts examined the ruins and announced that it was, in fact, and atomic bomb.

To people in Tokyo, which had had 2 raids with more destruction and death previously (Albeit with hundreds of bombers), the initial word that Hiroshima had been "destroyed" wasn't that incredible. B-29's roamed with almost impunity over Japan (IIRC, less than 100 were shot down by fighters over the entire war, and less than 30 by anti-aircraft artillery). Cities were being leveled on a regular basis. Several only were bombed once - there was nothing left to bomb afterwards.

During August 8th and the morning of the 9th, huge debates were roaring in the Cabinet. Please, its on the record, and easily checkable.

But there was *nothing* from the Government about a surrender. There was a denouncement of the weapon used, but nothing indicating a surrender. That was verified before the second raid was authorized. The Army had embarked on an atomic program, and in the early 40s, had most of the theoretical work done. (Records of this program were destroyed prior to the US occupation, and recently some people have been saying that Japan was continuing work, and possibly even had developed a prototype, but that is so far, unconfirmed). Regardless of that, the Army as a result, had an estimation of what it would cost for the program, and bomb. (And a completely unrealistic estimate of the US GNP). Their claim was that that was the _only_ bomb that we could possibly have, it was a one-shot deal, and there was no need to surrender. It was a lucky shot, and we'd shot our wad.

And as you (or people who care about facts) might note, they were almost correct. The US had built 3 bombs. One had been tested at Los Alamos. The Hiroshima bomb had a fusing mechanism that was problematic, and a test of a inert bomb with the same fuse had failed the day before.

Had the second bomb not been dropped, the Army might well have won that argument. As it was, the Nagasaki bomb destroyed that argument, and most of the Army's credibility. (which you should sympathise with). It was the second that caused Hirohito to act.

Yes, there were realpolitik reasons, as well. But to claim it was only "obviously timed to threaten the Soviet Union which was due to enter the war 60 days after the surrender of Germany" means that you're not looking at this with any sort of dispassion, but rather to find "errors" in the US position.

But it certainly you're not looking for "rational argument" - you're just looking to discredit whatever the US does.

Addison



Orion:

You are correct of course. I suppose the stick should be reserved only for the worst regiems, and the carrot for the "dictators we can work with."

Er, I feel a bit out of my league here, but I'll do my best. Be kind, please!



Jb,

>

I quoted the US constitution and the opinion of one of the foremost experts on international law. I fail to see the error. If you can draw my attention to it, and I believe it is valid, naturally I would readily admit such an error.

>

The current arguments for attacking Iraq are plainly so absurd, that at the current moment there is no "morally ethical" basis for anybody to attack Iraq.

My position is that until the exact same people who were backing Saddam Hussein apologise or at the very least acknowledge their backing, quite obviously their statements on the Iraqi situation should be treated with due scepticism.

>

I've read the same studies, and outlined what I believe are the reasons for the discrepancy in an above post.

>

I agree.

>

For a start, the same people that gave the support which allowed that to happen shouldn't be in charge of clearing up the mess. As I said at the top of the page, even entertaing your question supposes that one has to provide an argument against war, when no convincing argument for it has been provided. Until the latter appears, there is no need for the former, except perhaps the academic reasons.



Phenomenal. Thank you.



Thank you for such a wonderful post. No need to apologize for the length at all.



Historically...those who told the truth about a particular regime have been exiled, jailed, or killed by those in power whose fury has been aroused. To be sure, the obvious explanation is that they were dangerous to their respective establishments, and that killing them seemed the best way to protect the status quo. This is true enough, but it does not explain the fact that the truth-sayers are so deeply hated even when they do not constitute a real threat to the established order. The reason lies, I believe, in that by speaking the truth they mobilize the [psychological] resistance of those who repress it. To the latter, the truth is dangerous not only because it can threaten their power but because it shakes their whole conscious system of orientation, deprives them of their rationalizations, and might even force them to act differently. Only those who have experienced the process of becoming aware of important impulses that were repressed know the earthquakelike sense of bewilderment and confusion that occurs as a result. Not all people are willing to risk this adventure, lest of all those people who profit, at least for the moment, from being blind.
- Erich Fromm



You want jack booted thugs in America?

Try a SWAT team raid on a suspected drug dealer.

The following explains why the drug war is politically wrong:

http://www.sierratimes.com/03/01/20/simon.htm - the politics of pain

Here is the science:

http://www.sierratimes.com/02/11/10/edms111002.htm Heroin

http://www.sierratimes.com/02/11/11/edms111102.htm Pot

http://www.sierratimes.com/02/11/22/edms112202.htm Police & PTSD

http://www.sierratimes.com/02/12/01/simon.htm Soldiers

http://www.sierratimes.com/02/12/10/health.htm Pain Enforcement

http://www.rockrivertimes.com/trrtcgi/viewnews.cgi?category=4&id=1041267604 Genetic Discrimination

We have a few things to clean up in America while we are cleaning up the sewers of the world.



Brilliant words as usual, Bill.

And hey, since Mr. Tinsley hasn't seen fit to leave his e-mail address, here it is:
mark@xfilesuk.com

Mark, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.



Was anyone saying that we DIDN'T have our own messes to clean up here? *looking about*

Hrms. I don't see that one....In fact, most everyone I've seen post here freely aknowledges that our Nation is an experiment - ongoing with successes and failures.

The difference is - we hold ours up to public view and work to try to fix them. Sometimes we don't KNOW we've screwed up at the time - but once we do, or it's brought to our attention (frequently by people such as Whittle and our local Troll Tinsley), we'll try to fix it.

Orion



One of the beauties of blogging is that the discussion is open to people with wildly varying viewpoints.

When the viewpoints are discussed (debated) with facts, original documents, links to information others may not have seen yet, and civility, everyone benefits.

For those of us (myself, for one) who are struggling to understand ALL the issues surrounding the current situation, I respectfully request that the debate be carried on in a courteous manner by all sides. Name-calling and dismissive argumentation don't help us (me) at all.

Now, of course, you are under no obligation at all to help us (me) - but if you choose to do so, I will be most appreciative!



First, let me say that I do deeply regret the factual error in mistaking UN 1441 for one of the other 1,440 proclamations that body has made in the past.

The quality I find so striking about Mr. Tinsley and many of his colleagues is their startling refusal to actually state what they are FOR. He will hotly disagree with me on this, no doubt, but this line-by-line sniping reminds me of the essential moral bankruptcy of post-modernism and deconstructionism.

I saw precisely the same kind of thing while watching the original Rodney King trial 10 years ago. Attorneys for the police officers projected the videotape on a large screen, and then made frame-by-frame analysis: "We can see from these three frames that Mr. King's shoulders are moving upward, clearly showing that he was still a threat..." When it was all said and done, they had deconstructed it into a million constituent pieces, attack each one from a different perspective, and never put it back together. Putting it back together mean running the tape, which clearly and unequivocally showed four men with clubs beating the shit out of a man on the ground.

Mr. Tinsley does precisely this. I would challenge him to find the moral courage to make a statement about what he is actually FOR. Is he FOR continuing the sanctions? Is he FOR the removal of Saddam? If he is not, he must be FOR him staying in power. If he is FOR him staying in power, then we can argue the consequences. If, on the other hand, he is FOR removing him, it is up to HIM to demonstrate the best way to do this. If he is FOR sanctions, then he might give us some indication of why they should be continued after such abject failure. If he is FOR serving him with an arrest warrant, perhaps he can indicate why he thinks Saddam will get in the van and come along quietly. If he is FOR some other method, I'm sure I can speak for many when I say I'd love to hear it.

It is easy to criticize people and nations THAT TAKE ACTION. In every one of his responses to my arguments, he can chose his targets and attack the consequences of action taken, free of defending against the alternatives of inaction, or contrary action. It is a no-lose situation. It is unfair. Ultimately, it is cowardly, because it requires no commitment on the part of the author. Many nations have also found this philosophy attractive.

Mr. Tinsley has all of the advantages of a sniper. He does not have to reveal his position.

I have decided, after serious reflection on this issue, to lock out Mr. Tinsley for the following reasons.

1. I feel he has had ample time and space to make his opinions known.
2. I do not see from his recent posts that he is making any new arguments.

and THIS is, by far, most important:

3. I have seen, time and again, these threads degenerate into a he said / I said waste of breath. This issue is serious. It deserves serious debate. Mr. Tinsleys original comments were legitimate, although I disagree with all of them.

Sir, you have had your say. If you wish to e-mail me a detailed (or not detailed) summary of what you actually believe should be done, I will post it in this arena upon my return from work this afternoon.

I regret that you do not include a personal e-mail address, so that I could have advised you of this decision personally.



Addison,

>

The PLO was studiously avoiding a ceasefire for at least a year in the face of massive Israeli provocation. Then, when the provocation didn't work, Israel invaded anyway. Like I said, no credible pretext. Also, the plans (plainly stated in the Hebrew press) had nothing whatsoever to do with "missiles" and "artillery". The reason was to remove the PLO as a "political force". The Kuwaiti invasion was credible for the reasons stated - Kuwaiti economic warfare against Iraq. Obviously, no-one supports the invasion of Kuwait, but that isn't the point I made.

>

I'll cite some for you. The "can't" is pretty hilarious. Just on the above:

Israeli provocations to try and illicit a PLO response to justify the invasion (which happened regardless)... the sinking of Lebanese fishing boats (AJME News, Beirut, April 1982)...from Aug 1981 to May 1982, 2125 violations of Lebanese airspace and 652 violations of territorial waters (Robin Wright, "Israeli provocations fail to goad PLO, so far", Christian Science Monitor, March 18, 9182 - James Ridgeway, Village Voice, June 22, 1982, citing UN records).....25 people killed in a bombing of Southern Lebanon (Joseph C. Harsch, "An Arab-Israeli chronology", Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 1982). And so on and so on.

As for the aim to "root out" the PLO and infulence the internal politics of Lebanon, see Ze'ev Schiff, Ha'aretz, May 12, 1982. The fact the ceasefire was held on the PLO side is overwhemlingly documented in UN records, but I think this is enough. One more:

"Behind the official excuse of "we shall not tolerate shelling" lies the strategic view which holds that the physical annihilation of the PLO has to be achieved.... [Israel does not want] a partner for talks on the West Bank" (Yoel Marcus, Ha'aretz, March 1982).

>

Article VI. No state in the United States has revoked the applicability of the UN Charter, nor has the Supreme Court.

>

Because the Iraqi people had the temerity not to overthrow Saddam Hussein, even though they tried and we allowed to be put down because the US required an "iron-fisted military junta". Therefore, they must stave for their crime.

>

The sanctions were placed on Iraq because of the invasion of Kuwait. The US later forced the modification of those sanctions beyond their remit.

>

Yes they are. The US blocks medical and humanitarian supplies routinely.

>

I was wondering when that smear would be thrown up. I looked at US government declassifed records. If you choose to look elsewhere, that is your business.

>

After the Potsdam Proclamation, the only "condition" the Japanese wanted to keep was that they keep their emperor. The allies rejected that. The bombs were dropped, and the emperor was kept anyway. So, did the bombs need to be dropped? Perhaps the first, but certainly not the second, which was barbarism.

For example, just one account is that of US historian Gar Alperovitz ("Atomic Diplomacy"), who notes in 1945 that Secretary of State Byrnes was:

"most anxious to get the Japanese affair over with before the Russians got in".

Even the The United States Strategic Bombing Survey said shortly after the war:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to December 31 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Now, did the US know this beforehand? I think so. On July 13, Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo wired his ambassador in Moscow:

"Unconditional surrender is the only obstacle to peace."

The US knew that, and Truman knew that, because they'd broken the japanese code and you can find the relevant passage in NSC documents.

So, did the bombs need to be dropped? As I said, the first perhaps (I don't agree), the second absolutely not.

>

I agree. I should have alluded with more nuance. Of course I shouldn't have said it was "obviously timed", in retrospect I would say "most likely". Whatever the mindset of the US at the time, looking back, it is clear that at the very least, the second bomb did not need to be dropped.

>

The US has done a great deal of good around the world. But I assume that everyone knows most of that already.



In 1950, Germany had a population of 50m. The Marshall plan spent 1.3b on Germany. That works out to $26 each, 1950 dollars. That would be roughly $150/person in 2002 dollars.

The idea of "invade-the-world" suggests that the USA build up the entire third world to a modern capitalist democracy. Leave aside the fact that Germans in 1946 had all the skills, attitudes and social organization necessary for capitalism - they just lacked capital and the right political organization. Ignore for the moment that changing other societies' political organization requires military presence on the ground, which ain't easy to get. Invade-the-world would seem to require raising up some 3 billion people to our standard of living. Even at the very low price of the Marshall plan in Germany, that would take about $450 billion, which is about 45 times what we currently spend annually on foreign aid. Of course, we don't need to do the spending in one year; we have many. But more spending more still requires a line in the budget.

Who's gonna give up their entitlements and pork to build a factory for some non-voter in Baghdad? Perhaps our generous senior citizens will agree to a cut in social security? Perhaps we can cut defense - but no, we need an even larger military to invade the world in the first place. Perhaps we can raise taxes? No, we are lowering taxes.

We "could", in some sense, spend more. But we can't, in terms of practical politics, because we won't. We won't - we do not have the will to do so. To think otherwise is to believe that with the right leadership, Congress will stop larding the budget with pork. That's just not how the system works. The world has no representative in Congress. And we want our own tax money (and other Americans' tax money as handouts) much more than we are willing to give it away to strangers. And triple that for strangers we dislike; tell me, y'all, how long will it be before you become confortable in giving away steel factories to Palestinians.

And of course, there is the matter that foreign aid, as a means of building up economies, has failed pitifully. The Marshall plan was quite exceptional, because it was rebuilding. Building a modern economy where there is no rule of law nor any history of rule of law, is vastly harder than restarting the rule of law in a place where it has been temporarily absent. So, even if we did somehow achieve the political will to start dumping huge amounts of money into building up the economy of the rest of the world - it probably wouldn't work. The money instead would end up in the swiss accounts of dictators, or building useless monumental public works, just like it has in the past.

So tell me again how we are going to "share the bubble"? Invade-the-world won't work. At great cost you can use force to remove existing political arrangements; but you cannot use force to create an understanding in the foreign masses of what it is like to live under the rule of law.



What a character, this Tinsley fella.

As B.W. noted, what could his motivation possible be?

Does he even care if he managed to change an opinion? Even if his facts were sound as gold (which I won't quite grant, seeing who he cited for Mid-east "statistics"), he argues from them in such an agitating, whiny, "gotcha" manner that he turns a potentially sympathetic ear away. And who can wholly credit the rhetorician without the substance to put his name on the line -- it's not like I would actually ever email the man, but his de facto anonymity does not inspire confidence.

In other words, I don't think he argues in good faith, and I don't care how many facts he thinks he knows, I don't trust him to fashion truth out of them.



We will afford it, Leonard, because we have to. The part you are forgetting is that every nation that becomes a thriving democracy is another successful trade partner—another contributing member to the global economy.

I agree with you that it doesn't always work. South Korea seems to be functioning, not to mention Taiwan and countless others. Africa is a teaming mess of communist insurgencies that probably has little hope of success in our lifetimes, but there are fledging democracies in the Middle East and enough raw materials in production to provide a solid foundation.

But, in contrast, we could always deal instead with the emergency costs of downed World Trade Towers, airline industry type bailouts as other industries are impacted, or the never ending unemployment extensions caused by these types of attacks and their peripheral impact on ours and the world's economy. In the end it will have cost us more to do nothing, but folks can delude themselves into thinking it was actually cheaper.

We wouldn't, after all, want to factor the priceless benefits of the hope of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness into the mix.

It is, simply, in our best interest, and cost effective.



To those who have tried to post comments within the last hour or so, please forgive my limited expertise with Movable Type.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.



Bill:

I agree with much of what you write, and yes, the threat is undeniable and must be addressed with urgency.

What is missing for me is the debate about what role the US has played in the rise of Saddam and how 10 years of sanctions have intensified his rule on the country and allowed him more time to develop offensive capabilities.

To ignore that debate in the name of action is the same mistake that American foreign policy has made time and time again - it is fostering the hatred that it nows needs to react to. And for anyone to reply that a period of nation building and reconstruction will follow "this time" is short sighted.

Yes, America must react. Yes, it risks isolating itself in the world community. But yes, this is a problem it created itself - again.



TO: Bill Whittle
RE: Careful, Young Skywalker....

"Public opinion needs to be enflamed, because no cold-blooded, clear-eyed look at what we oppose in this conflict could do anything but enflame public opinion." -- Bill Whittle

....do not be seduced by the dark-side of the Force.

RE: Red-Eyed Rage

I got beyond the red-eyed rage last August when I stumbled across the flash card report at www.politicsandprotest.com. [Note: If you have not seen it. Go there. Do it NOW!] I took the time to grieve for our losses on 9/11. After the grief. I knew the rage. I'm now back to being very cold about this matter. I do not want rage to intefere with sound judgement. And I trust that our National Command Authority (NCA) and the command and staff organizations under it are as cold about this as I am.

Even so, I'm still human and feel like the retired dalmation, leashed to the fire house as the engines scream out the door. [Note: One of my former units is currently in-contact in Afghanistan and I heard last week that my other one, 4ID(M), is deploying to deal with Iraq. Good hunting and good luck to both of them.

Strip me of my commission, bust me to staff sergeant, give me an M2 with a good squad and let me at them! I'll murdilize em!!!! Oops...down boy...down....]

Back on track...

I think the appropriate feeling in this instance is one of dealing with a sick-dog; rabid at that. You can't cure it. The only thing you can do is the 'merciful' thing; put it down. You do it coldly and precisely, with a sense of economy, knowing that rabies is a disease and there are likely to be other infected creatures around as well. And they too will need 'treatment'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Diplomacy is the art of saying, "Nice doggy", until you can find a rock. -- Tallyrand]



TO: Bill Whittle
RE: The Little Lies & the Gun Analogy

I came across these little lies myself and applied a good analogy to them.

"We have thousands of nuclear weapons…it’s hypocritical to say Iraq can not have them also." -- Idiotarians

There are lots of people who have guns in their house. You may or may not be one of them. However, these people, for the most part, are law-abiding people who do not and have not used their guns in the commission of felonious crimes.

They can keep their guns.

However, once they cross the line of good judgement and commit a felony, especially with a gun, they are no longer allowed to possess such weapons. And they will have them taken away.

This is what the UN proposed with Resolution 687 ('91) with respect to Iraq after it's unwarranted invasion and rape of Kuwait.

Iraq is not supposed to have such weapons because Iraq has proven itself to be incapable of behaving properly in the community of nations. Therefore, all such weapons are to be destroyed.

"The United States has no right to launch a pre-emptive attack; we can only respond if we are attacked." -- Idiotarians

This is not a prempetive strike. This is enforcement of the law the UN itself passed, requiring Iraq to cease and dissist from acquiring, producing and/or possession of certain weapons.

It is as if some previously law-abiding citizen of our society had committed a felony and is now being visited by the police who are going to search their house to make sure there are no guns in it.

The police have come. They have asked politely to come into the house. They have presented their warrant.

They are not going to be limited to only one or twopeople to search the property. They will search wherever they want and whatever they want. However, this person is busily going about the house hiding things from them.

I don't know about how the police are in your part of this country, but here, ours are not going to settle for this. And if this guy gets 'fractious' they're going to haul him away.

If he pulls a gun, which he is not supposed to have and threatens them with it, they're going to get down-right 'rude' with him.

So supposed he's still got the police outside the house. And he's not letting them in. And he threatens them.

The police do not know if he's got a gun or not. But they are not going to take any chances. They're going for cover and they'll call a negotiator. The negotiator will try to talk the guy out. However, if he fails, the police are not going to get into their cars and drive away, hoping that the guy in the house (1) does not have a gun and (2) if he does, he won't ever use it. The police will besiege the house and one way or another bring the situation to a conclusion in which the guy is 'neutralized', one way or another.

And before some idiotarian starts whining about Blix's Bozos not finding weapons of mass destruction, remember those chemical weapons warheads? Notice how Iraq forces are being issued chemical protective gear? Three guesses as to what he's got. First two don't count. And it IS, the proverbial smoking gun.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Idiotarian - One who will not accept facts until they smack him, personally, between the eyes.]



Thank you for writing such a clear and detailed case for what President Bush is doing. I am sickened by the
anti-Americanism here in our country and in particular the CBC. With this gang. we could not have beat the
Germans and the Japanese. The apologists for Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot hate democracy and what it stands for.
Thank God for the USA!!!



TO: Bill Whittle
RE: The American Way of War

"Remember that, and smile. Because that is America at war. " -- Bill Whittle

Have you read T.R. Fehrenbach's This Kiind of War?

Go read chapter 25, Proud Legions.

In there he describes how our way of war is actually prefered to be 'jihad'. Yes, he uses the word.

He was a history teacher who was called to service as an infantryman when his unit was mobilized for Korea. He served throughout the war. And when it was over, he went back to school, he taught and he thought and he wrote.

The book was published in the early 60s.

Every general officer who came to address the assembled officers' courses at Fort Benning School for Boys said, to a man, "READ THIS BOOK!"

I did. I agree. Read the book....

Regards,

Chuck(le)



Orion: "right of people to choose their own government"? Did the people in Saddam's torture chambers watching their wives raped and their children mutilated -- _choose_ to be there??
See Volumes V, XXX, XXXI of "The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton" (Ignatius Press) for his devastating refutations of the pacifists and appeasers during and after World War I.



Shame that Mr. Tinsley had to be locked out, at least prior to conceding the error of his ways in insisting that the UN Charter is binding US law under Article 6, para.2 of the Constitution. In case Mr. Tinsley or anyone else is tempted to believe this tripe, let Haruspex set the record straight. References are to the governing case law in the United States:

US law makes a difference between treaties that are "self-executing" and those that are "non-self-executing". Foster v. Neilson 27 U.S. (2 Pet) 253, 314 (1829). Self-executing treaties are effective as US law without the need for legislation by Congress. Clark v. Allen 331 U.S. 503 (1947). Non-self-executing treaties are not binding as US law unless and until implemented by Congress. U.S. v. Belmont 301 U.S. (1937).

A treaty is self executing only if it provides for private rights and duties that are definite enough for a court to enforce; provisions of the treaty that are "political" cannot be self-executing. Edye v. Robertson 112 U.S. 580 (1884). Now, it is bleedingly obvious that the UN Charter is a political document rather that one providing for private rights, and the courts that have considered the question have so ruled. E.g., Fujii v. State of California 38 Cal. 2d 718 (1952 Cal Sup. Ct.). So the UN Charter is not directly effective as a matter of US law, except to the extent implemented by act of Congress. Even if there were such a statute, it would be the statute that ruled (and that could be repealed, including by implied repeal through a subsequent statute such as that authorizing the use of force against Iraq).

Even if the UN Charter were self-executing (which it's not), it could still be overruled by subsequent acts of congress that are inconsistent with it. Tag v. Rogers 267 F. 2d 664 (1959); Mercado v. Feliciano 260 F. 2d 500 (1958). Such an intention must be clear. Cook v. U.S. 288 U.S. 102, 120 (1933), but the courts have not been shy of finding clear intent. See, e.g., Diggs v. Schultz 470 F. 2d 461, 466-7 (1972) (Congress may authorize imports from Rhodesia contrary to "binding" UN resolution).

Apologies to all those who found this legal discussion boring, but I have heard this canard repeated too often by others (both less and more knowledgeable than Mr. Tinsley on the subject) to let it pass uncorrected.



I can picture it with ease: the book in my hands, "High Altitude": essays by Bill Whittle -- with introduction, foreword, preface, additional essays, and afterword by Rachel Lucas and Arthur Silber. Whoooo-eeee!!



OUTSTANDING, Bill!
Should be read on every TV network and printed on the front page of every newspaper.
All I can offer is a rec and a link on my lowly blog, but that I'm glad and proud to do.
God Bless you for taking your time and effort in writing this, your wisdom and your patriotism!
God Bless America!
Now, let's roll on Baghdad and it's on to Victory.



Mr. Tinsley should get his own blog. Thank you Bill Whittle for your words,your passion,and your time.



Actually, I guess I already have that book, or its text anyway, though on my screen in additive colors rather than yet on dead trees in subtractive colors. Though, I must say, many trees have died for so much worse.



Ever notice how lefties like Mark write almost as if they are French? Nose held high in the air as they allow their computer monitor the high honor of hosting the bon mots of wisdom that we lowly baffoons will never understand. How they look down their noses and tut tut as they craft their dismissive replies to the honest observation that everything they've said is a load of crap and I give as much consideration for the Mark's of the world as I do for something unpleasant I've discovered on the sole of my shoe.



Thank you for your eloquence. God Bless America.



I blocked Mr. Tinsley from further comments because I felt he had made his point, and the debate on Iraq was heading into Lebanese fishing boats and the finer points of constitutional law, among others.

I'd like to keep this on topic: is the invasion of Iraq justified, or is it not?

That said, I think it is unfair to continue to snipe at Mr. Tinsley since he can no longer respond.

Therefor, in the interest of fairness, I will delete any further comments aimed at him directly, or at anything he has written.

By all means feel free to debate the pros and cons of this complex issue with passion and the high degree of intelligence and restraint that it has been my great pleasure to witness in these forums on my site.

This is as equitable a solution as I can muster in the limited time available to me today.



I'd agree with Leo that Germany and Japan did so well because there were initial resources there. Afghanistan is a big risk, but it's a small country, and I think we will be okay. On the other hand, Iraq is a large country, but it also has many talented and intelligent civilians. Just like Hitler, Saddam has made sure there are a plethora of intelligent and well trained people, without which his government would not have had the public infrastructure it formerly retained. I have read interviews with its former citizens and I have come to the conclusion that there are a great many people there that still care deeply for their country and can be counted on to respond with dedication when the time comes.

Also, they have considerable natural resources (oil) which will help fuel their economy the moment they have some infrastructure.

Now if you start talking about going into an African country, I might be more on your side, Leo. That place is completely messed up.



Mark Tinsley writes: >

Apparently MT's world makes no provisions for geopolitical changes. To me it is laughable that given the same set of circumstances that exist today the US would have supported Sadddam Hussein back in the 1980's. Just the fact that MT does not even allow for the possibility of reasonable, rational people dealing with complex foreign policy issues differently over several decades while the Cold War ends dictates the intolerance and hatefulness of his diatribe.



This is the best article I have seen on the net regarding the ongoing controversy over Iraq.

Well reasoned and clear it says what many people are thinking but cannot find the words to say.

All the best from Canada, Bill.

Keep it coming!



And, by the way, Chesterton wasn't always tongue-in-cheek. Certainly not in the works I cited.



Brilliant, Mr Whittle. Would to God the President gave this speech, word for word, tomorrow night.

God bless you, Sir, and God bless the United States.



FYI as to the U.S. Supreme Court's view on treaties and the Constitution:

The treaty-making power of the United States is not limited by any express provision of the Constitution, and, though it does not extend 'so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids,' it does extend to all proper subjects of negotiation between our government and other nations. Asakura v. City of Seattle, 265 U.S. 332, 44 S.Ct. 515, 68 L.Ed. 1041 U.S.Wash. May 26, 1924, citing Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U. S. 258, 266, 267, 10 Sup. Ct. 295, 33 L. Ed. 642; In re Ross, 140 U. S. 453, 463, 11 Sup. Ct. 897, 35 L. Ed. 581; Missouri v. Holland, 252 U. S. 416, 40 Sup. Ct. 382, 64 L. Ed. 641, 11 A. L. R. 984.

The U.S. Constitution provides at Article 1, Sec. 8 that the Congress shall have power to . . "declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water"

Were any treaty (including the U.N. Charter) to be read as to abrogate the power of Congress to decalre war, the treaty would be unconstitutional under the law of the United States.

The next time somebody argues that "international law" prevents us from going to war, you might want to apprise them of the above.

Next question?



People who read G. K. C. only for his clever way with words miss a great deal. Same, I think, with Oscar Wilde.



Hi Bill,
That was a great post. I want to tell you a story about people like Mark Tinsley and you. In the sixties, in New York young women named Kitty Genoese was stabbed to death on a public street, 38 people heard her screams for help. None of them call out to the murder to stop, none called the police. In my neighborhood two cars pulled up and a guy jumped out and started beating up a man and women with a tire iron. Four people were home that day, including my wife; all four called the police. They came and arrested the guy. People like Make Tinsley and those 38 persons will always find reasons to do nothing. How can you trust Tinsely to do the right thing in times of great danger? How can you turn back on a guy like Tinsley. I do not want this man in my community. Bill your calling for the force to stop the terrible things that are happening is what is needed. We must do the right thing now even if it is against what we
promised to do in treaties.

Best Wishes,
Rich



I hope we get a little more dissent here or are we just looking to reinforce the views we already have. The war is much more than about Iraq. It's our counter-attack on militant Islam. Our goal is to spread democracy and free markets through the Muslim world (at least the Middle East) and give support to moderate groups. It's what can go wrong that worries me: there, here and around the world. If Bush miscalculates, we'll be responding to terrorism forever, like Israel; we'll find ourselves hated even more in the world; and split down the middle at home.



I agree with Ripper: Would that the President delivered this speech to Congress and the nation. Thank you for taking the time to lay all this out. It needs to be heard.



Very brilliantly done!

What strikes me in reading the comments is that the one most vociferous and morally high in his rejoinder, one Mr. Mark Tinsley, is like most of his ilk, to cowardly to post his email address.



Just a couple of quick points...

I agree with much of the argument for war with Iraq posed here except for the following points.
I am deeply troubled that no mention is made of our good friend Saudi, Arabia. Seems to me, considering most of the Sept. 11 hijackers were from that country, that the Arabs should be considered Collective Public Enemy No. 1.
A quote from the author: "Saddam Hussein shows irrefutable signs of mental impairment in the form of Clinical Paranoia and Narcissistic Disorder." Well, compared to Kim Jong Il, I'd say Saddam's fairly lucid. Even with Bush's eclaration of North Korea as part of the "axis of evil," the administration doesn't seem to be too concerned with on-going events in that country.
Lastly, I most heartily disagree with the comments about a war for oil, and I quote again: "Do all of these things, and you will have my frank admiration for your dedication to a moral cause. Do anything less and you are a hypocrite mouthing an easy lie in an attempt to strike a pose of moral superiority." I'll gladly take on the label of hypocrite and continue to toil away recycling paper, glass and cans, using long-life lightbulbs, turning down the thermostat when I'm away from home, installing storm windows and insulation, driving a car that gets upwards of 35 miles to the gallon, and doing whatever else I can to lessen my ecological impact on this planet. Driving an SUV that guzzles gas to the tune of 7 miles to the gallon, belching out more sulfur dioxides than passenger cars are allowed to is what is morally repugnant, regardless of the driver's views about war with Iraq.
Very well-written article ... too bad it's just more rhetoric that has, once again, failed to convince me we should be tangling with Iraq for a second time.



Just thought I'd post this in regards to Mark Tinsely's comments about the Constitution:
*Note I just realized Bill blocked him so this is a little late..



Article VI of The United States Constitution states that the "Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all treaties made or shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land." See The Supremacy Clause: U.S. Constitution, art. VI, § 2. Furthermore, all federal, state, and local officials must take an oath to support the Constitution. This means that state governments and officials cannot take actions or pass laws that interfere with the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, or treaties. The Constitution was interpreted, in 1819, as giving the Supreme Court the power to invalidate any state actions that interfere with the Constitution and the laws and treaties passed pursuant to it. That power is not itself explicitly set out in the Constitution but was declared to exist by the Supreme Court in the decision of McCulloch v. Maryland.

As for Iraq being justifiably invaded..I think its a long time coming. There is no arab democracy in the region (Israel is the only democracy there period). The tribal mentality of the collective countries there is astounding and is deeply disturbing as to its effect on the personal beliefs of their people. There is a semi-nationalistic agenda for the countries there to make it seem that only these countries can hold faithful muslims and for that matter everyone else in the world in the world is considered an infidel. To say it isn't about the oil wouldn't be quite true. Oil does fund these beliefs in allowing them to spread past the gulf countries boundries. But how do we stop such actions and stymie such a belief system that deginerates everyone else outside of the belief into animals or worse? I say the only way is by permanently situating Americans in the region, even if its by creating "a client state". (You have no idea how hard it is for me to say those last 3 words). You need to smack the collective people there right between the eyes to get their attention. This may be the best way to do it without killing massive amounts of them.



Playing Devil's advocate, Orion wrote:

"4: Hussein won't live forever - and his regieme will die with him. Patience and Time will win without the expenditure of a single drop of blood or a single dollar of our treasure. All that is needed is to contain and to monitor Hussein until that time."

How can we assume that Saddam's regime will die with him? He's an old man (late 60's), and could easily drop dead of a heart attack any day now. However, his most likely heir, at least in the short term, would be Qusay and/or Uday, and all the evidence suggests that they're even crazier and more sadistic than their old man. A nuclear-armed Qusay or Uday is not a happy ending. Hussein's death would not in itself solve the problem. His entire regime must be uprooted.



Wiping tears for maybe the tenth time in my adult life. Thank you, Bill. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.



That was a beautiful, moving piece Bill. I didn't think it possible that your "Celebrity" post could ever be matched, but you topped it!! Thank you,Mr. Whittle.
And thank you Mr. Tinsley, because your posts damn sure helped my dry my misty eyes and
get the lost tension back into my jaws! LETS ROLL!



Mr. Tinsley,


I imagine your proclamation that the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was a brutal occupation for no good reason and that the Sabra and Shatilla massacres were condoned by Israel.

The only sources to present Israeli complicity were Arab. Just like the supposed Jenin Massacre which has been bebunked. The Israelis invaded to ensure that Hizbollah and Syria wouldn't attack them from the north.

I was in Kuwait in the months after the Gulf War, Sir. I witnessed what Saddam's troops did to that country and it's people. I swore then that I'd support any plan to oust Saddam.

If you want to see evidence of atrocities, book a flight to Kuwait and go to the resistance safe houses to see what real brutality is.




While I found the piece wonderfully written and stirring, I have to politely disagree.

The United States is not an empire. We do not, indeed, should not, initiate aggressive actions against countries simply to "increase our bubble." While this may sound like a good idea, we simply don't have the resources to accomplish such a feat, and it has already been proven that it is largely ineffective. Viet Nam is a good example.

In fact, many of the attitudes expressed in your essay seem to reflect the same attitudes held by many previous to the Viet Nam war. "Communism must be stopped here" and "Communism demonstrates a real and immediate threat to the US and our way of life." Well, those attitudes were proven wrong. In fact, many people agree that the Viet Nam conflict was a complete waste of time on the part of America.

Which is why, when I see your essay, I get scared that the attitudes are cropping up again. I, for one, have no wish to fight a war against someone who might, at some undetermined point in the future, develop nuclear weapons.

My 2 cents...



I do have a single question for you, Bill: I have no doubt Saddam must be removed, and that the Ba'ath party must be cleansed entirely from Iraq.

BUT: (and you knew there would be a but) what happens if the Arab nations begin a firestorm of attacks at our weakest point? The forces we have in Iraq are not enough to occupy it, or so it's been said: how are we going to fight off sustained attacks from Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia? To say nothing of Mecca prayers being directed against us. If the Arab dictators are going to have ANY chance of driving America out of the Middle East, the end of the Iraq conflict- or maybe during- will be their last chance. How are we going to deal with this, and is it preferable to simply killing Saddam and his men, then exiting the theater? Or could we just fight in the summer with OVERWHELMING force: I think some Texas boys could fight in the desert summer, the media's pussy-footing notwithstanding...

(playing Devil's Advocate. I like thinking in new ways...)



By slinging mud at the U.S. and blowing smoke around Saddam, the "no war" people are attempting to morally obfuscate the argument for war against Iraq.

The goal of such principle-adverse, context-dropping argumentation is to create an intellectual morass in which to bury America's moral resolve to wage a necessary and long-overdue war against a hostile regime. If such tactics are successful, the outcome would be to paralyze the U.S., to stop it from pursuing its self-defense and self-interests in foreign policy, and, in the case of Saddam, to facilitate a murderous socialist tyranny.

Thanks to Bill for his essay and for fighting the good fight.



I googled Mark Tinsley and found this...

From: "Mark Tinsley"
To: ,
Copies to: , , ,

Subject: Gush Shalom
Date sent: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 23:15:28 +0100

To the Editor,

I am writing to express my support for the principled and courageous
initiative of Gush Shalom to inform IDF personnel that by committing
actions that may be war crimes they not only run the risk of violating
international standards of morality, but also international law as well
- for which they may be held accountable.

Israel was rightly established soon after the horrifying events of WWII,
and I urge you to consider the following quote when joining in an
unprincipled attack on a group which embodies the very best standards of
peaceful co-existence, humanity and Judaism:

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national
obligations of obedience. Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty
to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity
from occurring" -- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950.

Sincerely,
Mark Tinsley
UK Citizen.

[For Publication]

mark@xfilesuk.com
aim: tinnypriv



I'm sympathetic to much of what you are saying, Bill, but to shut out Mark Tinsley, giving him martyr status, and then to silence others talking about the points raised, is totally ridiculous. I was enjoying the dissection of Tinsley's position, largely because it was starting to collapse. I urge you to free-speechify this page once again. Thanks.



I agree with Petroglyph Arts on one point: "our good friend" Fraudi Arabia (I have another name for that cesspool but it probably would not be presentable here). ------ Arabia is an ally against terrorism _only in the exact same sense_ that Nazi (RATzi) Germany (the Thousand Year Retch) was an ally against genocide.
"Dissent" is such a lovely word, used so often and so hypocritically by the peaceniks. Yes, I, too, dissent from the Bush Administration. _It isn't going far enough!_ Call me a Politically Incorrect Western Imperialist Warmonger.



I would rather be called a Western Imperialist Warmonger like Winston Churchill than a Peacemaker like Neville Chamberlain.



I think it’s a mistake to block Mark Tinsley. Although he is annoying, it’s vital to have public discourse on all subjects. If you let him back you’ll find that fewer and fewer people will challenge his incoherent rants and he’ll disappear. Besides, it’s easy to skip past his remarks. Great article, by the way. Too bad few liberals will read it. They’re slaves to their liberal rhetoric.



This isn't my audience, but I'm going to say a few words anyway. There is no grounds for the United States of America or any other country intervening in other nation states unless there is a clear, definable threat to them which cannot be resolved any other way. The notion that Saddam Hussein could ever possibly under any stretch of the imagination be a threat to America is palpably absurd. The notion that he has access to weapons which he would use on America - thus guaranteeing his own destruction - is so surreal it's banal.

The United States Government does not intend to liberate the Kurds, the Shia or the Sunnis. It does not intend to install a Jeffersonian democracy in Iraq, particularly since it would be liable to elect a Shi'ite government that would align with Iran, (and also since there is the odd chance that a Nasser will be elected and nationalise the oil supply).

The United States Government is a friend and assistant of despots across the world. It's latest creation in Afghanistan is a cosmetically enhanced version of the Taliban in which Shariah law is still operant. And we are reminded that the US Government indulged and supported that state for years. The United States Government sends money to dictatorships like the vile Egyptian regime. It channels money to Venezuelan putschists from Congress via the National Endowment for Democracy. It sends money to the Colombian regime which somehow ends up in the hands of far right paramilitaries who are annexed to the cuban state and who kidnap, torture and kill trade unionists and other people. The United States Government funded and supported the Indonesian despot, even as they butchered their own and invaded East Timor. The United States Government supported the Khmer Rouge and insisted they be represented at the UN, well AFTER the killing fields.

I repeat, the United States is a friend of despots and murdering scumbags the world over, and it is not about to overthrow this one out of the goodness of its heart.

Freedom for the Iraqis and Justice for the Kurds is an important task, and we cannot trust the United States Government with dispensation of it.



Of course, 'cuban state' should read 'Colombian state'. Call it a Freudian slip if you will, I call it an absent-minded typo.

Also note that I posted this not to convince you, because you're far beyond reason (witness the stupid ad hominem attacks on Mark Tinsley, even descending into a Google search on the name to see what 'dirt' you could dig up on him).

I posted it to annoy and irritate you. Is this 'loathsome' enough?

Thanks.



I'm a simple man. I like to keep things as simple as possible. I don't like big words. I don't like fancy wine. And I don't like people who look as if they spilled their dictionary onto their keyboard. So I simplify things. Like so:

Does Saddam have weapons?
A: Yes.

Says who?
A: Well, the UN, for one. They say so on 1441. And all those people who defected say so. They worked on 'em. And the inspectors found empty warheads. Why have warheads, empty or not, if you're not going to use them? So, yeah, he's got weapons.

Should he have weapons?
A: Nope! He's not allowed. International law and all that.

What can we do?
A: Legally? We can go back into Iraq and pound the living snot out of him. That's written into 1441 as well as the ones from '91.

Would Saddam kill people with his WMD?
A: Already done so, as a matter of fact.

Would he kill US with his WMD?
A: That's his stated goal. He's said so. He wants us deader 'n a doornail.

So what's stopping him?
A: The fact that he hasn't got a bomb big enough.... YET.

Will he actually use a nuke on us?
A: Directly, maybe. Indirectly? Well, the fact that several of the worlds most wanted terrorists were living in Bagdad on Saddam's dime tells me that he has the means to get a bomb here, and since he's publicly stated that he's gonna kick our ass..... Yep!

See? It's simple. He has WMD, and he wants nukes. He's stated that he wants to kill the USA. What is so hard to understand about that? Toss everything else aside, boil it down like a good pot of grits, and what do you have? Reason enough to go in and kick Saddam down into Hell.

I like Simple.
Dave Mangan



Hey, "lenin," Got Proof?



Actually, Lenin, you voicing your opinion isn't loathsome. You idolizing a murdurous dictator (and even using his name) is what I find loathsome.

And as someone pointed out before, no one here thinks that the USA is perfect. Far from it. But the argument of "You've made mistakes before, you can't try to correct them now" is so illogical that it makes my brain hurt just thinking about it. I would say that the US support of dictators in the past makes it doubly important for us to not support them now. Especially the onces we've given support to previously. If Saddam is all our fault, doesn't it make it our responsibility to take him out and stop him from hurting anyone else?

No matter how you look at it, we need to take out Saddam.

David Mangan



David,
That was me - Thanks! :-)
Something Mr. Lenin tacitly implies is this - 'We have (and do) support dictators. It is wrong to attempt to work with dictators.'

Apparently he wants us to either A: Invade everyone who might be a dictatorship right now and install our own governments, or B: work only with those we know to be free governments and ignore everyone else. (Which leaves us with a VERY small group of folks to talk with.)

Since I don't think he's implying A, that leaves B...Which used to be called Isolationism - and lead, indirectly, to WWI and WWII. Gee, that was a GREAT strategy. I can see why they want to go back to those Good Old Days.

Orion



An amazing and moving article with but a few flaws:

The argument aginst the war being about oil is a little weak if I may say so. The whole part about why we need oil, though very true, detracts from the enormously more important fact that Iraqi oil accounts for only about 10% of America's oil, and presumably not even that any more since we've embargoed it.

Why exactly would a nation obsessed with oil use their military force to prevent a nation selling it to them? The fact is, the war is not about oil, we don't give a damn about oil, and if Saddam wants oil then he is welcome to burn all the oil he wants in hell, which is where we're sending him.

Secondly, I find the comparison between the Iraqi nation and a four-year-old offensive. A drunken four-year old with a loaded gun might well shoot someone by accident, but that is not remotely equivalent to an evil natured adult delighting in torturing someone to death because of their ethnicity. To credit the Iraqis with being merely immature is to deny that their culture of death worship and barbarity is evil at all, but merely 'misguided'. Evil is learned and taught in Iraq, it is not human nature.

The comment about it being particularly the French and English who were responsible for the appeasement that lead to the Second World War is a little egocentric considering america entered it two years late, and only after being dragged kicking and screaming into it by the Japanese.

We were all guilty for the first and second world wars, guilty for not doing enough and not doing it soon enough. Worse still, guilty for siding with the enemy and praising their achievements even as they slaughtered their own ethnic minorities by the million. But in our defense, we did not know then the consequences of our innaction. We do now, and the current and past appeasement of Iraq and Palestine (there, I said it!) is inexcuseable.

As an Englishman I also object to being bundled in with the French in just about any comparison, especially in regard to the war. Just try and invade our country and we'll see who collaborates with whom. Its not Europe thats coming to fight and die at your side in Iraq you know.

Nick



Xoe, you have missed the (boat) post.

Bill wrote an essay titled "Empire" and I heartily recommend it to you. He covered in great detail whether we were empire builders and hegemons.

Please refer back to Feb. - Mar., 1991. Coalition forces had unilaterally ceased operations against Iraq. To formalize this cessation, the Gen. Schwartzkopf signed an agreement with a representative of Saddam Hussein. This document stated the tasks and conditions which must be implemented for hostilities to cease. The Northern and Southern no-fly zones are one result of this document. Another section of the document spell out the disarming of Iraq.

This section does not disallow the Iraqi's tactical weapon systems. The video shown on the news programs today of the test burning of Iraqi short range (

What has caused problems, is Saddam's WMD programs. According to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, Iraq has been delaying and obfuscating for all its worth. The words "material breach of UN 1441" as a Chapter VII (as noted above) provision, are actually all we need to legally resume combat operations. Note that I said legally; practical conditions require continued patience. Within the military, what is going on now is classified as RSOI, Reception (into theater); Staging (matching up personnel and equipment); Onward movement (dispersal of personel and equipment from rear areas forward); and Integration (into tactical/operational formations).

As far as empire is concerned, do you honestly believe that we will impose some type of viceroy or other colonial institution upon the Iraqi people? Show me one case in history where we conquered a foreign country, and established a colony. Some argument could be made for our actions in the Philipines; but after WWII, they set up their own government. And when they asked us to remove our military forces from their country, we did so. This action was against our national security interests, but we moved out when asked. Hardly the act of an empire builer.

We try to influence others to form democracies. We believe them to work better than other government types. However, with the exception of the former Axis powers, we don't insist that other countries adopt democracy. In the case of the Axis, their former systems were no longer allowed, and we imposed how we thought they should operate. Funny thing, they've done fairly well since then. Even though the Italians are on their 500th or so government since the end of the war.

The fact that the general flavor of comments on this and a few other blogs (RachelLucas.com, mrsdutoit.com, etc.) are supportive of action against Iraq does not mean that they are like the slogans of the 60s. I have yet to hear of the slippery slope, nor have I heard that Islam "...demonstrates a real and immediate threat to the US..."

I don't know who your "many people" are, but when all is said and done, the Viet Nam experience was one that our country survived and I believe has brought some benefit. I think it was beneficial in that it told the 1) politicians that they must face reality, not wish away opposing viewpoints and cry "We know better," and 2) our military that they must always have conditions of victory in mind and a clear exit strategy established, and 3) our public that they should honor the service person, and not lump the ones fighting the war with the war itself or the politicians themselves. Our fighting forces are there because of group 1 above, not because they thought it was necessary to go chastise the opponent themselves.

Lastly, given Saddams history of using WMD as soon as he has it and can see even a vague need, stopping him from gaining such a weapon is not an option, it is an imperative. He has used it on his enemies and his subjects. He will use it again. Also, if his discretion and judgement was such that we could allow him these weapons, consider his actions in 1993. George H. W. Bush, former President, was targeted for assassination by Saddam when he went to Kuwait to receive honors from that country.

I was in Gulf War I, and I believe that GWII is needed.

Sapper Mike



I was not trying to dig up "dirt" on Mr. Tinsley. If you write something, be prepared to stick by it. Mr. Tinsley most probably wrote that letter and a pattern of his work seems to emerge.

The "Workers Paradise" of the Soviet Union is gone. The only remnants of the Communist experiment are North Korea, which is starving (but they have nukes), and Cuba, which will become Capitalist again after Senor Castro departs the planet.

This is a well written account of what one man thinks of the upcoming war and the reason to continue that war.

So, Lenin, come to the table with well thought out arguments and we'll welcome your point of view. Come with liberal rhetoric and you will get slammed.

The liberals always think of us as morons. They also think of Bush as a moron. You are consistently proven wrong on both counts. A net gain of congressional seats in a mid-year election should convince you of that.

Communism and liberalism aren't dead...just irrelevant. I bet that really hurts.



Nick, speaking only for myself (I wouldn't dare speak for my country): THANK YOU for being there. Thank you for not waiting until we were two years into it or making us beg and plead for your assistance.

We counted on the Brits being at our side and they have yet to disappoint us.

We may be a little slow sometimes (the elephant doesn't dance too well), but once we learn from our mistakes, we do our best not to repeat them.

Britain is proving once again that it is our friend and true ally.

After 9/11 the first people we heard from were our British friends asking us if were our OK, and wishing our friends and family only the best.



Bill,

Thank you very much for your clear thinking and your ability to distill an issue to its most important points

This is the best article I have seen on the net regarding the ongoing controversy over Iraq.

Well reasoned and clear it says what many people are thinking but cannot find the words to say.

Again thank you.



If people like Mark Tinsley are getting you down, just consider how stupid they will look when US, UK and Australian troops are dragging chemical munitions out of Iraqi bunkers and letting the cameras into mobile biological warfare labs in eight weeks' time.

Alan Anderson
Melbourne, Australia



What does Iraq have to do with September 11th? Not a God Damned thing.



Thank you Mr. Whittle for your clear headed, intelligent remarks. I am amazed at how so many left-wingers (who claim to be champions of human rights)find it possible to ignore the atrocities Saddam has committed against his own people. Of course we should have removed him during the Gulf War. We made a mistake in not doing so. I hope we will not make the same mistake twice. I don't think we will. After the first Gulf war we did not have the advantage of hindsight that we now have. We have seen clearly that he has no intention of changing. He is like the schoolyard bully who is never disciplined for his abuse of others. The Clinton administration is like the weak minded principal who neglects that discipline thus reinforcing the bully's mindset that he can act without consequences. Well, there's a new principal in the school. (Having just written this I have a horrible feeling that I've already read it somewhere. If someone else has already said this, I apologize.) Finally, to all those who question the need to go to war with Iraq: I'm glad you question it. Sending men and women to risk their lives is not a light matter and I'm glad you don't accept it unquestioningly. I would however, ask you to remember that Hitler went unchecked for far too long simply because people thought that if he was given just a little more of what he wanted he'd stop. History has proven how horribly wrong that premise was. Thank God for the brave men and women of the United States Military.



I love to come and read this blog sometimes.
It's like one of these old Hollywood movie i like to watch on dvd. There are the good guys fighting the evil ones. Delightful!
I hope to read the happy ending someday.
But someone is missing in this story...the beautiful girl!
Santé!



Now that Blix has affirmed that Iraq is in breach of the recent resolution, I have only a few reservations about prosecuting the war against Iraq:

1) The US hasn't renounced the use of cluster bombs, which have high non-detonate ratios, eventually killing and maiming many innocents -- notably curious children who pick them up while at play. It is an abhorrent form of weaponry that history will not look kindly on.

2) Our recent softness toward North Korea makes us look hypocritical with regards to our consistently hawkish buildup and rhetoric against Iraq. While there may be good reasons for going easy on North Korea, the appearance it gives is unsavory and relativistic. It certainly undermines a spectrum of lofty moralistic pro-war emanations (such as Saddam=Hitler).

3) We are currently perceived as an effective aggressor AND an ineffective nation-builder. The Bush stance early on in Afghanistan was to relegate nation-building to the UN, but that strikes me as being evasive. To use a baseball analogy, once you've stepped up and taken a successful cut you have to run the basepaths. A good step in the right direction in Iraq would be to use as much local talent as possible in post-war oil development, despite the upside potential those fields offer for the various players in our own oil industry.

If I were polled at this moment, I would support multilateral engagement. But it's nice to have a forum to voice my concomitant dissenting opinions. Thanks Bill, and keep up the fine work.



Mrs. du Toit: I second that. Nick and Angilion, your country, the United Kingdom, Great Britain, England, is and has long been our noblest ally next to Israel.
France _used_ to be. Tragic, that "_used_ to be". Tragic. Once, France was, with England, the very heart of our Western culture.



'Tis fitting that a troll named Lenin would display an archetypically Communist contempt for private property by posting _explicitly_ loathsome (his own description) comments on someone else's blog just to irritate and annoy (his own words again). 'Twould be quite fitting were the owner of this blog, the outstanding Mr. Bill Whittle, to lock him out now or even delete his comments. Not that I'm asking him to or not, that's entirely Mr. Whittle's call, _as he sees fit_. The master may choose instead just to let this Lenin dope verbally hang himself with his own rope. _I_ won't complain _either way_.



To all other "Leftists" who may be reading this: I hated Pinochet the same way I hate Saddam. _I_ have no double standards. Death to all tyrants!



Thanks for a wonderful essay. At least SOMEONE is clear-eyed enough to see that the West is already at war.
During the Cold War, the U.S. kept B52s in the air 24/7 as a deterrent. Why not the same thing again? Except this time, have them circling Mecca, Ryadh etc. "One more 9/11........."
The threat of an automatic bucket of Instant Sunshine would soon force the Saudi princes and their ilk to rein in the militants. Let 'em do their own dirty work.



You have successfully kept me from doing work now for a good couple of hours at work.

So.

First my biases -

I am a white male.
I am Canadian.
I have lived in New York.
I have lived in Brisbane.
I currently live in Shanghai.

I don't support a war in Iraq.

Commmenting on why I do or do not probably won't sway any opinions, as it seems most people on this site have made up their minds.

What I DO support is discourse. Thoughtful discourse. Which is why I believe it is important to allow ONE AND ALL to post. Pro and Con. That is one of the beauties of a forum like the Internet.

I hope that people can have the respect to listen to what others have to say. Goodness knows I have just spent over an hour doing so.

Cheers.



This is a bunch of crap. No offense.

On the moral part-We should end dictatorship in Iraq, eh? What nations are just as brutal as Iraq that we are ignoring? Even nations that are not quite as evil but nevertheless very rutheless and cruel?
North Korea starves its own people. Israel is defying UN resolutions (not sure on that one) and denying the Palestinians their independence. China is a dictatorship that we support wholeheartedly. And Russia is beleived to have commited many atrocities against the Chechens!

Now onto the Iraq attacking us issue.
This is sillyness. Saddam has shown, by the fact that he refused to use chem weapons on Israel or America during the Gulf War, that he is MUCH more interested in survival than war with the west. If we invade him, he is MORE likely to use the chemical weapons on us than if we don't invade him.

And what about Libya? Quadaffi's regime has killed many more Americans during peacetime than Saddam's has. Yet it is Iraq that we are invading. Can someone give me a good reason right now. Please. I want to know.

Kids will die either way. That's no worry. What worries me is that we do not need this war, and we are ignoring far worse threats.


*Note-We did tell Iraq that we'd ignore their invasion, and there is also evidence that Kuwait was drilling Iraq's oil (though Iraq was, admittedly, using that as an excuse)



I am just about to head home from work after many hours away from this forum.

I would like to stress again that I have seen time and time again certain commenters so hijack these comments sections that it is no longer an open debate but rather dueling quotations and countercharges that spin further and further off topic. If you re-read the thread you will see that this was precisely what was happening, and it is just that: a hijacking. That's why we now have locks on the cockpit doors. No new ground was being covered, and as I make it perfectly clear in the heading of the comments section, if I feel an individual is doing more to stifle the debate than encourage it, then that person will be asked to leave.

Sadly, I do not have the time to watch this blog every minute of the day. I am now going to delete comments aimed at Mr. Tinsley since he is unable to respond to them. In an hour or so, when I get to my e-mail, I will see if he has chosen to make the case for what he believes. If he has done so I will post it in its entirety.

As far as this affording him martyr status, I am certain that he perceives things in just this way; indeed, I am sure that is why he was writing every other post in the first place. Well, we aim to please here at Eject!Eject!Eject! I allowed him to make his points. I am certainly not obligated to do so, nor am I obligated to pay cash for his bandwidth. I would do no more or less to anyone else, regardless of their viewpoint.

Some may find this unfair. You are entitled to your opinions. That said, I perceive this to be private property, and will manage this debate as I see fit. However, it does seem typical of certain types of people to always want to hear the sound of their voice on someone else's dime.



Really bang-up job moderating these here comments. People outing eachothers private email addresses, sniping at people that were banned...

Yes, this is clearly the moral highground here.



Thank you Mr. Whittle for this valuable contribution to the current worldwide discussion about war with Iraq. It is a symphony of thought, logic and reason. Very moving and extremely well done. It’s the most clearly articulated presentation of the facts regarding the threat of Saddam Hussein and radical Islam that I have ever read.

Thanks again.

Mark Reeves



Nick the Englishman:

I, for one, NEVER lump England & its extremities together with desperate old Europe.



Dear Mr. Whittle: Your policy is _eminently_ fair. This _is_ your private property, as much as your house or your gun. Like Rachel, you are a most gracious host. We are all guests here, and it behooves us to behave as guests ought to behave.
About your High Altitude essay itself on this War, all these quibblings are merely proving how impossible it is to refute what you wrote so clearly.



Bill, as always: EXCELLENT.

A comment as to the status of the Emperor of Japan and Unconditional Surrender: The sticking point was not as to whether the Emperor would stay or go, the point of disagreement was the insistence of the Japanese that the Emperor retain his status as diety. After the 2nd bomb, that point was superfluous.



Mark Anderson Wrote:
"If people like Mark Tinsley are getting you down, just consider how stupid they will look when US, UK and Australian troops are dragging chemical munitions out of Iraqi bunkers and letting the cameras into mobile biological warfare labs in eight weeks' time."

I have to disagree with you on this. I expect no acknowledgement whatsoever from the rabid antiwar crowd. These are true hard-core ideologues, they have kept true to their cause after the collapse of communism and the reality of the nightmare of Cuba and North Korea.

I don't need the willfully blind idiots to admit they were wrong. It's enough to know that we in the US are doing the right thing, to defend the United States. Freeing millions to have a chance at Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is an added benefit.



All I can offer is a couple Haikus which could help explain 'The Tinsley Factor':

Iraq as excuse,
Europe rediscovers old
anti-semitism

During Desert Storm
Thirty nine SCUDs rained on jews
Nukes will work better

Link:
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/030125/168/34891.html



Bill..well written and heartfelt. As a Republican I really want to support George Bush, but I must admit I am having problems doing so. I agree that Saddam is evil. I agree that 9/11 was horrific. I agree that there is some horrific things being done in the world. What I am having trouble with is the sending of our kids over to fix all the insanity--paticularily when the insanity that you mention in much of the first part of your article will continue even if Saddam is ousted or not. We can't just go interupting the lives of our young Americans and sending them into harms way everytime a politician has personal issues with someone can we? Mr Bush is an idiot, but he is our idiot--I like that--but it remains true that our idiot is doing a horrible job of convincing the world for this necessary evil. If Saddam gasses his own poeple, I would remind you that America once did some horrific things with their own kurds (the American Native people). If Saddam had a hand in striking the Twin Towers it needs to be proven and if it could be, we would probably already nuked the SOB. If Saddam had no oil...hmmmm what then? If Saddam had never threatened Mr Bush's pa, what then?

Again, I have trouble disagreeing with you as a whole, you write well, you make convincing arguments that I cannot totally disprove either...but I also think that for every good argument that you make, Mr. Bush has in turn given flimsy reasoning for an attack. He keeps saying he wants to liberate Iraq now. Unfortunately, to do so will probably kill many civilian people, I guess they would be better dead or permanently maimed than how they are now? He keeps saying that it is our job to make sure he complies with what he agreed to do in resolution 1441...but why now, why all of a sudden, and why so much dissention even among the Republican ranks? He has tried to offer that Saddam is a terrible human dictator that must be removed from power to make the world a better place---but aren't there several of these in the world that will remain even if Saddam is ousted? What are we going to do keep picking wars with all of the people that don't like us until we completely dominate the planet and make it safe for all? Lastly, if Mr. Bush wants war so much, why is it that he himself made such an effort to avoid another war that was all about protecting American interests abroad in Vietnam? Was it because he personally would have had to fight that war?

Look 9/11 was horrible. But we cannot use it as an excuse to attack other countries unless there is specific hard evidence that the country we are attacking was directly involved. Does anyone have any proof whatsoever that Iraq was involved in this? Or should we just swallow whatever Mr. Bush says? Again, if we just had proof, it would make me, for one, feel a little more like sending our young men and women into war was justifiable. Otherwise, I fear that I am raising my kids to just becoming further puppets of politicians who can do whatever they want without offering much evidence as to why their agenda's should be supported.

I guess the bottom line is that their are moms and dads out there that have kids about to be sent into battle in Iraq just because the President and whatever other countries he has bought off with military "gifts" says so. I think they deserve better reasoning.

And this argument that Saddam is much like Hitler does not hold water with me either. Saddam couldn't take a grip of a continent in the matter of months in his wildest dreams. He doesn't have the military--unless you are afraid of army personell that surrender to reporters, he doesn't have the weaponry, he doesn't have a clue. The man would probably still carry a sword into battle. And sure, we will probably have things in Iraq under control relatively quickly and easily--but some unlucky soldier is going to get killed and all for what? Mr. Bush needs to clearly answer that question, and with proof would be nice.

Again, Bill, this is not an attack on you. Your words in regards to 9/11 in paticular were as moving as any I have read. I am sorry for you and the people of New York that had to go through these terrible days in our history up close and personal. It hurt us all deeply, but for those that were there, my heartfelt sympathies. But I do think we need to be careful about reacting to the attack of 9/11, and we need to be sure that we are striking back at those that are really responsible.



Mr. Whittle, There is nothing I can add or take away from your essay that would in any way improve it. It makes the case for liberating Iraq truthfully and powerfully.

To Tinsley, lenin, and the rest...you in effect support Saddam. With a name like lenin it is no surprise...(why not sign stalin?) Why are you supporting Saddam? Is it the same reason you supported the Taliban?

I dare you to write an anti-war screed. Can you? And still tell the truth and use logic?

Matt



You know, I'm all against war because of the simple fact that I'm all against about innocent people dying and paying the price for the actions of those who use the power in the wrong way; I'm against it the same way I'm against terrorist acts like the ones of Sept. 11th. I am not as informed as you are and I certainly can't come with a lot of arguments on this. In fact, this war is something people will never will come to common terms with, but thanks for all the information you provide.

Just don't forget that many of us DO know what violence and terror are and have grown up living and seeing it every single day (I am Colombian) and we don't think generating more trouble is the solution. If Saddam Hussein is committing so many crimes, then why doesn't the U.S. Intelligence get him and only him instead of waging a war against thousands of people that are victims too? Did you know that they are planning to send over 800 missiles in less than 48 hours and that the officials at the pentagon are saying that "there will be no safe place in Baghdad" and that people will be "physically, emotionally and psychologically shaken"?. I wonder... is all this worth living for?

At the end of the war, will freedom and justice be achieved? Will people suffer less? Will corruption end? I certainly doubt it, especially if we think what kind of reactions an attack on Iraq will generate in all those nations that are supposed to be so wrong for being fundamentalists. Nothing justifies war, not even the most horrendous crimes; justice is not about "an eye for an eye". I don't know what the solutions are, but I'm sure there is another way. Or maybe this all has to come to an end to be fixed.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Beautiful prose, but still... this war is not about justice for the ones that are suffering. This war is about power and I feel really sorry for those who think differently.



Francois, you are one cynical asshole. Its easy to be cynical when you stand out of the danger and ridicule those who stand on principle. After all, cynicism is a tool of survival in places where there is no freedom, where one must distrust anyone, in anticipation of a betrayal. Places like Aphganistan used to be, and still is in many places, and which threatens to return again. Go there and we'll see that grin carved off your face real soon.

Word for word, I wish this essay would comprise the State of the Union speech tomorrow.

On the jack-booted thug front, we can all be assured that those of us who write as conservatives in defence of our nation and its principles will find our names added to the enemies list that starts with the five hundred FBI files in Hillaries collection. Ah, but that is not my favorite impeachable offence. Mine is one of the first: in 1992, the targeting, and slandering of Billy Dale (of Clinton, Virginia) with bogus charges of embezzling in his position as Director of the White House travel office by "co"-president Hillerie Clinton in order to install her cronies the Bloodworth-Thomases. As in both cases, this was an impeachable offence simply for the very appearance of impropriety and its assault on ethics by the administration reponsible. No "proof" was necessary. Neither is there any need for the U.S. to provide "proof" of Saddams possesion of WMD for the Ba'athist regime to be in materiel breach. The list of material breaches now far exceed the number of times algore tried to steal the election by lawsuits.

Hey Tinsley, its bad form to leave a comment that exceeds the authors essay by three or four times. Make a point and leave the sand box to others; You aren't right simply because you like to hear yourself talk. its rambling and no-one wants to read it



honestly: I didn't read much of what you wrote. something you said smacked me in the face. (I continued to point '2', enough for me to see your position.) Nothing I can debate will change your mind. But I'll give you some personal experience

Re "Those who criticize the United States from within clearly have not seen any of these horrors I have mentioned, for if they had it could not but mitigate their rhetoric, and put some perspective into their arrogant and affluent lives. Those who actually endure such daily horror as can be found in the world want one thing and one thing only: they want to come here. They want to come here NOW."

honestly: 911 i was there. physically. i saw it. i watched the bodies drop. i saw the dead bodies at my feet. blood in ash. aircraft engine to my side. thundering roar, dead quiet, like no tv could ever show. i see the faces of those dead men at my feet when i sleep. i dont tell anyone this. i am lucky to be alive. i have been to rwanda and seen the mess. i was in sarajevo and saw the carnage. let me tell you, i HAVE seen the horrors you outline, first hand. i am not american. i am vehemently against this war with iraq. ive seen how war does not work, no matter your might. to quote you, while i once wanted to "come here right now", i find myself wanting to "leave here, right now". it is a matter of extricating my personal effects and im out. committed to this.

honestly: this is the only place i have written this.

good luck. your country needs it.



A quick summarization, based on my own observations from these comments, and thoughts based on other information:

Why the US should attack Iraq:
-Possesion of WMD, and a stated desire to use them
-An oppresive regime which kills thousands of its own citizens every year
-Deterance will not deter a person willing to die to acheive their goals (and guys, 72 virgins...not that bad of a deal)

Why the US shouldn't attack Iraq:
-The Ba'athist government was supported by a previous US government

Why this is wrong:
-Practical example: Try writing any document with the backspace key. I'm not saying to is possible to return to a previous state, however, to leave this "typo" in power will cause death and destruction.

Why the US is preparing to attack Iraq, and not North Korea:
-Saddam doesn't fear deterance, either through delusion about US military power, or religious dogma
-North Korea does fear US military deterance. Knowing that a conventional or nuclear attack will end their regime, they will play a game of brinksmanship. However, time and force are on the US side. The US ca simply play the waiting game of delaying talks until 1) the situation in the middle east is defused or 2) the NK government collapses



I don' t suppose that in this avalanche of comments mine will be noticed, but I want to voice my support for what you say, and yet also point out the one thing that too many commentators miss.

The fact is that most middle eastern regimes are and have been attempting to sit on the fence, giving cooperation both to the West and the dangerous extremists in their midsts. They will continue doing so until they can clearly see who poses the greater threat to their long-term future.

The War on Terror will require the Battle of Iraq, because with that victory, the pressure on the regimes of Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will see that it is in their best interests to work with us, not against us.

I will link to your article, so others may read it.

Regards,

Dean



Yo, Matt don't cry for me and my ancestors. We don't need you to. What's past is past. It has no bearing on the morality of actions today. Sins of the father you know.



Gerald,

First off, I have to say that I am surprised that some Leftists are getting arrogant enough to pretend they know history. I was a Democrat until last June, when like Christopher Hitchens of the Nation, I had to disavow intellectual affiliation with the left because I saw humanitarian values being trampled by the "keep Saddam in power" brigade who claimed to be Democrats.

For all the following, remember I was an avid Clintonite and voted for Gore in 2000 and was very upset that the shorter less presidential looking Bush seemed to have stole the election. I am ashamed of this, but you must note that I was indeed one of you for 9 long years up until the left started using morally wrong, self aggrandizing sixties style arguments to treasonously criticize the war on terror last spring.

It was after I switched sides, that I actually started reading books about Vietnam and McCarthyism, etc. I learned that McCarthyism was a good thing because the witch hunt caught a lot of actual witches who almost made it to jobs like Secretary of State (Henry Wallace could have become President in April 1945 if the Democratic Party bosses hadn't ejected him from the Vice Presidency the previous August in Chicago). I also learned that the Vietnam War was necessary from 1965 to 1973 because the murderous Ho Chi Minh and Mao were still alive in that 8 year period. An example of why it was necessary to defend the South Vietnamese dictatorship in those years: in Hue during the pathetic last ditch VC Tet Offensive, the NVA came to town and murdered the usual mass of land and property owners...before fleeing like cowards when the Americans almost surrounded them while they killed innocents.

Thank God that Ho and Mao both died with their expansionist dreams crushed by the USA. The victorious but tamed down NVA in April 1975 were already wondering, as they rolled into Saigon, how they were going to become friends again and do business with the USA. They had scored a Pyhric (sic) victory.

The real winners of the Vietnam War were the Soviets and the liberal western political parties that the KGB had successfully infiltrated.

Anyway, lets go over your comments from the point of view of a former UN employee and Army Intelligence analyst:

>I should preface this by saying no-one has to give an argument *against* an attack on Iraq, but that those that want one have to give reasons *for*.

Bullshit. But here are 7 reasons that we Republicans who are in power (and will stay in power) might deign to give to you (if this sounds arrogant, remember how arrogant we Clintonites were when we thought the Reps were all redneck moralists in the 90s while spitting on their sense of values):

1) The war will prove to us and the world where the WMDs are, that they do of course exist and whether they include a suitcase nuke in Manhattan. I am from Manhattan but I am specifically staying away from any dowtown until after the Iraq War. The number one priority of this war is to force them to hit us with their best shot now, because the sight of cheering Iraqis that will come with the American liberation will simultaneously weaken Islamist anti-American terrorism and left wing anti-Americanism around the world. Both the enemy camps (far left and far right) will be extremely weakened and must hit us with nukes even if that is what they think it will take for us to kill lots of Iraqi civilians in "revenge." [Hint: Bush would sooner nuke the French in response to a nuclear terror attack than to nuke Baghdad where people actually like us and are cheering for us.] The war will, one way or another, kill the threat of WMDs at least from Iraq.

Its possible that, if the French or Russians are in control of a loose nuke in New York City and are really our terrorist enemies, they will agree this week to let us finish off Saddam while drawing a line in the sand by telling us we cannot help bring democracy to the Iranians. The French and Russians have neo-colonial interests in Iraq and Iran, but we may be able to convince them to oppress only the Iranians from now on and let us free the Iraqis.

Reason 2) The liberation of Iraq will create a Shiite dominated state with a powerful, pro-American Army under a conservative anti-leftist government that can poise itself with the powerful pro-American Jordanian Army with an anti-leftist government against the anti-leftist Sunni Saudis who, back in 2001, were our enemies and principle funders of Al Qaeda.

This realpolitical juxtaposition of powerful secular Shiites against the newly weakened religious Sunnis will turn Al Qaeda and all conservative Muslims into necessarily being our friends. No Al Qaeda terror attack against Americans would ever be able to change the facts on the ground once Saddam falls: that Shiites really dominate the Middle East population-wise.

Basically, Al Qaeda made a mistake in 2001 more horribly stupid for themselves than the Japanese did in 1941: Al Qaeda should have known that the fall of Saddam alone would put Shiites into the power seat in the Middle East and destroy all hope of a "caliphate".

In fact, its this argument that should help any leftist believe that Bush caused 9-11 to happen! What a great excuse to tame the Saudi Wahhabism that grew under the feckless Clinton in the 90s.

3) Saddam's fall will bring the capitalist nations trillions of dollars worth of oil, raising the standards of living of everyone in the world, while lowering the "living standards" of terror mafias...all non-terrorists will benefit, except maybe the Russians who have depended on high, strangling oil prices to maintain their internal oil industry. The Russians have always seen a good reason to maintain turmoil in the Middle East. Bush has to end this and end it now. But I hear that he has made a deal with the Russians to leave Iran as an oppressed Russian colony if they let Iraqis be freed.

And I say this as someone who loves Russia almost as much as the USA.

4) Bush must defeat Saddam now (preferably in a 12 hour battle combined with an Iraqi uprising) because Saddam has made himself into a poster boy for the world's anti-American left. The Left needs to be humiliated worse than they have even been, for two reasons: A-because the Cold War that they have resurrected like a zombie corpse, must be drastically won by the forces of Good with images of cheering Iraqis and images of the new Iraqi leaders forcing aholes like Shroeder to publicly apologize for making Germany the worst enemy of the Iraqis after Saddam himself. B-The left needs to be humiliated in this case because Bush's secret strategy has been to redefine the war on terror from a war seemingly between the Liberal West against conservative Islam into a battle between moral conservatives against the craven likes of philandering proto-communist Gerhard Schroeder. When you look at the friendship between Bush and the new Islamist Turkish government, you might notice that Bush is looking at leftists as the real enemy while the Islamists are back on his side because they hate leftists more than Israelis.

Talk about attempting to end the entire war on terror in one fell swoop: make friends with Islamic fundamentalists while humiliating left wing ideologists (except that the left wingers will pretend that we killed 200,000 Iraqis even if Human Rights Watch says we killed only 200 civilians).

5) Bush needs to get democracy rolling in the Middle East by removing Saddam with the effect that democracy will roll downhill and be unstoppable, even if the US Army disappeared entirely out of the Middle East. Why? The above reasons but also because its the LIBERAL thing to do. It is the Wilsonian thing to do. It is what FDR would have done in response to 9-11. In might even have been what Clinton would have done...but I could write a book about why that would not have happened. Any American president except the wimpy coward Carter would be doing what Bush is now doing if only because it is the right thing to do from a human rights perspective.

6) Overthrowing Saddam's mafia is the only way to overthrow Arafat's mafia and bring peace and justice to the Palestinian people.

7) I am getting tired. I still have several excellent reasons, but its all so obvious! Oh yes, realpolitics: if we do not overthrow Saddam now, terror will increase against us in the same way that the Soviets unleashed South American "terror revolutions" after our "loss of will" in Vietnam. Carter was more responsible for what happened in Chile and Nicaragua than Reagan was: it was because of Ford and Carter's fecklessness that the KGB dared to invade South America and Africa in the 70s.

8) The Iranians will revolt when Iraq is freed. Everyone knows that. etc etc. Islamists will see the handwriting on the wall.

The most dangerous time for us will be the 3 day period after an attack. That is why we may want to win the war in 12 hours and have a news blackout in the USA so we don't know the war is being fought until after it is over.

Note that this long letter just answers your first assumption made in the first sentence of your left wing reactionary response to what was a good conservative (and therefore pro-humanitarian, anti-Stalinist) post.

William



It's laughable that the people posting the most insubstantial comments here dare call Mr. Tinsley a troll. It's not so laughable that people are calling those of us who oppose this impending war traitors or unprincipled.

Bill's introduction is well written and emotionally magnetic. However, that doesn't make his prescription for action any wiser.

A few comments:

R Devlin says: "No doubt we did deal with some unsavory people in the past."

Dealing with unsavory people is what you do when you buy a Rolex out of the trunk of somebody's car. Installing or helping to install dictators, then training their officers to keep the locals in line is something else altogether. The list of these unsavories is a long one, from Noriega in Panama to Rios Montt in Guatemala, from Pinochet in Chile to the butcher of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko.

Oh yeah. And Saddam Hussein himself. The U.S. helped boost this vicious thug into power and encouraged American companies to compete in the rush to arm him with whatever he needed to build chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Now, some of the same high-up people who participated in this unsavoriness say he's got be stopped at all costs.

Ernest Brown notes that "FWIW, Saddam wants to be Hitler/Stalin in the worst way, and is quite open and honest about this ambition, which is more than can be said for his defenders."

Short of a few lunatics - the opposite number of those bloggers calling for us to nuke Paris because the French are threatening a Security Council veto - nobody who opposes this impending war is defending Saddam Hussein. He's a monster, a mass murderer, and a de facto if not clinical psychopath. But this hyperbole about Hitler and Stalin is just window-dressing in the propaganda war. You might as well compare him with Darth Vader.

As for your comments, Barcode, there are a lot more reasons for not going to war with Iraq under the current circumstances:

* Many in the Arab world who do not support al-Qaeda will view this American-led effort as an attack on Islam. And they will be radicalized by it.

* There is no credible evidence that Saddam has links to al-Qaeda. Indeed, his links are far less than those al-Qaeda has with certain Saudis, not to mention Pakistan's ISI.

* Saddam is being perfectly well contained right this minute. He is far weaker than he was 11 years ago. He is in no position to attack anybody (except, of course, his own people, but if we took war to every country in the world where leaders were doing that, we'd be stretched mighty damn thin).

Saddam no doubt has developed/is developing biological and chemical weapons and would love to have nukes. But even if he has a hoard of VX gas and Ebola in the suburbs of Baghdad, it doesn't require a zillion-dollar war to "resolve" the issue.



I just, belatedly, read the post, and I am in awe. There are seriously not words to describe the utter amazement I'm feeling right now. I'll try and articulate something when I post this link on my blog, and I hope you can stop by and see how much I appreciate having people out there to say things like this.



Francois is a cynical asshole, but his post was quite amusing this time. I do have answer to his question: Yes, there _is_ a beautiful girl in this movie -- but she's wrapped in a burqa,and we're fighting to get out.



I always admire people who can produce essays like this, even if I don't agree with what they say. Well done.

That said, I found your arguments to be embarrassingly sentimental. For example, "We and two or three other nations, old and true friends who have stood by us through flame and terror, now confront a menace the likes of which we have not seen for almost a thousand years." When I read stuff like that that I really have to steel myself to go on reading.

The opening paragraphs, in which you position yourself on the debate, really provide the key to my rejection of your message. My question would be, before you started watching those "videotaped nightmares", what kind of world did you think you lived in?

Bad things go on in the world. They went on long before 11 September. They continue to go on. Yet I can't help but get the impression that a) you didn't give a toss about any of it until something bad happened in America, and b) bad things have to happen in front of a video camera for your emotional equilibrium to be disturbed.

You make your arguments with the zeal of the recent convert, and think it fit and proper to elbow aside the institutions that do the real work - the work that goes on to mitigate atrocities that aren't witnessed by a camera crew. Not content merely to sideline these institutions, you belittle them and imply that they are somehow responsible for the maintenance of the status quo.

Better, you insist, to clear the decks completely with a war; the West as Alexander the Great confronting the Gordian Knot of terrorism.

Call me a cold-hearted bastard - I am a cold-hearted bastard after all - but confronted with a world full of atrocities that apparently leave people like you unmoved unless they are shown on TV, I find myself growing skeptical. I reject the notion of going to war to save the oppressed. We'd never stop fighting. Where to after Iraq? Burma? Zimbabwe? Nigeria? China? Who do we save first? How do we prioritise? Who suffers the most?

Maybe I have compassion-fatigue, but I've looked into my heart and realised that yes, I actually can live with myself knowing that Saddam Hussein murders, gasses and rapes his own people, and if you feel differently then tell me why you were content enough to let it continue for the last twelve years. I find myself astonished to be saying this. I always thought I was a bleeding-heart.

You see, it's my people I care about. I'm an Australian and to my mind, the only reason Australians should be fighting in Iraq is if Saddam poses a credible threat to us or one of our allies, and cannot be strategically contained.

If you asked me at this point to go ask Australian soldiers whether they feel their mission is pointless, I'd answer that their feelings on the matter are no more or less relevant than those of any other voter. In a democracy, the armed services defend the nation at the direction of the citizenry. To sentimentalize their contribution, to get misty-eyed over their 'sacrifice', is to go off on a tangent and start confusing war with some cathartic ritual of blood-letting ("Occasionally, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood..." etc). Please.

In my mind, the argument for war hinges on two things: Saddam is a threat to the West. Saddam cannot be strategically contained. I'm happy to go along with the first proposition, but so far no government has come up with a convincing enough proof of the second.

By adopting this position I take a risk that I and the people I care about will pay for our inaction with our lives, but I think it's a very small risk, and, once again, I've looked into my heart and realised that I can live with the tiny seed of doubt that remains.

For you, homo sapiens' great strength is adaptability. I think, rather, it is the ability to live with uncertainty. To forget, to generalise, to ignore particulars - in other words, to think. Hence you see people living in earthquake or tornado or bushfire zones for generations, come what may.

I'm sorry, Bill, but for all your passion for the subject your essay is not a satisfactory substitute for what people (or at least I) really want: an accounting from my government. It's what I'm entitled to, after all.



Actually, Meteorblade, I'm not calling HIM a 'troll', I'm referring to his POSTS as a 'troll'. It's an old BBS slang term referring to people who post deliberatly silly arguments in a sole attempt to get someone to rise to the attack.

The analogy is that of one who drives a speedboat dangling a flashy lure in front of a fighting fish - Trolling. Hence, he's Trolling, or as is most commonly shorthanded, "He's a troll."

Since Mr. Tinsley's arguments lacked substance, coherence, logic, and fact I deduced that he was 'trolling'. Typical Trolls (and indeed Mr. Tinsley's posts) mostly consist of restatments of revisionist history and emotive statements coupled with reductionist attacks on various portions of posts. A defining characteristic is a smug pedantic style that is truly devoid of any intellecutal content. These have a tendency to elicit rabid emotional responses from some folks and well-reasoned arguments from others.

Still, it's harmless and fun and can often stimulate debate. I've done it myself countless times when commentary is a bit too one-sided. But when you're called on it, the stand-up thing to do is admit it.

Your commentary seems to raise several points:

1: We're mean for pointing out Mr. Tinsley's argumentative flaws and really mean for believing that those who support Iraq are somewhat less than patriotic. OK. We're mean. I'll have myself spanked immediately.

2: A repetition of the 'We supported nasty people in the past and have made bad mistakes in the past so we shouldn't try to rectify those mistakes now' argument. This has been dealt with in previous posts.

3: A repitition of the 'There are other people we should attack first' argument. This has been dealt with in previous posts.

4: A VERY good point - Attacking Iraq risks radicalizing other Islamics in the region. However, we can't win for losing there - nothing we could do would ever make them our friends anytime soon, so this argument can be dismissed.

5: Saddam is weak now. We should wait until he is strong to attack him. Um. That's just silly.

6: An admission that Iraq has WMD's (as the UN has stated now) but that there are other methods to remove them from their control. These mehods are apparently left as an excercise for the student as you fail to enumerate them. Since the rest of us can't imagine what they are, we're left with the old but effective method of going in and taking them.

QED

Orion



Mr. Ritchie,
Well said - although I disagree with you.
You're primary disagreement with Mr. Whittle apparently stems from your belief that Hussein can be strategically contained.

How?

He has WMD's. He has delivery systems. He is developing BETTER of both. How long until he drops something nasty on Riyadh? Tel Aviv? Jerusalem? Or has it delivered via ship to New York? Sydney? Or via several infected people being sent - with or without their knowledge - to either of our nations?

He's shown a willingness to use his WMD's, an inventivness in obtaining more, and a single-minded determination to ignore international opinion and flaunt international law. This makes him a very clear and present danger in my book.

To steal a line from Robert Heinlein - when I find a Black Widow, I don't ask it to be nice and stop poisoning people. That's what it does. That's it's nature. I kill it and remove a threat to my species.

As to who's next? Who knows. Maybe other nuts will learn a lesson. If not, like a tired principal disciplining unruly students we'll move on to the next one. But THAT is a decision for tomorrow when we can evaluate the effectivness of THIS lesson.

Orion



MeteorBlades writes that "many in the Arab [Muslim] world who do not support al-Quaeda will view this American-led effort as an attack on Islam. And they will be radicalized by it." I have been hearing this argument since September 11, 2001. Let's see: Islam is the Religion of Peace. Muslims are not terrorists, they do not support terrorism. It is wrong (evil, imperialist, racist [even though there is no such thing as a Muslim "race"]) to say otherwise. But -- any action we take to fight terrorism will somehow be taken by the Muslim world as an attack on Islam. And then many Muslims will become terrorists. For every terrorist we kill, a hundred more of these peaceful non-terrorist Muslims will suddenly become terrorists. Hmmm....
Actually, the mere fact that our women are not in burqas is seen by many as an attack on Islam.



Steve,
That's just 'cause we don't respect Women enough in Western culture to stone them to death when they're raped or to lock them up and keep them ignorant...

Orion



Well, for a reporter you definitely don't like to check your facts.
Read this for starters,
http://www.unansweredquestions.org/timeline/1990s/nation021599.html

Also you might want to research WHY Saddam invaded Kuwait and WHY he went to war with Iran



Dear William Tell: Welcome to our side, i.e., the side of Freedom, often now known as the "Right". I had a journey very much like yours. On September 11, 2001, the Politically Correct "Leftover Left" filed Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) and pushed me over the "Right", i.e., whatever is _not_ the Politically Correct "Leftover Left", a very diverse spectrum of thought, and which now includes such individualists as Christopher Hitchens, Camille Paglia, and Holland's Pim Fortuyn (murdered for his Politically Incorrect views). I, too, learned the truth about Senator McCarthy, about Vietnam, and many other things. Not to say that I was all _that_ Politically Correct before 9/11/2001 -- I was _not_ -- but I am decidedly further to the "Right" now on most spectra.



Geez, I need to go to bed...
The above referenced article is a rehash of the 'We screwed up in the past and shouldn't try to fix it now' argument. (Perhaps I should call this the "We're bad and should just sit in the corner" argument?)

This quote from that article exposes it completely:
"For more than seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples," it stated."

Already dealt with in Mr. Whittle's excellent "Empire" post. You should read it.

Orion



Orion, I think your question is one politicians should be asking each other: Can we contain this guy without going to war? How?

If the answer to the first question is 'No', then fine: let the government explain why, we'll go to war, the sooner the better. The trouble is, the government hasn't actually come out and said why containment has failed. It seems to be working okay: Saddam hasn't launched any Scud missiles at Israel lately.

Sun Tzu once wrote that the best way to win a war was to attack your opponent's strategy: he didn't go into specifics but it's pretty obvious what was meant; making regional alliances and treaties, maintenance of occupying forces, etc - things that the US does already, in fact, and good on 'em. Are you really willing to say that that approach has failed?

The fact that despite the growing proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons throughout the world we've so far managed to prevent states from using them against other states is no accident in my opinion. Much of the credit belongs to the US. To turn away from the principles of containment is basically to express a preference for handling crisis after crisis after crisis. Is that really what's best for our respective nations? I have to wonder.



Let me see... We supported some dictators in the past, so we can't oppose any now? We're not allowed to correct any of our mistakes?
Old-fashioned logic: "You made that mess, so now you have to clean it up!"
New Politically Correct logic: "You made that mess, so you can't ever clean it up, you have to sit on your hands and watch it get worse."



The Bold, Brave, Daring, Dissenting, Rebellious, Revolutionary, Bastille-Storming strategy of today's "Left": do nothing.



I just want to make a few points. I believe Mark Tinsley has already said most of what I would say, so I'll leave that alone. But there are a few points that the right seems to make that are inconsistent (or incorrect) that need illumination. I would hope that those people who are making these types of arguments can see this in the future, and possibly refrain from making the same logical errors:

1. "No one here thinks that the USA is perfect. Far from it."

Actually, I have yet to see a single person admit this. Mark pointed out several credible instances of this, and nobody ever conceded any of those points. If you hold high standards for the way other nations conduct themselves, you simply must hold the U.S. to those same standards.

2. The left believes that, since the U.S. has made mistakes in the past, it has no business trying to correct them now.

No, we don't believe that at all. That doesn't really make sense even. When we point out these "mistakes" (which we don't believe to be mistakes at all, but completely intentional), we are making two different criticisms. One, I've already explained, see point #1. Two, we're trying to show you that "liberation", "democracy", "freedom" and all of these incredibly noble intentions aren't what's driving the military machine. If we really thought that this was the case, we would be less critical and more supportive. But we don't think this is the case, so we try to point that out.

3. The left supports Saddam, or is apathetic to his remaining in power.

Of course not! There is a small (really small) portion of the left that believes this. Most of us would love to see him go. As many people have pointed out, the left thinks itself as a champion of human rights. Saddam has been an oppressor and murderer of people, and we would love to see that oppression end. We just disagree with the means (and motivations) of the U.S. government at this time.

4. The UN, and more specifically, the security council.

What I'm hearing from the right is that the UN is a worthless (and perhaps corrupt someone said?) body who we shouldn't even give the time of day to. Then in the very next sentence I hear that Iraq is disobeying security council resolution # yadda yadda and so forth. As Mark said, either stick with the UN, or abandon them altogether. You honestly cannot have it both ways.

5. The "no blood for oil" crowd.

The argument that they are hypocrites if they drive a car (or use plastics, or use power from the grid even) doesn't hold water at all. Their stance is that they are not willing to go to war for oil, not that they are not willing to use oil. But, of course, they are also of the stance that we should be putting more time, money and energy into researching other fuel sources. These things do not contradict each other.



This is absolutely my last post tonight! But Mr. Ritchie's excellent post deserves a response.

I have indeed read "The Art of War" as well as "The Book of Five Rings" and many other standard works on tactics, logistics and strategy. (May I recommend "Every Man A Tiger" by Gen. Chuck Horner on the Air War in the first Gulf War - especially for those who believe that drivel in the 'unanswered questions' article mentioned in an above post that Gen. Swarzkopf had reservations about the Saudi's ability to utilize their miltiary gear after the war. Stuff and nonsense!)

In this case, yes, sadly, I am ready to admit that containment has failed. We've tried for more than a decade. We've tried sanctions. We've tried alliances (many of which were mistakes - and will no doubt be brought up by the 'We've done bad things in the past and shouldn't try to fix them now' crowd). We've tried the carrot. Hell, we've tried the beet, the potato, the raddish and the rutabaga - all with no real effect.

This is why I am in favor of going to war - with all the failures implicit in that decision. Even though it means many of my friends and my relatives may die. Even though it means I will personally pay a lot of money in taxes. Even though it means that I and my loved ones are at higher risk of terrorist attack.

If I truly believed that a single 7mm round from 1500 yards would fix the problem, I'd volunteer to go take the shot. In fact, I have. Or if I could devise or review any OTHER solution that would work, I would back that one. There are none.

Saddam hasn't launched his SCUDs yet because he still hopes to be stronger before he strikes. He doesn't just want to annoy Isreal. He doesn't just want to slaughter a few million Isrealis. He wants to exterminate them. He wants to take out as much of the United States and our Gulf War allies as possible. The longer he waits, the stronger he becomes. A recent CNN article (http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/01/27/sprj.irq.bio.scientist/index.html) detailed Iraq's success at weaponizing anthrax in 1995. You can bet they haven't gotten worse since then.

He is a clear and present danger. As clear and as present as a man about to throw a firebomb into your children's bedroom - in Sydney in the summer. Waiting is not going to help anyone here but Hussein. Take the shot. Stop the threat.

Orion



Regarding Lincoln's crusade to set men free; refer to the later verses of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and see how important freedom was even then:

"As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,..."



Bill, thanks. This was wonderful. I can go to sleep know, secure in the knowledge that I'm not alone--there are other people in this country who aren't content to die so that dictators might live.

As for the comment directly above mine, all I can say is:
a. Bill isn't a reporter on this blog, it's his personal site
b. The URL provided is a notoriously biased source of information--a front for anti-war activists and anti-American thought.

"Facts," it seems, are also relative to the cynical and bitter people who might want to wake up and realize that this country is one of the few in which they have the freedom to freely share their muddled views.



So I lied...*laughs*
broken77 -
1 Several people, including myself have stated repeatedly that the US is far from perfect. You need to go re-read the arguments to date.

2 Then the point has not been clearly made. Your statement is that you believe there is some sinister motivation behind the military machine. What is that? (And before you answer, please go read the 'Empire' post on this same blog)

3 You claim to wish Saddam removed from power yet you have no plan for doing so. In fact, all of the various Leftist proposals for removing him from power have been tried - and have failed. Yet you STILL seem to desire that we continue trying failed methods. That is illogical. Further, the presence of 'Human Shields' appearing in Bagdhad seems to me to show that there are a signifigant number of Leftists who DO want him to remain in power.

4: This is a common debate techinque - not attempting to have it both ways. You first show how there is no need to accept your opponent's point, then you proceed to grant that point and destroy it anyway. This is what we have done with the 'The UN is irrelevant. HOWEVER, even for those who don't accept that point, the Iraqis STILL have failed to live up to the UN rules that the Left says it MUST live up to or face war.' argument. The Left has been hoisted by it's own petard yet refuses to lay down....

5 You fail to see the hyporcisy in continually over-utilizing a resource that you are unwilling to pay for? I'm assuming that you are then in favor of increased drilling in the ANR and other environmentally sensitive areas? If not, how do you propose we obtain oil? (I disagree that this war is about oil, however - Iraq's overall contribution to even OUR massive consumption of oil is very small). It is impractical to suggest that we instantly transform ourselves into a petroleum free society - it's not going to happen no matter how badly we wish it or how very sensible it would be to do so.

G'night all!

Orion The VERY long winded tonight!




I still haven't parsed Gerald's pseudointellectual leftist comments further than his first sentence so here goes:

>to "win the propaganda war" (senior advisor to Tony Blair)

Cheap shot and hypocritical: There is nothing pejorative about the word "propaganda" when its something a leftist agrees with.

>in face of stern opposition all around the world

Germany is not "the world." Germany is the leftist standard bearer at the moment. Islamists themselves are not screaming. They know that the new war is between right and left and no longer Bush vs Islam. Its only the leftists who have been so dense and hateful that they haven't noticed that THEY themselves are the new enemy. Islamists hate leftists. Since the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the Islamists are starting to cheer for Bush. You don't hear Pakistan or even Indonesia muttering at all right now. Its mainly just Germany. And get this: its mainly just Schroeder holding on to his pathetic far left constituency in the face of 25% approval ratings and the imminent loss of the German Senate to the conservatives on February 2nd. And even further: Joshke Fischer's Green Party, which is further left than Schroeders SPD party, doesn't want to be so anti-American as Schroeder but Schroeder is reaching even FURTHER to the left to the PDS neo-communists because they represent 5% of Germans and he needs that 5% so very desparately to keep the SPD from being overtaken by the Greens in the coming years.

In effect, the 5% most anti-American Germans are what pathetic American leftists are alluding to when they say that we shouldn't go to war because "the world" is not with us. They ignore the majority of European countries and maintain their disdain for Eastern Europe (which hates all forms of leftism).


> Keeping that in mind, I'll bite. Comment is interspersed.

Leftists will only defeat their own cause by trying to be intellectual and engage in real debate. Better to do what leftists have always done: run away from a real discussion.

>>A bit like the US invasion of Panama, although that didn't have a remotely credible pretext.

I think we should invade Panama again, if the Chinese are doing bad things there and China is our enemy. I don't have the info on this matter. But it sure was good that we had a bloodless attack there and caught the enemy drugrunner (as opposed to the friendly drugrunner we might have supported). Nothing wrong with killing enemies and supporting friends.

>And the Israeli invasion of Lebanon makes Kuwait look like a tea party.

For a Stalinist maybe. Hizbollah militants deserved what they got, the Kuwait civilians did not. Israel should not have pulled out of Lebanon until after Bush does what he now has to do. Hizbollah got the idea that the Israelis were going soft and the Intifada started up as a result.

>>The United States is required to follow international law by virtue of the constitution. So, no cookies and milk for that piece of back-breaking flexibility.

I am sorry? What constitution? The American? Are you kidding? And the UN Charter was a compromise with the Soviet Union. It would have already been rewritten if it were not for the fact that China is still communist. Bush needs to have the UN Charter rewritten before 2008. Hopefully, he will make an Emancipation Proclamation tomorrow, which says that dictatorships are illegal as far as the USA is concerned. That would be the new international law as far as we are concerned. Leftists on the UN staff need to be shown the door if they cannot speak out for humanity. I should know: I worked at the UN and quit in disgust at all the left wingers and Israel haters there. They need to be told what moral lowground they occupy.

>>No, the sanctions have performed that duty

Are you really such a pro-Saddamite that you would believe that the man with $7Billion couldn't have heroically saved his people despite "evil" sanctions? Are you on drugs?


>> (the Gulf slaughter you no doubt praise didn’t help). [he was replying to another poster]

The slaughter was of possibly 200,000 soldiers in the field. Leftists always take the statistics for probable enemy dead and say that was the number of innocent civilians killed. It is the most dishonest bull in the world. They ignore Humans Rights Watch. They did it in Vietnam where the 1 Million dead statistic is always mentioned as the number of "Vietnamese" we killed. Then the possible 15,000 Serbian soldiers that Clinton may have killed are referred to by the leftists in Belgrade as 15,000 civilians. Ditto in Afghanistan: we probably killed at least 20,000 Taliban there, but the leftists say we killed 20,000 Afghanis. The lies go on and on.


>> Saddam Hussein hasn’t killed nearly a million of his own people.

I don't know. Maybe not. Its rightist propaganda I guess. :-) So I guess that means he is no worse than Bush?

>

>Explain how you can prove a negative please.

So you must be part of Saddam's regime writing from Baghdad and pretending you dont have anything? If you are, then it might save your life to finally admit to where the WMDs parked in American cities are.

>> UNS/RES 1441, actually. So much for “facts” which you supposedly laud.

You don't get extra points for correcting someone on grammar or typos. I worked at the UN. Name me the Resolution number that tells Syria to get the hell out of Lebanon. I can name it, but I might be one or two numbers off (I think its 522, but if I am wrong about that, I still know that a resolution still exists and will soon finally be enforced that demands that Syria get out of Lebanon).

>>"Evidence" which you haven’t presented.

We don't have to. The war will be in response to 9-11 without need of more evidence than the fact that Saddam was the only head of state who cheered the terror act and continues to cheer it. Most of the world is with us. We don't need to provide evidence of who committed terror against us if we know via our intelligence services who is guilty. It would set a bad precedent and ruin our intelligence sources to always have to prove to the world who was behind a terror act. I am cheering for Bush NOT to provide evidence for this reason: precedent. But he probably will present evidence. Hard core lefties will disbelieve it. Then the nuke attack against New York will happen, which will convince the hard core lefties about the matter. But even then the hard core lefties will blame Bush for the nuke attack and protest against Bush.

>>“Serious consequences” which are to be defined by the Security Council, not the US alone.

Where in 1441 does it say that? It doesn't. Admit that you don't want to enforce 1441. At least that would make you honest.


>>"Known"? See above.

Uday Hussein just said that an attack will cause a nuclear explosion in an American city. At least he said it would be worse than 9-11. That is an example of a "known" weapon. Uday must now tell us where that weapon is in the USA.

I expect Bush to say tomorrow that the WMDs we are looking for are in the USA and Saddam must come clean on where they are or face extinction. We may lose 10,000 citizens here, but we have no choice. That moron cannot be allowed to smuggle anything more into the USA than he already has.

>>BTW, arguing that the US is upholding UN resolutions by breaking the UN Charter and ignoring the UN is pretty hilarious.

Not really. We've done it all along. The original charter needs to be changed when China democratizes, because it is unworkable. There cannot be sovereign rights for any jerk who decides to take over his country and enslave his fellow citizens.

>> For that reason alone, you cannot be taken seriously.

Well, the posters you criticize did elect Bush while people like you and me voted for Gore and we lost. I have started to take them seriously. Enough to join them. You better realize that the left is washed up and no longer taken seriously itself. A new crop of journalists and college professors will retire the old leftist fogies who are stinking up those institutions right now.

>>Nice attempt to link Sept 11 with Iraq (which had nothing to do with it).

OK. So this makes you a high level member of Al Qaeda then? Or a Saudi funder of Al Qaeda? That is the kind of remark that might need to be reported to the FBI. Since when can anyone say with certainty that Saddam and Uday and Qusay didn't have anything to do with 9-11? Unless you were top management for 9-11. Iraq certainly took part in WTC's first attack, plus the Battle of Mogudishu, according to more than one defector's book.

>>I’m afraid rational commentators require a little more evidence on that score than rhetoric.

Not really. It was like the red dots on the planes over Pearl Harbor said all that was needed about the next 4 years of battles. September 11th had Saddam's name all over it in the same way that Hitler's name was all over Pearl Harbor. Sure, no direct link: but Congress declared war on Hitler and Mussolini within two days anyway. FDR and Congress were not stupid back then. You look for allies of your enemy and you look for comments like Saddam's support for the hijackers and you add two plus two and get four. That is rational. Irrational is what a leftist has in mind: that would-be terrorists and rogue states need only cover their actual tracks, but not their rhetoric, in order to get away with terror in the international court of opinion.

It is for this reason that Bush should NOT provide evidence. I would rather appear imperialistic and punish the real perpetrators of 9-11, who know who they are...than reveal intelligence sources and set a precedent to would be future enemies that America needs a smoking gun to ever defeat them legally. Think Dirty Harry or Death Wish. Wait...a leftist probably hated those two movies...but most of the world saw the context and liked those movies.

>> Therefore, I’m ignoring the "Sept 11 is Iraq" chatter as I could discern no demonstrable argument within it.

Luckily, the Jordanian and Turkish governments are not ignoring the "chatter." Their armies will be moving in for the kill along with ours. The soldiers of many nations who are going in believe the "chatter". Because the chatter tells the truth.

>> After all, none of the hijackers were Iraqis (nor Afghans), and 19 were from Saudi Arabia, an ally.

Two reasons 1) because it hides the tracks and 2) because its almost impossible to find an Iraqi or an Afghan who truly hates the USA or believes in 72 virgins waiting in paradise. You have to find a Saudi, Yemeni, Palestinian, Egyptian and, to a lesser extent, a Paki to find someone who could really do what the hijackers did.

Reason number 2 above is the biggest reason: you just couldn't trust an Iraqi to leave Iraq and not turn on Saddam.

>>Sounds a lot like Iraq. Oh, wait a minute, that's a ruined Third World country.

Yes, but I am worried that France, China or Russia (or Pakistan) are in control of a nuke now placed inside an American city. There must be some major diplomacy going on right now. They would have been stupid to give a nuke to Uday to let him do with it what he wants to do.

>

>>Thanks to the help of the West, when he was a favoured ally and trading partner.

References to Jimmy Carter's support of Saddam are irrelevant. Ditto Reagan's support. It was justified when Iran was a bunch of raving lunatics. But now Iranians are our friends, begging us to destroy their evil religious government.

>>He doesn’t have “the means”, for obvious reasons. The motivation is thus largely irrelevant.

I hope to God that you are right and that overthrowing Saddam will turn out to be completely unjustified from the WMD point of view. But will Bush look bad if he is wrong and the Iraqi people are cheering? Bush is in a win=win situation as long as a nuke does not go off in New York. Even then, the conservative cause will move forward if that happens.

>>Addressing your points, he attacked Iran with the support of the United States. Therefore, that wasn’t against the “vital interests” of the “United States”.

Correct. It was in the vital interest of the United States when Shiite Islamism was a problem and Sunni Islamism was not. Things are reversed now. But not for long. When the Shiites control Iraq, the Sunnis will have to ally with the USA and have already done so (Turkey and Pakistan at least).

>> [NOTE: By the way, if you want to the taken seriously, you should define “United States”.

The USA is a social battleground where liberalism dominates in part of each coast as well as a swath of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida and the artsy fartsy section of northern New Mexico. Liberalism descends from the Puritans who were pacifists avoiding Cromwell's impending war. Most of America descended from later Scottish, German and other immigrants. They include Republicans and the massive swing voter block that loved Reagan and now admires Bush. Twenty percent of Americans are traditional "Jacksonians." They like people like Teddy Roosevelt, Reagan and Bush. This twenty percent is in control right now thanks to our friends in the hefty swing voter block...and thanks to people like me who were liberal Wilsonians until others in my Democratic party started acting treasonous last spring and stopped supporting a wartime president who obviously had a plan to democratize the Middle East like any good Liberal would do in the light of 9-11.

The USA is a place where, since in the years after 1967, liberals have dominated the media and professorships and wrecked a lot of our values with nihilism.

I am truly shocked that the anti-war people really think that their perverted anti-Bush thoughts will win regarding Iraq. Two things will happen n the next days to this perverted anti-war message: 1) We will win quicky in Iraq and Iraqis will cheer, causing the left to be humiliated. 2) We will be 9-11ed again and most liberals will convert to conservatives overnight despite what John Kerry or Hillary Clinton seem to think: that Bush will be weakened by another 9-11. Although we might be nuked, a war now will be a win-win situation for Bush. Unless Saddam nukes his own people and makes it look like we did it, or nukes 9 or 10 of our cities at once.

>> Because certainly, only one sector gained from supporting Saddam in the 80’s.

Actually, not really. America's economy depended on Mideast oil fields staying out of commie or Iranian hands at the time. The Soviets were supporting the Iranians and would have gladly used them to take over the entire Middle East, especially while Carter was in office. Jimmy Carter had no choice but to support Saddam and it is possible that Jimmy Carter encouraged the murderous power grab that Saddam made in 1979.

>>He invaded Kuwait when he thought he had tacit approval to do so from the US (looking at the record, that doesn’t seem unreasonable). He attacked Israel after the invasion.

It is true that Saddam was lured into invading Kuwait by the USA. We needed an excuse to make Kuwait a colony because, as KGB records prove, the Soviets had every intention of making Kuwait a colony otherwise. Gorbachev's last gasp for the continued existance of communism was to capture Kuwait one way or another. Bush 41 stopped him cold with the brilliant double cross of Saddam, who had double crossed us by siding with the Soviets before that. The sanctions on Iraq were just as much directed at successfully defeating the Soviet Union than defeating Saddam. Sadly, Russia might still consider itself defeated if we go through with the coming war. I am scared of what Russia might do. I hope the diplomacy has taken care of this.

>>Since, a) he doesn’t have that support now, b) doesn’t believe he has tacit approval to invade anyone and c) understands that attacking or invading anyone would bring about his immediate destruction, it follows de facto that d) he isn’t a threat to anyone in the region.

The opposite is true: if terror victims have to "prove" who was behind terror, guys like Uday Hussein will commit even more terror, and get away with it.

>>Plus, with the exception of Kuwait and Israel, the “region” overwhelming opposes war.

Again, not true at all. Jordan's King Abdullah and Turkey's Gul hate leftists because they are conservatives. This is a war against leftists and Saddam is standard bearer for the world's left wing neo commies. All true Muslims hate what Saddam stands for. Bush's one year delay on this war has been to show Muslims who Saddam's real allies are: German socialists. True Muslims hate German socialists. Most of the arab world is holding its nose and backing George Bush right now. That is why you saw only 200 protestors in Cairo this weekend.

>> By simple logic alone, the US cannot claim to be defending a region that is opposing that defence voraciously.

It is not defending the region. It is transforming it. With the blessings of most involved, except the mafias that make it a business to harrass Israel not because they care about Palestinians (or fellow Palestinians) but because they are slimeballs who are getting paid to hate Israel. Its a cottage industry. The local mafia. The true religious Muslims clearly see that Saddam is an atheist braggart who is not respected by his people. Today's news in the Muslim world did not carry the UN meeting. Everybody in the arab world knows the socalled inspectors are bought off by Saddam along with Albaradei and maybe even Blix. Nobody in the arab world respects for instance the way the coward inspector let an Iraqi defector beg for his life on Sunday before being taken away by Saddam's police.

>>For any of the above to make the slightest sense, you’ll first have to provide evidence that deterrence wouldn’t work.

No. Because the leftists were thrown out of power by the Supreme Court in December 2000 (something that upset me at the time but for which I know pray many thanks), we don't have to provide them with evidence of any kind before getting the job done.

But its not really Saddam's last orders for WMD that worry me. Sure, I am frightened that a nuke will go off in New York in the first hours of battle while Saddam thinks that we might get scared off by the event (especially if he is given the chance to warn us that he has 20 more nukes ready to follow the first one if we don't back off immediately). But what worries me most is that France, Russia or China might set off an untraceable suitcase nuke during the war, as a way of telling us that we must never attack Iran or North Korea after we destroy Saddam.


>>That will be difficult, since it worked even in 1991, when he was exponentially more dangerous.

The working assumption has to be that he is 1000 times more dangerous now because he may now possess a nuke or radiological bomb which is ready to go off in the USA. Do you think Bush would have yet told us about such a threat? He clearly knows something you and I do not know that worries the heck out of him. If he goes to Camp David on Friday, I would get the hell out of Washington. Again, if we are wrong and attack Saddam and find he has no WMDs anywhere, we will apologize to all the cheering Iraqis and ironically declare to the Germans that they were right (as Iraqis curse Germans for their complete lack of interest in freeing them from the dictatorship).

>> I’m assuming the reason you haven’t mentioned any such evidence is because you feel the psycho-babble suffices. I’m afraid it doesn’t.

Psycho babble suffices as far as leftist scum is concerned. If we had you on our side, you wouldn't be publicly humiliated when the Iraqis cheer Bush. Everyone else know intuitively that Bush is correct. This includes most Germans who, unlike Schroeder, are anti-war because they fear that Munich and Berlin will be nuked if they don't pretend to be neutral. Germany is moving belatedly to the right as you will see in the Senate elections on February 2nd.

>>Justifying war on the basis of counselling? That’s a new one.

I agree with you on this. Saddam's personality is not an issue here. The fact that he wants to do harm to American civilians is all we need to know.


> To keep himself in power, which is routine for dictators. Also, the US supported all three then, so it cannot possibly care about such atrocities now.

Don't leftists have any idea how immoral they come across when they defend the sovereignty of dictators? You must finally understand that dictators should be allowed to exist only with the sufferance of democracies. Saddam was supported by Jimmy Carter because Iraq was a leftist state in the 70s and the people were too pathetically pacifist to fight the radical Islamic Iranians. Otherwise, the Iranians would have steamrolled Iraq and we might then and now now have a huge Shiite empire there. Believe me, it was realpolitically correct to support a strong Iraqi leader in the 1980s. The USA might have fought the Soviet Union on the Saudi border in the 1980s if Saddam hadn't been his cruel self back then. The whole world might have perished in nuclear war with the Soviets.

> As can Saddam (was in fact, as I’ve stated and as even US intelligence analysis agrees).

This argument assumes that we would be willing to let Saddam grow into a nuclear power the way the above powers were allowed to. The whole point is that we particularly do not want this guy to become a nuclear power. We are not into deterring this guy. The whole point is to liquidate him. The inspections are a lie for us. If he really disarmed we would still attack. If we tried to do that to Putin or the Chinese leadership, they would nuke us. So the whole argument is false. We do not want this man stinking up the Middle East, talking us down as a leftist symbol, cheering for the 9-11 hijackers and acting as the 70% funder of Palestinian terror. True conservative Muslims don't want him pretending to be Muslim while he courts the European left wing whom Islamists hate. Everyone wants him gone, except western leftists and the few Sunnis in Saudi Arabia who still think that Al Qaeda has a chance of retaining Baghdad as a Sunni city for the Sunni Caliphate.


> I assume this debris is thrown in simply to make this piece longer and give the impression it is well thought out. Unfortunately, such efforts are ridiculously transparent.

Transparent for what? The poster made a good point. Saddam would issue doomsday orders but he might not be obeyed. That is what happened as the Third Reich fell. The point is well made.

> This is repetition. For the third time, I believe.

But in itself a justification for a war of liberation that will establish pro-Americanism in the arab world. Especially because Arabs admire courage and Arabs clearly see how feckless the French and Germans and even the British have been for the past year. For Iraqi women, American men will be the premium catch in a few weeks and this might last for two generations.

Note that the Kuwaits still love America for freeing them from a staged event. Why? Because Muslims love courage.


>>Regardless, the system actually only provides for about $100 per year to feed and provide medical treatment etc for every Iraqi. Hardly sufficient by any reasonable measure.

Another justification for war. Sanctions kill more people than war does. Unless Saddam has nukes and uses them against his own people to make us look bad...

>>Actually, the threat of reprisal is against him and his position (a fact you are studiously avoiding with laudable delicacy), not the Iraqi people (although of course they will be slaughtered to achieve it). One is a lot different and you know it.

You have to understand that the country (except Baghdad and Tikrit) will be conquered in a few hours unless Russian troops are flown in the way Russian troops moved into Pristina to prevent the Clintonite Army from "defeating" the Serbs entirely in Kosovo. Baghdad will fall a few days later to an uprising. The war will hopefully start with an uprising that we help.

I am, however, terrified about what Putin might do. There is precedent in Kosovo for Russian intervention. But that worked out for the better and achieved its ends.

>>As did Stalin, when he died. He of course immediately shot off the nukes… oh wait, no he didn’t.

I hope Stalin was really murdered. I should do a Google search on his death. I know that Brezhnev was killed by Andropov. Poetic justice.

>>Nukes and a delivery system Saddam doesn’t have of course,

Any smuggler is the delivery system. This holds true for North Korea as well, which is why we need the Iraq War over this weekend so we can stop North Korea in whatever evil smuggling operation it might currently be attempting.

> A non sequitor which is also, happily, yet another repetition.

Actually, when you see newly freed Iraqi citizens ripping the skin off Saddam's entourage and American soldiers trying to save Saddam's entourage from such gruesome deaths, then you will know how relevant the above statement was for this war.

>>Strikingly, they [Rumsfeld et al] also haven’t altered their positions 180 degrees without a word of contrition, which cannot be said for some.

Rumsfeld's crew never wanted Saddam to get nukes and Rumsfeld even supported Israel's raid on the Osirak reactor in the 1980s while he was supporting Saddam otherwise. Furthermore, Rumsfeld's crew is back in power now because Americans woke up to what Clinton had done to us. He is back in power because he belongs in power according to the will of the American people.

>>Huge numbers of innocent people will be killed by the United States and Britain, consciously. Just as much as they have under murderous sanctions, which are acknowledged to have strengthened Saddam Hussein whilst weakening political opposition. A fact the "liberators" have yet to apologise for, which blows a hole in their claim not to have any quarrel with the "Iraqi people".

Your thesis about conscious killing of civilians is species and treasonous. Clinton did wuss out and let Saddam's opponents get killed. But ten years ago, the Iranian Shiites were still considered a threat and the Turks always considered the Turks a threat. What Bush has done in the past year with diplomacy has been amazing and courageous. Don't blame Bush for Clinton's lack of spine and Clinton and Albright's murderously stupid sanctions.

>>Interesting. Will targeting water supplies and sewage treatment facilities etc be on the menu again? Oh, I say targeted in the sense that they were deliberately destroyed, as the factual record reveals amply reveals. You can choose not to look at it, but that’s your problem.

Actually, its your problem. Pretending that the USA likes to kill foreign civilians is evil. And it isn't logical. We want to win Arab hearts with this liberation war. Why would we kill civilians if that was our end? You have to be logical here. To be otherwise is to be perverted and sick. You really have to ask yourself why the USA would want to kill real civilians...unless they are Sunni supporters of Saddam who try to mob American soldiers in the streets with murderous intent. Murderous mobs of Saddam supporters wouldn't count, but I don't think even that would happen...and males in the fighting mode do not count as civilians even if they are not in uniform. Actively militant Palestinian males are not civilians and must never be portrayed that way.

Except in Germany in September, and as a mistake in the USA for the past few months, the far-left gets no respect even among the normal left. The far-left and Schroeder are already ridiculed in Germany, except for the far-left press which is desparate to uphold Schroeder. Anti-Americanism is not something a true liberal needs to feel, even with Bush in office. A true liberal recognizes that Bush is not going anywhere in 2004. He is staying put.

>>Not wanting soldiers to fight an invasion of their country is not the same as not wanting to kill them, which is altogether different.

Not really. Germans who defended Nazi German soil were told to reconsider or die by the advancing American Army. It is the same thing. Those who would invade the USA to liberate us from Bush want to kill me who would defend him. Any supporter of Saddam who fights is not someone whom we don't want to kill or capture.

>> The psy-ops are used for the former, not the latter. Also, the record of 1991 (and elsewhere) so massively documents the exact opposite of what you're arguing I'm surprised you can do it with a straight face.

The worst civilian deathtoll in 1991 was that bunker with the 10 officers who went into it.

>> Those will be the people killed.

I assume that these Iraqi soldiers are actually bivouacking with American Special Forces right now. I assume that our commandos already control several Iraqi divisions but we are afraid to make the final lunge because something like a nuke or radiological bomb is in New York and Bush knows it.

>>Others may be attempting to defend their country from foreign invasion. Those will be the people killed as well.

Evolution. Nobody with brains dislikes Americans. Evolution takes care of them otherwise. Look at Afghanistan. You don't see much anti-Americanism there anymore.

>>To slur that anybody killed is basically a puppet of Saddam is grotesque.

Anyone voluntarily fighting will be misguided by leftist propaganda or greed. Such propaganda has gotten more than 100 million killed, mostly by their own leaders in the past century.


>> Likewise, the victims of Saddam's "blood-stained police state" are also the victims of sanctions, which were imposed by the same people now trying to invade Iraq.

We will liberate Iraq, not invade it. Grow up. And the sanctions were Clinton and Albright's ongoing crime. Clinton needed to have finished Saddam in 1998 but the Monica story had destroyed his credibility, especially in the Muslim world. The Muslims hated Clinton enormously. They don't feel the same way about Bush now that Bush has shown himself not to be the craven fool that Clinton was.

>>Which the US gladly supported when it was occurring on far worse levels. Therefore the US cannot be concerned about it, since virtually the same people who didn’t care then are in power now.

This is false logic. The USA supported Stalin in WW2 for the same reason that Stalin was fighting a vicious enemy of the United States and saving hundreds of thousands of Amrican lives. It didn't mean we supported what Stalin did with women. Carter and Reagan might have had another Vietnam or worse if the Iraqi Shiites had combined with Iran in the early 80s to go after Meccah and give the Soviets control over the world's oil. This is a duh. This is history 101.


>

>>Therefore, the “threat” which you say needs to be countered would actually be brought about by an invasion.

Correct. Good point (except its a liberation). If its too late, its too late. But I would rather find out if Saddam has a nuke now than avoid American cities for the rest of my life.


>>Consequently, until you present an argument that is even remotely convincing that Iraq poses a threat to the United States (beyond dismissible rhetoric), there is not even the remotest shred of argument contained herein, as far as I can see.

You clearly cannot see far. There is very good chance that a suitcase nuke is in the USA right now. If we could prove it, we would not be in danger from it.

Anyway, this goes on and on. I am surprised that a leftist assumes he can carry an argument.



All your questions will be answered, all your points will be dealt with. By the way, classic lines such as 'he's loathsome because he idolises a murderous dictator' will be thrown into the idiot dustbin of history.

And yes, to the specific question, I do have proof for everything I've said. Which is more than can be said for the notion that Saddam has weapons capable of threatening the USA. This board is so replete with sophistry and apologetics that I might as well just have the Red Guard slash you all to pieces and dump you in the fricking river.



FAO: Chuck(le)
RE: The Little Lies & the Gun Analogy

Would you advocate a US invasion of China? Because judging by your comment titled above you would think it a good idea. I'll spell it out if you like but i'd like to see if you can understand what I'm trying to get at.



You know, Dave Magnan has a point. He really is a simple man. On that alone, he was right on the money.

His pathetic game of framing a series of Q&As which ignore the most important questions, (and which, by the way, only tell half the truth in many cases), and which avoid the most telling answers is unworthy of much comment.

But here's a few Q&As for you:

Does Saddam have weapons capable of reaching the US?

No.

Is he suicidal enough to deploy weapons in such a fashion as to guarantee his own destruction, WITHOUT that prospect being on the horizon in the form of war anyway?

Hardly.

Does the US now, or has it ever stood up for human rights, democracy etc.?

No, the US is supporting coup d'etat in Venezuela, kidnap, torture and murder in Venezuela and what has been tantamount to ethnic cleansing in Turkey. And those are just recent issues.

The argument, in case some of you missed the point, is not about how terrible Saddam is. It is about two crucial things - number one, how likely is it that Saddam could or would threaten the biggest military power in the world, and number two, given that the US has been for a long time complicit in what George W assured us was 'evil', is it a reliable force for liberation in the Middle East?

The answer is no to both.

Scott. Sorry, sir, but I have never identified with those regimes. Liberalism is not irrelevant, it won the most votes in the 2000 election. Socialism is never irrelevant in a world riven by war, inequality and heinous dictatorship.

Sorry. Your denial is beneath you, and I see right through you.



I'm a bit late onto this essay. My fellow co-worker turned me onto this site just today, as we are a bit at odds over what's going on in our world today. I'm 25 years old, and have never up until Sept. 11, 2001, been interested in politics. Since then I've been searching out for the what, how, and why. My readings have led me to the conclusion that the world is coming to a very serious crossroads. I'm talking about global peak oil production. It can't be refuted, and is the underlying reason for the invasion of Iraq. Bill, you are correct. To quote from above:

To say this war is all about oil is factually identical to saying that this war is all about maintaining our society and lifestyle...

Exactly. We cannot afford to fail in Iraq because the global economy needs the oil, pronto. How convenient to have the oil men in power right now, huh? And to have a convenient excuse to make such an radical policy change. So, I'm tired of the rhetoric that we're fighting evil and terrorism. Someone tell the truth please. The US gov't is as guilty of terrorist acts as any other gov't or organization. Even the official definition of terrorism put out by the FBI pulls many acts done by the US into that catagory. Yes, what we're doing in Iraq is in our best interest, but please stop shoving the meaningless patriotic slogans down my throat. My eyes are wide open. Our history speaks for itself. Yes this is the greatest country in the world. We have a standard of living unparalleled anywhere. But remember how we got this way. By pulling down the massive natural resource that is (was) CHEAP crude oil. If we don't have it, our economy is doomed. To say this invasion was not based on money and oil is simply ubsurd. Study up on peak oil and what it means to our existence. That is what is scary. Not Saddam, or Bin Laden or some Islamic, or Christian, fundamentalist, but the prospect that the current direction we're going is not sustainable in the long term. Until we find and actually market and use some renewable energy source, we're doomed. Oil is not going to carry us into the next century. Basically as we stand right now, we're screwed. There will be more war and suffering to come. This is the tip of the iceberg baby. We sucked the sweetest crude, and now were waging turf war for what amounts to capitalism's crack cocaine. That's the reality.



John...

Little late as well on this post...however your point is well taken.

Although, who would fight for oil...the propaganda involved is overwhelming. Like the quote goes..."we didn't get the wool pulled over our eyes...we were born with a hood."

The truth is out there, but hidden. The government coinciding with the media presents the fallacies and 80% of America follows the path. Read Voggenut...he speaks the truth!



Regime change in Iraq became the stated goal of the United States when Public Law 105-338 (the "Iraq Liberation Act") was signed into law by President Clinton. The act directed that:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Political observers such as Frank Gaffney feel that Clinton did nothing to implement regime change (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20021203-90267824.htm). President Bush, however, has repeatedly declared regime change in Iraq to be the policy of his administration, and appears more willing, even eager, to pursue this policy through military action. Many observers correctly predicted that this policy would culminate in a U.S. invasion of Iraq.



Quote by Mark Tinsley: "Oh, and threatening to attack other countries so that they are forced to develop WMD as a deterrent doesn't help either."
You've got that backwards. And incidentally, your rhetoric (some which is plagiarized as pointed out by other posters) is some of the most pretentious bullshit I've ever read. Going by your "logic" Pearl Harbor was attacked because of the insensitivity of the US to the "peaceful" Japanese, and the Manhattan project was conducted under the "false premises" that the Germans had secret weapons of mass destruction under development and we had to get there first. You completely ignore (or don't care) that we were attacked by Islamofascist thugs who would gladly subject your pompous liberal ass as well as the rest of the planet to an oppressive theocracy.
I served in Iraq during Desert Storm and OIF. Soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan so you won't have to worry about fighting them here. Read the U.N. resolutions which preceded our invasion of Iraq. Hussein violated every one of them, kicked out inspectors, and continued his WMD program in spite of sanctions. You know, the "imaginary" Ricin, Sarin, and Mustard gas he used to murder 5000 Kurds? The "Oil for food program" sure was a good scheme, eh? Kofi Anan and his kid made out like bandits. The resolutions made it very clear to Hussein and anyone who took the time to read them, that we had the right to invade and force the megalomaniac in Baghdad to comply. In the end we had to do what the pusillanimous U.N. would not: Exercise what was spelled out in the resolutions.
And BTW: We know how difficult it is for you liberal moonbats, suffering through your post-election trauma and the weekly trips to your therapist, but the rest of America is getting sick and tired of your pissing, moaning, and imbecilic regurgitations about President Bush being "Hitler", a threat to democracy, etc.
If you removed your head from your ass and stopped fawning over bin Laden and repulsive simps like Michael Moore, you might get that clue you so desperately need.
Newsflash: America is safer now than it was during the Clinton regime’s 8 year crime spree. God knows he tried like hell to eviscerate the military and national security. He and algore (one word) used the Oval Office as their personal conduit for unethical, immoral and illegal activities. The terrorist threat was not at the top of Clinton’s list of priorities. The first attack on the World Trade center, Khobar Towers, and the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania all happened on his watch,but he was too preoccupied with mouth-to crotch resuscitation from Monika and receiving campaign contributions from his Chinese/Indonesian friends in exchange for classified weapons technology. Clinton’s callous indifference to the terrorist attacks gave al Qaida the green light. Oh, wait, he did have a response--a wag-the-dog bombing of Kosovo and an aspirin factory in Iraq. Abetted by lap-dog Janet Reno’s obstruction of justice, Clinton flushed the integrity of the Office as well as national security down the toilet, and not a peep out of you leftist blockheads.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you voted for Jean Francois Kerry. If you think America would have been safer with him at the helm, you’re even more foolish than your diatribe suggests. His behavior in and after Vietnam clearly indicates of lack of character, integrity, and the leadership it takes to be a Commander-In-Chief. He shouldn’t have been a Senator, let alone Presidential candidate.
You and your liberal friends are comprised of pseudo-anarchists, nihilists, and spineless sycophants who would never let the facts get in the way of a good America bashing. The adults, thank God, are still in charge of the country.
You ought to follow the lead, remove the nose rings and grow up.
SFC Cheryl McElroy
US ARMY
Washington, DC



We are winding down you know. we have brought it on ourselves. Some just want to live in peace, others are full of greed. This week we saw allot of "April Fools" Five Million showed up for a dead man's funeral. You think that you have seen that last of this man? Oh no, you have not. Well, at least you will think you have not. He will appear to come back, yet it won't be him, it will just look like him, and once again, millions will be fooled. He was the 6th King of Rev. 17 and there is a 7th coming up very shortly, "for a short space". Then will come "the eighth" who is of the seven. But he will look like the sixth king. JPII. Now there is a puzzle for the world to figure out. It is all there. Tell you what, there is a clue in 2nd Thess 2:7,8 and Ezk 28: 2 and 6-10. If you are up to it. It is your future.
endee



Quote by Mark Tinsley: "Oh, and threatening to attack other countries so that they are forced to develop WMD as a deterrent doesn't help either."

Since you're a Brit, I will eplain this in terms you might understand:

You've got that backwards. And incidentally, your rhetoric (some which is plagiarized as pointed out by other posters) is some of the most pretentious bullshit I've ever read. Going by your "logic" Pearl Harbor was attacked because of the insensitivity of the US to the "peaceful" Japanese, and the Manhattan project was conducted under the "false premises" that the Germans had secret weapons of mass destruction under development and we had to get there first. You completely ignore (or don't care) that we were attacked by Islamofascist thugs who would gladly subject your pompous liberal ass as well as the rest of the planet to an oppressive theocracy.
I served in Iraq during Desert Storm and OIF. American and British Soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan so you won't have to worry about fighting them on your soil. Read the U.N. resolutions which preceded our invasion of Iraq. Hussein violated every one of them, kicked out inspectors, and continued his WMD program in spite of sanctions. You know, the "imaginary" Ricin, Sarin, and Mustard gas he used to murder 5000 Kurds? The "Oil for food program" sure was a good scheme, eh? Kofi Anan and his kid made out like bandits. The resolutions made it very clear to Hussein and anyone who took the time to read them, that we had the right to invade and force the megalomaniac in Baghdad to comply. In the end we had to do what the pusillanimous U.N. would not: Exercise what was spelled out in the resolutions.
And BTW: We know how difficult it is for you liberal Euro-moonbats, suffering through your post-election trauma and the weekly trips to your therapist, but America is getting sick and tired of your pissing, moaning, and imbecilic regurgitations about President Bush being "Hitler", a threat to democracy, etc.
If you removed your head from your ass and stopped fawning over bin Laden and repulsive simps like Michael Moore, you might get that clue you so desperately need.
Newsflash: we are safer now than during the Clinton regime’s 8 year crime spree. God knows he tried like hell to eviscerate the military and national security. He and algore (one word) used the Oval Office as their personal conduit for unethical, immoral and illegal activities. The terrorist threat was not at the top of Clinton’s list of priorities. The first attack on the World Trade center, Khobar Towers, and the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania all happened on his watch,but he was too preoccupied with mouth-to crotch resuscitation from Monika and receiving campaign contributions from his Chinese/Indonesian friends in exchange for classified weapons technology. Clinton’s callous indifference to the terrorist attacks gave al Qaida the green light. Oh, wait, he did have a response--a wag-the-dog bombing of Kosovo and an aspirin factory in Iraq. Abetted by lap-dog Janet Reno’s obstruction of justice, Clinton flushed the integrity of the Office as well as national security down the toilet, and not a peep out of the leftist blockheads.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you supported the idea of Jean Francois Kerry for President. If you think the world would have been safer with him at the helm, you’re even more foolish than your diatribe suggests. His behavior in and after Vietnam clearly indicates of lack of character, integrity, and the leadership it takes to be a Commander-In-Chief. He shouldn’t have been a Senator, let alone Presidential candidate.

You and your liberal friends are comprised of pseudo-anarchists, nihilists, and spineless sycophants who would never let the facts get in the way of a good America bashing.

SFC Cheryl McElroy
US ARMY
Washington, DC



I have never understood the arguments that say that because we have in the past supported Saddam's regime we did not have the right to object to or take action against its atrocities now. On the contrary, I would argue that that history imposes upon us a _special obligation_ for us to do so. The antiwar crowd asks, "If America really cares about the torture and rape and genocide that occured in Iraq, then why not intervene in Rwanda, in a hundred other places where such atrocities are going on? Why Iraq?" To which I reply first of all that the question should be "Why Iraq first?" and the answer why their humanitarian problems are more pressing than those of a nation we have had nothing to do with is that we are cleaning up our own mess, righting our mistakes in propping up Saddam's regime, failing to finish the job of the first Gulf War, our betrayal in abandoning the uprising against him after the war, and in pretending twelve years of sanctions were doing anything but strengthening his hold on power, making him into the bold defiant of the evil West while being completely ineffective in cutting off money and weapons. We owed the Iraqis, and we have delivered.

Secondly, a point that no one has addressed is that it was not a matter of starting a war against Iraq, because we had already been under attack from him for the years prior. Our aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone took antiaircraft fire on a daily basis. I call that active acts of war.



I hate to say I told you so, but where are the WMD's now?

Maybe next time, you will think before you blast all liberals (which is a sizable portion of our population) as weak-kneed dictator-lovers who just won't take action when its needed.

Clearly
it was not needed.

It may or may not be justified, but it was not necessary.



I don't know, Michael -- where ARE the WMDs now? Where could someone possibly hide the disassembled components of such weaponry when they've barely been given 12 years to find a way? Well, that IS the question for the day, I guess, and a lot of people are working on it even as we speak.

What I want to know is, why would anyone consider it a "victory" that they haven't been found yet? Everyone KNOWS they existed -- they WERE actually USED after all, wiping out entire Kurdish villages, gassing Iranian (and even some Iraqi) military formations during the Iran-Iraq War -- they did have a nuclear production capability (at least until the Israelis bombed their Osirak reactor back in '81) -- Saddam boasted about it, even threatened to load his SCUDs with biological and chemical agents during the first Gulf War, when he was launching them at Saudi Arabia and Israel -- radio and telephone intercepts confirmed their efforts along those lines, defectors described their progress in detail (and then were killed by Saddam for doing so when they foolishly returned to Iraq) -- pre-invasion, every damned country represented at the UN agreed and expressed concern over Hussein's globally acknowledged stockpiles and efforts for expanding upon them, as did nearly every member of the U.S. Congress, from both sides of the political fence, including every last one of those now calling the loudest for Bush's head, as well as the intelligence organizations for most of the major players in the business -- and the UN inspectors (you know, those multi-national folks, most without an American agenda, who were actually THERE, working around Hussein's dodges and obstacles) said that there was not only evidence for their existence, but there was evidence that Hussein would have had a functional nuclear weapons program within 4 years, left unhindered -- and finally, one must ask, all this history and evidence aside, if no WMDs ever existed, if this was all just a big fat Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Mephistopheles evil-cabal LIE, then what the hell was Hussein interfering with the inspection process for? Proof of Bush's "lies" would have been made manifest before the world if Saddam had just allowed the inspectors to do their work unimpeded so that they could SEE that no such weapons existed. So either Hussein was magnitudes more stupid than we ever imagined, or there actually WAS SOMETHING TO HIDE.

So, we know -- EVERYONE knows -- that he had them. That's a given (except for those who are still desperately clinging to this one issue as the only possible justification for going to war with Iraq). Hell, just the fact that they were USED is sufficient proof of that all by itself, all the other evidence aside. So, instead of cackling with childish glee that nothing of significance has been found yet (because that means that "I'm right and you're wrong, nyah, nyah..."), why aren't all you WMD-fixated people worrying about WHERE THEY'VE GONE?

And all this before we even address -- RE-address, for the thousandth time, actually -- the point that the WMD issue was not the only justification for going to war! Even if the whole idea of WMDs had never once been brought up, by anybody, anywhere, there were still plenty of other historical, legal, practical, and even moral reasons for going. So even if you want to ignore the still-existing threat of those missing components (since they're still out there somewhere), crowing about their absence doesn't strengthen anyone's anti-war argument one iota. In fact, it only shows how much you're not paying attention, not to mention how hard you're working at ignoring all the other relevant issues in an effort to hold to your own anti-Bush biases. And that's right up there with that tiresome and braindead old claim that we're just there to steal the oil.

You said, regarding the invasion, "Clearly it was not needed... It may or may not be justified, but it was not necessary."

And there it is -- "clearly," if WMDs haven't been found yet, then the entire war on terror, beginning in one of the biggest hornet's nests of terrorist activity, political foment and instability, is unjustified. Brilliant.

Let's just forget for now the 12 years of defiance of nearly every term of the treaty that Saddam himself signed to save his own ass (this issue ALONE justified invasion, more than a decade before it was finally acted upon, and was the centerpiece of the UN's threats as well, before their spines returned to their normal gelatinous form, that is -- but if Saddam had just behaved as he'd agreed to behave after Gulf War I, the invasion would never have happened, and he'd still be in power right now, still sponsoring, outfitting, training and harboring terrorists the world over, just biding his time for that big old smoking gun incident that people like you crave so much, at your own countrymen's expense), the terms of which specifically called for "serious consequences" should he fail to comply. And while we're at it, let's just forget for now the far-reaching political ramifications of allowing a semi-Arab demagogue to continue defying the rest of the world at will, for decades on end, not to mention the long-term impact of our own constant vacillation and retreat in the face of an aggressive strongman -- let's just forget for now all the ways that Iraq fits the bill perfectly as a target under the terms of President Bush's globally declared (and nearly unanimously cheered, in the beginning at least) "War on Terror" -- and let's just forget for now whatever moral imperatives we might or might not place on the issue of the horrors he inflicted, daily, on his own people, not to mention the tension and instability he created in that already unstable region with his ongoing grinning threats of aggression and even invasion (as well as the fiscal drain on our own economy as we were forced to field a perpetual deterrant force, in both the Persian Gulf and on Saudi [and Kuwaiti, and Omani] soil) -- let's just forget all that, and instead just focus on one lesson that we finally seem to have learned from the past, about appeasement, and about the far FAR greater cost of avoiding conflict at ALL costs in the face of an overt and unrepentant aggressor.

Adolph Hitler himself admitted that, right at the beginning, had the French -- had ANYONE -- stepped in his way when he first marched his paltry little Wehrmacht formations into the demilitarized Rhineland, in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles, he would have been forced to turn back, because he had nothing to back it up with. And had that happened, he would have been ousted -- probably assassinated, as the generals at the Nuremburg trials proclaimed -- and that would have been that. No more Hitler. And without Hitler, no Mussolini (except as "the guy who made the trains run on time). And without Hitler and Mussolini, no "Axis." And without an Axis, Japan would have been left as the sole aggressor nation, and had they still been so foolish as to attack Pearl Harbor anyway, we could have focused all our resources on them alone (instead of splitting them between Europe and the Pacific), and even THAT conflict would have ended a whole lot sooner... if it ever happened in the first place.

So, no Second World War, no 50,000,000 casualties... and all just by stepping in when stepping in would have been easy, cheap, and paid off big. Of course, whoever would have DONE the stepping in would have been roundly rebuked by the global pacifist community, because they would have been seen as "bullies" beating down an already battered and reeling member of the family of nations. But, unknown to those shouting the loudest, the biggest conflict of arms in all of human history would have been prevented, and fifty-million people who WOULD have died were now going to get to live.

Seventy years later now, and the same "danger/opportunity" has arisen again. Only this time, it looks like we actually learned something from the past.

Well, everybody but those damned "dictator-loving liberals" anyway.

GHS



And now that we are approaching record high gas prices back during the oil crisis in the '70s, you've hamstrung your own argument against "this war is about oil".

Compare the stock prices of Exxon, Mobil and BP versus average crude prices. Do it, I'll wait.

Ok. Isn't it interesting that the stock price directly mirrors crude oil prices? And that financial analysts speak of falling crude prices as a bad thing? Why? Because falling crude means lower stock for these companies. And the American public that doesn't own stock in these companies? Screw em.